Saturday, March 12, 2016

Among The Boarder's Photos ...

It is hard to believe it was over ten years ago we trooped off with Dame M to the National Trust's historic Como House to see an exhibition featuring some of her work. It was a bleak and miserable rainy day.  I posted about it at the time. 

I doubt any of you were reading my blog back then. Between her part of her flat on the ground floor and The Boarder's rooms, were two rooms full of machines. Dame M was a specialist Cornely embroiderer and I just checked and the machines sell for about about US$2000 in the the US.

The Boarder took the machines and much of Dame M's heavy antique furniture. Although his flat after Dame M's death was a large two storey place, there were only goat tracks to move around, so I was told. He did not like people to visit his place.

Here are a couple of photos of Dame M and a clipping from The Sun, 1981. Dame M died at 82 in 2008. I guess the two photos would be from the mid 80s to the mid 90s. Although The Boarder did her hair in her last couple of years, earlier it was attended to by Lillian Frank.

When Dame M is quoted as working until she drops to produce pieces, what she probably meant was until she was too tipsy.

I recently said to our dyke friend, I did not realise Dame M has such a large set of bazookies. She agreed that they were and said Dame M always wore a girdle. Dame M was smart, confident, self sufficient, friendly, caring, interested and very social. She did not suffer fools at all and was the first to spot the shirker on our restaurant bill and at one time in about 2002, she banned straight men from entering her home after a couple of rough and patronising experiences. I have a nice photo of her and her husband. She was never beholden to him, although he was quite a successful business man and she inherited his income, but not his capital. In a way this is my contribution to this week's International Women's Day. Dame M may not be the person whose lifestyle a young woman should emulate, but she is a good example of an independent and successful woman.

I am getting too wordy and spoiling the post, but I had forgotten until reading my Dame M blog link today, that she left her husband in their holiday house at Newhaven on Phillip Island and started to walk the two hour car drive back to Melbourne, saying she would never return to Wits End. She didn't return and her husband sold the house, but a friend did pick her up along the walk home.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Wrong words

Dog Jack is visiting us for the long weekend. I just took him down for a wee. A lad in the lift when we returned asked what breed he is. I said he he is a bit of a mutzah. What I should have said was he was a bit of mongrel or a cross breed. The lad was only there for three floors. Where on earth did the word mutzah come from, that is from the tip of my tongue? A google search tells me nothing.

Bad Jews

I have a disproportionate number of Jewish blog readers and blog mates. I also have a disproportionate number of current and ex school teachers. If you are neither, I still luv ya.

The comedy show on in St Kilda next month called Bad Jews rather appeals to me and I think we will see it. I just hope it not as obvious as bacon on special in the supermarket stuff.

The performers and performance may not be new, but I think it will be quite funny. Warn me off if you don't think it will be or if you are Jewish and you have issues with the show.

A little more Naked Vicar

There seems to be little film on YT of The Naked Vicar Show, but here is a short piece. While it is not bad, I have seen funnier. Next week, a clip of TNVS sketch that went on to become its own very well liked tv show, Kingswood Country.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A result of protest

Never mind the starving in Africa and the world awash with mass migration, this is important.

In 2009 the City of Melbourne passed a bylaw to enable the prosecution of skateboarders who were defiling the memory of those killed in the Bali terrorist bombing by skating all over the Lincoln Square Bali Bombing Memorial in Carlton.

Was the bylaw ever used? No. To quote a council employee in response to my email, we don't prosecute children. Why not? Their parents will have to pay and many of the skate boarders are not kids anyway.

As well as defiling the memorial every day now, it used to be just weekends, along the bench they sit on, and they strew rubbish underneath. In the very early morning someone, a council worker I guess, must remove the rubbish and the memorial is well looked after.

Lincoln Square, where the memorial is, is also a local park and local residents are complaining that they don't feel comfortable going there with all the skateboarders around.

Finally, City of Melbourne is reacting and is going to shut down the square and renovate it to be unsuitable for skateboarders, who have also I might add, removed some of the anti skateboard devices, and unscrewed signs prohibiting skateboarding.

There is a petition against this at Don't any of you dare sign it. One tosser said something like, they were young people who were killed in the Bali bombing, so they would not mind. For god's sake, they are dead and past minding. It is about a memorial that people can visit and remember and maybe grieve.

When R's sister and now bro in law first visited us from England, we took them one evening to Lygon Street for dinner. I can't remember why, but after dinner we were in Lincoln Square and there were no skateboarders. I stared into the illuminated water jets, remembering the terrible event, while R's sister and husband were fascinated by the bats flying around.

Governments are very fond of making new laws when a problem arises, but there is almost always a law that already covers the problem. In this case it is a bylaw that was never used. So what was the point of it?

I am thoroughly a grumpy old man, complaining about skateboarders. But if only they did not leave their litter behind, I might take a more charitable view.

Anyway, I hope soon enough Lincoln Square and the Bali Bombing Memorial will no longer be a pseudo skate park.

I ask you, would New York citizens tolerate skating around the 911 memorial? Would UK citizens tolerate skating around the London Tube Bombing Memorial? 

Later: I just searched my blog for Bali Memorial and I have written  eleven posts mentioning it mostly mentioning the skateboarders. I guess my blog is not an effective method of protest, but I am sure my emails helped. Here is a link to one post with photos.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

To pluck or not

Some years ago I bought R a nasal and ear hair trimming device. Recently as we made our way through Priceline, (known to the posh and gay as the Italian company Prick-ee-leeny), using it as shortcut, he noticed a Remington model on special and so bought it at my urging. These appliances develop in a short time to being much better than earlier models.

I don't use one. I don't like the idea of sticking a motorised device into any of my orifices. How would I be with my shaky hands? I am sure I would take off the skin from inside my nose. No, I prefer the old fashioned way, plucking. I stand in front of the mirror and pluck away and I've been plucking for years, since I first found hair growing in unwanted places. I consider my plucking works better long term too. I had a small hairy mole on my shoulder and for years I plucked and plucked and finally I killed the hair. I still have the mole on my shoulder, and there is nothing worse than living with an obvious mole, but at least it no longer needs frequent plucking.

Apparently for some Asian people it is bad luck to pluck a mole, but otherwise Asians do a lot of plucking. Some Asian people use a special plucking device that is both effective, but also a painful plucking. It is some sort of cotton on mounts that rips hairs out. I don't think I would like that sort of plucking. I don't mind plucking but I don't like extreme plucking.

I have yet to hear the verdict about the new grooming device. No matter what it is, I will just stick to plucking. I pluck early and pluck often.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

An important train event

The Flying Scotsman visited and travelled extensively in Australia for our bi centenary in 1988, or as Aboriginals might like say, the anniversary  of invasion day in Australia. I think it then went on to the US to tour there.

Subsequently it was owned by a number of people but some years ago it was bought by the Britain's national railway museum in York. It has been restored over a ten year period at an extraordinary cost of around AU$6 million (that figure is dubious. It could have been more or less).

While it has been out on the rails, presumably for testing and driving experience, last Thursday Thursday before last, it made its inaugural post restoration official run from London's King Cross Station to York. Crowds turned out to see the steam train that in 1924 could travel at 100 mph, 160 km/h.  Let me see what clips I can find that are both brief and have colour.


Constant noise from helicopters was a bit annoying. 1:24

Good to see some women enthusiasts. 2:16

Britain's Channel 4 had quite a good video that very oddly, I noticed my step mother liked on FB. but I can't find it on You Tube and it is complicated to embed from FB. Forget the above videos. Here is quite a good one from Sky News. What you do see in all of the videos is speed. I love fast trains, or at least those that give a perception of speed. I am a train version of Toad of Toad Hall. 1:30
NB Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley. Must check for an update on the Gresley ducks.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Musical Monday

Joining with River's Musical Monday.

Up until I was a about eight years old, my brother and myself would sleep with our grandma when we stayed at my grandparents house. Poor long suffering grandma. How much sleep did she get?

Sometimes she would sing to us in bed and this is one such song she sang. It would have been a popular song of her youth. While its title is K K K Katie, it is also known as the stammering song. Hang on, don't we say stutter, not stammer? The song brings back a flood of childhood memories for me.

Just glancing at the You Tube list of tracks, there is a mega mix version and I quote, "particularly suitable for old people's homes etc". That'll get the oldies bopping, although most nursing home residents would be born around 1930, over a decade after the song was recorded.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Sunday Selections

Lots of oddments for this week's Sunday Selection. Do check out River's Sunday Selections, along with others.

We saw the funniest thing when an Asian man with his family nearby, posed for his photo in front of this window, decorated to celebrate Chinese New Year. Four Aussie lads walked along the street and in an instant arranged themselves around this man for the photo to be taken, which it was. They had arms around him and draped over him, grinning widely. I can't believe they had not rehearsed this or done it before. It was all over in three seconds, too quick for me to snap and there was much laughter by all.

This is a ship at sea.

This too is a ship at sea.

And the lord said let there be light, and there was, of a slightly curious kind on this evening.

A storm front approaches.

In competition with Riverland on the eastern side of the northern Yarra riverbank, now on the western side is Arbory, using the space where there was once a railway platform.

Did I mention trains? I was at So Cross Station and while gasping for fresh air instead of diesel fumes, I noticed how nicely and naturally light filled the station is. Then I spotted this, and another and another. What is the need for this temporary lighting? It was having no effect in the daylight.

A helipad has roughly been at this location for a very long time. It is seeing increasing usage by the rich who use it like public transport, rubbing the noses of the poor in it, so to speak. Many of the nearby apartment residents are complaining, themselves not exactly poverty stricken.
Later: Look your Honour, Exhibit A, a local complaining resident.

Looking up the Yarra with Crown Casino and Eureka dominating the view.

Oh dear. Folks, there is trouble. We have a static balloon going nowhere. Err, yes, I guess a static balloon would go nowhere.

It seemed to sit there a very long time, fifteen minutes at least.

It moved a little.

Drifted to the right.

Then shot up into the sky.

Contrary to appearances, there is space in Fawkener Park to land a balloon, or six.

Look River! Middle Niece gave it to us about three years ago. I think it was empty. If it had any goodies in it, undoubtedly she would have eaten them. Liquorice Man is terrific. We must find a use for him to store something.