Saturday, September 16, 2017

Vote yes and vote often

I wrote this for Facebook, which is mainly for family and a couple of friends. Actually I have two FB accounts, the other being for blog mates and other stuff, but I am afraid I only look at it sporadically so there is little point in telling you the details. This below went down quite well but as I am not a heavy FB user, it was probably not put up very high in people's reading list of posts. PS in advance. I just googled the former classmate and he is married and lives on Bribie Island. He never really seemed gay to me.

I was fully prepared to not participate in this awful process of voting about something that has already happened all over the world. Marriage equality is something that should be decided by a direct and personal vote in our Federal Parliament. I considered ignoring the postal vote for political reasons. However, I will vote yes in the mail out 'opinion poll' for same sex marriage. For once it is not all about me, but about the future for other gay and lesbian couples. That we are being opinion polled really is nonsense when the general feeling is already known.

It is not for me or us that I want the gay marriage poll to succeed with overwhelming approval. We personally don't give two hoots for gay marriage. It is for my sister, her partner and their daughter to whom it is important, and the kiddies. You know, those younguns, who have weird thoughts like I did when I was young and thought with envy about marrying a bloke. Back so long ago, a male classmate at school, wanted to marry David Cassidy. It would have been a bad choice, given Cassidy's history, but why should not gay people get married, screw it all up and then divorce like the rest of society?

I am not asking you to change your mind if you are determined to vote no, but if you think you can't be bothered, please be bothered. If you are a bit doubtful about it, then have a think about what possible harm can come from two people who love each other getting married. Is that they are male and male or female and female really that important? The world has not ended in countries where same sex marriage is allowed.

While it was briefly legal in our Australian Capital Territory, my sister married her partner. One can only hope that she can again have the right to marry who she loves.  

Later edit: I changed the first sentence to the more accurate "mainly for family and a couple of friends".

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Elms

I just love elm trees. Hops have appeared by the 9th of September and then leaves will come but when I took these photos, the trees were winter bare. The hops will quickly dry and fall off, spreading the trees' seed and the leaves will burst forth from the branches with the most brilliant and fresh green.

If we have a killer succession of over 40 degree days during summer, there may be a huge leaf drop, but otherwise, the trees will look ok into late summer. By March the trees will look very tired and with a sense of relief,  drop their leaves through April and May, and then bunker down for our winter. One can only hope that winter next year is not a long and painful as this year's winter has been.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Da Tains and Trams

Our rail operator Metro Trains' contract has been extended for seven years, as has the contract of our tram operator Yarra Trams. The best news about this that I can see is that wrap around advertising will be banned. I hoped it is phrased as not placing commercial advertising on train, tram and bus windows, but I have the awful feeling it won't go that far.

The State Government is building a new underground train line, a rather long and expensive one. While it is a great thing, I may be dead before it opens in 2025. We put up with the construction but never get the benefit. I expect the construction might be sped up at some point.

There is a public competition to name the five new railway stations. Governments love to bring the public on board with their grand projects.

It's a bit silly really. Three of the temporary station names are very obvious and should stand, but two are much more complicated. Arden, Parkville and Domain will have most Melbournians know the approximate locations of these stations.

The problematic ones are the city stations, temporarily known as CBD North and CBD South. In the north is Melbourne Central Station, once called Museum Station but the museum moved and the station was renamed Melbourne Central after the shopping centre where it is contained within. The museum became the State Library

Because the new station, CBD North, will be linked to Melbourne Central, some think it should be called Melbourne Central too. I would go for Library, just as Bank is known in London.

It is the same for the new station near Flinders Street Station, some think it should too be called Flinders Street Station because it will be linked to the existing station.

A mistake in my opinion. I don't think the old Flinders Street Station at all resembles what the new underground station will look like, and it will be a line specific station, servicing one train line, not multiple lines like Flinders Street Station.

Melbourne's existing Flinders Street Station, under wrap at the moment while it is repainted.

Marie in London gave me great clarity of thought about this matter when she wrote a post about Paddington with us in mind. The simple version is that there is essentially two different stations within London's Paddington Station. To the south of Paddington Station is the area we know. To the north is Paddington Basin, with its canals. I thought we should just catch any train to Paddington from Kings Cross. No, not if you want to come out at the south into Praed Street. While it was not helped by R needing to find a toilet (what was wrong with the toilet on Eurostar we had just left?) we ended up hopelessly confused and lost. Well not actually lost, but trying to work out how to walk to Lancaster Gate with suit cases. It is not a great distance but R was stressed and becoming tetchy. We had already travelled from Amsterdam to Brussels where we changed trains to London. I made an executive decision and we grabbed a cab. Had we have come out into Praed Street, it would have been a short downhill walk to our hotel.

It was not a great start to our second London visit. It improved greatly when we arrived at our hotel in Lancaster Gate and it was rather good, and the next day when we met Marie

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Man spreading and abs

It seems Subway Crush has died. That is the New York blog that showed candid photos of hot men on the Subway.

London's Tube Crush has not died, but its posts are now less frequent.

What is interesting is that London Tube Crush's highest viewing numbers are in China. Tens of thousands young Asian females check in to see photos of hot blokes on the London Tube.

Bit weird really. I don't know why they would. Unlike gay men, woman can be so superficial.

For your information, none of these are my type and when I work out what is my type, I will let you know.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The personal stuffs

Our Friend from Japan is staying in Melbourne. Sadly just before she arrived, her father who lived in an outer eastern area among the trees and nature, died. It is timely that she was here in Australia for his funeral and to sort our associated matters.

We had a pleasant evening at home with our Friend from Japan whereby R cooked us two vegetarian curries, served with white and saffron rice. The potato curry was nice. The hot bean curry, absolutely delicious.

We again met up with her for a meal at the nearby La Porchetta. She is out of the habit of tram drivers not waiting for her to sit down, as bus drivers in Japan do, and she tends to go flying down a tram before we or someone grabs her. A workmate of mine joined us. We were supposed to catch up with him for dinner the week before, but it totally slipped my mind.  It was great that he joined us. As you would expect, any friend of mine is a nice person.

We went to Bridge Road, Richmond today, Sunday, for a few bits a pieces, but bought nothing aside from a nice lunch and chorizo was involved. R had a vague idea of buying a suit for nephew's wedding in November, but he has decided that given how rarely he needs a suit, he will hire one.

We thought we would go to see Hippie Niece and her twin daughters on Monday, today when you are reading this, my day off, but after a phone call, she is going to join R and Mother next Thursday for lunch. I won't to get to see the lovely cafe latte coloured twin lasses again. For once R is being proactive and said he wants to visit Grants Picnic Ground this day. Oh, driving in traffic is not what I want to do, but actually I am looking forward to it. It's a great place.

Last Thursday after R took Mother home, there was an incident as Mother went for her afternoon sleep. She does not nap in the afternoon, but has a proper sleep for a couple of hours. She then wonders why she cannot sleep properly without drugs at night.

The tennant neighbour's dogs, one is a Rottweiler, the other a large dog too, broke through her side fence. It is not the first time and Tradie Brother had repaired the fence, but not well enough it seems. I remember a terrible incident in Perth I think, where an older woman was mauled and killed by a neighbour's dog. I had already told Mother to not go outside if the dogs break in, but of course she did and got her favourite Sasha who she talks to over the fence, back into her yard. The other one was impossible to move on, she said. She rang her nice neighbour across the road, but she did not answer. Mother left her a message. Shortly after the neighbour came across, having heard the phone message, but she was dogaphobic, quite terrified of dogs and she could do nothing. Mother then called another friend who arrived pronto. He is of a similar age to Mother and so is not a fit young man and is missing one lung. He went in for the kill to sort this dog business out, and then the dog bit him on the hip, but did not break skin.

Are you getting a mental picture of the chaos of the scene?

Fortunately the dog owning neighbour then returned home from work and took his marauding dog inside. He was very apologetic, but as the owner of where he lives has asked Mother to pay her share for a new fence and she does not have money to do so, he cannot be blamed too much.

Tradie Brother has been summonsed by Mother to fix the fence, and this time do it properly so the dogs cannot break through the fence, but Mother thinks they may have jumped over the fence after using the props on the neighbour's side of the fence as a launching pad.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Swim for your life

I found this quote below really funny. 

A childhood friend from Malaysia, Andre, jokes that "maybe we're genetically not suited to the water". He says that an Aussie swim coach who used to chuck learners into the deep end back in Australia told him he was shocked to find in Malaysia that "Asian kids just sank to the bottom like rocks".

What it does tell us is that it is so important that your children learn to swim, as at some point in Australia they will be at a beach, swimming pool or river. I think most people in Australia who drown are visitors to our shores, and I am not sure what can be done about that. The Aussies who drown are probably very drunk.

Learning to swim was part of my school education and R's back in the UK where his school had a swimming pool. Apparently at schools now parents have to pay dearly for their children to learn to swim and it is no longer the price of of sixpence for pool admission, as it was when I was carted in volunteer parental cars to the local pool to learn to swim. 

If you are are connected with young person, be it as and uncle or aunt or a grandparent or even a parent, make sure they can swim enough to save their lives.