Saturday, September 13, 2014

Smutty Saturday

I am often appalled at smutty school boy humour. But how can you ever be appalled if you don't watch? You'd better watch this to see if you too are appalled.

I am not so sure that the tv host is quite as naive as she seems.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lost in translation

Dog Jack is staying with us once again.

While attending to his late night needs, this rhyme came to me.
Bleu bleu, la lune et bleu.
Kindly pass the salt to me.

Do any of you know what that is about or where is comes from? I have no idea.

Securing your quad bike

I laughed at this photo, not so much because of it, but at the time it took me to see what was the problem, quite a number of seconds.

I called R over. He sat down and he too looked blankly at for a time. Suddenly his face lit up too as he grasped the issue. You being such clever people will immediately get it, I am sure.

Actually, I suppose it could be like that to keep it secured against theft in the owners absence.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A sad observation from a train window

Yesterday we went for lunch to Warragul. I did not take many photos. I visited the town not so long ago and posted about it here. I may post something in the future. R rather liked the town and was keenly looking at properties in real estate agent windows. Oh no! I am not moving from the Highrise. It is a nice town and you can see that it is a money town.  We took the train to use up R's Senior Citizen travel voucher, and there may be more on our train experience later.

I did not know what it was at the time, but the narrow waterway I saw from the train was fast flowing and two ducks were effortlessly being carried very fast down the water. I mean really fast.

On our return journey I saw out the train window the same creek in the other direction. There was a fire engine there and people standing around. What? The creek is on fire?

Once home, we learnt that a child had fallen into Dandenong Creek and was missing. Today he was found drowned. People who don't grow up in Australia are too blasé about the threat from rivers and our seas. Much more education is needed.

Foreign Dining

It was a few weeks ago now, but with four friends we went to the German Club in Dandenong Road. It is place I have been curious about. It is on a large block of land that would sell for millions of dollars, so I don't know how long it can remain viable. Nevertheless, it was busy enough with diners, but people weren't pumping money into the club by playing the poker machines.

The food was adequate and not expensive. The service was ok. But there was little to attract us back. It was interesting to see who the various varieties of Germans are who live in Melbourne. We have black Germans and Asian Germans, but most were traditional German people. Yes, made an effort to hear the black and Asian Germans speak, and they did speak either German or with a German accent. I was accidentally served in front of a well dressed German woman at the bar. Anecdotally, German people will quickly protest if something is wrong, and she did. I had already had a glass of wine and so my usual reticence to engage was overcome and I made an effort to apologise for the staff person's mistake and thoroughly charmed the frau.

It also goes by the name Club Tivoli. I am pleased we went. The sauerkraut was rather nice, but then I have only had it once before in Thailand.

A South Yarra Stroll #3

Park Street South Yarra has long been one of our favourite places to walk, at times interrupted halfway around our walking circuit by a fine cup of coffee or a cooling drink at the corner of Park Street and Domain Road. We had not walked together there for quite some time, so there had been some changes.

This apartment building in Arnold Street is clearly visible from the Highrise, but we don't think for long as what was called the Albert Park Manor is having something taller built behind it, no doubt breaching the 'suggested' height limit.

A very nice and original lamp on the wall of the synagogue. I had never noticed it before. No breaking of things Jewish in Australia......well not a lot. Bit of an accumulations of dead insects though.

This is a magnificent magnolia soulangeana. It flowers weeks after most of the same breed. I have showed it in full bloom in the past. Anyone care to have a black servant bring out a mint julep while I sit under it?

Back in Toorak Road, or Toorak Road West as it is sometimes called, this hotel is called The Albany.

We don't know what is happening, but it is clear this more modern rear of the hotel running up Millswyn Street will be demolished.

This apartment block in Park Street underwent a renovation. When we had the Highrise windows tinted some years ago now, they were also tinting the windows in this building. It was a very long and drawn out renovation, but the end result is very nice.

Work happening to this Park Street house.

Some ghastly high rise building in the distance viewed down Little Park Street. Hang on, that is my home.

A little art deco. Note how the bands across the lamp shades match the bands on the building. That's special.

Old three storey houses are unusual in Melbourne but there are a few in Park Street, with a level below ground level. I recall there are some in St Kilda.

Some lead light work windows on the stairwell of this apartment block.

And on this one next door.

We are now around into Domain Road. This apartment block was described in architectural circles as Moderne. It had a spiral staircase behind the curved glass at the corner. Note the past tense.

It was an ok looking block of flats but was demolished to be replaced by this. It is just so ghastly, it is very hard to imagine what the evil VCAT was thinking, and VCAT is who approved it.

Lynch's was a well known up market restaurant. The owner, Paul Lynch banned babies from the premises and the publicity that ensued was more than money could buy. Paul became too old for the restaurant game and sold the business. It was not so successful anymore. It was re-invented and became even less successful and soon closed.

These plastic objects at a newish apartment building in Hope Street are to store rain water roof run off most likely for use in gardens, installed no doubt in the panic of the 2000s drought. The older building faces Domain Road. R and I disagreed. I said that the house would never have had such a upper verandah at the back. He thought it would have.

It may not be the best example, but you can mix old and new styles.

Who knows where it may be in the mists of time, but I did take a photo of the site here before the modern house was built and there was a builder's toilet on site, with a significant lean.

Looking back to where we walked, we took this little lane from Hope Street. I believe these tennis courts belong to Melbourne Grammar, a posh religious private school subsidised by taxpayers. Since the last time we walked along here, the courts have been exposed by a new fence.

Then we go along this left hand turn.

And this right hand turn, back to Domain Street. You just know you are in a posh area when there is no grafitti, no syringes, no alcohol bottles and not even any rubbish.

Now we are in Bromby Street. There was a perfectly good two storey house on this block, built in the perhaps the 1950s. I was amazed to see it demolished, but I must say, I rather like what has replaced it. There was no expense spared.

A suspended television and cooling fan on the terrace.

The fence is imaginative.

The gas lights may still be operational in Collins Street in the city, but as far as I know this is the only gas light outside of the city. It usually burns day and night but was not this time. It has four mantles and they appeared to be in excellent condition. I wonder if it has been working at all.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Storm and Tempest

Apparently Melbourne, that is the city where I live, was hit by terrible storms today. The warning went out well in advance, as our building management warned us.

There were areas of flash flooding, leading to road, train and tram disruptions. Trees fell onto to houses, smashing them to smithereens. Thunder rumbled, lightening flashed and hail pelted from the sky yet at the Highrise, while a bit windy we saw none of it apart from some distant lightening and a brief shower.

I could actually see the fronts split apart on the weather radar and avoid us altogether. Pity really. I wouldn't have minded a good downpour.


Do you remember when I posted this photo of Tintin, peeking above a building in Brussels? We were lucky to see him from the railway station. He looks quite different from other angles, where he is a simply a mounted sign. Was he deliberately placed to be seen peeking over the building by people at Brussels Midi Railway Station? I would guess so.

Tintin is big business in Brussels. South of Brussels in Louvain-la-Neuve is a museum dedicated to Tintin and other characters by his creator. Elsewhere and of course in Brussels, there are merchandise shops. You can take guided or self guided Tintin walks in Brussels.

My knowledge of Tintin is almost nothing, except he had a dog, he was Belgian and is a cult figure. I'll find out a little more. Better get his name correct first. Yes, it is Tintin, not Tin Tin, as in the tv dog Rin Tin Tin.

Tintin was a comic book character. I missed out there. I was too focused on Disney comic books. The author was Belgian, Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name of Herge.

Tintin was a  reporter, I assume with a newspaper, and a crime solver. He had curious quiff of hair. His dog was named Snowy. I quote Wikipedia here:

Its well-researched plots straddle a variety of genres: swashbuckling adventures with elements of fantasy, mysteries, political thrillers, and science fiction. The stories feature slapstick humour, offset by dashes of sophisticated satire and political or cultural commentary.

It actually sounds quite good. Here is Tintin and Snowy.

Photo by Daily Mail. I am sure it is the same sign as we saw but closer and from a different angle.

A terrific poster. Photo by Nicole Basaraba

Photo by Design You Trust.

Photo by Folkston Jack.

Photo by Best of Brussels.

Isn't this just a fantastic cover. Photo by Inforrm.

You can probably buy the work in the Tintin Shop.

I think this street scene is from one of the comic books. My ability to read French is très ordinaire. The mural is by artist Yves Challand and photo by National Geographic.

Might have a look at Amazon now and see what Tintin reading is available.

Monday, September 08, 2014


Was Little Jo wondering about what year the last dragon lived? Is it the name of a story she is reading or watching? I asked R. It was the scene we paused at while watching a dragon video, he replied. She forgot about it later. When she is typing a web address, she has a go at getting the spelling correct before asking one of us.

Here is a little quiz for you. Many buildings emit condensation from their heating and cooling systems, especially in the morning after I assume part of the system is off overnight.  Although not doing it strongly in the photo, this building fair belches out condensation at about seven each morning. I have a theory why. Do you have a guess? I'll give you a hint. Condensation occurs when warm moist air hits cold air.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Plans for Mice and Men

Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo stayed last night. They had been to Bone Doctor's father's town where he grew up to meet up with BD's father and mother for lunch. BD and her mother had never seen where he grew up, in Williamstown. They were supposed to arrive here at 4.30 and we would look after Little Jo while they went to a football match.

We had planned it perfectly. We go out for dinner to our local hotel and meet up with two friends and take Little Jo with us. We would return home. The friends would be quickly on their way. Little Jo would be in bed asleep by 8.30. I had my Sunday post loaded with photos, just with some writing to do. I would do that between when Little Jo went to sleep and when Sister and Bone Doctor returned.

It all went so wrong.

They arrived at 3pm and we were very unprepared. Sister and BD left just after five for a pre match dinner. R gave Little Jo a bath and washed her hair. It is difficult to drag her away from screens. Sister and BD still go along with the lie to Little Jo that because they have Mac computers at home, they don't have Google. Google is only available at select places, including the Highrise. I told Sister she should tell the truth before Little Jo looks very foolish in front of school mates. We met for dinner at the hotel at 6.30. Little Jo did not like the meal of nachos suggested by staff. It was spicy. You don't suggest spicy food for young kids. It actually worked well, because between us, we cobbled together quite a lot of vegetables and some chicken for her to eat from our plates. The nachos were half eaten by the rest of us.

Our friends came back for coffee and stayed longer than we thought. It wasn't until 9pm before Little Jo went to bed. Then via Facebook I found out my Uncle had died, so there were things for me look at online about him.

Sister and BD returned about 10.30 and while BD had a glass of wine and R a glass of wine and one vodka, Sister and I got stuck into the wine and the conversation and recriminations flowed freely. We were not happy little Vegemites this morning. They had interrupted sleep because Little Jo wet the bed so they had to change the bedding. We breakfasted on cereal and crumpets and Sister and Little Jo went off for a walk in Fawkner Park while R took Little Jo downstairs for a swim and a spa. I cleaned up, and what a mess the place was. We are so not people who live in home chaos. BD had some doctoring to do at a local football match and Sister and Little Jo caught the eleven o'clock Geelong train home. Peace in our time.

So what are we going to do today, asked R. Talk of Williamstown makes me want to go there, he said. It was such a nice day. He watched a bit of last night's tv and we decided that as I was 'slightly unwell' we would just go down to the beach and have coffee. We did so and took our take away coffees out onto the Kerford Road Pier. We had to park quite a distance away, so we had a good walk. We drove towards home via the beach road and Fitzroy Street and then Lakeside drive, slightly delayed by swans crossing the road. I'm hungry, went out the plaintiff wail. Instead of continuing on to home, we went to South Melbourne Market for dim sims. Everywhere was so busy! Ah, Father's Day. We were home by 2pm and had a relaxing afternoon, playing with our tech tv and T Box. We kind of worked out Freeview Plus.

Good tv on Sunday night and I have done some writing on Sunday's blog post, but who knows when it will be published.

You may wonder why I can write this and not finish the Sunday post. It requires checking, verifications, map checking etc. Writing about the personal is just rattling away on the keyboard.