Saturday, March 03, 2018

Mardi Gras

Our Hairdresser Friend just emailed us with the following. The Broken Heel drag group, with which she has a connection, is the 21st float in this evening's Mardi Gras Parade, lived streamed on the www by SBS. Broken Heel is a pun on the outback NSW mining town Broken Hill. Broken Heel members have performed collectively in Broken Hill.

In 2015 I took a photo of the ANZ Bank atm, decorated for Mardi Gras.

Jim from Sydney City and Suburbs shows this year's ANZ GAYTM.

I feel pretty. Oh, so pretty. I feel witty and pretty and gay. Happy Mardi Gras.

Sad Saturday 3 and 4 of 10

Friday, March 02, 2018

A place for me

I lived in the City of St Kilda from about 1980 to 1982 and moved back in about 1992, and I have lived in the City of St Kilda, which later became City of Port Phillip ever since then. I rather like living in the City of Port Phillip. The actual suburb of St Kilda is a must see for tourists, and I rather like it myself.

I am just relying on memory now, but former City of Port Phillip Councillor Serge Tomann was elected on a ticket of stopping, successfully, an inappropriate development at a large vacant site next to the Palais Theatre, the St Kilda Triangle site. Upon his departure from local council after two terms he produced this video. St Kilda doesn't look half bad. It is a place I like very much.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Brief adjourn

When you read this, we will be at Cowes, Phillip Island, much loved by Mother and ourselves, and we have taken her with us to stay in a caravan park cabin for a couple of nights.

See you in a bit. Truth be told, I will still be online.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Rich and the Poor

Under the Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher's UK rule in the 1980s, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer.

Under President Ronald Reagan's US rule in the 1980s, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer.

Under Prime Minister Bob Hawke's Australian rule in the 1980s, the rich became richer and so did the poor. How did he get it right when neither the UK or the US did? It wasn't all about inflationary rising wages, which were held down. It was about societal benefits to the working class and to a lesser extent the lower and middle, middle class.

While Hawke's sweeping statement that no Australian child shall live in poverty by 1990 was predictably untrue, he did improve welfare for poor families and their children. He did improve health care hugely after the earlier public health care for all by PM God Gough Whitlam was wound back by the following conservative government.

There were many things with which I did not agree with Hawke and his government, including and especially the floating of our dollar against foreign currencies and the dropping of tariffs when no other country was doing so. Italian canned tomatoes by the ship load anyone?

As I was reminded in comments on my recent post about Barnaby Joyce, Hawke was hardly a paragon of virtue in what could be called 'personal morals',  but then he never lectured others about their personal morals. He could hardly do so.

Anyway, Joyce has now resigned a Deputy PM due to his hypocrisy and lack of media management skills by him or his staff, and also from his ministerial position. Of course, the National Party, formerly the Country Party, is of little interest to most Australians, a minority party that keeps the conservative party in office.

Now our PM Turnedballs wants to lower company tax significantly, paid for by increasing the GST from 10% to 15%, that is a sales tax on pretty well everything that both the rich, pensioners and the poor will pay. Apparently the very experienced ABC journalist and presenter Emma Alberici had her piece of writing on the matter spiked by the ABC until it was edited to be 'more factual'. You can read the edited version here.

There is great social inequality in Australia like I don't think we have seen since before WWII. This will just add a bit more.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tuesday take out #2

My step mother could be described as brusque at times. Upon meeting her, R was immediately afraid of her. All Father's grandchildren were cautious when around her, but really, she is a very loving person who had an extremely hard poverty filled childhood and was a deserted wife left with two children to bring up and her highflying son died in his fifties. Her daughter in a good personal relationship with her second partner and has custody of some of her grandchildren because of parental drug issues. Unlike Mother, Step Mother is a mistress of budgeting money. Also unlike Mother at 83, she is a couple of years older, she is very social, has a partner, drives, has a mobile phone, a digital camera and her first computer ran Windows 3.1. She is on Facebook and posts at times. The contrast between them is remarkable yet they share the same old fashioned first name.

Her at times brusque manner comes from her being defensive about her humble background and a feeling that she is inferior to most people. She whinged  and complained often at my father, very often, but it was like water off a duck's back to him. He would just laugh. She loved my father dearly and I think he loved her equally. By the noises the teenage me heard in the night, the biz happened very satisfyingly well between them.

She stayed here with us one night a number of years ago. Next morning she complained, I don't know how you can live in such an expensive place and buy such cheap tissues. Dearest Step Mother, that is how we can afford to live in an expensive place, and besides, there are good quality tissues in your bedroom on your bedside table.

You maybe remember we shared a caravan park cabin with her late last year at Fire Fighting Nephew's wedding. Apparently I am always a corrupting influence on her, causing her to drink too much. Oh, yes, she likes a drink, cider being her tipple, whereas Mother now never drinks.

Did you know I am a trained shooter of guns? Maybe I was about ten when Father bought me an air rifle, or slug gun. I shot lethal holes in tin cans, a hole in my bedroom window, to my shame I shot frogs in the dam, but to less shame, tried to shoot my brother, that resulted in the hole in my bedroom window. My brother deserved the failed shooting.

Father went on to show me how to shoot and safely  carry a .22 rifle, a .303 shotgun, and some sort of old military weapon with a name like Martini. Yes, even how to safely cross a barbed wired fence with a loaded gun. I never really found shooting terribly interesting and stopped after one of the guns hurt my shoulder with its harsh recoil. Ok, I have now checked. Martini-Enfield was also a .303, double barrelled and I saw the words Zulu era.

Step Mother and myself had a conversation when in caravan park cabin when we stayed for nephew's wedding last year. Andrew, it's about your father's guns. They are up in the roof at home. Do you want them? Oh, the possibilities!!! I could use the .22 to take out stupid individual motorists below The Highrise. I could use the shotgun to take out a whole gaggle of posh Melbourne Grammar schoolboys at the tram stop, our future politicians and business leaders. I could sell them on Ebay. Is that allowed? But apathy set in, and I said no. Ok, said SM. I will hand them into the police to be destroyed.

Guns can be quite beautiful works of art. I remember the highly polished and incredibly smooth wooden butt of my air rifle. Maybe it was the Martini that had beautiful carving on the butt. The oiled metal is deliciously cold to touch, but they are going and will be destroyed. That is as it should be.

Tuesday Take Out #1

Dear President, this is not a difficult problem, that is the problem of the massacre of school children while they are at school. Your plan to arm teachers may be considered by some, but I read that there was an armed guard on site at the school, to no avail.

Farmers may need guns. Police may need guns. Security guards may need guns. Tenuously, sporting shooters may need guns.

Teachers need guns? I bet most wish they had them at times and take out those most troublesome students.

Apart from the aforementioned, no one else needs guns. It is simple, just ban guns for everyone else. There will still be the underworld who have guns, but they generally will not impact on your average citizen, lest of all school kiddies.

Not hard Donny. Guns kill people in the hands of people, and you only have to look at the gun murder stats of the US compared to those of  Canada., or pretty well any other country in the western world.

It is a curious thing to me that US voters don't get this very obvious point. Yes, my blog gathers people with similar views. I am always preaching to the converted.

Somewhat curiously amusing and at the same time, quite serious, take a look at Hels post on the US and guns.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Lack of gratitude

Our friend is still in hospital with diabetes related problems. He has suffered from non healing nasty sores on his legs, a skin graft, golden staph, sepsis of blood, a bad reaction to antibiotics. He can't walk, although hopefully he will be able to once the other issues are dealt with.

His Fijian Indian partner visits the hospital daily and gives good care, but he is being very sullen. As I say to R, you can get away with being a petulant young black queen when you are young, but it does not work when you get older, like over 50. He is ignoring us. I always try to find a reason or excuse for people's bad behaviour, and this so annoys R. Regardless, being rude to people if you are struggling a bit with life is not the way to engender sympathy, comfort and help.

Christmas for our friend and his partner and the various visiting relatives of his partner from Fiji and New Zealand did not turn out as planned. Our friend asked if we had some free time, could we take his partner's brothers out somewhere once his partner went back to work.

Many people I have come to know on the internet have been so kind to us. It is time to return the credit for no immediate reward.

Both blokes are actually our friend's partner's cousins, but as their mother died young and they were reared by his mother, they are considered brothers to him.

One is a retired Fijian policeman and the other a motor mechanic of the old school variety, both of Indian heritage.

They were nice, but the small talk was a bit hard at times. Gabbling away is useful at times, as is silence. We took them to Altona for lunch, had a wander on the pier and the streets, some lunch, and then to Williamstown, with a visit to the shop that stinks of patchouli and another pier walk. We watched tourist boats arrive and depart. It was quite a nice outing. We then took them to see their brother's partner in hospital, who was not at all well back then.

Our friend's partner, never said a work of the thanks. A few days later, we dined at a pub with him and the brothers.  He was pleasant then. I ignore his moods etc, but R gets rather hurt by his behaviour because R cares. I don't. We have since left a message for him, asking him to join join us last Saturday night for dinner at The Dick, but he didn't respond.

I don't really like Norfolk Island Pines. We felled a big one that stood mid boundary between us and our semi detached neighbour in East Malvern. I climbed up the tree with an electric chainsaw and cut the beast down. Finally felling the trunk, it nearly fell on the power lines of our neighbour. Where the trunk landed left a big dent in the lawn. But they aren't such a bad tree beachside.

Out on the the Altona Beach Pier.

Now at Williamstown this was once a timeball lighthouse tower. I did note the details at the time.

Many year ago I blogged about the same when we took R's sister in law and her husband there, when they were our house guests.

In Williamstown, we watched from the pier tourist pleasure craft arriving and departing from the pier, including a sea plane.

Nelson Place in Williamstown is quite lovely, but ever so busy with tourists and locals. It has some great old buildings.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday Selections

Joining in with River for Sunday Selections. Not so many days in February, so I expect Elephant's Child will be back next Sunday with a backlog of photos. Fingers crossed.

A good use for a church, in my opinion. It is part of the performance space for Chapel off Chapel in Malvern Road, Prahran. The former Uniting Church was was bought in 1980 by the Prahran City Council, now part of City of Stonnington. We have seen performances at the venue several times and always enjoyed them.

Two photos from Facebook. Does this one bring back some memories to watchers of Number 96? I think Joe Hasham, lowest line, made me gay, or at least nudged me along a bit. The teenaged Andrew so loved him. Funny, not my type at all now, if I even have one, but I have my memories.

Bit late with this one, yes?

While you are aware of the irregularity of the facade of this building, it is not until you are at a distance that it become clear as to what it is meant to show. First photo from The Conversation and the second by SBS. It was part of the design of the building, then cancelled, then reinstated. The very first photo shows how the balcony edges look rather strange from a few metres away. Quite clever, isn't it.

The building is known as Swanston Square and the image is that of William Barak, the last Aboriginal elder and a spokesperson for the local Wurundjeri-willam clan.

Fancy a stay in a luxuriously fitted out retro Airstream bus? Notel can oblige. Photo by Pop-up City. You can see more photos at their website.

Sometimes un-restored buildings can look more interesting.

Above the the roof of the same building can be seen the Mazda cat, an old advertisement for Mazda light bulbs. The ad has some council protection.

Some apartment detail at Prahran Central apartments.

Remember what the failed vertical gardens looked like back here? The small one inside my Prahran chiropractic clinic is a delight.

All over the better posh suburbs of Melbourne substantial houses in good condition on substantial blocks of land are being demolished to build expensive apartments. Our Federal, State and Local Councils espouse higher density populations, except it happening in already high density areas. City of Stonnington, how many demolitions and new apartment buildings have you approved of in the last five years? Ok, yes, some blame must be laid at the evil VCAT, a great friend of developers making mega profits. This one is for the chop, probably to be replaced by a very expensive block of apartments about five storeys high.

R reckons we eat less if we serve ourselves from the table, rather than being served a meal. It seems he is correct. Ham steaks are becoming hard to come by, but thankfully R did find some of the ultra processed, full of water and preservative, ham steaks. They are so nice with pineapple.

I emailed R with a recipe from Snoskred. The Thursday muffin tin meatballs were nice, but they did taste like a vegetarian frittata he makes for vego visitors, in spite of there being meat in them. Err, these two meals look so similar. We do have a varied diet, but carrots, peas and broccoli feature often, as does chips or mashed spuds.