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 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,

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


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.



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.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Black Yoof

Once again Ex Sis in Law's husband was Santa at a large shopping centre for the month or more leading up to Christmas. There haven't been any great stories from him this year except for one whereby a group of the tall lanky black yoof spat at him and one threw chewing gum at him while he was holding a baby.

After Santa went off duty, they returned and trashed Santa's little cave, and then again days later. The shopping centre would have had guards, but they seemed impotent.

Just a day or so ago they killed one of their own, stabbed to death. How many times in my life be they white, black or brindle have I heard mothers say about their sons, he just became mixed up in the wrong crowd. What a waste of a life.

Then another was sentenced to a considerable gaol term after stabbing one of his own young female friends to death, with his mother becoming becoming hysterical in court as the sentence was handed down and was admitted to hospital. The victim was an attractive lass, not that it is relevant.

I don't want to tarnish all the black African heritage yoof with the same brush but we have a serious problem. Many of them were born here, so we can't really send them back home. While they car hijack, invade homes and hurt people, barnstorm shops to steal, have no respect for police or authority and no fear of gaol, it is not a crime problem but a social problem. I don't know an easy answer but to use certain terminology, it has to be a multifaceted approach.

I guess it goes for wider society too. Why have young people lost their fear of authority? By golly, I used to fear the train ticket checker at the station gate when I was a teen.

OK Boomer

Right, let's get this sorted out first with the help of Wikipedia, which is crying out for donations and I have in the past and probably will in the future.

Baby Boomer, 1946 to 1964. That is me and most of you. I've not heard of this but Boomers were preceded by the Silent Generation,

Generation X, 1964 to about 1984. Sometimes called the MTV Generation and the Latch Key Kids.

Generation Y, a bit of an overlap with Gen X, also called The Millennials, say 1984 to the early 2000s.

On my own now, but I think then follows The Digital Natives, children who grew up with technology and the internet and have developed a mini horn on the back of their necks (true) from staring down at screens and have extremely flexible thumbs, and although I was texting well before they were born, they can text at four times the speed I can with their flexible thumbs, but then the words in my texts are correctly spelt, with ok grammar and punctuated (old person).

I am not sure what comes after Digital Natives. I am not sure if I mentioned this but niece Little Jo at the age of 12 has never had a mobile phone and did not touch one until the arrival of Pokemon hunting, when she used her Mothers' phones (Blogger, do not underline Mothers'. She can have two). Last time I saw Sister, she was having a problem with her phone and photos. She handed it over to Little Jo to sort out, a child who has never had a phone.

Now to the most marvellous insult, Ok Boomer. A paste from Wikipedia explains. "OK Boomer" was popularized as a reaction to a video on TikTok of an unidentified older man, in which he declared that "millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome, they don't ever want to grow up; they think that the utopian ideals that they have in their youth are somehow going to translate into adulthood". The video inspired the phrase "OK Boomer" as a retaliation and dismissal of the ideals of past generations that have shaped politics, economics and the environment so strongly.

I will wear the insult. Boomers received free university education, decent social security payments, much cheaper property prices, had the advantage of companies creating terrible pollution to fund the wealth of our countries, destroyed lands where creatures great and small live........I could go on, although not all of us had the advantages. Still, we need to take the punch Ok Boomer on our chins and not cry, although recognising that none of us could have personally changed anything.

R cooks us Boomer food at times, that is old style Aussie/English food, but also Asian, Indian, Mediterranean and the most recent experiment, German. Even I can make fried rice to die for and pretty damn good meat samosas. 

For years we had forgotten about this old Boomer favourite but rediscovered it, ham steak and pineapple. The packaged ham steaks from the supermarket are probably full of things we don't want to know about and it would be best made with ham steaks sliced off the bone, but that costs, however not really compared to a $18 smashed avocado on toast plus a ristretto coffee at a fashionable cafe that young people indulge in while they talk about the impossibility of saving to buy a home. Ok Boomer.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

What's your poison?

Back here Travel Penguin mentioned Ripple, which is now a modern and non alcoholic hipster drink but in a former version once was not apparently. It was a cheap alcoholic drink if I understand correctly.

I really enjoy composing some posts and this is one, where I walk down memory lane and spend a lot of time on one post.

Confession, I am not a wine connoisseur and as quite a number of people my age do, at home I drink cask (box) wine. I am a cheap drunk. I really like the cask wine I drink, Colombard Chardonnay. I wouldn't drink it if I didn't. I've never really found a red cask wine to my taste and if I drink red wine, it is from a bottle and of a reasonable quality.

There were some really cheap and nasty drinks around when I was young. Sparkling Porphyry Pearl was one, a bubbly white wine and quite horrible, and with a weird plastic stopper and a screw top. I bet this woman wore high heels when cooking the family evening meal, although tottering a bit on her heels after a couple of Porphyry Pearls as she prepared dinner.

Hospital brandy for my maternal non drinking grandfather when he felt unwell. Pretty rough stuff I think. Does anyone remember if it was for drinking or used as an anesthetic? It was consumed and not applied?

But what on earth was in Brandivino? Brandy mixed with wine? Sounds delish, not.

Then there was Screwdriver that my mother occasionally drank. What was that? Guggle is being unhelpful, but I think it was a premixed vodka with orange something and maybe you added lemonade. At about the age of 16 one evening my step father's son and I mixed Mother a very strong Screwdriver and we then both went off to the local park to drink beer. Mother was a bit drunk when we returned for the only time in my memory. I can't find a photo of the concoction. This a US version.

Popular with my school mates was Stones Green Ginger Wine, which caused many students to vomit, frequently and often, perhaps myself too and if I can't remember, probably.

Then along came Mateus Rose in a distinctively shaped bottle, sickly sweet as I recall but the bottle was so nice and often reused as a table centrepiece upon a red and white checked table cloth with a candle stuck in the neck of the bottle with solidified wax dripping down the side of the bottle. We were becoming very Mediterranean and recyclers. 

Our choices were becoming classy now, with Ben Ean Moselle. What a drink! I would spit it out now. Though it was many years ago, still the price tells all.

Thinking we were a bit posh but not so sophisticated until the revelation of the wine Blue Nun, the elixir of the gods at the time. All those German nuns in Bavaria picking grapes in blue habits. Mein Gott, it has got to be good.

Of course no self respecting Australian would drink the most ghastly wine that can be seen in liquour outlets all over the world in recent years, Yellow Tail. We do actually make good wine in Australia. Yellow Tail is not one of them. Don't buy it.

I wonder how the ever so now fashionable Aperol will be viewed in the future? I think it is actually Campari, as used to be drunk Campari and soda, but correct me if you know.