Saturday, November 23, 2019

Bank Housing

Has Hels not covered the Port Melbourne bank housing? I am surprised she hasn't but perhaps it is a case of me not finding the post. I won't do it the justice as she would.

The locality is known as Garden City and the development was kicked off by the State Bank of Victoria, which went on to become the State Savings Bank of Victoria, That is the SSBV, which went bust in the 1990s. I can't now remember if it had been privatised or not, but nevertheless, our state government picked up the pieces.

The houses were interesting in that they were two storey housing for the working class, probably port workers. That was very unusual for Australia. At their time, they were of a high standard and built by State Bank of Victoria. I think people generally rented them before being able to afford to buy them. Lol now at banks building decent houses for the working class. Our banks will finance dodgy mortgages on the far edge of our cities, where owners will lose equity as soon as Arthur Daley leaves the stage.

Some of the Bank Houses have been nicely renovated, but not all. R in the course of his last employment has been inside a few. To quote R, some are just ghastly huge inside without any merit at all. OK, R doesn't speak like that., that is me. He said some were caverournos and very ugly inside.

Regardless, so close to the city with almost ok public transport, each are worth over $1,000,000. As I recall, there were only four different designs,  Here are a few snaps of the Bank Houses.

Friday, November 22, 2019

China and Honkers

Hong Kong seems to be destroyed. I find it so distressing. They are a bit like us. Bad HK government. Can't say China bad yet but wait and watch.

It is funny how we use a Japanese word to refer about how we are kowtowing to China. In a very interesting piece about Chinese influence in Australia which I highly recommend you read, I picked up this:

Australia has many fine laws that are being flouted through lack of political will. As we’ve learnt in the past few years, major businesses and famous chefs have for years been systematically underpaying their workers and getting away with it because the Fair Work Commission wasn’t enforcing the law. Misconduct by the major banks was rampant because federal agencies lacked the staff and the will to investigate. Newly built apartment blocks are uninhabitable because state governments have failed to enforce their building codes.

(Just add to the last, putting flammable cladding on the exterior of buildings)

It is a characteristic of Australia today that governments, state and federal, are failing as functional entities. They have allowed vital laws to lapse through inexcusable neglect. They snap into action only when the media expose a vacuum where there is supposed to be an operational core.
The state, as an entity charged with conducting the rule of law, has been hollowed out. The people live under the assumption that their taxes, their elected representatives and their public servants are protecting them as the law guarantees. But in industry after industry, this has been exposed as a hoax.
Just to reiterate, The people live under the assumption that their taxes, their elected representatives and their public servants are protecting them as the law guarantees.
Indeed this is the case and our governments, from local, state and federal are a disgrace and have thoroughly neglected their duties.

Can't be Effed Friday

Nothing to see here Move on. But just to say it was 40 degrees here today at 3pm. At 9pm, it is 16 degrees Such is Melbourne weather.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

A renovation

Our building has been undergoing huge internal renovations with repainting, recarpeting, a change from the fob unlocking of internal and external doors to card contact and the doors to the carpark levels will be self opening and closing, great when you are loaded with shopping. The cheap and nasty sparkle lights on each floor have been removed, along with the upgraded many LED lamps that replaced halogen lights. There are fewer lights but they are more economical and light where it is needed.

The painters are foreign born and one is smoking hot. I imagine Bulgarian, just for my own fantasies, but I really don't know, perhaps Eastern European at least. I've never seen such professional painters in my life and they are fastidious. Twice we had to leave our door open for five hours on Saturdays as paint dried on our door. While some floors have unpainted doors as residents are overseas for extended periods, fortunately our floor doesn't have any and and all doors have been painted, most twice but some only once, but visually it makes little difference.

This will be the third carpet on the landings since we have been here and we are rather worried about the design, although similar has been used in local Art Hotels. As I type, it is being woven by machines here in Australia.

We love the new paint colours and generally everything else that is being done. Here are a few photos as work is in progress. I will show you the photos of the new in time.

This was the old style of lamps at the lift, still on the ground floor.

The new, later painted the same colour as the walls.

The old LED lamps.

And the new.

No need for extra lighting. Switches blanked off. Pity they weren't removed.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A few ticks

It is rare that we have nothing on each day, but Tuesday was one such day. Our new car must be four weeks old now, so we decided to take it for its first wash, not a hand job, just through a car wash, but the often attractive young Indian men give a bit of a hand job before hand. I gave him an extra dollar and he was appreciative, as I was for the hand job. I really should round it up from $16 to $20 and give them a decent amount.

We went on to Bay Street Port Melbourne to take the art work we bought in South Africa last year to be framed. The framing will cost about five times as much as the original work, although original could mean they are churned out in a Johannesburg factory.

We had brunch at our favourite bakery. Having brunched on healthy sandwiches for the last two days, I felt no guilt in having a delicious sausage roll.

We saved a little money by ordering a birthday cake from the bakery for my brother's 60th Sunday week, instead of buying from the usual French bakery in Prahran. Just over $70 to serve 20 people and it is part of his birthday present. What we had already bought him is a dvd of the great tv show Two Men in a Tinnie (it is always the fault of someone upstream). It is hard to believe it was first broadcast in 2006. I was also surprised that while I knew ABC street shops had closed down, so to now has ABC online sales, outsourced to various bookshops and dvd retailers. We had trudged the city looking for the dvd to no avail. Once home I found it for sale new on Ebay for $20 including postage. We received it in a few days.

Every so often we buy an oven cleaning kit for about $8 and R then cleans the oven. It is quite good and comes with plastic bags to put the racks in and then we just put them through the dishwasher and they are sparkling. The spray melts away the grease in the oven and it wipes off easily. That was R's task for the day.

One of you mentioned about exhaust fan cleaning and put it to my mind. Our exhaust fan is a one big unit in the bathroom, with ducts to the bathroom, my ensuite and the toilet. I cleaned it about 15 years ago and it was just a matter of blowing out the dust. This time I found the fins solidly full of dust, effectively just an ineffective solid spinning turbine. I can only get into it sideways, and I dug out the solidified dust with a small screwdriver for about an hour.

Wrist bruising was not noticed until afterwards. I take low dose aspirin for medical reasons and it makes me bruise easily. I turned on the fan half way through cleaning and then a minute after I turned if off, the very well balanced fan was still spinning as I stuck the screwdriver back into it for more cleaning. My hand recoiled and was cut on sharp edges. Nevertheless, a job well done but I am getting too old for such things. I need a strong young man around.

Just to add, we keep the exhaust fan running when we are home. It pulls in fresh air under the balcony door and in winter pulls heat to our bedrooms and in summer pulls cool air to our bedrooms. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

DNA Danger

Little Jo is not so little now. She is 12 years old and the daughter of my younger sister and her wife, the Bone Doctor. She is tall, mature and very smart for her age, yet helicoptered by her parents. I think there is a scout jamboree in New Zealand over summer and Little Jo is attending. While parents are not allowed to be with them, Sister and Bone Doctor will be there too, stalking and there on the one day parental access is allowed.

Little Jo was told she had to earn some spending money for New Zealand, like Sister and Bone Doctor are so poor, not. Little Jo busked by singing in a nearby town on the Bellarine and for her morning's work earnt $120. She can sing quite well, among her many talents.

Whenever this is published, a day or so ago she went to an orientation at her new private non religious school. It sounds ideal for her. Sister once worked with her class level teacher and said she is terrific. While the travelling distance by bus is great, and Mother moans on about how she should have gone to a local school, I think Little Jo will flourish at the chosen school.

I had a nice chat with Sister on the phone, and she imparted some really interesting information.

Bone Doctor's sister had been doing family research and I guess she did one of those DNA tests that Ancestry dot com urges you to do. A man in New South Wales had also taken a DNA test and they were a close match. It was suggested they were cousins, but the DNA match seemed closer. Bone Doctor's sister asked her mother if she knew of this close cousin and Bone Doctor's mother confessed it was her son, born before she married. It is the usual story of the era. Bone Doctor's mother's father told her to marry him or give the child up. She chose the latter and was sent to that particular religious hospital in Sydney, where Aboriginal women who were pregnant and also sent, but were put in the basement to do the laundry as they were about to give birth.

Bone Doctor's mother gave up the child for adoption and I guess he was quickly whisked away. She returned to Queensland for further education and went on to have a successful medical career. She, about the same age as me, retired last year.

Bone Doctor's father knew about it, so no problem there. Bone Doctor will see her mother in a couple of weeks and they will may discuss the matter. Bone Doctor has made email contact with her new older brother, the brother she always wanted to play with cricket with, and guess what, he likes cricket. Bone Doctor is 42 and her new older brother is 50. He has been married to a woman for 24 years but without children.

So kiddies, I suggest you be very careful about doing DNA tests. Be careful about what you want to know.

After hearing Sister's recount, I thought, just another bloke who has pressured an innocent young women into sex. But then I did actually think. Obviously I know little about the sexual desires of women.

But my immediate thoughts about Bone Doctor's mother was that a bloke forcefully cajoled her into sex and made her pregnant. Why don't I think that women can be as hungry for sex as men and want it just as badly when they are young, ok, yes and older too. I don't believe that from time immemorial that young women can't have known what the result might be if they were 'entered'. I believe the first time is not so easy for women and often not enjoyable. Society tells us that men want women for sex and while women might enjoy it, they don't chase after it and don't have the mind numbing hunger that men have. Am I being an apologist for possible poor male behaviour? Perhaps. Educate me about how so many young women did and still do become pregnant when it is not what they want.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Not Monday Mural

It isn't like I don't have any mural photos. I do. But I want to ask a question of you, dear readers.

I have always thought if someone comments on a blog post of mine, it is only polite to reply to their comment. It is quite time consuming though. Cathy has asked the same question, but I don't remember if there was a clear answer. Some people reply, some people don't. Grace in Perth explained with great sense in person as to why she doesn't at all as there is nothing say about what she posts. I disagree, but I appreciated her reasoning. Other people send personal emails.

There has been a few posts of mine of late where I not replied to anyone. There was really nothing to say and I guess I was time poor, but generally I do at least to the first comment someone makes. I like doing it but at times I would like to just reply to one or two comments and not all. Would that be terribly rude? Of course if you ask a question, I will answer, but if we are in simple agreement, do I need to reply? If you tell me you just really like something, do I need to reply? Will one reader feel slighted because I replied to someone else's comment but not hers?

When I comment on someone else's blog post, I don't always check back for a reply. Sometimes I remember much later, sometimes not at all.

I really don't know and your thoughts will be appreciated. I really don't know if I could not reply to all anyway.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday Selections

Very random photos for this week's Sunday.

The men in white while works were happening below are taking refreshment before the start of their night shift.

Can't remember where. The words say, The Practice of Beading, and then, Fortunes. Makes sense, no?

How could no one notice the trees on our podium level were dying because the watering system had failed. Trees look sick before they die. The whole area has been redone and is looking good.

Dilapidated in Chapel Street.

A gathering in the Altona Village park. Was it the advertised Easter Festival?

I've looked long and hard several times and I can't find any mistake. Wow, I just did. It is just like I write at times. Can you?

Dilapidated in Geelong.

Not dilapidated where I had my skin cancer surgery.

With a nice garden.

I can't remember the first name of the Lady Clarke who attended an antique auction where we were also, along with her husband the late Sir Rupert. Is it feasible that this woman could be Sir Rupert's mother? I forget what the display was about now but  I think it was in Flinders Lane. I have checked, yes, Sir Rupert's mother and she and her husband built Cliveden, a huge 28 bedroom mansion in East Melbourne, demolished to build an exceptionally ugly high rise brown brick Hilton Hotel, now a Pullman Hotel.

Now if you go back to the two photos above, where I had my surgery is known as Epworth Cliveden, once called the Cliveden Hill Private Hospital. There is no connection at all between the hospital and the demolished mansion.

Curious that 'the' looks like an afterthought, squashed in up the top. Queen Victoria Gardens.

"Every Saturday morning we would sit on the bench by the railway track & eat our sausage sizzle. We spent the morning waving at passengers on train." Plaque at one of the stations in a very expensive area along the Sandringham train line.

No idea where The Jam House is. Maybe mistakenly left over from England photos?

Thinking about installing these in our bathrooms, but now the weather is warming, they are on the back burner.

Why did I save this photo? I think because it looks like an old fire station with an opening too small for large modern fire trucks.

A professional truck driver decided to drive along the St Kilda Road tram tracks. No man, that is for trams only.