Saturday, April 01, 2017

Charity is good for the poor

Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle has finally cleared camping homeless people from the City of Melbourne, and good on him. Unlike some, I never kicked them as I passed by the scum living on the streets, with their horrible cheap nylon blankets. Why can't these cretins understand that if you live on the streets, you need a woollen blanket to keep you properly warm. Nylon blankets? Really?

Lord Mayor Doyle, although a former conservative politician is not a heartless man. He has actually cleared out the permanent homeless from our streets, a great thing for our city and for them. All services for the homeless within the City of Melbourne have been withdrawn. I hope he moved them into suitable accommodation, but does it really matter? As long as we can't see them, it is good. But as he said, there will always be transient homeless element in Melbourne.

His latest project after cancelling all permits for charity organisations to serve meals to the transient homeless is gift voucher incentives to encourage restaurants and cafes to leave out trays of healthy sandwiches for the homeless at tram and bus stops. If the operator of such a business leaves out sandwiches every night of their opening, the vouchers are quite generous to the provider of such largess. After a nice meal in town one evening, on our way home we walked past tram and bus stops, and sure enough, there was a tray of sandwiches left at each, there for the hungry and homeless. What a kind and caring city we live in. Go Doyle!

I am sure no one would object if you chose to be proactive and leave some sandwiches out for the poor at our city tram and bus stops. It won't cost you much, and while these sandwiches are freely available in the city, there is not much in the way of such donations for the needy in the suburbs. So if you are in the 'burbs, it it is up to you to do your part and leave some sandwiches out. The next time we go to see Mother, I will insist R make up a tray to leave in her scummy town main street. I hope they don't expect brie. I just can't get past how kind Australian people are. Even if you are in a country town, what about you leaving some sandwiches out for the poor and hungry? What about cake? Would cake for the poor be too much and make them too reliant on our charity?

Probably best we don't feed them cake. I have a vague memory of someone suggesting feeding cake to the poor and it didn't end well for her. Let's just stick with sangers. Do your bit for the poor.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The birthday venue

Club Officer is about one year old in a new housing estate. We have been there for lunch once before. It is quite a good venue, with good service, ok food and not expensive. It sits adjacent to a lake which may be a pleasant place one day. It is still very raw.

Officer is within the Shire of Cardinia, one of the most rapidly growing areas in Melbourne. It has become much more diverse with many black African families taking up residence. Mother's only ever remark about the newest residents was, don't they just dress their children so beautifully. Quite true, they do.

Mother knows the right words to put into R's birthday card. Oh? Mother does not usually make a spelling mistake? I have checked and apparently adviser is an older way to spell advisor, with both spellings acceptable.

While it was overcast, it was very warm and with high humidity.

There is still some work to be done outside to better integrate the building into its surrounds.

There were ducks, swamp hens and I believe this is heron. It mattered not where it ducked under water, when it came up, it would be in a very different part of the water.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Updated Latham Diaries

The title comes from Mark Lathams tell all but tell nothing book.

Mark Latham was once the leader of Australia's Labor Party. He came close to being elected as our Prime Minister in 2004. While I am ultimately a Labor voter after my preferences are sorted, I found him to be a very unlikeable person and I would never have voted Labor with Latham as a leader. Gawd, who did I vote for? Surely not Howard.

Latham has just been sacked by Sky News after calling the head student of Sydney Boys' High gay for his support of women's issues and the lad's fellow students 'dickheads'.

Former New South Wales Premier, Kristine Keneally is considering suing Latham after he called her a protege of the disreputable Labor Party powerbroker, convicted criminal and thoroughly horrible Eddie Obeid. He also called her a Yankee sheila.

Media person and former comedian Wendy Harmer is also considering suing Latham after he said she was a failure in commercial media and had taken refuge because of her disability with the government owned ABC broadcaster. Harmer was born with a cleft palate, treated and fixed up when she was young. It is still noticeable but not badly so, and does it matter? Harmer was for many years a successful commercial radio presenter and had her own very successful tv comedy show.

Latham also used Twitter to abuse former Australian of the Year and domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, whose son died after being beaten and stabbed to death by his father and her former husband.

I will just repeat the worst remark about someone I ever heard my grandmother say, he is nasty piece of work.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Friday Fulmination and the GP

Not such a fulmination really. R has peaked early on this Friday night and is in a snot and has gone to bed with significant multiple door slammings. He has had full on week, and it is not over yet, with a dinner with friends Saturday night and a family lunch out on Sunday, the former to celebrate his birthday and the latter to celebrate his and Mother's. As he approaches 70, he struggles at time, mostly to with my family. No one ever said my family is easy.

Apparently Hippie Niece's cervix is wide open, ready to give birth to premature twins. Depending on tests, early next week she may be moved to a hospital near her home area. (That has happened) Not so good for us to visit her, but there will be less need for us to visit her as she will be close to family and friends. She is past 32 weeks, whatever that means, but it was a critical point. We saw her on Wednesday and had cupcake with a candle for R's birthday. She was becoming sleepless because of the woman brought into her room to share who snored far louder than her own partner, and that is saying something. She was moved to most wonderful room on her own to ensure she gets good sleep.

I called Mother today to wish her happy 83rd birthday. For so long she wanted to have her birthday lunch at Waves in Frankston, but she is too afraid to venture so far from home in case she becomes unwell, so it will be somewhere more local. We have found somewhere and it is booked. 12.30 was booked out, so we have a 12.15 lunch booked. Such minutia over a simple lunch.

Tradie Brother and Ex Sis in Law's neighbour died a week ago and they both went to her funeral. I will call her Joyce, because that is a nice old fashioned name, and it was her name. Joyce was a salt of the earth type, and had a gong to ring if she wanted attention from TB or Ex SIL. Later TB cut a hole in the fence between with a flap so they could talk face to face. It was recounted at her funeral how she rang one of her sons after a storm to tell him there was a boat in her backyard. Nonsense Mum, he replied. You are losing your marbles. It wasn't nonsense. TB had a canoe on the roof of his outside bungalow and it blew off the roof and landed in Joyce's back yard. Life in Langwarrin, hey.

Later: Dinner with friends at the Elsternwick Hotel went well on Saturday night, but the group is much diminished and will soon expire. Details in a later post. Sunday lunch with family went well too. I will separately post about that.

It was the weekend of the Grand Pricks in Melbourne, an event that loses a huge amount of taxpayers money and god knows why it still happens. Because of the nice weather, attendances were up. The month long setting up causes massive disruptions to traffic and makes my trip home from work a very miserable experience. It almost makes catching the tram home as viable. Yes, the Grand Prix was here before we moved here, but that does not stop me complaining about it. Car racing around an inner urban park with a lake in its centre is quite absurd. I went one year when it was free on a Thursday. The most interesting thing about it was watching the ducks and swans, and oddly they seemed to be quite unperturbed.

I expect you as an Australian taxpayer are paying for all these RAAF planes to do Grand Pricks flyovers. Good on you. They are quite photogenic. (note, if your pronounce Grand as you would in English, then you must also pronounce Prix in English. You can't have a bob each way)

The Roulettes are quite special with their acrobatic displays.

The noise from this F18 Super Hornet bomber has to heard to be believed. Every year when I hear it, I think of what it might be like to live in an area of a war torn country and feel the panic as the bomber plane roars in the sky, dropping its load who knows where.

This is a new one for me. It seems it is a Boeing Globemaster, a troop transporter. It seemed to take a long time to turn around and looked to be quite a heavy beast. It flew past low, and slowly.

Wednesday Wonders

Not nearly as interesting this week.

We saw rivers in Canada where the waters did not immediately merge and mix.

The dangers of running a red light in Gibraltar.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Great differences

The contrast between the eastern Melbourne suburb of Camberwell to the south London suburb of Camberwell has always interested me. There is gentrification happening in London's Camberwell. No need for that in our very posh Camberwell. To paraphrase former PM, the late God Gough, its north south traffic sewer, Burke Road, contains the longest stretch of bible bashers in Australia. Yes, Camberwell is ever so middle class, with many church goers and is a 'dry' area. That is no hotels and if a restaurant wants to serve alcohol, as is the normal, it must apply for a liquour license, but also to the local council, whereupon residents must vote in a referendum on the application.

Another suburb name sticks out, Brooklyn. The borough of Brooklyn in New York is undergoing rapid gentrification. I suppose most people get to Brooklyn using the Brooklyn Bridge. We used the Subway.  I remember it as being the first time I saw a lad on those electric wheel things that you stand on. (yes, I can't remember the name). He looked ever so cool as he maneuvered around, back and forth and around.  He was a young black bloke and he looked quite interesting. He did not look around, seeking approval, which I was glowing with, but just rolled around.

I'm afraid a huge number of factories and commercial buildings will have to be demolished before Melbourne's Brooklyn could even be close to being like Brooklyn in New York. It never could be, really.

Speaking of New York, it was there I first saw buffalo wings on menus in restaurants. We never partook, but R found them already prepared in our local supermarket and as I type this, they are being served up.

Later: I rather like buffalo meat. It is quite spicy. Best you google buffalo wings to see the truth, if you don't already know.

Post inspired by Jah Teh, who asked me what happens to parcels when they are delivered to The Highrise. Oh, has she been saving cents and is going to send us something gloriously unwanted?  R's last Euro passport was delivered from the British High Commission, but we weren't home to accept delivery, so then it went to some sort of secure depot in Brooklyn, and he had to drive to Brooklyn to collect it. Fat lot of use his Euro passport is now, post Brexit vote. My dreams of living in Budapest, Vienna or Prague have vanished, by a vote in the UK. I still have the St Ives option. Cannot afford Kensington or Knightsbridge, barely Paddington or Bayswater. Stop, there is another, Bayswater. Our outer suburban Bayswater is very different to London's Bayswater. Read on.

A neighbour's wife when asked by us where she grew up (hey, we are nice. We did not ask which school she went to) replied with, the Yarra Valley, quite respectable. Later it came out that is was Melbourne's very outer suburb of Bayswater, quite a different place to the Yarra Valley, which is country, where wine and cheese, and fruit, berries and vegetables come from.

As I descend the social status ladder, I am determined to take down those who are trying to rise above it.

Monday, March 27, 2017

I before E, at times

English is a very difficult language, even for native English speakers. There are so many things that are only correct because that is how they are and there is not a rule to guide you and even if there is, it still may not apply, such as the letter 'i' before 'e' unless preceded by a 'c'. It almost doesn't apply more often than it does.

Take the above sentence and the phrase so many things that are only correct because that is how they are... I had to check if 'so many things' was any sort of collective noun and I should use 'is' instead of 'are' but even if that small part was a collective noun, I would still type what sounded correct to my ears.

Here is another from a blog post. I seem to spend a lot of time changing sentences. I expect many of you get them right the first time.

I think they were all Asian students lining the walkway to the QV shopping centre.

It occurred to  me that there is more than one walkway to the shopping centre, so I added one of the walkway, but then I had to add an 's' to make it right.

I think they were all Asian students lining one of the walkways to the QV shopping centre.

Better and more accurate.

Of course I could say, One of the walkways to the QV shopping centres was lined by who I think were Asian students. That probably reads better, but does it sound better? I try to keep my blog writing a bit conversational, rather than a work of literature.

I am not sure where I was going with this very old post, so I will just publish as is.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cowderoy Street and a vale

Local reporter and tv newsreader Dan Webb died last week. He was quite old, in his nineties I think. I published this in 2012 and mentioned I had seen him a couple of years ago. So that would be about 7 years ago since I last saw him. He presents an amusing piece in a clip that I doubt ever went to air. The more things change, the more they stay the same. See it at this link below.

R used to live in Cowderoy Street, in the same block of apartments where our Hairdresser Friend now lives. She rents and has lived in three different apartments there in the period of well over a decade. Opposite her building is the now empty, deserted and decaying Beaconsfield Hotel. You can bet developers have their eyes on that site.

'The Beak' for a period had a gay night, Wednesday night, I think. We had a few very good nights there. However, it is more famous for being the hotel where the late cricketer David Hookes had been drinking, and after being punched by a bouncer (guard), he fell and hit his head on the pavement outside and died in hospital the next day. The bouncer was later found not guilty of manslaughter.

I think R and I had been for a beachside brunch and as we walked back along Cowderoy Street to the car parked in Park Street we noticed this rather nice block of apartments. I like it heaps.

I'd put money on those lights at the entrance being the originals.

Not so sure about the balcony lights, but at least every apartment balcony has the same and they probably are of the right period.