Saturday, August 29, 2020

Get off your arse

Spur of the moment post. Not really ready for publication. Nothing prepared to post for today, so this is a raw version.

Generally you could sum me up as a bleeding heart cafe latte sipping, sav blanc leftie who is quite well off, and you won't be far wrong. I care deeply for the environment, for animals, for those less fortunate in society and did I mention our environment? If we don't get that right, nothing else will be right.

But I do get a little cross with moaning young people who for everything is so hard. I know it is hard for so many but really! Women are so often disadvantaged, left holding the babies, literally and metaphorically. Young men are immune, until you look at the suicide statistics.

But I say to you young people, you get up at 4.30am for a 6am work start, work until 11am, go home for a break and report back to work at 3pm and work to 7pm. Go home, repeat and rinse.

Do that for forty years and you may well be as comfortable as I am and can retire at the age of 62 and own your own home.

Yes, no children, no responsibility aside from R, family and friends.

Later edit: This was somewhat intemperate and not my finest moment. I am not sure what brought it on, but there you go. I will let it stand.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Our closed state borders

Another fine performance by Sammy J. This works better if you know about the Sydney and Melbourne rivalry, which according to Sydneysiders does not exist. They can afford to be smug at the moment with virtually no COVID in New South Wales. It's not mentioned but notice Sammy is dressed in Melbourne black.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

More on The Albany

Grace of Perth Daily Photo wondered what the restored building formerly known as The Albany Hotel was now used for now. I walked past today and so far as I can see, and using the www, it is a private resident. A real estate site indicates a sale value of AU$8.44 million to $12.66 million.

Here is a link back to the photo and photos of the front door. I like that it is not completely locked away behind a high brick wall, as so many houses like this would be. There is an intercom with a camera at the gate a couple of metres away and just a normal looking lock in the door. 'Tis a rather nice place I could rattle around in.

Later: There is something not quite right about the real estate information. The sold date is wrong and two bedroom, three bathroom and three garage spaces doesn't sound quite right.

Votre tarif s'il vous plaît Mme Gattina

Actually, I don't think Gattina is much into catching trams, and certainly not at the moment. They don't run to Waterloo anyway.

They are may be not quite as cute as the trams of Lisbon but aren't these Brussels trams cute little things. I thought the photos were reasonably recent but given there aren't routes 35 or 52 now so far as I can see, maybe the photos are quite old. Brussels seems to have modern and larger trams now. I don't know to who to credit the photos.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The falcons are back

Once again the falcons who breed in the city have returned to their nest, this year to a nice new box that probably won't stay new looking for very long. One egg has been laid but aside from being moved at times, the parents won't start incubating until all the eggs are laid. The egg must be in some kind of suspended animation. The main website is

I think last year two of the three chicks survived. Maybe it was the year before where none survived, perhaps having been fed poisoned pigeon meat by their parents. Nature is left to take its course and the birds have been breeding here since the 1990s.

It seems rather a lot of us like watching paint dry for an occasional bit of action You you can watch the live feed on Youtube this year at If you have a  smart tv, you can watch it on the big screen. Make sure the date and time is correct as already the YT address has changed once. The night time vision is quite good too. This stream is a labour of love for someone or some people, so complaints are not welcomed. They do their best.

Ol' Blue Eyes in Melbourne

In 1974 Frank Sinatra visited Melbourne to perform on stage. It was his last visit to Australia and although he earlier liked the country, this time he was quoted once back in the US that his only mistake when visiting Australia was to get off the plane. So what was this about? I only have a vague memory of the matter, so thanks to The Sydney Morning Herald for filling in the gaps.

Sinatra refused to do press interviews and was pursued relentlessly by the press who of course would reference his Mafia connections once he was in Melbourne, .

1974 was time of the advance of women's rights and feminism was on the rise as were the number of female press journalists.

At Sinatra's first performance in Melbourne's Festival Hall he came out with this, "The broads who work in the  press are the hookers (prostitutes) of the press. I might give them a buck and half, I'm not sure".

This made journalists rather cross, and many other people became cross. His second Melbourne performance was cancelled as staging and lighting workers, musicians and others black banned him until he apologised. Staff in the expensive hotel where he was staying refused to serve him in his room and he dare not leave his room. Airline staff refused to refuel his plane. Drivers would not take him anywhere.

It is suggested his plane had enough fuel to get to Sydney and so that night he managed to make the trip or he even travelled on a commercial flight under another name. But as it was a national ban by all the unions that mattered he was still in a predicament.

The following night he received a call at his Sydney hotel from Australia's Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who suggested to Sinatra there was only one man who could sort this out, the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Bob Hawke who would go on himself to become Prime Minister in the 1980s. Hawke visited Sinatra at his hotel, no doubt sharing some strong drink (one report said Sinatra was very drunk) and a joint statement of regret by both Sinatra and the Unions was hammered out and read out by Hawke on the steps of the hotel, without either parties apologising. It was also agreed that his Sydney performance would be televised in Melbourne to compensate fans who missed his second concert.

He completed his tour and once home in The States performed at New York's Madison Gardens opening with the statement, "Ol' Blue Eyes is back, or as they say in Australia, Ol' Big Mouth is back".

No doubt he was a great performer and a reasonable singer, but as for being a nice person?

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Albany

Do I have your attention Strayer?

The Albany was a 'boutique hotel' in Toorak Road, South Yarra. Boutique hotel seems to be a coded pair of words for a lovely exterior with some really nice historic internal decoration, possibly nice bedding and linen, but substandard bathrooms, lots of creaking floorboards, draughts at the windows and noise travelling from one room to another. I expect The Albany fitted this standard.

Here it is some years ago when it had closed and was about to undergo renovation. I have an older photo of the hotel when it was open, but my filing system is not being cooperative.

This was attached to the hotel, offering more modern accommodation with its either ivy or ficus covered exterior.

The original building was beautifully restored but aside from knowing it is no longer a hotel, I don't know of its current purpose.

The adjoining 1960s building along Milswyn Street was demolished and this new apartment building rose from its ashes. One bedroom apartment, AU$500,000, close to US$360,000, €304,000, GB£275,000. A fairly standard price for a modern one bedroom in the area.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Dear Doctor

I expect the lovely Sami may have received some calls from distressed patients and I am sure it can be emotionally hard going to receive such calls. So many people are doing the hard yards and are at risk from COVID or just job stress.

I need some new prescriptions from my doctor of 26 years. I don't feel the need to actually see my doctor, and I expect if I did I might burst into tears. That would be unfair on him. (That is probably a lie. Of course I would hold it together.......I think) I am sure he has enough to deal with, without a stupid old emotional queen in tears of pity for himself and the world.

So, I will put myself in the hands of reception staff to advise me about new scripts. Telehealth? Phone call? Video call? Just pick up your 'scripts? I will see what reception staff say tomorrow.

A Whinge

Me whinge or complain? You betcha!

As I mentioned I did buy a new phone, a Samsung Galaxy 10, with the 20 being the newest model. I am always a bit behind with phones. JB HiFi had the new phone on sale for $1,000 but I hesitated and when I returned it had gone up to $1,200. I decided I really must have and need a new phone and if you remember, I had the nice tax return money. When I took the cover off my old phone we discovered the back was cracked. I have no idea how that happened but could account for me having to give the phone a whack to make the camera focus.

Kogan had it for $1,000 online so I ordered it on a Thursday and it arrived on the following Tuesday, delivered by Australia Post parcel service. I'm very happy with the new phone and the just arrived case, a cheap one for $10 until I can buy a better one. Then R noticed my phone on sale online at JB HiFi for $900. There is never a right time to buy.

Upon its arrival I ordered a case as phone case shops were now all closed and it was dispatched using Australia Post mail service on August 13th and arrived today on 24th August. Where has it been? What an appalling postal service. We mailed a birthday card to Sister a week before her birthday and it arrived four days after her birthday. Mother paid for express postage for Sister's card which should mean next day delivery, but it was delivered two days later.

Am I finished? Nope! Today when I paid my credit card, I notice Kogan had charged me $11.99 to be a member of Kogan First Membership. I did not authorise this. I sent a strongly worded complaint to them, insisting it reverse the charge. The only real benefit is free delivery but I buy once in a blue moon from Kogan and paying a monthly charge of $11.99 would be absurd. Furious!

The apartment water saga goes on. Today once again the water was off between 9.30 and 3.30. Over the weekend while our hot water has been boiling hot, the pressure was down to a dribble. It seems we can one or the other, not both. I called the building manager this morning and he promised to plumber would attend and he did at about 5.30 and our water pressure was restored but now the hot water is not hot enough for a shower unless we turn the bath hot water tap on as well. R is ballistic over it all and I am very annoyed that the plumber did the job but did not check with us that all was ok.

Monday Mural

I never really thought I would post this pair of photos for Monday Mural. The name of a suburb is not so interesting and the photos were taken at a skateboard park. Maybe you can find some interest in the work but I doubt it. Better you head to Sami in West Australia and see what she has for Monday Mural.

However, Prahran is combination of Aboriginal names, rather usual for one of our early then outer suburbs when most suburbs had an English name. The streets where I ISO walk are South Yarra, Yarra being an English interpretation of an Aboriginal name, along with the adjacent Toorak

This was hard to photograph, so two photos.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

ISO walk niceness

COVID lockdown depression is setting in and I am struggling to compose posts. A week of back pain hasn't helped.

Here are a few photos of stuffed toys to amuse children when out walking in South Yarra, and they amused me.