Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cheers Bill

Bye bye Smiffy. Bye Tony. Bye Bob, June, Reg and various others. Oh, they have gone already. Good night John Boy. Sorry, mixing it up there.

I quite liked the recent re-invention of The Bill. It became quite slick in its presentation and technically quite good. Everyone says that it went wrong when it started to focus on the personal lives of the characters. I am not sure. For me, maybe it lost its sense of humour. Reg was like the comedian sidekick. He went. They used to take the piss out of Tony. That stopped. Gina has some very witty and bitchy lines. She left. I can't think of one instance of any humour in The Bill of late.

In a way it has reflected modern society. My workplace used to be a fun and light hearted and a joking place to work, and even taking into allowance my age, it is no longer. I could even go so far as saying I used to enjoy going to work to connect with my workmates, to bitch, to joke, to have a laugh. It changed and the time kind of parallels what has happened with The Bill.

I will miss The Bill, but not mourn it. Thankfully I will be gently let down by NEW EPISODES OF SPOOKS!!!

Think You're a Man?

Out of drag, he was what I suppose you could suggest an unprepossessing character.

But once Harris Glenn Milstead changed to his alter ego Divine, how fabulous was he. Sadly he died at the age of only 43 in 1988. Dare you to listen to the clip, it will be in your brain for hours.

Friday, October 22, 2010

258 Flinders Street

I have deliberately left this in its original size. I was passing by and I thought, what a fine building. Looking at the picture, it appears to have a high rise attachment behind it. No matter, it is great use of an old building. Take note Planning Minister Madden. You don't have knock down every old building in the city. Old buildings can be recycled.

If you click on the photo, you can see that it was built in 1872 and rebuilt in 1891. Why?

I had a vague memory of a fire in the area. All I can easily find out now is that in 1887 there was a huge conflagration in Flinders Lane, which is directly behind this building. It could well be the reason it was rebuilt.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh Dear

Snort, mary jane has been found in the roof of a police station. Naughty criminals sticking it up in the roof to make our finest look bad. 'I was gonna log it later Sarge, promise'. The Age has a brief piece here.

A Liberal Party politician refers our national broadcaster, the ABC as the Gay BC. Yeah, and his point?

A thug who allegedly assaulted an Indian student in Australia says it was not a racist attack, in spite of calling the victim an Indian dog. So what do you have to do to be racist?

Nature at the Highrise

What is this? It looks a little like a dragonfly. I am not keen on these long bodied insects. What is the purpose of the end of the body? Does it have a stinger to dig into your tender flesh?

Speaking of creatures at the highrise, do you recall a couple of weeks ago when I noticed magpies hanging around? The culprit has been discovered, a rich artist in her sixties who lives up top and puts out the occasional piece of meat for the magpies. Maggies or ravens are fine, but if I see pigeons, doves or Indian mynahs hanging around for food, there will be trouble.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lunch Out

We had some shelves to deliver to Sister on the Bellarine Peninsula. More on the shelves later. Little Jo was in creche for the day while Sister taught swimming classes. Sister usually uses the afternoon when Little Jo is in creche for a lunch on her own with a newspaper, shopping and a nap.

We did not want to disrupt the routine too much and so Bone Doctor asked if we like to join her for lunch at the Dunes Cafe in Ocean Grove. We loaded the shelves into the car and R had to sit in the back seat while I drove.

No show without punch, Sister turned up for lunch too. I had the 'small' serve of Portarlington mussels, about 15 of them, in a creamy wine sauce. It was nice, but I preferred the way Sister cooked them for us a few months ago, which was rather like Peter in the Netherlands recently cooked them. We shared a bottle of wine and finished off with coffee. It is a great location. We had a seat at the full width windows and looked down upon the raging surf. Squalls of showers came and went, but we were cozy inside. The staff were great too.

Bone Doctor went back to work. Sister went off shopping. We went to Sister's and unloaded and assembled the shelves.

Sister arrived back home and after a bit we walked to the creche to collect Little Jo. She was outside playing and R and I stood the other side of the fence while Sister went inside. Eventually she looked up and her face broke out into a huge grin when she saw us. Of course two men standing outside the fence of a creche and chatting to a child immediately had a staff member out to find out our business. Actually, R is registered to collect Little Jo in an emergency.

We played with Little Jo for a while. The weather was pretty miserable and about 5pm we left and it was a quick trip home.

I guess it is a new toilet block being built. Two minutes later, down came the rain.

Looking towards Point Lonsdale. You can't quite see the lighthouse but you can see The Rip at Port Phillip Heads.

Barwon Head jutting out to sea. We were going to take a quick visit to Barwon Heads but Sister said because of bridge repairs, sometimes the road can be closed for half an hour at a time.

How far along the coast do these sculptures stretch, starting in Geelong?

A nice mosaic wall at the entrance to Dunes Cafe.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Do No Harm

Do No Harm. Is that the motto or creed for doctors? The inglorious end to Don Mackay's life indicates doctors do sometimes harm. This is not in the league of Dr Patel in Queensland or the Butcher of Bega in NSW. This is one patient and one surgeon who made a mistake, a big one and so ended the life of the person he was supposed to help.

To compound the original mistake in Don Mackay's treatment, the Sydney Royal North Shore Hospital seemed to go out of its way to make things even worse. While perhaps after Don's original mistreatment and his early death was preordained, the hospital staff generally went out of there way to be even more incompetent than the original surgeon. This was a culture of a hospital operating with staff who did not care. Why did they not care? Ask the hospital administration, the government department who overseas the hospital and the NSW government.

Regardless of how bad the hospital is, Don Mackay's widow Therese has recourse regarding her late husband's treatment. She can go to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission to get some sort of clarity, explanation and a recognition of the terrible treatment her late husband received. Seems not. She went there and they found no problems, even though the hospital itself admitted to many problems with its own internal inquiry.

Therese Mackay has done everything she could possibly do to get a proper recognition of what happened to her husband at the hands of Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital, from bothering cleaners with questions, to having questions asked in parliament, to appearing before enquiries, to having a death certificate altered, to lobbying the Coroner. Google Don Mackay and Sydney Royal North Shore Hospital and there is so much to view and read.

She says it is her last salvo, but I doubt it. Regardless, she has published a book about the death of her husband and it is a compelling, albeit quite distressing read.

I wanted to polish this post a bit, but tomorrow, Wednesday, Therese Mackay is launching her book at NSW's Parliament House, so there is some urgency to put this up. You can buy the book directly from Therese by contacting her at PO Box 248, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444.


'Tis a curious thing that now when everybody needs to type, typing is no longer taught in schools. I questioned my sister and her girlfriend about the matter and both learnt typing at school, however, neither touch type. I too learnt typing at school, but I did not get to touch typing. I only really learnt once the internet arrived. I watch the screen and not the keyboard, unless I need a symbol or whatever. I will add that I need to become familiar with a keyboard first though, as no two seem to be the same.

Typing class at school was where you were taught how to type, of course. But not only that, you were also taught how to compose and arrange a letter. You were taught about paper sizes and the correct way to address an envelope. I think there were also business classes, which would have started off with the basics we learnt in typing.

Now, I suppose by the age of ten everyone can type, but how well?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just another Sunday

It was a family gathering to celebrate my birthday from last week. Our family has shrunk now it would seem. No Sis in Law as she was away with one niece and nephew. Tradie Brother busy cleaning out Mother's roof gutters. Just six of us.

The plan had been to take a trip on Puffing Billy, from Emerald to Lakeside and then return to Emerald for a picnic. As the day approached it became clear the weather would not be in our favour. Saturday morning Sister rang to ask if she and Little Jo could stay here instead of Mother's after a party Little Jo was attending in Aspendale and then a dinner with friends. They arrived at 8.30 and we were all asleep by 11. Alternative plans for my birthday had been worked out.

Little Jo is not keen on eggs at the moment, so R cooked a Canadian breakfast for us consisting of bacon, pancakes and maple syrup.

By 10.30 we off to Moorabbin Airport for our flight to......ah, no. Just to watch the planes take off and land and there was nearby playground for Little Jo.

My grandfather used to take myself and ABI Brother to do the same when we were kiddies, that is watch the planes take off. He would park with the nose of the car into a Cyclone wire fence which I think would have been where the entrance to the DFO store now is.

Little Jo was uninterested in the planes. But I was certainly interested in the helicopter that landed and then took off just ten metres away from where I was standing. A bonus for me was that there was a Studebaker car club display happening there too

By 12.30 we were at the Boundary Hotel in Centre Road, Bentleigh another place with strong childhood memories. It was my father's office when he was in the area, so he said. His father lived quite close by. Deals were done, contracts verbally exchanged, supplies arranged, staff hired. All was lubricated with copious quantities of beer. ABI Brother and I waited, mostly patiently.

On more than one occasion older ladies, who clearly were not of a high moral standard or they would not be in such a place, would buy us a raspberry drink or a sarsaparilla. I don't think I have ever tasted anything better since than a 1960s made pub raspberry drink. It was extra good to end up with red lips. See how girlie I was at such a young age.

One lady left the pub and when she returned she presented my brother and I with a Matchbox car each. Father made us go and thank her. She gave us both a big hug. She had pancake powder makeup, bright red lipstick and smelt of perfume, Craven A cigarettes and beer. Hmmm, rather like Father's step mother, except she smoked Turf.

Back then the Boundary Hotel was much smaller and covered in ivy. Now it is quite nice and it was booked out for Sunday lunch. Lucky Sister had booked. Little Jo played in the play area and without success hung around a lollie dispenser in the play area. Sister is very indulgent with Little Jo, but not so far as sweet drinks or lollies go. They are treats Uncles buy for Little Jo, or Nanny sneaks to her out of her handbag.

While she is now a respectable Nanny, Mother recounted the tale of when her then boyfriend stood her up for an outing to the movies. He lived in a house behind a shop in Centre Road and she cycled down Centre Road from her house and staked the house out. He alighted from a bus at midnight and she had it out with him. He had been out with mates and smelt of beer. That was the end of that, she said, adding that they were very very poor anyway. His brother did marry her bridesmaid though, the bridesmaid who died a couple of years ago. The brother now drives a Mercedes and has a large estate at Devon Meadows, wherever that is.

We left the hotel and went on to Packer Park, a park where R sometimes took Little Jo when Sister lived in Murrumbeena. It was my first visit and it has the best play equipment for kids in a public park I have ever seen. My birthday cake was produced, candles were difficult to light but after a rousing rendition of happy birthday, Little Jo helped me blow out the sole remaining alight candle.

R and Little Jo in their constructed tent this morning.

The Moorabbin Airport Control Tower. It looked busy with many people up there.

Chopper taking off.

I think I liked this Studebaker best.

R liked this one.

I'm a sucker for burgundy coloured cars.

Grandma's, Mother's mother, youngest sister married well and she and her husband used to call in and patronise my grandmother, always pulling their Studebaker into the driveway. It was like this model.

The waters at Packer Park were black and evil looking.

Little Jo on a bouncy thingie, not as bouncy as a trampoline.

I chucked a bit of cake icing on the ground in an attempt to get a good photo of these birds. I have no idea what they are. Anyone?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Macho Men

What is that about, I asked R. Dressed up as the Village People, was his reply. Later we found out Village People were in town that weekend and performing so I guess these really were the Village People. Our tram was coming, so we did not hang around to see them.