Friday, December 15, 2017

Flinders Street Station

It hasn't been finished yet, but what do you think of the paint job at our major Flinders Street Station? The old and the new, not finished yet. I think it is a better colour. I think I remember seeing it repainted in the 1980s and washed down for the Commonwealth Games in 2006.

Not so much progress at the Elizabeth Street end of the station. The clock mechanism is undergoing a renovation too.

"Meet you under the clocks", was a very Melbourne saying. Not so much said now in times when everyone has a phone. It is rather odd, but behind the letters that say Flinders Street Station are horizontal green neon tubes. At night it looks rather retro. Above the clocks that indicate the departure time of the next train on all the various lines are panels of stained glass. The clocks used to be manually adjusted by a man, always a man, with a long stick. Now they are connected to the electric train departure system. Public protests ensured they remained and were not replaced as was planned by digital displays.

Grace once asked me to take photos of the interior of the station. Most of it is of little merit. But the smallish ticket hall is quite nice. Internally it is not a patch on most of Australia's capital city railway stations.

The stained glass from the inside.

What is happening here? Is platform 11 going to be reinstated?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I'll pay with a card, thanks

In his youth R worked in retail in the north of England. At times a customer would present a Scottish pound to pay for goods, which staff saw as being a nuisance but they reluctantly accepted the money. However, it was not 1 Scottish Pound for 1 English Pound.   I never really learnt how to write pounds in the correct way, so I can only express it like this; the Scottish pound was only worth 19 shillings and 6 pence. The customers trying to use Scottish pounds would get very cross about being shortchanged. I believe now both are of equal sterling value, but still many shops in England are reluctant to take them as they see so few, they don't know what they are supposed to look like and could be forgeries.

Man, this is crazy. Just to make it more confusing, three different Scottish banks issue different notes of the same denomination and are now all polymer. (Please do not use these pictures to forge Scottish bank notes, as I may have one, two or all three Scottish banks after me, if not the Bank of England)

Clydesdale Bank.

Royal Bank of Scotland.

Bank of Scotland.

Fans of Harry Potter will recognise this picture on this Bank of Scotland £10 note.

There was some recent bother on the budget airline easyJet (sic) when a man tried to pay for food and drinks with Scottish pound notes and the flight attendant refused to accept the notes. The aggrieved customer wrote to easyJet with his complaint and was told the attendant was correct in refusing to take the Scottish pounds. I like this man's persistence and it paid off and he eventually was told that Scottish notes were acceptable by easyJet and he received an apology (and hopefully some payola).

What else did I come across while researching this riveting topic? England has a new pound coin. Here is the new and the old. I like the new one. We have a few old pound coins which now can only be exchanged at banks and can't be spent in shops.

Bit different to here how quickly England declares that the old coin could no longer be used as payment, only exchanged at a bank. I think here the two are left in circulation for many years, pretty well until they naturally fall out of use as they wear out. A new $5 note was released in 2016 and there are still plenty of the old $5 notes around. A few months ago a new $10 was released and a few have passed through my wallet and money always passes fleetingly through my wallet.

Household Management has decided he is not going to use cash anymore and and only carry a little for emergencies. What convinced him was seeing someone pay with a card a for some roll your own cigarette filters priced at $1.60.

I mix and match it between cash and cards. I tend to use cash for things less than $20 and a card for things more than $20, but if there is a credit card fee, I will always try to pay by cash. It is getting to the stage where it costs the retailer more to deal with cash than a card and the credit card charge is usury .

I will show you our new and old notes soon when some stick in my wallet for long enough.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Mincing Milo Madness

More outrageous than the gross but rather attractive Milo, is that the organiser of his tour is to be charged $50,000 for all the extra police deployed to separate Milo supporters and those who protested against Milo's performance, and that is what it was, a performance. It pleases me that no one in Australia with any brains takes the vile and foul mouthed extreme right winger Milo, a master at publicity,  too seriously.

Look at the man love between Milo and Alan Jones. If the camera shot was bigger, you would see a wet patch on the execrable Jones' trousers as he dribbled with excitement. Yuk!

Milo's promoter is taking the $50,000 bill seriously, having effectively said he will not pay and see you in court. And so should the promoter say. I am pleased that I am not the only one troubled by this as former blogger Jackie of Working Through It, tweeted her similar concerns. It is the job of the police to keep peace and order, not something to be paid for. Tossers like Milo have a right to have a say. People have a right to listen to him. If there are protests, it is for the police to keep the public peace, without a charge.

This brings me to a bigger subject. I want to send an email to Victoria Police about motorists on Saturday mornings disobeying the no turns signs at the corner of Chapel Street and  Commercial Road. I remember days when this was policed. Not now, not for years.

Should I send such an email, VicPol will reply with something like this. We deploy resources on a needs basis, focused on community safety and the prevention of crime.

I remember the old days when motorists were booked for not stopping at a stop sign. Who now stops at a stop sign unless they have to because a vehicle is coming? My father was once booked for having his elbow outside the car, resting on the open car window ledge.

So I would argue that as VicPol is not policing the more minor driving matters, they are turning us into a minor lawless society. If your basic law abiding and good citizens are ignoring basic road rules, a culture of non obeying of laws is being created. Young people pick up on this so easily and so the non obeying increases and becomes culturally ingrained. I am not arguing for over zealous policing, just that the police create an awareness that it is important to observe some basic laws. Often just being pulled over and given a warning is sufficient.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Crap driving

I noticed when we went to the wedding way out in the west country of Victoria, how much better the standard of driving is than around Melbourne. Melbourne drivers are appalling. Arrogant, ignorant, stupid, hesitant..........just thoroughly incompetent.

Sunday before last, we went to Geelong to see Little Jo perform in her theatre group and again, once away from Melbourne, the standard of driving improved.

We stopped off at the take away Scottish restaurant, and noted how high the water in the drain creek had risen during our recent rains. We always used to stop there when journeying west to see our old friend at the foot of Mount Elephant and later to see Sister in Highton, a Geelong suburb, for a break and food for us, and a break for our dogs. Naughty Toby once plunged into the creek, which later made the car rather messy.

I think you can see how high the water was is creek/drain in my camera photo.

We just had to time to check that the Geelong Christmas tree was up and ready to perform.

Little Jo has been rehearsing, for singing carols at the lighting of the local Christmas tree, that can be seen many kilometres out into Bass Strait. The tree lighting was rained out and the performances were held in the local school. She has been rehearsing for this performance of Snow White this day, and rehearsing for her role as a boy in a amateur theatre production of Peter Pan. Frankly dear reader, June past, she was pretty ordinary on stage. This December she has learnt how to project her voice, move on stage and so much more. We were very pleased with her in the show, and it was mercifully short.

Afterwards we had dinner with Little Jo's Mothers and her bio father and his wife and grown up daughter at ok pizza place. It was all very nice, but just all so very exhausting, hence me being unwell the next day and not going to work.

Little Jo on the far left, playing Snow White's mirror. She looked good and performed well.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mother Amusement

From one of those $2 type shops, Mother bought some rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, as you do. Two of the rolls had pictures of Santa on them and a little writing that she assumed said something like Merry Christmas or Season's Greetings. Once home she examined the paper a little more carefully and realised to her horror that the words sprinkled all over one roll was "You fat bastard, Santa". Another roll said, "Santa, you s**t me".

She was putting them in the recycling bin as she had no intention of using them when a neighbour popped over. "Mrs C, why are you throwing out that wrapping paper?" The neighbour was in hysterics when she saw what was on the paper. We all laughed as Mother told us and I rather wish she had the wrong glasses on and used the paper to wrap presents.

Interestingly, she actually said the s**t word. As a young teen she once slapped my face for saying that word, and I've never heard her say it before.

It will happen to you and me

There have been the deaths of a couple of people this week past who I feel are worth noting. One was Rosemary Margan, our commercial tv Channel 9 weather presenter back in the 70s and 80s...... or maybe that was the 60s and 70s. She wrote on a glass or perspex screen in front of her the temperatures around Australia from behind the screen, so writing numbers backwards. Or so I thought. It turns out the magic of television just flipped the image.

I last remember Rosemary advertising products in the ads before movies. She was classy and likeable. (PS Tarn off does actually work as Rosemary described, but who knows what it does to your fine silver?)

If she did not bring down Harold MacMillan's Tory government, the ever so glamorous Christine Keeler came pretty close to doing so in the 1960s. She was, how should I say it, a hostess, and a comforter to foreign diplomats. It seems it did not bring her wealth or long term glamour. She should have been the blackmailer and had a Derek to do her shopping.

Bye bye Rosemary and Christine.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The 1930s

It was quite a while ago when we visited an exhibition at The Ian Potter Gallery at Federation Square. We enjoyed the thirty or so minutes we spent looking at an eclectic collection.

This is classic Sydney photo taken at Kings Cross, from memory by the brilliant Max Dupain, at the corner of Darlinghurst Road and William Street.

R and myself looked at each other and snap. Dame M, our late friend. Glamorous, bored, jaded and always with a drink. The only thing missing is the cigarette.

I don't know why, but I really liked this painting.

Classic old radios, taken in darkness, so not great photos. If you want to see a gorgeous radio, have a look at one of the ones we saw at MOMA in New York.

I love old travel posters.

The trouble with posting photos long after you have taken them is that you forget what they are about. I don't have a clue about this one.

This looks like....maybe.....

Not so long ago I showed you reflections from windows at Federation Square. See here and here. These are the windows looking out.