Saturday, September 10, 2016


Shrimp meat chips/crisps? I'll pass, thanks.

Blog Housekeeping: When I changed blogging email address to a a Gmail address, it seems it fixed the problem of people not receiving emails when I comment on their blog. However what also happened was I don't receive emails when two people comment, so River and Grace, don't be offended if I miss your comment if you are a late commenter. There is nothing really that either of you can do to fix that. It is a known problem and there seems a lack of will to do anything about it. As well, Marie's comments always go straight to my email spam folder, but at least I quickly notice them.

Also not for Grace to trouble herself about, but mostly her comments on my blog are immediately repeated. Now I just noticed I double commented on Marie's blog, exactly how it happens to Grace. Marie, just delete the second one if you wish, as I do for Grace's double comments. Odd that it does not always happen.

Mother has settled down at home. She has a sturdy rail to get in and out of the bath for showering. She has a shower chair that sits in the bath and while it is about to end, for two weeks she has paid $6 a day, weekdays, for someone to be in the house while she showers and she regains her confidence. ABI Brother stays with her Friday and Saturday night and he hangs around until she showers in the morning. This photo of Mother on the magazine That's Life is about ten years old, or somewhere in between. She was about 73 kg in this photo. She is now 57 kg. She was reluctant to take Sustagen to build up her weight because of her dairy allergy, but I think I have convinced her to take it. I don't think there is much dairy in the product.

Let's talk about the weather

 Australia is a big country. It is also a continent on its own. It is fatter than it is taller, but still north to south is quite a distance. It takes four days to drive from the east coast to the west coast and I would guess about three days to drive south to north. That may impress or distress Europeans but probably not North Americans. They would understand distances. Nevertheless, in spite of  Americans understanding distances in their country, the answer to the question, if I am staying in Sydney, can I visit my friend in Perth for lunch and be back in Sydney for dinner? We have hired a car. The answer is no. Think New York to LA and then some more.

It would be close to 4000 kilometres from Hobart in the south to the northern tip of Australia, about 2500 miles. That is a long way.

The north of Australia in tropical, hot and humid in summer and still mildly hot and humid in the winter and the monsoon rains arrive each year where humidity beforehand is extremely high and there is tension in the air and people are driven mad, well they were before air conditioning, and then it breaks and down comes the rain, the wet season. The build up sees spectacular storms with brilliant lightening. The wet season sees a deluge of rain, flooding and rejoicing by farmers that the rain has arrived, or occasionally not. Nothing to do with global warming though.

To the extreme south, the city of Hobart in the Australian island state of Tasmania, it is a cool temperate climate, not so different to where I live in Melbourne. Hobart is a bit cooler than here, a bit wetter and not quite as hot in summer.

So, you now know Australia is a big country and has very different climates, north to south. What I don't get is why no where in Australia do we have the awful weather of Japan or New York? Japan, hot and humid in the summer and snow and cold in the winter. New York, the same. Hobart is very south, next stop Antarctica but it must be about latitudes, so I must educate myself. You can come along too.

New York is latitude 40.7 degrees north. Tokyo is 35.7 degrees north. I will average that to 38 and see where 38 degrees south in Australia is. I am a bit stymied by a clothing company called 38south.

Mein Gott. I had truly had no idea. The 38th southern parallel runs through greater Melbourne just a few kilometres south of us. So why is our weather not like New York or Japan's? Melbourne is as far south of the equator as Japan and New York are north of equator.

I am in shock. The parallels are not equal? I am going to cop out here and ask you. Please explain why the weather is so different at about the same distances from the equator.

Friday, September 09, 2016


There is an odd time when I tune out from the www and glance at tv. I found this tv ad for Jeep motor cars drew my attention.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Not an ad

I am 90% sure I never gave Jack Astor's my email address and a little over a year after dining there, I received some advertising. One reason I am sure I did  not give the company my email address is it is one I would not have used to sign up. Nor did I expect to ever return to Jack Astor's, so I would not have joined any loyalty scheme.

So by now you are wondering what or where is Jack Astor's? Maybe not, but I will tell you anyway. I believe it is a chain of licensed venues in Canada or perhaps only Toronto or even the province of Ontario. One was adjacent to our hotel in Toronto and we dined there our first night in Toronto. It was very pleasant and the temperature in the evening had dropped to a very comfortable level for outdoor dining. The food was fine and it was not an expensive place.

From memory the only two criticisms I had was the music was too loud (old man complaining about modern loud music) and the female service a bit cloying, no doubt hoping for a good tip. Here are some tips to get a good tip.

Recognise your patrons. Two older gay men are not interested in flirting with a female waiter. Maybe I should qualify that as perhaps two older gay men might not mind a flirty male waiter.

Harder for female waiters to groom us for tipping, but should one of them be intuitive, something along the lines of, "I've been on my feet for eight effing hours and believe me, there has not been one hot guy to serve and no matter how much cleavage I expose, the tips have been lousy and now I get stuck with two old queens with weird accents and from god knows where. Are you from England? I don't care really, I am just trying to be polite. You are Australian? No hope of a decent tip then. Eff this". That would have ensured a decent tip.

Contrast that to the older gay male bar person at Heartland Brewery at the Port Authority in New York who was almost flirtatious, tended to us with dedication, and presented us with two emblazoned shot glasses when we paid the bill.

When I wrote my Canada blog posts, I did mention Jack Astor's. I am guessing its promotion arm has picked that up and read no further, not realising we are far from being locals, hence the email. While there is a place for Jack Astor's in the world, should I visit Toronto again, I would seek out smaller and more local places to dine.

A bit off topic but one of our local satirical tv shows used to use the line, What would Putin do? that is the Russian President, when faced with a problem. This series they are saying, What would Justin do? Oh Jussy, what would you do? I have just earnt myself more penance and have to read even more about Canadian politics because I have shallowedly referred to Jussy.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

My first love

I wonder if I was pre puberty or post puberty when I first fell in love with a man. I really can't remember. I suspect the former because I never thought about I would do with a him, aside from marry him, he hold me in his arms and we would live happily ever after. I just loved him, simply and innocently. His name was Little Joe Cartwright. If you don't know who am I talking about, bad luck. You can Google him.

The actor Michael Landon died in 1991 at the age of 54 of pancreatic cancer. Looking back so many years later, I still get twinges.

The motor car

A few random car related photos.

We sometimes take the car to an automatic Port Melbourne car wash. There is little space at the car wash to dry off the car so we drive to this linear park along the Port Melbourne light rail line. Lads are lads and as is the evidence shows, doughnuts have been performed in the park.

 You could supply a market stall with the good things that get thrown out in our building.

Not car related, but this was thrown out too. I assume it works. Things thrown out in our basement usually do.

A line up of 'yank tanks' in Collins Street. I suppose fuel costs killed off these large cars in North America. If you never ridden in one, I can tell you they are extremely comfortable and just float along the road.

Hippie Niece loves Kombis and wants one. I snapped these couple of photos with the intention of sending them to her, but I got myself 'involved'. The owner of the van, an older man of foreign birth arrived back to his Kombi and noticed his parking ticket. He was annoyed and we were sympathetic. He is parked in a disabled space and has the correct disabled parking sticker on display and was within the time constraints and could not understand why he received a ticket and nor could we. He was going to hang around until he saw the parking officer to ask why and we left after I took photos and gave him my contact details. I never heard from him, so who knows the outcome. What I think he may have done is parked in the very wide disabled space when there was already one car there. The car park markings seem to indicate the space was for one car, not two.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016


For youse edjication. I was passing by the tv when a quiz question caught me. Some might think I am ignorant but I don't like being ignorant about some things, so how come I had never heard of an interrorbang before? R had not heard of the word either and suggested it was some text speak.

It can also be spelt interabang. If I had a typewriter, I could show you how it should look. I would type a question mark and then backspace and put an exclamation over the top of the question mark. However in these sophisticate electronic days, I can't do that, so it is typed as ?! I know there are all sorts of hidden things on a keyboard, so perhaps it can be done properly.

Interestingly it is used in more than just the English language.

So you need some context. The best I can come up with is a line from a movie I have never seen, but so many know the line anyway. Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee: "You call that a knife?! This is a knife", as he is threatened with a knife and then pulls out his own monster knife.

Useful? I don't know. I can't see it catching on really. Have you heard of interrorbang?

Monday, September 05, 2016

The burkini

In Sydney bathing wear is called cozzies, that is the swimming costume Sydney people wear. In Melbourne we call them bathers, speedos or swimmers, well we used to. I don't know about now. Revealing Speedos I hope but sadly often enough some sad arse baggy swimming shorts.

Blogger Shannon in Speedo style swimmers. Not so shabby, hey. This is proper Australian beach wear that the young should aspire to. Not horrid baggy surf shorts. There is only so much imagination one can use.

The niquab some Moslem women wear is horrid. I don't like people hiding their faces. I don't like men, religions or cultures telling women how they should cover up and I don't like the culture of women being second status in the world by the way they have to dress. I don't like women who say it is about modesty and the worst are those who say it is my choice and my husband does not insist on it. Like the hell he doesn't and the word subjugation comes to mind. I don't like women being segregated in society because of religious belief or culture.

But in my almost six decades on this earth, I have seen some really silly bathing costumes. I remember the day Mother told me she was too old to wear a bikini when we were sitting on the beach at Rose Avenue, Cowes. As I recall, her last bikini was white with large black polka dots and a bloke tried to pick her up on the beach. So many years ago.

But protests against the Moslem female beach and swimming wear, the burkini? People can't dress as they want at the beach anymore? Before we know it, we will have beach inspectors back in Australia, policing what women wear when lying on the sand. Australia has a long history of people wearing absurd costumes at the beach. Why not one more? Really France, surely you have more to worry about than people wearing weird clothing at the beach.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

A new fiver

R was given our just released new five dollar note in his change at the supermarket. I had heard the new note is very bright and I was prepared to dislike it, but I don't. I like it. It is our lowest denomination note is plastic polymer rather than paper. Not that anyone would bother trying because of its low value, but it looks pretty impossible to forge. The clear parts on the note change, depending on the lighting and angle of viewing. The backwards five becomes the dome of a building. Between the star and the bird is another bird that you can make fly by moving the note.

Yarra Walk Pt 2, 1/2

I walked past this industrial site after I completed Part 1 of my walk and I wondered what it was and what the silos stored. This walk I again has to pass by and I smelt an odour that was familiar but not recognisable. It may have been the smell of barley hops, used in brewing. It was once Terry's Brewery, later Barrett and Burston Maltings. I'll never get this post finished if I work on more research about the silos, so I don't really know what it now is.

I think this is an Australian native, a Corea.

And the wattle is in glorious bloom.

Yes, we live in the lucky country, more lucky for some that others.

"The working class can kiss my arse. I've got the bosses job at last".

As a communist, I think all Australians should live in such splendour.

Oh, that looks like some old money up there on the river bank.

I am walking along what once was the working class industrial northern side of the Yarra River in Burnley, looking across to the wealthy area of Toorak.

The street address for these far side buildings is probably St Georges Road.

The Glen Waverley train line crosses here and if travelling left to right towards Glen Waverley, the train will soon reach Heyington Station, probably the train station in Melbourne surrounded by the most expensive property. Sorry about the bad English in the last sentence, but I seem unable to rewrite it.

I initially thought these were apartments, but upon closer inspection, it is one house. I must work harder and longer and with more enthusiasm.

A local private school football team of lads run across the bridge, probably from St Kevin's.

From the far eastern side of the bridge, a train crosses on the way to Glen Waverley.

I liked these greetings on the path.

St Kevin's is on one side of the river and its boat shed on the other side.

Australia's M1 circles Australia mostly along the coast, in Victoria it is generally called the Princes Highway. This is Alt M1, the alternative M1, which is a toll motorway.

And underneath the City Link motorway, this is curious. I think I can see Tibetan prayer flags.

I am not great with the geography of this area. Apparently along the far structure, a bike path bridge, it is very close to Glenferrie Road. Actually the far side of the Yarra River here is Scotch College, one of our most prestigious boys schools.

More boat sheds, I think, and a smart new boat.....what is it called? Not a ramp. Landing? Private! Do no tie up your tin dinghy here and no fish gutting please.

Remember the the litter traps from earlier posts? Here is another.

Up the proletariat. We will win and install a drug addicted single gay black paraplegic father with his ADD children in your mansion. Seriously, the wealth along the river bank astonishes me. I kind of knew it was there but not in such opulence. We have to be talking about homes worth millions of dollars. How do people become so rich? Not by getting up at 5 o├žlock in the morning and working an honest 40 hours a week.

Water has been ordered from our desalination plant, the decision being made before we had one of the wettest winters on record. Nothing to do with global warming though. It is so nice to see things very green. By the end of summer, it will probably be a very brown scene.

Kevin Bartlett was famous Aussie Rules football player, for the team of Richmond, where my great grandfather once played.

Note the cross peering down over the rather ordinary apartment block.

I've almost reached Hawthorn Bridge Wallen Road Bridge, where Swan Street crosses the Yarra River, linking industrial Richmond to the salubrious 'proper' eastern suburbs. Just across the bridge is Melbourne's tram museum, and perhaps surprisingly, I have not visited it. I remember very old trams on our streets, but I will visit the museum one day. Also just across the River is Leonda restaurant. Our Governor General dined there once back in the 1970s not long after in the name of Her Majesty The Queen he sacked our late Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. I was outside Leonda, protesting with others and I think it my first political 'blooding'. Do not accuse the naive 18 year old me of looking for some fun with a university student met at the demo. It did not happen.