Saturday, April 02, 2016

Hot Celebs

I have confessed in the past to at times having feelings like a prepubescent girl or boy, lusting after male celebrities and popstars. An old episode of the British tv show Vera was on our tv today. Oh, I do like David Leon in Vera. I googled him. I pointed out some photos to R. Oh, he said, I googled him some time ago. R is nearly as bad as me. Well, R and David are both Geordies so that may have stimulated R's interest. I tried to establish whether David had a nice body was married, but I could not. That raises suspicions.

While I tend to prefer youthful looks, for some reason I find the older black guy in Death in Paradise quite attractive.  A bit more googling. Ok, his name is Daniel "Danny" John-Jules. Means nothing to me. Though wow, he was Cat in Red Dwarf. I never knew.

Now I am of an age I no longer can be bothered with the messy and endlessly complicated business of actually having sex, I just admire blokes who are interesting in some way.

I am fickle and my celebrity crushes are many and I will have forgotten about them tomorrow when I come across my next celebrity crush.

Do you have a celebrity crush? Is it long time or just passing? Any mention of Kardashians by you straight blokes is not acceptable.

Holidaying Abroad

UK Prime Minister David Cameron urged UK people to spend their Easter visiting the north of England, giving tourism support after very bad floods over winter. But where did PM Cameron holiday? Lanzarote (Lanzarotty) on the Spanish owned Canary Islands. The PM and Sam Cam in very casual attire were snapped while drinking beer in the sunshine. 30,000 people have signed a petition to not allow him back into the UK, as he is a danger to British society. Bit of a laugh, but he should be concerned about his future, not that Labour Party alternative Jeremy Corbyn is of any great threat.

Photo from The Express and how staged the photo is with Sam Cam looking adoringly into her husband's eyes while Cam is telling an amusing story about the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

It is rather sad that R's family in the north of England don't spend holidays exploring the magnificence of the UK, or even the great cities of western and eastern Europe, but instead places like Lanzarote, Tenerife, Marbella, Ibiza, Benidorm and even where we planned to visit, Alvor. One of R's nieces has flown to Cancun in Mexico to a resort. I understand there desire to seek warmth and sunshine, but still, it is a bit sad. What is really sad is that they have little idea of where they are in the world when they travel and would not be able to point where they are on a map. They just get on a cheap flight that takes them somewhere. So far as I know, none of them have even been to London.

I am pleased to say that blog mates Marie of London,  John Gray of Wales and Friko of somewhere in England (I did once check but I have forgotten) do view the world as a bigger picture and know where they are when they travel.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Third World Traffic

Oh my. Well, such traffic jams can be expected in less developed countries like this mess in China.

Oops, this one above is not China, but between Los Angeles and San Diego. The solution is clear. More lanes need to built. Oh, you say, they did, twice. 

What about the idea of some kind of comfortable seating carriage running on rails that could carry all these people using a tenth of the space? We'll call it a train.

Easter 2

After lunch in Queenscliff, we drove on to Barwon Heads, via Ocean Grove. There was much angst about replacing the old timber bridge across the Barwon River so the old bridge was kept for pedestrians an cyclists and a new one built for cars.

It is a lovely area.

I didn't take a photo as it was a bit far away but some land puzzled me. If you go back to the map here, what I was looking at was Portsea and Sorrento Back Beaches, the part where there is no sand, along with Cheviot Beach where Prime Minister Harold Holt drowned in 1967.

We drove in to the caravan park. The cottage next to this one was used in the terrific tv series Seachange as Laura's house. As a gift for Mother's 70th birthday, hard to believe it was 12 years ago, Sister paid for Mother and Step Father's accommodation in the cottage. I couldn't take a photo as people were lunching on the verandah.

The blue building is a cafe and we have lunched there in the past. The bridge is actually over the Barwon River. At about the age of 25 I suppose, I learnt what an estuary is. 'Little Jo, what is the area called where a river meets the sea?' Yes, she knew. For someone who stares so much at her laptop and tv screens, she knows a lot. I thought a little rhyme might amuse her. I should have known better as she never found it funny when I told her the name of our solicitors, Martin, Barton and F....(pause) Farquhar. The rhyme was this one: Not last night but the night before three tomcats came knocking at my door. One had a fiddle, one had a drum. And one had a pancake, stuck to his......, don't be mistaken, don't be misled. One had a pancake stuck to his head.

As you can see, the weather is grey but it did not rain. In fact after Good Friday, I don't think we saw sun again until Tuesday afternoon then, and then not much. We stopped off at a supermarket in Ocean Grove to buy a belated birthday cake for R and Mother and returned to Sister's. Sister cooked chicken schnitzel and salad for dinner and we followed with the birthday cake. We watched an atrocious movie that Bone Doctor had hired, hoping Mother would like it. Hachi: A dog's tale starring Richard Gere was a real tear jerker. Is Gere so short of money that he would make such an badly made movie?

Ocean Grove can be seen in the distance.

If you live near the beach, an outdoor shower is useful to wash off sand. Normally when Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo shower outdoors, they go naked. I decided this Sunday morning I too wanted to shower naked outdooors. Not sure why, but the dog took off, the cat hid and all the birds flew away. The shower head delivered a bit more water that the indoor one and it was quite exhilarating, although a little chilly when I shut the water off.  Pity the shower hook was not a lot higher as you can't stand under it at that height.

Th man at the rear block has been building this boat for as long as Sister has lived in the house. I hope he has a wide driveway, in case it should ever be finished.

I could not get a better photo, but this cubby house next door is the grandest I have ever seen. It is a two storey mansion.

A Rainbow Families poster. We gave out our Easter eggs. Every time Little Jo received one, Sister would exclaim, oh no, and groan.

We drove to the car park at the beach while Sister and ABI Brother walked with the dog. We set off for Point Lonsdale Village, just over a kilometre away for coffee. It was very busy. There are three of these rock groynes, and there is a push to have them replaced with five timber groynes that will allow water to pass through which may prevent beach erosion. Much of the beach is underwater at high tide.

If you can't read this, it concludes with reference to the person's grandmother who would bathe in the sea. "There her bathing skirts floating all around her, she would enjoy the lapping waves, pushing herself up and down in a bobbing motion."

The paths are all well maintained for walkers and cyclists.

Little Jo was a bit grumpy and argued with her mother about the Easter egg hunt in the nearby park. It was a brief bit of fun. After a lunch of hotdogs, R and I departed with Mother and ABI staying on for an extra day.

We decided to take the scenic route home, via St Leonards, Indented Heads, Portarlington and Drysdale. We stopped for a break at Portarlington. We can see the hills of Portarlington from home. So near by crow, so far by road.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Brian Told Me

Channel 9 Melbourne and Channel 9 Sydney both had newsreaders with the name Brian, so I think the same advertising slogan was used in both states, that is Brian Told Me, meaning that you know about current news because the newsreaders Brian had told you.

A couple of  Saturday nights ago  on commercial tv news, the now metaphorical Brian in Melbourne told us there was going to be a clash that night between a gang from Southern Sudan and the Horn of Africa against a gang of youth from the Pacific Islands. This was to happen at the family friendly festival event called Moomba. Our ABC breakfast radio presenter told a joke about Moomba. A foreign tourist couple were in Sydney for the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras. They thought they would come to Melbourne to see Moomba after such a good time at Mardi Gras. Moomba is a family focused event and very different to Mardi Gras.

Yes, so to use the English expression, Brian told us something was going to 'kick off' at Moomba that evening, and sure enough, once the fireworks finished, the youth rioted. Terrified family groups in Federation Square. Diners at Brunetti where we have brunched many times were taken inside and locked in as the rampaging youth threw chairs, drinks, glasses and cups. I am pretty pleased I was not in town that night.

Apparently our police did not hear what Brian told them and were severely under resourced and surprised by the melee, that ended up being more about youth attacking police than each other.

The electric Herald Sun on Sunday morning was quickly off the mark with a news report, as was our ABC Radio. The Age was left wanting with not publishing anything until 7.24. Not one person in the newsroom to write about something that happened and was ready to publish when the event happened nine hours earlier? While at least our ABC did report the event, it failed to mention the bleeding obvious, that they were mostly black African youth.

The rioters, who for mine were out to embarrass police, set the cops up beautifully to show how powerless VicPol are against principally black African born youth. The government and ABC media tried to tell us that they weren't all black African youth, but what do you see in this photo from the Herald Sun, picked up from Twitter I think. There is a serious problem with black African youth in Melbourne and not mentioning race is not helpful at all.

Chemsex - A mild single X rating

My life would be much poorer if not for BBC podcasts, and to an extent Our ABC podcasts.

On the way home tonight I listened to two brief podcasts, one about the Tenerife air disaster in 1977 and the other about a Jew called Kasztner in Hungary in WWII who saved some Jews but maybe not enough. It was complicated.

The BBC does not shy away from modern manners and lives, so it is with interest that I will listen to this podcast about Chemsex. For years I have seen been told about ads on gay hook up sites that say 'chem friendly'. I had a friend who ended up in hospital after Sydney's Mardi Gras where he stayed awake for three days and to speak frankly, had lots of sex. Effectively, taking lots of drugs over a couple of days and exhausting himself with sex put him in hospital. He is not the type of person to have regrets though.

Here is a transcript of the lead in to podcast. As I have not heard the podcast yet, I can't really give an opinion but I do confess in the past to perhaps indulging in mind altering substances. While I am of the age to disapprove of drugs, what people who never have taken drugs need to understand is that they can give a very good feeling. Ecstasy was called the love drug for good reasons. You just loved. I don't know that I like these modern drugs though; GBH, pure speed and meths.  A workmate just the day I am writing this told me of the many drugs he has taken and then one day, he had a bad experience and it all just went so wrong and he left it all behind. But then he said, when I am on holidays, I buy a big bag of coke and hoof it up quickly so the effects are gone by the time I have to go back to work. Victor may remember my post about the blond Greek guy at work who deliberately brushed my arm. Subsequently he has married and has a daughter. Finally at the age of about 40 his mother has stopped nagging him about getting married and giving her a grandchild.


In recent years a new, extreme sub-culture of sex and drugs has become a way of life for a growing minority of gay men. The so-called chemsex scene involves an unholy (unholy or holy?) trinity of drugs – Mephedrone, GHB/GBL and Crystal Meth – and together they can keep men awake for days. These relatively new drugs are taken to enhance one thing in particular - sex. Mobeen Azar travels to San Francisco - one of the first cities to see the...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter 1

Sister and Bone Doctor's garden wasn't looking too bad. We arrived at 4pm after a brief stop at the Scottish restaurant in Geelong, just for a drink mind. ABI Brother and Mother arrived shortly after.

Why were we not told? They have installed solar panels on their roof. Unfortunately the roof faces east west instead of the ideal north, the opposite to the northern hemisphere, so it was installed facing west. The control unit was on the back wall and I found it quite interesting. Shortly after we arrived it was generating about 1.5kw. They are only paid 6c per kw that they put into the electric grid, so the best way is to use the power while it is being generated, that is dishwasher, washing machine, cooling/heating etc.

Before dinner we drove down to the beach and went for quite a long walk, long for us anway. Mother went for her afternoon nap. Looking towards Queenscliff. For dinner Sister had bought salmon and some fresh from the bay, whiting. Both were delicious.

Sister and Bone Doctor bought a wee pool for Little Jo. All three of them use it. It is an odd shape, but I expect the shape is to give it strength. I am remembering River's collapsing pool.

The sleeping arrangements when we visit are complicated. This time R slept on the bottom bunk in Little Jo's room and I slept on the top. It was not satisfactory for me as there was nothing to lean against to sit up in bed and read. Mother slept in the brand new bed in the office, Sister in her own bed, ABI Brother on a lilo in the lounge room and Bone Doctor and Little Jo in this brand new tent from Aldi.

A galah as we walked to the beach. Umm, didn't I say we drove. I am confused. Must have been the next morning.

Not necessarily religious and who could not agree with the sentiment.

The Point Lonsdale Christmas tree, sans lights. Cruise ship passengers enjoy the illuminated display as they pass by in December.

Saturday saw us at the Easter Market. The fruit and vegetables were incredibly cheap and we bought a pumpkin, capsicums and something else. We had coffee and doughnuts and were entertained by this terrific busker. He sang in an almost falsetto voice but he could also sing lower too. I gave him five bucks, not because he was cute mind, but because he was talented and I took his photo.

Old joke, One hung low. Testicular trauma or a natural occurrence.

The market is held at Little Jo's school. How nice to see old style drinking taps for the kiddies.

On our return walk from the market, I noticed how well this garden has come along. I saw it planted in its early days and I impressed by how it has grown.

By the time we had all returned from the market, Mother had showered, dressed and made up so we left Sister and Bone Doctor and went off to Queenscliff for brunch. There are some really nice historic buildings in Queenscliff. Easter is the busiest time on the Bellarine and boy was it busy in Queenscliff.

We had to take a number to be served in this very crowded bakery. Staff in such places don't earn a lot of money but in spite of how overrun the place was, the staff remained cool, friendly and efficient. We had all finished our brunch when Mother decided she wanted a cup of tea. ABI went and bought it for her from another shop and she took forever to drink it. I was feeling crowded in. I said to R, I am just going around corner. Little Jo must have heard me and guessed where I was going. That is to the lolly shop around the corner. She was very restrained in her lolly purchases, buying only ten lollies. Me, not so much with aniseed rings, chocolate bullets and doubling the cost, four little Turkish delights at $1 each.

Looking down towards the Queenscliff Harbour.

The Vue Grand Hotel has struggled for as long as Sister has lived in the Borough of Queenscliffe(sic). It is for sale. Little Jo is studying the history of Queenscliff and Queenscliffe at school and of course she can tell you about the different spelling.

How good is the brickwork.

We then headed off to Barwon Heads.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

No email for comments

After some time spent investigating, I have concluded that if you don't receive an email when I comment on your blog, it the fault of Yahoo/Gmail/Blogger. It is a known problem but as Blogger is a free service from Google, there does not seem to be a hurry to fix the problem.

The Census. I urge you to break the law

More on the Australian census, due in August this year. I was mistaken in the past when I suggested that your name would be linked to your census answers for the census after this one. No, it is this census.

I confess now that I will break the law by providing false information in the census and I urge you to do the same so that the Australian 2016 census will be seen as a glitch of inaccuracy in long term statistics and the normal disconnected to your name census will return in 2020. What I would really like to see is this census turned into a huge joke. I think I will be Mrs Huge Jackerman, living in a boarding house in Fitzroy, surviving on a pension which is inadequate to pay for my booze and drugs. I'll have five children who I never see because they hate me and my religion will be Plymouth Brethren, clearly a failed PB.

How were Japanese rounded up and interned in the US during WWII? Census data, as this article at the Huffington Post says and this is important for Australians to read.

The Ferry and The Heads

Here is the Spirit of Tasmanian setting off for Devonport on our island state of Tasmania from Melbourne in Victoria. She has just left Station Pier and came into view from behind a building on a sunny morning.

I would by lying if I said it was on the same day and the very different weather makes it obvious, but about 3.5 hours after her departure from Station Pier she is about to pass through Port Phillip Heads at the mouth of Port Phillip Bay. Depending on forecast demand, she sails once of twice a day to and from Devonport. While her single sailing day times are firmly planted in my head, seeing her at very different times on double sailing days does my head in.

The path for ships through the naturally shallow bay is tightly defined and is dredged. The gap between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale is known as The Rip and it is a narrow passage and very treacherous. The passage was was exploded apart a few years ago to allow ships with a deeper draught to enter the bay. While government authorities deny it, the popular view is that it has drastically changed some beaches and almost taken away the Portsea Beach, which is quite ironic as it is location for rich people's holiday houses, that is those who probably benefit from larger ships coming through The Heads.

Here is a simple map of Port Phillip Bay from Wikipedia, clearly showing places I have mentioned and you can see how narrow The Rip is, and during tidal changes a huge amount of water flows through The Rip. With the exception of the Spirit of Tasmanian, a quite small ship, every other ship passing through The Heads needs a pilot boat. The pilot boats zoom out from Queenscliff to meet arriving and departing ships and travel along side of them. The Port of Melbourne is Australia's busiest port, so there is lots of work for the pilot boats.

You can refer back to the map when reading subsequent posts about our little Easter holiday. We stayed in Point Lonsdale.

Monday, March 28, 2016

We is returned

I am  sorry if I offend you because you live like Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo live, but there you go. We are used to neat and tidy, and reasonably clean. Ok, don't look under things, but what you will see as a visitor will appear to be very clean.

How they can live like they do, in a house of chaos, dirt and junk spread throughout the house, I do not know.

Dogs are funny. When Dog Jack visits us, if he can, he likes to get hold of one of Little's Jo's teddies and give it a good shake in his mouth. Sister's dog likes to do the same and gave the one of Little Jo's teddies a good shaking. Then I accidentally stood on the teddy where Sister's dog had left it.

In frustration of a couple of days of extreme untidiness and general chaos in the house with Little Jo dropping everything wherever she stood, from clothes to paper notes to anything, the second time I stood on the teddy, I gave it a good kicking and it flew up onto the dining table. Ah, said Sister, Uncle Andrew is a soccer star. If only she knew the frustration that went into that kick.

The Easter visit almost did not happen when Sister called R on the Thursday and informed him that we should not arrive before 2.30 as she was having a visitor for lunch. Umm, Sister, our visit is prearranged and how dare you have lunch guests when we normally arrive. There are all sorts of permutations. Sister could have invited us for lunch too. She could have apologised to R and said on the phone, sorry, but I double booked and please come at the normal time if you want, but L and children will be here for lunch. Sister walks on tenterhooks with R and so when speaking to him, she does not behave normally and that is the problem. I didn't really care that we arrived later on Good Friday, but R did have a valid point. When we visit to stay, we normally arrive in time for lunch.

Thursday before Easter, Sister called R to tell him the above and he fumed that night and said he wasn't going. As I knew he would, he relented. He wanted to see Little Jo, but it was touch and go for a while. R said to Sister, did you call your brother Andrew back who has been trying to speak to you? She did eventually call me and I sorted out that she had plain breakfast tea for Mother and R, and instant coffee for me in the morning. She had already told R she had hot cross buns. We had bought some fish fingers as R only eats fish on Good Friday, and I have acquired the habit. But no need, Sister had been to the local pier and bought mussels, whiting and salmon for our dinner.  Mother only eats plain food, so something different was made for her. It was ABI Brother's first experience of eating grilled salmon. Sister cooked the salmon ok, but R does it so much better, with black stripes I might add.

Anyway, in spite of the aforesaid issues, we had a lovely time at Sister's. But how nice is it to be in your own clean and tidy home, with showers that propel water at 10 litres per minute, rather than Sister's 1 litre per minute shower.

Photos and tales later, with less whingeing. Oh, while we were travelling down to the Bellarine, we were talking about my step mother and amazing she is at 78 and so different to 82 year old Mother. It is her birthday as I write this on the 27th. Once at Sister's, we discover Step Mother is in hospital with fluid on her lungs. Tradie Brother was visiting her over Easter, and providing support to her partner. She is now back home.

Ho hum, another little holiday post from Andrew, but hey, although there are no photos, I did shower outdoors as naked as I was born and it was exhilarating. Later.