Saturday, November 07, 2015


I began this post more than a month ago when I was surrounded by tigers. Not real ones, but more the word tiger. We had just booked to go to Queensland with Tiger Airways. For another reason which I will explain after this clip, this music came into my head at the time. I think this is a US ad, but we had a similar ad here. My late father used to like singing this.

So what has this rather ordinary building in Church Street, Richmond have to do with tigers? For a start Richmond is sometimes called Tigerland as the local football team is known as The Tigers. To the far right of this garish building, on what looks like black but is actually grey, is a small tiger face symbol.

Cute isn't it and nice that it has been retained, but why is it there?

McFarlane and Burns was a paper manufacturing company, with factories in both Wellington Street, East Perth and Brisbane (Grace, next to the hospital), as well as here within this building in Richmond and as you can see from these photos from the State Library of Victoria, the company used the brand name Tiger. I am not sure when the Tiger brand disappeared but I can remember their waxed paper and paper bags before the arrival of plastic cling wrap. Some of you may remember it too, having not seen or thought of it for years.

Post provoked by the invaluable Walking Melbourne.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Wet Feet

I saw the doctor yesterday. Because I had mentioned shortness of breath and a lack of energy, he suggested I get a chest xray. He gave me two options, Victoria House, a short walk away, at a cost of $100 or a xray place in Balaclava where it would be bulk billed to Medicare. Guess which I chose. I could have gone straight to have the xray by catching the tram down Chapel Street. Instead, and as there was a bus coming, I decided to go home and attend for the xray in the afternoon. I noticed some rather heavy looking rain on the rain radar. I should make it there before the rain arrives. I almost, with the rain just beginning as I stepped off the tram.

Fifteen minutes later, after my xray, it was still raining quite heavily as I stepped out onto Carlisle Street and starting to walk, I found myself trapped. Clearly there had been some very heavy rain while I was receiving my dose of radiation.

I could not proceed along the footpath and nor could I cross the road without getting my feet wet. I thought it would quickly drain away, but ten minutes later, it had not. I walked back further and where the water in the gutter was a little narrower, I jumped as far as I could out onto the road and then crossed. I didn't feel water enter my shoes. 

I walked along a bit on the north side but as I went further west, it was again over the footpath just not as badly. Shop keepers were busily sweeping water out from their shops. I wanted to cross to the other side to a coffee shop at the pedestrian crossing but still I would have to get one foot in flowing stream in the gutter. This time a little water did get into one shoe and today the shoe is creaking a bit when I walk. Hopefully it will cure itself with wear. By the time I made it to the other side, I was suddenly over having coffee and decided to go home. I peered up Carlisle Street and not a tram in sight.

Quite a number of people seemed to waiting for either a 16 or 3. I began to walk to Brighton Road and once there, a 67 soon arrived to take me home. I don't understand why other people just wait and not do what I did. 

Sadly, home is a good place to be when there is significant weather activity occurs and I missed it.

The brothers Flanders and Wallonia

I was searching for a fact about Austria (no kangaroos in Austria) and I came across a series of You Tube video called Geography Now. I watched one about Austria and then one about Belgium.

What do you know about Belgium? Chocolate? European Union headquarters? Battle of Waterloo? Hercules Poirot? Tintin? Flanders poppies? Of course I know a little more than average because I read Gattina's blog, but what about its political geography? Gattina complains about the cost of government and after watching this video, I can see why. Don't expect to absorb or understand all of this as I can tell you, you won't, but it is quite fascinating. Video is about 11 minutes long. These Geography Now pieces are quite enjoyable and I will be watching more of them.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Birthday and Cakes

My birthday was pretty low key this year. Here are some gifts I received from our Friend in Japan. It's a lovely book which is next on my reading list after I finish the terrific book, Girl from Krakow There was also a gorgeous candle with the wick set in a type of gel. It had a great scent, alas burned away now. To the far right is a manicure set in a case from Mother. Mother's presents are usually inappropriate but this is not a bad one. I suspect R had a hand in choosing it.

From R I received this photo viewer, complete with a remote control. It plays movies and all sort of things but I like it to look at photos in a slideshow, mainly of holiday photos. It is so easy to file photos away and not look at them again.

Which brings me to Marie in London (hey, how is she getting two gigs on my blog in such a short time?) Marie has been in Vienna and she mentioned cakes and funnily enough I had my Vienna photos on the above device and look, cakes in Vienna to die for. Rather puts Melbourne's local Acland Street, St Kilda cake shops to shame. Have a look at St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna in this post by Marie.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A dying Highriser upgraded

I don't think I had a cold in the years 2013/14. I am now experiencing my third cold this year. While it is not so messy discharge wise, oh the aches. The jets of water from the shower head hurt my skin. I was about to work ten days without a day off, but I have reduced that with at least today and tomorrow off work. I am really too unwell to go to work. I tried to see my doctor today for a sick certificate for work, but he is on a week's leave. Every other doctor was booked out today, I am thinking by hungover people after Melbourne Cup Day. I will see my second favourite doctor tomorrow. My first favourite is Asian and my second favourite is Irish. One must always choose an attractive doctor and more importantly, one who is a good bit younger than yourself. I have had a doctor die on me when I was younger and his desertion of me made me quite cross. So inconsiderate. My current fave doctor is competent and does not harass me about life style choices, just occasionally and gently reminds me that I am looking a little porky. I've probably been seeing him for fifteen or more years.

I am not sure what made me do it. Maybe the thought of some extra time off work and a chance to recover from a computer disaster, but today I downloaded and installed Windows 10. It is a little different but I can cope with it. Nothing seems lost and the world did not end. It took about one hour thirty minutes from go to whoa. Too early to judge if it is better, but I am not having problems.

Funny, last Sunday we went to the big Gerry shop in Moorabbin with a mind to buy a new desktop computer, but that is a story yet to be told.

Racing and no room at the inn

Trams had stopped passing through the middle of the city for a parade to promote the next day's Melbourne Cup. I came in from the north and R came in from the south and we met up for lunch. R saw some of the parade as he walked from the Arts Centre to QV shopping centre, including the car containing the Lord Mayor broken down. Later I took this photo as it was being loaded onto a tow truck. I wanted to go to Port Melbourne to witness a memorable moment but how when the trams weren't travelling through the city? I thought the 109 would be stopping in Collins Street somewhere. We had worked our way down from QV to Collins Street, buying chocolates as a gift and filling my wallet with money from electric bank to have coffee near Collins Street. I used my phone, only to learn the 109 had been re-routed along Latrobe Street. I didn't want to walk all the way back up the hill, so R headed towards home and I caught the train from Flinders Street to So Cross Station where I then caught the 109 tram to Port Melbourne.

I have never known this to happen before, all Station Pier berths are full. Normally the cruise ships arrive and depart on the same day but these are staying on for a couple of nights so that passengers can attend the Melbourne Cup horse race or at least join in with the festivities, atmosphere and fun. It seems as if it was chaos at Station Pier as all three ships arrived within a short time of each other and thousands of passengers left the ships. There was another cruise ship, Pacific Dawn, which also arrived and had to berth at Victoria Dock, not a very nice area for cruise ship passengers.

Spirit of Australia Tasmania ferry at Station Pier, inner east berth, with Carnival Spirit at outer east.

Inner west, Pacific Pearl and outer west, Pacific Jewel.

Children artwork nearby.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Amusing ourselves

The Highrise abode is often shockingly politically incorrect. All said in humour and for our ears only (the first person who says, many a truth spoken in jest, will get a slapping). Nevertheless, let me recount what just happened.

There was a tv promo for Annabel's Kitchen, a show featuring respected journalist Annabel Crabb joining politicians to cook, eat, drink and chat, and it can be quite a revealing show. More often than not it humanises politicians, a good thing for them and interesting to the viewer.

R after watching the promotion for the show: I didn't know Albanese is gay.
Me, surprised: Neither did I.
I immediately sat in my usual chair and asked my friend the internet.
Me: No he is not. He is married to Carmel Tebbutt, who was deputy premier of New South Wales.
R: So he is one of those bee-sex-ual types? (His emphasis was brilliant and I was laughing)
Me: No sweets, just gay friendly. He did lead Sydney's Mardi Gras parade in 2003.

The other politician guest in the show is Christopher Pyne. He is also married and lest I be sued, I could not possibly write what I have heard about him and his delectations.

Before I go too far, lets me finish with some nice music, truly quite unrelated to Christopher Pyne, truly,  the brilliant and sadly late Chrissy Amphlett.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Musical Monday

It is Monday, so I expect River will have her Monday music ready for your delectation.

While I like lots of different types of music, which I seldom ever listen to as the noise of much music annoys me, the 70s were the years of my youth and I am very fond of 70s music, nevertheless I feel late 80s and early to mid 90s dance club music is my music and I still love it, although again I rarely listen nowadays but when I do, I remember why I like it so much.

My effort this week comes from the dance club floors of the early nineties, with the original cappella being recorded by Jane in the UK in 1983. Does not the vocalist Kirsty Hawkshaw look so fabulous in the clip. I so want her as a handbag. You may have to listen a second time to catch all the lyrics.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Sunday Selections

The southern end of St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

The Consulate General of the United States premises in St Kilda Road is guarded by our federal police. Immediately after 9/11, the beds under the flowering trees were a mass of wreaths spreading out onto the paving.

The Australian way to save historic buildings, that is build something really tall and ugly behind them.

Yve has had issues, like 7 million  dollars worth, which is what the developer of the building is paying to have balcony problems rectified. This has been going on for years now, scaffolding goes up, comes down and goes up again. The landscaping has been ruined and will have to be redone. It is said that Australian tennis player Leighton Hewitt lives there.

The old property on Queens Road has a development built on its land but I feel it is much better done that the above example.

The back of Yve in Queens Lane.

Yes, the building behind does not quite dominate the old building.

Wisteria across Queens Road at Albert Park Lake.

Still in Queens Road, a horrid but useful traffic sewer, is this older apartment block with the Scottish sounding name Kinross.

People taking drinks outside on a nice sunny day at the venue, The Park.

I know this building from its earlier times as an ambulance driver training school, complete with a swimming pool. Perhaps the pool was for drowning resuscitation practice. Each student is almost drowned and is then brought back to life. Ambos, as we used to call them, prefer to be called paramedics now. It was converted to accommodation for single men who shall we say, are down on their luck with magnitudes of issues.

A little further along Queens Road this curious garden feature is in front of an apartment building. I suppose I like it. It's different at least.

Next door is the Indonesian Consulate General.

I forget which massacre the Indonesian army committed in East Timor, but in the protests that followed, many small white crosses were hammered into this grass land across the road from the Consulate. It was a very effective statement, I thought, and seen by thousands of passing motorists each day.

This land being used as a car park would certainly not be returning the maximum amount of dollars to the owner and I expect it will be demolished in the near future for..........guess what? Apartments.

On to Windsor and I have never noticed this old chimney before. I must investigate but I think it was probably to do with the old Red Tulip chocolate factory.