Saturday, January 04, 2014

Musing about The Biz

R mentioned a sportsman who has six children. He is quite hot. Clearly R thinks as I do, he is very fertile. It makes him seem even hotter.

An English study found that couples are having less sex with each other than they did a decade ago, something like down from 6 times a month to 5 times a month. Preoccupation with electronic devices is being blamed.  Hey, hey babe. It is Saturday night. How about leaving Face Book for an hour? 

Now how many Saturday nights are there in a month? I must confess that in the days when I used to have sex with my partner, it was quite often on a Saturday night. It became a ritual, an enjoyable ritual, and something to look forward to. Ah, just remembered the occasional Sunday matinee.

Excuse me if I show my ignorance, but aren't women only fertile for about three days per month?

I think back to older days when fertility periods were not well enough known about to know the right the time to conceive a child.

Over twenty years my great grandmother gave birth to 13 children.  Wouldn't it kind of be a year out for conception and birth for each child? Gosh, they must have done done the biz a lot back then.

Mother once said to me, rephrased,  I suppose my parents must have done the biz once because I was born. Mother is as horrified about her parents doing the biz as I am about she and Father doing the biz.

Just thinking out loud, but I think people used to do the biz a lot more often than they do now. Radio, tv and now devices have a lot to answer for and in days of old blokes did not have a tablet in their hand where they could self satisfy so easily. They might have seen a 'feelthy' arousing post card, at best.

Friday, January 03, 2014


Sometimes I write notes but then cannot complete the post, for whatever

Speak speech. acknowledge. English American.


Private income. I don't know what it means, but it sounds like it will cost one money. Surely better to have a public income.

Self funded retiree.

Phrase I never heard when I was young, I am on a tram/bus/train.

Phrase I did hear when I was young, do you have the phone on (at home)

A Siemens Journey

Melbourne has fewer Siemens trains than any other type so consequently I have not been on one too often. I caught one earlier in the week though. It is our only train that is completely walk through without doors, so you can see from one end of the train to the next. There is always the odd people who for some reason seem to need to walk through the train. I can understand it if they are looking for a seat, but otherwise, I think it is strange and without exception people who do it look strange in themselves.

He well may have been a handsome young man but I wish he had sat elsewhere and not next to me. For mine I would ban eating and drinking on public transport. He was noisily eating a banana, which is quite a feat, and he had a cold. Sniff, sniff, chomp chomp, saliva-ish mouth noises, sniff sniff, chomp chomp, saliva-ish mouth noises. Revolting.

Between his eating habits and his head cold and watching the disturbing movements of the link between carriages, I was feeling quite ill.

Sandown Park? As if you'd find me near Sandown Park. I was at Hughesdale and it should have said Next Station Murrumbeena. The train seemed a little confused and remained so until I left at South Yarra, displaying The Next Station is Huntingdale as we zoomed through the ATH stations.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The year went where?

I don't think I saw a single movie at the picture theatre in 2013. I promised myself I would catch them when they came out on dvd, except I haven't watched a movie on dvd in 2013 and probably didn't in 2012 either.

I managed to read about five books in 2013, and perhaps six ebooks.

In my late twenties and early thirties, as well as reading a book a week at worst, I read The Age and the (Herald) Sun daily, along with Saturday's Australian. Never the Sunday papers though. Now, I buy The Age on Thursday and I'm doing well if I have it read by the next Thursday, and I do skim through any newspaper I find lying around. 

I am terribly puzzled about how I occupy the time now I used to spend reading and watching movies on tv. Lordy, I haven't even read the back of a cereal box this year passed, a favourite childhood breakfast occupation of mine.

But I have half watched a lot of tv and half listened to a lot of radio. I have actually properly tuned into tv a few times, but I used to properly watch a lot more. 

Any clue about what happened to my hard copy reading, tv and movie time? Ok, yes it is a rhetorical question, but have a go anyway.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Simpler Times

Seventy years ago there was no partying on New Year's Eve for Mother's parents although they did stay up until midnight.

New Year's Day morning would see the house a hive of activity with the preparations for a picnic. With my grandparents and perhaps another adult squashed into the cabin of the flat tray truck used to take vegetables to the market, Mother and assorted children would travel on the back of the truck as it slowly drove down Warrigal Road to Mordialloc Beach for an extended family picnic gathering. That the occasional child was not launched off the back of the truck as it bumped along is surprising but Mother has no memory of it happening.

Depending on the weather, they would find a place in the sun or shade and lay out a feast to behold, as would other members of the extended family. The children, mostly Mother's cousins would run and play and play and play until they were exhausted. The adults would sit and gossip and take the occasional paddle in the water. There would usually be a walk out on Mordialloc Pier to get that bit closer to the sea air.

Mother remembers them as been magical days, and perhaps they were. Not that I partied last night, I worked, but I reckon I would swap NYE celebrations for a huge family picnic at Mordialloc Beach.

But being a bit of a grump, I then think of the hot sun, stickyness from the salt water, flies, biting things, sunburn, noisy children. No, perhaps it is better to stay home in the air conditioning.

I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Later edit: I've remembered something. One of Mother's cousins was killed in a road crash, maybe on a motorbike, maybe on the way home from the gathering. That was the last extended family New Year's Day picnic at Mordialloc Beach.

Travel Thoughts

I think we will be in London for a couple of days next year. I am so not looking forward to long flights on planes, but I am looking forward to being in Europe and Britain again.

We have been through Picadilly Circus, but I was too overwhelmed by what we were taking in at the time to know it. We certainly saw Oxford Street, but did not make it as far as Oxford Circus.

I hope we can have a meal at our fave Paddington pub in Praed Street, fully staffed by Polish people. No wish to revisit our digs in Sussex Gardens, also fully staffed by Polish people.

When we were last there, R wanted to see a West End show. I was not pro-active about it and we didn't. I will make sure we will this time, crumbling plaster in Shaftsbury Avenue theatres notwithstanding. I have heard the Transport for London museum is quite good and not too far out, so I hope we can see that. After being in Europe for nearly three weeks, I am quite sure we will not want to see one church, museum or gallery in London.

The London Eye is on the list this time. I think that is enough for two or three days. I think we will buy Oyster Cards this time.

Up north we plan to spend a night or two in Edinburgh and see the transport museum theme village of Beamish.

But what I want to do the most is look, wander and observe. We were at St Pancras Station twice in London and at Kings Cross Station once and I can't remember the buildings, apart from the blue roof girders at St Pancras. I remember looking at lots of signs to direct us to where we should be, but not looking around.  We were shown the sights around the town of Newcastle, but we never had time for ourselves to just wander around the city.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Oh dear, I have nothing ready to publish today. This one is almost finished. What title can I give it? Got it.

Possibly racist, certainly a generalisation, but don't the best brains and the most artistic types come from countries that have a cold winter?

Personally, I don't function well in heat, dry or humid makes no difference. I hate the heat.

In the British colonies of India, Ceylon and Malaya, the well to do could escape the heat to the mountains where it was cooler. I don't know about Africa. The French colony of what is now Vietnam had the same, with accommodation for the French and the local rich people high in hills where it was cooler. Not sure about Laos and Cambodia.

But don't the world's best scientists, the best painters, the best authors, the best sculptors, the best architects etc etc all come from Western countries where there is a cold winter?

Of course I am suggesting this as a Western person who knows more about Western civilisation than I do about any other but I am quite firm in my opinion that the best brains come from countries that have a cold winter.

The hill station of Simla in India was a deliciously cool place for the English in the time of the Raj and not a gum tree to be seen. They had to go there to recalibrate their heat affected brains.

Monday, December 30, 2013

A sharp knife

This was our knife sharpener. You hold it with two fingers in the grip and your thumb underneath and smartly drag the knife over the grinding stones in the vee shape. Can you see a problem with it? Once a knife slipped and I put a small cut in my hand. I felt less and less confident about my ability to avoid slicing deeply into my hand and thought about getting something a little less dangerous.

This came with batteries but it did not work very well at all. The knife goes in under the grey parts. It took a lot of drags for the knife to get an edge. I went back to using the one above, but I had an awful feeling it would all go ever so wrong one day. I am not know to be a person with a steady hand. R encouraged me to get a replacement that actually worked.

We found this one made by Scanpan for a few more dollars than the battery one above. It is beautifully designed and works very well. If your knife is very blunt, you start with with the slot with the coarsest stone and follow up with the progressively finer stones, that is left to right. I do like it when things just work.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Once Were Warriors

As I mentioned in a christmas post I think, Chainsaw Niece and her Maori partner turned up very early for christmas dinner. They had taken his sister to the airport and had to be up at 4am to do so. They were supposed to be here at noon for christmas dinner, but were here by 10.00. What to do? R had a lot of work to do in the kitchen. I took them out in my modest motor to Station Pier to see a cruise liner in dock and have a walk and a chat. Chainsaw Niece has been putting on weight and so decided to start jogging. She hurt her leg and two weeks later, it is not better. I did ask if she was ok to walk and she assured me she was, but I think R and I convinced her that two weeks was a long time for that sort of pain and she needed to see a doctor. I also told her to ask Bone Doctor at dinner later. It is BD's area of expertise. Not sure if she did.

It was a nice walk and chat. Sister getting married to her female partner was discussed among us, fishing too with significant input from her partner. They talked about a ship cruise next year. I will call her partner M, as he is Maori and it is the initial of his biblical name.

M was really nice on christmas day. He paid due respect to Mother. He was friendly to our christmas orphan Fijian Indian friend. Yes, all went very well. M and Chainsaw Niece were to visit Geelong the next day for M's family christmas celebration. Sister picked up on this and said what about us, Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo, meeting you at the water fun park where your family celebration is being held. Tickets were printed out on our printer and all was arranged.

It went ok for a while, until Chainsaw Niece left M for a bit to have some rides. She returned and M launched into a five minute swearing tirade about being left alone. Apparently he had some mates there who called him to join in with them. It was the worst possible language in front of children and was relentless. Sister guided all the children away while Bone Doctor observed. M eventually grabbed Chainsaw Niece's arm harshly and swung her around.

Umm, that does not sound like the perfectly nice and respectable bloke who was at our place the day before.

Sister was here today to see cricket and R looked after Little Jo. When I came home from work, R gave me a brief version out of ear shot of Little Jo, and later over a barbeque, Sister gave me the full version.

Chainsaw Niece has indicated before that M has anger management issues. She said no more than that. She is on a bad track with M. It will only get worse. I doubt she really loves him. She needs to get rid of him, but they live together in Tradie Brother's house. He is going to see family in New Zealand on New Year's Day.

Sister was going to call Tradie Brother for him to have a word and lock him out, to not return after his NZ sojourn. I advised Sister otherwise. Tradie Brother, as wonderful as he at times, drinks to much and might do something extreme. I suggested Sister call ex Sis in Law.  Isn't advice better coming from your mum?

Chainsaw Niece sent a couple texts to Sister. One saying she was ok and not to worry, the second that she did not want to be with M but could not work out how to get out of it.

My niece deserves better. I so want to get busy sending texts and emails and making calls, and sorting it all out but I shall not. My wisdom about everything is in my head, and is not necessarily how things work  I have learnt over many years that there may a point to intervene, but generally things sort themselves out. Chainsaw Niece needs to have a good talk to her mother, ex Sis in Law.

I, or we are right aren't we? Chainsaw Niece is on a road to nowhere with this bloke. I can't even imagine her pleading, but I love him.

Later edit: Sister has spoken to Chainsaw Niece's  mum, Ex Sis in Law and ESiL said she would speak to Tradie Brother, her ex husband who is Chainsaw Niece's father about the matter. ESiL was already aware of issues and  did not like the bloke.