Friday, May 09, 2014

We haz arriven

It was a long and tiring journey. Why on earth did England colonise Australia when it is so far away from Europe. While I had a little knowledge of Budapest before we arrived, it has quite blown me away. Decaying grandeur, yes, up to a point, but oh what grandeur. So so tired though. 9pm and R is snoring and I am about to do the same. Ok, one preview photo. I expect this must be Buda Castle upon the hill.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

I am gone

Ciao darlings.

Just before I depart

Normally when on holidays I blog about the trip after we return home. For this trip, I might try and blog as I go, but I expect I will quickly get behind with posting. Free time to myself will see me reading your blogs. I will see how I go.

I am just clearing up my photo folder with a few last pictures.

Given the length of our journey, I need lots of podcasts to listen to. I don't want to flatten my phone battery on the journey by listening to podcasts, so I hunted out this old machine of R's, a Samsung Tio. I couldn't turn it on and neither could R initially, but then he remembered and showed me. I have an even older device for playing mp3 files, but I can't remember how to work it either and can't be bothered re-learning. The Tio will do nicely.

Our Sunday brunch was at a St Kilda West beachside cafe. The weather alternated between sunshine and cold blasts of showers. The weather troubled the kite surfers not a bit.

There's the group, sitting in the far corner.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Decisions decisions

Well, it is not one I am in a position to make, but I wouldn't mind being so. Another great photo from  Ok, ok, you have nagged me enough. The one with his back to the camera. Nice face and good hair. Have I missed something that might make me change my mind?

Coles supermarket is in the news, accused of screwing over suppliers. While their advertising campaign Down Down, Prices are Down, has been very successful, the participating old pop group Slade should be aware of the saying, lie down with dogs and get up with fleas. Nevertheless, how Slade used set my teenage hormones racing. I am now embarrassed that I liked them as I can't see anything attractive about them. But I can remember why I found Peter Frampton attractive now I look at the album cover some decades later. I'll say nothing about the album name that went over my teenager head.

I shan't google Frampton to see what he now looks like. I've already had my disappointment for the day by goggling Scottish actor Iain Glen who I recall as being handsome and hot.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Amazon despatches

I can't embed this video so you will just have to click on the link to see a fascinating video of how the Amazon warehouse despatches goods to around the world. It is called a 'chaotic system' and while it appears chaotic with no ordered place to store goods, it works, thanks to Kiva robots.

Keep in mind this Texas warehouse could hold 16 football fields end to end.

Here is the link.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Some folk do like self torture

Scott and Mark lived in Liverpool in England after moving there from Melbourne's south eastern suburbs, not far from where my Sister used to live in Murrumbeena. They have now moved to Leicester and bought a house very badly in need of renovation.  You can follow their joys, trials and tribulations at their specific blog, Edwardian House Renovation . It is interesting and concise and I now know a little more now about the mysteries of English boilers and hydronic heating.

Never mind the stress for Scott and Mark. We hope the feline triumvirate of Miss Rose, Ruby and Oliver don't get too upset by the house being ripped apart.

When trams go bad

Sydney's tram system closed down completely in the early 1960s. Many lamented its closing and it is now realised as being a mistake, one that Melbourne did not make as we kept our tram system.

By the time it closed, Sydney's tram system was in serious decay as little was done to maintain and improve the system during the war when it was under immense pressure, and post war when motor cars really began to take over roads.

Like all transport, whatever type, things go wrong and Sydney trams had its share. Here are few photos.

Firstly, a simple accident with a car. I am not sure where this is but it appears to be in the city. A crowd has gathered and possibly is remonstrating with the taxi driver.


This one appears like it is about to burst into flame. People are keeping their distance. Corner of Hunter and Pitt Street.

This was a terrible accident at McMahons Point. I believe people were killed by this runaway tram.

 Tram number 1875 ran off the end of the tracks at Athol Wharf near Taronga Zoo.

Was a lesson learnt and preventative measures put in place? It seems not. Tram number 2000 ended up in the drink at the same location.

No, not a lesson learnt. Here is tram 1890 in grief at the same place. I understand it is a steep descent and fallen leaves often made the tram tracks very slippery.

Sometimes don't you wish you had just stayed in bed for the day? I am sure many did that day. Might Victor be able to identify the location, with a street number of 1911 at what appears to be a busy tram junction? Oxford Street?

Sunday, May 04, 2014

A glass or two of Pommeroy's claret

I feel this will be long, tedious and ranty. I want life to slow down at times, and I am sure it will one day, but it is not happening now.

It began last Saturday. I worked all day, changed in the work car park and was at dinner with friends at Red Door by 8. Back to work Sunday. Saturday night our Dyke Friend suggested a going away for us brunch. Hair Dresser friend said too hard for me on Sunday morning. I said we will make it easy for you. At the bottom of your street, West Beach Bather's Pavillion. Ok, she said.

Monday, worked but Manny from Malaysia is here and it was his only free night. We met for a disappointing dinner at Margots at Crown Casino but of course it was great to see him. Tuesday worked.

I had Wednesday and Thursday off work. Wednesday is a haze of doing things that had to be done. Thursday I just wanted to do something I wanted to do to relax. We caught the train to Altona Beach via the long way and had lunch. It was quite therapeutic.

Worked Friday and once home from work on Saturday, Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo were here. R had looked after Little Jo while Sister went to the football. Bone Doctor arrived by train from Geelong, and we then all went out for dinner in Malvern with a couple of friends.

Dyke Friends suggestion of Sunday brunch seemed so far away when she mentioned it. But this morning, Sunday, Bone Doctor had gone off to be a doctor at a football match and Sister and Little Jo had gone to a friend's place in Mordialloc to see a friend and a play for Little Jo and then to Mother's to take her to see  Middle Niece in Sommerville and her new daughter, back to Punt Road Oval to pick up Bone Doctor and then home to the Bellarine. And I complain!

At 10.50 Brighton Antique Dealer rang. Where are you? We are on our way to meet you at the venue at 11.00. R was cross as she sounded demanding. I am with my gay friend Bernard, a black American who never gets up before 12.00. He is getting grumpy. Apparently your ex politician friend knows him. Turns out in the early eighties Bernard stayed at our friend's house when he lived in the north of Victoria in the tobacco growing area.

By 11.10 our Hairdresser Friend who lives virtually across the road had not appeared. Our Dyke Friend sent her a text and she was soon there, but sans makeup. I don't mind whether people wear make up or not, but I like them to stay in role and our Hair Dresser friend looks very different without makeup. Frankly, she looked like crap and I expect she had forgotten about the brunch until she received the text message and was straight out of bed. My friend, I said, I sent you an email on Friday to remind you. She looked through her phone and said, oh yes and then replied with her flat number so she could receive a post card from us when we are in Europe.

Brighton Antique Dealer and Bernard had waited fifteen minutes for champers to be delivered to the table. They were both grumpy. Eventually BAD went to the bar and made a scene. Champers then quickly arrived and the two oldest people, late seventies, were the only ones having alcohol and between 11.30 and 12.30 they knocked off the bottle of Chandon.

'Bernard, we had met before at BAD's place."
'Maybe. You would remember me better than I would remember you'.
'Why so? We have met so many of BAD's friends. They blur a bit but I seem to remember meeting them at least'.
He pointed to his cheek, indicating that he was black.
It made no difference to me. We have met many of BAD's friend's and most are just a blur and skin colour did not make any difference. Most have been painful and pretentious older queens and quite forgettable and for whatever reason, well those reasons really, Bernard had fallen into the same basket.

R wanted to go to town in the afternoon to buy things for the English kiddie rels who we will see in a few weeks, but I put my hand down with a firm foot. No, tomorrow. I need time at home, hence eventually a Sunday Selection post was achieved, normally nearly done by the Wednesday before.

But Sunday afternoon at home brought more. Middle Niece and my month old or so old Great Niece invited themselves to see us before we depart on holidays. After some mix because we were texting, not talking, she is coming for lunch on Wednesday, the day before we depart on holidays, the day when R needs a last minute tan (brown fat looks better than white fat), the day we need last minute haircuts, the day we pack. But it will be fab to see the baby again.

And underlying all this is preparations for our holiday. Bills to be sorted, address labels for post cards is done, plane seats to be chosen. Cases have been taken out from upper echelons of wardrobes and power plugs have been sorted. There are three family birthdays while we are away, as well as Mother's Day, and cards have been written and ready to post.

Advance forecast for Budapest on the day we arrive is an unnatural? 24. I expect the weather might turn nasty after such a high temperature, the day we spend sightseeing in Budapest.  (I just checked, fine and sunny 25 degrees when we will be out and about in Budapest) Ok, I will need a hat and put on sunscreen on my nose and ears. After getting sunburnt twice in England the last time we were there, I have learnt my lesson. I know about Australian sun, but English sun caught me by surprise, as did the killer heat in London's Tube.

But when it all seems so stressful and hard work, the nicest things happen. R said, by the way, I bought a plastic tube of Vegemite to take away on holidays. All will be well if I can have Vegemite on toast when I am travelling.

Sunday Selection (late)

River and Elephant's Child have Sunday Selections for this week. Check them out. Here is my effort.

A London taxi! It's at the Emporium shopping centre in Melbourne. We may well be travelling in one in a few weeks. Perth ordered quite a number of London style taxis to trial. I must check to see how they are faring. I think they might be a good design for all Australian cities.

This stand is being built at Southern Cross Station to support a very old and historic clock. More on that once the clock has been placed in position.

A sculpture adorning a building in one of Melbourne's many laneways.

Oh dear, a restaurant tram broke down. Everybody off. They all  sounded very 'jovial' so I suspect they were well into their meals and drinks.

While the emergency truck arrived promptly enough, it took forever to connect up the tow bar and remove the defective tram, with the delay to all services of over forty minutes.

The diners thought they would be put on the following restaurant tram, but there was news for them. The tram sailed straight past them. There is usually a third restaurant tram, so they were probably put on that, but from what I know, the three trams are usually booked out well in advance for the late dinner.

Road resurfacing down below. I haven't noticed that there was anything wrong with the road surface. Maybe it authorities using up the budgets before the end of the financial year. I found the machine with the two huge lights quite intriguing. I don't know if it had any other purpose than for lighting.

Laverton Station has a relatively  new entrance. You climb stairs or use the lift, cross the bridge a bit, then go down stairs or by lift to the platform. What do people want at a railway station? I should think a quick and easy entrance and exit and Laverton Station certainly doesn't give that.  Station design is getting less friendly, rather than better.

There was a huge number of cars in the huge carparks and good to see a decent number of bicycles.

Now at Newport Station, and it is a bit hard to see, there is a raised area on the platform to make it easy for people in wheel chairs to enter and exit the train, rather that the time wasting procedure of the train driver getting out, placing ramps and then putting them back again.

Victoria's Miami Beach? Only $1 an acre? Well, it is hardly my idea of Miami and surely it would be £1 an acre.

This is the best designed drinking fountain I have yet to see. Excess water flows down to the dog bowl, coming out the top hole at the bowl, and the level does not go above the lower overflow drain hole.

Terrific sculptures in a prominent place at Altona Beach. I love visiting the area. It is always quite and peaceful.

The board is not big enough for me clear my conscience. Well, R would tell you that.