Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Female Publican

Australia has a long history of female publicans, that is owners and or licencees of hotels where there will at least be a bar for drinking and meals available. In days of old such hotels normally offered accommodation too.

It was one business where a woman was respected as an owner or licensee, but perhaps not her female staff, although female bar staff usually knew how to look after themselves. My step mother was a barmaid for some of her working life and she knew how to look after herself. Actually, I take that back. Your average bloke pub drinker could go too far when he had taken a good drink, but generally barmaids were respected and if one man went out of line, others would pull him back if he was harassing the barmaid.

My father in his young days drank at the Notting Hill Hotel and here is a great tribute to the woman licensee, Kath Byer.

All history. No female publicans around now....or are there. One hotel we have been going to for years in run by the sister of a former Premier of Victoria. I know her well enough but someone else told me of her brother connection.

Another we have been going to for a number of years took some of my personals observation to work out. Who was this a bit drunk woman berating bar staff behind the bar? Later I saw her sitting in a comfortable hotel chair sipping a Scotch as she read a book.

I've seen her a couple of times since with a glass of beer and reading her book. I guess she lives in an apartment in the upper level of the hotel.

She was in the bar during our last hotel visit. To one of her Indian born employees with her stern face set, she clicked her fingers, as if to say, boy, do this. I then saw her circulating among diners she knew. We are normally there on a Friday or Saturday night, not a Tuesday and I have not seen her circulate among diners before.

But then as we were leaving, I saw her talking to the aforesaid Indian lad who she had earlier clicked her fingers to, laughing and with her hand on his shoulder.

Nowt as queer as folk and what is better than emancipated female publicans who made it in a world of blokes.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud

I think the original line was Food, Food, Glorious Food. Was Mud, Mud from a Monty Python work? So apt if it is marking the death of Terry Jones.

River sent a huge amount of dust across to us last night (thanks for that hon) and it combined with rain that in the dark we thought was marvellous. Not so marvellous when I stepped onto the balcony in the half light of dawn and noticed a strange colour on the surface. I didn't think much about it and went back to sleep. Later I woke to hear on the radio about our muddy rain overnight. What a mess, not just on our balcony, which I spent half an hour cleaning today and the glass is still filthy, but all over the city is mud. Some cars look like they have been in outback Australia. Car wash business owners were out dancing on the street. Today when we were out we couldn't sit on any kind of permanent outdoor public seating as it is all filthy. Everything is so dirty. I hate it. Only clean rain will clear the filth away from everything.

I was hoping to keep this post a bit on the light side, but how can I when three US Americans have been killed in a plane crash while fighting fires in New South Wales. So very sad. Canberra Airport was shut down as it was threatened by fire. A Queanbeyan dump caught fire with toxic black smoke rising into the atmosphere. Also Prime Minister Morrison's father died a couple of days ago, so I won't get stuck into him in this post.

This morning ABI Brother called and cancelled our normal visit to Mother. They had no power, scheduled maintenance, and Mother was so terribly unwell. We were kind of relieved. R's back has gone bad. But we will have to take her out for a Sunday drive instead. She has been working up to this for a while.

We had a great visit from Jo on Tuesday, she and R cooking pizzas and salad for dinner for Jo, her mothers and us of course. We caught the 67 tram to Elwood and then walked along a couple of streets to St Kilda Botanical Gardens where I had been a couple of weeks ago. We showed her the ill proportioned rotunda where a family photo was taken in the 1990s, and then Rain Man. I pointed out to her the old furnace and chimney that used to heat a glass house, and the home of the late artist Albert Tucker, before lunching at 95 in Acland Street, once run by hipsters and now run by Indian and Asians. Still good, but perve factor lower.

It was a pleasant outing with Jo. The change in her since the scout jamboree is remarkable. We then shopped for pizza ingredients and Jo bought cakes for dessert. Jo is super clever, talented with singing and dancing and is learning fast about relating to people and not challenge them with rehearsed statements. Not bad at all for 12 and half year old.

Christmas Day 2018 at Oldest Niece's Fire Fighting Nephew's wife said to me behind her hand, and he wants me to have one of them! as the children were running riot in the backyard under a water sprinkler thingie.

I missed the call but in order of family seniority, Fire Fighting Nephew called each family member on the same day as above, starting with Mother, to inform us that his wife is pregnant. Wow! He called Sister as we were eating. Another great nephew or niece, as if we don't have enough. I am not sure how his professional high flying wife will deal with a baby. Time will tell. This will be great nephew/niece number six. Surely one of them will push we old old aunties around in wheelchairs. Fire Fighting Nephew will be a great father.

Look at the filth.

Strange tree. Anyone know it?

Thank goodness for that. The gladdy stem was sitting horizontally and blocking my view of the tv.

The ceiling of the strangely proportioned rotunda shown in a former post. I could have lain on the floor and captured the whole ceiling, but why should I.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The plastic bag nightmare

Now we generally have to pay for a plastic bag if we buy something from a retail outlet. Giving away lightweight plastic bags when you buy something has been banned. I haven't seen a plastic bag blowing around the streets since the ban came into force, and that is surely a good thing. On the downside, we no longer have plastic bags for free to put our rubbish into and have to pay for them. I have seen a number of plastic bags that cost 10 or 15 cents dumped. 

A few years ago by switching from the local chemist (pharmacy, drug store, apothecary) to Chemist Warehouse I cut the cost of my prescribed medication by two thirds. Some argue, including former ABC radio broadcaster Jon Faine, that you don't get personalised service at such a place. Not so in my experience. The chemists at Chemist Warehouse in Prahran, Fitzroy Street St Kilda and Collins Street in town are terrific, as are the floor staff.

I now stick to Chemist Warehouse in Prahran but in the past I used other CW outlets. R does too, although at times he buys something at Heritage Springs CW when we visit Mother on Thursday. Heritage Springs CW charge you for a plastic bag. Prahran does not. Why is this so?

I think I have worked it out. CW gives out or sells strong plastic bags, with the plastic thick enough to meet the giveaway standards without breaching the laws.

Heritage Springs? 90 percent of customers would drive there and can easily dump loose medications into their cars, perhaps in conjunction with a visit to the supermarket. Prahran CW, I would guess 80 percent either walk there or catch public transport and really do need plastic bags to carry their drugs.

Of course they should think ahead and bring a bag but as we often forget, so do others.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Resign without honour

I am not naive enough to know that pork barrelling hasn't happened on both sides of politics. But truly, a Liberal Party (conservative) government grant to one of the richest if not the richest Australian suburbs of Mosman rowing club of half a million dollars is beyond the pale while poor communities who applied for grants were denied.

Then we find out the minister for grants is a member of a clay shooting club (go figure), and that her club received a grant too.

PM Morrison, many ministers in the past have resigned for lesser reasons. Minister Bridget McKenzie must go.

Thieves, liars, crooks and charlatans. 


Hi folk. A busy day spent with the former Little Jo, now Jo, Sister and and Bone Doctor. Sadly spamming has become so bad, and while I hate doing it, but I will have to switch to comment moderation.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Warning: Nazi flag photo

In the Victorian country town of Beulah a couple put up a Nazi flag. The couple has been condemned left right and centre personally and via social media, and rightly so. I am of two minds about whether they should be allowed to fly the Nazi flag. I think I err on the side of know thy enemy. The flag has subsequently been lowered and the couple have fled the town. The locals of Beulah put on a successful picnic this Saturday past, welcoming all creeds, colours, religions, fact our diverse human race. As an antidote against the slur to the  town by one couple in the town flying the Nazi flag, it was very successful. Am I correct that there was one holocaust survivor living in the town?

While I don't think it will happen in this case, that is those who flew the flag will commit suicide, we have to be very careful when we condemn people on social media.

Little has gobsmacked me more than what followed after hearing the brief story of drag queens reading stories to children at a library in Brisbane. I reckon it is great for children to see glam drag queens and to hear books read. But oh, the tragic consequences.

About four or five young men affiliated to our conservative Liberal and National parties turned up to challenge and harass the drag the queens, who were being paid for their work, and the lads were escorted from the library by a guard. It wasn't pleasant to watch and of course the children were upset. Why shouldn't children be exposed to glamorous drag queens? Most children love to dress up. Why should children be exposed to intolerant pricks like the protesters is the question for me.

I did not follow it up but I think all those who disturbed the book reading were seriously slammed on social media.

Yet then I find out the leader and spokesperson who harassed the drag queens was gay himself, but one who was against gay marriage. He actually sounded like a good guy, working as a volunteer in soup kitchens and doing many other similar things, even being generous to beggars. Politically misguided perhaps and certainly socially misguided.

Tragically the young gay man who led the harassment of drag queens readers threw himself under a train and was killed. Was his action due to him being viciously savaged on social media after his harassment of drag queens reading to kiddies? Perhaps. While I know none of my readers would behave like that online, it is a very sad story indeed for all involved and there are no winners.

Monday, January 20, 2020

A Carnival and Doctors

Yesterday was gay and lesbian (I will do this once only, GLTBIQ, Gay Lesbian Transgender Bisexual Intersex Queer) Midsumma Carnival Day in Melbourne. We haven't been for a few years for various reasons. Just R and myself went this year together joking that we would meet up with friends once there. Joking.....yes. Of the thousands there, R stumbled across a dyke he worked with many years ago and I ran into my GP who was in his company's medical practice tent. We knew no others. We do know quite a number of gay people in Melbourne, but more gay people don't go to carnival than do.

It was a bit hot but we managed to see most of the stalls but none of the entertainment which would have been later in the afternoon. The dog show hosted by a drag queen and someone famous is a hoot, and we saw plenty of dogs ready for their still Mr De Mille. We left about 1. R can only walk for so long and we were sweating. We did have a disgusting hot dog with cheese from a food van that should have paid us $7 to eat it, not we pay them. Equally bad coffee was found at the skateboard park cafe. Yes, right in the midst of all this gay frivolity with plenty of drag queens, young kids and teens are skating on one one of those metal set ups. We had nice veranda seats at least at the cafe and could watch the passing parade of people.

What really struck me was the ethnic diversity now of gays in Melbourne. Western, Central and Southern American, Eastern European, South Asians, Arabic, but of course Chinese and South East Asians dominate after Westerns, or perhaps they are just the more obvious.

Also it was interesting to see at least six AFL football clubs having presumably sanctioned stalls. The number of tent stalls was huge and mostly not of a direct commercial focus. Our local councils in all directions had stalls, as did Australia Post (grrr) and Our ABC tv/radio. I didn't see phone companies that always used to have a large presence.

To do Midsumma Carnival properly at our age, we need two boys to carry an Esky* with chilled food and drinks, chairs, and an umbrella just in case we want to see something on stage.

After seeing my doctor at Carnival, I wondered how long I have been seeing him.

I made the mistake when I was young of choosing a handsome doctor a decade or more older than myself. Dr Peter Meese died in 2000, probably from AIDS. I have just had a look online and apparently he was quite a high achiever.

I have this bloke to check me over for skin cancers. He was once R's GP but he moved from the convenient clinic across the road to a much less convenient location.

But my GP since I think 1999 has been Dr Beng Eu and it was he who I saw at Carnival. You don't see a doctor for twenty years if you don't like him. His job is to look after my health. My job is at each visit to make him laugh, or at least smile.

He is looking a bit grey around the muzzle now but there are the remains of a handsome man.

Oh wow, while online stalking Guggling, I came across this ABC news report of a dead man walking back in 2010, now on Youtube, and Beng was the guy's GP.

*Esky, brand name but used here generically for a large insulated portable food and drink container. Chilly Bin in New Zealand. No idea what it is called elsewhere.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Whinge

If you can't have a good old whinge on your own blog, what is the point of having one.

There hasn't been any publicity about the movie The Gentlemen that I am aware of. We haven't seen trailers and R hasn't seen ads on tv. I was only aware of it because John Gray of Wales saw it and mentioned it. I looked it up and it sounded ok. We normally see movies late morning or early afternoon, but we decided to see the 4.10pm session.

Packed tram into the city after waiting for ages. Packed tram along Collins Street. Too big Missy.

I've never seen any of the The Kino cinemas above half full, yet the 4.10 of The Gentlemen session was full. We missed out. Too big Missy.

Let's go for a drink at a bar and rethink, we agreed. We went to Riverland. Not a spare table to be seen. Too big Missy. We found a last remaining table for two table at Transport Bar and had a drink. Too big Missy.

We were going to have dinner in town after the movie but instead after our drink we went home. 

I insist that Household Chef cooks no more than five nights a week, so we will go across the road to Cafe Rosco for dinner. At 5.30 we called to make a 6.30 booking. We could be squeezed in with some annoyance to staff reorganise. Fine, we will sit outside, reserve a table there. The cafe was manically busy. Too big Missy.

We can't drive anywhere without getting stuck in heavy traffic. We can't use public transport without being overcrowded. Family picnics are impossible now because public parks with barbeques are overcrowded. Too big Missy. 

Never mind all of the above, it is good that Melbourne is a vital and busy city, but who asked me if I wanted it to be overcrowded?