Saturday, February 15, 2020

Was I wrong?

I believe in exposing racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia. Such things should be publicised and put to public test, as I said about the Nazi flag flying in a Victorian country town. I am wondering if you think I got it wrong by including last night's racist Chinese ad under the heading of Friday Evening Humour? 

Elton did it after all

Went to the altar that is, with a woman.

I finished cleaning out Mother's wardrobe yesterday. All sorts of interesting bits and pieces were found, but not Mother's sovereigns. R reckons she hocked them. I asked R if I should just slip her mother's death certificate into my pocket and he said no. She wasn't upset about it. Three fifty dollar notes were found, not that old. I should have pocketed two of them for the $100 she borrowed from me and never paid back.

She was on a mission at lunch, to tell us how badly she was treated by our late step father. At times he did treat her badly, but I mostly think it was because she had a very stable middle class upbringing and he did not. Other reasons too. I do admire him for generally putting up with Mother and he was mostly terrific with my brothers and sister. I missed it but R later recounted that Step Father said she needed to see a psychiatrist because she asked him for sex. Too much information really. He also hit her once. Just once, otherwise it was mutual mental cruelty, but in their later years they did grow to accommodate each other. Maybe even love!!!

Since my apparently appalling driving last Thursday, R has driven, just twice out for short trips. He asked me to drive today but to not scare his passenger. I set the radar cruise to 82 where appropriate and then to 102 where appropriate and just sat in the middle lane for the trip out.

I did the same returning but following a truck for most of the way that varied its speed to from 90 to 100. No matter. I stayed right behind it, the cruise doing the acceleration and slowing.

You know what was a very relaxing way to drive and I am now a convert to not changing lanes to keep to your speed. No one travels too slowly in the centre lane.

Although the traffic was banked up on our return journey, it didn't matter too much. The digital radio signal fails as we near Mother's. I switched the radio over to analogue and on ABC Radio National on the way home we listened to a fascinating nearly one hour interview with Lorenzo Montesini, Prince Giustiniani , Count of the Phanaar, Knight of Saint Sophia, Baron Alexandroff  who grew up in high society in Alexandria, Egypt. The family emigrated to Australia at the height of the Suez Crisis but his mother hated Australia and returned to the deserted Alexandria. Lorenzo stayed with his distant father in Australia. He enlisted in the Vietnam War and met the love of his life, a handsome, charming and masculine blond Aussie soldier. There were together for decades until the love of his life died from AIDS at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney.

It was a curious relationship. So many, male and female, chased after Lorenzo's partner and many must have succeeded for a brief time. From Melbourne they moved to Sydney and became Sydney's high society at their home in the then rough area of Woolloomooloo. He became friends with the daughter of tabloid gossip columnist Pitty Pat Potter and her mother, The Empress, Primrose Lady Potter. Once again Lorenzo was living the high society life, as he knew from his Egyptian childhood.

The only failing in the broadcast was I didn't actually pick up why the gay Lorenzo who had a loving male partner nearly married Pitty Pat Potter in Venice, among huge media hype about the wedding and then the fact that he was a senior gay flight attendant with our airline Qantas and the wedding didn't go ahead.

I expect most of you Australians have a vague memory of the the marriage that did not go ahead, with the bride almost at the altar and the groom bolted with his best man, his actual partner.

I was going to insert a photo of Lorenzo but I came across this

And this,

Ah, here is a classic paparazzi photo as Lorenzo was leaving his Sydney Woolloomooloo home

Friday, February 14, 2020

Friday evening humour

What a terrible ad. I prefer the original bloke.

Happy St V's Day

It is St Valentine's Day. Through thick and thin R and I always exchange cards. He always sticks a little heart shaped chocolate on mine. Maybe I am not so bad. I am worth the price of a piece of chocolate. Shut your mouth Jah Teh and don't roll your eyes like that.

I sent a link to this song to Sister, asking if Jo could learn it and sing it to her mums on Valentine's Day. Sister replied, she can lean it in five minutes. I expect she could.

A couple of lines from this song have been used in a tv advertisement which became a flea in my ear, but what a great song.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Economic forecast

Trust an economist? Not me. Inflation was under control by 1987.

Using the Reserve Bank inflation calculator a loaf of bread cost 18 pence in 1960 which is $1.94 in 2011. I expect you could buy a loaf of bread for that price in 2011, maybe even now at one of the cheap Asian bakeries.

I've used this clipping from the newspaper before but it is interesting to revisit more than thirty years later. Of course these are Australian dollar figures but to make it a bit more interesting, I will add the world wide currency (so the BBC told me when I complained about it not using £ when talking about England).

In the year 2020, two adult movie tickets cost around $40. US$27

Scotch? Good is very subjective but perhaps $35, single malt, $50. US$24 to US$34

Just an educated guess, but two weeks in Fiji including flights and very nice accommodation might cost for two about $7,000. US$4,700

We eat good quality bread and it costs less than $4. US$2.70

Car insurance? Ours is not bad because we have been with the same company for a long time and we are rated well, $725. US$488

Tweed sports jacket? Perhaps not great quality but perhaps $150. US$100

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Utter Filth

While we've had rain after the recent muddy rain, it will take more than one lot of rain to clean things down. It really needs to be heavy pelting rain, which we don't get too often, plus the last lot wasn't that clean either.

On the balcony and roof across the road.

A lower level across the road.

The roof of the building next door.

The tram tracks where cars don't drive and even the road where tyres don't run.

In the wide gutters of an apartment building across the road.

This is a huge building and as we sipped our coffee at Number One Queens Road, the window cleaners had nearly worked their way down the first lot of windows with maybe thirty more run downs to do. They earn their bickies. While our windows will be cleaned eventually, the balcony glass is our responsibility and it is hard work. One quite short resident cracked a rib when leaning over to clean his balcony glass. There is a company who cleans balconies but it is not cheap and I think it is so busy, we were virtually ignored when we called.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Town Hall Tuesday - Melbourne

An occasional series where I will feature all of Melbourne's inner to middle suburb historic town halls. Most are Victorian era but some a bit later I think. I say occasional as I might not always get out weekly to take the photos. At a guess there maybe twenty or more of them. I will certainly find out in time. There will be trams, trains and buses to get me to them.

Where better to begin than Melbourne Town Hall. It is on the premier corner of Collins Street and Swanston Street. Wikipedia assists.

Construction began in 1867 with the foundation stone lain by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. Around 1887 the portico was added, which in 1964 hosted The Beatles appearance to 20,000 hysterical fans.

In 1925 a fire damaged much of the town hall and it was rebuilt with some land and or buildings  along Collins Street added.

Of course it is Victorian as it was built during the reign of Queen Victoria but I read that its style is Second Empire and was designed by Joseph Reed, born a Cornishman, and someone called Barnes.

Extras: You can take a free tour of the town hall with terrific guides and even hear the the magnificent 10,000 pipe organ auto played. I can't confirm it but there was also a turntable within the town hall to turn the Lord Mayor's car around in a confined space. The clock was built by Smith and Sons of London.

Slip in a statue of Queen Vic at what was once Her Majesty's Hotel in South Yarra, or in gay old days, Macy's.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Monday Mural

I've cropped this mural photo as there was a lot of boring roadway in the foreground. I can't really make out the words on the mural aside from climate change. I really like the mural even though there is not a lot in the photo aside from the koala (note, not a bear). It is by the well known muralist Dvate.

Sorry to make a happy looking mural into a bit of a downer. It is a rather apt photo given the guesses at the deaths of koalas from our bushfires at somewhere around 25,000. It has been an absolute tragedy, and based on a studies of how many mammals per hectare in the forests of Australia, a biodiversity scientist made an educated guess that 480 million animals have died since the fires began in New South Wales, September last year. That's of course right down to creatures such as frogs. But that figure was arrived at before the fires began in the east of my own state of Victoria began. More will die from loss of habitat, starvation and by being hunted by feral non native animals, in spite of so much help for them by professional and volunteer organisations.

The Sydney shock jock radio hosts and the Murdoch media empire remain in denial and many words are spoken and written about how this is normal for Australia. It is not.  We've had terrible fires in the past but not such sustained fires with such losses. No surprise that we've become smarter at saving ourselves, in the short term at least.

Just to lift you up again, have a look at the lovely koala photo taken by Lynda at Farm-ily for her post number 2,502.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

I know how old you are

Now don't you be pretending you have no idea what this is. It is a roll of film for a 35mm camera. We found it when cleaning out a drawer as we participate in the Swedish, The Gentle Art of Death Cleaning. It was in an envelope and marked, N's (R niece in England) 21st birthday, March 2003. In 2004 I bought my first digital camera.

Probably a boring story, but I took it to Harvey Norman to be developed at someone's suggestion. No, we don't do that. Maybe that was just the city store. Fine I will have a look on the net. Ah variety store Big W develops films at quite a cheap price. Days later I took the film there. Sorry, Fuji is so slow at processing photos that we have a huge backlog and we are not accepting any new film at the moment.

Ok, I am going to sort this out today regardless and managed 8,000 steps trudging around the city. Across to Elizabeth Street where there is Ted's Camera Store, Michael's Camera Store and another I can't remember, and where I have bought my last two cameras, Digi Direct. A very pleasant salesperson told me it had already been developed and then showed me how he knew. I have never really looked at a roll of film.

You can see the codes here.

And see the punchouts here. Isn't that interesting, although perhaps you all knew it and I did not. Yes, the processing bit has been punched out. Somehow the film is put back and I guess we kept the roll in case anyone wanted copies. Surely it was the last hurrah for rolls of films for you average point and snap photographer. So sad that Kodak missed the digital photography boat setting sail about that year.