Friday, February 13, 2015

Pride 2

Wrapping up photos of this year's Pride March.

The Sex Party. It is a proper political party that is not just about sex. Needless to say, it is very progressive.

Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus, an institution.

Photographer catching the moment score, 0. Yellow Kitties, an Asian lesbian group.

Minus 18, a gay and lesbian youth group.

Three secondary schools are regulars at Pride March, Bentleigh, Eltham and Princes Hill. McKinnon has joined in previous marches. Maybe I just missed them.

Playing to the camera.

Our new local politician, Greens Party Sam Hibbins, MLA for Prahran.

Advertising a bar I think. I am so out of touch.

I think these are a group of gay water polo players.

A gay swimming group, The Glamourhead Sharks.

Motoring in comfort.

The Rainbow Band.

Performing Older Women's Circus.

Gay Jewish group, Aleph

Jewish lesbian group.

And with that the 20th annual Pride March closed. Many people fall in behind the marchers and walk down to the after party at Catani Gardens. We joined the mass.

Some high spirits on the top balcony of the Prince of Wales Hotel.

We caught up with a couple of people for a chat in the gardens. Our friends soon drifted off home and we walked with our Hairdresser Friend towards her nearby flat with the intention of getting near to home on the number 12 tram, but there were plenty of taxis around, so we grabbed one.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A job for a black disabled lesbian (credit to Modern Families)

The more I live life and have experiences to write about, the less time I have to write blog posts. Difficult. But I do have a bit of a backlog of posts that can be brought to the fore when I have not prepared something and fall back to what probably should have remained unpublished.
Well my dears, what to make of this advertisement? Hong Kong's MTR is the principle shareholder in the company running Melbourne's trains. Crossrail is a huge new railway project in London, adding a long east west line to the network, much of it underground right through the centre of the city.

I've seen ads for train drivers before, but not for experienced trains drivers. Is this what privatisation had brought us? Poaching of staff from one private company to another?

The wage is about the same as Melbourne train drivers earn.

Previous applicants need not apply? Odd for a brand new line, but only if you don't know that MTR already run trains in London.
Isn't it a little odd that we privatise the operation of public services, yet choose operators, such as MTR, that are owned by foreign governments, in this case China.
Salary: £45,757 per annum - rising to £55,000 in May 2016

Job category/type
Job description
MTR Crossrail are looking for Qualified Train Drivers who are highly committed and customer focused, to really add value to our business. We require a small group of experienced train drivers to join our driver team based at Ilford. We will be operating the Shenfield to Liverpool St service from 31st May 2015 and then expanding the network over the next 4 years. We will also be introducing a new fleet of trains.
Applicants will ideally have a minimum of 2 years experience train driving along with a good safety of the line record. You will also need to have the ability to work under pressure and react positively to unforeseen circumstances.
You will enjoy benefits including a structured career path, company pension scheme, family rail concessions and a generous annual leave package.
MTR Crossrail welcomes applications from a diverse range of candidates regardless of background, disability or gender and is committed to creating a workforce as diverse as the communities we serve.
Previous applicants need not apply.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sharing the bed

I suppose I must have put it in a indelicate manner back in about 1984, but I was so so tired and I just wanted a good night's sleep. I suggested R sleep in the spare bedroom. Well, he suggested it, and I agreed with alacrity Not sure why I did not go to the spare bedroom, possibly because my clock was next to the bed and the alarm set for early in the morning.

Since then we have rarely slept in the same bed and we both agree we would not want to, but it did cause some hurt at the time. It is to my regret that I was not more diplomatic but I was tired of being too hot and not be able to throw the bedding off. I was tired of wanting to pull the doona around me and feel cozy but not being able to. I was tired of being kept awake by R's snoring and tired of being elbowed because of my snoring. I was sick of sneaking around the room quietly in the morning while getting dressed. Less difficult was his alarm going off and him getting up. I was younger and slept better then.

I know most of you, but probably not all, sleep alone in your own bed.

Yes, at times I miss spooning in bed, the cuddles, the intimacy and certainly the spontaneity. But there is also the unwanted advances and attention and the control thing that happens after an argument and one of you sleeps in another bed, either by choice or by order, or it could be back to back in the same bed.

In more recent years, we may have started the night by sleeping in the same bed, but once one of us is asleep, the other goes off to the other bed. I recall once waking at 6am and I was in R's bed, alone. Where is R? Of course he was in my bed.

I am confident in saying neither R or myself could ever comfortably sleep in the same bed with anyone, let alone each other.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The little things in life

Within the package of goodies and details we were sent before our European river cruise last year was this antiseptic hand gel, one for each of us. There were automatic dispensers all over the ship and I had my own gel to use up first, so it is only recently that I have begun to use gel given to us last year.

The dispenser has a pump spray nozzle with the intake tube sitting at the base, where it should be to pick up the very last of the gel. The gel itself has a pleasant smell and is very thick. It is so thick in fact, as I discovered when I picked it up from my work bag to use, that the container needs to sit upright, otherwise the intake is sucking air. It may take a minute or so for the gel to settle at the bottom once the container is upright. Well, ok, I just need to keep it upright. Not such a hardship.

But, note the moulded hole and the belt clip, meaning the bottle would hang upside down from your belt. Houston, we have a design problem.

Monday, February 09, 2015

The Abbott lives on

This must be published immediately as it is topical, so it is an extra post for the day.

Prime Minister Abbott has survived a spill motion of parliamentary positions brought about by his own party. I haven't seen anything instigated against the Prime Minister by Labor beyond the normal. I haven't seen anything done by the media beyond how it usually behaves. It is sheer internal fighting, probably brought about the dismal Liberal/National Party result in the Queensland state election and the forthcoming New South Wales state election.

Details of what the government does often washes over me, but a workmate of Sri Lankan heritage must have been keeping a record because he listed to me everything that The Abbott had taken away from families, in his case his children and their families. Lordy, to hear it listed, gobsmacked me. Well, I don't believe in middle class welfare and perhaps that was what was removed. What The Abbott misses is that most working class people in Australia consider themselves middle class. So middle class welfare that he approves of might have actually being going to the working class. Complicated, isn't it.

Yes, while denying climate change and doing nothing about it and dropping the mining tax are issues for me, they are not the make or break matters. I knew that he would do this before I did not vote for him.

What really gets up my claw, gets up and on my nose's goat is Medicare which he seems determined to crush and turn our medical system into an American style system which has proven to be bad and obviously failed, yet still costs a lot money to the taxpayer.

I don't recall if it was a backbencher or a Minister who said, 'I earn a  lot of money. I am am not poor. Why should I depend on the taxpayers for my medical treatment and doctor's visits'. Well, minister, you can depend on it because it is a universal health care system. And this what the Liberal Party has missed. Time and time again Australians have shown and voted that they want our universal health system. It is a health care system that cares for everyone, no matter your wealth. It has its issues and problems at times, but so does the private system. Many of us were forced into private health insurance by punitive measures by a former government, so what do we do? We go to the public hospital and say, no, I don't have private health insurance. (just as Mother did late last year when we took her, that is we who pay her private health insurance)

I am not quite sure if former Labour Prime Minister, the Verdi opera loving, Zegna suit wearing, antique clock collector, Paul Keating paid for private health insurance, but I know he did not use it. He and his children and he used the public health system and was criticised for it by the Liberal opposition party.  No Liberal Party. This is what a universal health care system is about. It is for the poorest and the richest.

Just waiting now for the apology from the threatened Prime Minister Abbott. He will apologise to me for him not having sold his message well.

Just bloody delicious.

Pride March 1

Although it had rained and was quite cool in the morning, by 11.30 the weather had improved and we decided to go ahead with our plans for lunch and to watch Pride March in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda. Cafes and restaurants come and go in St Kilda but good old Leo's Spaghetti Bar is a constant. The food and drink is cheap and good, the service pretty ok. The place obviously works on smaller profits but larger turnover. Leo's was full before any other place really got going. We met with up with five other friends and somehow the seven of us squeezed at a table for four. Next year, must get there earlier to secure a proper table.

Gratuitous photo 1.

Dykes on Bikes open the march.

Gratuitous photo 2. I was bit slow with the camera.

The march was led off by Victoria's Premier Andrews and his wife. No too far behind were police marching.

The bubbles were great fun.

Manhunt was personal hook up service. I suppose it is no more than an app now.

Gratuitous photo 3

The Country Fire Authority is a volunteer organisation to fight bush fires and fires in outer suburban areas. This truck is from the area where my Ex Sis in Law live. Apparently one of the fire fighters is gay and the rest were there to support him.

The State Emergency Service is another volunteer organisation. If your house roof blows off, they will come and cover it with plastic sheet until it can be permanently repaired. Both the SES and CFA above do receive government funding, but the workers on the ground volunteer their labour.

Dolly Diamond passed by so quickly, with her name spelt out in balloons.

Gratuitous photo 4.

Love makes a family. Who could argue with that.

Eurovision winners?

Very busy. A record crowd apparently.

Lots of colour. Unlike the glitz of Sydney Mardi Gras parade, Pride March is a community event with mostly community organisations involved but it does need to be bright and attractive.

What's a parade without drag queens.

One of Dolly Diamond's letters escaped.

Is it a Cadillac?

Second part another day.

Sunday, February 08, 2015


So many balloons in the sky on a grey morning.

Unusually, they hovered for a long time. It was a bit early in the morning to be watching the tennis from such a vantage point.

A couple shot up and disappeared into the clouds.

But whatever goes up, must come down.