Saturday, February 07, 2015

Saturday Splutter

Well, you may not splutter, but only be faintly amused. They are mostly from Face Book. I am just having a little clear out. Can ever animal look quite as guilty as a dog?

Friday, February 06, 2015


Channel 7 sports commentator and sports news reader Tim Watson was once an Aussie Rules (Victorian Rules then) football player. His son now plays football for the AFL. There are the remains of a handsome man in his current photos. Top photo from the Herald Sun.

I love the seventies.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

A Cultural Outing

We had the care of the child for the day and the weather was pretty warm, what to do? We took her to the Museum of Victoria in Carlton.

But a couple of Little Jo anecdotes first.  A sign has been placed in her bedroom on a chair for the new school year, saying "Please wear me to school. Signed, your underpants". We just can't trust her to put them on, even here.

Mother shed a tear or two when she received a letter from her electric company telling her to double the repayment she was making, as she was going backwards. Naturally the tear had to be shed in front of Sister, otherwise it was pointless. Sister made some calls and Mother now has to pay a bit more, but not double.

'Nanny, I don't like to see you sad'.
'I'm ok Little Jo. It is just Nanny misses Poppie L and finds it hard on my own at times.'
'Nanny, you are like Queen Victoria who died of a broken heart when Prince Albert died.'

Yes, not entirely true, but it does seem we have a history buff and Anglophile in our midst, along with being a possible paleontologist.

The night before our outing to the museum R, Bone Doctor and Little Jo went to see a stage performance of Horrible Histories, Barmy Britain and Little Jo volunteered to go on stage in front of hundreds of people in the audience and as the saying goes, she slayed them in the aisles, with several of the audience complimenting her afterwards. I can't brag too much more because the details of what she did were only vaguely reported back to me.

There was a hot rod show at the Exhibition Buildings the next day I think, adjacent to the Museum, the next day. Isn't this so so sleek.

And this one looks so so noisy.

Next to the historic and World Heritage listed Exhibition Buildings is the Museum of Victoria built only a decade or so ago and it will never win an architectural award but internally it functions well enough.

The Museum has a large and vast forecourt, perhaps rephrased as a long walk from the tram.

I recall writing a post in the past, showing you the same interior garden and I that time I found an owl to photograph.

Looking at the pond above through an embrasure in the waterfall.

Blue tongue lizards. They can be made into not terribly affectionate pets. You supply food, they will hang around.

After a bush fire, there may not be any more of a house left than a chimney like this one.

Dinosaurs were everywhere, well skeletons. It wasn't this one but I tried pronounce the name dinosaur name Hypsilophodon. In her best languid and world weary voice, Little Jo gave me the correct pronunciation, Andrew it is Hypsilophodon.

A bit of drawing in an activity room and a chance for R and myself to sit down. It was quite a hot day and although air conditioned, it still felt quite warm inside.

There was some shade as we trekked back to the tram stop in Nicholson Street.

I could not resist taking a few photos of the Exhibition Buildings.

The reward for behaving well was lunch in the Scottish restaurant. Well, there would have been hell to pay if she missed out on Maccas. The building outside the window is quite shabby, but I really hope it is kept.

Male architects always love adding some phallic symbolism to buildings. I wonder what was going on in his mind as he drew the preliminary sketches.

Some shopping in QV for ingredients for pizza Little Jo and R were making that night, and home to cool. Well, cool for me and pool for them.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Taking shape for mid year

Every couple of days R reminds me how hopeless I am for not snapping up the bargain hotel in New York last year when it was a third cheaper than it now is. I won't take personal responsibility. He too could have been wise with foresight and booked it. Actually, our travel agent was remiss in not saying that this is a cheap price and needs to be booked straight away.

Instead we will be staying above the Weng Palace Chinese Restaurant with a sex shop next door, and a Greek liquor shop on the other side. My very bloody goodness. I am relieved to see that there are fire escape ladders, and burly policemen and a guard seem to be hanging around, although perhaps that is a bad sign. R found nicer photos of the buildings with the businesses open.

But hey man/dude/bro, we are staying in Times Square and at a good price. The  small apartment looks fine inside and meets our requirements and we are close to Broadway.

Now, it is time to begin studying transport in New York. I shall pour over a map of the Subway system but I don't think I will become as familiar with the Subway as I am with London's Tube, which is not as a local would know it, but better than your average foreigner.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A Medical Update

After seeing our unwell Brother friend improve each time we saw him, he is now on a downward path and it makes me feel that he may not be around for a long time. He attended a dinner among friends last Saturday night and an Australia Day barbeque, but he was visibly unwell and struggling and clearly going out was a huge effort for him.

After we left the Australia Day barbeque, he received a call from an older Swiss female friend in Thailand and he struggled with the conversation. Someone primed with a glass or two of drink became untactful with his medical opinions and the unwell Brother Friend broke down in tears in front of the remaining guests.

I've experienced the death of people I have cared about many times, but usually of people who were quite old or had lingered for a long time. I set aside from that the people I knew who died of Aids at a youngish age. Although Brother Friend is 65, and used to look mid 50s, he is now a weak old man clinging to what he was such a short time ago.

Tomorrow I will make a telephone call, mainly to press that he needs some professional mental health care.

A week later:

Well, that wasn't published in a timely manner. I did call later in the week and spoke to the unwell Brother. He has come off chemo in preparation for another treatment,  has regained his taste buds and appetite and I don't know what they have given him, but he sounded very cheerful and was so chatty, rather like his old self. 

He called the next night and spoke to R to tell us about a tv show involving a train trip from Budapest into Austria. I had seen it on YT, but it was good to see it on the bigger screen in better quality. Anyway, he spoke to R for ages, which is not like him at all.

Drugs are good!

Monday, February 02, 2015

What happened?

What on earth happened in Queensland? The governing Liberal National Party was absolutely routed in the state election, losing its huge majority of seats and it seems the Labor Party will be able to form government. It is often said that governments lose elections rather than the opposition party winning and in Queensland's case, nothing could be truer. I don't think I have ever seen a more arrogant party, the LNP, and a more arrogant premier, Victoria's former premier Jeff Kennett aside, than Campbell Newman. It will take some time to get the pronunciation of her name correct, but well done to Annastacia Palaszczuk, the leader of Queensland Labor and likely new Premier. There is a short video here discussing when journalists asked 34 questions of Newman and he refused to answer any.

But on a more local note, what happened to Victoria's summer weather? As I write this, it is Sunday morning and very wet, cold and grey outside. Later today is our annual gay and lesbian Pride March in St Kilda and we have arranged to go to Fitzroy Street for a pre parade lunch and then watch the parade, but if the weather doesn't improve, we may well not go.

For me, this cooler summer is wonderful but it does disappoint many people who like the heat. Here is a snip from Wikipedia showing five days last January. The first number are the dates. For the past week we have been hovering around 20 degrees. Over the past few years, Australia has broken so many weather records, but of course it is nothing to do with global warming, so our conservative politicians tell us. Our failure to act on climate change will be condemned by future generations.
  • 13 - 31.1 °C (88.0 °F)
  • 14 - 42.8 °C (109.0 °F)
  • 15 - 41.7 °C (107.1 °F)
  • 16 - 43.9 °C (111.0 °F)
  • 17 - 43.9 °C (111.0 °F)

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Where our vegies come from

Vegetables or vegies. I'll have no truck with veg.
I read something in the newspaper about a couple of not well known but nice beaches.  One was Williamstown, and I am really not sure if I have seen the beach. We have certainly explored Williamstown many times. The other was Werribee South beach.

We were a little puzzled. South of Werribee is the freeway to Geelong. Is there anything south of there? R always urges me to follow the directions of the sat nav, but when she said turn north from the freeway exit, I did the opposite and turned south, and I was correct. I may have been incorrect in my programming of the device.

Where are most of our vegetables grown? Well, it seems along the road to Werribee South. Paddock after paddock of vegetables in various states of maturity. To my surprise, easily observed by the dried mud from truck tyres on the road, the soil is a rich red and made me think of the Thorpdale area in Gippsland with similar soil and where potatoes are grown.

I didn't think much of a beach we passed by, coarse sand full of shell grit. Perhaps we did not see the best beach.

While not to the standard of the most excellent pastie in Fairfield, the large local shop for local people adjacent to the caravan park was very busy. The pastie was edible but I had no faith in the coffee and so bought a coffee milk drink from the fridge.  The caravan park seems to be firmly rooted in the 1970s but nevertheless, it is very large and had many vans within.Has anyone else ever seen a caravan park associated with BP or another petrol company? I expect the connection has long been severed.

I told R a pier shows on the map, so further around the coast we went. It appears that a lot of money has been spent to improve the area around the modest pier and boat ramp.

A sign to deter foreign tourists is a great idea. Not a problem for we locals with our knowledge of the Aussie bush and its dangerous animals. We just stick to the concrete paths.

Plenty of birdlife.

Flying pelican on the right and a lamp post occupied by two pelicans.

Pelican circling, thinking what a good post to perch upon.

Pelican trying a little intimidation to remove one pelican so he/she can have a perch. 

Pelican failed to intimidate and resigned to his fate, heads to land where his chums are resting. A minute later the lamp post was abandoned, proving pelicans have human like behaviour by only wanting what someone else has.

The boat ramp and the pier are in the mouth of the Werribee River. The wind wasn't terribly strong, but the boats were certainly bouncing as they left the mouth of the river. No boat ramp rage was observed and no contribution to You Tube 'boat launches gone wrong' to film.

Looking upstream into the Werribee River.

Yes, it was quite a pleasant area and I expect busy on a hot day. While those with boat trailers have to pay for parking, cars do not. I would not bank on it staying like that for long.

As were were leaving, R spotted these units. Always thinking of a change of abode, he said stop so we could have a better look. "Sea views", he exclaimed. "Swamp views", I replied. I doubt we will ever make a return visit to Werribee South, but we were glad we made the journey.

The way to and from Werribee South can be driven as a loop, so we continued on back to the freeway. At the intersection of the turn off to Werribee Park and open range zoo and the freeway off ramp, it took three sets of light to get through and this was on a quiet Sunday. I can't imagine what it is like with umpteen vegetable trucks trying to get through on weekdays.

Instead of turning on to the freeway, we went straight ahead to the town of Werribee itself for some ingredient for dinner. If we went onto the freeway, we would have had to go into the busy and congested South Melbourne for the key ingredient, so instead we went to the busy and congested town of Werribee for the key ingredient. I have never been to Werribee and planned to one day by train. I may well still do that. We only had a taste of the town but it was interesting enough to want to return.