Saturday, April 11, 2020

A few vids

All are short and I don't think I have published them.

The water feature of a nearby building.

This baby rocker has been running for years in an upmarket baby shop in Malvern.

I can only remember the first lines of the song, and I am reminded of My name is McNamara and I'm the leader in the band.

You Tube comes good. Here is the cheery song to help you get over the locked in blues.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Throwback Thursday

While it is Friday here now, it is still Thursday in many parts of the world. A post from this day ten years ago. Little Jo was three and stayed here often and we always were so careful about her welfare. We are now back to nylon rollers as the metal rollers were cutting into the balcony door track. We have probably spent over $1000 on the balcony door in twenty years and still it is problematic.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

My Aussie Man

Fifty years ago on this day R arrived in Australia having paid £10 for his subsidised flight from England. He was advised by our immigration authorities in England to not come here until he was 20, and so avoid the ballot to be drafted into the armed forces and being sent to fight in the Vietnamese War. It was less than a month after his 20th birthday when he arrived.

He had the choices of South Africa and Canada too, but he wasn't too keen on apartheid and unrest in the former or the cold in the latter. The Aussie emigration brochures showed endless summer days and beautiful beaches, the latter being true but the former not at all.

Four years later he became an Australian citizen, although a dual citizen. R has been back to England about six times. I have been three times. In England he feels as alien as I do. He has memories. I don't.  He is a proper Australian and in fact complains more about England than I do when we visit. You should hear him rant about London's Tube trains.

While he is connected to his family in England, as am I, he is very close to my family here. They adore him and depend on him, socially, emotionally and go figure, financially. I have more money than R, but it is R they ask when they are short of a quid (buck).

Not always smooth sailing over the past 40 years we have been together, no not at all and still isn't but I love my man R and he loves me.

R was dancing with his visiting now long late mother here in Australia in I think the late 1980s. Later that night with both of them very tired and emotional and the sober me at the wheel on the drive home to Waverley Road from Alphington, the truth came out about why R's brother committed suicide. There were cleansing family tears. For once, R's father stopped demanding attention and let them get on with their tears and grieving.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Whisper French into my ears

I spent years learning French at school yet I have retained so little. I remember many words but I cannot construct them into a proper sentence. Can one of you French speakers understand what I am saying?

La lune et gross ce soir.

What did I say and how would it be correctly written?

Tassie Day 9/10

We left our such nice unit in Hobart to travel to Devonport to catch the day ferry the next day, Sunday. We were becoming very nervous about being away from home as the COVID-19 threat increased.

We stopped once or twice to stretch our legs and then at the Elizabeth Town Bakery where we had stopped before to stretch our legs but this time for lunch and very good it was too.

Neither of us liked Devonport much. Our cabin near the sea at the Abel Tasman Caravan Park was expensive and very old and shabby, although clean with adequate equipment. It was quite a downer from our accommodation in Hobart. Reception lady was very nice. A rough and noisy family were in the cabin next to us. Reception staff told us how to use the keys we were given to get to the beach but the beach wasn't much and neither was the river inlet.

The best thing about Devonport was its take away Charcoal Chicken which we bought for dinner. By this time people were starting to stand apart. Very nice food.

The next morning the queue system for the ferry seemed so unfair. We were there before the prescribed time of 8.45 for a 9.30 sailing. It became clear that the Spirit of Tasmania would not sail at 9.30. It is hard to imagine why it left so late.

The return trip was quieter than the journey over, with more sensitisation in place and maybe 2/3rd of the number than when as we travelled to Tasmania. The ferry was supposed to dock at 7pm. It arrived late and then we just sat and sat and sat waiting to get to our car to leave. It was about 9.30pm when we drove off the ferry. We were cross. Very late going to Tasmania and even later was our return journey. We will never catch The Spirit of Tasmania again. We were stupid in that we should have done the night sailing, paid for a cabin instead of paying for the rubbish cabin in Devonport.

We stopped at a Port Melbourne supermarket as there was little left at home, but there was little on the supermarket shelves.

Our last Tasmanian day and trip home have not marred our great holiday memories, just tainted them a little. Maybe I am judging Devonport unfairly. I did manage to take three photos.

The uninteresting beach.

Galahs feeding.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Viking Orion

I am not sure if you guys and gals on the Viking Orion will pick this up as you are stranded in the middle of our bay, but if you do, leave a comment with your contact details and we can have a chat or maybe I can help you communicate with your family.

Tassie Day 8

We drove the short distance to the MONA, the Museum of New Art. It is built into rock and is a private museum funded initially by David Walsh, a professional gambler and art collector.

This water spray display was great. Even back then there was a COVID-19 message in the words. No matter how often I snapped, I couldn't catch the display in full flight.

R did not like the museum at all.

The famous poo machines, fed at 11am and craps at 2pm, or something like that.

While I liked many of the exhibits, I didn't like the confusing layout of the building.

We did see a good bit of the museum. Sadly it was a bit wet outside. Social isolation had not come into play yet. We had a drink and a bite to eat at one of the areas.

Nice views of the Derwent River from where we had something to eat and drink. We could see where were staying.

Ferries from the Hobart wharf direct to MONA were available and were busy enough. They are all in different camouflage colours. Not particularly cheap from what I saw.

Cheap or not ferries, MONA has been very successful with drawing hundreds of thousands of people like us to the museum, who are were spending money in Tasmania and its capital city Hobart. As an island state it has been easy for Tasmania to lock down its borders, and it has.

An interesting static exhibit. I read somewhere that if a work of art receives too many likes, it is removed. MONA wants to exhibit challenging works, not popular works.

A relaxing afternoon back at the Riverfront, where I went out and took the photos for the previous Tasmanian post. We had a really nice dinner at our accommodation, and we sat in the area where there were white table cloths, but aside from the table cloths, nothing else was different. I guess book early and you get a tablecloth. 

R doesn't have too much energy and we had done enough for the day. It would have been nice to visit Hobart city and there was a good bus service to get us there, but we have seen Hobart before and explored it over a few days.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Birds in Gilded Cages

A few of you are working, some at a workplace and some from home. Most of us are retired and aren't some of us, ok me, suffering by the sensible restrictions to our lives. I want to get out. I want to roam my huge city of 5 million people. I want to catch trains, trams and buses. Actually, it is probably safe at the moment to catch public transport with extra sanitising and no need to touch anything generally and few people using public transport.

Last Sunday we walked down St Kilda Road and back through Fawkner Park at around midday. I saw an empty route 16 tram going to St Kilda without a passenger. St Kilda is normally a great destination for all and trams at that time will be packed. I then saw an empty route 3A tram come from St Kilda, also empty. I felt so sad. There are so few people on public transport, the present full service is not sustainable. Have a read of Daniel's post. We have now become car drivers, not our normal public transport user selves. We go everywhere by car, sanitising our hands our hands after we open the doors but before we enter the car in case someone has coughed or sneezed on the door as they have passed.

It was interesting to be up early last Tuesday and see the traffic below so busy. It is dead at the peak office worker times a couple of hours later. When we drove to Altona, the West Gate Bridge and freeway were busy but mostly trucks and vans. People who get up early and go to work, I thank you and anyone else working at a coal face.

While probably too severe, our building has introduced a policy of only two people in a lift at one time, or a family, or people from one apartment. It has not been a problem as the lifts seem to be unused as people have isolated.

Cro tells a story.

As does Sami.

And Diane.

Grace is not lost in melancholy but is clearly being troubled by not getting out and about..

I received an email from a fellow resident of our building, enquiring about our well being. So nice and we have exchanged back and forth a few times. R told me to be not be so wordy in my replies to her. I told him to mind his business and I will email as I do.

I knew it was coming. R finally cracked last night to stress. He was ok this morning, Sunday. It began with me, but I hadn't done anything wrong. So my b***** Sister became his target You would not want to hear what he said. In spite of what he said, she is still his FB friend. I told him unfriending people shows you care. Ignoring them shows you don't.

Just for something to do and get out, this Sunday we drove to Footscray Coles supermarket to buy a couple of things. It was actually interesting to drive there rather than catching public transport. R showed me where Fire Fighting Nephew and his now wife lived. I had never been there.

Friday evening at about 4pm I walked a kilometre to the small IGA supermarket to buy a litre of milk and walked back again. Traffic should have been jammed up. Trams should be crowded and many people on the street. It was like a super hot Sunday afternoon where everyone stays indoors with their aircon.

With our wide footpaths, walkers stuck to the edges of paths and for some reason everyone has learnt to walk on the left, as we should do normally in busy areas or if you are walking directly towards someone.

As I type at 6.56pm this Sunday and keeping in mind that greater Melbourne is a city of five million people, the stats are for my state are 1135 infections, 911 in Melbourne, 20 new cases today, which with a which I guess is about a week's lead in time and we are on a downward curve. 47 are hospitalised and 11 in intensive care. A paste from our state health department.

The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days.
There are only four reasons for Victorians to leave their home: food and supplies, medical care and care giving, exercise, and work or education.
All people arriving from any international destination must also self-isolate for 14 days as per Commonwealth Government direction. All travelers (what? travellers, Australian English spelling please) returning from overseas to Victoria will be placed in enforced quarantine for the self-isolation period of 14 days.
Police have strong powers to enforce these directions and can issue on the spot fines, including up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses. 
Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply could also be taken to court and receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.
Yes, most of us are birds in gilded cages but, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I want my normal life back. Here is something to cheer you up perhaps. As R has been sacked from his volunteer job, I insisted he drove to keep up his driving skills. We are allowed to drive around, yes? So I was the passenger and I could take a phone snap from the car of this sculpture. I don't know what it is about, but we were in the historic area of Port Melbourne.