Saturday, May 29, 2010

A good buy

A new voise with an attractive (altzeimers), umm, what is that flying thing called? A dragon fly, that's it. Yes, a dragon fly, repeated on the other side. Base colour a glossy red. Yeah, well you can see that. The tulip stamens are purple, the colour that used to be added to beer drip trays in pubs to prevent recycling. Vase, $15 from Vic Market. I'm going mad. Is it time for a drink yet? Damn, one hour and 37 minutes still.

A bit of public art in St Kilda

I like to think of this sort of decoration of street utility objects as beginning in New Zealand and slowly starting to spread here. What I like to think is probably wrong, but there is a lot of this type of work in NZ. I had to go to the lighting shop in St Kilda Road, St Kilda and then I needed to go to Prahran, so I walked along Pakington Street to catch the Chapel Street tram. Very mixy street. A friend who died bought a house in the street at the same time as we bought in Balaclava. He renovated it beautifully and I suppose it would be worth over $1 million now. It looks like the Porter's Lime Wash on the exterior is holding up well. It has a high brick front fence, so no photo.

Later addition: Time Spanner just yesterday posted a prime example of some New Zealand works. Take a look.

Naturally enough, I just missed a tram, so I was gazing around and noticed this. Back in 1979, cough splutter, I remember it being a milk bar. The building has housed many businesses since, and it is now a cafe. Certainly brightens up the corner in a very Fitzroy kind of way. Perhaps a bit too bright for mine.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Mother to Lakes Entrance

Back in the 1970s my parents separated. Father moved in with his new lady friend and I with him. Mother, who had never really done paid work, took a job as a live in housekeeper with my brothers and sister for a man and his two teenage sons who lived at Grassy Spur. I doubt any of you will know where that is, but for those of you with an equine interest, it is near Stony Creek.

After a couple of years she had had enough of fighting off the affections of the chap she was housekeeping for and moved in with her parents in Oakleigh. Three adults and three children in a two bedroom house did not work for very long. Tradie brother who was about eleven, was an absolute mess.

Her father bought her a house in Pakenham and although she was city born, she had grown used to country life and odd as it now sounds, Pakenham was then very much a country town. There were still apple orchards there then and the joke was packen em apples.

Through a lonely hearts column in a now deceased newspaper, no, rag, she had various suitors and she had narrowed them down to two. One was rich farmer who lived just outside Lakes Entrance and the other someone without money, prospects and lived in a rented flat in St Kilda. The deciding factor was that if she took up with the farmer, the kids would again be uprooted from school as she would have to move to Lakes Entrance. She decided on the one without money and he moved in in time and went on to become my step father. He was a good man and an excellent day to day father for my brothers and sister, but he was never a good financial provider. He did little more than pay board and used his car for my family's benefit.

Although my grandparents had a considerable amount of money when they retired from their market garden, inflation and secure but poorly performing investments reduced its value considerably. By time they died and mother as sole beneficiary got her hands on the money, not much was left. I often joke that Mother spent it all on shoes for herself. She has never been good with money but to be fair, bringing up three children is not cheap and I consider she did a good job of bringing up my brothers and sister. They lived to the same standard as most of their school mates.

And what does Mother think about her decision some three decades ago to go for the dependable, stay in control as head of the house and not move her children from school for a fourth time, or throw her lot and her children into the deep unknown in Lakes Entrance where she on the face of it, have had a very financially secure and stable life?

You couldn't get a straight answer to that direct question from her but she can often be heard to say, 'I wish I'd gone to Lakes Entrance.'

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy 100th

Most of the trams that pass the highrise operate from Malvern Tram Depot. The Stonnington Leader newspaper is featuring the depot's 100th anniversary. Will the depot see its 200th? Surely by then we will be able to self transport with our jet powered back packs. I am sure someone in the seventies promised I would be able to by 2000.

Loser Number Plate #34

Seen on a Hummer, the rego plate HUMAAR. Very sad.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don't get the latest from VicRoads

At around 12.30 today there was a bad accident on the Bolte Bridge inbound which led to its closure. All hands on deck at VicRoads and CityLink, except whoever looks after the online stuff at VicRoads must be out to a long lunch.

These are taken at 2pm and the bridge is still closed.

People in my life

Who are all these family members and friends who I mention in my writing? You can check who they are in the Cast List link on my blog. I have just updated it.

Useful Facebook?

I was reminded by TimeSpanner in New Zealand the reason I first joined FB. Like her, it was to support a cause, the first one being Save the Leas Lift. Success. The water powered lift in Folkestone England is saved. From the Beeb: My post at the time here.

Other groups I joined:

Taxis off Swanston Street (Melbourne). With only eight members, I don't think it was very influential. Having said that, taxis are going to be removed from Swanston Street, eventually. Yay.

Drain and Restore Lake Peddar. I recall when Lake Peddar in Tasmania was flooded in the seventies and I was very much against it. The lake was so beautiful. I confess to not investigating this group properly. 680 members.

Save Lonsdale House. It was not and is now demolished. Publicity and public protests could not save it, and nor could a concerted internet campaign. It was not just about Lonsdale House for me. It represented something we are rapidly losing, the character and history of our city.

Eddie Mcguire is ruining the 2010 Winter Olympics coverage. Oh dear, why did I join this? I think it may have been over homophobic comments by Eddie and others. It certainly stirred passion, with over 10,000 members. For mine, get rid of celeb commentators at sports broadcasts and use proper commentators who know what they are talking about. Eddie went right on talking through the rest of the WO, so I would call this one a fail.

Save the Windsor. Appalling of you people. Less than 1,000 members. Join up now. Even so, I think the awful building to be built behind the Windsor will not go ahead.

Save the Bacchus Marsh 'Avenue of Honour'. Good membership of over 4.500. I can't guess how this one will turn out. The organisers have emotion on their side, which may win the day.

All those against Regent Cinema in Brisbane being Knocked down! A mega 7,600 members. I will guess that it will be saved. I recall some pretty nasty protests when Bjelke Petersen allowed the demolition of the Bellevue Hotel and he can also be remembered for the demolition of Cloudland Ballroom. Evil and corrupt man. Don't let it happen again.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day Off

I haven't left the apartment today. It is grey, wet and miserable outside. Sadly the volume of rain is not great. The heating is keeping me warm and I have ripped through a lot of recorded tv and started a few blog posts. We are going to see a movie at Gold Class later. I don't think I have seen a movie for twelve months or more.

I'd reckon it will be pretty nasty in the Dandenongs, seen on the horizon.

Oh look, I accidentally took an artistic photo.

Soup should be ready in a day or so. Like fine wine, it needs to mature. Simmering soup is perfect match to a grey day.

Blog Matters

Brian and Jayne are missing in action on my blog. Jayne is busy with personal matters. Could I have possibly said something to annoy Brian? Often I expect, but I miss his sometimes cryptic comments.

Day in, day out, week in week out, month in month out, year in year out, Daniel manages to churn out a daily post. I adore bloggers who let you into their life a bit, but of course you only ever hear what they want you to know. Precisely what I do.

I have been archived again at Pandora. So that means my cross over the now demolished Lonsdale House and the not flattering comment about State Planning Minister Justin Madden are down in history. Note, I have now deleted the picture and words. They stayed up too long, but I was waiting for archiving to happen.

This was a good find. Someone who cares. Scrubby Bush. I am new to Sydney Eye and Sydney - City and Suburbs. Both are works of art.

The Mutton Chopped Mutant has vowed to return to the world of blog from Facebook. We shall see. While I hope he does, in my experience, once you break, it is never the same again. At the other end, Raelene has declared she is not going to blog anymore and stick with FB.

Speaking of Facebook, I believe May 31 is delete your Facebook day. I do use FB, but I don't have time for both FB and blog. I sometimes check what people are saying but blog is my preference. I also have a family FB account, but that is not as satisfying as talking over the phone to family. The English rels only seem to want to communicate with us via FB. We read what they are doing or saying at times, but when we have sent flowers to R's sister for her birthday and she writes a thank you note in FB, hasn't it all gone so wrong? And wtf is Yoville?

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Talent

Terrible. I have hardly missed an episode of Collectors and yet I scarcely remember the names of the regulars. Gordon Brown is one, not hard to remember for some reason. Adrian something is another and the woman who left, who I quite liked, well her name has totally escaped me. I was surprised to hear that the show has been running for five years. No wonder Andy is looking older and dare I say, a little thicker. Does he still do ABC breakfast radio in Tassie. I used to listen to him occasionally on the net. I didn't think he had a good radio voice.

It must be difficult to step into someone's shoes but Claudia has stepped into the shoes of the departing panel member very well.

I cannot say that Claudia is knock out good looking, but she has style and certainly makes the best of herself. Give me interesting looks over conventional beauty anytime. From memory, she was a guest showing us her tin toys on a show and tell type segment.

Better do a minute of research. Ok, married to a business man, lives in a cottage in Sydney's Annadale. Yep, tin toys. While I don't have any, I love tin toys. I approve of Claudia on Collectors. Not much more to say.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Close George Street

This is exciting stuff. The Central to Lilyfield tram light rail line is being extended to Dulwich Hill. Even more exciting is the suggestion that George Street in Sydney may be closed to motor cars and the tram extended via George Street to Circular Quay. Perhaps it will go on to The Rocks and then to the ghastly proposed Barangaroo. The idea has been mooted. Go for broke and make that Darling harbour and we have a loop.

One thing I am sure of, if there is a tram along George Street from Central to the Quay, the tram will be so overwhelmed with passengers, that new trams will have to be quickly ordered and the service interval reduced. Better that they initially order very big trams.

As an occasional visitor to Sydney, I have no idea about north south buses in the city. I either walk or use the underground train or sometimes the monorail. I won't live to be old enough to understand how buses in Sydney city work. But I know how trams work and if I see a track, I can see where the tram is going. I read that bus congestion is a problem in George Street. Nothing new there. Tram congestion used to be a problem in Sydney city. But they used to think laterally and do something about it.

One small step for mankind, the next step, a tram along Anzac Parade and Oxford Street and the eastern suburbs train line extended to Bondi Beach and then along the coast to Coogee. By running it along the coast, it will alleviate worries about the train pouring people into Bondi Beach. People will go on to other beaches. I feel sorry for locals who live at Bondi Beach and have to put up with the transfer from the train at Bondi Junction to a bus, among hordes of tourists.