Saturday, June 15, 2013

No cheek, children

We should have set a good example to Little Jo and crossed at the lights when we got off the tram with her after being in town, but we didn't. We did as we always do, walked behind the tram and crossed the road. St Kilda Road is not an easy road to cross. The tram lines in the middle act as kind of refuge, as long as you check that trams are not coming.

As always, I held one of Little Jo's hands and R held the other as we crossed the road. "Andrew, you don't shake as much as Nanny, but your hand shakes a lot." That was my right hand, my left is even worse.

"E's (Tradie Brother) hands shake too."

"Little Jo, it is hereditary. Nanny's father's hands shook too."

"Mummy and Bone Doctor were discussing how your hands shake, AND, they said you don't have a football team."

"Well Little Jo, when I was young I used to barrack for Collingwood. But now, maybe St Kilda." I did not tell Little Jo that I now barrack for whichever team has the hottest player who has caught my attention for the week. Little Jo's auto trained response kicked in at the mention of Collingwood. "Wash your mouth out."

What I did not say was, child you need to be circumspect about the way your talk to Auntie Andrew, should you want to inherent something that we cannot spend. Should a couple of words scare them, the nieces and nephew, the brothers and sister? The words are reverse mortgage. I'd like to go out with a nil dollar balance. Even if there is something left, R has three sisters. Highriser assets divided by six is a very modest amount.

R is eight years older than I am. There is the possibility that he will go first. But as Mother with her umpteen medical problems discovered, your hale and hearty partner who you thought would survive you and care for you in your old age, may not.

I still have a lot to do in life and things I want to see and things I want to see happen, but at times I also think, well, if I die tomorrow, no regrets. I've had a wonderful life. Life's a bitch, and then you die, or your beloved partner might, which is assuredly worse than dying yourself. It is somewhat macabre, but I do at times wonder if I or R will be left holding the can. Should it be me first and R with his relatives so far away, I am confident my family will embrace R, as they have always done and R has done more for our family than could possibly be expected.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Carpet laying - the aftermath

A good part of today was spent on my hands and knees. Oh for the good old days when it was a pleasurable experience.

Nine lamps in the lounge dining area need electricity, with numerous cords, extension leads, power boards and double adaptors.

A lamp and a clock in each bedroom need electric wires to be plugged in.

In the lounge is the digital tv, two digital recorders and a dvd player all had to be connected and once done, so did the combined radio/cassette/cd player. That is a lot of wiring, but reduced from what it was as there were a couple of superfluous connections, I think. Time will tell.

R's bedroom digital tv, digital recorder, cordless headphones and combined dvd recorder/player and /vhs recorder/player means another heap of wires, and again a superfluous cable removed.

But nothing is quite like the computer wiring. R asked me if I will be able to get it all back together before it was pulled apart and I have except I want to cover some of the wires from the desk that go down the wall to the computer tower with flexible corrugated tubing.

The computer system consists of the tower, a lcd monitor, two speakers, a cordless mouse and keyboard with a transmitter to send the signal, a cable modem, a wireless router, an external hard drive, a printer and lastly a desk lamp that only gets used when I have to ferret about behind the tower when changing something. That means a rat's maze of wires worse the Sybil's hair.

We thought we could improve the very visible through a glass top desk rat's nest of wires if we moved the tower to the right of the desk instead of under it. This was precipitated by the carpet layers putting the filing cabinet in a slightly different position and it is too heavy for us to move. But the cable from the monitor to the tower, the VAG VGA cable, was too short.

We bused to Prahran and bought a longer one, along with a delicious pastie and coffee. Of course I had to check four $2 type shops to see if they had one because I knew it would be expensive at Dick Smiths, and it was. I did find a cheap tv cable splitter though, at $3.50 and then in another shop saw it for $2.50. We also found a skirting board co-axial socket, necessary to takes the tv signal to R's bedroom to replace the one broken yesterday. Plugged it in once home the VGA cable seemed most unsatisfactory, with a greenish yellow hue to the picture on the monitor. I fiddled with settings on the monitor itself and on the computer desktop. Tried the old one which took things back to normal, tried the new one again. R decided to help and got in the way and he was getting cranky as he had done his fair share at getting the shelving unit back to normal and many other things. Go and have your arvo nap, I urged him, and he did.

Google is my friend. Right, three rows of pins on the plug, each row transmitting different colours to the monitor. If one colour is not being transmitted, then the two colours that remain will be mixed. Sounds like our greenish yellow hue. I put my strongest spectacles on and stepped out onto the balcony. Yes, I can see there is a bent pin. I don't know if I did it, or it came from the shop like that. I straightened it with a steak knife. It would not longer plug in at all. I compared the old plug to the new and I could see its alignment wasn't quite correct. More steak knife work. Finally it worked and the rats nest is now a little more hidden.

As well today I reloaded the spare room bookcase and mine, the spare room one took over an hour and mine less than an hour. A few books were left over and so went to our building's library. Boxes from the cardboard recycling bin were returned to the cardboard recycling room, along with pictures in frames that had been sitting under beds and no longer wanted.

Tomorrow, breakfast out in Prahran, household shopping, connecting up the second lounge room digital recorder to the tv, tidying up the computer wires, return Jack to his returning home mummy and dinner out at Humble House in Brighton to celebrate our Brother Friends' 64th birthday. Sunday will be a me day. I think we will visit the Leaving Ireland exhibition at the Immigration Museum and look for shoes for Little Jo for her sixth birthday. We want ones that light up as she steps. I am about to google them but does anyone have any knowledge of them?

It da trains again

It is sad end to a fine timber trestle railway bridge, but I didn't expect it to collapse like it did.

The crew from Adventure Before Dementia recently returned from a holiday and part of their trip was spent travelling on Queensland's Savannahlander tourist train. The journey looked wonderful, although in a 1963 railmotor on an old single track, no speed records were broken. One of them mentioned the train was quite  rickety, but I can't imagine it was anything like this from China, now with high speed rail faster than Japan and Europe. It makes the strangest of sounds of any steam engine I have ever heard. You don't have to watch much of the video to get the idea, but you might want to skip forward to 3.28 to see chickens playing chicken. No chickens were harmed in the making of this video.

Before you next get behind the wheel of your motor vehicle, perhaps you might want to do the environmentally responsible thing and consider travelling by train as a option.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What a day

We were up by six doing last minute things before the carpet layers arrived. I had spent most of yesterday clearing things. I would not like to think how many books I have gotten rid of over the years, and now refined to ones I want to keep, most of which I will never read again but there are still many. I had parked my car outside overnight in case a space was required for the layers, so at 7.30 we went out and put money in the meter and took Jack for a walk. The layers rang to say they were leaving and would arrive within half an hour.

The called again when parked in the lane behind The Highrise. R told them that they must park in the lane and bring the carpet in via the ground floor and the lift would be protected and isolated by nine. They said point blank they were not carrying the carpet in from the lane. They came up to the apartment to survey the job as we tried to get in touch with the building morning cleaner. No answer. Hunted around the building. Stress levels rising. The layers said they would go and have some breakfast. Eventually the cleaner answered his phone. Yes, they can park inside and he will soon have the lift isolated. Relief. R went downstairs again and apparently the cleaner was unsure where they could park in the building. The cleaner called the building manager of the building next door who knows our building well and he told the layers of an empty double car space they could use. Our proper building manager arrives at ten.

We had hoped to keep the kitchen area clear, but no, they dumped all their tools there. Jack was running around and excitable. I locked him my ensuite with his sheepskin. He soon worked out how to open the sliding door. The boss layer made it quite clear we ought to go out for the day and let them do what they do best. Outside it rained nearly all day, so an inside area was required. R had a brainwave. We have the keys to Jack's owner's place. We will go there. Firstly we were hungry and decided to go Southland which I have not been to for nearly twenty years. R goes there at times on work related matters, so at least had a vague idea of where to park. A place called Schnitz has opened and we had some rather fine schnitzel nosh. Later at the other end where had parked, yes we must have crossed over Nepean Highway, we found a non chain place that looked like it might have good coffee, and it did. I went into the nearby Reject shop and bought an HDMI cable for $10 to connect up the old digital tv recorder so we can record even more rubbish to mostly not watch. I said to R, do we need some Scotch tonight? He most emphatically said yes.

Jack had been quite happy sitting in the car and he is a good traveller. We then weaved to Jack's mum's place in Ormond. We normally drive there from Grange Road, but we were coming from Koornang Road and we stopped outside what looked like her place. I had some misgivings that it was her place. Something did not seem right, but my mind was not working well. R opened the aluminium door and tried to open the front the door but the key would not turn. He kept trying. Then some poor Asian lass opened the door and I thought who is this staying at our dyke friend's place while she is away? It was the wrong flat block, although very similar.

R walked Jack along the street, in the rain, while I slowly drove along. There it is. There is her car. It is red brick, not brown brick. The entrance is higher. Duh.

Jack was happy to be in his home. We turned the heating on and our friend has Foxtel cable television, so we started watching UKTV, from the BBC. We watched Heartbeat, Coronation Street, East Enders (Dot Cotton is still alive!) and Hollyoaks. I am not sure why British people watch our crap tv shows Neighbours and Home and Away, when they make perfectly good crap tv of their own, Heartbeat excepted, which was rather good.

I had just dozed off and the building manager called. There is not lift activity, do they still need the lift isolated? I don't know. We are out of the building. Go up and ask them. He must have and given them  dire warnings that lift was back to operational at 4.

We walked Jack again, in the rain, and set off for home.  We left Jack in the car, although while so relaxed when arriving at a destination, he worked out it was our place and was anxious. We were about forty minutes too early. They were finishing off the last bedroom. I went out to retrieve my car from the street. and still it was raining. They moved the furniture almost back to place, no heavy lifting for us, and such relief. They had gone. Now we could put the place back together and there is no rush. Priority one, lounge tv, priority two, my and R's beds, priority three, R's tv set up, priority four, computer. The days of a power plug and an antenna have long past. The wires in The Highrise must surely stretch a kilometre or two if laid out.

We worked really hard for a few hours but by seven we had noticed the sun had well and truly passed the yard arm and time for a glass of wine. R fed Jack and then cooked some vegetables for us for us to eat with thawed out and heated Shepard's Pie. And then we hit the wall. Can't do much more, and we haven't. I did google 'connect cable modem to router' though, as I could not remember how it was all connected. Success. Just a tidy up of wires needed now.

Apart from stress (imagine what it would be like to disconnect everything in your home and find places to put them out of the way, strip three beds and put the linen in the bath, have piles of wires from this thing and that and bloody books), it was a hard day, so if you want to say, you did really well Andrew, I don't mind. We are both praising each other. We did well.

Buying a bottle of Scotch was such a good idea and tomorrow we will get stuck in to get the place even more back to normal.

Damage? R broke his bedside lamp and we called in to Beacon for a replacement and it was on special. Broken tv plug for R's bedroom tv, but because we are high up, his tv barely needs an ariel connection. Sort it tomorrow. Always mahayana.

Big trams need big space

I  read in an electric newspaper that there is agitation to ban cars from Acland Street in St Kilda. It has been done before and traders were horrified and thought their businesses would be killed. In my memory, it was only a couple of weekends and shopkeeper pressure soon had cars back in Acland Street.

You would probably expect me to say, go ahead, ban cars and give the street over to pedestrians and trams, but no not this time.

Cars travel very slowly along Acland Street. It is one of the few streets in Melbourne where you could walk out in front of a car and not get a blast from a horn. There are a number of car parking spaces along the street that will not be available if cars are banned, but it is a very limited number.

At times cars when reverse parking delay trams, but this happens all over Melbourne, so nothing special there. So where is the push coming from?

I expect the push is coming from Yarra trams which is about to start receiving delivery of the new E Class tram. Yarra trams like a terminus big enough for two trams, in case one becomes defective, another can come over the top of it and continue the service. The E Class trams are 33 metres long, so two make 66 metres and a bit of extra space, around 70 metres of tram terminus. Add a disability compliant tram stop with a raised platform, and you can see why trams want to take up the whole street with no room left for cars.

R asked me why trams bothered to go to the end of Acland Street and not stop at Luna Park. I suggested a  reason was to connect with long gone Victoria Railways tram in Barkly Street. For other reasons, I was looking at a map (I am a map obsessive) from when Melbourne had cable trams, and the cable tram went to the same terminus, so clearly my Victorian Railways tram theory was wrong as that was not built until much later.

If it was up to me, I would keep the 96 tram going down Acland Street and swing into Barkly Street and perhaps along Broadway and give the densely populated Elwood a tram service but that won't happen.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Taking a short trip in a cab

Today I googled 'short airport taxi fare xxxx', where xxxx stands for various cities around the world and it seems to be a world wide problem. Taxi drivers do like like short fares from airports. Most airports seem to have a priority system for drivers who take short fares and return to the airport. Is that reasonable?

Surely odds come into play here. Every driver will cop a short fare at times. Sometimes they might get two in a row and feel very cheated, but it is totally random. They may then go for months and not have an airport short fare. I don't see any reason for any priority if they have taken a small fare trip.

Melbourne Airport had a priority system, but some taxi drivers were abusing the system. It seems that this can be easily sorted out when a number plate recognition system begins later this year.

This is behind the scenes stuff though and should not be a matter that the general public taxi user should have to worry about. You get in the cab and it takes you to where you want to go, via the shortest route with the meter on.

But Melbourne Airport seems to care little about taxis blockading the taxi holding area. They don't care about the taxi drivers. They have only just allowed a public transport bus to have a stop near the airport terminals after stonewalling for years. They gouge the general public for short term parking. They overlook touts operating in the airport. Only now are they addressing extreme traffic congestion in the last kilometre to the airport. They sucessfully lobbied Vic Roads to prevent people from parking on the verge of the road to airport, while waiting for a call from an arriving passenger to be picked up, thereby forcing them into the expensive short term car park. Melbourne Airport is certainly no friend to the general public.

Doctor's Advice

Bone Doctor is working as a GP at the moment. Sorry, General Practitioner, your family type doctor. The local ladies who wear sensible shoes are queuing up for her to do their pap smears. I have no knowledge of what that is all about and I have no desire to know.

A press story broke in her local news about our negligent hospital and medical system and how it failed a child and the parents. But all is not how it seems, rather different to how it was reported in the local newspapers. Yes, medical systems in Australia do fail. You have to look no further than blogger Therese Mackay and read her book to see how our medical system can really go horribly wrong with a tragic outcome. But in this case, it would not have if the parents followed Bone Doctor's recommendation when she saw the child. BD could not diagnose but suspected and advised attending a hospital emergency ward for tests immediately. The parents ignored the advice and over the next couple of days went to another doctor, and then another, perhaps searching for something instantaneous. The child almost died from something that could have easily been cured once tests and a diagnosis had been done.

Bone Doctor is not really being blamed, just being mentioned. BD feels no guilt and nor should she. She acted correctly. Sometimes we feel we know better than our doctors, and perhaps at times we do, but there are nothing like tests to help reach a diagnosis.

An Apology

I did a wrong. When Jill Meagher was killed, I suggested that, with knowledge from our friend who was a policeman, to always look at the family first. What I wrote at the time might have looked like I was suggesting that Jill's husband might have been responsible. I did not say that, but it could be interpreted as such. Mind you, I wasn't the only one and the police should have killed that theory pronto.

Nevertheless, I feel I have done Tom a wrong and I ought not have mouthed off.

Tom, you have my sincere apology and I will never do such a thing again and I am very sorry.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Little Jo'isms #48

Nanny: "It's cold Little Jo".

Little Jo: "No its not Nanny. You have put the heating on, so it is warm". Mother had just turned the air con on. It hadn't even started to warm her place.

I was sitting at the computer while R and Little Jo were lying on his bed watching a dvd. I heard the fridge open behind me.

Me: "Do you want something Little Jo?"

Little Jo: "I am just seeing what is there is for breakfast."

Me: "Little Jo, I may not be looking but I know what the sound of someone taking a Chocolate Royal from a packet sounds like. Only one."

She took two, and gave the second one to her accomplice in the crime, R. She is now smart enough to not tell her mothers what she eaten when she stays at The Highrise.

After her last visit, I have some new rules. Five sheets of paper to draw on only and no textas or pens in bed.

Mother gave Little Jo a stern warning at the weekend. She must be very careful to not spoil our new carpet.

Cars Bad

Oh dear, something really went wrong this night with traffic banked up north, south, east and west.

The lad or lass is off to bad start in his or her driving career. I have never seen anyone be so cheeky as to park on the pavement here before, let alone a learner driver. Is the registration number clear enough? If not, NVP 157, a Falcon Futura that has been RACV checked.

Just another Swedish Sunday

It started with the back lamp of our tv failing to proceed last night. It is an Ikea lamp and probably not replaceable with parts. I scrounged around under the tv cabinet and eventually found the plug, which was also the transformer. I was being very careful as to not strain any body muscle. The transformer was so hot. Ok, failed product.

Some years ago after a terrible Highrise argument with slamming doors, loud voices and going off somewhere without telling the other person where, an Ikea chair appeared in R's bedroom  and a new lamp behind the tv. The chair survives, the lamp has not.

Today D retweeted a link to Stockholm train drivers who are not allowed to wear shorts to work and so are wearing skirts while they are driving their trains. The driver's have lined up for their skirt issue and management has no problem with their male drivers wearing skirts. Skirts are official uniform. Shorts are not.

I sent the tale onto J via Twitter as he is a Swedophile and I thought it might amuse him. I expect I should have personally retweeted it, but I am not too crash hot at twittering.

The lamp had to be replaced, so R wanted to visit to Swedish furniture shop. I reluctantly agreed. We followed the arrows from beginning to end and did buy a suitable replacement lamp, along with some flexible tubing that covers your ugly computer wires and some new drinking glasses.

R's Sister was somewhat estranged from her son, but the son did ask his mother to his wedding. She and her her present husband attended and things are slowly coming back together. Now her son has bred a child by the name of Audrey. Isn't that just such a fab name.

Audrey is a special name for Melburnians  as Little Audrey of the neon Skipping Girl Vinegar sign is dear to us. She has even been mentioned in a couple of popular songs. I took the opportunity to take a snap or two while were visiting the big Swedish store. I've never taken a night time photo of her, but there is a good one to be seen here.

Technically, she should be Audrey of Abbottsford, not Richmond, but everyone thinks of the area as Richmond.

This is not the original sign. The original was installed in 1936 and was Australia's first animated neon sign.

I get panicky in Ikea if I can't see an arrow on the floor. I would have to decide myself about which direction to walk. We looked at some bits of furniture in the store, but as I very wisely said to R, the trouble with Ikea furniture is that is looks like Ikea furniture.

We have had a set of the glasses on the right for many years. I use them for wine and whiskey as they are not easily knocked over or broken, but they are tired. Ikea had a set of tumblers for, well we weren't sure. The label said $6 but is that each or for the set. Surely not $1 per glass. We decided to take them and leave them at the counter if they were $36. Nope, $6 for the set. Were the shipped from China to Sweden and then Australia?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Celebrating the Queen's Birthday

Our friend always puts on a Queens Birthday afternoon tea. I was able to attend this year. As usual there was an eclectic mix, three Malaysians, Manny being one and one from Borneo, chop chop, but lives in Bacchus Marsh, and another who owned a Malaysian restaurant in Acland Street (who said, of course I came. It is my birthday), one English Indian, four Indians, our friend's partner a Fijian Indian, one Lithuanian who is the partner of one of the Indians and has become a qualified podiatrist, and a few others, including our Brother Friends who have returned from Thailand for a couple of months before heading back to the place they love.

Our dyke friend was invited but given we have her dog Jack here with us at the moment, obviously she is away. The late Dame M's boarder, aka Jasmine, was asked but his mother is unwell and was visiting her in north eastern Tasmania. Our hairdresser friend is in one of her poverty and reclusive stages. We did not hear back from her.

The Brighton Antique Dealer called at 8.30 ON SUNDAY MORNING to ask if we could pick her up at Windsor Station to take her today, and of course I said yes if she made her way to Dandenong Road and posed as a prostitute. She initially suggested South Yarra, but we don't do Toorak Road in the car, thank you very much. Today, a public holiday, SHE CALLED AT 7.45! to say she will not be attending as her first husband was found dead yesterday by Ballarat Police after they broke into his home at the request of his children. It took some working out as she described him as her son's father and went on to say there had been calls back and forth between herself and her children. Ok, so he is father of her daughter too, so that would make him her first husband, the mega endowed Arab.

R made some savoury mini ham and egg tarts to take that were consumed in five minutes flat, but otherwise it was all sweet with cakes, scones with jam and cream, lamingtons and chocolates, with piping hot Ceylonese  tea, coffee and masala tea.

I am not good at such social things. Boredom kicks in early. I try to listen to too many simultaneous conversations. I can't sit and talk to one person for a long time, as some seem to do. Every so often I need to get up and walk. I am a bad guest, so don't invite me.

I was amused though by the host's partner and the retired priest's ongoing argument over whether morning peak Frankston trains go directly to Flinders Street Station or go via the Loop. This is the third time they have argued about it. "I use the train from Caulfield every day", says one. "I have been travelling on Melbourne trains for my whole life and I am a member of a train historical society", says the other and continued, "I know Melbourne trains and I know the Frankston train as it comes through Armadale." They really don't like each other very much. I could check on a timetable of course, but I would spoil their ongoing battle with facts.

Well, that was the Monday that was. I am in a mild panic about the new carpet going down on Thursday. So much to move, and such a weak back to do it with.

I was down the side of the apartment today. Our host's partner has two green thumbs and eight green fingers. They have lived in the apartment for two years and look at how huge the daphne is and full of flower buds that will soon open.

Cheers darls

Hi Lillibet.

I hope you don't mind the informality of my greeting, but hey, I have known you a long time. My earliest memory of you is at school where we promised to love, honour and obey you and there was always a photo of you hanging around in whatever public institution I happened to be in as a kid, from school to cubs to the local dance hall.

Sorry to hear your bloke is not too crash hot. He is not doing badly for his age though. At least while he is off the scene, he won't be making any gaffs. Seems that, in spite of his infidelity,  he has been a pretty good husband. I did have a laugh when I read that you once threw a tennis shoe at him while you were here in Australia. We only found out decades later. Anyway, I expect you knew that before you married. Your mother was a worldly woman, and I am sure she clued you up well.

You know Bet, I find it quite fascinating that you were an army mechanic. Royal hands messing around with motors, no less. Bit of a bugger for your nails. I expect you could still do it, if cars hadn't become so high tech. A mind for car mechanics tells me of someone is simply grounded.

As for your children, well, you can only do your best. They make their own lives. You might have done better to home school them yourself, rather than sending them away for their education, but then you did have affairs of state to deal with and lots of overseas travel.. Which of us doesn't have a failed relationship behind us? Or at least have someone close to us with one. Charles is ok, albeit a bit weird, but I like his causes. Ann, well, she seems have reigned in (Andrew, that is so clever and it happened by accident) her lead foot and is no longer receiving speeding fines. Andrew and Edward are off the front pages, which I am sure you are very pleased about.

Liz, what did you really think about your grand daughter Beatrice's head piece at the wedding? And all that eye make up?

As for Fergie? Well, didn't you ever tell your lad about such women?

Yes, it hasn't been all beer and skittles. I've been a bit cross with you at times. You could have done a lot more to ameliorate the excesses of that madwoman Thatcher. You are the boss, after all. Inviting that despot Mugabe from Rhodesia, sorry Zimbabwe, for luncheon showed poor judgement on your, or your officials' part. Most of all though, Diana. Your delayed response was perhaps how you felt or how you were advised, but your people loved her, and straight away you should have been there for them. It is pretty clear you didn't like her, but that was not the point. Your people needed you and you weren't there. Sometimes you just have to step out of protocols and seem a bit human.

As for the republic business here, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it hon. It won't happen in your lifetime and probably not mine. You have done well Liz, and there is a lack of passion for a republic here. I can't imagine New Zealand ever ditching the royal family.

Anyway Liz, while this day is not really your birthday, it is the day we celebrate it here. I think the date was for your father's birthday, or perhaps your grandfather's. No matter, get someone to pour you a large chilled g&t and raise a glass to your colonies in the Antipodes as we wish you well for your birthday. Ok, ok, Liz, my feelings of bonhomie might be a bit to do with getting a public holiday.

NB Western Australia celebrates her birthday on a different day. They are bit funny about such things.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Coles Fountain

Almost opposite the Princess Theatre in Spring Street, Melbourne is the Parliament Gardens, a small fenced triangular park at the northern end of State Parliament. 

Within the gardens is the modern Coles Fountain. As were many of our city's fountains, it was built with donated money, in this case funds from G.J. Coles and Coy Limited. Coles has a long and proud history in Victoria and Australiawide and is still a very successful company with its supermarkets, hardware stores, service stations and other chains of business. The fountain is made of stainless steel sitting on durable bluestone paving and in the shape of a C. C for Coles. Get it? Construction was completed in 1981.

During the long Australian drought of the early 2000s, the fountain was shut down to conserve our water supply and a terribly ugly fence wire fence erected around it. Most Melbourne fountains have been converted to recycle water now, but given how much they used, it was a drop in the ocean of conserving water and should never have been turned off. Anyone for a little symbolism? 

On a still day, you can stand in the centre of the C and remain dry. The day was not quite still enough for me. A sudden gust would have had me 'satched', as the Sister used to say in the eighties.

It must be wonderful for kids to play in on a hot summer's day. Grace in Perth showed us an 'interactive water feature' yesterday, again great for kids on a hot day.

Strange colour. I must have accidentally pressed something on the camera, easy to do with a touch screen. Don't buy one.

It has its own an anemometer, presumably to shut the fountain down if it is too windy and the water is going everywhere.

Here is a link to a night time photo of the fountain.