Saturday, April 16, 2011


ABI Brother stayed the night before holidaying in New Zealand. He has returned now. We went out on the tram car restaurant and he stayed here and watched tv. 'Sorry, I had an accident', he said as he handed me a plastic bag containing his shorts and underpants. He had been out for a walk and did not quite make it in the door in time. I wasn't asking what kind of accident. By the lack of odour as I looked away and tipped the clothes into the washing machine, it was not the worst kind of accident.

Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo stayed last night. A doona cover and fitted sheet were dumped on the bathroom floor. Sorry, accident. I know Little Jo wore a nappy, which stayed dry all night, so it wasn't her. I believe Sister and Bone Doctor are quite continent, so I can guess that was a bodily function that females cannot control. I wasn't going to check, again straight into the washing machine. My last experience of such matters was when I was about twelve. 'Mum, you must have cut your leg. There is blood running down it.'

I am just not used to dealing with such matters. Of course some people deal with such matters every day and don't even get paid for it. I do admire them for it. Given how much keeping someone in a nursing home or hospital costs the community, they deserve our moral and financial support, the latter via our taxes.

Mother and a friend

Mother won't exit her front gate on foot. If she is not driven by friend or family, she won't go. I could perhaps excuse her if she had never used public transport or taxis, but she used to.

Mother, who is 77, had a visit from a distant relative or childhood friend. I am not quite sure which. I will call the friend F, because her name is Faye and using F saves me typing. F is 80 years old. F broke her leg at christmas and is now using a stick to get about.

F lives Mildura way. She travels by bus and two trains and a bus to visit her daughter who lives in Diamond Creek. Not a bad effort for an 80 year old.

But then F comes to visit Mother. Bus to the station, long suburban train trip to the city, long suburban train trip to Mother's suburb and then taxi to Mother's for F to listen to Mother complain about her own medical problems.

Mother did compliment F on her independence. 'I have had to be', she replied. Her husband suicided due to financial pressures at a young age and she was left with debts and three young children to raise.

It is very lucky that Mother was a good mother when we were kids, and good even when we were older and had problems. She is in credit I suppose. She is certainly using her credits up now.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bye bye

This is a bit icky. I am removing a 'Follower' from my follower list. He made a comment on a post, irrelevant to the post, and started following me. I replied politely, but then I realised he is very religious. He is clearly up for collecting followers without knowing who he is collecting. Given his overt religiousness and my hatred of religion, I don't think his blog and mine and compatible. Poof, he is gone.

Well, not so poof. It is not so easy to remove a follower, but done now.

Comment was here.

Mystery Tram

For those of you with knowledge of Melbourne's tram system and route 67 to Carnegie in particular, this tram display and location may seem a little puzzling. More later. Photo by Noel Reed. You can tell me where the photo is taken or what the tram destination is about if you like.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Elizabeth Towers

I know Elizabeth Towers better as Ampol House. Melbourne University bought the property and is set to demolish it to build a research centre or some such thing. It is a few years since I first noticed Ampol House and I rather liked it. The evil VCAT has approved its demolition.

While I am sure whatever Melbourne University build there will be a marvellous asset to them and perhaps the general community, let me pose this question.

It is already a large multi storey building. Why can't it be reinvented to suit Melbourne Uni's purpose?

Under our previous Labor government, many of Melbourne's important and/or historic buildings dropped like flies. It seems there will be no change under our present Liberal government.

Bad Melbourne University. Bad VCAT. Bad State Government.

Been rainin' a lot

I am no expert at climate change. I focus on weather and climate on a here and now basis.

Given I am not an expert on the above, I must go the experts, the climate and weather scientists among others.

I am quite alarmed by what they saying. Seems like we are altering our climate by our carbon emissions.

Some politicians, newspaper writers and radio and tv broadcasters tell me that man made climate change is nonsense.

Scientists have certainly been wrong about things in the past but if there are so many saying the same thing, wouldn't you believe them?

What astounds me is the arrogance of some media people, politicians and amateurs who think that they have a better understanding of climate change and whether or not it is happening and whether we humans are responsible for it than those who study the science.

To paraphrase the world media baron Rupert Murdoch, we have nothing to lose by taking climate change seriously.

I will just warn politicians and I expect there are many who think like me even in your marginals. The time for politics on the matter has passed. This is serious.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I see deco #1

I've always been fond of Art Deco architecture, furniture and fittings. If you are familiar with High Street Glen Iris, not too far after the railway station outbound there is a park on the right as the road curves and then at number 2, the first block, is a two storey brick house. About 1990 it was for sale and R and I looked at it with a view to buy. It was pretty well in original condition and so, somewhat run down. But being in original condition meant that it had retained its Art Deco features, including a marvellous sweeping staircase. The cost of the house plus renovations was a bit too much for us.

So, simmering away in the background has always been my liking of art deco. Partly but not just because of this marvellous blog,, my knowledge ofand appetite for art deco has increased. In Melbourne's older areas, now that my eye is a little trained, there is so much art deco, or perhaps I should say homage to art deco on buildings.

Still on buildings and architecture, I grew up with cream brick houses of the 1940s and 1950s. Some were solid brick. Some brick veneer. I am rather fond of them too.

I am getting to a point. Be patient.

David of the earlier mentioned blog posted a picture of a brick veneer house in Essendon that had some art deco trim. He said it was one of the best cream brick streets in Melbourne. I commented that I might take a walk along the street and have a look. Some time later, I did. Wow, I was gobsmacked. There were fantastic brick houses, many with art deco features.

But first I had to get there and as you probably know, I have an aversion to simply driving somewhere when I can make it a public transport experience. I looked at the map and chose my modes. I caught the bus to town and then the 59 tram in Elizabeth Street. It was quite a pleasant trip. That is when I took the photo of the older lady on the tram while she was texting.

I alighted from the tram at the corner of Fletcher and Nicholson Streets and immediately an art deco building smacked me in the face. This look promising.

I wandered along Nicholson Street. These are not art deco. Where are the art deco buildings and cream brick houses? Still, these are very nice. I am not in the street of focus yet.

This one is on a steep hill, hence the lean. :-P

Ah, so this is Penleigh Grammar. PM Julia's Building the Education Revolution doing I presume.

And this at Essendon Primary School's BER effort.

The grounds of the Essendon Cricket Club. Surely it is not Windy Hill?

A ring in. I don't mind it.

I iz hungry. Time for a fine blueberry muffin and good coffee at what I think is called MJ. I can recommend.

More coming when I show you some photos of houses in Peterleigh Grove, Essendon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tim Michin

While I had seen him on Spicks and Specks, I did not know where his talents lay. Some publicity about our ABC broadcasting him in concert with the Orchestra drew my attention. The pbliclity was because the sound had failed during the broadcast. Aunty ABC was very apologetic and re[eated tje nrppcast/ No walerted to the concert, I recorded it. I have watched a good bit of it and will watch the rest at some point. It was very good, but I have an issue.

What was with the swearing? For me fuck is word to be used in a 'correct manner' or as an extreme swear word. It certainly could be slipped into a comediec performance for dramatic effect. But in Tim Michin's performance, the word was used so often, I started to feel annoyed and lost concentration.

Fuck is an important and useful word in our language but Mr Michin totally devalued the word in his performance.

I feel so old and out of touch.

From Fairfax press.


Smoked cod certainly was not a food I grew up knowing about. I am not sure if it was on the list of foods I eat now that I never had as a kid. R introduced me to smoked cod when we first met. We had a very warped electric frypan that was useless for frying in, but it was good for cooking smoked cod.

But for some reason the smoked cod stopped. Maybe because we threw out the warped electric frypan.

About six months ago R decided we should eat smoked cod again and bought some. We had some just tonight. I must say, his cooking technique has improved. It is even nicer than I remember. He cooks it briefly in hot water and then poaches it in milk and hot water. But there is another difference too. Years ago our cod used to come from the North Sea. Now it comes from South Africa. I assumed cod needed icy sea water to thrive, but apparently it does ok in South Africa, no doubt very south South Africa. If cod thrives there, why not in Australia?

Monday, April 11, 2011


I never trust an architect's renders of a proposed building. I have been caught too many times. However, for once at least, they fully nailed it. About two months ago the greenery across the road at 401 precisely matched the architects renders. It hung down from the bed above and grew up from the bed below to look absolutely perfect. Now it appears to been let go a bit too far.

I do enjoy being in the cheap seats and observing the comings and goings of the wealthy.

My religion and not looking at breasts

Or perhaps the title should be Rambling Religion Rants.

I am a baptised presbyterian. My brothers are baptised, I know not what brand of christian. Sister is not baptised, a heathen, yet she teaches in a religious school and seems to go along with the religion stuffs without being a believer.

At my primary school we received religious education from Deaconess Payne. How we joked about her name in such a childlike way. Come Thursday, I feel a payne coming on.

Two things would happen when Deaconess Payne entered the class room. Some of us would double over, clutch at our stomachs and screw up our faces. I am in pain Mr Windsor.

The other thing that happened was the two baptist brothers, the two plymouth brethren brothers and a couple of catholics would leave the room. I don't know what they did when they left the room, but whatever it was, it seemed preferable to listening to Deaconess Payne bang on about some dude who wore a multicoloured patchwork coat. Actually Deac Payne wasn't a bad old stick. She meant well and was kind. Think of Sister Wendy without the teeth. I guess she was church of England, but she wore a habit like catholic nuns. She certainly wasn't a catholic nun though, as a catholic instructing the children in a predominantly protestant area would not have been tolerated.

That is a bit of my history. Via media, I am absolutely gobsmacked that the god botherers still go into our public schools in an attempt to indoctrinate young children into a world of superstitious clap trap, and worse, those not of that particular faith leave the room and sit outside.

Where are we at? This is the 21st century. Church and State are supposed to separate, yet church goes into government schools. What about the other religions? Don't they get a look in? Hopefully not. One brand of nonsense is bad enough.

Mother was a church goer. But once she moved to the country and learnt that she had to kneel at the local C of E, she gave it up as a bad job. She still sent us to Sunday School. The teachers were always young girls. I ignored them and played with the organ, repeat, THE organ. Gotta get the bellows pressure up before pulling all the knobs out.

At my work place I talk about religious culture with workmates. I am not game enough to ask what they really believe. If I did ask, I would have to respond and tell them what a lot of nonsense it is. I skirt around the essence of religion. I don't want to offend. I can do that quite well here, thank you very much.

I get quite embarrassed at overt religious displays. I don't know where to look. Rather like being in the presence of a breast feeding woman. I will look everywhere. I am not looking at her breast. I will not look at her breast. She can talk and I will look at her mouth and have no peripheral vision. Dare she rearrange to try to cover her breast, it will get worse. I will be studying plaster imperfections in the wall. I'm not looking.

Your muslim bloke, prostrate and praying. Your christian saying grace before dinner. Hehe, does anyone still do that? Your hindus chanting to their shrines. Your buddhists putting food out for their ancestors. The poor young jewish girls in their daggy long dresses.

In the past I have mentioned that perhaps I could be inclined to the buddhist religion. But now I think I like jewish better. They have better senses of humour. Often at the corner of Carlisle and Hotham Streets is an old bloke dressed up like a court jester and a young bloke who bounces around on springs. I am unsure of the purpose of their display except apparently Moshiach is coming. Moshiach sounds like he might be a good laugh.

But god save us from the dour muslims. Well, not the muslims I know, but those other ones.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just another Sunday

I worked both days of the weekend. No sooner home from work on Saturday than Chainsaw Niece called in. She is now eighteen and has her own double cab ute. She was going to stay the night with Dreaded Nephew at his abode in Carlton and he was taking her that night to The Lounge. That sounds like a nice relaxing place. Saturday night went out with friends for dinner and then back to one friends place in Caulfield for coffee.

R looked after Little Jo today for three hours while Sister went to a rugby match. Yuk. Bone Doctor arrived and Sister returned to collect Little Jo. They went on to Mother's and then to Bone Doctor's parents place to stay the night in a place Little Jo calls Kookaburra.

They were then going to camp at Wilson's Promontory, but unbelievable rainfall washed much of the Prom facilities away, so instead they have rented an apartment at Phillip Island for a week so that Sister can relive her childhood holidays.

I did not see Little Jo, but I left her a lollipop taped to a piece of paper with the words Little Jo's Traveller printed in large cursive script pink writing. Pity she can't read.

Red water

This is queer. A lake of red water and an almost empty lake in times of flood. Kerang was surrounded by flood waters. You have to click on the link below to see the lakes properly and to the right is flood water. Why did the water not run into the almost empty Lake Wandella? And why are the waters of Lake Pelican red? Pelican blood?

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