Saturday, March 14, 2015


We are having a great time in Sydney but lordy,  one either walks up a steep hill or down a steep hill.

Friday, March 13, 2015

My ABC from a different angle

This morning when I woke in our sydney hotel room,  I listened to the 6am radio news, 'Read by John Logan'. What, I thought? Is it the weekend? No, can't be as even Melbourne's early morning weekend news is a local presentation. Why is the national news reader reading local news? Ah, he must read local sydney news and national news. Relax young Andrew. Nowt to stress about. Indeed not.  I forgot about it.

We had quite a day but we were back at the hotel for the 7pm tv news,  'read by Juanita Phillips'. Ah, ABC Sydney local news has tech problems and the tv news is a national broadcast.  No again.  She is reading local Sydney news.

I know that voice.  It is Linda Mottram reporting for AM. But wait. It is 930. AM finishes at 830. Ah, she hosts a local radio programme.

Our national broadcaster is really doing my head in.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A visit to Sin City, Sydney

We are gone, armed with our Sydney public transport cards. I bought them online and the process was simple enough. Under my new account I bought one for R as well. I will only mention my full priced one. Although Melbourne's Myki card costs $6, you need put no more than $10 credit on it if you buy it online. Sydney's Opal card is free but the minimum credit to add is $40.

$40 will probably be about right for me, with the airport train charged at a premium price which will use over half the $40 for the two way trip. There is a weekly cap for airport use, but it works per calendar week, not a week from when you first use the card at the airport station. I certainly won't be adding another $40 online but may have to top it up using a machine and putting a lesser amount of credit on to the card.

First holiday with only the tablet rather than the notebook. Much easier on the back. Will see how that goes. (That was the theory but when going to the Bellarine last weekend, R asked me to put his tablet in my backpack as well as my own) As usual it is unlikely, even less likely with the tablet, I will post while I am away but I will probably keep reading your posts. Ciao and see you in a bit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A weekend away

This is a little rushed and completed way behind the usual time I post.

We stopped off for lunch at Corio on our way to Sister's on the Bellarine. We are looking after dog Jack again and he needed a break, never mind that we have stopped off at the same place sine the mid 1990s when we used to visit our friend in the Western District, well before Sister moved down that way. Oddly Jack's mummy was nearby to Sister's, playing golf.

Photos seem out of order. This is from Sunday when we took Little Jo to the beach and after checking with Sister, it was ok for nearly eight year old Little Jo to swim nude. Maybe it was a coincidence, but two young teen lads on surfboards left the area when Little Jo undressed and was plunging about in the water. Sister once received a good telling off from a mother of teenage sons for making them feel uncomfortable when Little Jo swam in a river without a costume at the age of four. This is probably a paper bark tree. I can't spell its proper name Mela.... lalala.

Really typical beach vegetation. Sister and Bone Doctor had already been out for a bike ride on the day. They walked to the car park where we drove to with Little Jo and the dogs. We all then walked along the coast line.

Looking back at Point Lonsdale. Sister did not tell us we walking halfway to Queenscliff.

At the dog beach, a racist beach. Dark haired dogs were the minority among the many white dogs. We discovered Jack was quite happy with bathing in the sea. He was looking around for a ball to be thrown in the water for him to retrieve.

Sister's dog and Jack got on ok, by ignoring each other. A couple more days together and they would have been wrestling. Once fed at the same time, they changed bowls and cleaned up each other's food.

R and Little Jo made a fairy ring. Little Jo wrote some stuffs. We had to explain fairies plural and fairy's possessive. Oh god, I heard her and R say H as haitch, not aitch. They are in full agreement about how the letter aitch is pronounced, no matter what I say.

Sister asked, is it safe to slip into my pyjamas? Of course Sister. No need to put on side for us. Slip off your high heels and relax. (chortle at the thought of Sister wearing high heels, she can't even match her slippers)

A nice display in the dining room. We bought the Paddington Bear for Little Jo when we at Paddington Station in 2008, when she was one year old.

Sunday morning the pressure was on. In spite of Sister peaking early after cooking us chicken kievs accompanied by wine, Bone Doctor stayed up with us on Saturday night as we emptied a bottle of Scotch. R says he saw BD fall against the wall as she was taking off her jeans before hopping into bed. So funny. BD is normally so self controlled (and by Sister). We are a terrible corrupting influence on her but we had fun and great chat. Apparently by 9.30 Sunday we have to register Little Jo and their dog in the local bowling club charity dog parade. Port Phillip Bay, earlier than I would have really liked to been there.

I think we are looking at Point Nepean here, across the rip.

The dog show went ahead at 10.00.

Little Jo in green was Cleopatra, with her dog a mummy in bandages. R helped with her makeup, kohl smeared eyes. Bone Doctor tried to bandage the dog, but Sister pushed her out of the way. Someone later explained, nurses do bandaging, not doctors. Once again, Little Jo is wearing no knickers, as we discovered later.

It really was good fun.

The winner in the bumble bee outfit.

She was so cute.

Young boy, wouldn't you prefer to be home and on the internet rather than knocking down tin cans?

Little Jo did get a balloon.

I've lost track now of what happened when, and it was only one overnighter. These houses have fantastic views over Port Phillip Bay. It is such a white middle class area but as such areas are, there is little crime and it is a great place to bring up children. Sister had a friend and her husband staying at the local caravan park, so late afternoon we met with them and another couple for drinks and then nine of us trooped off for a very early dinner at the very good Cafe Amore.

Although the temperature was only around 23 (76) degrees the sea water is at its warmest so many took advantage. R and I only paddled. It really was an idyllic day. I had been careful to only have a couple of drinks, so we with the car already packed up (how much luggage do two men need for one night away from home?), we collected Jack from Sister's and were on our way home by 7pm.

Monday, March 09, 2015

A night away

We spent Saturday night on the Bellarine with Sister. Our March calendar is so busy it looks like it is Egyptian hieroglyphics.  We had a terrific time away, but it felt like it was just go, go and more go.

Go is ok, but so much nicer when you don't stay with someone and have the refuge of your own personal accommodation.

More later, of course and with photos, but I am so looking forward to my own bed tonight (Sunday), and in the morning my very non water frugal shower. Lol, there was a time when I had to be scrupulously showered on a Saturday night. Memories............

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Sunday Selections

A few phone snaps in a friend's tiny garden. Just to the right of the trunk you can see an avocado starting to mature.

Plentiful tomatoes.

I am fairly sure these are feijoa fruit, quite edible. Aka, pineapple guava.

Chillis for eating, not for a vase.

Either limes or lemons, not sure.

A violinist near our favourite grungy Melbourne laneway brunch venue. He looks like a gypsy. We are usually found sitting at outdoor seats a couple of metres to the right. So many people take photos down the lane from the short flight of steps and no doubt we are in many of them. I skimmed through about a hundred or the seemingly thousands of photos of Centre Place online, but I couldn't see us. Maybe just as well.

Note the old sign up top, Bottom of the Harbour, a fish a chips outlet. Bottom of the Harbour as I remember it was a tax avoidance scheme, somehow involving asset stripping a company and then sending the remains to 'the bottom of the harbour'. It was such a blatant tax avoidance scheme that even the conservative government at the time had to stamp on its rich mates' scheme.

Confectionery Free Checkout! Interesting. QV Safeway, oops Woolworths, would have the lowest number of child visitors to any supermarket, I should think.

Has Little Jo mucked with my phone camera settings? This seems very bright. The MacRob fountain is undergoing heavy maintenance, to the point where it seems to have been taken apart. I expect it will be back in functioning order come the big war anniversary events at the nearby Shrine of Remembrance.  I took a photo of the fountain some years ago. I will take a much better one once it is fixed up and functioning.

Grow some dahlias folks. They are lovely.

The blinds are only shut when it is really hot or to block the bright sun in the morning.  I don't know why this three string blind less than a metre wide always sags. I can fix it by pulling on the correct string to lift one side, but it is tiresome. Let it sag.

A bumble bee bum at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Why?

It had not rained for a while and as the rain began, cars left foaming tyre trails.

Is it detergent in car oil that leaks on the roadway? Somewhat disturbing really.

Now outside our wonderful State Library. The best chess games to watch are when a fast young whipper-snapper beats an older person who has been making very thoughtful and considered moves. I wish there was an Abbot piece on the chessboard as what fun we could have at the expense of Prime Minister Abbott and his Foreign Minister Bishop who is a possible challenger, or even the Speaker of the House, another Bishop.