Saturday, April 11, 2015

A not so posh watch

I once had a Cartier watch but it annoyed me as the word Cartier did not sit quite straight on the watch face. Still, it was an attractive and accurate timepiece, and I did buy it from a reputable market stall in Bangkok.

On a tv show there was just a brilliant surprise of a watch worth far more than the owner thought because it was an unconfirmed Cartier. I wonder what happened to my Cartier watch. I should have kept it. I still have my genuine Boy London watch from the 90s.

The show I saw featuring the watch of course was Antiques Roadshow, a BBC production. Antiques Roadshow has had various presenters over the years and has grown from a somewhat stultifying show to a quite well produced, slick and entertaining show.

The show once visited Australia and as I recall, made an episode in our regional city of Ballarat. Our friend the Brighton Antique Dealer attended.

I remember Michael Aspel from tv for years ago and he presented the show for quite a few years. Ho hum, boring. What Antiques Roadshow has going for it now is an absolutely terrific presenter, Fiona Bruce. She walks the line between being quite glam, and warm and personable, with a delicious accent. At the age of 51, she is just lovely.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Little Music Hall

I like to publish something a bit lighter on Friday and how I came across this I do not know, but from down at the Old Bull and Bush I give you this splendiferous clip. I don't recall ever hearing the piece and I found it very entertaining.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Errant Motorists

I may have well broken road rules at times, but never so deliberately as these motorists.

A car pretending to be a tram in Swanston Street Melbourne. It is not unusual for a car to illegally drive along tram tracks. There seems little will to enforce the law. Bad car CO-5370. It could be a Tasmania plate and possibly the driver is unfamiliar with our roads, but the no entry signs, plus the lack of other cars really do make the situation quite clear.

I was waiting for about five minutes for a tram or bus to arrive and in that time several cars illegally turned left from Chapel Street into Malvern Road. Cars travelling south along Chapel Street when reaching Malvern/Commercial Roads during the day on weekdays and Saturday mornings face two large LED signs, No Turns. Bad car ZDZ-595

Here is another bad car, 1BD-6HS

And another, ABW-894

Rules aren't for tradies, TOY-143

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Crazy Consumerism

We are really good consumers and it sticks in my throat that just over four months ago we replaced our troublesome cordless telephone with a new one and we were not happy with it and have now bought another. If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you can see the old new phone.

So, what was wrong with the old new phone? It had bluetooth, which downloaded the numbers from our mobile phone books and I think the idea is we could use our mobiles through the landline. We never did, not even to test it out. The phone and the answer system were both quite good though and for $50, the phone was a bit of a bargain but note, it is branded by our mega telephone company Telstra, and I will go for the conspiracy theory. It rang for a very short time, about five rings before the answer machine answered (yes, that was the maximum), meaning we often had to call people straight back and while most of our calls are free, they aren't for everyone and Telstra has now turned one call into two.

The ring volume was also quite low, so we just did not hear the phone if we weren't in the same room. It could announce the name of the person calling if they were in the phone book, but as our Friend in Japan will attest, it mucks that up too, with my brother name being said when it was Mother calling. So we had a soft ringing phone that rang for a very short time. We became fed up with it. I was considering plugging the old cord phone pictured in the linked post above into the unused socket in my bedroom but I did not want anything more on  my bedside table and it is ugly anyway. It could have sat under the bed, I suppose, but that would muffle its ring and still the short ring out time would be a problem.

So we went phone shopping again and got it right this time. We were quite prepared to return the phone if it did not meet our expectations, but it has. It rings about nine times, with the traditional Australian ring tone of ring ring, pause, ring ring, and the ring is quite loud enough. There are a multitude of different ring tones and was fun to go through them once. The answer machine is built into it and it had a very instinctive menu and may I say, I think it is quite elegant, or attractive at least.

Meanwhile our phone contracts for our two year old Samsung Galaxy 3 mobiles are about to expire. Will the phone retailer once again call us with an offer of a new phone on the same plan? A just released Galaxy 6 would be rather nice.

In case you doubtful about this post because of the date on the phone, don't be.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


On a reasonably fine day when there is little wind where better to go than Williamstown for brunch. The town began its life as the major port in the Colony of Victoria (that would be wrong. We would have been Colony of New South Wales then) before Melbourne took over, so it is quite historic with some of its streets lined with Victorian buildings. Williamstown was even considered for the status of capital city of Victoria but it lacked fresh water whereas Melbourne with its Yarra River did not.

Nelson Place, where you can sit and look out to a foreshore reserve and then the bay, is place tourists want to be and we are no different.

It was a little quiet when we were there for reasons I have now forgotten. It is only a twenty minute drive from home or the city, so it is very easy to get to and you can also catch the train which we have done in the past.

I must return to get a better photo of the wonderful art deco building.

There is a stationary ex naval war ship permanently moored at Gem Pier, HMAS Castlemaine.

We are now around at the boat ramp where warm water is released from the occasionally used gas fired power station nearby and the waters are called The Warmies. The warm water attracts fish and hence fisher folk. The water in the foreground is an inlet where the warm water is released. Beyond is the shipping channel leading to the mouth of the Yarra River and Melbourne's port facilities.

From Melbourne you travel to Williamstown by car using the West Gate Bridge, seen in this photo. The bridge needed to be high enough to allow container shipping to pass below.

When the power station is operating flame can be seen burning at the top of the chimney. Obviously not today though.

The boat ramp area has been nicely redeveloped in a practical manner for launching boats.

At quite a speed a pilot boat was travelling along the channel out into the bay. All large ships to enter Port Phillip with its very narrow and treacherous entrance must have a pilot on board to oversee the navigation and pilots board ships about ten kilometres out to sea from the entrance, known as the The Rip, and a rip in the ship hull is what may happen if the navigation is wrong.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Learn with me #37

This is as much for my benefit as yours.

The Commonwealth of Australia is made up of a number of states and territories. The states are relatively easy to know and even if you are not Australian, you will probably have heard of them. Less known are our territories apart from a couple of major ones. I certainly did not know them all.

Let us begin with the mainland states, their abbreviations and their capital cities. The elected head of each state is known as the Premier and each state also has a Queen's representative, a Governor. Australia as a whole has another representative of the Queen, the Governor General.

Queensland, QLD, Brisbane
New South Wales, NSW, Sydney
Victoria, VIC, Melbourne
South Australia, SA, Adelaide
West Australia, WA, Perth

Then there is our island state:
Tasmania, TAS, Hobart

Two major territories on the mainland:
Australian Capital Territory, ACT, Canberra (our national capital, with the ACT surrounded by NSW)
Northern Territory, NT, Darwin

Now we get quite obscure and I was completely unaware of this one on the mainland:
Jervis Bay Territory, JBT (with a Pacific coastline, administered by the ACT and within NSW)

The rest are offshore territories or more accurately, external territories:
Norfolk Island,  NF, Kingston (Pacific Ocean)
Christmas Island, CX (Indian Ocean)
Cocos (Keeling) Islands, CC (Indian Ocean)
Coral Sea Islands (Pacific Ocean)
Heard and McDonald Islands, HM (Indian Ocean)
Ashmore and Cartier Islands (Indian Ocean)
Australian Antarctic Territory (Antarctic)
Papua and New Guinea, PNG, Port Moresby  (no, we let that one go)
New Zealand, NZ, Wellington (haha, not yet)

So six states and ten territories make up Australia. You have my admiration if you already knew of them all.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sunday Selections

River's Sunday Selections will be here and Elephant Child's here.

I think the last time I showed you my late grandfather's wheelbarrow, it was finished in undercoat. Tradie Brother has now completed the job in its original colour and it looks terrific. As a wheelbarrow, it is a heavy and awkward beast. It is about 55 years old.

This was a while ago and what a nice celebration. We had something else on so we did not attend, but we would have otherwise.

Either from The Herald Sun or The Age. It's a great photo of a P & O ship moored off the Mornington Peninsula town of Mornington instead of the usual cruise ship mooring of Station Pier.

Phone camera, hence the vivid colours. Now Hallmark Apartments, was a hotel, Holiday Inn and before that, St Kilda Road Travelodge.

I came across this on Face Book. It was taken from the Shrine. Back then the building on the right was BP House, now Domain Apartments with many rich and influential residents. The Highrise wasn't built then but if it was, it would be clearly visible down the road a bit.

What the same buildings look like now.

Near the centre of the photo you can see the Classic Cafe. I took this photo of a photo at a small exhibition at the Town Hall. It was two levels and from the 1950s to the 1980s was Mother's cafe when she visited town. I can remember it well enough as we were often with Mother when she would stop on the way to the station for afternoon tea. It pains me to say, but it is now a McDonalds.

Few are left but this is one of the remaining underground public toilets in Melbourne. When the first female public toilet opened in Melbourne, lads would hang around outside watching woman enter and leave with their imaginations in a feverous state.

This was nearly a catastrophe. They are magnetised metal stars stuck to a magnetic base. I bought it at the late Dame M's garage sale for couple of dollars. It is a bit of fun to play with. I was about to scrape down the barbeque and the scraper went to close to the magnet and stars jumped onto the scraper. As I frantically tried to stop some sort of total transfer, I could feel my glasses slipping off my nose and my phone sliding from my top pocket, which would be a disaster if they hit the floor and went over the balcony edge. Save the phone first, then the glasses and then worry about getting the stars back to where they belong.

Later edit: I have discovered the metal work under the table has become magnetised, hence the odd jumping of the stars.

Our traffic lights were changed to LED. They are rather much brighter.

The early days of The Age online. Its address is now Back then, it was