Saturday, December 05, 2020

David Greybeard

This non permanent sculpture is by artist Lisa Roet in association with the wild life conservation organisation the Jane Goodall Institute Global. David Greybeard was named by Dr Goodall when she first began to study gorillas chimpanzees in Tanzania. 

The sculpture is mounted outside the concert hall, Hamer Hall on the banks of the Yarra River. I came up behind it as you can see. It moves a little in the wind. Pretty good isn't it.

After Lockdown

The first Tuesday in November is Melbourne Cup Day, a horse race and a public holiday for greater Melbourne. It is normally attended by perhaps 100,000 people or maybe more but no public spectators this year. The following Thursday is Oaks Day at the races also known as Ladies Day. There are prescribed ways women should dress for each racing day during our Spring Racing Carnival. Many follow the unwritten rules. Some don't. I think Ladies Day is the day for women to wear bright colours. 

On Ladies Day we caught up with my former workmate for dinner at a nearby restaurant. While these ladies couldn't attend the racing event, that was not going to stop them dressing up to celebrate the day and having a good time. From our table they sounded like they were great fun and they welcomed me to take a snap. 

R and I rounded off our meal with an affogato. The strong coffee is poured over the ice cream, followed by the whiskey (optional but of course we took the option) and while waiting for it to 'infuse' we nibbled on the loose coffee beans. A delicious end to a nice meal out.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Friday Funny: Rolling a Reliant Robin

It is explained in this 7 minute video why people ever bought these 'cars' at all. I couldn't help but laugh out loud as I watched the video. There are many cameos by people helping to right the car, but none are known to me.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

No more Fucking

Release your talons from your pearls my dears. I am talking about the Austrian village called Fucking. 

Locals without knowledge of the English language did not know the name of their village was a profane word in English until American occupying forces post WWII discovered the village and started taking  photos of each other posing under the town name sign. More recently village name signs were being stolen until made theft proof and CCTV was installed to stop tourists at night time filming themselves doing what you may guess in front of the town signs. 

I suspect the tourism dollars that flow into the local area might be reduced but the locals have had enough and are changing the spelling of their village to Fugging, although it will still be pronounced the same, however that is in their Austrian dialect

So in case you were worried that there was a bonk ban, you can now rest easily.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Doctor Waiting

I was waiting for R who was at his doctor's surgery in South Melbourne. I took a wander and more photos later will come later.

What is this building then? 

It's named Finn Barr and was built in 1885 for a (very successful!) doctor and designed by architect Frederick de Garis. I am not familiar with him at all. It is terribly impressive for a once private house. 

I believe it has been divided in two, with the right hand side being a private residence and the left hand side a commercial premise.

Was it that long ago when I took the photo? The tree had no leaves and we are now a month away from summer. Of course someone had taken a much better photo than I did. 

I skulked down the lane at the side. There is a strange different colour under the windows. The fiddly bits under the window sill don't look original to me.

I wonder what these clips were for?

That is one very large bottom step but to have shallower steps, the steps would intrude too far into the lane and be a hazard to cars.

This fallen bollard protected the rear corner of the building...quite successfully it seems. 

Two original looking entrances? Two entrances to one house? That doesn't make much sense.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Hospital Humour

Remember my arm injury from when we installed laundry shelves? While I was in hospital it was still scabbed over, although not now. One nurse asked what happened? I replied, one of your co-workers was very careless when inserting a canula. It was a two second moment of, 'oh f***' before he realised it was an old wound. He grinned widely. My job was done.

My youngish cardiologist who has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and with his trainee present explained in great detail about my heart which went over the top of my other important organ, my brain. When he ran out of breath I replied, "So you are saying both the top half of my heart is screwed and the bottom half is screwed too". They laughed and he said, not at all. My job was done.

A nurse was speaking to a fellow patient. "Oh, your blood pressure has gone right down!" Maybe ten seconds later she said, "There you go. It is up again. There is nothing like telling a patient that their blood pressure is low to get it up again". Nurse's job was done.

If I was asked by nurses, I told them I had partner and none batted an eyelid when R turned up to visit me and were all friendly towards R. Only one made assumptions a trainee Kiwi Maori nurse who knew I lived a couple of kilometres from the hospital. He way down the line of command also checked that someone would accompany me home. I assured him my partner would. He replied, it could be a nice walk home through the park for you and your wife. While I didn't see his face, I know he saw R come to collect me and take me home. Lesson learnt perhaps? My job was done.

Friends Falling Out

Cast your minds back to almost pre COVID when the friendship between us and our Indian Fijian friend broke down. Just to remind you, we were were friends with his late partner for a long time and they were both a huge part of our social life. We knew the IF friend for over twenty years too.

We had a pub dinner with him and then played the gambling machines for a short time and we parted on good terms. We invited him by text for another dinner with a couple of other people not long after and he declined with a very formally worded text reply. A few days later R called him and he didn't answer. R left a nice enough message for him and he never called back. R left another message for him, still no return call. Ok, fine. He doesn't want to know us anymore.

A couple of days later I sent him a text saying while I didn't care about myself, I was very unhappy with him showing such disrespect to R. We've heard nothing from him since until...

Another friend sent out a joke email to us and others included the above said. R should know better but when he replied to the joke email, it went to everyone rather than just the person who sent it. "Love it P. Very funny". 

Then an email arrived from guess who. "How are you R?"

Against my advice R replied, "Fine thanks. How are you?"

A reply followed. "so guys what have I done to you guys?", turning the whole matter back on us and as if we had rejected him.

I was in hospital at the time I watched my blood pressure and heart monitor go off the scale as I read the reply.

He never unfriended us on FB and mostly just reposted moody things like When the world is against you, rise above it, and When everyone lets you down, it is not your fault.

Unless I receive some kind of acknowledgement of what he did, even if short of an actual apology I will not have anything to do with him. Over so many years he has treated us badly in many ways. I was his apologist. "It is just him. He is moody. Don't worry. Don't take offence. Don't take it personally", I said to R so many times.

Of course being the bitter old queen I am, I look for motives, and while I can't find one for the original dumping, I note he has a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks and he would normally have us and a number of common friends  at his place to celebrate. I suspect he was going to work up to invite us. Our absence will be noted and we have friends and acquaintances in common who know us well enough and if he says we just dumped him cold, he won't be believed. Awkward for him.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Bugs on the balcony

The most common bug to sit on our balcony is a ladybird beetle but I haven't seen one for a while. In the last month or so we've had three bugs visiting, well ok, one is moth, but it does look bug like. While my camera does auto macro and no doubt could do better with manual settings, why would I bother when my phone camera can do so well?

Sorry little moth, but you are not attractive. May you have lived your average lifespan, reproduced and had a good time along the way. 

I suppose there is a bug identifying app, but just many apps can you have on your phone? 

I nearly sat on this one. Isn't its appearance interesting. Is it familiar to anyone?

Sunday, November 29, 2020


Ten years ago I posted about the English car known as the Reliant Robin. Sadly the video has been taken down but it showed tv show presenter Jeremy Clarkson putting the three wheeler Reliant Robin through its paces, or not actually as it constantly tipped over.

There was another three wheeled car in England, for disabled people. Just in case you did not know the driver was disabled, they all looked the same and were all the same turquoise colour. They were kind of cute in a ghastly kind of way. I haven't yet listened to the BBC Witness Podcast about the cars, but I know they were quite awful, dangerous and very very stigmatising. 

Eventually they were withdrawn and replaced with subsidies to adapt normal cars for those with a disability. 

Photo from BBC World Service Witness programme.