Friday, May 25, 2012

Wiliamstown 3 (tomorrow's post tonight, just in case)

A dredge not far up the Yarra. I suppose it is in working order.

The mighty West Gate Bridge that was not so mighty when it collapsed during construction and many workers were killed.

The Punt is a punt, a bicycle punt to be precise. I suppose it can carry people too, well, obviously it does. You don't send your bike on the punt and swim across the river,  but you do rather go from nowhere to nowhere. With a State subsidiary, it now runs all year round but I am unsure of the details.

Home of Boeing, where they make ashtrays and call buttons marked 'Hostess' for Dreamliner airplanes.

Filthy rich scum. Drug money or Gina.

Port of Melbourne Control Tower. There are web cams mounted on the tower if watching ships is your thing.

Bolte Bridge. Bridges are unifying infrastructure, but the late Victorian Premier Bolte was anything but a unifying figure.

Is it the London Eye? Is it the Singapore Flyer? No, it is Melbourne's perpetually broken Southern Star Observation Wheel. Andrew feels much embarrassment.

Seafarers Bridge.

Those animated sculptures again, on the old St Kilda Port Melbourne railway line bridge.

I can highly recommend taking the ferry to or from Williamstown for $15.


As my day's posts disappeared, today I wrote another post to be published at 4pm. Now where is that?

If you see 'em 'round?

This morning's and this evening's scheduled blog posts have disappeared. Not in drafts, not in scheduled and not in published. Odd.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Williamstown Part 2

While we having lunch I mentioned to R, what about catching the ferry home? I looked it up on my phone and it would take us to Southgate, a short walk for the tram home. Apart from a good map, there was little other information. After lunch we walked down to the pier and an old salt was selling tickets for the ferry, $15 each. We bought two. We then went off to see the market and shops. Look R, there is the Williamstown to Southgate ferry. Do you think it will be ready to leave on time?

Bloody foreigners again. This time it is the very predatory Northern Pacific Starfish. It must be binned. A new starfish can grow from one leg. It is not enough to just stab it. Five legs, bin it.

Just as our ferry arrived, so did a small sailing ship. Damn, we have to board our ferry.

A pleasant view back towards the shore.

The sailing shop had berthed. Actually, where were the sails? How did it move?

This ferry was arriving, no doubt an old Sydney ferry. Our ferry was much more modern.

The city is so close, but even by ferry, it takes a good while to the centre of town.

The stone wall marks the entrance to the Yarra River.

The Newport gas fired power station. It is used to supplement our electric supply as required. Being gas, it can be quickly switched on or off. The lad was talking with his parents in a Euro language. We named him Hans.

Approaching the West Gate Bridge.

As we departed Williamstown, a police pipe band was playing on the static old naval ship.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just another Sunday WTown Pt1

R, we have options this Sunday. Labassa is open today, but the weather looks sunny in the afternoon and the Williamstown Market is happening. Labassa can wait for a rainy day. Agreed. Now, do we take your car and give it a wash in that excellent car wash place in Altona and then go to the WillieTown Market or take the train to Willietown? R got the words right. The train would be more interesting.

Well by car it would have taken about 15 minutes to get there, but it was Sunday, so what better than a relaxed train trip.

Left home at 10.40, too early but you never know what the tram service will be like. Caught the Werrribee train at 11.07 from Flinders Street. Changed to Williamstown shuttle train at 11.30 and a few minutes later we alighted at Williamstown Beach Station and walked to Nelson Place.

Although we had eaten breakfast, it was nearly midday and we were hungry. At my suggestion we had something to eat then and there as the cafes might get really busy later.

A market atmosphere photo. R bought a stir fry sauce and I bought some Turkish Delight. We also bought a cold jam doughnut for the usurious price of $2.50 each. They were horrible.

The Sunday market is not what it was. There used be many more stalls and I can recall a band playing in the rotunda, rather than a single musician.

One of Williamstown housing commission flat blocks. The views from there over the bay towards the city must be spectacular, but there are no balconies, a serious minus. Apparently the poor are prone to jumping off such accessories.

Oh lordy, The Town Fryer. How droll.

Distressed buildings, I like.

A drinking fountain and even though the weather was cool, it was being well used.

There isn't really a high point in Williamstown. It is very flat, so I am not sure if this church is Catholic or Protestant.

The city. I could see the very top of our building.

Major roundabout with a nice repro lamp.

An automatic tidal gauge, moved here from its original pier location.

There is one monster shop that goes back for miles and it is absolutely full of stuff. It is truly amazing. If you stretched out their shelving for wanky new age cds and dvds, it would run for miles. While it does have some interesting items, as I said to R as we exited, there was little in there to get my chakras excited.

More later. (Note to self. I had to revert to old Blogger to write this post. Created in the old blogger and then switching to the new, the layout is as I wanted)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dot dot dot

ABI Brother and myself were given electronic morse code machines for christmas I suppose, when we were kids. Before wireless and bluetooth, our morse code machines had to connect with wires.  We had a lot of fun with them before they failed to proceed, as many electronic toys did back then. Our walkie talkies did not work for long either. The tin cans with string were more reliable.

I learnt morse code, but now I only recall SOS. It is not like riding a bike but more like piano playing. Use it or lose it.

Morse code became terribly important as a method of direct communication that did not rely on a slow ship or land transport. In 1871 a submarine cable appeared in Darwin. In 1872 the cable from Adelaide joined to the cable from London at Darwin and there was now a direct electronic connection. Through repeater stations and the competence of morse code operators, a message could go to or from London in seven hours.

This year, 2012 is the 140th anniversary of the cable connection. It was truly a remarkable achievement. Our indigenous were suspicious of this cable running through their lands, and insulators could be shaped to make very good spear heads. Once they realised the cable meant them no harm, the thieving stopped.

I wish I could turn back the clock and remember the economy of morse code as against the lengthiness of emails. Perhaps the simple brevity of phone text messages is like the morse code of old.

If I wasn't so lazy and time poor though, I could travel to Beechworth and send a morse code message. I could even send a telegram from what is surely one of the last remaining telegraph stations, built in 1858. Would the message convert to a phone text, an email or a Face Book post?

Monday, May 21, 2012

We've got fresh pot

River bought a new pot not so long ago. A bigun. About the same time one of our the side handles on our big pot failed. Unlike last time when we had saucepan lid handle failure, we could not send a telegram to our friend in Japan to get replacements. I asked River for more information about the pot she bought and she was most helpful.

R checked out the model River bought at Ikea. Straight away I could see the same problem as with our last big pot, the curved sides, which the dishwasher does not deal with well.

We ended up paying $90 for this one, which is a good bit more than we intended to spend, but as we are prone to saying recently, it will see us out. Lo and behold, when we got it home, we found the glass lid from our old pot fitted the new pot, so the solid lid that came with the new pot is in storage. 

We have had the new pot for some weeks now and it has been used a few times and R reckons it is marvellous. It has a very heavy base which is apparently important. I wouldn't know, but it sounds good.

What I do know is that it has straight sides and the dishwasher cleans it well.

Our four saucepans were very expensive and not made to go in a dishwasher, yet apart from the failure of the lid handles, they are as good as they were when we bought them thirty years ago. A young person may well take my advice and buy the good cooking potss. They do last.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

It's all in the name and mother botheration

I have a double barrelled surname. While it hasn't been used for three generations, it is officially recorded at each stage.  My full name is so totally Scottish, yet I am about one quarter Scot, if that.

Mother received a phone call from one of Father's cousins, wanting to know a bit about the dropped part of the double barrelled name. Mother gave her recollection and also referred to some notes I had sent her.

Ok Mother, I will write to the cousin, and write I did with a brief family history of what I understood about the name.

He called Mother back after the receipt of the letter. Mother didn't answer and he left a message. Mother chopped off the message and did not record his number, yet she commanded me to call him. He must have called again, as Mother left a message for me, for goodness sake, call him and stop him calling me.

Well, I wrote to him. It is like the email thing with a friend that I wrote about recently. Why didn't he just write back to me? If I wanted to speak on the phone to my late father's cousin, then I would have rang him.

I was prepared to let it drift, until Mother's rate notice arrived by mail. Her children have agreed to pay her council rates. The rate notice arrives quarterly and in order of birth, each of us pay our share. We received our own rate notice, so I knew Mother's was coming. I forewarned her, it is Sister's turn. Post it directly to her please. What did she do? Post it to me, to pass on to Sister. Aww, your sister was so generous on Mother's Day with her hundred dollar cash gift. She will get cross with me asking for more money. Mother apparently forgets that I also gave her one hundred dollars.

All quite unnecessary as we children agreed to pay her private health insurance, a major appliance that breaks down and needs replacing and her council rates. It is not a matter of Mother asking us. All she needs to do is send the rate notice to the appropriate person. That Sister forgets about Mother's rates arrangement and moans to me is irrelevant.  I have it in writing.

So, I posted on Mother's rate notice to Sister with a bitchy note. I called Father's cousin and an interesting conversation we had.

Meanwhile, Mother has been popped into the freezer for a bit. Petty? Yes. Satisfying? Yes. As R says to me, your mother is terribly naughty.

Look, here is mother a week ago on Mother's Day in her old lady cardy. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth would it? The poor old pensioner who's children have to supplement her income while we wait for her to decide that she can no longer afford the upkeep on her house or the luxury of feeding stray cats milk that costs more than human milk, for the consumption of.

I feel better now.