Saturday, August 22, 2020

Winter kangaroo

I'm sure you have a mental image of kangaroos lazing in the shade of a tree in the hot Australian summer sun. Not always the case.

Mother Anecdotes and Bits

Mother was so happy to receive a letter, drawings and photos from two of her great grand children, Little M and Little M, 6 and 4 years old. While the family were slim in drawings, their mother and father aren't, their 1 year old brother Little L was depicted in the drawings as being very fat, and he is, mostly puppy fat I guess which he will lose when he starts walking. Even Tradie Brother, their grandfather was depicted working in the back garden.

Mother had that tone in her voice, the letter had been print written. She wrote back to them and no doubt Oldest Niece will have to decipher her cursive writing for them.

Mother's friend's husband has his business on their large block of land. She has one of her husband's staff clean up any leaves in the garden or on the paving. One worker likes the break to clean up leaves. She can't bear a fallen leaf lying around and as he was leaving after finishing work, he mentioned there were some fallen leaves and would she like him to clean them up. He knows how to butter up the boss's wife. She jumped at the offer. We used to joke about a friend who spent time in his garden 'polishing the leaves'. Unless it is one of those display Japanese or Chinese gardens, who cares about a few fallen leaves.

ABI Brother who Mother lives with, drove to the supermarket, shopped and walked forty minutes carrying shopping home and then noticed his missing car and had to walk forty minutes back to collect his car. Mother is convinced it was because of his brain injury. Not necessarily Mother.

During Stage 3 lock down we had began to use trams again, but then when Stage 4 was in force, we returned to driving. We had shopped in Prahran and with a bag of shopping each, we headed for the tram stop to return home, completely forgetting we had driven there. It would have been a very expensive lesson if we had actually caught the tram home and forgot about the car being in a commercial carpark.

While shopping in South Melbourne this week, instead of parking in the usual Aldi car park because we didn't want anything there, we parked in the Woolworths car park.....and of course shopping done, we headed across the road to the Aldi car park. Getting old.

The now week old new great niece Poppet has a name and if you think of a former Australian Prime Minister, you will be on the money. And no. She is not called Kevin. That is the name of their dog. I will refer to her as Little J and who knows when we will be able to see her.

PS I try to stay positive and occupied but I a bad day yesterday. Nothing seemed to go right. We are still having water temperature and pressure issues and so we were without hot water for the afternoon. I was concerned I would not hear the plumber knock and he would leave the building and us without hot water. I couldn't go out for my walk. R refused to deal with the plumber and started saying what a horrible place we live in. He wouldn't even sit in the lounge room to hear a door knock while I had some fresh air on the balcony or went to the toilet. It isn't often I speak up, but I did and he later apologised and thanked me for my efforts. As we later agreed, it doesn't take much to tip us over the edge at the moment. Lordy, I may even be missing seeing Mother. Just one visit will cure that.

PPS Just to add to the mix, we are having an Antarctic 'blob' arriving this weekend and sit over us for a few days.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Friday Funnies

If you are not local, you need some background for this clip. Bunnings is a huge chain hardware store with its signature large green tin buildings. It has killed off many small hardware stores.

The Karen thing began in America, I believe. The sisterhood have issues with Karen being painted badly as why shouldn't women be outspoken as men. I don't really understand the Karen thing. But in this case, the Karen person was way wrong.

This piece by comedian and radio broadcaster Sammy J is spoken to the rhythm of a famous Australian bush poem. J'adore Sammy J and no Trigger Trioli, he is sexy and slim, not a praying mantis.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Family history

This photo popped up in one of my feeds. It's a nice enough photo and reminded me of some family history.

In about the year I was born my father built my maternal grandparents a new brick home in the suburb of South Oakleigh. Foolishly it was built on a main road that became a busy car and truck route, and as nice as the house was, it was only two bedroom, so impractical when their daughter ended up having four children, but we managed when we stayed. The kitchen had a pull out dough making board and the laundry a fold down ironing board that was unfortunately unusable as it rested at an angle on a the new automatic Frigidaire washing machine.

Note the Malcolm Reid furniture store? While Adelaide based, the company had branched out to Melbourne and sold high end furniture.

Here is a colour photo of the store.

In preparation for the connection of a sewerage system, the house had an indoor flushing toilet, but of course it couldn't be used and there was outbuilding with a lav, emptied by collectors who slung the pans on their backs and I remember seeing them and they wore a large rubber back covering to prevent their clothes being splashed.

A new house needed new furniture and Mother took her mother in to Malcolm Reid to shop. Mother selected everything, including crystal dressing table handles to match the crystal door handles that Mother had managed to sneak into the house fitout, telling her father they were just glass. My Pop just paid the bill in both cases. 

This photo of Malcolm Reid furniture shows quite closely the style Mother selected to furnish her mother's home

What remains of the furniture? Mother still has the three piece lounge suite, somewhat nicer than this one in the photo and plans to have it reupholsted for the second time and move it to where she lives at my brother's. 

In a a crate in our spare room I have the crystal handles from my grandmother's dressing table, and this mirror in our short hallway was part of the dressing table. It has a wonderful curvy bevelled edge and the original felt pads where the clasps clamp it to the backboard.

I guess high end reproduction furniture fell out of favour and Malcolm Reid closed down. It is a now a Quest accommodation hotel, no doubt empty because of COVID, although it could be housing the homeless and/or domestic violence victims.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

West of the city

Our CBD, Central Business District, is clearly defined, bounded by Flinders, Spring, Spencer and Victoria Streets. To the west is what was a very historic area, now called Docklands, or if you like Divorcelands where men live after leaving their wives and children in the suburbs and living the high city life within walking distance.

People try to defend CDocklands but it is a real fail. It has been a disaster of urban planning where capitalism has run rampant without checks and balances.

Here are some photos I took early this year. Most are commercial buildings. Maybe when I can revisit I can take photos of residential building and bore you further.

Docklands has trams, but they are problematic.

To the north of the area is a retail area, often empty.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


All over the world you can see men and perhaps women in Aussiebum underwear and swimwear. The brand is not hugely popular here with Australia making up only ten per cent of the market. It's first retail outlet was Selfridges in London.

A serious post with the opportunity to insert a photo of a hot young man wearing Aussiebum swimwear.

Aussiebum founder and owner Sean Ashbury's company sales now exceed $150 million and that was three years ago. I am sure the figure is higher now.

While the garments are manufactured in many countries, the designs and company control remain firmly Sydney rooted.

Now, I have heard of bra fitting specialists. Is there a part time job for a retired person as male underwear fitting specialist? 

I don't think we will ever see women back at stitching machines in Australia with a few specialised exceptions. But that Ashbury's company has been so successful must be a good thing.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Monday Mural

While out exploring pre COVID I went into this pub at a tram terminus and bought a gin and tonic. I took my g&t outside into the warmth and passed the time. Do you think I can find the pub at a tram terminus using anything online? I am puzzled and no doubt my memory is defective in some aspect.

It is not a great work of art, but I like it for its simplicity.

Sunday, August 16, 2020


Most large western cities have a Chinatown area. In Sydney it is Hay Street which is closed to traffic at night at least. I am not sure about daytime.

Our Chinatown is Little Bourke Street but as it provides access to a couple of commercial carparks, it cannot be closed to traffic. Whatever the speed limit is, you would not dare travel over 20 km/h. It is, well was, very busy with pedestrians and the kind of street where you can walk out onto the road without checking for traffic. Pedestrians rule, not motorists.

I dream of a return of the bustling Chinatown, but I am not holding my breath. Here are a few photos that I managed to take that refrain from having people in shot in such a busy street. It is my skill/talent.