Saturday, March 18, 2017

Take a compliment with good grace and your heels

A guy from Chile once said to me, 'Gee you have a nice smile'. That was before my smile disappeared into my now fat face and jowls. What about my beautifully slim and smooth body? He did not mention that but someone else did, and it was the first time I heard the word, visage, that is he said how nice to see your visage. Wanker.

I've mentioned it before I think, but again, Mother was showing R some old photos and R said to me later when telling me about the photos, 'I'd forgotten how cute you were when you were young'.

I can't remember the circumstances, but very recently R and I were talking about men's legs. Ah, just remembered. He bought a new pair of shorts for our Euro travels. I don't wear shorts. He asked why not, as if he he did not know had not asked me before. He added, you used to have great legs.

Used to? If there is one thing about me that has not changed, it is my legs. I can never see them objectively nor take much notice, so I have to take R's word for it. But my legs don't have visible blue veins showing, nor knots and aren't too marked, apart from the scar from a boil when I was a young teen.

I have been looking at women's legs of late. Of course I always look at men's legs. What makes a good leg on a woman? I am not sure. I saw a quite attractive lass who had all these lumpy bits on her legs, so I guess that is not great. Is the ideal long and smooth? But how should they be shaped? Obviously not like men's and that is where I get lost.

A well worn pair of stilettos can enhance a woman's leg line and look very stylish.

But what I really dislike is seeing women wobbling on high heels. This catwalk model did more than wobble. She lost it. If your are going to wear such uncomfortable shoes, you need to be able to do it with style, or don't do it all and stick to flatties. There is little worse than seeing a woman wobbling around on inappropriate shoes. Of course, as a couple of very old blog mates will attest, I can wear heels with style.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fixing the blog and a flood

What a mess the Highriser blog got into this week. I forgot Wednesday Wonders and my Elwood Canal post was published early. I will see if I can get things in the right order at least.

At the 1:32 point in this video of the canal in flood you can see the viaduct that I photographed that allows the water to spread out far and wide. While this clearly helps, still it was a torrent of water going down the canal. The video was taken in December 2016 and oddly I can't remember a serious lot of rain nor news of the canal flooding. The real problem is that it drains such a large area very quickly and with many more paved surfaces now as against say twenty years ago when there was a lot more homes with grass lawns and more gardens, and bluestone paving with gaps for water to soak into, the flooding is probably worse.

Video by Terry C. I hope I have the publish date and time right this time. I believe the chap towards the end is former Port Phillip Mayor Dick Gross, a known bicycle rider.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Elwood Canal

People know it as Elwood Canal, but it is more correctly called Elster Creek. Gattina? What does the word elster mean in a language you know? Don't be confused by me using different nouns. It is a creek, a drain, a canal, and a waterway.

Much of Elwood was swamp land. some as low as two metres above sea level. It is prone to flooding as a large amount of water flows from many directions to the Elwood Canal and then drains into the sea. My prime motivation for walking the not too far length of the exposed canal was that I remember there was at least one suburban street ford and it was not where I thought it was. I did find two on a map and I wanted to have a look. I caught the 216 bus to the corner of New and Rusden Streets, in I suppose Elwood.  The first open part of the the creek that I explored runs through Elsternwick Golf Course, so I am risking been knocked on the noggin by a stray golf ball, but that was to be my starting point.

A quite interesting house near where I left the bus.

I did not know there were housing commission flats here, that is state owned public housing. It is a an expensive area to buy or rent in.

I had checked using Google Street View and this gate was unlocked and open, appearing as if it was never shut or locked. Well, this has stymied me.

Oh, it does not look very enticing.

Further upstream when I crossed back over the road, it is a very wide constructed drain.

So I had to divert around the golf course, not such a bad thing and no longer at risk of golf ball concussion. This is a nice picnicking shelter, with a barbeque.

With flooding being a big problem, some of this park and lake is lower than the banks of the canal and acts as flood water retaining basin.

Here is where water will spread out from the creek across the flat land.

Oh yes, I went out to take photos, without my camera. Idiot. I had to make do with the phone camera and there were a number of out of focus photos and many of the photos aren't so good.

I am now standing in St Kilda Street, looking upstream in the golf course. Apparently the bridge I am standing on was designed by Sir John Monash. He was a respected local engineer and we have many things named after him, such as Monash Freeway, Monash University, Monash Hospital.

There is now on an excellent and well used path along the edge of the canal. I soon reached the Foam Street ford. A small drain goes under the road but if there is an excess of water, it just flows over the well laid paving. Note the flood depth indicator.

The water is now flowing in a bluestone block lined channel.

The transparent plastic around the tree is probably to prevent possums climbing to the upper branches. I have no idea what the lower device is, but clearly something to do with wildlife. Its centre is hollow.

Here is the second ford, at Wave Street.

How good that this old tree trunk was kept. I cannot guess why the earth around the tree is bare. Later: This is believed to be an Aboriginal scar tree, a tree scarred by Aborigines removing bark to use for various purposes, including making canoes.

It is all looking quite neat now. I had to cross to the other side of canal now and join Paul Hester Walk. Hester was a well known musician and a member of the bands Split Enz and Crowded House and a local resident. He suicided in 2005 and the path was named in memoriam.

Looking upstream on the far side of Glenhuntly Road.

Gee, it is not the most attractive at this point.

I would imagine it is now tidal here. I can smell rotting seaweed and note the dumped shopping trolley.

For launching some sort of boat.

Right along the banks massive drains empty into the canal. If there is a king tide (high tide) combined with lots of rain, the water banks back up in the drains and floods local streets and at times houses. This water bird had spied something interesting and ran along the canal bed.

More drains and plenty of sandy silt on the canal bed now. Note the graffiti with the name Sinch. Sinch was a graffitist and was killed while on a train roof near Balaclava Station.

A couple of litter traps.

I came across this attractive 1960s flat block and remembered I had a female friend who once lived there and I visited her a few times here. I think I was about 19 years old then. Are they are crepe myrtles blooming in the garden? This is the only building that I saw that faced the canal.

This was a bit sad. It took four shots to capture it all with the phone but you don't need to see them all. It says, "People used to dump unwanted animals into the canal. You would always know it was a dog as all the neighbourhood pooches would start howling. We'd go out and rescue them".

 This seagull was puddling the silt.

At a couple of bridges were these lengths of concrete before and after the bridges. Investigation required. They look very old and I am sure there is some earlier history to them.

Difficult to see, but there are eye hooks in the canal walls, for tying up watercraft.

Tis a queer thing that this Ruskin Street two way bridge was turned into a one car at a time bridge, with some of the former space used for a bicycle lane. It is such a quiet street, I am not sure why the bicycle lane was needed.

I've now reached Marine Parade and just beyond the canal flows into Port Phillip Bay.

A footbridge joining two large beachside grass reserves of land claimed from the sea where the canal flows into the bay. I am a bit curious about what the canal looks like at high tide.

I turned around, looking back towards Barkly Street.

I found another inscription, a little more pleasant than the last. "There have always been dreams for the Elwood Canal. In the 1880s they wanted to transform the waterway into a little Venice and have gondolas plying up and down the canal."

I caught the 246 bus to Acland Street with a heap of black African heritage school children and then had some afternoon tea, and caught the 16 tram home.

Later edit: HRH Prince Charles once swam in the sea near the Elwood Canal and suggested it was like swimming in diluted sewerage. It probably was back then, and at times of flood, possibly still is.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Porn Nurse

England's Sun newspaper is a pretty disgusting rag. It is owned by Rupert Murdoch and even his mother, the late and respected Dame Elisabeth Murdoch expressed her frank views to Rupert about his newspaper.

Apparently the paper features an almost bare breasted woman on its page 3. Nothing wrong with a nice set of titties, but it gives you the gist of what the paper is about.

A man paid around £9,000 for his education to become a nurse. Students raise money for their education in many ways and some work in the world of pornography and prostitution.

A newly qualified nurse was outed by The Sun as once being a cast member in gay pornographic movies. That is how he raised money to complete his nursing degree.

This is relevant because he did...........well, nothing. He is now a nurse, hopefully a good one. Does it matter how he funded his nursing degree? That he made pron videos means he can't be a good nurse?

The Sun headline was "Naughty but nurse. We reveal a nurse at a top hospital is an ex-porn star who starred in 23 X-rated films during his training".

So he funded his training by making porn movies. The Sun is a national newspaper in England, read by many people. This is so not a story. After immediate protests arose, The Sun pulled the story from their website. What? A trash newspaper does not even have the courage of its convictions to stand behind its trash?

Hot Autumn

We put ceiling fans in all three bedrooms, and they are generally adequate at night to cool us when the weather is warm and if the place is already cool from the air con. We sleep well without feeling hot. Just a nice gentle falling breeze from the fans.

'Sweetheart, at 9.14 it is 31 degrees outside. Do we have mutual agreement that we will leave the air con on and keep our bedroom doors open.'


Visiting the preggers niece

One of the more interesting things about using public transport is people watching.

We were not impressed as we just made the platform at Heidelberg Station in time for the 2pm train home after seeing Hippie Niece in the maternity hospital. There the train sat, on the single track into the station but not moving. Single track to double track means points. Was it a points failure? No, it was a police operation at the previous station, Rosanna, but it wasn't. A policeman strode down the platform and as he did, an announcement was made over the tannoy, that the train would be now arrive at 2:10 pm. The cop jumped down from the platform and went towards the train.  A couple more times we were told it was a police operation and then that there was an intruder on the tracks. Sure enough, the train began moving at exactly 2:10. But it was 2:12 before it left the station.

We were aware of a very loud female voice in the carriage that indicated someone with mental health issues a crazy person was among us. As we approached Clifton Hill Station, again the train stopped. I guess the the train from Epping South Morang went in front of us, as our train was late and we had to wait for the Epping train to clear the tracks. The loud voiced person made herself known to us all as she pressed the emergency button to contact the driver and ask, 'what the fuck is wrong now. Why aren't we fucking well moving. I am drunk but I am coming down and I need another drink, soon'. The train driver did not respond and a minute later the train moved on and she left at Clifton Hill Station with somewhat of a performance.

As I have become a weekly commuter on the Hurstbridge train and this was the only time it went a bit wrong. But I have become bored with looking out the window, and bored with people watching. I spend a little time on my phone, unlike most who spend all their time on their phone, and take my Kindle and read. I look up every so often to see what the cute guys are doing my fellow train travellers are doing, or just gaze out the window at our rapidly expanding city.

The alternative of driving to see the niece and paying for parking is beyond what my mind can comprehend.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Queen Victoria visits

I am working on a big post, so here is a quickie. I saw the MS Queen Victoria come in this morning, an 8am arrival. She has very nice lines, even noticeable from our distant balcony. She has just departed as I am typing, about half an hour late.

It is interesting that Wikipedia uses a photo of her taken in Melbourne at Station Pier. I think she was built about 2007, so she is not so old but seems to have a very classic look. She is also Cunard's smallest ship, but she doesn't look too small to me. Here is the Wikipedia photo.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Coopers shot itself in the foot

South Australia's Coopers Brewery donate money to various Christian religious organisations, including very homophobic religious organisations.

The company is also one of the largest donors to the South Australian Liberal Party.

Frankly, I have never given a thought to Coopers. I (yes I most definitely) have drunk their product but you can bet I will never again.

It is Cooper's right to do what they want as a company and my right to do what I want to as a consumer.

But is it so simple? In one fell swoop Cooper's has suddenly become........un Australian. I really can't believe how large companies can get things so wrong and yet pay thousands of dollars to PR people and advertising companies.

Musical Monday

River always has a Musical Monday post. I do at times. I thought I would post a You Tube clip of the performers of the last cd single I ever bought. It was not nearly as good as I remembered. I had not seen the video clip before and it was boring. In relation to the music, it was the first time I had heard the descriptive genre title of 'lounge music'. I don't mind it still, but it hardly stunning.  If you are interested, it was Groove Armada with At the River.

As happens with You Tube, you go on a merry old dance and I came across this clip. I have two remarks about this video clip, with lots of photos of Ella Fitzgerald. Firstly, she is quite large and perhaps not classically good looking, but see how the beauty of her on the inside just beams from her face. The other remark is that while I know she can belt it out, she pulls her voice in for this song and her performance is all the better for it. Just curious, does anyone know who the bloke is at the 3:20 point?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Selections

Joining with River and others for Sunday Selections, this week with random photos. Some are phone photos.

Chinese Dragon Day, aka Chinese New Year. Noisy, chaotic, smoky and great fun. We were not there to participate though. This is as close as we got. Noise, crowds, smoke and chaos are not fun for me.

An old Australian saying is calling someone 'a bit of a galah'. After watching these galahs swinging around on the footpegs of this communication tower, I understand where the term came from. The birds were having great fun. (A couple of weeks later, I saw corellas and and galahs in battle at the same place. Were they all having fun or was it territorial?)

On guard in the Block Arcade.

A little blurry, but these are starting? to appear at barber shops, upholding the long tradition of the coloured spiral pole to identify a barber, perhaps once for the illiterate. They are lit and the spiral rotates.

Which building do you like? Not a hard question for me.

This one is a bit harder. The crowning glory, 'though not literally, is the modern ANZ bank building and I quite like it.

How to buy Maccas #101 when travelling. It is so easy. You drive your car and trailer across a pedestrian walkway and then and stop illegally, and then reverse into an illegal parking space. Nothing to do with the car in the photo. I am talking about the the space between the yellow traffic light pole and the black and white direction arrow sign. That is where the car and trailer drove across.

Once positioned, then reverse into a no standing area, and go and get your McDonalds rubbish.