Saturday, December 12, 2015

Terrorist Memorials

Dear Lord Mayor Doyle,

London has a wonderful memorial to those killed in The Tube and bus terrorist bombing. New York went over the top with its memorial to those killed World Trade Centre terrorist attack. We visited the memorial earlier this year and aside from the memorial itself, we were amazed at how the huge number of people visiting the memorial could be so quiet. It was quite an experience.

Here in Melbourne we have our own terrorist bombing memorial, to the large number of Australians killed in the Bali nightclub bombing. Our memorial is modest but rather nice. I can imagine sitting upon a seat and contemplating the loss of loved one while watching one of the water jets, each representing one victim. I have actually shown the memorial to visiting overseas family.

Yes Robert, you quickly guessed where I was going. It is about Melbourne's terrorist victim memorial in Carlton being used as a skateboard park. I have complained to you in the past and I know others have. Your council staff offer disingenuous responses. This really is a disgrace.

You know, dead people. Memorial. Respect.

I may just mention the rubbish that the skaters neatly line up under the seating and abandon. I have noted that it is cleared away by staff very early in the morning.

Mayor Doyle, you have bylaws at your power, but if you are not prepared to make your council officers use them, then some simple and not expensive modifications to surfaces will do.

Later edit: There is not a water jet for each person killed but a small light in the surface to represent each victim.

Jacaranda View

I am not sure how these photos will appear in this post, but they certainly illustrate a point in their original form. Back in 2010 I took a photo of blooming jacaranda trees viewable from our balcony. This would have been taken by my second digital camera, which I still have. I am now on to my fourth. The photo is not bad, but it does lack detail and clarity. Btw, there are four jacarandas in the view.

I took this one with the new camera before I fixed its settings. Awful. Why did I wait for so long before addressing the camera problem? It was not hard once I sat down and spent some time fiddling.

With the settings fixed, this is not too bad. It is bit like those spot the ten differences photo puzzles, but I can assure you, there is one jacaranda tree less in the current view compared to 2010.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday funny is not funny for Mr Rumbold

Amazing to me that Mr Rumbold was the last surviving cast member of Are You Being Served. Actor Nicholas Smith died in London after a fall at the age of 81. Here is an amusing clip including Mr Rumbold from the tv show. Oh dear. As soon as you hear Mrs Slocombe utter 'the state of our drawers', you can guess where things will go.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Family gathering and Christmas approaches

R is so unsentimental at times and laughed at me when after we chose a Christmas card for Mother I said I teared up a bit when I read the words. It was a Happy Christmas Mum card and I can't remember the words now, but I translated them in my mind as, you are the centre of our family Christmas and once you have gone, things will change.

Indeed she is the centre of our Christmas and always has been and the day will come when she is no longer around.

We had a final family get together before Christmas for ABI Brother's birthday last Sunday. Mother and Tradie Brother, Fire Fighting Nephew and now Fire Fighting Niece too, at opposite ends of the state. FF Nephews partner, Sister and Little Jo and of course R and myself. Sadly one niece and 21 month old Little M could not make it but we had a nice time. Mother's legs looked very marked. Why wasn't she wearing her hose? She had only taken to wearing hose when she stopped using Coppertop fake tan on her legs.

I don't think I have ever seen peacocks on a Christmas tree before. Prahran Market courtyard.

Our building's Christmas tree.

Apparently there are some religious connotations to Christmas, but don't worry about that. It is a great time to catch up with family and friends. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Viva la Queen

I wish Australia to be a republic, answerable to no foreign country, but I do love my Queen who I, as a child, promised to love, honour and obey. I showed this photo to R, who remarked, I think she does have a sense of humour. Is Her Maj saying, I am skint? I have no money? Her DiL Kate is amused. Suggested captions most welcome.

Photo courtesy some crap tabloid internet media site.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Merri walk 4 Pt 2

What on earth is a labyrinth? I don't know but I am about to find out. This lass had been stalking me getting in the way of my photos for a while.Walking around in circles is apparently good for your mental health and sense of well being. You can guess my attitude to such a thing.

Interesting though.

More wankery at the same place.

An open sided timber box with a sprung top. Why?

The path must have headed uphill away from the creek here. I believe this area is called Quarries Park, no doubt once the site of a quarry. As you can see, I am not far from the city now. The nice daddy is taking his young baby for a walk in the fresh air. This was the only day where someone said hello to me as we passed by, a friendly older guy. Generally no one would meet my eyes for the whole of the walk, be they walkers or cyclists. It is pointless to try to smile at anyone when they don't even meet your eyes. Most people had earphones in their ears, perhaps to drown out the bird song. I found this lack of acknowledgement a bit odd and it showed me a different side of Melburnians. Maybe it is a north of the Yarra River thing. I can walk in any park around here and find friendly people. Most cyclists rang their bell or gave some warning before they overtook me. Only once did I get a get a fright from a high speed passing cyclist. One woman, I think on the second day, called out, passing and good morning to you. A cyclist did stop the nice daddy in front of me to ask him some directions and the nice daddy seemed to be very helpful.

Nicholas McNulty, Dublin Ireland, 11/4/69-30/7/97. RIP. Ar dheis de go raibe A h-aman dilis

I guess that is Irish Gaelic. I just googled his name and I am pleased I did not know about this before I began the walk. Here is a link to a piece in The Irish Times explaining his tragic death.

One could be sceptical, but if you are the type to get involved, this sort of thing is really community building and getting to know your neighbours.

I enjoyed this final leg of the walk more than the previous three jaunts.

Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile? Never heard of it.

Nice shelter but look at the rock strata behind.

What on earth is this?

I felt like I would be intruding into someone's home if I went down the steps.

Look, a wheel to operate something.

Ah, a water gate. The channel in the photo above was a water race to operate a flour mill.

Long have I wanted to see Dights Falls and here it is. A blogger in the distant past, Ben, suggested I visit after heavy rain. This was not a day after heavy rain. It's a concrete water barrier probably built to dam the water for the flour mill water race to operate. Originally it was timber which I think was destroyed in a flood.

Some explanation. Unfortunately the platform to view the 'waterfall' was occupied by workers improving the platform to view the waterfall, so I could not get too close to the waterfall.

 A bit downstream.

Looking back at the falls.

Holy moly, Merri Creek is big here, I briefly thought. Andrew, you are a stupid old man. You have missed the confluence of Merri Creek and the Yarra River. In spite of my now sore feet, I backtracked for a bit to take this 'brilliant' photo of the confluence.

I think this is telling cyclists to use their bicycle bells to warn pedestrians, I think.

Another look back at the falls.

This is a long panel with some Aboriginal sayings with good pictures. The historical Aboriginal connection to Merri Creek and the Yarra River is not to be underestimated. While you Aboriginal folk did not have much choice about sharing them with us whities, I thank you.

Now, which way to home? I have completed the Merri Creek walk. It would take me forty minutes at a guess to walk to the city and with already sore feet and I had no intention of doing so. If I followed the Yarra River, it is a 14 kilometre walk to town and I have decided to do that in the future, broken into three or four walks, depending on public transport links. Instead of heading to Johnston Street to get to the main entrance of Victoria Park Station, I used a side street and I was very surprised at what I came across and it is well worth another post. The Yarra is a lazy river, but I look forward to walking her banks from here into town.

PS The camera is fixed. I finally found the reset to factory settings feature. You won't see an immediate improvement as there is a bit of a backlog of photos.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Musical Monday

River, now with her whopping big data allowance, is posting a Musical Monday every Monday now. I won't necessarily follow suit but when you are a bit short on finished posts, MM is quick and easy.

Now, I hate rap music. But I have to qualify that really because I quite like some older rap music, a more musical variety and this is the first rap song I can remember. Lots of colour, movement and energetic dancing. It must be from the 1980s as it is the first song I recorded onto 3 x 3 hours of video music tapes, later transferred to dvd and never watched since. It is all on You Tube.


Sunday, December 06, 2015

Sunday Selections

River and others participate in Sunday Selections. Check some out.

Castlemaine slate? Perhaps. Or you may describe it as vertical crazy paving. Slate is a soft stone and if this slate is original work, I am surprised at that it has lasted so well. This type of slate comes in some lovely colours.

You need a very big crane to remove a crane. The redevelopment of 405 is almost complete now. My local erection is well ahead of Victor's.  These photos were taken a good while ago. We are yet to confirm that it will be a hotel.

Don't click on this photo for a closer look.

Nor this one. Especially you, Victor. Admiring thighs is so shallow. He does have a brain you know, and a mouth to speak and nice lips from where the words come from, really nice lips and ....(ouch, who gave me that karate chop to the back of my neck?)

A cool conversation pit at Melbourne University.

I was hard pressed to remember why I was at Melbourne University. Ah yes, there was a display booth, without much detail at all, promoting our yet to be built Metro Rail tunnel. I am not sure what this below is all about. What a waste of my time, but an old bloke does need an outing on a day off work.

There was were a couple of works at St Kilda's Linden Gallery annual Post Card Show that grabbed my camera's attention. The bare topped bloke is former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Nauru Island is an independent country where those trying to arrive by boat and hoping to be granted refugee status in Australia are detained. My great uncle lived on Nauru as a phosphate miner, no doubt one of those who caused terrible environmental destruction. We never met him but he and his wife used to send our family a Christmas card and always enclosed a packet or two of assorted postage stamps from around the world for us kiddies. He and his wife retired to Perth.

No comment required.

A curious sculpture in the the grounds of Linden. Stone cushions are generally so comfortable, no?

Lastly, celebrity spot for the week, actor Stephen Curry in Prahran Market courtyard. R nudged me and pointed him out but R could not remember his name until I told him. R said that as he had a bunch of flowers in his hand, he must live locally. Well, that would be a surprise, famous actor lives in Prahran/South Yarra area. If you watch Australian tv, you will have seen him in one show or t'other, or on the big screen in a movie.