Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dear Aunty ABC

Aunty, I seldom have cause to address you because I have little to complain about. You continue to present generally good tv and I continue to watch.

However, Tom for tomorrow in your programme promotions is really getting up my throat craw.

Also, I am so fed up with promotions for Doctor Who. Well, I thought I was until the ads came on for resin statues of Dr Who. Now I am really fed up to point where I am so sick of the promotion, I don't think I will watch the new episodes of Doctor Who.

Promotion is a fine line, and you have overstepped it with resin statues. You wouldn't happen to have a blow up doll of a younger Ian Henderson would you?

Baby Sitting

No, not niece Little Jo, but great niece Little Em (her names begins with M, so she is not Emma or Emily).

It is her daddy's birthday, so mummy and daddy have gone to town for a meal and a ride on the big ferris wheel.

R was feeding Little M her bottle and I laid down the law to 5 month old Little M. Now my girl, when you projectile vomit your milk, make sure it goes on R and not the carpet. As she was intaking, at the other end R said she outaking, so to speak. That's his department to deal with.

After a play on the floor, another nurse ensued, and sure enough, out came some milk. She got both the carpet and R, most delightfully on his bare foot.

Dog Jack was picked up by his mummy and her partner today who have been in Queensland for some dry and nice weather, where they had neither. Dog Jack threw up once while here. I picked up the solids and left the rest to dry and it vacuumed up nicely. Then there was the picking up in the park of his doings. Now I clean up baby vomit. Such is life. Thankfully they all go home.

Little Em is so different to Little Jo when she was a baby. Little Em is a contented baby who smiles a lot, 'talks' away, sleeps a lot and is a very agreeable baby. Much as we love Little Jo, she was a difficult baby who did not like to sleep and it took walks around the block in her pram to get her to sleep.

They are seven years different in age and they will/are being brought up very differently in very different family situations. By the age of five months, Little Jo had only had us as baby sitters. Little Em has already  had multiple family members baby sit her. Yet the contented Little Em and the more challenging Little Jo will both make the world a better place, just differently.

The Twelfth Doctor

Dr Who had been around for my whole life. As a very young child, I used to be scared of the show and the theme music seemed evil. Now, the old shows are quite laughable. I have watched it off and on over the years but I seriously tuned in when Paul McGann made his debut, who was ok. Christopher Eccleston was good. Then I loved the series with David Tennant as the Doctor. I drifted off when Matt Smith took on the role. He did not work for me, not that he wasn't attractive enough. I think I perhaps feel that Tennant was the ultimate and could not be surpassed. Anyway, I thought the latter episodes of the last Matt Smith series became quite silly, as was the special multiple doctors episode.

What will we make of the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi? He is the same age as I am, and after learning that, I don't feel so bad about my looks. I will watch an episode or two out of duty and see if he grabs me, but I feel he is just too old to create the sexual frisson created by the last four Doctors. Capaldi gives me a feeling of an earlier incarnation of Dr Who.






Friday, August 22, 2014


Apart from it being an animal, I did not have a clue what a marmot is,  but apparently they are inquisitive little critters.  This is Montana's Glacial Park and it is under threat from climate change. Greenpeace set up the camera for some time lapse photography to show the beauty of the area and the marmot photo bombed.

Marmots are large hibernating squirrels, btw. Cute, hey.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Costa del bloody whatever

R's family who live in the north of England normally holiday on the Costa del Sol, wherever that is. When I say the Costa del Sol, I use it it metaphorically. It could be anywhere in Spain that is warm and sunny. El fisho and chippo has been set up all over Spanish holiday places to cater to their needs.

But has Spain gone wrong for the English? It seems so. About a year ago R's niece and her partner holidayed in the Bahamas, the country I can't recall. Now R's nephew has taken his family, along with his sister's son off to the Dominican Republic.

Speaking of which, sad to hear Kenny Ireland died, a reasonably well known actor and he had a terrific role in the tv show Benidorm, a cringe worthy take on cheap holidays in Spain taken by the English.

Btw, I have added something new to my blog page, on the left hand side a list of countries I have visited. I have stopped over in Hong Kong too and would like to see more of Honkers, but given it was only a stop over I have omitted it from the list.

So is Spain, with its huge youth unemployment rate, about to be dumped by the cheap air flight English as a holiday destination in favour of the West Indies? 

The thing is at times in Spain, and certainly in the West Indies, they stay in enclosed resorts that could be anywhere in the world. I am not critical of those seeking warmth and relaxation and well catered for times at cheap prices, but that sort of holiday is not for me.

In the Dominican Republic, 81% Haitian, you would certainly stay in an enclosed resort.  You know what those black men outside the resort would  like to do with white people to illustrate their superiority. Quell horreur. Too big missy.

It is a pity that people don't get to know the country they are visiting and many Australians don't when they visit our close by playground of Bali. Many Australians who go to Bali would not even have a clue it is Indonesia.

I must say though, the English are very fortunate to be able to travel to Europe so cheaply and easily. While the attraction of the warmth of Spain must be strong, I am afraid that while it is a place I would like to visit, the attractions of 'the old' Europe would pull me strongly in that direction.

The writing and acting in the tv show Benidorm was superb. Here is a short clip from the show.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


R: "Dearest, do you have anything you want to do today?"
Me: "No, not really, my love.You?"
R: "No."
Me: "We should go into to town to buy a get well card for Little Jo (with her broken arm). Did you know a public library has opened at Docklands? Perhaps we should have a look."
R: "We should take our e-waste to the recycling centre and the go to the big green hardware shed to buy some stone chips for the pot plant, a new plug for my bath and some white silicone sealant for my bathroom."
Me: "I doubt the recycling centre is open on Sunday." I checked online and it was.
Me: "Fine, as long as we can go somewhere for coffee."

Clearly some thought had gone into the day after all. I had been well and truly snookered.

Men, and they are always men, at what used to be the council tips were always gruff. Not so at City of Port Phillip recycling centre. A very pleasant chap told us where to stop to drop off our e-waste. We were the fourth car parked there dropping off e-waste. In the couple of minutes it took us to drop our stuff, four times as much was being dumped. I am so pleased people are using the e-waste facility but I also fear a lot is just dumped into landfill. Truly people, make an effort to ensure your e-waste is recycled.

Our e-waste consisted of old remote controls, our old vcr player and our first digital recorder, that was beautifully styled but kept failing because it overheated, our old computer modem and the not so old wireless router. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I like birds

Well, I like most birds, except the evil koel, pigeons, doves and seagulls.

I awoke about 4am and while car and tram noise don't penetrate my bedroom, a bird call was. Gosh it was loud. It must have been very nearby. What was it? I had never heard it before. I started a bit of online searching and then thought, too hard. If I really want to know, I will email Red Nomad who is knowledgeable about birds, her partner even more so.

Then I heard the same bird noise the next night. It wasn't as unpleasant as the call of the koel, but quite distinctive and as I said, loud. Did you know bird calls in the city are much louder than if they were in the country? They have to make themselves heard over city noises.

Right, I shall get down to searching out this bird noise. It did not take me too long to establish that it was a Pied Currawong. I recall that they were around when we stayed in Walhalla (its a nice post. Do check the link) last year, but I did not really notice their call. Apparently they are not unusual in Melbourne but I think they are unusual in this part of Melbourne.

Meanwhile, on a foggy Saturday a flock of sulphur crested cockatoos stopped by next door for a rest. There was a precise dozen, but one flew away before the shutter snapped.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mr Darcy

Now, there is no doubt Colin Firth who played Mr Darcy is a handsome chap and his body was very nicely outlined as he emerged from swimming in lake but I find this sculpture quite ghastly. Thankfully it is only polystyrene and will soon disintegrate. Hmmm, I remember what happened when petrol leaked onto my father's polystyrene drink chiller. The polystyrene liquefied.

The sculpture has toured lakes in England and came to Australia (someone paid for this?) from Lyme Park in Cheshire. The Lyme Park estate was used as Mr Darcy's home.

Here he is in the lake at Lyme Park. Serpentine. The Age.

He appeared at Melbourne's Docklands. The Age.

At the historic Ripponlea estate in Melbourne. Both photos below by Martin Purslow.

The perfect opportunity to bury it into the Ripponlea lake mud was lost.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Melbourne Quiz

Dina from The Weird American Who's Obsessed with Australia alerted to me this quick Melbourne Quiz at The Age.

There are only ten questions and as a proud Melburnian naturally I got them all correct, well eight of the ten. Wrong was Melbourne's hottest day and the location of Batman Hill. I know exactly where Batman Hill was and can only claim I had just woken and I was half asleep.

Dog Jack is staying with us. While I woke bleary eyed and collapsed into the computer chair this morning after turning on the kettle and heating, Jack bounded out of bed, ran around and wanted me to throw his ball.  Why don't humans wake and bound out of bed? Well, some do I suppose, but no-one I know.