Saturday, June 04, 2016

Vegetarians, do not read

I am not particularly squeamish about eating meat. I rather enjoy it. We don't have meat every meal but mostly we do. I hope the meat I eat comes from a beast that has enjoyed a good life and an instant death.

Tradie Brother and Step Mother's husband bought a calf, and over a period of how ever long it takes to fatten a calf into a saleable beast to supply meat, Blackie led a charmed life. TB had great fun with the calf when younger and even as Blackie matured, when it would head butt him. TB's dog was rather jealous of TB's relationship with Blackie, but they tolerated each other.

Mother implored TB. You can't do it! You can't kill your pet, but eventually the deed was done and the meat shared between TB and Step Mother's husband. TB assisted with the deed and was in charge of putting mince into bags and could barely keep up with the skilled butcher.

While we did not get steaks, each of TB's siblings and Mother received about a 1.5 kilo of mince. I kind of put it out of my mind until last night when we were dining on the second meal from a Shepherd's Pie. R proclaimed that it was the last of Blackie. Sweetheart, I really wish you had not mentioned that. As well as Shepherd's Pie, Blackie has been made into Chow Mein, curried mince and meat loaf and he was rather delicious.

S'pose troubling about the source of your meat is rather a first world problem, but we should give it a thought at times.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Shed a tear

This little seemingly well maintained building, Burton’s Carriage Workshop at 50 La Trobe Street, has a significant history as both an historic building and a rather old one by Melbourne standards, dating back to 1868. By its style, it had a Victorian make over at some poinit.

City of Melbourne has approved its demolition for......guess...... a smart block of apartments to be built on the site. From what I can read, the demolition of this building will provide laneway to the block of apartments. City of Melbourne, you are an utter disgrace for destroying our historical buildings.

The building's sister next door has already been destroyed.

Why is our history and our historical buildings being destroyed with the approval of City of Melbourne? This is disgraceful and shameful that we are still allowing our remaining fineVictorian heritage to be destroyed.

The Neighbours Garden

I am not sure who owned the building next door to us but ANZ Bank had naming rights. It was sold in 2013 for $45 million to the subsidiary of a Singaporean property developer. The garden did badly need something done with it as it never recovered properly from the last drought. Remember a year or so ago when overnight a huge crane lifted out the old air conditioning plant and put in a new one overnight, a mere twenty metres from where I slept undisturbed. Money has now been spent on the garden, with the renovation taking place over about three months from January. Frustratingly, there is still the temporary fencing around it.

The project began with scraping and removal of the old path and vegetation, excepting the three trees up against the building.

Soil was tilled. I could not believe how hard the couple of young labourers worked. With the stamina and engery they had, I think they could make a lot of money in other employment.

A trench was dug across the corner and another odd trench close to the corner. Of course we had no idea what the plan was.

Concrete was poured. Note the strange angle of poured concrete to your top right. The angle offended me.

More concrete poured and look, the shape of the building's street number has appeared in the soil.

Ah, I see.

Plants have been planted.

The plants were mulched.

More plants.

A wall has been built on that odd angle at the corner. It is a 90 degree corner and yet the wall, that turned out to be for the company name, sits very oddly with a different angle, I think.

Even more plants.

Fake turf is being laid and the workers are taking a break. I suppose some of you wish I had zoomed in on tradie legs.

More plants and some fake grass has completed the project. Another thing to offend the eye, odd spacing between the numbers. The surface of the numbers is of different levels and I assume intended to be used as seating. There are a couple of lamps to light the path.

I have been waiting and waiting for the fence to come down, but I am tired of waiting now and so this is how it looks at ground level, screened by the fence. The ANZ bank still has a sign there.

I still think the wall with the name is an odd angle. We shall see once the fence is down and there is a clearer view.

Two weeks ago one evening I pushed Dog Jack under  the fence and he did a big poo right on the fake grass and there was no way for me to get in to pick up . Nature will have dealt with it by the time the fence comes down.

The sign is back lit at night.

Think of it as when a neighbour does something nice to the exterior of their house, and a little of it rubs off onto yours. Nice work CEL. May your profits soar and you make your Singaporean shareholders very rich with Aussie dollars.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Her Maj Rules in Oz

The Queen can't visit us anymore as she is too old to travel in luxury for such long distances. Luckily she has her representatives in Australia, except she does not pay for them. We do. It really is a ridiculous thing, but if we rid ourselves of The Queens representatives, others would take their place in similar roles. They mostly do good works in the community, opening metaphorical fetes etc, but they do have to put their signatures to any government legislation. 

You need some information. The Commonwealth of Australia has a Governor General, technically appointed by The Queen, but it is on the advice of our Federal Government. At the moment it is a bloke but the previous one was a woman and the first female Governor General of Australia, Quentin Bryce.

Then each state has a Governor, also technically appointed by The Queen, but practically, on the advice of the State Governments. 

Governor sounds quite blokey, yes? Dame Roma Michell was the first female governor in Australia, appointed as Governor of the State of South Australia in 1991. Oddly, while the state capital of South Australia, Adelaide, is described as the city of churches, it has always been quite socially progressive.

Then there is the Northern Territory, another case altogether. The NT does not want to become a state as its status as an Australian territory means it is funded by the Federal Government. It is not a state and so does not have a Governor but it does have an Administrator, appointed by Australia's Governor General, remembering that the GG is The Queen's rep in Australia, but the appointment is on the advice of the Federal Government, but of course also in consultation with the Government of the Northern Territory.

I am not going to list all the female Governors of Australia, but I think every state has had at least one. At the moment the balance is:

New South Wales, male
Victoria, female
South Australia, male
Western Australia, female
Queensland, male
Tasmania, female

All very nicely balanced until you add in the Northern Territory Administrator, male.

Nearly oops, forgot the ACT. I felt EC drumming her fingers at my neglect.  Unlike the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory does not have an Administrator. It has the seat of our federal government in the city of Canberra and The Queen is represented in the ACT by our Governor General of Australia, a male.

Does the Governor General and the Governors have any real power. They do indeed. They must sign off on legislation before it becomes law and they do this in the name of The Queen. In 1975 in the name of The Queen, the Governor General of Australia sacked Australia's Prime Minister. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016


Written a while ago and as I have written nothing for today, more on vices.

There is a dead end lane near my workplace. It has high fences both sides and rear. Err, I guess that is what is dead end lane is.

It is where bad boys gather, that is where students from the local Catholic private school gather to smoke. It really is a blast from the past, the secretive smoking of schoolboys, yet in spite of them knowing full well how bad smoking is for their health, and bad for pocket money generous allowances too, it is kind of nice to see boys behaving badly. When I was a teen, such a thing was the norm by the majority. Now it seems that all that an expensive private school can produce is half a dozen bad boys who smoke but are not planning to bring down the establishment.  I am not killjoy for whatever kiddie youf choose to do, so long as it doesn't effect others, so if I happen to see a teacher stalking the boys from a distance, I will alert them. I was once one of them.

I'd be very disappointed to learn that teachers no longer try to find smoking schoolboys. It was a mark of pride for the smoke sniffing teacher to smell smoke on you but never be able to catch you. 'Sir, why have the ends of two fingers of Bill Barry's hand turned yellow?'. That was a joke from a fellow smoker of the clan.

Sadder but true, the real smoking dobber in the class was the The Professor. He was very intelligent, very short and very stout and I learnt a couple of years ago that he suicided when in his twenties. Maybe a bit of fagging on a ciggie might have helped him. Back then, had he have joined us to smoke, he might have felt more accepted and that is what smoking school boys or even later drinking school boys were all about. It was acceptance for many, myself included.

If you had gay inclinations, even if you did not really understand at that age, and no sporting prowess, it was pretty well the only way to gain acceptance, as long as you did not hold your cigarette in a girlie manner. Being clever and studious would never cut the mustard. Later, being pro Mao Tse Tung and a reader of Mao's Little Red Book might have earnt some respect, but you would have been seen as exotically weird. This should go into a piece about the ten weird things about myself, but I once sat on top of my wardrobe chanting Hari Rama. I was very impressionable and lucky no nutter got hold of me.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Transport Tuesday

While Melbourne has the largest tram system in the Southern Hemisphere, it is a comparatively slow system, hampered by most of lines running along roads and so mixing with motor car traffic. Our terrible exploding population growth sees the number of cars increasing all the time and the traffic becomes more and more congested and so then the trams can't move freely. This is not so in many European cities where public transport is taken seriously by governments.

Poland has 14 cities with trams, ranging from small systems to large systems, the largest by far being in Katowice.

It is then arguable, depending how it is measured, whether Warsaw or Lodz has the next largest system in Poland.

If you look at most tram systems around the world, you see very little beauty in their operation or layouts, which I suppose is fair up to a point. Their first purpose is to function well. But why can't there be beauty within public transport. I suggest there is at St Pancras Station in London. I like what they have done at Kings Cross and Paddington Stations. Who has not seen photos of the beauty of some of Russia's train stations and in New York?

Trams are often seen as the poor cousins of trains, but not in Lodz with this absolute beauty of a tram station. I just hope it protects passengers well from the weather but with a good tram system, no one should be waiting there for very long. Images all by Shutterstock.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Music Hall Monday

What will River put up for this Musical Monday? You can check here.

I am cross because what I really want to share with you does not seem to be on the internet. There was a new show on tv, one that had me leave my computer chair and give the television my full intention. I have always liked stories and learning about the Raj and this show, Indians Summers is a fairly typical tv show, giving a picture of Indian hill station Simla where the government, officials and VIPs moved up to the cooler hills during the hottest summer months. Simla has always looked so beautiful to me.

The brilliant Julie Walters is so well cast in the show as socialite Cynthia Coffin.  Here is a clip I did find. You may have to listen to it a couple of times, 0:29.

Naturally they begged her to sing and she belted out a song I don't ever remember hearing. Now Walters does not seem to be on You Tube singing and really, no one compares to how good she was, that is at singing in a music hall manner. This version is rather sweeter and I am sure Emma Odell is a very good singer. It is curious that I don't ever remember hearing the song. I understand it was used the tv show The Monocled Mutineer and because of its ice cream cart reference, it has been used by ice cream vans, which makes a change from Greensleeves. Anyway, here you go with Oh, Oh, Antonio. 3:24

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Selections

Others, including River, will have more original photos for Sunday Selections than these that arrived in an email entitled "Only in Australia". I suspect many of them are faked. My opinions may not agree with yours.

No reason for this one to be untrue.

Quite possible. I would be using a lot of camera zoom to take the shot. They are fast. In spite of us having an Alligator River, we don't have alligators in Australia. Our crocodiles are bigger and nastier beasts.

Hmm, it is a very docile sheep, if true. Lucky it is an Australian scene and not a New Zealand one.

A joey, a young kangaroo, might tolerate being picked up like this. An older one would have to be half dead.

The list rules and regulations that this scene would breach would be very long indeed. Fake. They do jump out of the water though, for meat dangled on a string on a stick some distance from the boat.

Maybe a fish blinded by the mud in the water could accidentally swim onto a hook. Unlikely.

This has been around for years. Fake.

The unusual thing in this photo is not the car attempting to foolishly cross using the flooded ford; it is the fact that appears to be succeeding instead of the usual of being washed downstream and the driver having to be rescued.

Fake or the crocodile is il morte.

A flooded outback airstrip is not unusual.

Unlikely, kangaroos are quite good swimmers. I suppose they could be being transported for some reason.

Trivia - Crocodiles have no predators in Australian except for humans and other crocs. They are therefore quite fearless. But, have you ever stood under a helicopter as it is taking off? Even a crocodile wouldn't do that.

We hope you brought your foot blister cream.

I reckon this would be true.

When they are very young, wombats can be cute and great fun but they soon become too strong and dangerous just because of their strength, weight and bulk. Unless this one is still very young, pretty unlikely.

Our cats used to do this. No reason why a kangaroo would not enjoy some tasty fat from a lamb chop on the barbeque plate.

Maybe, so long as he is not actually driving. Koalas don't make good pets either.

Forget about the great Australian wave, as you try to keep flies off your face. There is the great Australian dance, and I have done it, where the flies are so bad  you start dancing around with your limbs flailing about to get rid of them. It works only for as long as you  remain in motion.

Yes, kangaroos do come into back yards but it is unusual. This seems to be at a wildlife park.

Sure, why not. Emus can run very fast.

Kangaroos eat grass. I am at a loss to understand what on the road could be of interest to them, unless it is dried fodder blown from a truck.

I am slightly doubtful about this one because the toilet pan looks to me to be American and not Australian. The are quite different.

True, I reckon. After the monsoonal rains in the Northern Territory, crocodiles are removed from human swimming waterholes that have been flooded and the crocs relocated, so the waterholes can once again be used for swimming. Trust me, I am from the government and your waterhole is now safe for swimming.

By the size of its body, the python snake has recently eaten, probably a curious little boy, so I am not sure why it would have its mouth open and caught on wire.  If true, its quite a distressing photo. Pythons tend not squeeze humans to death and then eat them, but a small child is a possibility.