Saturday, November 19, 2016

Vent word solved

This is a snip from one of my posts about our roadtrip.

There was a fridge lock too, called Vent. Is vent known as locked in some other language? German? Gattina?

Gattina knows I think five languages and she did not know the word as locked in any language she knew. 

Margaret was travelling in her and her husband's caravan at the same time as we were and so probably did not read the post and I expect she would have explained the word and what it meant had she have read the post.

I have just discovered it for myself, but I will see if Margaret knows the word and what it is about.

Over to you in comments, Margaret.

Later edit: I discovered that when you are not using your campervan or caravan for an extended period, you need to leave the door of the fridge ajar to prevent a build up of smells or mildew. You vent the fridge by pushing the lever across so that the fridge door stays open when it is switched off and unused. With some fridges it is a pop out thing within the side of the fridge door or a plastic bit that just sticks out. Makes sense. 

Hair pulling out stuff

Mother's telephone stopped working on Mother Day, the day R visits her. He had a call from a call centre in some other country who kept asking to him hold. Mother is Telstra priority customer because as she says, her telephone is essential, never mind that her personal alarm is connected to the National Broadband Network and not the telephone line.

Mother, for $50 per week, five days, gets an attendant to supervise her showering. Mother runs them ragged and they are all so concerned for health, her well being and her lack of money, so unlike her uncaring children. It is the best $50 a week that Mother spends.

Eventually the overseas call centre connected R to a local supervisor and it seems one of Mother's showering people could not contact her via telephone and thought the worst. R spoke to the showering person and he said she sounded very stressed. That is Mother's task in life, to make people worry about her.  But of course all these calls delayed R who usually leaves at 10 on Mother Day. He would have been at Mother's by the time he dealt with all these calls.

Finally he hung up the phone and set off rather late. Although the tech person was supposed to fix Mother's phone between 2 and 6, he was there in the morning when R arrived. It was a fault in a street junction box. Mother had already told ABI Brother that he must stay the night as she can't be on her own without a telephone.

All was sorted and most kindly, Tradie Brother called R tonight to thank R for his efforts.

R knows all about home care and from his experience, if the client is difficult, he or she is not given the same caring person on a continuing basis, which is exactly what is happening with Mother. A different woman arrives every day for Mother's showering.

At Chemist Warehouse, Mother refuses to use a basket, instead stuffs innumerable products into either her handbag or two less formal bags. R sorts it out at the desk and puts it all into a basket. R put her walker in the car and had to clear the box below the seat, T, did you pay for this talcumn powder? I don't think I did, R.

I quote R, "Your mother is an ****ing nightmare. The manipulation and the sheer gaul of her. I have worked in disabilities and with old people for thirty years and I have never met anyone like her".

Yes dearest, that's my mum.

Friday, November 18, 2016


The poor tomato plants suffered twenty four hours of the most terrible cold gusting winds. A few leaves were lost and a few 'burnt', nevertheless it is thriving and we have flowers.

A few days old on the larger plant.

Brand new today.

So many worthy charities

I might just leave this video playing on the computer on a loop when siblings, nephew and nieces are here for Christmas. Keep them on their toes with the rich uncles, you know. You never know, I might have my own very deserving Derek in my old age. Then there are always the worthy charities, too many to count.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Debunking myths

We went to an afternoon party hosted by a friend. While there was a few gay guys there and maybe a straight person or two, most of the guests were dykes. I am not a great party person but I quite enjoyed the party. I chatted to various women who wear sensible shoes and even some of the same persuasion who wear heels.  Afternoon parties suit me so much better. Funnily, or presciently, quite a good bit of the conversation was about elderly parents and the care for them. Given the party was hosted by a dyke who is going to have her parents move in with her, and the party was kind of her last freedom party, to talk about ageing parents was not that strange. R's volunteer work is with the elderly and one person at the party worked in aged care. Her eighty plus year old parents jet off to Hawaii and then drive from the airport to Trentham. My eighty year plus mother doesn't leave her house unless one of her children or carers take her out. I certainly gave my input into the discussion of ageing parents.

One gay man we met at the party proclaimed that orthodox Jews have sex with a sheet in between their bodies. That is, the man covers the woman with a sheet that has a hole in an appropriate place.

I had not heard of this and I was immediately suspicious about this suggestion and then that it could be repeated endlessly until it is believed.

Having just skimmed through the sex manual for ultra orthodox Jews, it is essentially a myth. Maybe a weirdo orthodox Jewish couple do that, but as far as I can see,  not. It goes against human nature to not have skin to skin contact and human nature will win over every time.

The dyke friend is an excellent cook and we ate well and had some left over home cooked stir fry for a light dinner later.

Today, Tuesday, we journeyed to Victoria Gardens, first by train, via a rather nice Victoria Street cafe for brunch that we have come to like. We looked at some furniture in Freedom that we can't afford. R bought a calico jumper hanger for his wardrobe to replace his worn out 14 year old one. Back in town, I bought an advent calendar for Little Jo at Chocolate Box. I bought myself some coconut ice and R bought a gift of a small bag of chocolates for a friend. I told R to not 'do a Grace' and eat the chocolate bought for someone else, and to keep it for sending.

All good.

The subject line is debunking myths. No matter how many times I tell Mother, a cold is caused by a virus that you catch from another person, she still insists you catch a cold if you are out in the cold, especially if your hair is wet or if you get caught in a rain shower. If you have a baby, you must superheat the child to stop it getting a cold virus.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


We took a short tram trip to Chapel Street, Windsor, although we crossed over to the East St Kilda side of The Great Three Chain Dandenong Road. I was going to tell the story here of this part of Dandenong Road, but I will save it for a separate post. This wall on the bridge over the Sandringham train line is relatively new compared to the wall on the other side of the road. It is a horrible textured brick of a nondescript greyish brown. Although it remained graffiti free for many years, finally it received some white paint tagging and it looked awful. Now this quite brilliant work has been painted on the wall. I am pleased.

We strolled along Dandenong Road, past Presentation College.

We crossed Dandenong Road and here is where we are visiting, Ardoch.

Ardoch is a residential enclave with a very nice central park like garden.

While some may appear to be freestanding houses, as far as I can see, they are all apartments. I can't find the information now, but I believe there are 92 apartments of high quality in the Arts and Crafts style.

There were once two mansions on the site, with one mansion subdivided into apartments and still existing, and the other demolished to make space for more apartments, sometime between the wars. Information about Ardoch mostly from St Kilda Historical Society website.

In 1949 the whole site was bought by insurance company, CSL. It was renamed Ardoch and soon deteriorated. Greedy big business at work

In around 1977 the site was bought by the Victorian Education Department and turned into a school for disadvantaged and troubled children. Some of Ardoch remained residential to keep some life at the site out of school hours. It was a caring and gentle school in nice surroundings for the children who really needed such an environment to build their self esteem and life skills.

Dictator and all round nasty bloke, Premier Kennett, in the 1990s sold off what the government owned at Ardoch and the school closed.

Subsequently it was briefly owned by a government agency, the Urban Land Authority.

With strict heritage controls, it is again an estate of private apartments for the rich. I must say, I found the whole site very appealing and I think it would be a nice place to live.

Two bedroom, one bathroom, one car space, hydronic heating (rare in Australia) about $870,000. The same in our building, sans hydronic but with heating/cooling air con for a modern apartment would be about $650,000.

At 109 Station Street, Burwood, we built our front decking and garden around a wonderful crab apple tree. Subsequent owners had the most beautiful shaped, shady in summer and blooming in spring, crab apple tree removed. Crab Apples were blooming beautifully at Ardoch when we were there a couple of months ago. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A reinvented tv station

There is so much to see on free to air tv, I am not sure why you would want pay tv unless for a specific reason, maybe a sporting channel. With a dual tuner recorder you can record up to four shows at once, two of them having to be from the same network. Marvellous.

And it only gets better. Have a look at what SBS2 is about to do. It is to be renamed rather oddly as SBS Viceland.

Andrew at has published a programme guide for the first week of SBS Viceland. If you read the post, you will understand why the channel is called Viceland.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Equality of Theft

Australia is a great country, unless you own a car. In my state of Victoria, which has about 1/3 the population of Australia at a guess, in the last financial year, July 2015 to July 2016, 41 cars were stolen every day. The figure is expected to be higher this year. Some were expensive cars, most not. Regardless, it must be horrible to have your car stolen. We have never had that experience but before we moved to The Highrise, we had our cars broken into and damaged when parked on the street.

Say someone stole our car worth $10,000 and our car wasn't insured against theft. The offender in the rare event that he or she was caught might at worst case receive a good behaviour bond if it was a first offence. Possibly just a good behaviour bond if it was a third offence with a magistrate sternly waving his(sic) finger at the miscreant.

Yet if I stole $10,000 from my bank by nefarious means, I would end up in gaol. The monetary loss is the same, but one is personal and causes extreme stress to often the poorer people, the other to big business who are probably insured against such theft and can claim a tax deduction, yet the crime of stealing from a bank is punished much harder.

And god help you if you are an abused single woman with children who makes a mistake in your favour with your Centrelink statement of your income.

Car theft needs to be judged as a serious crime. I do not understand why it is not but I suspect it isn't for 'respectable' people, because it is covered by insurance. If you are poor, you can barely afford to run a car, let alone insure it.

Lock the car thieves up, I say. No excuses.  Steal a car worth $10,000 or steal $10,000 from a bank, it is the same.

But what I will add is that money spent on preventing youth crime is often money very well spent.

Musical Monday

I've probably posted this clip before but no matter. I just love it and what a hunk is Tim Freedman. The first is the official video clip, the second a live performance at The Metro, Sydney. Live is not usually as good as the produced official clip, but in this case, I like it because there is a lot of passion in the live version. The Whitlams with No Aphrodisiac.

This 2012 photo from SMH is the most recent I can find. Tim is holding up well at the age then of 48.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Selections

Very random Sunday Selections this week. River will probably use her own photos. Aside from one, these have been found on Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes I remember to save the names of who originally posted photos.

Covering up the company name, Gold Bus of Ballarat. There were injuries but no deaths.

Mid year was Bone Doctor's fortieth birthday party. The theme was the 1980s. I googled for inspiration for an outfit. "R, I've found something 80s we could wear, a crop top each."  Anyone who I have met is probably rolling their eyes at the thought, but there was a time....ah yeah, in the 80s.

'Sydney Buses travel alert: Minor delays to the Bronte to Railway Square service.'

Was it such a good idea to replace Sydney's trams with buses? Trams were so much safer. This was written before the terrible multiple fatality tram crash in Croydon, London. I thought of removing the photo but my readership in London is minimal, afaik.

Humiliation is not an emotion dogs feel, and it is just as well. (I think this was found at a blog, Sandra?)

I suppose the facade of the mighty Carlton and United Breweries may appeal to someone, but not to me.

"Mate, the media will be at the court. Don't forget to hide your face from the cameras".

The trams passing The Highrise come from either Malvern or Glenhuntly tram depots. This is a Malvern tram and I can easily tell  because of the line of bird droppings on the roof. Glenhuntly depot does not seem to have such a bird problem.

Way out west was a valiant attempt was made to get to heaven, one way or t'other, upwards or death.

He, its got to be a he, nudged the tree. I guess the owner decided now he had scratched his car, he did not want it anymore. The City of Yarra did not remove the car promptly. What happens to abandoned cars in the hipster, trendy, artistic suburb of Fitzroy? Photo by Robert King via Twitter.

They become works of art, painted in gold. Photo by @KimAroundTown via Twitter.

I heard a rumour that MOMA in Hobart has bought the car as a work of art.

We are in the running madness season. I think this was the first. There has been another, and another is scheduled for 20th November. They are so disruptive to people. We know about them and when they happen but many motorists don't and get into horribly long meandering diversions. I remember one friend trying to go to golf at Albert Park one Sunday morning and could not work out how to get across St Kilda Road and just went back home.

Jayne recently mentioned Pic-Nic Station. What? I've never heard of it. I do have rather a large collection of saved maps, and sure enough, there it is, or was, just before Hawthorn Station. I bet the other Jayne wishes Botanic Gardens Station was still there. Well, not really, while the name is good, the actual location was not the Botanic Gardens.