Friday, January 05, 2018

A visitor from northern climes

Well not really, not accommodating him. Using the first initial of his name will confuse you, as it is R, so let's just call him T for tram fan. T lives in Surfers Paradise in Queensland. He was once an employee in Melbourne's public transport system.

Public transport fans, especially for trams, are known at times as gunzels. Don't ask me why. I think the far more derogatory term 'foamers', who foam at the mouth at seeing seeing something transport related is kind of self explanatory.

The week past has been crazy busy, but after moving a meet up with T about three times, we met up at Flinders Street Station at about 9.20am. On the platform was my workplace cleaner, who has moved on to a supervisory role, and parted from my workplace. Con must be about 60, and it is clearly visible that he once very handsome bloke of Greek heritage.  I wished him happy 2018 and shook his hand as we left the train. He was going on to Essendon, while T and I caught the same 9.32 train to Moonee Ponds.

I had looked in advance at the PTV website for the right train to be at Moonee Ponds Junction by 10am. Yes, the 9.32 will suit me well. T caught the same train so it did not really matter about being at Moonee Ponds Junction by ten. We strolled from the station along Puckle Street to the Junction where we examined how the tram system worked there. It is a bit complicated as is it the terminus for the route 82 Moonee Ponds tram to Footscray, and a through point for the route 59 tram to Airport West. Why is there a route 57, a West Maribyrnong tram here? We worked out that it had run out from the depot and this was the way it went into service on route 57. There was what appeared to be a good bus interchange there too. It is quite a public transport hub, and I am pleased we had a good look at it.

We caught the 82 to Footscray, with much figurative Oh My God exclamations. I remember this was  all paddocks, now blocks of flats. This was undeveloped, now all shops. I recognised one spot, from when we visited Jack's Magazine. It was where we had a nice lunch.

We entered Footscray Station via the new entrance, which does not really sit well with the old still existent station. T used the stairs as climbing stairs help his bad knee. I used an escalator which helps with my bad back, that is just stand there.

There are plenty of trains at Footscray Station to get back to town. I chose the limited express, which skips one station. T and I parted ways at Flinders Street Station, he heading for St Kilda Road trams back to his digs in St Kilda, and me to the DeGraves Street subway (an underpass) to get a couple of things at the Woolworths Metro supermarket in Flinders Street. It was a bit of fun catching up with him. He is also gay, so the chat wasn't all about trains and trams.

I hate catching an outbound tram at Flinders Street Station, so I walked up DeGraves Street to Flinders Lane and then to the Collins Street tram stop for a tram home.

Once on the tram, I texted R; on a tram home, see you soon. He called me back, at Chemist Warehouse in town and about to have brunch. I hopped off the tram and crossed and caught one up to Bourke Street where we had brunch.

We caught the tram home and who should be filming at our tramstop? Yes, T. I introduced R to T, which will make things a whole lot easier in the future should we visit Surfers Paradise again.

Did I take photos? Only a couple. I was early to get to Flinders Street Station, so I left the tram at the Arts Centre and walked across Princes Bridge.

I remember when the late former State Arts Minister Lynne Kosky announced a plan to link the lower area behind the gallery with the St Kilda Road level by cutting away this embankment. I guess the project was never funded. I wonder how far the planning went.


The merit of this sculpture is doubtful in my opinion but children just love playing around them. Simple fun. It is bit like the many many presents Little M and Little Em received at Christmas. After initial toy inspections, they preferred to play with cubes of ice from two drink eskies for the next hour.


We seem to have a pop up pontoon restaurant on the Yarra River. It is part of Abory, a nearby bankside restaurant and bar that now occupies a space next to where there was once a train platform. It looks nice but I bet it is very expensive.


22 comments:

  1. The pontoon restaurant looks like fun doesn't it? And you are no doubt right about it being expensive.
    Good analogy about the sculpture and children's gifts:)
    Have an excellent day, Andrew.

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    1. Sandra, it does look enticing. I went to the main part, not the pontoon, once and I was ignored by staff so I left. I guess I wasn't the right look for the place. Thanks.

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  2. Eating on, or near the water, always seems to be more expensive doesn't it?
    Glad that your meeting(s) went well. All of them.

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    1. EC, we especially noticed that in Naples. The further from the seafront we walked, the cheaper the food and drink prices became.

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  3. Always good to catch up with people you haven't seen for awhile.
    That restaurant does look inviting.
    You do well with the trams, but then I expect you are used to it, and when used to it it becomes second nature.

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    1. Margaret, using public transport is like second nature for us and we will be able to do it well into our old age, as many frail old people do. But it is much harder to master in old age if you have not been a user in the past. My mother stopped going to the city by train after she was stalked as she was walking home about twenty years ago and she has not used buses since she was a young girl and although there is a bus route with a good service and low floors to her local shops, she is too nervous to use it.

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  4. Oh ....I did not know about that floating restaurant!

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    1. Lady J, I only spotted it as I walked across the bridge. I am not sure about this taking over of public waterways. We will soon have Bangkok's floating markets on the Yarra, along with a phone shop at Fed Square.

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  5. Climbing stairs, and going down them, is good for your back if you take it easy. The up/down movement of each hip in turn gently exercises muscles and helps to loosen tightness. Also helps keep thighs nice and trim, but that's a bonus. The loosened back is the real win.
    It's nice to meet up with blog buddies and get on well together, good that R met him too, so now you are all friends.

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    1. It was good to meet him and then meet him with R. I suspect your advice for bad backs and stairs is sound, but I am lazy. I will try harder.

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  6. Sounds like you had a good time with your friend and trams and trains not to mention Brunch and a chance meeting .

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    1. Diane, and with our friend in hospital a few weeks before dinner, we haven't been out for dinner for weeks. With 42 (108F) forecast tomorrow, we won't be tomorrow night either.

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  7. Hello, dearie, love the post!
    Kosky, now there's a blast from the past; after all her overspending with the Myki ticket shemozzel I'd be surprised if anything got funded!
    Thank you for the lovely card, apologies but I didn't do any cards for 2017, couldn't get the steam up for it.

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Jayne. Hope all is good with you and S and D. I considered Kosky to be a very decent person but Ministers can only do what they can to a certain point, in her case a defender of not a terribly great smart card ticket system. Much love and respect to you.

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    2. Oh yes, over the past couple of years I have referred to your Lost and Found many times to check things. What a great thing that was.

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  8. Lovely to meet up with a fellow blogger. That sculpture is quite strange, at least the kid's get to have fun :)

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    1. Sami, it is called Waves. I suppose that is quite obvious really. Kid's love strange things, like cats love boxes.

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    2. I've never had a cat who liked boxes.

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  9. Goodness it's heating up your way Andrew, I'm not sure why but I didn't think Melbourne got that hot! It must have been so enjoyable catching up with a fellow transport enthusiast, I can just imagine the chat 😀

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    1. Grace, he is rather more enthusiastic than I am. 36 now at noon, heading for 42.

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  10. One of my friends has a husband into the mini trains. I call it childing, for kicks, men playing with toy trains. But he even travels all over to meet up with his toy train buddies. Which my friend likes. For him to be gone, that is. He's kind of an arrogant ass and mean to her. But I've not run into people here obsessed with public transit. Maybe because we don't have much of it.

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    1. Strayer, such people can march to the beat of a different drum, and I can assure you, your country has many train, tram/street car/trolley enthusiasts.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.