Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Our NYE

I have the most terrible flea in my ear, from a song now being used in a tv commercial.

We won't be partying like it is 1994 but isn't this a great song. Sing along on New Year's Eve. You can be raucous and raise your voice. Tune it up loud and belt out the chorus. Your endorphins will come to life.


Ex Sis in Law wished us a happy new year via text while we were dining. Here is my reply to her.

Across the road having Saigon food. We'll have a Scotch or two. Fall asleep in chairs watching Sydney fireworks. Maybe wake up before midnight and stagger across the the road and sit in the Toorak Rd gutter and watch the fireworks. You? And happy 2020 to you both.



My Worst Habit

No doubt R would give you a long list of my annoying habits and of course I don't think I have any. I can give you an even longer list of his annoying habits.

Funny memories have just come to my mind of when R did criticise me when we was younger. If I stood with my hand on my hip, he would ask if I was carrying a roll of lino (floor covering). I often used to rub the top of my back over my shoulder. R told me to stop continually adjusting my bra strap. All history now. I no longer carry a roll of lino or adjust my bra strap.

One annoying habit I do have is making comments when the news is on tv. I rarely do it now as I know it drives R crazy. I just do it silently. Firstly I will comment on the clothes, hair, make up, whatever of the presenter, male or female.

Please Minister, can you just answer the question the reporter asked of you and not obfuscate?

That's our money they're wasting.

Outrageous.

Duh, what did they expect.

Own goal.

When a crystal clear cctv image of someone who has allegedly committed a crime is shown, I remark, well, he/she is gone.

That's criminal (sometimes with the addition of neglect).

On and on I will go if I am left un-scolded with my comments about each news item.

Is there a possibility that I am a smart arsed opinionated person? Nah, never.

At least once a week my eyes will fill when watching a tv news story, as they did today when The Guardian (Australia) reported that our federal environment minister said that on New South Wales mid north coast up to 30% of the koala population has been killed. While I think koalas can put on brief spurts of speed, they are generally slow moving creatures and cannot outrun a fast moving bush fire. There will be volunteers out in the burnt areas looking for injured koalas. While they look cute and cuddly, they can be quite fierce and have very large claws for tree climbing and some knowledge is needed to know how to catch an injured koala.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Wandering the inner suburb Albert Park

These are a mix of photos I have taken when visiting Albert Park, with one lot taken with the old camera and one with the new.

He was a friend of a friend. I think I was about 21 and he was mid 30s and of Mediterranean heritage. One of these shops was his florist shop. We had a fantastic night together in his abode above. He liked the skinny young me and I liked his hairy masculine nicely built body and his experience. But everything comes at a price. He gave me the second worst 'flu I have ever had. Ah, I've just remembered his name. I guess he would be dead now.


The late Sheila Scotter, a doyen of style and deportment and former editor of Vogue Australia lived at The Biltmore. Her Wikipedia entry is a very brief read and she had an interesting personal life.


The Biltmore entrance, built as a coffee palace. In 1928 it became a boarding house. In 1950 it became a residence for Royal Melbourne Hospital nurses. The again back to being a boarding house in 1966. In the mid 1990s it was converted to private apartments, rather grand ones I think.


Ah, also quarters for American army officers during WWII.


I can never understand how workers cottages were built next door around the same time in the late 1890s to much grander two storey terrace houses in a number of Melbourne suburbs.



My, what a large extension to your two storey Victorian era house you have, and is that a swimming pool reflection?


I walked through St Vincents Place South, St VP North is similar, and it was so pleasant. The parkland was designed in the 1850s but hard to believe, it was also once a horse racing track.






Amazingly beautiful bark.


St Vincents Place is surrounded by grand and very expensive housing.



At the bottom of Victoria Avenue there is a view of Station Pier with a cruise ship in port along with the Spirit of Tasmania, a ferry to our island state Tasmania. If our plans come to fruition, we will be on the ferry in March 2020.


The tram route number 1 terminus, confusingly called South Melbourne Beach by Yarra Trams. The sails shade the Sand Park playground where we took Little Jo a number of times.


Just wandering along.



I think this is a government primary school but Guggle is not being helpful.



Trust Lancashire Insurance? I would hope their policies are more clear than the Lancashire accent.


I think this is a proper 1960s Mustang, not a modern new one. Amazingly powerful beasts but so awful to drive.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Fire Perspective

About five million hectares, close to twelve and half million acres of Australia has been burnt in bushfires in the past few months. Sorry it is only a European focus but these maps I came across on Facebook give you an idea of the size of the area burnt. We still have our traditionally worst two months to come.







Bits

Well, yesterday was I think the first time I have reposted a post with more information and it all seemed to go quite wrong. I don't understand but I guess it will become clear in the fullness of time.

After Thursday's fortnightly bill paying day and finances looked at, I am living beyond my income. I know why and I will must address that.

Two of my summer shirts need to be thrown out and I bought replacement shirts at Myer today, heavily discounted but still quite expensive. Even at my age I am learning that expensive clothing can be better.

Hippie Niece bought us this for Christmas. I think we like it. I think.


Later edit: It was a bit far away to see properly.


Kind of works with this other metal piece we found on the roadside, had the broken mirror replaced and hung it.


This used to hang in the same place, now above R's bed. It works better with the sand coloured backdrop.


Christmas Eve meal across the road at Cafe Rosco, my suggestion to give Chef a night off but then after large lunchtime meals on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, we had baked beans on toast one night and soup and a toasted sandwich on the next, so Chef hasn't been working too hard.


Our laundry cupboard is dark. I bought two of the lamps on the right to light it. One was above the washing machine and I thought they were ok but then at the big green hardware shed, I spied this newer model, now above the washing machine for $4. It is brilliant and no more scrabbling around in the bottom of the washing tub for an odd sock. I can see inside the washing tub.


Discounted Christmas cards bought today for the use next year. This amused me. You calling me fat you arsehole?


R is not what you would describe as a gentle person if you are talking about things. He closes doors too hard. He puts things down roughly. He throws things rather than places them. I think it is internalised homophobia, where to be gentle with things is unmanly. I told him off about slamming the balcony door last night. I had been building up to it for weeks, choosing my words carefully and World War III did not start and now the door is being closed quietly.

Yet, he creates great art, be it in cooking, actual art, gift wrapping, whatever. We are totally opposite. I am a quiet person but not artistic at all. He broke the whisk on the stick blender and admitted he was too rough with it. I found a new one on Ebay and he has clearly learnt a lesson and not broken the new one. But he has broken the gears of the chopper of the stick blender, perhaps by chopping whole onions when he should have been chopped them up a little in advance. From a spare parts site, the new gear mechanism was cheaper than I could see anywhere else and in spite of it being Christmas, it arrived in a couple of days after ordering, unlike Maribeth's Christmas Card to us which I think is sitting somewhere in the bowels of Australia Post. 


Saturday, December 28, 2019

What a swell party it was

I don't normally do this and sorry to you who have read this before, but R was transferring birthdays from this year's calendar to next year's, next year's being a Lego themed one from the daughter of blogger https://www.ourfarm-ily.com/ Of course it never rains but pours. Mother gave us a Guide Dogs calendar for Christmas. It is nice and does have the helpful school holidays marked, but we decided to use the calendar we bought. Labradors all look so similar. But we will have to remember to put it up if she visits.

I decided as R transferred the birthdays I would make a list. It is so easy to miss a birthday, especially if they are at the beginning of the month and you don't see them until you turn over the month. Then I decided to add years of birth for those who we know or have noted down so we can check before we buy a birthday card if the person is having a significant birthday. There are none this year. Damn, Brighton Antique Dealer's year of birth is not noted. I did find it in my blog as we were at her 80th birthday party and I searched my blog with the name of the venue, Masque. After the party I wrote this. I really quite like what I wrote. Some of you will remember bits of it but newer readers won't have read it.

Dear Dame M,

Gosh, it is seven years since you died. How times flies. I think of you often and what your friendship meant to so many people and especially us. You'll be pleased to know your little gang still all catch up with each other every so often. Let me think, you were 82 when you died, so you would now be 89. I think you may have become crabby by the time you reached that age, so maybe just as well you went a bit early. You were already quite imperious you know. There has been an English show on tv called Downton Abbey. You would have enjoyed it and done as well in the role of The Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith.

Anyway, through you we came to know our friend Brighton Antique Dealer. Can you believe she has turned 80. We had a great celebration on Friday night for her birthday at a place called Masque, just walking distance from us in Park Street. BAD has not changed much but she now lives a medium rise retirement enclave not far up the same street as her shop house, which she sold. Haha, I remember how regal you looked as you descended her stairs on her electric stair chair. You should have had a ciggie in one hand and a martini in the other.

Do you remember BAD's daughter, the dyke, daughter of her first Arab husband? Btw, he died a year or so ago in Daylesford. BAD was surprisingly distressed. Remember what BAD said when she first saw her first husband undressed? She thought my god, that monster is not going to fit anywhere. She has a son, but by a different father, and the son was living with his what I guess is kind of his step father. He sounds like a bit of a loser. Ah yes, the daughter. Well, she organised the event and she did a great job. It was an open bar and I suppose there were over fifty people there and plenty of finger food too. It must have cost a bomb. Gee, I doubt I would have fifty people at my funeral, let alone rustle up fifty people for a party when I am eighty.

Your boarder of thirty years attended of course, in the guise of Jasmine. Naturally Jazzie had to do a couple of numbers. She is quite amateurish, but she looked great and the straights loved her. I took photos. Speaking of which, I had to check when you died and I had forgotten I put a few photos of you on my blog. Take a look here. Commenters on the post back there are no longer readers of my blog. Such is the way of the world Dame M, but you are the last person who ever needed educating about ways of the world.

At your funeral your Boarder made a speech, a very long one, as he pranced back and forth across the stage in full flight and eventually the metaphorical crook with a hook came out, and he was hauled off. His speech at BAD's birthday party was equally torturous, but mercifully short. BAD's daughter made a brief speech with her mother at her side and BAD became quite emo. BAD has endured some personal hardship since you departed, but of course, what hardship is there really when you have money. Insurance paid for her flooded shop house, health insurance paid for top care for her broken bones when she fell.

Never a problem for you Dame M, who arrived at parties late, held court and then departed before things became messy, but I find parties so hard and try to avoid them. But BAD's party was really great. We even danced. Remember our black friend and your boarder's hairdresser friend? They both had a bit to drink and the more they had the more uninhibited their dancing became. Oh, but here is a downer you might not know, the hairdresser had cancer and a double mastectomy. She disconnected from us all from diagnosis to full recovery. Just her way of dealing with it.

Did you know your house has been divided up into rather nice flats? The upstairs flats are still there but your house and the downstairs flat have been turned into about five flats. I peered through windows before they were sold and there are still bits of your house there such as the lounge room mantle piece and the arch from the dining room to the lounge room. Great that your house wasn't demolished.

Anyway darls,
missing you heaps,
Andrew.





Friday, December 27, 2019

Boxing Day, another family get together

With the exception of Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo who are now in New Zealand, and Fire Fighting Nephew who was on call and his wife, we were all together at Ex Sis in Laws for another Christmas meal but on Boxing Day.

I will do this as much for my own benefit.

Ex Sis in Law hosted with her husband.

Tradie Brother and ABI Brother.

Mother, whose wide brimmed pink feathered hat could be seen floating about a gate as she hovered waiting for ABI Brother to get things from the car.

Hippie Niece and her twin daughters.

Oldest Niece, her partner and Little M, Little Em and Little L.

Ex Sis in Law's husband's daughter and her rather attractive partner.

Ex Sis in Law's husband's other daughter with her same sex partner, a friend and a mother. Why weren't we told about Ex Sis in Law's daughter?

Around twenty people. Ah, left us out. Twenty two.

Wait, Ex Sis in Law's female friend and her daughter.

Yet another, someone who bought a pup from their pug. Mother and son ran around like crazy and they look quite different.

With all these adults each buying presents for the five children, plus what they received yesterday, plus what they receive from their respective parents, plus what the twins were given by their father, plus what Little M, Little Em and Little L received from their paternal grandparents who are separated so two lots of presents each.

This is absurd! The children quickly looked at each present, discarded them and then went on to the next. There was a mountain of presents and an even larger mountain of wrapping paper.

We are really doing this wrong.

Little L looked so cute as an elf. A brother with two confident but quite different older sisters will be interesting to watch. It is not generally in our family experience. But he will have lots of daddy and mummy love.


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Assumptions

We all make them about people and we shouldn't. For your information if you don't already know my sister is married to a woman, Bone Doctor and Sister have a daughter Little Jo, who is biologically from my sister. How many over the years assumed Bone Doctor was a man? While she is now a general practitioner, specialising in sports medicine, she trained and practised as a....... I can't remember the word. She is is the go to person if you want your leg chopped off with a buzz saw, your ribs broken for a heart transplant or a chisel taken to your knee. She knows her stuff.

Within an internet group I am involved in one older chap referred to our State Minister for Public Transport as a he. I think Bone Doctor being assumed as a he is far more forgivable than assuming the sex of a Minister of Government.

Our current Minister for Public Transport in Victoria is Melissa Horne, a woman. Remembering back to the 1980s, we had a female public transport minister, the late Pauline Toner and many female public transport ministers since then. I met Ms Toner once and as government ministers are when you meet them, she was perfectly charming and nice.

2020 will be a year for me not making assumptions. Question yourself every time.

I'll just sneak in a photo of the twins on Christmas Day. One melted down as they were leaving but otherwise they behaved really well.



Happy Boxing Day, although I think if you are of Irish heritage, it is St Stephen's Day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve

Christmas sales started early in Japan. It was said that the Japanese translator thought fuckin' meant really good in the US. I doubt it and I think it is a fake photo.


Queen Victoria Shopping Centre, aka QV.



Collins Street. Nice big balls.


Myer department store.



Prahran Square.


A mouse hole in the The Highrise. What is the connection between mice and Christmas?


And within the building adults and children alike can send a letter to Santa.


Flemington.


Elsternwick.



Bay Street Port Melbourne. The first says;

All aboard. All aboard.
I've made my last choice.
Then, oh dear me
I'm losing my voice.

The second

Kookaburra squawked
I can join the show
My ha ha ha can replace
Your ho ho ho.



Finally, Federation Square in the city. My phone did not capture the tree glittering in the sunlight. If Christmas is you thing, have a very merry one.