Saturday, November 02, 2019

Zooming in

Been very busy with car pick up Wednesday, Mother Day Thursday, shopping Friday, out Friday night for dinner. Should be a quieter (and wet weekend) with only a trip to Aldi to buy rashies on special on Saturday.  Of course there has been a lot of car and associated phone tech time taken.

A little Motherism from Thursday: I was so cold this last winter I don't think I will complain about the heat at all this year. It's so nice being warm. Arrive at her home to pick up some things, Andrew, can you turn the cooling on. Arrive back at ABI's Brother where she lives, Andrew, can you turn the cooling on and your brother has it set too warm. Turn it lower please.

So not much time to post, but I don't think I showed you these photos.

Driving from here to the tv towers on Mount Dandenong is 50 km, say 31 miles. It's a fairly direct route with only some twisting and turning as you climb the mountain and I would estimate that to be less than 5 km extra, so say Mount Dandenong tv towers are 45 km away. I was pretty impressed by the zoom on my new camera.

Unrelated, retired blogger Ann O'Dyne but fervent Twitterer identified the first distant tower to go up at Box Hill. There is now a forest of them growing. The closer tower just seemed to appear one day. Of course that can't happen but maybe it was finished and exposed when we were overseas. I am not sure where it is. I can identify the water storage tower in Surrey Hills. Perhaps the highrise building is in Burwood and part of Deakin University.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New Wheels

While we had planned the old car clear out well, it occurred to me only last night to clear the sat nav of favourite addresses, address history and favourite radio stations. R thanked me profusely for thinking of that.

We were to collect our new car at 11.30 yesterday. I wanted a couple of things at the shops and so we decided to go early to Bay Street, Port Melbourne, have brunch (I was good with a ham, tomato and onion sandwich. R was bad with pastie. Our goodness alternates). I pulled out a supermarket bag from my backpack to put into what I had bought and then it started. You are not going into that new car showroom to collect our new car carrying a supermarket shopping bag. I could have put what I bought into my backpack I suppose but as R said, as we are way too early, so we went home and out again to pick up the new car without a shopping bag, or my backpack loaded.

Gee, I thought I cared about what people thought of me, well I did when I was younger, but R is worse than me.

Everyone was so nice at the car dealership. Our hand over person was openly gay, to us at least, and is about to marry his partner and next year they will have two babies. Yes, it is complicated. The hand over took about an hour.

He explained how many things in the car work, which went in one ear and out the other. Then it was time for the photo shoot. This is how you are presented with your new car. You can take photos and upload them to the dealership FB or Insta. It was all quite a nice experience. The new bow tying person, although straight, is quite good at putting the ribbon on and does it with style, as we were told. The last person was hopeless, so the hand over person told us, and he used to fix up the ribbon himself.

On the way we stopped off to take photos of our soon to be no longer our car. Some cars we have named, like the one of our Mazdas we called Masada and my Humber Super Snipe was called Archie, R's VW Beetle was Bluey because it was blue, but we never named this one. Goodbye One Credit and Six General Practitioners.

However the new car has already been named Letitia as the number plate begins with 1QL, 1 Queen Letitia. Was she an Islander Queen or something? Maybe a Spanish Queen? I came up with something quite vulgar for the last letter and numbers. But it is an easy way to remember your car registration number. More to come about the new car, I suppose.

We drove along the beach to Elwood, parked and bought an ice cream and then drove back home with a couple of stops along to way to check and adjust things and change drivers. The two cars don't look so different in photos but the CX5 is somewhat bigger.

Oh damn, out of focus and I should have taken the photo from higher up. He was hot.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Behind my love of maps is my liking of graphs.

The first is certainly a traditional graph. Where do your electricity prices sit? Darwin and Perth apparently don't exist, but Perthites Grace and Sami are used to that. Country folk? Bad luck. You may have to click on the graph to enlarge it.

There is a Melbourne station with the name Croxton and the Croxton Park Hotel, but really it is Northcote, a suburb once a favourite of female wearers of sensible shoes, but not as much now as it has become gentrified. 

Shopkeepers and retailers always scream blue murder if any on street parking is removed, citing how many of their customers drive cars to get to their business, when if fact they grossly overestimate the numbers, certainly in inner areas of Melbourne. This pictograph? is brilliant. If you don't know, the green is by tram. Many more travel by tram and walk than local traders thought, and even the cyclists were well underestimated. Making road space for public transport, walking and cycling at the expense of cars is a no brainer.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Construction Blitz

Thanks god our trams are back to running normally. To get to the city we had catch a bus and then a tram. Even worse was going to Prahran, whereby I would catch a bus that waited I assume to the correct departure time and arrive at the transfer point at the Alfred Hospital just as the tram left. I had a brain fade, forgetting I could catch the number 6 tram replacement bus. Anyway, all is back to normal now.

Our local underground Metro Station is to be called Anzac Station, ANZAC standing  for Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. Awful station name. Why not just The Domain, as the local park and road is known and the former Domain Interchange was called? Originally the King's Domain. It will be large as it will need to accommodate seven carriage trains. It is a huge project. There is a northern box and a southern box. The southern box roof has been completed and now the road and trams run above it. The northern box is where the serious work will happen and a 'small' shed has been built to kill the noise of the works.

Metro Tunnel is a massive multi billion dollar project and will open in 2025, hopefully earlier but I don't think work is ahead of schedule. Sometimes I really wish I wasn't so old. Of course I expect I will get to use it, but not for too many years. Depending where the entrances are located, we could be in the city in at best five minutes including walking time instead of 15 minutes if a tram is if there as we cross the road to the tram stop. The actual train journey would be about two minutes or less.

I was appalled at the way the replacement bus drivers blocked the intersection below. They are supposedly professional drivers, and sit up higher than most traffic. There was no excuse.

Here is the 'small' acoustic shed which is under construction and somewhat larger now than when I took this photo.

Monday, October 28, 2019

R, can you record this

I don't normally watch commercial tv, but I asked R to record something for me after noticing a promo as I wanted to see the guy who some 35 years ago I did the biz with. He has become rich and famous, and a celebrity in 90s. I think we are the same age. He looks better than I do for our respective ages but he is rich and I am not. I can't really remember what we did aside from it being satisfactory but I remember him not allowing me to take his tee shirt off. I insisted yes and he insisted no. He won. What a curious memory.

Monday Mural

Our City Square, pretty boring as it was, has gone and it will become part of an entrance to Flinders Street Station when the Metro Tunnel is built. Artwork on the hoardings surrounding the site keep changing. Of course there was an explanatory board about the work and the artist and of course I forgot to photograph the board. I quite like the figures.

Later edit: The work is by Will and Garrett Huxley. The explanation of the work is the usual modern art speil wankery and I won't inflict it upon you. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Why we buy online

So annoying. I bought a new dressing gown in Autumn and it is too warm for our coming summer. Do you think one department store in Melbourne has a lightweight summer dressing gown at a reasonable price? No. I've looked several times. I'm sick of looking. $75 at Myer, absurd.

Retailers wonder why consumers go online and buy?

So I am going to buy one online, perhaps even from Harvey James in London.

I haven't decided  which one yet. I was looking at this one and asked R's opinion.

"Do you think I will look like this if I buy this dressing gown?"

"I hope so", he answered but with a rueful half smile on his face.

Spending the superannuation

Five years ago we bought a new car. The ever so cute salesmen said to us after we had test driven some SUVs, why do you guys need a big car? Won't this Mazda 3 sedan do you well? R has not let me forget it, although  he agreed at the time.  He didn't say he would turn 70 and struggle to get out from such a low car. He didn't say that my mother would need a walker and that he would have to sit in the back seat with a handle of the walker stuck in his face as it wouldn't fit in the boot. He didn't say how good it was to be a bit higher and see the traffic better.

No, none of that at the time but it is my fault for buying the wrong car. Nevertheless we have quite liked our Mazda 3, it being our fourth Mazda with a brief flirtation with Hyundai. You probably don't remember but we gave the Hyundai to Ex Sis in Law and her husband and while it was ok for us, the 18 year old car soon failed for them as it was suddenly heavily used. They wondered what to do with the no longer working car. Amazingly a friend of a friend has taken it as a car for his daughter after he fixes it up. The Hyundai lives on.

We have been looking at small SUVs, that will fit Mother's walker in the back and be easier to get in and out of. We have been to dealerships over the past month but nothing was grabbing us. Eventually R said, I would really like a Mazda CX5, a medium sized SUV. Oh yes, I now know better than to talk him out of it with logic.

So, this Saturday I bought a new Mazda CX5 Maxx Sport from City Mazda. Unlike the last two times we have bought a car from the dealership, this time we felt good about what I paid for the car. The first time we bought a car their we felt quite cheated by a smart arse smarmy car salesman. The second time as the deal was being clinched, he threw in free floor mats, and then said if you could just increase your offer to.... which was exactly what the floor mats cost.

The experience kind of put a bitter taste in our mouths in spite of the pleasure of the new cars. This time the salesman was of Greek heritage, 25 years old. While he had a nice face, he was short and will go to seed early and his skin wasn't so good. Well, I am not employing him for male on male massage, and he was pretty good as a car salesperson and we did not feel like we paid too much. It was a fair deal with a good trade in price for our five year old car that had only travelled about 60,000 km, say 37,000 miles.

We pick the newie up on Wednesday. It will be invisible among all the other cars on the road. I wonder if Mother will notice it is a new car on Thursday. Rather a long and stressful day this Saturday, but nicely wrapped up by dinner across the road, and running into a former workmate at the restaurant.