Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lusting after Israel

I have excelled myself with the subject line. Read on.

It is all Hels fault. I had already been primed by seeing one of one's youthful lust objects in The Slap, Lex Marinos. He is old now....but still, as I watched is first class acting in The Slap, I felt a twinge. What would it be like to grow old with an idol of your youth. Pretty damn boring I imagine, which is why it is best left in the imagination.

But your Hels, you know, she went to school with Issi Dye, that is Israel Dysenhaus. How lucky was she. Issi was around when I was a teenager and oh, how I lusted after him. I use the word lusted advisedly as my youthful imagination could not work out what I might do with him, or him with me.

Now this post is going to be thoroughly spoilt if I can't find a photo of him as he was back then. Let me look.

Better to see this clip. He is a bit older here than I remember him, but he still looks ok. In early You Tube clips he has what was a trademark moustache but the clips are so so old, they are just awful as is the music. Issi has remained a performer and now works on the cabaret circuit.

I've since found one poor photo.

Highriser is unwell today

It seems I have hurt my back. I have a strong back, but not necessarily strong back muscles. I can bend over, steady you filthy lot....but standing up, sitting down or twisting is very painful. From left right and centre advice is coming, massage, chiropractor, back pain Neurophen. It will take a few days for my back to heal itself. That is all.

But worse, I have nothing prepared and ready to publish today. I will just recount last night's conversation when Little Jo was here.

Sister flew to Adelaide with Little Jo yesterday to catch up with a long time friend of Sister's. Little Jo was asked if she remembered the friend. You know, we had dinner at (I missed some words) and you played in the play area.

Little Jo, verbatim as best I can remember: 'Mummy, I am not sure you are really telling me the truth about meeting M. There are no children's play areas in any hotel in Queenscliff.'

'No darling, it was at the pizza and pasta place.' Little Jo tilted her head back slightly in a very superior manner. Obviously her mother did not make the location clear.

Little Jo must have been having geography lessons as she stringed out to R where in the world she would like to visit. Russian was one place. R corrected her, Russia. No, she replied it is Russian where I want go, but after we go to Adelaide/Bali. Apparently Adelaide and Bali are in the same area.

She remains as gorgeous and entrancing as ever, but she is now is quite challenging.

'Andrew, you used to buy the big packets of popcorn. Now you buy small packets, but I know you only put half in the basket. I've had enough thanks, so it doesn't matter.' 'Well I left some for when Sister and Bone Doctor come home'. Odd, since she has never seen the popcorn being made. She just orders it from the bed where she and R are watching a dvd.

Sister took Mother out for lunch last week to the local hotel. Little Jo wanted something from a kid's toy vending machine. Sister said no. Little Jo stacked it on but did not win. Bone Doctor is a relative push over for such things. Mother would spend her last dollar for the grandchildren. After lunch they went for a drive around the new housing estates. 'Nanny, that was absolutely the worst time I have had at that hotel.'

Friday, January 13, 2012

Train Party

Indians seem quite fond of their public transport. It is very important to the masses. The day before India's national budget is handed down, a separate railway budget is handed down. In recent years huge strides have been made in expanding and modernising the system, improving work practices and fighting against corruption. So it is no surprise that public transport is featured in Bollywood movies.

This clip is from the very successful movie Slum Dog Millionaire. It is set in what appears to be a tram depot.

This one is from the movie Dil Se and features dancing on the train roof of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway that connects the town of Mettupalayam at the foot of Nilgiri Mountains with the old Raj hill station town of Ootacamund.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

That's telling the old bag

God, did one of the girl tennis players try to jump her bones when she was younger? I bet there are a few dyke tennis players of the time wonder why Margaret Court is like the way she is.

You couldn't get a much stronger response from an organisation like Tennis Australia than this. Well done them.

Story at The Age here.

Point Lonsdale

Sister took us and Little Jo to Point Lonsdale lighthouse for a look on christams eve. It was a very pleasant warm day with a refreshing cool breeze blowing. Little Jo was so good we promised her an ice cream on the way home. Nonsense, said Sister. I have ice cream and cones at home.

Of course we took a walk out along the pier. There is often little see when walking on a pier, but I do enjoy it, especially if has some rotting timbers that make a noise. It did.

Apparently we were under threat in WW II, hence the bunkers and gun placements.

Escaped colonial convict William Buckley was supposed to have lived among aborigines of the area and sheltered in a beach cliff cave. No one knows which cave, but I can see it here.

There were two of these at the base of the lighthouse. I wonder what they were for? They did not look like that they could reel anything in from the sea because of the distance and topography.

Hels has a neat map and a photo of the Queenscliff lighthouse here. Sister told me that the navigators of ships entering Port Phillip Heads would line up the white Point Lonsdale lighthouse with the black Queenscliff lighthouse and.......well, I forget what she said they did. Research required. You do it.

Another bunker. They sure took this World War thingie seriously.

I walked right past this survey marker but R spotted it and called it to my attention. It says, Penalty £50 for interference. That is literally $100, but in today's value, maybe a thousand dollars or more.

Sister and Bone Doctor sat bolt upright in bed the first time they heard the fog horn go off, very shortly after they moved to the area. It has seldom sounded since.

Back to the calm of the swimming beach, where we swam. Well, I nearly did. I went into the water to the waist, which for a bloke is a significant crossing the line point. I didn't want my hair messed up. In the photo, you can see Point Nepean on the other side of the Port Phillip Heads rip. It is a treacherously narrow passage for all those ships loaded with LCD televisions from China and iPhone 5s.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Towels & Family

I am not finished on towels yet. I washed both sets before use. The blue set went into the dryer straight from the washing machine. The grey set went onto the clothes horse and had ten minutes in the dryer before they were put away. The blue set did not fluff everywhere. The grey set has. The grey set will need another wash and a full drying in the clothes dryer to get rid of the fluff, it would seem. When I am saying fluff, I am saying a lot of fluff.

R's sister and her friend are supposed to arrive on Saturday. We know because she told us. She told us she is coming on Qantas. R said to her, once you know, send your flight details for us to pick you up. Has she? No. I checked Qantas website and they will either arrive at 6.50 or 7.40 or something like that. Are they really coming? We have no confidence that they will. They will impose themselves on us for two weeks yet we don't have the the details of their arrival or even know that they are coming for sure. Regardless, we assume they are coming and have made the appropriate preparations. I am sick of cleaning.

Sister and Bone Doctor are going to a Spicks and Specks thing at Jeff's Shed tomorrow night and staying. R was going to cook for them, but apparently Little Jo wants pizza, so pizza it will be from across the road.

Ex Sis in Law and her daughter Chain Saw Niece called in on R today while I was at work. Apparently Sis in Law is fed up with work and she and her new husband are looking to buy a country store, come cafe, come bakery, come pizza place, come post office, come newsagent. I like what they are looking at. I have long wanted to visit the area and we will have free accommodation.

Chainsaw Niece has a boyfriend, of Islander extraction. She went to church with him to be supporting. R asked, what sort of church? Dunno, she replied. It was just a church. R questioned further. Apparently Mormon. He is not allowed to have a tattoo and cannot drink. He has one and does the other. He pays a bomb to relatives to sleep on their floor in Dandenong. He is moving into Sis in Law's house tomorrow. I suppose I can assume that he and Chainsaw Niece are doing it. Lordy, she is so young. Ah, well, no, she is now 19 I think. I recall putting her back view photo on my blog when she was 15. She has always been fond of her Gay Uncles, even when she was very young.

Oldest niece who recently bought a house with her partner of a five years now may well be separating from him. Opposites don't always attract, although they seemed to for five years or so. When oldest niece went to Sister's christmas day celebration on her own, R called it. I hate to say it, but he was right.

Care to pour me a large glass of something deadening?

PS. I was about to hit publish and the phone rang. The display indicated an overseas call. God, they are arriving Monday morning.

40, no more

On a slow news day, media provoked some chatter about reducing inner suburban speed limits to 40 km/h. It is already the case in some shopping streets at some times. Many of them are so congested with traffic that it is basically impossible to travel any faster anyway.

Each council decided their own speed limit timings but they are not their roads to control. All of the roads below are under the control of Vic Roads, the state based government department that sets speed limits. I ask of Vic Roads, why have you allowed all this absurd inconsistency on roads you control?

Let us look at Carlisle Street Balaclava, a 40 limit Monday to Saturday. So, on Sundays there are no drunks in Balaclava. There are no drug addicts. There are no stupid old people who walk in front of cars and trams. There are no children who might run on to the road. There are no young people distracted by their ears being plugged with music machines ear buds.

A little further along the road, there is a school speed limit that is different to every school speed limit in Victoria, thanks to lobbying of Jewish parents of the students. Good on them. They succeeded where no one else has.

As for the absurdity of school limits starting at 2.30 when the is not a school kid to be seen, but then finishing at 4 when there are lots of school kids around? Well, I can't imagine what went on in some people's heads at Vic Roads.

I am on a roll here, meaning I will rant. How about the median strip mowers of the great three chain Dandenong Road? An obstruction, such as a fallen tree branch does not mean get out and move it. It means mow around it. So we have a healthy growth of tall grass where tree branches have fallen, or any other obstruction to the mowing person. I don't blame the mowing person. It is how their contract is written.

This previous post about electronic signage is Vic Roads' responsibility.

Malvern Road and High Street are both tow away zones during peak periods. Toorak Road is not. How lucky are the local Toorak people to only have to pay a fine and not get their car towed.

The street where we live is a Vic Road's street. It is their responsibility. They contract out one side of the median and nature strips to City of Melbourne and the other side to City of Port Phillip. Both have not done a fine a fine job with that, with trees nearly dying through lack of water. Both councils poured water onto them and then when a drought hit, cut the water off. Stop.

40 km/h limits.

Glenferrie Road, Malvern, City of Stonnington, 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday

Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, City of Boroondara, Permanent

Burke Road, Camberwell, City of Boroondara, 8am to midnight Monday to Saturday

Carlisle Street, Balaclava, City of Port Phillip, 8am to midnight Monday to Saturday

Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, City of Port Phillip, Permanent

Lygon Street, North Carlton, Peoples Republic of Moreland, 8am to 10 pm, Monday to Saturday

Toorak Road, South Yarra and Toorak, City of Stonnington, Permanent

Commercial/Malvern Roads, Prahran/South Yarra, City of Stonnington, Permanent

All roads controlled by Vic Roads, but very inconsistent. What is wrong with them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The towels arrived

Guess which are the new towels. We have kept the old ones for guests. They are not even covering everything with fluff. The bath towels were $25 each from Myer, normally $40, and the bathmats and hand towels similarly discounted. We are happy. The towels are thick, soft and absorbent.

Minor Confusion

'Let's catch up'.

How often do we hear this. This time at our dyke friends suggestion. Glenhuntly Road? Later she made contact suggesting many restaurants were closed and perhaps we try the Grosvenor Hotel in Brighton Road. It has perhaps four make overs in the last twenty years. It is a while since we have been there.

R looked online. He told me, hope you like squid ink filled lobster. Hmm, I rang our brother friends to ask them along. Later they called back with issues about the menu. I contacted our dyke friend and she contacted another friend to convince the brother friends to come. Perhaps he convinced them by alerting them to the white ragu of rabbit or the roasted spatchcock on th menu.

The booking was made and everyone came, but of course it was not our sort of food really. The mains were generally mid $30s. Our friend who organised it realised she had made an error. All she had heard was that the pizzas were great. Well, they were in another dining area. Still, we took a vote and decided to stay. I had a nice meal of lamb cutlet with pork neck. R's was very nice too but he sensibly ordered a side of fried potatoes, which we shared. The serves were a bit small. The real losers were those who chose the $22 risotto, which was an extremely small portion. The menu is here if you want to salivate or rant about what a ripoff it is. The service was first class and our food was fine, although not adventurous choices. I would suggest it was pretty well worth the money.

I wonder if the hotel is on the right path, but given the dining room was full, and turning tables over, whereas the cheap eats pizza area was not so busy, perhaps it is going to be successful. After the meal, we adjourned to an outdoor smoking area looking out over Brighton Road. I had another red and a short black coffee. It was lovely to be sitting and sipping in the warm air, chatting and also seeing who was passing by.

Overall a tick for The Grosvernor, but I would be a bit concerned about their fairly high staffing costs.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Cooling Off

Press I did and a mist of water shot out from jets on the side of the bus shelter opposite the Highrise. We knew it was there as from our balcony we had seen people press the button and receive the mist. However, it is amazing the number of people who don't notice the button.

A visit from Bro

I was at work when Tradie Brother rang. I don't answer the phone at work. I will call him back later. I am sure it is not urgent. Later when I checked my phone he had rang three times. It must have been urgent. It was. He wanted to call in and say hi. Eventually he called on the home phone and I answered. He was in Richmond having seen some soccer with his son, aka, Dreaded Nephew.

Dreaded Nephew alternates between living and tending his vegetables in the swamps of Langwarrin and his North Carlton garret. His dad had parked his car at the North Carlton garret and they had gone off to see the soccer. They then went to a pub in Richmond for some nosh and drinks and then came to the Highrise via a Dorcas Street bottleshop I had advised them about. Tradie Brother was most impressed with the low floor trams and their smoothness. Not my experience.

The four of us had a nice chat and a laugh, but I cut them short with telling them what time I had to get up to go to work. They left at a reasonable hour to go back to Dreaded Nephew's Carlton garret, but something got lost along the way as Dreaded Newphew posted on Faceboook the next day, The Old Man was kicked out of Exford Hotel.

Ah, that is a hotel I know. Clearly they did not go straight home from the Highrise to Dreaded Nephew's Carlton garret but stopped off in the city. I am just not going to ask why he was kicked out a city hotel.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The lady's not for turning

I don't think that line came up in the movie Iron Lady, but many other quotes did. It was an excellent movie and Streep is bound to deservedly get many awards for her performance as Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Britain in the 1980s.

Thatcher was played with some sympathy and my emotions fought away as I kept trying to reconcile this extremely clever and ambitious woman on the screen with the evil person that I know she was.

All the actors were excellent, as was the movie as a whole. It is a nice potted history of political Britain in the eighties. Some things I had forgotten though. Although of course I remember the IRA bombs, I had forgotten just how many of them there were. While scars remain, injustices were done, thank goodness that is history.

Just to note, the director was a woman, as was the person who wrote the screenplay, the executive producer and a co-producer.

Taking tea at Randwick

If one was to take tea at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, surely one would do it at the Tea House. It is a fine example of Indian colonial architecture. While I am not sure if it has happened yet, the Tea House is to be demolished to make way for a new building, Theatre of the Horse. My eyes are rolling.

The Tea House was built in 1914, burnt down in 1917 and rebuilt to the same plans. It has huge spaces within its walls and can and has hosted all sorts of events, aside from just being somewhere to dine on race days. It was still there in October last year but may well be gone now.

My often defective memory tells me that the previous Labor state government gave bucketloads of money to Randwick racecourse to re-develop the race course as compensation for the disruption the pope's visit caused.

The Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club merged last year and became the Australian Turf Club, so that is who to blame for the destruction of this architecturally rare, beautiful and historic building.

There appears to be very few photos of the Tea House available on the net. Here are a couple from the ABC.

This recent one appears to be the rear of the building while the second much older photo shows the wide verandahs and balconies as befits the style of architecture for a hot country such as India. As you can see, it has been well maintained with an intact slate roof.

You can see the roof here at Nearmap.

Might Victor have attended Randwick and dined at the Tea House? Unlikely. Maybe Lord Sedgwick with his interest in nags might have been there? Maybe Ann O'Dyne skulled sipped on champers at the Tea House when she lived in Sydney?