Saturday, March 16, 2013

Diary 11-12 March 2013

Mon 11 Mar (Public Holiday) To the Bellarine. Stop for lunch in Norlane and provisions at Newcomb. Sister and Bone Doctor bid for and won a voucher for a cabin at the Big 4 caravan and camping park at Marcus Hill for two nights, valued at $230. We add $20 for an extra room for Little Jo to stay with us. Check in, place is cooking, especially bedrooms received sun from the west. Put air con on 20 deg and fast fan. Cabin is wonderful, almost new, white and fresh. I highly recommend it, especially if you have children.

Sister's is ten minutes drive away. K&J meet Sister and Bone Doctor again after seven years, and Little Jo for the first time. Swim at Point Lonsdale beach. Sister and Bone Doctor take turns in taking us sailing in their collapsible canoe. Great fun. I noticed Little Jo can swim like a fish now. We all felt very refreshed after such a hot day. Sister and Bone Doctor cook us steak and salad at their place.

Back at park by 8.30 and settle Little Jo to bed. Place has cooled.

Main bedroom, a double bed, first on right, then our bedroom with two singles and at the end, Little Jo's room with a single bed, a roll out and a bunk.

I think this is a variety of finch. It kept coming back again and again to sit on R's aerial. 

Bone Doctor paddles R towards The Rip and Point Nepean.

Tue 12 Mar At 7am Little Jo comes running into our bedroom and jumps into bed with R. "R, I need to warm up".  We had left her bedroom door open with the air con blowing straight down the hall and her doona cover fell off during the night. What terrible parents we would make. Feed and water Little Jo and R & me deliver her to school. Sister said she could have a day off school to spend with us, but 'I don't want to miss my learning'. Little Jo drags us into school and shows us around and we meet her teacher. I am surprised at the lack of formality at what is viewed as an excellent school. School is no longer rows of wooden desks facing a black board but all very open plan where students sit at circular tables. At five to nine, music starts playing over the p.a. and the children rush outside to formally assemble. The bell sounds at nine and it was announced that the hot weather policy would be applied for the day, no outdoors for play or to eat. Two children had happy birthday sung to them and then inside they filed.

After tidying up and breakfast, we meet Sister in Point Lonsdale for coffee, then onto Ocean Grove supermarket for dinner supplies. We return and rest in the heat of the afternoon. Well, it was very comfortable in the cabin, even though I had reset the air con to 24 degrees. I did not want to freeze the child again. We collected Little Jo from school and spent a couple of hours at the park's indoor pool. It had some good things for kids, including a water slide, which Little Jo must have slid down fifty times or more. I left a bit earlier than the others to shower in peace.

From Point Lonsdale towards Queenscliff.

We had vouchers for what are described as go carts, so a few went for a spin around the park. Far too hot for me.

A tanker coming in through the heads. Two days before, Bone Doctor went out on one of the pilot boats used to guide ships in or to transfer a pilot to the ship to take control to get the ship through the heads and along the narrow channels of Port Phillip Bay.

Toddlers play area with the pool to the rear.

I have at least two blog mates who live in Glen Eira. Are you missing a bin at all?

Sister and Bone Doctor arrived with mussels and a sauce, which were devoured with bread and then no-one had much appetite for the chicken and salad and fruit salad. Sister and Bone Doctor left and Little Jo quickly went to sleep. R went to check on her at eleven to ensure her doona had not fallen off and she was missing from the bed. R nearly died, and then saw she was on the floor. She did not stir as R and K lifted her back onto her bed and she had no memory of it the next morning. I am guessing R tucked her doona in tightly and she got hot and barely concious, got out of bed. Do not trust us with your child. We will either freeze them or cook them.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The new pope on tv

The election of a new pope is worldwide news and it is important news for many people and deserves coverage by all general media.

However, did we really need nine minutes of pope news as the lead story on ABC tv news?

I don't think so.

Diary 02-10 March 2013

Sat 02/03 R collected the o/s rels from the airport at 3am. I rose at 7 to get ready for work and while R had just gone to bed, they were still up and we greeted each other. Barbeque at home for dinner. Weather hot.

Sun 03/03 Breakfast at Southgate. Buy electric plug converter. Drink at QV and some supermarket shopping. Late lunch at West Beach Pavillion, St Kilda. Dinner at La Porchetta with D & R. Weather pretty damn warm.

Mon 04/03 K & J to St Kilda. K cooked mince and dumplings for dinner. Bloody hot.

Tue 05/03 K & J to Prahran. Dinner at Palmerston Hotel. Still hot.

Wed 06/03 Day off. R at work. I take K & J to Mother's. Lunch Main Street cafe. Multiple car crashes on road home. R cooks sausages, chips and eggs. We are absolutely cooking.

Thur 07/03 K & J coach tour including river cruise and visit to Dandenongs. Dinner, tuna mornay and rice, on our own at home. Very nice. Oh the heat.

Fri 08/03 K&J shopping in Prahran. K made dinner, cold chicken and salad. The heat goes on.

Sat 09/03 R took K&J to Vic Market and QV. Dinner, Baci at Casino. Very nice. Late night. A degree short of stinking hot.

The casino was busy and it was too hot to take the tram, so we drove there. $15 carparking! We should have caught a cab. We had to park on the roof, but there are nice views. A couple of photos are taken from a terrace bar where we had a pre dinner drink.

Sun 10/03 St Kilda via Blessington Street Gardens. Lunch Iddy Biddy. Acland Street shops, Esplanade Market. Siesta at home. Dinner, curry at D & R's. A degree cooler today. I used to love Autumn weather.

While what was on the left was clearly bougainvillea, I had to go right up to the cream coloured blooms to check that it too was a bougainvillea. Quite showy, isn't it.

Lovely to see the lake in the Blessington Street Gardens clean and full, and with  with a functioning Rain Man.

Barkly Street shop.

Overlooking Jacka Boulevard from The Esplanade.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It amused me

White Smoke Yet?

I couldn't tell if it was white smoke or black smoke but there was smoke. This fine looking specimen was more preoccupied with his meat, as he cooked up for his friends.

Bat Train

Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala blamed a bat and copper thieves for the missed target.
"We had significant disruption when a bat flew onto a power line and blew out an extensive amount of signalling equipment that we later realised had been exacerbated by a stolen earthing cable,” Mr Lezala said.
“The theft of this copper cable resulted in significant and ongoing disruptions to our customers on the Belgrave, Lilydale and Alamein lines and we apologise for this.”

A bat brought our train system to its knees? Extraordinary. What next, caterpillars on the train tracks?  Hot weather? I suppose if snow brings an underground railway unstuck, such as London's Tube, then anything is possible.

As unlikely as it may seem, our train system has a bit in common with London's Tube, in so far as the internet service indicator for both systems can be displaying 'good service', even though the line has been shut down.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ben Knight

ABC reporter and newsreader Ben Knight is quite a handsome fellow. He first came to my attention as a reporter in the Middle East and anyone who reports from there and other strife torn areas has my respect. After covering the London Olympics, of late he has been home based, reporting and presenting locally.

He is quite a snappy dresser, snappy enough for me to enter Knight and gay into google. No, he isn't. He is married with children.

I can imagine life for a overseas correspondent is not too bad if they based in London, Paris or the US. It must be damned hard being based in some of the Middle Eastern and African countries.

It took a while for me to warm to him, but I have. He is probably better known in Victoria. I haven't seen him for a few weeks. Maybe he is working for News 24.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Walls Speak

Kath has been collecting again, from an a care place for old people. Don't worry, she wasn't nicking their jewellery. The home had closed and left over bits and pieces were up for disposal.

Something rose in my mind about the people who lived there and thought of the place as their home. For some, their life as they neared death may have been of poor quality, but for many of the residents, the home would be a place of their last happy memories.

R and I have lived in six places in our time together, two of the places having being built in the 1930s, but our house in Rosamond Street, Balaclava, a timber worker's cottage of the Victorian era, was by far the oldest, dating back to the late 1800s.

Although as an example of Victorian architecture it was bastardised beyond recognition, I could sense history oozing from its walls like no other of our abodes. Within its rooms people had laughed and cried, got drunk, made love, given birth and died. Snotty nosed children had played in the backyard, kicked a footy in the lane behind and played cricket on the street.

At times the  house would have gleamed like a new pin and at others times it would have been neglected and appearing very rough around the edges. In its roughly 120 year history, at times people would have stood back and admired an improvement they had just carried out, only to have their work undone a decade later.

Maybe the house had seen some nasty things, a spousal assault, mistreatment of children, attendance by the police and perhaps an arrest. Their was little romance in the lives of workers in Victorian times and later.

Maybe the dreaded telegram was delivered to the front door during either war. Perhaps a mother hugged her son at the front door before he set off to Station Pier for embarkation to the front, never to see him again.

Perhaps in the 1970s it was rented to young people, the house filled with a fug of marijuana smoke and loud music vibrating its walls. Across the road lived musician Nick Cave in a time early in his career. Maybe he was a guest at times for musical soirees .

Then in the 1990s, there was us, two almost respectable gay males and once again the walls absorbed our lives, as we too improved the house, laughed, cried, fought, partied and hosted our legendary barbeques for our friends and families.

'Tis a queer thing that it is the only house we have lived in where I sensed the house's history.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stop the Presses

Nowadays it is probably a matter of hitting pause on a keyboard to stop the presses. With the Highrise being full of visitors, most of my posts are scheduled  a day or more ahead. This is what happened today.

We had bought ice creams at Trampoline in Acland Street. I stood and ate mine outside another shop where there was shade, while K,J&R sat at an adjacent table of another shop to eat theirs. I was waiting for an owner to come out and ask them to move on, but no one did.

A shouty man came along the street and stood in a doorway. He was obviously mentally ill or under the influence of drugs, maybe both. He ranted away at no one in particular in a mix of English and something unintelligible which may have been another language or just rubbish. He was a bit loud and making people look around, but normally such people just mouth off and mean no harm.

I walked to a rubbish bin to get rid of my ice cream cup and walked back to the others who were just finishing their ice creams. The guy was getting louder. R said, come on, we'll go. I had sunglasses on and at no time did I look at the bloke, but suddenly he was in front of me and in my face and verbally and physically threatening me. I side stepped him and kept going with the others following behind me. We paused and looked back and there was a couple with three young children sitting and eating and he was in their face.

Enough. I had been alarmed and briefly afraid but the bloke tackling families in a one of Melbourne's prime tourist streets was surprising. I told R to keep going to The Esplanade Market with K&J and I called the police.  It seemed to take forever to get the details across, including my name and address, but as I hung up my phone, it said call length 3.35. Easy.

I am not young and I have been around. I am well enough acquainted with druggies, drunks, the mentally ill and society's general misfits, but for ten seconds today, I was afraid while I had been enjoying myself in one of  Melbourne's prime tourist streets.

With a little reflection, I think the guy targeted me because I had sunglasses on and I did not look at him. Had I have met his eye, I doubt anything would have kicked off. Do I flatter myself that my disapproving stare might have worked? Probably.

We hear of our crime figures constantly falling, and indulging in threatening behaviour is hardly at the top of the crime stats tree, but as with many things, it is about perception, not facts or statistics. When someone like me and people like the couple with kids feel threatened, perception is all and we will quickly fall to the feet of any political party that has a strong law and order platform.

Sunday Selections

I haven't taken many photos of late. I like to get out on my own with my camera and I haven't had much of an opportunity. Remember, every Sunday River does a Sunday's Selection post.

Balloons were going up from Fawkner Park. I wondered whether to wake our friend from Japan from her slumber to see them. I've left this photo full size. There were three balloons going up, but this one dominates. Red always dominates :-P at someone a way west.

Great that the building survives, but why did we not learn from Paris and London and keep highrise buildings away from our historic buildings.

"R, come and have a look at this. It looks like a picture," viewed from my ensuite. "Yes, I notice how nice it looks when I am cleaning your bathroom". I do my share, don't you worry about that.

Another fine building at the Paris end of Collins Street. It is a joke to call the top of Collins Street the Paris end. Paris knows better.

 Carosello Restaurant? Looks like it might be pizza and pasta to me. Nice old building in the background.

The 'Gog' had displays in its windows. This one is a forest, I think. They were fabulous, even if my photo is not.

Oh yes, it is fine old building. Moonee Ponds railway station.

Not so fine for the passengers on the 'down' side.

Just another sunset, but a pretty impressive one.

A tram departing St Kilda Station on its way to Brighton. If you are sitting at an outdoor table at the Metropol,  you are probably sitting where the tram tracks were.

A muriel (as if I would say sic on my own blog) somewhere at the eastern end of town. Better than a wall covered by graffiti.

I think I took this photo somewhere in the north western part of town, but I can't recall now. Nice chimbley.