Saturday, February 16, 2013

It's too damn hot

Unlike our usual summer weather pattern of a couple of killer hot days near or at 40 degrees followed by a few cooler days in the low 20s, we have had succession of 30 plus degrees days with high humidity. High humidity is usually accompanied by an easterly wind, bringing tropical moisture down from the north along the coast and then blowing it inland to Victoria. Unfortunately no rain this time. Melbourne is not designed for such weather. I have confirmed the details with R.

Last night at the Dick Whittington celebrating our friend from Japan's birthday, lovely and cool. Refrigerated air con.

Breakfast at Prahran Central. Deliciously cool. Refrigerated air con.

Dan Murphys for a bottle or two of wine, hot as, when normally is lovely and cool on a hot day. Evaporative air conditioning.

Fruit and vegetable shop, I think evaporative but because of the force of the air being blown out, it felt coolish.

Coles, refridge air con, very comfortable.

Tonight, another pub meal at a place familiar to us, evaporative air con and stinking hot and among our group, others recall when on a very hot night it was cool.

Melbourne doesn't get a lot of humid weather, thank someone, but when we do, many of our houses and buildings don't cope with it all well. I spoke to Tradie Brother earlier and his new replacement evaporative cooling just is not cooling.

When I was much younger, a few times I visited the NSW town of Griffith, hot and dry, and evaporative cooling worked like magic there. 

I expect evaporative cooling would be useless in Brisbane. They may not even know what it is. I can't see it being much use in Sydney either. Melbourne with its normally dry heat, it works well enough, but not for the weather we are having at the moment.

As you can tell, if you did not know already, I hate the heat and the only decent place to be when it is hot is in a refrigerated air conditioned building. (with apologies to those in the other hemisphere who are probably freezing)

Pride March Pt 3

Even I am amazed at the diversity of the groups in the Pride March. I suppose the day will come when gays and lesbians no longer feel the need to form their own groups and are accepted into the mainstream. Without casting nasturtiums, I think it might be quite a while. It can be rather nice to be among your own.

Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus, a choir.

Front Runners, a gay running group, with the name taken from a very famous gay novel called The Front Runner.

Melbourne High School.

The Rovers, a gay soccer club followed by The Nomads, a gay walking group.

We have had Eltham College and now Eltham High School. There must be something in the water in the north east.

The Performing Older Women's Circus, followed by P Flag, a support group for families of gays and lesbians.

Gay and lesbian sci-fi fans are catered to by Spaced Out.

Australian Nurses Federation.

City of Wyndham.

Aleph, a group for Jewish lesbians and gays (quite a vocal lobby group they are too) followed by Greek and Gay.

Yellow Kitties, for Asian lesbians.

Jewish Lesbian Group.

And the March came to an end. I do love a boi in heels.

I took a snap of our Hairdresser Friend's feet, with lovely pink nail polish on her toenails. The colour washed out in the photo, but her gay neighbour suggested this might make an artistic shot. You be the judge, but I think not.

We walked down to the after party in the Catani Gardens, but we did not stay long. We walked back to St Kilda Junction and caught the tram home.

People coming and going.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Our friend from Japan has arrived. She stayed two nights elsewhere, staying with us for two nights and then on to her sister's. Today is her birthday and we have been out for dinner.

She has a work supplied Ipad. It is quite snazzy. It has picked up wireless signals from friends' routers and in public places, but for some reason, it won't allow her laptop to connect to our router. It seems to connect, but then times out and no connection. A bit of restarting, re-entering the password has been done, but to no avail. There is a note she saw somewhere that the Ipad may not be compatible with certain routers, but ours is Belkin, quite a well known and popular brand.

I know nothing of Apple products, but if you do, any thoughts?

I would have have said, stupid Apple stuff, but our laptop used to connect to the router when the laptop was switched on. Now, for some reason, you have to disconnect once it has connected, but not really connected, and  connect again. Odd.

Cover up you non believer

Sister teaches in a religious secondary school. When she started at the school, she was paranoid about the school finding out she was a dyke, and then when considering having a baby, paranoid about being an unmarried mother. Her fellow teachers know her living situation and know she has a daughter and one can assume school management knows.

In spite of some rising white smoke nonsense that seems to be happening in Rome, where tradition is all,  Sister's school has not asked her to leave because she is a dyke or an unmarried mother. Apparently religious schools can be tolerant of their staffs' lifestyles.

Not so in Adelaide at a Islamic school, where two non Moslem teachers have been told they must wear a head scarf to cover their heads.  They are not happy and are taking action. A school, which receives goodness knows how much money from the taxpayers of the supposedly secular Australia, is not focusing on the quality of the teachers, but about them covering their hair.

Assuming South Australia has the same laws as Victoria, the school can discriminate about who they employ. They are within their rights to not employ gay people, for instance. I don't think they can discriminate on religious grounds and so must give equal chance to Moslem and non Moslem teaching applicants.

For mine, over the next five years I would reduce taxpayer subsidies to religious schools to zero and direct the money to state funded schools. Schools are not the place for religious hocus pocus other than in an historical or social context.

If parents want their children educated in a religious school, then why do we taxpayers have to subsidise the schools when some of us are very against religion, especially Islam, which causes no end of problems in the world, as did and does Christianity, but the latter to a much lesser extent.

I happily pay my taxes, at times directed to things I might not approve of, but I am quite cross about so much money being directed to religious schools when many of our publicly funded schools, schools for all, are in seriously bad situations. And then such schools direct staff to wear headscarves. Schools are not places of worship where due respect should be shown if you enter.

Washing the train passengers

Keep in mind that many of these Pakistani train carriages will only have bars on the windows, without glass. Very naughty. You only need to watch the first forty seconds.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pride March Pt 2

There were of us for lunch, R and Myself, Fijian Indian friend, former NT politician, our dyke friend and a friend of hers who in the morning gave CPR on a roadside to someone who had been hit by a car. She is a nurse and was passing by and stopped to help. The man died regardless of her efforts. Our hairdresser friend and her gay neighbour, who was quite nice. The late Dame M's boarder turned up late.

Spikers, the gay volley ball team.

The 69ers, gay and lesbian bowling followed by a sex workers group.

These girls do roller derby. I don't know the name of the group.

Wayward Women Walkers, a lesbian bush walking group.

Peninsula Pride, from the Mornington Peninsula.

Hard to read but I think it is Gay Asian Pride.

Australian Lesbian Medical Association. Bone Doctor usually marches twice when she attends, once with Rainbow Families with Sister and Little Jo, then sprints back to join in with the ALMA group.

Gay Archives, yay.

MotaFrenz, a group of gay guys interested in cars.

MotaFrenz always have a car or two.

Also de rigueur to have drag on the back of a open car.

Melbourne's very successful gay and lesbian radio station, Joy.

Eltham College.

A GLBTI disability support group.

Les Rock, a lesbian rock climbing group.

Gippsland Pride, an large area to the east of Melbourne.

And a gay rugby group. Luckily Victor is swanning around South America and not here to ask if it is posh rugby or League.
The last photos in the next post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

St Thomas Aquinas

St Thomas Aquinas is a small church in Bromby Street, South Yarra and very near the Highrise. Bromby Street is a quiet street running easterly from St Kilda Road. The street is only quiet because it is blocked off where it meets St Kilda Road. I can remember thirty years ago when it was open and even then it was a very useful shortcut for a lot of drivers. One can only imagine what it would be like now if it was a through road.

STA is an odd looking church to me. I don't think we have many Spanish looking churches in Melbourne. It seems out of place among the Victorian era houses, 1950s flats and ultra modern buildings that dominate the expensive South Yarra streets.

A little research at the parish website tells the tale. The church was built in 1915 and called the Chapel of Ease and informally known as the 'servants church'. In the early twentieth century South Yarra did have a certain demographic and there would have been servants who needed a church. I suppose their Masters and Mistresses would have travelled to St Patricks in East Melbourne for their spiritual needs.

In was remodelled in the 1950s and received its Spanish Baroque fa├žade and blessed by the long serving, famous and infamous Archbishop Dr Daniel Mannix.

In 1976 Archbishop Frank Little handed the church over to the Order of St Augustine. I expect the church's parishioners are now very local people. One day I will pop in for a look see at the interior. From the Highrise, its very fine slate roof is evident.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Saturday, arrive home from work at 7.30. I have no wind down time.  I say the wrong thing, and then the fighting started.  Ex Sis in Law, Oldest Niece and Hippie Niece and friend arrive for dinner from seeing a show in town. R did them proud, with a potato bake, a salad and take away pizza.

Sunday was a  mad and crazy day at work. Arrive home somewhat stressed. Left eye feels a bit weird.

Monday, wake and only one eye will open. The left is glued firmly shut. Prise it open. R tells me to go to doctor. Call doctor and make appointment for tomorrow, my day off. Eye is quite bad and I am not seeing well. I prevaricate until I see rising mist from the corners of my eye. Call doctor for appointment today. No vacancy, on a wait list. Call work to inform them I will be a no show.

R arrives home early from work, let us go and book our holiday. Have you seen a doctor? No. Then go across the road to the doctor there. I call, yes appointment at 2.30. Diagnosis of conjunctivitis, no surprise. You can have today off and you are not working Tuesday, you will ok by Wednesday for work. I am doubtful and wishing I persisted in seeing my own doctor who is more trusting of me knowing when I am well or not well.

Attend travel agent and book holiday. Eye is improving. Get prescribed eye drops.

Tuesday, eye is much better. Deliver car for annual service. Mention that a couple of times the key is really hot when I extract it from the ignition. Catch tram to Prahran from St Kilda and have a breakfast roll and coffee at Tran Bakery. Buy a couple of things at the shops and home on the bus by 9.30. Garage calls, time for a new timing belt. Water pump is weeping, replace. New tyres are required. I ok'd the first two. I am doubtful that the tyres are so worn.

Spend much time completing the spring clean, delayed from October until Jan/Feb, so the place is at its best when our overseas visitors arrive, our friend from Japan on Thursday and a couple of weeks later, R's sister and bro in law. No one notices clean, but they do they do notice dirty. The balcony is spotless and in total only about five hours labour at a slow pace. The cleaning of the balcony is hard because of firstly the barbeque, which spatters grease, and the internal exhaust fan that expels not only bathroom air, but range hood air. It is the red hot wok with its oil fumes that makes the balcony exhaust fan outlet greasy. I certainly did not clean the area in 2012, but I am sure I did in 2011. Maybe not.

Garage calls, sorry, car not ready until tomorrow morning. Have it ready by 10.30, if you please, as I need it to go to work.

Although my eye felt pretty well ok this morning, it has deteriorated as the day has gone on. I am not sure that I will be able to go to work tomorrow. I rather need clear vision for at work.

Meanwhile, I am feeling physically frail and I wish I could get motivated to use our pool for exercise, as River is doing. I only have to get our lift down to our pool.

Europe in Style

Oh dear, what have we done. It seems in 2014 we are having by far the most expensive holiday we have ever taken.

Pride March Pt 1

I have missed some Pride Marches but we had a fine old time at this year's, the only disappointment being Little Jo did not attend, the first she has missed since she was born. What was Monroes in 2011 became Soul Mamas in 2012, reverted to Monroes and now has new decor and brand new name, Rococo. The staff, mostly girls, were fabulous and really made our lunch memorable. Mind you, our bill was a few hundred dollars, for eight people, so the restaurant did well out of it and the staff received a decent tip.

 Pedal power with a little motor assistance every so often and loud music pumping out. What fun.

An out gay Australian Rules footballer from a regional team accompanied by two straight AFL players led the march. I missed getting their photo. Following is Beyond Blue, not my favourite institution.

Ah yes, of course City of Port Phillip staff must march.

Victoria's Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews and Labor Party cohorts.

The Greens, of course.

The Police Pipe Band, followed by friendly coppers.

It should be no surprise to you that I am against school chaplains in schools.

Liberal Party marchers with local Prahran member Clem Newton-Brown.

Go West is an initiative of the City of Hobsons Bay.

City of Darebin.

Rainbow Families, missing Little Jo.

The boy in blue with the fisher hat on was the most gorgeous kid you can imagine. He was so happy and excited, laughing, smiling waving. His joy at marching was very obvious.

Argonauts, a gay and lesbian rowing club.

Bendigo Queer Film Festival.

Bent Cranks, a gay cycling group.

Melbourne Rainbow Band. Excellent.

Metropolitan Community Church Melbourne.

Of course there must be the occasional drag to add colour.