Saturday, September 02, 2017


203 High Street Prahran is an apartment block with a restaurant or two on the ground floor with lovely big gas jet stoves.

It is an 'interesting' looking block with its fiery orangeish highlighted exterior and the apartment part is known as Triolgi. Such a wankery name. It has been described as a luxury apartment block, but then so has our block, which R will tell you is about public housing standard, no offence meant to public housing people. (Actually, the colour has faded since the building opened)

807 people live in the apartment block, the building completed in 2016, and no sooner finished than in January of that year notices went out to residents with warnings about placement of barbeques on balconies.

Post the London Grenfell Tower fire, residents of Triolgi have been advised to not use the power points or barbeques on their balconies, lest they go up in a blaze like a Hindu widow.

Resident Ann says this, "It is marketed as top level luxury apartment. For them to cut corners on something as important as this and tell us that we shouldn't use certain power points in our own apartment is ridiculous," she said.

How can this happen, with all our building standard rules, laws and regulations? Here is why, from The Age.

Stonnington City Council, which is responsible for issuing emergency orders, told Fairfax Media they were not aware of the problem.

"It is noted, however, that the buildings are new and have been approved and granted occupancy permits by a private building surveyor. It is the role and responsibility of the private building surveyor at the time of construction to verify that all the work complies and is safe."

Not so City of Stonnington. You are responsible for building standards, and as the local government authority it is up to you to police standards. You are attempting some shocking buck passing.

Worse, the same company who built Triolgi also built the Travelodge in our Docklands, where I think once our Friend from Japan once stayed and it has the same cladding as London't Glenfell Tower. Stay at Docklands Travelodge at your peril.

I qualify this with saying our fire prevention standards are very high, as was proved when the flammable exterior of the Docklands apartment building Lacrosse caught fire. But standards need a strong focus and that we have flammable exteriors is almost beyond belief.

The developers must pay to remove flammable cladding, as it is clearly illegal, and install safe cladding. Too simple. Yes, ultimately it goes back to local councils, who hire private building surveyors.

Friday, September 01, 2017

The important stuffs

Don't tell me that I don't keep you well informed about important world events.

Is there a subtext here? I am often heard to say to R, just because he is effeminate or ultra stylish or whatever, it does not make him gay. R thinks I am a smartarse and always doubting his thoughts.

However in this instance I will agree with R. Instinct tells me Howard is no threat to Bridgette and her boyfriend's relationship.

Tram crash

A tram in Brussels derailed and it looks like it brought down an overhead wire support pole. Trams and trains are very safe if you look at the odds, but at times they do go wrong.

It was Rail Safety Week here. In Melbourne people do some crazy things in front of trams and mostly get away with it, but not always. What most drivers don't realise is that when they do something a bit risky in front of a tram and the tram driver activates the emergency brakes there can big repercussions inside the tram, as the latter video shows.

I do not understand the thinking process of the motorist in this video, yet it happens so often on our tram system, with a quoted figure of two car/tram crashes per day. There is a raised yellow road paving barrier, yet the car turns across this and gets hit by a tram. I think it is probably illegal to cross these barriers and no one is ever prosecuted, but if you did cross these barriers, wouldn't you at least check that there was not a tram coming along?

I reckon 20 to 30 percent of Melbourne drivers should not have a car driving license at all because of their incompetence at basic driving skills.

Oddly this week I have not seen a tradie on his (always a he) phone. A Jewish woman of an age where she should know better in a Mercedes openly chatting away on her phone to her ear and completely out of tune with the traffic around her as she drove along at 30 km/h in a 60 zone. Ditto a young Asian lass with a phone to ear. But of course, the young blonde P plate driver was the worst, with her phone held out horizontally near her mouth, no doubt with speaker phone on, as they do. Such an unfortunate practice, inherited here via I think US tv shows.

Public Transport Victoria published a couple of videos in an odd format. I have uploaded them to Youtube after converting them to MP4 files. Whoever has heard of a filename ending in .webm.

I am sure these videos won't work, so go down below to see the videos.

Idiot car driver deserved what he or she got, but what about the stress for the tram driver, who no doubt will have to fill in a lot of paperwork. It looks like Nicholson Street, Fitzroy to me.

Even worse is what happens to people in the tram as the driver slams on the brakes to unsuccessfully avoid the collision. Always hang on folk.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tram Clean

Tram Clean is not a group I have heard of before. The group is against advertising on public transport and while perhaps less formalised, a couple of years attacked trams at the Melbourne University tram terminus by ripping off external advertising. Many trams subsequently ran around for more than a month showing where the advertising was ripped off.  As a communist, I thoroughly agree with their actions, but they are misguided.

They have attacked trams again, but I really don't have a great problem with advertising on public transport.

As I have said in the past, it is about covering over windows with 'see through' advertising.  While it looks great from the outside, it is awful inside. You have a dim dotted view. At night, you can barely see outside and when it rains, you may as well look at a solid wall. Panels are now appearing on buses but they are not as bad as that covering nearly all tram windows. If the bus is not busy, you can choose a seat away from an obscuring panel. Worse is that now train windows are being covered over with wrapping but nothing beats not being able to see out tram windows when looking for a stop.

Give private companies an inch, and they will take a mile. The state government must stop this obscuring of views from public transport vehicles. It is wrong.

To quote a fave public transport expert person of mine in The Age,

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said advertising on trams and trains had become intrusive, obscuring commuters from seeing which platform they were at or where available seats were.

Media studies for children

Little Jo goes to a very good public (government funded) primary school. In a couple of years when she turns twelve, she will go to a secondary school, probably called a college, but in my experience and many of my older Australian readers, it was known as a high school.

While Sister and myself would agree that we would like government funded secondary education to be first class, I expect Little Jo will go to a private school. Private secondary education is on the increase in Australia and while I don't like the privilege it is supposed to bestow, and nor do I particularly believe that is so every case. Such is the state of our education system. I endorse Little Jo being educated by a private school. No one more than me has a troubled conscience over that. It goes against everything I believe in about what is good for society.

Sister went to a public school, Bone Doctor to a private school. Sister's mother was on a deserted wives' pension, with Sister's father paying maintenance for his children until they turned a certain age. Was it 16? Bone Doctor's father was a doctor, her mother is a nurse. Bone Doctor's parents paid for her higher education. Sister worked washing dishes and as a bank teller to pay for her living expenses and I expect her tertiary education was 'free'. She was the only ambitious child of our our parents.

Little Jo's secondary education will cost a couple of thousand dollars in the early years but may well increase to $10,000 plus in her final years. Plus extras. Sister and Bone Doctor can afford this and Little Jo will never go without. (she does go without sugary drinks though, and chocolate biscuits, but is secretly fed naughty food by her Nanny and R).

Little Jo's Mothers' are both clever and well educated, just perhaps lacking in close personal people skills. R will earbash you on this for an hour or two. Little Jo is almost a copy of her bio mother, Sister. We think we know who her bio father is and he too is very clever, as is her bio father's wife. Bone Doctor is ever so practical.

There are plenty of good private schools on the Bellarine Peninsular where Little Jo lives. There is not known to me any great secondary government schools in her area. There isn't a McKinnon High or Glen Waverley Secondary College.  There is a government funded secondary school for high achieving girls in Melbourne near us and I am sure Little Jo would qualify, but from what I observe, Anglo Saxon children are not welcome. Maybe it is because the parents of Anglo Saxon heritage kids can afford to send their children to private schools, whereas our immigrant population pressure their children to achieve and get admittance to the posh government school.

Lordy, did what I was going to post about get so totally lost. There are so many crushes on the school curriculum and most with great value, but so many are motherhood classes. In my opinion schools should step back from educating children about what parents should be educating their children, about important things in life. Life matters, if you like. That creates some space studies.

Children need to be taught about the manipulative media and to view it with great cynicism. They need to know how advertising works. They don't need to be taught about how to use the internet. They will know that already. Sadly in these days, they need to be taught great cynicism.

You may recall me being a little upset when Little Jo told me, 'You need my mothers'(sic) permission before you take my photo. As I write this, she was not so smart mouthed about photos being taken of her today, a few Sundays ago at Anakie Fairy Park. But if it is her and her parents wish for her not to appear on Facebook, so be it. I will share photos of other nieces and great nieces.

At what age do children get personal phones? They have probably played with their parents' phone from a youngish age.

I found this newspaper article below interesting. I reckon from the age of thirteen I would be outraged to know that my parents could spy on me personally and what I was doing on my phone, had I a personal phone back then, I expect I would looking at gay pornography and looking for men to put into practice what I had seen. And, I expect I would not have turned out any differently to what I am. I think by the age of thirteen, I had already bought my first soft porn gay magazine, and cut out pictures from clothing catalogues of men in underwear, probably Bonds.

No photos at a school swimming gala? At times I do understand why people do say, political correctness gone mad.

Bugger orf parents. You are not spying on this 13 year old me's phone and what I do with it.

It relies on students downloading a tamper-proof phone app, and a portal lets parents see what sites, messages and apps children are accessing. Schools and parents can deactivate the phone's cameras and a sleep timer bars students from accessing the internet at bedtime.
"If the school is having a school swimming gala they don't necessarily want kids taking photos and posting those photos," Mr Smyth said.
Marist College Bendigo decided to roll out the technology after fielding calls from parents who wanted more control over their children's phones.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Shame on us

Tweets from Yarra Trams told me there was a rally in the city, that is a demonstration. Damn. That is where we going on the tram.  I saw something earlier about anti meat day, pro vegetarian protest. Is that what it is about?

There is a protest march disrupting trams in our main city thoroughfare of Swanston Street nearly every Saturday, sometimes Sunday and sometimes Friday evening. Of course I agree with the right to protest and march on the streets, but boy does it muck up our tram system and inconvenience so many people. And so do far less worthy Fun Runs that support hospitals and care for which the government should pay. 

Little Jo has filled a scrapbook and needs a new one for her art created when she visits. We will present them to her at her 21st. We may well live another 11 years, or maybe not. Who knows? Scrapbooks seem hard to find now, going the way of landline telephones, ashtrays and mouse pads, and we needed a new mouse pad. Ours is grubby and clearly well used. I washed it in the kitchen sink, but it did not help. Also somebody at The Highrise is having a significant birthday in a month or two. We need some nice pre printed birthday invitation paper. We are hungry and we needed to visit Officeworks.

We we kicked off the tram at Flinders Street and then told we could go one more stop to where the tram would terminate at Flinders Lane. I knew the demonstration was large by the tweets from Yarra Trams of progressive disruption to routes around the city.

We walked as far as Bourke Street when we were blocked from crossing by heaps of poofs, dykes and sympathisers.  Oh, this is no small demonstration. We waited and waited and finally managed to cross the street at a slight lessening of the march.

Soul Cafe will do for afternoon tea. We like to sit outside. The marchers had turned into Swanston Street and were passing us by, and kept passing us by, and still they came. Until outdoor smoking at cafes was banned, it could be hard to get a seat at Soul Cafe, but we were the only ones there today. I fear outdoor eating places in Swanston Street are about to die because of the outdoor smoking laws.  I ate my strudel with ice cream while R ate his beef pie and then we drank quite good coffee. And still they came. They just kept on marching past. I estimated to R somewhere near two thousand to ten thousand passed by. Media that night told me 15,000. Yes, there were some cuties marching for the right to marry but so many very ordinary people and I would guess there was no more than 20% rent a crowd, that is professional activists. Children! Does every dyke in Melbourne have children.

We used a a lane or two to get to QV and bought our goods, well not the birthday invitation paper, no longer available. We were served by a gay at Soul Cafe and another at Officeworks, and they were really nice young guys. They should have been marching.

We trudged back down to Flinders Street to get home and I used all my public transport skills to work out which of the first trams through would be right and where to stand to get on an already packed tram. I did well.

A male/female couple with a toddler in a pusher followed us into the building, not a couple I remember seeing before. They were going to the 22nd floor, the top. Posh! I expect they rent but you have no idea of what it costs to rent in our building. Neither do I really, but is costsalot and we could not afford to do so. I always smile at children in the lift. I noted this one had painted larger than life clown lips and rainbow beads. Lordy, they have been in the equal right protest march, a march we old gay men did not even know about. How could we be so out of touch to not know about this march?

I did consider joining the march when I saw it, but then I thought, oh, my sciatica back. It is troublesome. But I saw three people with walking sticks march, one clearly a little distressed by the effort, two in motor propelled wheelchairs and one in a hand pushed wheelchair. Shame on me for opting for my strudel and icecream.

Here is the colour of the day. I have not revised my attitude to the plebiscite on gay marriage. Post about that sometime down the track, but I may well vote after all.

Strategically placed around our city are these temporary concrete blocks to protect people from Moslem terrorist vehicle attacks, never mind that cars can drive past these along the tram tracks in Bourke Street Mall and mow anyone down.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Musical Monday

A friend has a goat with the most delightful name of Lily. Isn't Lily a great name? It can be formal, as in Lillian, friendly as in Lily or intimate as in Lil. I remember there was an actress, Lillian Gish, Lillian Wightman took over the local posh frock shop, Le Louvre, and I had a great aunt Lil.

This piece is somewhat of a contrast to last week's Musical Monday, with Sash's Encore Une Fois. It has dodgy beginning but give it a chance. It is another song my maternal grandmother used to sing to us. How I did love my grandma. I think a girdle body contour garment might have been worn by more than one of the performers. Do also check out River's Musical Monday post.

Btw, Braughing is north of London in the County of Hertfordshire. Yes, I had to check because that is the sort of thing I do.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Selections

I am joining this week with River, and I expect Elephant's Child, with Sunday Selections.

This one is not my photo and I've tested what it suggests a few times and it simply does not work. Try it yourself and let me know if yours works.

Did I show you these unusual iris before? Brown and yellow are the colours of the Hawthorn Football Club, the team Sister supports, so we bought her a bunch.

Lovely symmetry and I would like to revisit the house when the magnolia is larger, but I can't remember the location of the house.

Much work has been undertaken below The Highrise, which I will get around to showing you at some point. It is still unfinished. It's a pity it is dirty, but how terrific that these old electrical boxes were restored and reused. There are at least three of them that I have seen. M&MTB stands for the now defunct Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board.

Several years ago a glass topped table on someone's balcony was lifted by a strong wind from a balcony and it landed on the open surface of the recreation area.

We rarely walk southwards on the eastern side of Chapel Street Prahran, so this came as a bit of a surprise to me.

From our building's noticeboard. Art of Stone in Oxford Street, Paddington! Wow!

"But honey, it was cheap, one owner and low mileage. And it has velvet lining in the back and we could sleep there when we have weekends away."

An interesting little display in Campbell's Arcade (Degrave Street Subway) about Tasmanian Aborigines and dingoes. I think both were eliminated from Tasmania.

This is replica of the Welcome Stranger gold nugget that brought about huge immigration to Australia in the 1800s as people arrived to find gold. Most who became wealthy from gold did not search for gold but supplied the miners. It is on display at the Old Treasury Building.

Somehow this building opposite the Old Treasury Building survived Whelan the Wrecker, with only is southern wing demolished. It was once a private house built by a wealthy pastoralist but is now offices.

Which dressing will I have? The almost empty one of course and get rid of it, because that is the kind of thing I do. I really like Zoosh dressings, but the supermarkets seem to now be not liking Zoosh so much. I can never find their nice French dressing.

Once the Koala Motor Inn, this building was converted to bedsit apartments and sprinklers were retrospectively fitted. A friend owned one for a short time. It had nice views over Albert Park. The late Dame M went to a rooftop party there when it was still a motel.

I think it was Marie in London who shared some photos of real English Tudor buildings. They looked a bit wonky to me. Isn't our mock Tudor so much nicer and practical.

Prahran Station surrounded by some very ordinary modern buildings. I entered from the newish southern platform entrance, which seemed to be so much bother to have made, as documented by Marcus Wong.

The two storey white building is the former Station Hotel, with the train bursting out from the front of it. I continue to remember this wrongly, even though I corrected myself back in 2012. (There is a good photo there)

R: I wonder why all the birds (Indian Mynas) are on the balcony.
Me: Why didn't you say so earlier? They will crap everywhere.
I shooed them away, but it was too late.

I had only washed this cushion cover two weeks ago and now I have to do it again. The covers are very difficult to get on the foam cushions. (I left it for a couple of days, hoping it would dry and scrape off. It didn't and had to be washed out. No stain)

Last Sunday we raided Mother's garden, picking some camellia flowers and japonica (flowering quince) R arranges flowers with great care and skill, but no sooner than they were arranged they were hit by the heating and the flowers started dropping off. Oh well, they float nicely .I think Mother has about ten camellias in her large garden.