Saturday, March 28, 2020

Salacious Saturday

Using the www  I can watch hundreds of thousands pron videos. Maybe more. I can see umpteen millions photos of men nakid or in various states of undress. I can look at incredibly handsome men and ultra stylish men. I can look at pictures of rough looking guys, all ethnic origins, and all ages.

Yet, across the road a tradesman laying some timber decking, maybe 150 metres away, took off his shirt today and I looked big time. He was a bit hard to see, but he looked ok and seeing him rather excited me, much more than any of the above. It's a queer thing.

R was becoming so stressed by the interruption to our normal lives we have decided, for better or worse, that we will back off. We will buy take away brunch out, along with take away coffee. R said he would rather be dead than not do that. We had the famous South Melbourne Market dim sims today, along with coffee from Degani. We are super careful with washing and sanitising our hands.

Tomorrow we will take the car for an exterior wash, maybe have take away brunch and coffee out and our mental sanity will be preserved.

Next week Oldest Niece's 6 year old daughter is staying with us overnight. R can't walk distances now, so we will drive to Albert Park Lake, illegally give the swans a tiny bit of bread and with her mother's consent buy an ice cream if the shop is open. Little M likes tv and the internet. There are board games to play. She is a curious and inquisitive child, so we expect lots of questions. She is smart but in a different way to Sister's daughter Jo. She is more a people person. We will have home made pizza for dinner and Little M will help to make them. R is so good with children.

Yesterday I mentioned former blogger Fen, and then today she pops up in a podcast from Melbourne's gay radio station Joy. Fen has a husband, just married a couple of years ago, and clearly she is not a lesbian so read nothing into her being on a gay radio station. (insert appropriate eye rolling emoticon).

I don't know if this will work world wide, but here is the link,

Fen begins to talk about diaphragm breathing. Wise words, I am sure, but I seem to have lost my diaphragm. Not sure where it really is. Will  I become pregnant?

Skip forward to 16 minutes to hear Fen talk wise words about what is happening in the world and our reactions. Wise words indeed. Fen sounds older than she is because it is a telephone interview, as Joy has stopped studio interviews.

Hopefully back to Tasmanian posts on Sunday.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Mother Day

Mother's house is on the market. She signed with an agent last week. She subsequently asked me to withdraw it from sale, but I explained to her that she had signed a contact. We filled in the property details today for the conveyancer. Mother will see if she is correct and the agent vastly overvalued her home, or the agent is correct. I expect something in between. But of course the Coronavirus may have a vast effect on property sales.

R made us sandwiches to have at Mother's, well ABI Brother's home where she lives. She is not fearful and sent ABI Brother to the Asian Bakery to buy her a salad roll for lunch.

We took her out for a drive and ended up in Fen territory, that is where former blogger Fen grew up. We went on to Cardinia Dam/Reservoir/Lake to an area that seemed unfamiliar but we may have been before. Oh yes, we have been there before.

Beaconsfield Upper is a lovely area. R went to the local supermarket to buy bread and chutney. Chutney yes, bread no. The sun was shining and fields and the bush and fields are so green. Hard to believe the fires of earlier this year. Yet in 2009 Beaconsfield Upper was pretty well burnt out. Little sign of that now.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

My Plumbing and a tangent

Actually it is our plumbing. Our cold water is gravity fed from a roof tank. As you go down each floor, the pressure gets higher and higher and so there are valves to control the pressure on each floor. The building is 20 odd years old and the valves are being progressively replaced, and not soon enough for us. They are known as water (pressure?) tempering valves.

For some time now we turn on a cold tap and cold water comes out from the immediate pipes but then the water warms for a little bit and then becomes properly cold. The problem has been getting worse. While it happened one day before we went away, the water stopped being cold altogether and it was warm enough to shower under without adding warm water. It only lasted a day before it returned to former still annoying state.

But Tuesday the cold water was too hot to shower under and I only managed by throwing water on myself with my hands, soaping myself and then throwing water at myself again to rinse off. R was better off with his shower over his bath and managed by turning the cold bath tap on at full pelt which seemed to cool the water from the shower enough to be bearable.

It was no better today, Wednesday. I used R's shower and his method to get water cool enough to shower. We are wasting a lot of water, but I suppose the dishwasher has to heat less and we aren't using any hot water. Even the toilet cisterns are warm to touch.

I went to see our building manager and he called the building's plumber who came this afternoon and made some temporary adjustments so the cold water is now tepid, which will do until the new valves are fitted and the plumber thought our floor was the next to be done.

I feel safe once home and I have washed my hands after being out, but the plumber was an intrusion into our safe space, so I disinfected the inside and outside door handles and tap handles.

We did go out to buy a few things yesterday and bought take away coffee. Today we drove to the beach and bought take away coffee, sat on benches and watched the waves and felt very sad. We have stopped using cash and many places have stopped taking cash.

Tomorrow we will still take Mother out, but not to eat. We may buy take away coffee or take a thermos.

As retired people with secure incomes, we are in a privileged position compared to so many, but I am angry with our Federal Government for cutting the numbers of government staff at our social security places, leading to queues of people in the street just to get a service number, seven hour waits on the telephone and for two consecutive days the government website crashed because of sheer numbers trying to use it. The website at the very least should have the capacity to deal with disasters like now.

Had our Federal and State Governments, supermarkets and liquour outlets acted sooner, we would be in a much better space.

What I wonder about is the economic aftermath. Supermarket workers may be laid off as people work through their stockpiles. The recently booming cruise ship business is stuffed. Who will want to live in a effectively a petrie dish with a couple of thousand people at buffet breakfasts?

I spoke to Sister this evening. She was sitting alone at the beach too and wanted to show me the waves but it seems I haven't turned on Facetime on my phone. She cried yesterday at the stress and distress of it all yet she too is in a privileged position. Bone Doctor had the day off yesterday but the flu vaccine had arrived, so she made home visits to administer doses after seeking permission from each person. One 92 year old woman's carer had not turned up so off Bone Doctor went on her bicycle to the local supermarket to buy her some necessities.

You will have often read me whinging about our overpopulation and I don't step back from that. I don't like crowded public transport. I don't like road congestion. I don't like our parks being so full of people that you can't use a public barbeque. All Too Big Missy. But I should be careful for what I wish for. Roads are empty. Public transport is empty. Streets are empty. And I don't like it.

Are we all depressed about what is happening in the world? I certainly am. Should we blame peasants in China for eating bats and unsafe slaughter practices? Not sure. Should we blame China for not acting quickly after the outbreak? Probably. Should we blame our Western governments for not acting sooner, yes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tassie Day 5

T did not have to start work early on the Tuesday, just once she was rid of us. Fish and visitors go off after three days was a salient saying by Dame M. We were kind of there for three days but four nights in Launceston. We dropped A at the airport for her to fly home at about 11.30. She cleverly asked, will you two be happy to be off on your own? I paused but I did answer her yes. It is wasn't because we hadn't enjoyed ourselves or her and T's company but being social is hard work. Just alone we can focus and concentrate.

We stopped off just for a stretch of the legs at Elizabeth Town Bakery. It was very busy. It was over a two hour drive to the north west town of Stanley.

The town name Penguin has always interested me. It was a short and very worthy diversion from the highway.

We drove down the street along the beach and we were about to make a u turn to go back to where we saw parking. But wait, have a look have a look at this very unusual church, now Penguin Uniting Church, once I think a Methodist Church.

I think some European tourists had just been showed around the church and the guide was about to depart when she spotted us taking photos and left her car to ask if we would like to have a look inside. The suspicious me wondered if there was catch, but no, she was lovely and told us about the church, took us upstairs but did not overload us with information. We had no small notes or gold coins to make a donation to the box at the door but I promised I will give the church a good review at Trip Advisor.

The weather was gorgeous.

We lunched at the local bakery.

I don't know why I had to explain to R that this is a Doctor Who like police box, now a free take and leave lending library. We absolutely loved Penguin and wished we were staying there.

But on to the also very nice Stanley.

It is a very historic town and a very early Tasmanian settlement. Above the town sits The Nut.

Like Ayers Rock aka Uluru it changes in different lights.

We went out for a little drive and happened upon the modest home of the only Prime Minister of Australia who was from Tasmania, Joseph Lyons. His wife, Dame Enid Lyons was the first female member of our Federal government House of Representatives.

The Nut really dominates the town, if I haven't said that already. There was an incident. Each cabin with a verandah had a nice one piece two seat and centre table, as ours did. Next door to us were an older couple who even mid afternoon were sitting outside enjoying a glass of wine, or perhaps water in a wine glass at their table. Two tradie lads turned up to stay overnight and while the couple were out, appropriated their seating to put on their own grass as they played on their phones. Later they hid the table behind their car. I wondered if they were going to steal the no doubt expensive seat in the morning. I took photos of their car, but they didn't and just left it where it was for someone else to move.

Lovely beach.

We walked up the track caught the chair lift to the top of The Nut.

We bought take away fish, chips and potato scallops for dinner from Hursey Seafood. The fish and chips were great. The potato scallops, meh.

I can't find references now but what a number of early deaths in the Hursey family. In spite of the death of the entrepreneurial of Patrick (Kermie) Hursey in 1986 as he tried to rescue a lone rower off the coast in heavy seas, the company has continued on successfully and it was quite busy when we visited. 

Lighthouses don't have to be tall structures.

Low tide.

The changing face of The Nut. I read three explanations for the name. One was that it was part of Aboriginal name, I forget the second one, maybe something to do with volcanoes but the one that amused me most was some tried to blow up part of it to see if it contained minerals. The explosion failed and it was a tough nut to crack. 

Chairlift carpark view.

Up we went on the chair lift and what stunning views. We took the short walk but longer than 250 metres.

Apologies if this post seems a bit disjointed. I will try better tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Don't panic Captain Mainwarring

The name in the heading line is pronounced very differently to how it is written.

First thing to get out of the way is we have secure incomes. The lines of people queued at Centrelink for government benefits are distressing to see, reminiscent of lines at soup kitchens in the 1920s depression except this time it is in colour and not black and white.

We have supplies of everything for at least two weeks. As a supermarket CEO said, buy what you need and perhaps a little more. I am not normally an advocate for big business like our supermarket chains, but I think they have done really well and thanks to the staff on the floor who bear the personal brunt.

R went to his volunteer job this morning but of five drivers, he was the only one working. He was not allowed to stop off for food or coffee. He had to sanitise the work car after each person left. He took one man to the big green hardware shed and R's boss wondered later if such trips should be disallowed and restricted to supermarket and medical appointments. Well no, I suggested. Check what he wants to buy. It could be a rubber washer to stop his toilet flooding.

I went in to town on a a very empty tram and had my hair cut. The boss of the salon arrived to decide whether she would shut the salon down. I think it will be. My hair cutter thought hairdressing salons should be shut down. She was a few centimetres away from me, not the recommended 1.5 metres. It was a straight in and straight home trip with lots of hand sanitation. I so wanted to go have some food and good coffee.

Curious as to why COVID-19 hasn't broken out in Japan to any extent. Are they behind with testing and too much focusing too much on hotspots? There is not one case reported in the prefecture where our friend lives and aside from schools being closed, life goes on as normal with packed trains of workers.

I wondered why our private for profit public transport operators are still running a full service of almost empty vehicles. But if services were cut, it would mean more people on each vehicle.

Door handles and lift buttons in our building are being cleaned three times a day now. I use my finger knuckle now to press any button.

As I type in the US 38,000 are infected and its poor public health system is struggling. Trumpet ignored the matter until it became serious. Shame on him.

Today my state has 355 cases in a state of 5 million with no deaths. Not bad odds at this point.

Nevertheless I am fearful, not of death but of the shortages and the way people are behaving.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Tasmania Day 4

Dog Jack sitting on A's lap is getting old now and slowing down. We looked after him so many times when T lived here in Melbourne. A has just turned 62 and scrubs up well. It was a public holiday, Labour Day, and it was a lazy start. T cooked us an omelette for breakfast.

This gorgeous art deco house across the road is named Rosetta, which coincidentally is the Hobart suburb where we would stay in a week's time. I think for a late art deco house it is perfect, and the garden suits it well.

A side and rear view.

We were also curious about this tree on public land across the road. We once had a crab apple tree and it was beautiful when it flowered in spring. Plant Snap phone app helped me identify this one as a crab apple and it looks like an evergreen.

It doesn't look like birds like the fruit much.

What to do today? T and R were eager to visit the casino. A and I would be bored after five minutes. T and R both had wins, as R did on the ferry machines both ways. A was keen enough to visit the tram museum. It was hard to find and when we did, it was closed. There was a nearby art gallery but we couldn't find the entrance, although we didn't try too hard. I took the car to a car wash and gave it a rough clean and we then headed back to the Seaport for a late lunch at Rupert & Hound. Mudbar had a mix of male and female staff but oddly where we lunched were all female staff. Not good for either me or A to watch but the food and service were fine.

Our late friend who was from Tasmania had the drag name of Jaz or Jazzie, but James' full drag name was Jasmine. A had brought a memento of his, a mermaid figurine. She set it up on the railing and took a photo with this yacht in the background.

Once back home via a visit to restock liquour supplies, I went out for a short walk along the only flat street I could see. This new house is a talking point without large front windows to take advantage of the great views, along with what looks like wallpaper on its front.

The view it could have, minus the car etc.

The closed barbeque was lit and in went a leg of lamb for dinner. R being a very good cook took over the cooking of everything else. We all ate too much and T did not have start work early the next day, so there was time to say goodbye to her in the morning.