Saturday, July 28, 2018

The personal

BAD is in Cobh, Ireland.

A couple of things have made me a little sad this week, personally sad. Lee wrote a nice post about lifelong friendships. We have a few people who we would call friends but I have never had a personal friend, a confident, like someone who you can speak truthfully to about what bothers you in life.  It is probably a character defect of mine, along also with R and myself being a couple and not reliant on anyone. We are pretty well content with our own company and I have my 'friends on the internet' to quote R. The contentment with each other's company will change one day, when one of us is not around. I s'pose I am a pretty contained person and I don't wear my heart on my sleeve. Writing this is perhaps as much as I do.

I had a week off work, worked a week, then had another week off work. I am using up leave before I retire. For both of my two weeks off, there was never a cross word between us, as we battled bathroom renovations. United against a common enemy? Renovations and having tradespeople around is stressful.

I carefully worked the money out and fortunately kept a file. What I paid, what he paid and who was to pay what. I know from experience it is so easy to forget.

Forget I did as the installation of the shower and bath screen were delayed from my second week off, and I forgot who was to pay what. So today when the tradies finally finished by putting in the bath screen, it was time to pay. R looked at me. I thought you were paying, I replied to his look. Ok, no matter, I will pay. I have absolutely no memory of anything related to me paying for the screens. R escorted the tradies from the building and once back exploded. How dare I humiliate him in front of the tradies. It took me a while to understand why I should have paid and not him. As it was I was home for lunch. Had it have been earlier, he would have had to have paid. I had to refer to my file to understand why I paid.

Ok, R paid the plumbing bill and I gave him half, less his share of the screen payment, of which I had paid half. As I said, just as well I write these things down.

So things will be tense for a couple of days, but I guess after 39 years, we won't separate. Relationships are never easy and I am feeling a little maudlin this Friday evening. I was also very saddened this week to read of the separation betwen John Gray of Wales and his husband. I am sure we all hope John well for his future, wherever it may be.

Nothing prepared for posting this Saturday, so there you go.

Thank you for your indulgence.

So that is the bathrooms finished but R's is not usable until Sunday, so I will take photos then when the tapes are removed. I am delighted with my new shower screen.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Funny Friday

BAD is in Southampton.

Not side splitting but very clever work by the wonderful Tracey Ullman. It is not the first time I have heard of Scottish tennis star Andy Murray's identity problems. Nicola Sturgeon is Scotland's Chief Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party.

BBC lawyers are watching me. Here we go again.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

From left field

Channel 9 is to buy Fairfax Media? Wow, why weren't we told. Our conservative government changed the media laws, that were set up in the 80s to keep media diversity. Channel 9 is the commercial tv station oldies like, once owned by media and casino mogul Kerry Packer and later, his son James. It does a great story with immigrant problems and the poorest welfare recipient who cheats the system for a couple of dollars but rather fails on going after the big blokes.   Fairfax Media publishes the newspapers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, along with electronic versions of similar papers in some other capital cities, such as WA Today and The Canberra Times, along with the Brisbane Times. The Age and the SMH date back to 1850s and were generally very stolid and conservative newspapers until the 1980s.

The golden days of The Age for me in the late 80s had its Saturday edition weighing a tonne. In different sections there was the real estate section, the employment section, the motor car section, the lighter weekend reading, the arts and literary section, and in depth reporting and investigations in its news section. You could spend most of the weekend going through The Age, and in some ways back then, the Murdoch paper, The Australian wasn't half bad either if you overlooked some of the extreme right wingers. Fairfax Press, The Age and The SMH, exposed corruption at the highest levels, the criminal underworld, environmental disasters, extreme social disadvantage.......the list is long, but I have not seen much of that of late.

Fairfax press is a shadow of its former self, yet has such brilliant journalists such Kate McClymont who has taken on Sydney's underworld, crime and corruption and the highest level, and won, personally, publicly and before the courts. There are a couple of really good finger on the pulse reporters/editors in Melbourne too, who I follow on Twitter because I have such respect for them. I follow Kate, who also has a good sense of humour.

(Tip to Our ABC, snap up these first class journalists who will be in the future compromised at some point)

Kate, Clay and Adam.


I don't pay for much on the net, but I do pay for my subscription to the online Fairfax Press, around $25 per month.  Channel 9, the new to be owner, has shown appalling behaviour over many years even though it has employed some very talented people, but they have pretty well gone now.  The icing on the cake is that Peter Costello, a former conservative party treasurer, will be the big boss.

I am so sad. The Age educated me in so many ways, entertained me, and in spite of being a commercial newspaper with ads, never seemed biased or bought by anyone. It reported on its own dissolution without fear or favour when the paper fell from the hands of the very stupid Fairfax family.  I feel awful for the journalists who I admire and respect, but I think I will cancel my subscription and donate at least half of my subscription to The Guardian, Australia. I just won't see the local car crash stories. 

It is more important than ever that we have a thriving independent ABC, our government funded media, but 'not' at the beckon of government. 

It is a very sad day in Australia. 

PS, written off the cuff and unedited. 

The early bird......

On the morning of the 5th July, both L of Farm-ily and myself were up at the crack of dawn taking sunrise photos. Given dawn in early July is about 7.30, then it was not a huge sacrifice for me to be up at that hour. Take a look at L's very nicely composed photo here.

It looks like I was playing with camera settings and doing a bit of zooming. Of course now I have no idea what settings I used. They are in order of being taken.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The finishing touches

The screws into the plaster using the existing holes did not work and R's toilet roll holder fell off onto the floor. I had a feeling that would happen. We had to move it to a higher position and just start again, so we did and second starting from scratch instead of using old holes and we succeeded.

I bogged up the old holes with patching plaster. Once sanded, it barely needs painting.

Another three lots of five minute jobs was actually exactly that, replacing the bedroom door hooks. Well, maybe half an hour including gettin tools out and clean up.

The old hooks. R's bedroom.

My bedroom.

The spare room.

They all look like this now. Much nicer and match the chrome door handles.

We are not finished yet. While we had very limited choice because of the small size, that is the existing screw holes, at a specialist door handle shop we found new handles for the bathrooms. They were only $6.90 each, but multiply that by ten for four bathroom cupboards in each bathroom and two for the laundry doors. Of course they were out of stock but they came in the next day and I collected them. After the money we have spent on the bathrooms, we were not going to leave them with old fashioned handles that we didn't like for the sake of $70. That is, not spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth  of tar. This is the old handle.

Replaced by these.

R said, you have to get rid of both that old brown soap dispenser and toothpaste holder. I did, and found these on a great special at Bed, Bath and Table.

We have drains in the bathroom floors, in case of overflowing baths. I washed out the old liquid soap container and put it in the bin and then wondered why my socks felt wet. Yes, suds from me washing out the old soap dispenser rose from the drain.

We really thought we would be absolutely finished by last Thursday, but Regency who were to install our new shower screens has delayed the installation until next Wednesday, which is probably today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A grave error

It came to pass that it was a terrible mistake to remove Sydney's trams. One new line was introduced a good while ago, and extended, and a massively over engineered new line is under construction. Article from the Sydney Morning Herald. Newspapers are making it difficult to copy and paste, so sorry for the formatting. Note: It was known right back in 1958 that if you give more space to cars, it will quickly fill up with cars.
At 1.17am on Saturday, June 29, 1958, passengers crammed the last tram to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge. On the following Monday, the biggest transport switch in Sydney's history occurred with buses completely replacing trams on the north shore. This is how The Sun-Herald reported on the hugely controversial move on June 29, 1958.
Today's closure of the Harbour Bridge tram tracks was criticised last week as "the greatest transport bungle in Sydney's history."
It was called "a political scandal" and "an £8 million blunder."
North Shore mayors, town planners, civic officials and travellers all attacked the Government's decision to convert the bridge tram tracks to a two-lane roadway.
[Closure of the tram lines and their conversion within 18 months to a roadway is part of the changeover of the North Sydney tram system to buses which took place last night.]

Severest test for bridge
Authorities believe peakhour traffic tomorrow will subject the Harbour Bridge to its severest test yet.
Police and Transport Department officials will be on duty in full strength on the Bridge and approaches.
Police advise motorists to leave home a few minutes earlier than usual, but the Transport Department said this would not be necessary for bus travellers, because buses would run faster.

schedules than trams.
The Commissioner for Government Transport, Mr A. A. Shoebridge, said he was "quite confident" the conversion would work smoothly. Critics of the move told "The Sun-Herald:"
• The Government was wasting £6 million in rail facilities being closed up in Wynyard tunnel and on the Bridge.
• The £2 million, two lane roadway would be saturated "as soon as it was opened."
• A record peak-hour traffic jam was likely on the Bridge tomorrow or later this week as 70 extra buses were put on 10 extra North Shore routes to and from the city.
The Mayor of Willoughby Alderman McDowell, said: "Pulling up the bridge tram tracks seems to mean that the last hope of the Warringah Railway ever being built is going out.
"Track installations should be retained. The Department shouldn't do anything irretrievable.
"We wanted them to give the buses a three months' trial, which implies holding the trams in reserve, to see how the changeover works."
The secretary of the Railway for Warringah Committee, Mr C. L. Cotton, said: "The Government is making on £8 million blunder.
"It is wasting assets worth £.6 million in closing up Wynyard tunnel and the rail facilities on the Bridge, and another £2 million on converting to a roadway.
"Traffic figures show the new road will be saturated from the moment it is opened. It will handle 3,000 cars an hour, where electric trains could carry 50,000 passengers.
"Elimination of the space for rail tracks on the Bridge is a political scandal.
"All the North Shore councils, municipalities, and progress associations are up in arms over it.
"We understand that, at the same time as it was announced that trains wouldn't be using the tram tracks, railway engineers completed final plans for quadruplication of the North Shore lines to Chatswood.
"This conversion is the greatest transport bungle in Sydney's history."
The Mayor of Mosman, Ald. R. S. Whybrow, said: "The two-lane roadway Isn't going to relieve congestion; it will only attract more traffic and become saturated.
"I believe buses should terminate at rail heads and ferry wharves, with composite tickets, again."
Among travellers interviewed, one man said: "The trams give us a clear, fast, uninterrupted run from Wynyard to North Sydney.
"At Wynyard we have the shelter of the tunnel in bad weather and the convenience of the shops."
Traffic jams on the Harbour Bridge and its approaches will be far worse than this during peak hours next week, according to critics of the Bridge conversion plan.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday Mural

Our Launceston friend put a photo of this mural on FB when she sayed in nearby hotel before journeying on to Canada. Rather than steal her photo, I took my own and my photo is better :-P It is a huge mural and I am not sure that I like it in spite of it clearly being a very good work of art. Their faces look so rubbery. Nevertheless, Smug is a very respected mural artist.

Grace, Sami and Jackie will probably have a Monday mural post.

Later edit: To quote, "The mural depict’s Smug’s elderly grandparents in a very photorealistic style, which is Smug’s trademark".

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Out and about in Paris Pt 2/2

BAD is now in Lisbon.

Obviously we are up the Eiffel Tower now, slightly tipsy after lunch. This bridge would be Pont d'lena. High rise buildings can be seen in the distance and how good that they are kept at a distance.

I read somewhere a couple of years ago that a major road running alongside The Seine was closed down. I wonder if it was this one.

Montemarte in the distance.


I expect the green is part of the park Champ de Mars. I don't know how well you can see in the photos but there are small fences around the grassed areas with warnings to 'keep off the grass', or 'défense de marcher sur la pelouse'.

Just beautiful.

Boris Bikes, as they are known in London, named after the former London Mayor Boris Johnson who introduced them to London.

I think we were in the glass pyramid at The Louvre.

As in Brussels, the British handle border control back at Gare du Nord for those travelling by train to England. While we were there in plenty of time, with time we thought to have a look around and buy some duty free, it was an absolutely chaotic bunfight and our time was spent in queues and dealing with bothersome British bureaucrats. Why have a high speed train when so much time has to be spent dealing with these other aspects of travel? On a slow train, there may well be a border official on board, asking 'papers please'. Bye bye Paris. We loved visiting you.