Saturday, August 15, 2020

Poppet arrives

She wasn't in a hurry and so was extracted with forceps. Of course it is compulsory to say how beautiful a new baby looks when you first see them in hospital with their parents, even if they are not, but Poppet looks nice enough for a new born. We now have five great nieces and one great nephew all under the age of seven. Surely there will be at least one of them who will push Auntie Andrew around in his wheelchair.

Poppet. We don't even know her weight or name yet. We have been told by her mother that just because she is a girl, pink is not really welcome, which is I suppose why she is in a brown blanket. We sent them some fabulous leopard print fluffy baby booties (very expensive) a couple of weeks ago and they loved them.

Friday, August 14, 2020

New Look

When we were members of the Body Corporate Committee for our building, the committee was very conservative. We left the committee in about 2008. About three years ago a coup happened where an ambitious person took over the committee and rolled the old guard. This was a good thing as there has been so many improvements to our building and at the age of about 22 years, it needed it.

I've shown these photos before but it was a while ago. This was set up by the old committee and it is good. Our recycling efforts are good but for some reason people miss the no plastic bags sign. If I see them, I pull them out and put them in the right place.

Big bins within this room, fire protected, for what goes down the rubbish chute.

Spare bins and telecommunications equipment.

The mail room with 128 letter boxes plus some. I've never heard of parcels being stolen and where they are left is covered by CCTV.

A lift notice, trying to make us appreciate that we are rich old fuckers comfortable in our lockdown. If you can afford to live here, you are doing ok. The only reason we can is we bought here about 19 years ago for the same price as we sold our Balaclava house. 

The rubbish chute with the entrance to meters and taps and communication cabling. 

But the new committee has had the the whole interior repainted, new Axminster (it will hide stains, even if we aren't keen on the pattern) laid on the floors. We have new modern font building numerals. Lighting was changed from halogen to LED. Information within the building is up to date. Our building manager is great and such a sexy and handsome Sri Lankan with a beautiful smile. Notices are changed often. We have our own building website. There is official parking enforcement now within the building with the ability to tow away offending cars. There has been a lot of re-caulking of areas where it was degraded. New gym equipment has been bought, sadly not able to be used yet. A full garden renovation happened. Self opening swing doors and a new security system along with a new intercom system.

Do I like the new committee members? Not really. A couple of them can be very challenging.  Do I respect them for their efforts? Oh yes. While the interior renovation is nearly complete aside from the ground floor lobby and lifts, the exterior needs to be repainted and that will take time.

This is a new photo selected by the Owners' Corporation beside our front door. It is Pelligrini's Coffee Bar. The principle and long term owner Sisto Malaspina was killed a couple of years ago when he intervened in a street incident. Very sad, but until COVID, the business went on.

Ground floor lobby, ready for a makeover.

Post office staff love this table, but it is so out of keeping with the rest of the building. I will mention it to someone at some time if it doesn't disappear. The pictures are all new.

Hand sanitising machines everywhere. I wish more people would use them.

Totally renovated and whether you or we like the new carpet or not, it has been a great job well done.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

No payola

I bought this book, the first paper book for a long time, after it was reduced to nearly half its first price when published in 2018. I thought it was a terrific effort by an eighteen year old, although I do have issues with the title when you look at tram systems in cities like Budapest, Vienna and Prague. I think the book deserves a plug.

It is not a heavy nuts, bolts and 600 volts DC book and its suitable for someone who is interested in Melbourne's trams and public transport, some light history and about the current operation of our trams. It is written with some humour, a little tongue in cheek at times and a good overview. The most remarkable thing about the book is that Aymeric Perfrement wrote it in his final secondary school year at the selective government school Melbourne High. Did it detract from his studies? I don't think so as he he is now studying aeronautical engineering at Monash University. If you are interested, you can find it on Amazon for about AU$21.

With Melbourne Tram Museum volunteer Male Rowe at the book launch in 2018.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


As I only worked for a few months in the last financial year, I received a large tax refund. A parcel arrived today and I am busier than this Mother Roo.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Personal

Our friend in Launceston arranged a catch up for us, our Hair Dresser Friend and the remaining Brother Friend who lives in Thailand. Of course we were socially distanced by the brilliance of the internet.

We used FB Messenger and while it was problematic at times, we spent a couple of hours together chatting, with the limitations of the app. We could mostly see all five of us, and we were already clued up on the speech delays. While the set time was 5pm, and we were set up to have our drinks and nibbles ready by then, she called at 4.30 which threw us into chaos, but we managed. R had showered to look his best. I had dabbed with a tissue at my bleeding makeup.

We have arranged to do the same next weekend at the same time with a couple of other people included. FB limits to 5 people, so we will use Zoom. We used Zoom for our Owners' Corporation meeting and it worked well enough.

The auto sanitiser machine on the ground floor kept running out of fluid. Another has been installed. Everyone is respecting the two people in a lift rule. And then yet another ground floor sanitiser has been installed Surgical masks protect others but not so much you.

Am I getting used to wearing masks when out? No.

The joke of Who is that Masked Man has worn thin. You have to be of a certain age to get that.

Runners and cyclists don't have to wear a mask. Some do but imagine the expelled air, especially from runners as they run past you!

Compliance with masking is very good. You can remove your mask in public to eat, drink or smoke.

Mother managed to have her lawns at her now sold house mowed the day before Stage 4 lockdown along with having her hair done, the house sale to be confirmed on the 14th. While her life hasn't changed too much she is missing seeing people and sick of looking at the primulas she potted up at the front door of ABI Brother's place.

Fire Fighting Nephew's Poppet is due to be born in two days.

We can no longer go out together for shopping or food. We've generally stopped buying food out at all and as we individually go out most days for food, we might have a lonely cup of coffee on our own. The amount of recycling material we produce each day has doubled, and I don't just mean clinking wine bottles.

Am I bored? Not really. There are always things to do at home. While R cleaned my ensuite today, I cleaned the barbeque. I finished both an ebook and a proper book today. I watched some amusing Youtube videos as well as the usual type of videos I watch. I communicated with people via the information super highway. I drove out to buy some milk and takeaway coffee. I went out for a decent walk, with more bought out coffee and listened to some podcasts.

Before I knew it, it was time for a glass of wine before dinner. TV is not bad tonight.

I have little to complain about, but complain I will. This is a load of shit! I want my old life back.

I guess if you wonder if you are depressed, you are not suffering depression. I feel great sadness for me, for us, for family and friends, for the people of Beirut and for the world. But don't you worry about me. I am a privileged person in this world. Bother your heads about others who are far less fortunate.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Musical Monday

Here is a link to the lyrics of this very moving clip, moving if you were a young gay man in 60s, 70s, 80s and even the 90s. But the music clip tells the story. While it is not my direct experience, I get the fear, the self loathing, the lust in the wrong direction and the attraction and freedom to be yourself in a big city. As a nice enough neighbour said to us when we lived in the sticks in a unit and we were moving to Balaclava, you want to be among your own kind.

Bronski Beat with Small Town Boy. Haunting.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Sunday Selections

Unlike my usual Sunday Selections when I join in with Elephant's Child and others, I will keep a tight focus.
These are photos of lamps I have taken during my ISO walks in the streets of neighbouring South Yarra over the last week.....well, one walk really. I was on a roll. I like that we in the cheap seats have such a lovely view of the very expensive South Yarra on the other side of St Kilda Road.
There is a pair of lamps at the Melbourne Synagogue across the road. This is one. I suppose it is lit at times.
An extremely fine pair of hangers.
Back of the class for me. Maybe I didn't notice the nice enough lamps when I took the photo.
It was an interesting remark by one of my American readers that naming a house or apartment building would not sit comfortably with the people of the US. In my vernacular it might be seen as 'bunging on side'. Hmm, not sure. There is  #45 Towers.
A later period and hard to photograph but still, quite nice lamps.
Lastly this one, inappropriately poking above an inappropriate masonry wall. Note the wonderful gender specific (I can't remember which gender) Garrya Elliptica, a native to the west coast of the US.