Saturday, April 08, 2017


Where did the American pronunciation tomayto come from? Old English? You say tomayto and I'll say tomato.

Tomatoes are a fruit, and as such, I have been taking about five cherry tomatoes to work each day for a couple of months as a snack, now that plums are just out of season. We buy them from the el cheapo Asian fruit and veg shop in Prahran and we go through two punnets a week, but they are very small tomatoes. I am careful when I select them. I turn the punnet around and around to ascertain that none are at rotting stage. You have to do this when you buy fruit and vegetables that supermarkets and sorters have rejected.

It was my idea last week to go to South Melbourne to do the weekly shopping before I went to work last Sunday. We had a fantastic brunch, a breakfast bruschetta full of egg and chorizo at a Spanish place that has won the best paella award outside of Spain. We were there before paella cooking was underway, with the hotplates focused on baked eggs in a tomato sauce.

So we shopped in Woolworths in South Melbourne. It was ok, a nice big supermarket, but we prefer our Prahran one, we have decided.

We bought two punnets of cherry tomatoes. I took five of them to work on Sunday and et them. Monday, I took another five and realised that Sunday was not an aberration and that they were terrible. They were quite big for cherry tomatoes and had skins so thick and tough, with very little tomato taste. They were a disgrace.

It is not often I stand up about things, but I have about tomatoes. If I am present when R shops, he dares not to buy tomatoes. I select the tomatoes and I have never found that a supermarket ever sells good tomatoes. For all R's cooking skills, I am much better at fresh vegetable and fruit shopping. I sniff, look and squeeze.

Boringly repetitive but Adelaide has better fruit and vegetables than us, yet at times our tomatoes come from South Australia??? But nowhere in Australia is even in the running compared to the quality of fruit, vegetables and berries in Europe, yes seasonal, but isn't that how it should be?

Merging two blog post thoughts, Lee recently mentioned that she had no desire and never has to travel overseas. I don't think Margaret has either. Maybe most of you Australians are the same. Pushed by R, we now do big holidays overseas. While I want to save money for my old age, R is determined to spend his money so there is no money left for anyone to inherit. I hope his timing is good, and mine too, really.

I suppose I am an experienced overseas traveller. Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan. Then Hungary, France, England, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Germany. Canada and the US. New Zealand.

I have learnt little about the world though by travelling (which probably contradicts something else I have written) I have learnt that the best coffee and fish and chips are in Melbourne, my home town. Forget English fish and chips. We do fish and chips better and our coffee is great, and cheap at $3.50 per serve.

You can get the best ever strudel in Vienna. Do ask for the vanilla sauce to top it. Sorry, how many euros did that cost? Who cares. We are on holidays. I think it was Nuremberg where our travelling companion found the best and sweetest tomatoes I  have ever tasted. We had a delicious mix of nuts in Cologne.

I think you can find really good and fresh produce in Australia if you are prepared to pay a bob or two but they are not available at your local Coles or Woolworths.

Speaking of which, the oldest supermarket worker in the world has turned 85. Brenda at Coles in Malvern has turned 85. River, you could have done another 25 years as a checkout chick and receive national media attention.  I have observed that Brenda rather likes to go in the afternoon to the the casino to play the pokies. Her money, why not.

Summary, I have seen and experienced some truly wonderful things when I  have travelled, but I don't think I am any better educated or smarter for having travelled. Ah, aside from the fact that we get crap fruit and vegetables. Even New York's are better.

What I have learnt about the world from blogs is immeasurable.

Friday, April 07, 2017


Once again we journeyed last Wednesday on the train to Heidelberg to see Hippie Niece in hospital. She had been moved from one side of her room to another after an expectant mother gave birth. She now had views and light and was happier. She said that while her partner is a very heavy snorer, in desperation she rang her mother, Ex Sis in Law, at 1am for help as the woman who had been added to her room snored even louder than her partner. She was moved the next day to a room that while it is a double room, it is pretty well too small for two patients.

It is though a terrific room. While her cervix is very large (don't ask me about what that means) she is holding her own and if Monday's scans turn out well, she may be moved on Tuesday to Frankston Hospital, much closer to home and she will receive many more visits from friends and family, just not us with an easy train ride to the Mercy. The important thing is that she will be living close to her daughters who will probably be in humidity cribs after she is discharged.

I took a cupcake and a candle to the hospital and we sang Happy Birthday to her Uncle R.

R had a busy week. Sunday, Little M's birthday in a park in Frankston and it was very hot. I was at work.  Monday, lunch with a former workmate and it was very hot and they cut it short. Tuesday, volunteer work, taking people for lunch to a Yarraville Club, Wednesday, going to see niece in hospital. Thursday, Mother Day. Friday, normal volunteer day, driving old people around for a five hours. I returned from work a little after 6 on Friday night and I could tell he was exhausted. He had made us a nice pasta dish for dinner, but then he imploded exploded. You don't want to be around him when that happens. Ok, our usual Saturday routine won't happen, brunch then shopping. I just read a bit, used the desktop and the tablet and my phone, read a bit more, sorted some photos, cleaned a few things, and then the day was gone. We did go off for dinner with friends to celebrate his birthday to the Elsternwick Hotel and his mood improved. ( I won't bash on about me booking these things and trying to sort our my work times so I can attend)

While it was R's birthday on Wednesday, it was Mother's 83rd on Friday. We are going to Club Officer for Sunday lunch. It is a good place. Tradie Brother ensured Oldest Niece, her partner and Little M and Little Em came. It was going to be Waves in Frankston, but mother was worried about her bowels and being so far from home. ???

Little M was a nightmare but lovely too. I scooped her up at the very last minute before she entered the gambling area of the venue. Little Em is just short of walking on her own.

Sunday morning R was up early, no doubt being woken up by Grand Prix car racing that starts at 7.30 and went off to shop alone. He bought a birthday cake and after our hotel lunch we all sang Happy Birthday to Mother and R.


This did not get published at an appropriate time. Below are a few photos of a room with a view. Niece was transferred to Frankston Hospital and said, to quote, 'it is shit'. Mercy sent all the appropriate Niece details to Frankston but they were nowhere to found. She landed in a place of chaos. She was told she could go home and is booked in for a cut and extract on the 28th of April. We will be away on holidays by then.

So she is home, but where is home? Her partner has rented a house in Cranbourne, aka Crimebourne. They have a bed and tv, but nothing else until the weekend.

Although it was a two bed hospital room, because of its odd corner shape, it is only practical for one person. Great views.

I happened to look up as we arrived at the train platform to go home and Niece was waving at us from the window.

Bits of the original station can be seen poking through the newer station roof. Being opposite the road from the three? hospitals, it quite a busy suburban station and obviously the earlier facilities would have been inadequate.

I understand Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre was some sort of collaboration of fund raising by ONJ and the state government.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Let's talk about China

Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo have been in China for a week or so. Little Jo went to school in China. They are now in Hong Kong, which, much to the chagrin of Hong Kongese, is now also China. They arrive home on Thursday and told Mother they will call in on her on Sunday on their way home from a scout camp at Garfield. Good god. They never spend any time at home. We have made our home nice and to suit us to spend time in. We like our home and enjoy being in it. Seems like Sister and Bone Doctor don't like their home so much. They are never there.

China was also the theme of gifts for R's recent birthday.

Brighton Antique Dealer gave R an old china rose vase, complete with what I judge to be a non original arranging wire frame. I remember the frames had weight to them. This one does not and does not really fit properly.

Our Friend in Japan sent a lovely gift of sauce cups. While we don't entertain nowadays, they will get used for various purposes and they are a pretty good talking point. I always thought Heinz 57 was Australian, but via blogmates, I learnt that the world knows about Heinz 57.

Surely that is enough china for one post, but no, there is more.

The immaculately coiffed red haired one, Jah Teh, sent some china too. I kind of recall that it is also our 2016/17 Christmas gift. While I have heard she is cheap, her gifts are not. We immediately turned them over to see their provenance and the marks pleased us.  Each mug has a matching coaster, and let me just tell you, should you ever have the privilege of supping on tea or coffee at The Highrise, you will place your cup on the matching coaster, or else!!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Wednesday Wonders

This building is featured in our booked tour of Dubai later this month. Unfortunately I doubt we will see it at night.

Tour buses, please detour.

Oregon? Strayer, you never told me about this.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Fed Up

This might be our fifth salt and pepper grinder set that has failed since about 2002, including one set that took six AAA batteries, and it chewed through them fast enough. R wants to use those supermarket grinders that come filled with salt and pepper, but I simply won't have them sitting on my dining table, thank you very much. Admittedly, they do work very well.

So, another set was found, that happened to be on special. It appears to be better made, but time will tell.

In case you are wondering, neither of us consider pink Himalayan salt any different to normal salt, and I don't add salt anyway, but it does look pretty in the grinder.

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Moslems, again, but personal

I feel like I am like the politician who votes against gay marriage but in his or her defence says, I have many gay friends.

Moslem women with covered faces, I am not fond of. Ban them I say. France does not allow any secular public display in so many areas, including Christian display. I think they have that right.

I don't have Moslem friends but I do have Moslem workmates. Person 1 I have worked with for nearly 38 years. His son joined the company. Person 1 is short and dumpy and does not overtly display his religion but is known to be very mean with money. It is hard to believe his son is his offspring. He is tall, well built and nice looking. The son was born here and while I am not sure where he went to school, he has a lovely speaking voice. He is quite a agreeable person. I often see him praying to Mecca, or whatever they pray to. No, they face the direction of Mecca. I remember the arrows in the Kuala Lumpur hotel rooms.

Moslem 2 is very different. I really liked him. I have known him for a long time and when he was young, he was pretty hot. While I knew he was a proper Moslem, we had the most terrific conversations. I once asked him if he was well endowed or very skilled at sex when he also had a wealthy Balinese business woman on the side.

He once showed me a photo on his phone of his wife. She was nice enough looking and in traditional Indonesian Moslem dress. He showed me a second photo, and he was in traditional male Moslem dress. I think his wife died from a woman cancer. She rejected western medicine and went home for traditional treatment in Indonesia. She died quite quickly. When he told me, we both got a bit teary, in spite of him still having Bali girlfriend. His late wife's family quickly arranged a new wife, a deserted wife with children. He embraced the children and paid out from his very fat wallet, but it was not to be. I quote, 'she tried to tell me what to do. In Moslem culture a wife cannot tell her husband what to do'.

Moslem 2 used to seek me out in the work eating area. For mine, at times I thought go away Taufik, can't you see I am reading and I want to be alone. To his shame, he once confessed that one of his sons is low autistic.

Now he has grown one of those little goatees that Indonesian men do and I came across him praying on a mat in a quiet area at work. We, he and I, seem to be avoiding each other. I miss our conversations about the latest Iphone, and his son's skills at international car parts dealings.

When he was young, he was a judo expert and severely knocked out someone in the workplace who did the wrong thing. I just don't get it. Someone who I thought was my friend and knew I was gay, and was quite Western,  is now avoiding me and taken heavily to his Moslem religion. Fuck religion. It does the world no good at all.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Sunday Selections

You can see here River's Sunday Selections and find others. Mine is not really Sunday Selections because these are not my photos, but photos taken by others and for some reason, I saved them as I came across them on the world wide web. This post is like a madwoman's breakfast, all over the place.

Some tosser in the Sydney area that covers Parramatta Road has suggested this vehicle as a solution to Parramatta Road traffic problems. It is described as a track less tram. For mine, if it looks like a bus, sounds like a bus and it quacks like a bus, it must be a bus.

Winnie, it rather depends on which angle you come at it from. Australian Aborigines looked after their land for thousands of years. We whities seem to bent on destroying it. Winnie, pour your yourself another drink to reach clarity of thought.

I have posted this photo of the Pontcysyllte-Aqueduct in Wales before.

It has again become relevant, because after our campervan holiday, I became slightly obsessed with watching RV camping videos, especially these two guys known as RV Geeks.  Recreational Vehicles, if you didn't know. Their visit to Australia was great.

After watching such You Tube videos, YT kept suggesting I look at English narrowboat canal tours and after becoming jaded and tired of RV videos, I took a peak. I came across videos made by an Australian couple who destocked their Australian farm and bought a narrowboat in England. So far I have watched them journey from Chester near Liverpool to London but I am not sure where they will go next. Perhaps they will travel on to the Pontcysyllte-Aqueduct. Along the way, they have investigated lots of beers in various pubs where they moored for night, or in one case were trapped by ice for a couple of days. Yes, they began their journey in the very cold January. Their boat is called Nutshell, hence the title Life in a Nutshell.

Even I could not bring myself to post this photo on Christmas Day, but I did save it.

Brought to you by the media of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Yesterday's post was of course an April Fool's joke. While I am sorry if you took it I am not. That is the whole point of an April Fool's joke. I've written some pretty convincing April Fool's posts in the past, but I haven't done one for a few years. I came across some really good ones this year, such as Ikea placing a newspaper ad stating that there is an amnesty for the return of their wooden pencils. Guilty as charged, Your Honour. We have one. Actually, they don't mind you keeping one or two pencils, as the ad points out, but there are hoarders of Ikea pencils. No questions asked. Return the pencils. 

The Sydney tram bus, as seen above, was I expect the inspiration for the Public Transport Users Association April Fool's joke, with the PTUA issuing a media release.  

When I arrived home from work, the harvesting of spaghetti from trees was being repeated on tv. It was one of the best April Fool's jokes ever. 

Crikey had a pretty good one. I read through it all and only realised towards the end that it was April 1. 

Lord Mayor Doyle has not instigated a plan to help the homeless by leaving sandwiches at bus and tram stops, but his own April Fool jokes are usually pretty  good. This year, he plans to extend daylight saving within the Central Business District, plus Docklands, for an extra month, principally to increase business for restaurants and cafes. 

I find it quite stressful to read the electric newspapers on April Fools Day. Is this article serious, or not? Last year when discussing April Fool's Jokes with a friend he said to me he thought up two April Fool's Jokes, one that Britain would leave the EU. I told him it was not believable. But really I liked his second one, that Donald Trump would be elected president of the US. I had a good laugh when he told me that one.