Saturday, July 08, 2017


Oh joy oh bliss. Suddenly ham steaks have reappeared in the supermarket. They are made of ham and all sorts of other goodies you don't want to know about and are absolutely delicious with fried pineapple pieces. Is this an Aussie dish or does the world eat ham steaks and pineapple?

Jewish and Moslem readers are probably pulling a face now, but to rely on old joke first told by a Jew, they were half price, and suddenly Jewish people want to know where they are so cheap.

When we were in Malaysia a few years ago, we heard of beef bacon. I thought it might have been just a euphemistic word for pork bacon, but no, there is beef bacon. It is rather boring. Speaking of bacon, what is so special in England about gamon? For me it was quite ordinary very thick bacon. On our Mediterranean cruise at the breakfast buffet we had the choice of English style bacon or American style bacon. Extreme American bacon style is when it shatters into pieces when it is cut. Australians are more inclined to English bacon. When I served myself bacon, I would take the English bacon and top it with a piece of American bacon.

We might dine out once a fortnight and honestly and I am finding its value becoming poorer. Ok, we don't go to smart places, but I struggle to find an appealing dish on so many menus. I wish I liked Chicken Parmigiana. Last night when we were out at a pub I had not been to before, I just could not decide and ended up choosing the Southern Fried Chicken Burger. There was nothing wrong with it, but nothing really right about it.

I prefer home cooked food, and why would I not when R is such an excellent cook, a naturally instinctive cook. It is not just how it is cooked but how it is served too. I am a more 'bung it on a plate' type if I cook and serve but I have learnt a lot about meal presentation from R, along with gift wrapping. Everyone knows which gift comes from R, because of the exquisite wrapping. He has raised the wrapping standards of my whole extended family by shaming them and their careless wrapping, yep, me included.

While I rarely cook, at least once every winter I make pea and ham soup. It takes three days to make. Today I boiled two ham bones with a two roughly chopped onions, a couple of bay leaves and a clove of garlic for a couple of hours. I extracted the bones and cut off the meat and most but not all of the skin and then chucked the meat back into the pot and it is cooling. I will skim off fat once it is cold tomorrow and the split dried peas are soaking tonight. They will be rinsed and added to the pot and it will be cooked until the peas break down. Let go cold again, skimmed of fat again and day 3, more water added and reheated and ready to eat.

How on earth did the price of ham bones reach $10 per kilo.  Butchers used to almost give away ham bones for your dog, admittedly without much meat on them.

I smell that my ham steaks are nearly ready. Goodbye.

A lighter moment

I seem to have done a lot of grumbling and whining of late. Here is something a bit happier.

Our niece Little Jo turns 10 in a few days. Yes, some of you long time readers will now fall off your orthopedically designed chairs. How can time have passed so quickly. I posted about when she donor conceived and was born and have posted about her many times since.

We were in a card shop this week, to buy her a birthday card. R has already bought her present, a heavily discounted Lego block thingie. It was on her list of many things she wanted. We will keep the receipt in case she is overwhelmed with Lego and wants something else.

I enjoy reading the funny things on birthday cards in shops. But this shop went one step further with drink coasters with some funny slogans. Here are a couple that I think I can remember.

"Only the best hipsters are born of mummies who tells them they are extra special children".

"I looked up from my phone yesterday, and I did not like what I saw".

"By the time a man realises that maybe his father was right, he has a son that telling him that he is wrong."

"Humans are the only animal that allows its young to return to the nest".

Friday, July 07, 2017

Luv, set and match

The atmosphere in Melbourne during the Australian Open tennis is terrific. I expect it is the same in London for Wimbledon. However, perhaps aside from some upcoming and talented hopeful competitors, once again Australia has been disgraced by our top male tennis players, on top of us being disgraced around the world by a religious nutter and activist, and old homophobic female tennis champion.

There are clearly no rules about being of good character in the rule book of Tennis Australia for admittance. Tomic and Kyrgios are just nasty spoilt lads with not an ounce of sportsmanship in them.
They are pricks, ugly men to their core, and the quicker they disappear from the public eye and public tennis playing, the better.

I would rather Australia lose at tennis for the next hundred years with nice and sportsman like players who tried hard and lost rather than have these tossers representing our country.

Photos from a blog that stole them from another blog that stole them from a sports site that stole them from a news publication that failed to credit the photographer which found the photos on Twitter.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

More turmoil

With family turmoil, turmoil down below with road and tram works, what else can go wrong? Plenty, as happened in the building last week.

It was never in the evening or early morning but at times the hot water would go off and then a couple of hours later return. We normally watch tv via the digital recorder but it was breaking up very badly. We switched over to using just the tv and the signal is strong enough up here for the tv to work without an aerial. 

The burst water pipe caused a flow of water down through the service core of the building, resulting in many problems. I understand the pipe that burst was in someone's bathroom, a flexible pipe connected to the basin hot water tap. This happened in the apartment above us several years ago (I can't find the blog post now, but it was a Grand Prix weekend) and my bedroom got rather wet, resulting in us buying new beds and the building's insurance company company paying for a new overhead fan in my bedroom. The carpet dried out, but has since been replaced. You can read about these flexible water pipes here. Later this year we hope to update our bathrooms and these pipes will be the first thing to be replaced. I suppose it is cost, but these pipes that have a lifespan of ten years or so should never have been used and still shouldn't be if they are not good for fifty years. 

Just another Australian building standards outrage. 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Turmoil down below

No, down below does not refer to my nether regions. What I am talking about is the tram reconstruction works that have gone on below The Highrise. This is all because a very long train tunnel is being bored under inner Melbourne. Part of Domain Road will be closed for the construction of an underground railway station. Should I live long enough, it will be a ten minute walk to the Domain Interchange, door to door, and then a two minute trip on an underground train to town.  All good, but there is pain involved for us. I've spent a bit of time on this map and I enjoyed making the map (especially using Little Jo's crayons), but if I knew what I was doing, it would not have taken so long. I became determined about it. For the first time I have written on a photo. Why did I not just make one text box and then the text would have lined up?

To my surprise, after searching through many photos, I seem not to have taken an overall photo of the intersection below. It is a busy, in the past quite dangerous and now a quite congested meeting of roads. I have tighter photos of the intersection and here are a few. It is now a construction site as I write, and the noise of 24 hour work has been annoying but not too intrusive while we are sleeping. Obviously there will be more to come.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Tuesday Transformations

Never mind give me a lever and I will move the world, try give me some paint and I will change the world. There are about 15 of these buildings transformed by murals and colours, so I will aim for three each Tuesday for 5 weeks. (I don't know if the names are the painters' names or the photographers'.) Yes, at times the angles are a bit different, but don't be picky.

"Knowledge Speaks - Wisdom Listens", Athens, Greece, by Wild Drawing, .

"Let's Keep the Plants Alive",  Bialystok, Poland, by NatalieRak, 

"Juliette Et Les Esprit", Montpellier, France, by Patrick Commecy. 

Monday, July 03, 2017

Pell and Savile

Is there an Australian naive enough to think that Cardinal George Pell will ever return to Australia to answer the charges against him? The abuse of children in government institutions and religious organisations seems like it was quite commonplace. The massive exposure around the world of such crimes has and will further reduce the opportunists and dedicated offenders. Some really good journalism and some brave victims have changed the world, for the better. And I guess I should include government action, though probably in a forced manner as a reaction to public pressure.

The world may not know about him, but Britain and because of publicity so too Australia knows about the late BBC star Jimmy Savile and his crimes committed against children.

Is there a connection between institutional abuse, clergy abuse and Jimmy Savile? I think there is, the reason being that everybody knew what Savile was up to and no one did anything. Likewise, with especially religious institutions. People knew and did not act.

Have a listen to the first minute or so of this interview with Johnny Rotten (aka John Lydon) of Sex Pistols fame. It includes a voice piece recorded in 1978. Savile's deeds were known about then, and yet for another three decades or so he was allowed to continue his criminal behaviour against children. Does that sound like what happened here in Australia?

PS I never liked Johnny Rotten and anything new I have just seen or learnt about him has not changed my opinion.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Sunday Selections

Joining with River and others for Sunday Selections. Again as last week most are older photos and there could be some repeats.

Winter solstice sun as dawn breaks. In a couple of minutes the sun will disappear behind the building and that is our bloomin' lot of sun for the day.

"Make sure Little Jo does not sit at the computer all morning", said Sister. We walked in Fawkner Park and she quite enjoyed the walk did not complain.

I don't think it was our large department store Myer. I also think this is where the Butterfly Club once was.

We were checking out Arbory, built where the former train station platform 11 once was. We decided against a brunch there. It was too closed in.

Push pull. Muscles are bulging, and the men's too.

Flinders Street Station is now covered with scaffolding, while it is repaired and repainted. In this photo, the vents have been covered over in preparation, then scaffolding and screening went up.

At South Wharf, I think that is what it is called.

Dog Jack has gone to live in Launceston in Tasmania with his mum. It is unlikely we will never look after him again.

A new leaf on the indoor plant is not welcome. The plant gets too big and has to be done away with. This is the third palm plant we have had here. We tried trimming back and root cutting, but they died. Easier to just buy a new one. Our disposable society, hey.

This is the outbound lane of the Toorak Road West/ Kingsway/St Kilda Road intersection. Gas, water pipes, storm water pipes, telecommunications and power are all being moved, leading to some traffic congestion.

I expect this scene of a van going down the wrong way along the road will be a thing of the past, once the works are finished.

The van is from out of town, Tarra Valley.

This intersection will never look the same again, least of all because many of the trees have been cut down. 

A rain front approached.

And missed us, as often happens.

Often an old sign will be exposed when a building is demolished. Our land line phone numbers have gone from 6 digits to 8, but I can't see any need for anymore as so many people no longer bother with a land line.

I complain how little our local council does for us in our neglected and foreign strip of the City of Port Phillip, but they have installed some exercise equipment in the Little Sandy Desert. The equipment appears to be designed for older people, with some simple co-ordination items.

Nice work. Majorca Buildings, Centre Place, Melbourne.

Autumn arrived. Now it is winter.

It was hard to work out where the sky met the sea and this ship almost seemed to be floating in the sky.

We are very close to our neighbour's windows. Why do they insist on having them open even midwinter? Lighting the barbeque which sits less than a metre away on the balcony soon has them shut.

Colours of autumn.

One for Lee. But not of Queensland beans, methinks.