Saturday, December 21, 2019

This is the BBC calling

It is a bit of a sad state of affairs that to see a comprehensive overview of what is happening in Australia, we have to turn to the normally very conservative and verify everything BBC. The four and a half minutes of your time it takes to watch this clip will not be wasted.

Killer Hot

We survived today's 45 degree heat. Poor River in Adelaide has experienced many 40 degree days. Tomorrow will be a very civilised 20 degrees. We left home at the extraordinary time of 9am to make sure we could get a car parking space at Aldi. Dan Murphy's for our liquour supply for Christmas, Aldi for groceries, a couple of famous South Melbourne Market dim sims consumed, great coffee at Brazil, my black coffee always with a small glass of soda water, then things we couldn't get at Aldi we bought at Woolworths. We were home by 11am.

I mentioned our friend's friend's Singaporean partner died. Our friend asked if we would go to the funeral tomorrow via text this Saturday, and we know for no other reason than to be with and support him. We met the guy who died three times, not even an in the acquaintance category. No, sorry, you had a daddy to look after you and he sadly died. We are not going to be your new daddies, without the benefits.

But in the nice cool car in the terrible heat we drove 20 minutes to meet him for dinner at a pub tonight and he was ok about us not going to the funeral. He had brought along his former very hot ex boarder. Our friend complained about him endlessly when they were living together and our friend kicked him out. For whatever reason, he is back on the scene but as 'a friend', not a boarder. These people just come and go in our lives and we often don't know how they fit in.

So many hot guys at the pub, behind the bar and dining. Madame publican was not drinking Scotch, just beer and reading her book and unlike the last time I saw her when she was giving bar staff a hard time, she seemed not to be observing. Lots of families there too, along with old people, like 60 or so or more! It was a nice night out, but the pub aircon could have been better. So good to get home to proper cooling.

A Ladybird/bug found the glass cooled by the aircon, a good place to rest for a while.

Friday, December 20, 2019

All I want for Christmas.....

All I want for Christmas is a clear development site and that is what he, she or they got. The building was repainted in our time here and looked better but really, it was quite an ugly office building. I had forgotten that it was called Ashley House. It seems there is more money along the boulevard in apartment building than office space, although there is still plenty of office space.

I think I took this photo in 2005.

She ain't so pretty really.

She's going down.

 Wow, see the red faced apartment building in Prahran that none of you liked, with good reason. We can see that now.



Very much lower.

The Oracle building now very exposed. Hi to Jan in Perth and Merry Christmas to you both. Jan will understand the remark.

She has gone, even more clear now.

Upon the concrete waste of Ashley House will rise The Muse, not as tall and we are thinking about moving across the road to The Muse, the only problem being a minimum apartment price of $5 million. Gosh I am too old for prostitution to earn money. How could we possibly afford the price? Of course not and who can? But for such a building to go ahead it must be about 75% pre sold, so I guess it has been. There are some very rich people in our city and country. I hope they are paying their taxes.

Later edit: I used the wrong photo with the first caption. Corrected now and the final clearance photo added.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

We are in trouble

Yesterday was the hottest day ever in Australia, until today, which was even hotter. From a bearable 23 degrees today, tomorrow's forecast is to be 44, 111F. Oh god, that our air con unit should ever die.

Australia continues to smash rainfall records, not in a good way, and temperature extremes. Look at this heat map! We or the world are doing it wrong. We have a terrible drought and terrible fires.

The young climate change activist Greta Thunberg, and I really don't know if this current weather is about climate change, was patronisingly told she should become a climate scientist and study the science. 

Her reply was, there is no need. We have have plenty of climate scientists already and they are all saying the same thing.

Firefighting Nephew called his Nan earlier this week, Mother. He was just back home for a three day break from fighting the East Gippsland fires. 'Oh Nan, I am so so tired. I am filthy dirty and need to have a shave but I don't care and I am going to bed. I just need to sleep'. 

While he is paid government staff, he has put in long hours, one 19 hour day arriving back at the Omeo Hotel where they were staying at midnight. We loved Omeo when we visited it a couple of years ago. The hotel publican opened up the bar for the firefighters at midnight and managed to get meals cooked for them. I don't expect Australia is alone in this, but how good are people in Australia in times of trouble.

Friends and Family

The lead up to Christmas can be busy. Last Saturday we celebrated our Fijian Indian friend's birthday at The Dick, The Dick Whittington, where we have been going for many years. It is a good pub and the staff absolutely terrific. I don't know how a pub can instill such good customer service in staff? Generally in Australia service is good without the need to tip, but at this venue the service goes a bit beyond just being good.  What you say Lee? You have some knowledge. Irrelevant really but it is owned by the sister of one of our former state premiers.

There was our friend, his current born in Columbia (straight?) boarder and his ex Indian boarder (I think gay). Both are nice and easy on the eyes. 82 year old Brighton Antique Dealer was the sole female representative. Our friend's ex fling was there. His Singaporean partner of some 25 years had just died of cancer, a little over fifty. He was distressed and left as soon as he finished his meal. I gave him a big hug.

Almost friends, our wealthy acquaintance from Beacon Cove, aka Port Melbourne, and his attractive Indonesian born partner who nursed artist Mirka Mora in her dying days, without knowing who she was, were there too. It was a lovely evening.

It has been on again and off again, but finally the day was set when Ex Sis in Law, Oldest Niece and her three children would visit us and see Christmas stuff in town. But once it was learnt that it would be 39 degrees, it was changed again to the day before, under 30, so Tuesday. In the morning R and I went into town and had brunch, had my specs adjusted and bought watermelon, bananas and cake for the kiddies. Oh jesus, now hippie Niece is coming too with her twin daughters.

We parked our car out using our visitor permit and both drove their SUVs into our car parking spaces. I spent a long time outside waiting for them to arrive and open the car park gate. R guided them into our parking spaces, because of the electric bollard we now have.

So we have Ex Sis in Law, and her two daughters, Oldest Niece and Hippie Niece, Oldest Niece's  two daughters, three and five, plus her five month old son, along with Hippie Niece's two plus year old caffe latte twins.

I had to check a phone app for a low floor tram for the pram for Little  L, but the tram was so full. People were really nice though and made room and helped.

And I thought I had issues with the shopping trolley last Friday. It is nothing compared to trying to control four children and a baby in a pram while using public transport.

The children saw the animated Myer window experience thing, this year the Gumnut Babies. The queues were so long in the morning when we were in town but no problem at 4pm. We went on to do the now Myer fake train ride and Santa and have photos taken with him, then to Federation Square to take some photos of the decorations that don't really come alive until dark, at 9pm.

I thought it would be so easy to pop down in the lift to Federation Wharf and have a dinner at River Garden. It is a large outdoor venue with seating for perhaps 100 people. It was chockers, probably with office workers having Christmas drinks. We carried Little L's pram down a number of steps and walked along to Arbory, also on the river bank. I could see people were becoming weary and fed up. I went in on my own to find that it too was full of people on a Tuesday night having drinks. Ex Sis in Law was really struggling at this point, but there was no other option but to go back to the lift and carry Little L's pram up even more stairs before using the lift.

We found a nice outdoor table at Transport Bar at Federation Square and had an ok meal. We all wished we could have had the $10 children's fish and chips with such a good salad.

Back to The Highrise for tea, coffee and cake, and icecream with chocolate sauce and sprinkles for the children. Five month old Little L was underweight a few weeks after he was born.  He now looks totally the opposite.

No real damage to The Highrise. The kids were pretty good. While Little Jo never cared to be out on the balcony, all these kids loved it.

To say it was a full on experience is to understate it. We were physically and emotionally drained.  After they all left, I crossed the road and bought  a bottle of Scotch, of which we do no not normally partake on weekdays, and brought our car into the car park. We were exhausted and early to bed but I don't think there was much Scotch left in the bottle.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A St Kilda Wander

I've shown you the St Kilda Botanical Gardens before, known to us better as the Blessington Street Gardens probably more that once, but you forget and I have new readers of my blog. I caught a tram, walked a couple of streets and took a walk through the gardens, had a homemade sausage roll in Acland Street and a good cup of coffee elsewhere and caught a different tram home.

I couldn't remember seeing this Elwood building before. I wondered about it. My brief research tells me it has been divided into privately owned apartments. Further, once called Sherwood Hall, earlier Rotherfield. Ok, further research, it does have an interesting history. It was one a home of The Age newspaper mogul of the time, a Syme. It then becomes confusing as I don't know which one. Perhaps David.

Rather nice Art Moderne. Correct me if you will.

Some twenty five years ago we took family photos here in this kind of rotunder thing, right back when Ex Sis in Law was Sis in Law and the nieces and nephew were kiddies and known as The Gremlins.

I don't think I have to say anything about glorious roses.

Seemed to be a very later flowering rhododendron.

It was a bright enough and sunny day and solar powered Rain Man was working well. The brighter the sun, the more water pours over Rain Man.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

And here is the news

Someone recently wondered what area of media I get my information from. It is firstly Our ABC, radio, tv and online. Secondly it is our commercial tv Channel 7 evening news and if the channel delays the news because of cricket, we immediately switch over to Channel 9.

I pay for and read the Packer Empire, Channel 9 newspapers, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald and at times their other capital city online papers.

I read and make an annual donation to the Australian and English editions of  The Guardian.

I peruse other online media such as The Sydney Daily Telegraph and the London Daily Telegraph. I have the BBC app on my phone and look at that occasionally.

If there is something that interests me in a certain country, I will find the popular newspaper and read what the people are thinking.

I've heard that young people get news from Facebook. How terrible. I never have. But I have also heard that Facebook is now only for oldies.

At times when in a cafe I flick through out local tabloid, the Murdoch owned Herald Sun.

I have even been known to look at Buzzfeed.

I quite like Channel 10's The Project and watch it at times.

I've looked at the New York Times, The Times in England and The Washington Post, along with the Toronto Star and the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

English version of Le Monde too. Oh gosh, the shame, De Spiegel too.

I've read my fair share of trash magazines in medical waiting rooms. So sad about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

Please tell me where I might be going wrong and what media source I am missing?

Monday, December 16, 2019

Monday Mural

This is quite a large mural in South Kensington. I noticed it as I passed by in a train and returned to take photos. I really don't know South Kensington, although Kensington itself is nice enough and we have visited the inner suburb a few times over the years. I recall ex blogger Kath Lockett now of Geneva lived in Kensington.

As I was back at the station on my way home, four school boys were on the platform near to me. One was perhaps 16 or 17 and a very nice looking tall blond lad, not that I was taking any notice. He had everything going for him, yet as the train pulled in, he yelled out loudly, jumped up from the platform and made it look like he was going to slam his fist into the front of the train windscreen. How terrible for the train driver. What makes young men do things like that? Showing off to mates perhaps? Very ugly behaviour.

It is probably a good mural but doesn't excite me much.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sunday Selections

The usual mismash of bits and pieces I haven't used in other posts. Look out for Elephant's Child's Sunday Selections too.

A lip bruising car kiss.

I've only seen the rear of Mazu, the 15 metre tall statue at the Buddhist/Taoist Heavenly Queen Temple in Footscray, in spite of her already for a number of years gazing down on the Maribyrnong River. I think the temple may be a bit awkward to get to by public transport, but I will give it a shot one day. Although the main hall of the temple opened in 2015, the whole project was not due for completion until late this year.

What is this thing in a hospital ground with Yarra Trams emblazoned on the side? I assumed it was something for children to play in. It is ages since I took these photos and forgot about them. I've just realised Caulfield Hospital has a large rehabilitation department, especially for older people and I am guessing this is part of helping them use Melbourne's trams.

I'd like to think these are native grasses in flower but I really don't know. Photos taken from a train on the Altona Loop.

I liked what is on this sign, Live a little Louder, until I just checked and it is an ad for our casino.

Oh dear, expired Jun 2006. I think they were in my work locker. I took them to chemist for free safe disposal. No photo, but we always buy a bottle of gin for Christmas, not daily like some people with their Bombay Sapphire, and in preparation when we were in the supermarket R remarked that we needed tonic water. I replied that we will get some but there is already a bottle at home unopened. Once home I checked to make sure and the plastic bottle seemed like it had taken an aeroplane flight, a had become a little deformed, like a plastic water bottle on a plane does. We checked the date, and it expired in 2013. I don't know how we missed that. There wasn't a fizz when we opened it to tip it out. You can be sure a bottle of gin wouldn't have sat around that long.

These lumps protruding from the road way can be found all over Melbourne next to tram tracks. They are supposed have a very narrow sign about a metre tall saying Keep Left, that is stay off the tram tracks. This one opposite us lasted about one day after it was installed when a vehicle did not keep left. One car flattened it and the next car removed it entirely.

We bought this in South Africa last year and finally got around to having it framed, the framing costing three times the cost of the work. Forever we will wonder if it should have had a mount around it, that is a border between the work and the frame.

In the Aldi carpark, I have often wondered why these fans don't work especially on very hot days, presumably to blow some water cooled air around.

Hre is the answer. The must be extraction fans operated by this device if carbon monoxide reading become too high. Our car park at home has about twelve large extractor fans, which operate automatically in the morning and evening peaks when most cars will be departing or arriving, and as fans to extract smoke if there is a fire.

The public bicycle rack in Swanston Street has been removed but ours lower has not yet. I just checked and it is empty of bicycles now.

An old sign for a pinball parlour in Richmond. Such sleazy dens of iniquity they were, with drug dealing and both male and female prostitution often on the wrong side of the age of consent.

This probably should have happened years ago. It is not before time.

This was more than bruised lip car kiss. Chemist at the corner of Commercial Road and Chapel Street, Prahran. Having traffic lanes closed for pedestrians to walk around the damage caused traffic chaos.

Asians love a sale, their phones and they love their Burberry.