Saturday, August 01, 2020

The mentally unwell in a time of COVID

He was youngish, bare topped mid winter and masked, although his mask had fallen down below his nose and as his hands were handcuffed behind his back and he could not correct his mask. He was sitting down on a footpath leaning against a wall with two police hovering over him.

Scum, filth on the streets. Needs to be locked up!

I doubt the police would have handcuffed him without good reason. He must have done something seriously wrong but gosh I felt sorry for him. He was wailing and pleading with the police with lots of "please Sirs".

Dealing with COVID-19 is hard for all of us, but perhaps even harder for those with mental health issues.

Judge not.

COVID Stress

I've been waiting for this, that is for R to explode into anger. It was a shocking day, our worst for new infections.

I am evil because I phoned the 'bitch from hell', aka my sister. I called to check if Jo could still go to school with new restrictions in place and to tell her to go easy on Firefighting Nephew on Facebook about 'Karen'. FF Nephew is not sexist or misogynistic but he doesn't get what the Karen thing is all about, and I am not sure I do either. But Sister was on a roll about Karen and misogyny.

The call was longer than I expected. Sister was in a chatty mood.

As I have been wisely advised by some here in the past, I will keep my mouth shut and it will pass in a couple of days.

Given we are pretty well locked down together, only apart for individual exercise and sleeping, we haven't done too badly. I want to roam. R wants to do his thing and return to his volunteer job. We must stay home. I won't whinge about wearing masks when out, as some have to wear them for eight hours a day or more at work.

Doom and gloom, but there was a lighter moment when we ran into our Hairdresser Friend at the beach a week or so ago. After weeks away she had just returned from her mother's in northern Victoria and her usually stylish hair was looking very grey. We sat masked and socially distanced and chatted.

R exclaimed, "Al, don't lean against that button". It would have been a great photo op if she had leant there harder than she did.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Big Picture

While R hunts around the desktop screen for a link or a tab, the appropriate thing to click on, I seem to be able to take in the whole screen and quickly see what I need to find. Is it a skill I have? I don't know.

In a supermarket I can take in the overhead aisle product information and the more specific information at a glance. At an airport I can find information as to where to be quickly, including where the toilets are. While I may not be able to read the destination of an approaching tram, I can work it out by the shape of the display of the length of the scrolling words.

Then there are these puzzles that indicate it is difficult to find the odd number or letter. I can find the odd one out is a couple of seconds. Maybe the text that comes with the puzzles is hyped and they just aren't that difficult. I wonder. What is your opinion?

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Launceston Trolley Buses

Launceston in our island state of Tasmania once had trams. The city converted its tram system to trolley buses, that is electric buses connected to overhead power and they don't need to run on steel tracks. Then of course they were replaced by filthy diesel buses

This photo was recently posted on the internet. While I've seen modern trolley buses in Wellington, New Zealand along with Salzburg and Budapest, I have never ridden one. It must be a queer thing. The photo shows a turning circle for the Launceston trolley bus at its terminus. They can't reverse direction like a tram, although in places like Vienna single ended trams do use turning loops.

While trams have one pole and earth through the steel wheels and steel track, trolley buses need two, one for power and one for earthing. I particularity remember how messy the overhead wiring for trolley buses was in Salzburg.

You can see the turning loop at Basin Road on Google Maps after the trolley bus travelled down Brougham Street, that is the curved bit of street near the photo.

The turning loop was in behind this Launceston Municipal Council? power substation, built to supply electricity for trams from the nearby Duck Reach power station.

The turning loop is still there. Before our friend moved from one part of West Launceston to another we used this road to travel to her place.

But OMG, look at the view from there. While the houses have been altered over the years, they are still the same houses. Note the stunning rhododendrons.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


Mostly written Sunday. Am I happier now this Tuesday night? Maybe a little. I am not sure if depressed or despondent is the right word. Despondent sounds right. We and people we know are feeling both, yet without exception, we can all pay the rent, so to speak. Many are in much worse situations in Australia and dire overseas.

Day after day the high COVID figures in the hundreds for my state are relentless when most Australian sates are virus free.

While there are a few rebels not obeying the law, when we Melburnians leave home we have to be masked. You must not touch your mask once it is fitted and when people are out and about it is pretty well a 100% fail on that point. Is that why masks reduce the risk to 85%? It is hard, especially for people who wear glasses. Yes, me. If I do touch my mask, I immediately sanitise my hands.

Police have been patrolling to ensure we are masked up.

As I add to this post on Monday. Sunday was our worst day ever, with over 500 new infections in our state. I despair.

Monday when ISO walking a man walked down a driveway from an office building and he was smoking. I didn't glare at him as I noticed he did not have a mask hanging below his chin, ready to pull up when he had finished his cigarette. I just noticed, but my eyes must have said something as his hand swept his face and realised he didn't have a mask. He looked shocked and bolted back to where he had come from.

A woman was interviewed on tv about the necessity to use masks. She was in full agreement and she was then asked why she wasn't wearing one, and very embarrassed she rushed back to her office to get one. She had simply forgotten.

I am struggling to stop my glasses from fogging up in spite of knowledge of how to stop that happening. This mask wearing is not easy. When we go out, we have a freezer bag ready and open for mask disposal when we return home. But I will have put possibly contaminated keys on the bench already. Touched the outside door handle, that I may touch again during the day.

We are careful and constantly sanitise and wash our hands when out of our apartment, but it is impossible to get it 100% right.

These are words I don't normally use but how about this fucking bitch Kerry Nash, aka 'Karen'. How very dare she give the workers on a probably low award rate of pay at a Bunnings hardware store in Narre Warren such a hard time. Aside from her refusal to wear a mask, staff do not deserve this treatment. I feel I should send them bunches of flowers and chocolates. Video courtesy Daily Mail. I suspect Kerry Nash has an undiagnosed mental health illness, or perhaps is just a fucking nasty self entitled bitch.

Just out of interest, I suggested in previous post that when we visited England last year, we caught some kind of Coronavirus. I am more convinced than ever now, especially as COVID19 antibodies have been found in March 2019 sewerage samples in Barcelona.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Not beyond reproach

Commercial tv game show host Andrew O'Keefe had a night out on the tiles and ended up drunk in a gutter with a cigarette in his hand. You can see the Youtube footage here.

Better, I will embed his Chapel Street adventurous night out.

But I cannot call him out on such behaviour. Here is me at the Queensland gay resort Turtle Cove in the mid 1990s reading Anna Karenina in bed when the bed rolled away from the wall and I ended up on the floor. There is only one lie in the above. Drunk, smoking and on the floor, but oh how we laughed. Thanks for reminding me R!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Musical Monday

I was sorting out the tv. The old single tuner pvr I picked up from Mother's would not allow us to watch normal tv. I disconnected it. Sounds simple? It was not but I got there and the tv was now working normally.

Saturday morning and the ABC tv programme Rage was broadcasting. I fell into a stupor in the chair as 80s hits after 90s hits were broadcast. So good, until R said, are you ever going to get in the shower.

ABC radio station Triple J has live music performances on a programme called Like a Version (good word play), whereby talented musicians cover songs.

While I am not saying this is my absolute favourite 80s/90s song in the world, Love Shack is right up there and I really liked this cover by DZ Deathrays. The guy in shorts is hot and the long haired guy is not too shabby either. If there is ever a song to get people onto a dance floor, this is one of them.

PS I've  probably posted the original by the B52s before, but hey, good stuff needs to be reheard. The best thing about the clip is they look like they are really enjoying themselves.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

ISO Walking

More photos I snapped in the streets of South Yarra with my phone when out exercise walking. It's a mix of the old and the new. The streets certainly don't have commercial activity now.

You have to be quite wealthy to own a home in this area, although rents can be reasonable.

An apartment in the tower block on the right of this photo was once the home of Una Fraser, the mother of late Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

The tram in Domain Road ceased running years ago. Time to take down the sign.