Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sock problem

Something a little lighter than the last post.

I arrived home and R did not hear me come in. I dumped my work bag on the table and took off my shoes. You home ducks?, I called out. He was in his bedroom. He called back, don't walk on the kitchen floor. I have just bleached it and it may not be dry. Oh.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Once again we are very disturbed

This was scheduled for the usual time of 5am, but with topical matters, the striking needs to be done while the iron is hot.

I am not a male, male hating feminist, if there is such a thing. I rather like blokes, as you probably know. Once again, this matter is receiving huge publicity, but there are many similar crimes that don't. It helps if you are a little bit famous or well connected.

A woman walking home from work through a Melbourne park was tragically raped and killed a few days ago. Poor Eurydice Dixon, and how awful for her family. It is an unimaginably horrible way to die. Once again people are choosing their words very poorly and the police force should know better. While you and I may choose to not walk through a park late at night, Eurydice was doing so in one of the safest and highly populated  areas of Melbourne, itself a very safe city. A male teenager was quickly arrested and has been charged.

What we have to remember is that we live in a very large city and crimes like this are abnormal, rare enough to always generate huge headlines. That is of course of little consolation to anyone directly affected or whoever changes what they do in life, but it needs to be noted.  As R saliently pointed out, perhaps with minimal evidence, in the past the accused may well have been under heavy monitoring, if not in some kind of mental health care institution. Setting the mentally unwell free from institutions, as has happened over the last three decades, is fine in theory, but they do need personalised care and it costs money, our taxes.

Here are a few apt things I came across on Twitter, where perhaps the old phrase could be resurrected, she was asking for it.

Let's leave the last word to the late former Prime Minister of Israel.

Whatever side your bread is buttered

Bisexual men get very bad press in society, especially among gay men. I've said myself, lovey, I said pet I said love, I said pet, work out which side of your bread is buttered. That was quite unfair, and I have come to realise that as I have become older.

Along with bisexuals there are asexuals, and I think I have known a few of them. Even at a young age, that are just not interested in sex. I am in my middle age just too lazy to be bothered with sex and the discomfort of sleeping on the wet spot in bed, but I still remain very interested in sex.

Within our walls we can be very politically incorrect. Often enough I will call it for someone on tv or the radio. Ghey. Yes, that is how I say the word when I point out to R that I think a certain bloke or sheila is gay.

I can't remember ever doing it for female children, but I certainly have for male children. Ghey. I think a few years ago even suspecting one of your sons or grandsons was gay. Who where and when is hazy now.

But there is a whole other category of male children who may be effeminate but not gay. They too deserve acceptance.

But one of my prejudices is firmly rooted. I just hope they don't grow up to be crossdressers. I have no issues with drag queens, but don't be a sad old man with badly applied makeup, a cheap wig, clothing that is too young and too revealing at your age, and you walk wharfie (dock worker).

I expect I was going to make a decent point with this post when I began writing this, but I have forgotten what it was now.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


One day it is our turn to be surrounded by fog, to look out the window into white. The next day we view other people's fog that is about to descend.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Some of you, ok, perhaps one, expressed some interest in this very narrow building at 82 Flinders Street, Melbourne. Fire Fighting Nephew would like to own one as a city pad.

The building width is about five metres, about sixteen feet. I stepped it out. It must be the narrowest apartment building in the city. It is very visible if you pass by in a train.

The building is known as Phoenix. Risen from the ashes? While it has some note for being such a skinny building, it is nothing special. Rent a one bedroom for $560 per week. Buy a two double bedroom, $750,000. The car park has a car stacker. While that appeals to my mechanical interests, I think it would be a pain in the arse. I am not sure that I really like the look of this particular apartment. Maybe others are nicer.

It is a very good location though, and you would have a superb view of the Flinders Street railway yards. Actually, the views looking beyond would be pretty good. 

While I know highrise living is not for everyone, we (well one of us) adjusted to it very well, as have Jackie and John in Toronto. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

R flies to Australia

R was fed up with life in England, a life of grimness, rain, miserable people and unemployment. Canada, South Africa and Australia desperately wanted immigrants for varying reasons and of course British immigrants were a good and easy fit for these countries. While he had an aunt who emigrated to Saskatchewan (I really relied on spell checker with that name) in Canada, he did not want to go from one cold country to another. Apartheid and political instability ruled out South Africa and Australia's High Commision in London produced gorgeous photo brochures designed to attract immigrants,  to sunny Australian beaches, modern suburbs,  a nice new Holden car, work for all and happy families.

The cost to emigrate to Australia was £10, which sounds quite cheap, but it was a substantial sum then, perhaps a few weeks wages for a basic worker.

He flew to Australia, as one of the very early ten pound poms to fly rather than travel by ship. The BOAC Boeing 707 from London stopped in New York, San Francisco and Hawaii, (later: I left out Fiji) before finally landing in Sydney.

On the trip he met a lass his same age. They got along well and once in Australia and briefly being in the same migrant hostel, they formed a relationship. I think I remember him telling me that they 'did the biz'. They lived together in a Sydney shared flat for a short time and became engaged, and then R confessed where his real attraction lay. She did not take it well and I don't think he ever saw her again. I must ask him about it again, one day when he has partaken of a glass of wine or two and his tongue is loosened.

If it was me, I would Google her to find out how her life turned out, but R is not so focused on the past as I am, perhaps a good thing.

He left Sydney and via Queensland and Tasmania, ended up in Melbourne. He liked Melbourne. It reminded him of England more than any other Australian city (perhaps not a good thing).

Where did this post come from? I read that around the world Boeing 747 planes are being retired and not before time, but they were great and large capacity long distance aircraft. They first came onto the market in 1970, hence me asking R what aircraft he travelled on to fly to Australia, the same year as he arrived here. BOAC bought some 747 planes in 1970 but due to pay disputes with pilots and other staff, BOAC did not fly them until 1971.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Maybe a bloke would be a better Minister for Women

"Damn it. I am pregnant. That means I have to take a day off work to get rid of it. Maybe the clinic is open Saturday morning? I will check the website".

Now, do you know a woman who would think like that? I certainly don't. No doubt for some it is an easier decision than for others. But once the decision is made, should such women be harassed by people on the street who gather around a clinic to convince women of their evilness of seeking  an abortion?

The Victorian government said no and imposed an exclusion zone for anti abortion protesters at clinics. After the change to the abortion laws in Ireland are enacted, it may need to do the same. The Australian state of New South Wales had just passed legislation to enact an exclusion zone and Queensland will soon follow. The NSW bill passed parliament with overwhelming support, but there were two surprising votes against the bill. One vote against was by the Minister for Women and another was by a former Minister for Women. Good to know the Premier of NSW, Our Glad Berejiklian, voted for the bill, as did the Deputy Premier.

The NSW Minister for Women who voted against the exclusion zone was Tanya Davies. I know nothing about her, but shame shame shame. Do I take it from her no vote that she is pro women who are considering an abortion deserve to be harassed on their way to a clinic?

The former Minister for Women Pru Goward is well known to me. She has been in NSW state politics for some time and has held various ministerial roles. She was also the Australian Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner and the Commissioner Responsible for Age Discrimination with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Yet, she voted against the bill. Mein Gott. I had no idea that she is mother of the Australian model Kate Fischer. (The link to Kate well worth a skim through read if you like celebrity gossip. Drink driving, partner assault, now embraced Judaism.)

I know Pru Goward best from when she a feisty television current affairs interviewer for our ABC. She was just terrific, but now I am thinking did her political bias show back then, as she is now a Liberal (conservative) Party member and and her time in current affairs coincided with a Labor government. Whatever. She voted against an exclusion zone at abortion clinics and so she must also be for women being harassed as they are trying to make a monumental decision with the help of professionals within the clinic. Pru, it pains me to say this, but I am very disappointed and you disgust me.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

A stroll in Yarra Park

A few weeks ago I took a walk in a park I had never visited before to take photos of one of the preserved Melbourne cabmen's shelter. The park is called Yarra Park, and it was quite pleasant. On the way I had to pass the Forum Theatre. It either has been or is being restored to its former glory. I hope the exterior receives some appropriate painting.

Yarra Park is in the southern part of East Melbourne known as Jolimont. In spite of is proximity to the city, parts of it are deliciously quiet and I think I read it is now greater Melbourne's most expensive suburb. Now smart apartments, the former Yarra Park State School. 

Lovely Victorian terrace houses.

I suppose I could research this tree, but one of you will tell me, I am sure. It seemed very interesting to school children but I did not feel comfortable imposing myself on the group.

Between where I am here the land slopes down to the Yarra River and then steeply climbs to the top of the Punt Road hill.

Swinburne is a university and I am not sure what happens at this branch. It is decorated with yellow and black as they are the colours of the 'Tigers', the Richmond Football Club which has its training ground and administration at the nearby Punt Road Oval.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground, MCG, is illuminated by these 'fly swat' lighting towers.

One of the most extraordinary things is that when football is played at the MCG, cars are allowed to park in this park. If it wet, parking is usually banned. Why on earth would anyone possibly want to drive to the MCG? The area becomes horribly congested as the park empties out after a game, and the cars are held back until pedestrians clear the area. You could probably be home on the train quicker than just getting out of the park in your car.

The Pelaco shirt sign can be seen in the distance.

Leftover Olympic rings from 1956?

There'd be trains nearby, lots of them.

Hisense Arena.

I don't know this building. Note the tram tracks for route 70 running next to the train tracks.

A handy bridge to get across the rail line and it is called........Nameless and did I spend some time to find out it is a nameless bridge.

Dimmeys clock tower in the distance.

For years the Nylex clock and temperature indicator have not worked, in spite of everyone wanting the unit to work. We can see it from our balcony. Note the name Sinch, a well known graffitist who was killed when train surfing. 

City Loop train tunnels.

 The Glen Waverley train has to go up and over some other railway lines.

While the wrath of Victor may well fall upon my head, all I will say is this is called AAMI Stadium and it is where rugby is played. 

I managed to find my way through the maze of sporting buildings and walkways until I found a lift to take me down to the tram stop to get back to the city. I walked down the side and behind Federation Square to the river bank for a well needed cup of fine coffee at Riverland. I don't think I have seen swans on the river before.

An attractive but dying leaf joined me for coffee.