Saturday, October 24, 2020


 Today I tidied up a blog few links, added some, moved some, corrected some. You may have noticed that I have a list of Dead, resting and infrequently updated blogs. I like keeping the list to remember who in the past I interacted with and how I missed so many of them when they ceased to blog.

Do you think I should change my header photo? It is a panoramic photo and was a devil to get right and I only managed with the help of former blogger Fen. I've since been a bit scared of changing it but I would like to give my page a bit of a lift. Some of change your header photos quite often, so it can't be that difficult. 

Lastly an etiquette question. If someone writes a post and you have written about the same thing or there is some other connection to what they have written, is is ok to put a link to your blog post in a comment on their blog? I may have done it in total half a dozen times and I always feel it may not be the right thing to do.

Later: I forgot the whole point of this post. That was to say if you have a Yahoo email address, Grace, River and another I think, then for some reason I do not receive an email notification that you have commented. This is not normally a problem if you comment before I start replying to comments, usually about 12 hours after posting. Because of the time difference and Grace normally reads blogs in the evening and leaves a comment, by the time I see it, it will be the next day and already I have a new blog post up. I try to remember to check on posts a couple of days old, but if you do have a Yahoo eddress and I miss your comment, that is probably why, sorry......or maybe I just hate you.

Friday, October 23, 2020

We're getting brown rot

 Oh dear. I don't know what brown rot is but it doesn't sound nice so I will stay inside out of the weather in case I should be affected by or catch it. And I thought COVID was a problem. 

Expensive Farmland

 For how many decades have I heard about an airport on the absolute outskirts of Greater Sydney at Badgerys Creek? Planning is in process and I've heard that for years too.

The Federal Government recently bought the farmland required for a second runway for $30 million when it was valued it at $3 million. It is not a good look that the farming brother land owners are donors to the ruling Liberals (conservative party) of around $180,000. The Federal Police are now investigating the sale.

You might expect me to be outraged, but while I am not happy nor am I outraged or surprised. As I said the site has been earmarked for a very long time and once the decision was finally made, of course it was a seller's market. The millionaire farming brothers could ask a premium price.

Well forget all that. I have rethought the matter. The real outrage is negotiations should have been entered into in good faith by both parties and a fair price agreed and paid. What had slipped my mind about it being a sellers market is that if the government is building a brand new road or train line and your home is in the way, it can compulsorily acquire your home and pay a fair price suggested by a disinterested third party valuer. Why couldn't this happen with the Badgerys Creek land purchase if price negotiations fell down? It is now being suggested that the government paid the extraordinary price because it would be cheaper than the legal action of a compulsory acquisition. Is that a pig I just saw fly by?

Now I am feeling outraged. It is not as if the country has money to waste on paying off political donors at the moment.

The old phrase comes back to mind. Crooks, thieves, liars and charlatans. Read a little here

Thursday, October 22, 2020

One minute of fame

 ABC morning broadcaster Virginia Trioli asked listeners to email her if they had not received their local council ballot papers, posted out 6th to 8th of October. I emailed her that I had not and also pointed out that I had called the appropriate number on 19th to request another set to be sent out. 

The first ballot papers still haven't arrived but the second set postmarked the 20th did arrive today on the 22nd. Tomorrow evening is the deadline, so I filled my vote in straight away and posted it. It will be interesting to see if the original ever arrive.

R was out on the balcony when Trioli read my email out on air to the Electoral Commissioner. Below is what I sent. The Electoral Commissioner tried to fudge it by saying it was people who had not notified authorities of their change of address. I should have added to the email below that we haven't changed our address for 18 years. 

I am reminded of the line of 'ask a busy person to do something and it will be done' and Ms Trioli even took the time to reply to my email, pointing out that she read my email out on air to the Electoral Commissioner. She read my first para out on air. I'm enveloped by intelligent and interesting sensible middle aged and older women online and how good is that.

"I have not received my ballot papers. I called on Monday and another set was sent but that hasn't arrived either. I've never missed voting in any election (for) 45 years. I am furious. 

Best wishes and congrats VT on your first year back at ABC Melbourne. 


Superb Art Deco

 Our Friend in Japan spent some of her childhood years in this flat block in St Kilda Road. It is not a terribly good photo but here is one of the central lawn dividing the two sides with the central path lined with birch trees. It was given a huge renovation in I think the mid 1980s or a little later and I think then strata titled into own your own apartments. It is suggested it was built in 1936, about when our friend moved in 😉 and the even geometric proportions are wonderful. 

Here are some recent close ups .

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Sixties Pop

 You may remember R bought me the David Bowie biography ebook for my birthday. I am about 20% through the book and it is a bit hard going as so far it just anecdotes from various people about Bowie's early life and the beginning of his ascent to fame and fortune. While not quite in competition there were similarities between Bowie and Marc Bolan of T Rex fame. 

While checking out hot men of the time researching, I came across this irresistible click bait headline and a fascinating tale;

I had no idea Bolan was half Jewish although I did know his son Rolan is coloured. This photo of Bolan has him with a rather different look to his tight curls.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020


 R has developed some kind of allergy. At times at home he sneezes and or coughs. I for a short time made a joke by saying 'Coronavirus'. It wore thin after a couple of weeks. 

I walked past him tonight heading to the balcony and he sneezed, coughed and spluttered. As I opened the balcony door he said, I am allergic to something. 

He laughed when I said, probably me. I still have my schtick. 

The typewriter cleaning brush

 So now you know. The brush is for cleaning the striking parts of the typewriter that hit the inked ribbon. The other brush was for general dusting of the typewriter. Be assured, while the plastic does have a nice patina it is not cold enough to be ivory and it does flex.

As a young teenager I asked my father to buy me a typewriter and the daughter of a friend of his no longer used her portable typewriter. It probably cost quite a lot of money as it was very robust and came in a beautiful carry case. I can't find a photo of the case but this identical typewriter is on sale online at Gumtree with an offer of only AU$45, which seems rather cheap to me. 

While it wasn't as good to use as a proper full sized typewriter and it keys would tangle when I got up to a good speed, it served me well for many years. It was made in Japan and branded Hanimex which was an Australian company that imported mostly cameras but other products from around the world and branded them Hanimex. The company was founded by Australian Jack Hannes. Han+im+ex. First three letters of his name plus im for import and ex for export.

He was born in Berlin, educated in Derbyshire, England and his family fled Germany around the outbreak of WWII. He received further education at the University of Sydney and founded the company in his mid twenties. He received a Queen's Medal and died in 2005 while on holiday in Zurich. You can read more about what seems to be a very interesting man here at a newspaper obituary. 

I am still  amazed a plastic brush can last so long and stay in good condition. Well done Hannes and well done the Japanese manufacturer. 

A Hard One

 I don't mind a hard one. I hope you don't either.

I was cleaning the inside of our stick vacuum cleaner and I needed a brush to get where my fingers couldn't. I know, this old brush will do the trick, and it did. I thought about the brush.

The brush was made in Japan some 55 years ago and accompanied by a soft camel hair brush with hairs about 2cm long and 4cm handle. That the plastic hasn't disintegrated nor the bristles fallen out is amazing. While a little discoloured, it is truly amazing that it works as well as it did when new.

So, what was the purpose of the brush and the second one for that matter? I now use the second one for cleaning my electric razor. You do have to be of a certain age. 

Clue at 16.00 if no one has the answer by then.

Later edit: Cro of Magnon's Meanderings correctly suggested it is a brush for cleaning typewriter striking parts that hit the inked ribbon and print onto the paper. I suppose they used to get a build up of gunk from the type writer ribbon plus some dust. Oh yes, if you are late to this post, do comment if you knew what it was, hey Grace.

ISO Coffee

For me alone:

Moody Brew. St Kilda Road. Good coffee, nice staff and owner. $3.50. Small long black. Not too much water added.

Domain Brasserie. Domain Road. Good coffee but coffee topped with water to the cup brim. Pleasant staff. Small long black, $4.00 plus 6 cent card surcharge.

Entrecote. Domain Road. Very good coffee. Professional and pleasant staff. Not too much top up water. $4.00 plus 6 cent card surcharge, which it did not have a month or so ago.

Cafe Medusa. St Kilda Road. Sadly a fail on the coffee front and I won't revisit after my third time. The staff are so nice and it has a donate and take table but the coffee is not up to scratch. $4.00.

Slater Street Bench. St Kilda Road. Very good coffee and professional staff. $4.00  

Occasional jointly or on my own:

The Kettle Black. Albert Road. Excellent coffee. Little hot water added. Very nice staff. $4.20.

Southside Cafe. St Kilda Road. Ok coffee. $4.00. Perfunctory service.


PM Cafe. Bay Street Port Melbourne. Lovely owner who serves you. Good coffee. $3.50

Melbourne Bakery. Bay Street, Port Melbourne. Nice owner. Competent staff.  Just drinkable coffee. $3.50

Sandbar. Beaconsfield Parade, Middle Park. R always orders so I can't comment but he has never said anything negative about staff. Not too much added water and quite good coffee. $4.00

N Tran Bakery. Chapel Street, Prahran. Terrific food. Best and the best and crispiest baguettes you can find in Melbourne. Competent and very efficient staff. Lousy coffee. How come? We had great coffee in Vietnam. The coffee standard led to are argument between us. You and your coffee, said R. But he never suggested we buy coffee there again. Probably $3.50 but should be $1.50. 

Sugar Bowl. Pran(sic) Central. Chapel Street, Prahran. Variable, rather depending on who makes your coffee. Staff are friendly. We've had great coffee and rather ordinary coffee. With old man 25 cent discount, $3.50 and a loyalty card, 8th cup free. 

Brazil. Cecil Street, South Melbourne. Perfect coffee. By Mondays we are thinking about a cup of coffee at Brazil on food shopping day, Friday. Perfect amount of hot water added. We make ahh sounds when we have our first sip. $4.00 and the bonus is if the staff are male, they are hot. Loyalty card too, meaning occasional free coffee but R, mesmerised by the young blond staff member nearly always in blue shorts, forgets to use the card when he orders. The more mercenary me never forgets a loyalty card.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Musical Monday

 If you listen to ABC Local Radio on Sunday mornings I expect you will have heard this fun song. I think there is a bit in it for everyone, and how high can the voice of Pete Danahy rise!

I hope you foreign types can understand his fairly broad accent but his diction is good. R loves cooking shows but with one tv channel dedicated to cooking shows, enough is enough. Thankfully he has left experimental cooking to a minimum. If some of these strike a chord with you, you won't be alone. If they all strike a chord as with me, you are my soul mate.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Enough is enough

 I am going to start challenging people who do the wrong thing. I am seeing so many people not wearing masks when they should be, or with their mask lowered under their nose. If we at our ages can properly wear masks when out, then so can other people. I've had enough and if get a punch to my hooter for speaking out, so be it.

I will use the most posh clipped voice I possibly can and say to them, "You may very well reply with 'Fuck off old faggot cunt', but you need to wear a mask to protect me and you. We are. Why can't you?".

I've really had enough of deniers and people who don't follow the rules that we have suffered for over 100 days. 

In truth I will probably say, "Hey man/lady. Mask up!" Or "Wear your mask!" Whatever, I am now determined to speak up.

On the good news front, hairdressers can open here tomorrow. We'll make a beeline in the morning to town, and if that is a fail, we have a nearby backstop. 

An Albert Park Lake Amble

It was a a very nice afternoon so I took a stroll to Albert Park Lake. I have cheated a bit. I took the first two photos on another day. A very nice walkway under perhaps Ficus trees to Hallmark Apartments.

Another Victorian house saved, but look how! It is part of the next door cafe where I have been known to buy coffee. While we are used to paying $3.50 to $4 for a decent cup of coffee, it is $4.20 here. However it is very good and a well made coffee and the staff are very nice. I will give The Kettle Black a plug. I may buy coffee there twice a week and one young staff man has tried to remember my name twice (they write you name on the coffee cup) and failed. I think this day he went for Jeff. As an apology for his mistake, he offered me a large free biscuit, but as I was out for a walk and didn't want to eat a biscuit or carry it with me, I declined his kind offer. Later the cynical me thought, well it was half an hour before closing and perhaps the biscuits were to reach their use by date.

I remember when these trees were quite young and I thought they were rubber trees, but it is obvious now that they are Moreton Bay Figs. It is lovely to walk under them. They are going to grow a whole lot larger yet.

While our black swans partner for life, to the surprise of those who know about such things, DNA testing of cygnets has proved that partnered swans behave no better than humans and stray for some fun with another bird. The weed in the water is good and filters stormwater drain runoff as it enters the lake, making for much better water quality. This is a messy arrangement of swans and cygnets.

This appeal to me as a better sense of order. The water craft is for some kind of lake maintenance.  Behind the boat is Gunn island which I thought was a natural mound in what was a swamp, but the internet tells me it was built. I've seen photos of it without vegetation, I assume soon after it was constructed.

This crab apple was past its flowering prime and it is not a great photo as I didn't hang around to check. While school had ended at MacRob Girls School, a male my age taking a photo with a camera lens pointed into a school ground is not a good look.