Tuesday, August 03, 2021

How to read multiple blogs

EC has been having trouble with Blog Spot's blog reading system. I've looked at it once in the past and it seemed to show what people had posted if they used Blogger, not for anything else.

I looked at it again a couple of days ago and took forever to load and then did not show me anything. I think there is really something wrong with it.

It is rare for me to push a private company, but I use The Old Reader for feeds from all blogs, including WordPress blogs, self hosted blogs, newspaper feeds of what I am focused on such as the Grenfell Tower fire in London, via The Guardian. I also use it for when new podcasts are uploaded by the producer after I have added them. I find it quite brilliant. 

Amusing, I had forgotten about Google Reader. I used to use that. You can read more about The Old Reader and how it evolved and I was there and using it as it did evolve. It is free to use to subscribe up to 100 feeds. I went over that and while it wasn't mentioned, I decided I should pay for such a good service, a whole US$2 per month. The full Wikipedia article is here. It takes a little time to set up, but once it is, forget it until you want to add another site to it, and that is quite simple. 

There is also an app for your phone or tablet. 

You can read new blog posts and see photos within the site but at times it renders text colours differently and makes them hard to read. If you read a blogpost within The Old Reader, it does not count as read on the blog you have just read. If you want to comment, you click on the headline or the blog title and you are taken to the blog post or the blog itself. It can do fancier things, but I don't bother with them, although I do also use it to be notified of new podcasts, mostly from the ABC and they are easy to download at The Old Reader by right clicking on the link and saving. I don't know if they are seen as a podcast download. James? 

Sorry to Canadians because you are in my US folder, and EC is is in my NSW folder. Really now, I wonder why I bother with named folders. It seemed to be helpful when I set it up but it doesn't really matter now.

Here is a Wikipedia snip, "The Old Reader is a web-based news aggregator that delivers website, blog, and other Internet content to a web-based inbox. The service sprung up when Google removed social features from Google Reader;[6][7] the site supports social media sharing, including the ability to "like" content, and find friends via social media networks".

Monday, August 02, 2021

Monday Mural

 As usual I am joining in with Sami and others for Monday Mural. 

I was going to say I've walked past this mural in Degraves Street over 100 times over the last couple of decades and not noticed it but I haven't as this was new in 2020, so Street View tells me. I can assure you it is an improvement on what was there before. 

But what is this about? I don't have a clue. I seems like mishmash of ideas from a muralist who has taken too much LSD. What a weird brassier she is wearing. Neither hand is hers. The only thing I like about it is the deer that is perhaps feeding from its mother. To use a British expression, what a load of shite.

PS Somehow LSD came up recently in a conversation and Mr Goody Two Shoes aka R denied he had ever taken LSD. He has forgotten the night when a friend put a little bit of what was like narrow sticky tape on our tongues to melt away and to swallow with our saliva. 

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Winners Pt 2

Due to popular demand, well one person, here is part two of our lotto win and how we spent it.

How did we spend our lottery win of around $700? Our stick vacuum cleaner is about eight years old. At five years the battery failed and I bought a new one, for about $50. The three year old battery had begun to fail, not being able to run the cleaner on high power for more than a short time. I could see no reason to buy a new vacuum cleaner and I was inclined to replace the battery again. R thought we should buy a new stick vacuum cleaner with our winnings.

We researched different models online. The most popular is Dyson and our old model is a Dyson, so that is what we chose to buy. Taking into account inflation over eight years, we paid less for the new one than we paid for the old one.

We were so lucky that the new model's mounting bracket screw holes matched the old holes. As R correctly thought, there has been great advances in the technology in eight years. The new model is easier to use, easier to clean, easier to push around and best of all even on the normal setting, not the high power setting, it picks up sock fluff from the the carpet easily without the back and forth with old one. I can tell it works better by the amount of dust it has collected. We are so pleased with it and it proves consumerism makes you happy! Well, sometimes. And god forbid dragging out a barrel or upright vacuum cleaner, pulling the cord out, adding the extension lead and putting it together. Stick vacuum cleaners mean you can vacuum easily and often and so it no longer a big weekly job, just a small five minute job every couple of days.

Several times R proclaimed that the one of the best thing about the new vacuum cleaner is that it cost us nothing (because our lottery win paid for it). Hey R, that could have been money in my pocket. But not wanting to spoil his party mood I said nothing,. 

With the new cleaner in the car boot, we pondered where we could go for brunch and R suggested a place on a beach front where we would pay a little bit more than we would normally pay. From our $700 win, the cleaner cost us $500, so we still had $200 to spend that wouldn't cost us anything. Brunch cost just over $30, so we still have money to spend that won't cost us anything. What do you think of R's reasoning?

The new vacuum cleaner wall mounted, a five minute job that took about 45 minutes. 

Saturday, July 31, 2021


As I type this it is raining outside, 13 ml since 9am, over half an inch. In many countries people would say, it's f***ing raining again. But here in Australia we will say 'Oh well, we need the rain", even if we have floods. 

I didn't know of rain yesterday but there must have been for a rainbow to form. 

A win over England

It always good to have a win over England, be it in cricket, on the grass courts of Wimbledon or anything else. We continue to win if this nomination for the worst new building in 2009 is the best effort England can come up with, Australia beats England with a lay down misere of ugly modern buildings. 

This is a fire station in the village of Poundbury. England really needs to try harder with ugly buildings. Perhaps it has achieved it in the last decade, but I reckon the pressure is still on from Australia for the title of ugly new buildings. 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Fraught Fun Friday

 Nothing really to say about this video except leave it for the fit and young.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Winners Pt 1

In 1979 when R and I met we began buying joint Tattslotto tickets. The Tattersalls gambling company has a long history in Australia with its beginnings in the state of Tasmania. Tasmanian mass murderer Martin Bryant was an heir to some of the Tattersalls' fortune. You can do some research if you want :-P  Ok, there is some history here

Back then you chose six numbers from forty numbers in as many squares as you wanted to and laboriously marked each box containing your chosen numbers by putting an x with a pen. Over the years it became became increasingly high tech and the number to choose from in each box rose to forty five numbers. We did not change our numbers and so if we see any above 40 drawn, we know we have not won first prize. The drawing of numbers used to be quite a broadcast event on Saturday nights, always supervised by a serious and grim looking government staff member from The Department of Treasury. 

Now it all very high tech to put on your Tattslotto tickets. You simply have your plastic card scanned with your chosen numbers embedded in the card. You receive your tickets printed out for later manual or electronic checking. The price has increased a bit over the years. We now each pay $8.50 per week. 

R is very good at putting the weekly Tattslotto on and checking later to check if we have won anything. Early in the 80s he did forget once. We did not look at the drawn numbers that week. 

With the same numbers for forty plus years, how have we done? The cost of tickets has increased over the years, but we regularly win prizes of maybe $10 and presumably many do to keep their interest. $10 doesn't cover the cost of next week's tickets, but as we say, it is better than nothing. In the 80s we won a single prize of about $1500. In the 90s about $1000. In the 20teens when we returned from South Africa, we found we had won about $1000. Last Saturday we won a little less than $800. Wow, we are rich. It is almost all spent already on the day of the end of our lockdown and the shops reopened and we indulged in retail therapy. This is covering two things and becoming rather too long. See part 2 to find out how we spent the money and R's mysterious logic about how what we bought cost us nothing. 

In the meantime you may enjoy seeing one of our old Tattslotto draw barrels. I remember one that I think worked on suction.


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Buy Australian

Good luck with that if you want a new car.  Car manufacturing is highly automated and so labour costs should not be too high, yet it seems it is not a viable business in Australia. Australian car manufacturing has completely closed down. 

Our supermarkets promote their Australian grown vegetables, fish, fruit and meat. This is mostly a good thing. We generally do it better, cleaner and greener than other countries and there is very little that can't be grown here, although we seem to import many tonnes of canned tomatoes from Italy, along with oranges grown in California whereas our orange harvests are often just dumped to rot.

To steal from Hecla, buy Australian. It's good. 

With thanks to our Aussie friend Wombat in northern Japan, buy Australian is not new.

The sign sounds racist but not really. That's not to say Australia wasn't terribly racist then. The "Australian Made Preference League Exhibition Touring Train" visited all corners of New South Wales. Buy Australian, Preference Australian made. 

The steam engine towed twenty carriages each with a letter on on them making up Buy Australian, the last two carriages being sleeper cars for staff. 

There was a very posh dining car attached to the train and local dignitaries wherever the train stopped were invited onboard for dinner before or after grand speeches. 

Onboard generators powered the internal electrics and sweeping searchlight type fittings to attract night time attention. 

Most days a lecturer left the train and visited local schools to impress upon students the importance of buying Australian. 

There were some fabulously lavish and beautiful art work advertising on the train., some of which advertised Nestle products? Yes, Australian made but not where the profits ended up. Get your Jusfrute made with fruit from Gosford, New South Wales.

Ultimately it could be judged as a propaganda train. So what happened to the Buy Australian train? The Great Depression of the late 1920s/30s killed  it. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Almost set free

Melbourne's lock down moves to lock down light at midnight. We have to remain masked indoors and out unless you are at home, have an exemption or are eating, drinking or smoking. The five kilometre travel limit for only five reasons will be lifted. Pretty well all businesses can reopen but still with some heavy restrictions. Office buildings can have 25 percent of workers return. 

There has been about a dozen new infections in Melbourne over each of the last three days, all in isolation for their whole infectious period. 

However, we won't be able to visit people in their homes. It is over four weeks since we have seen Mother and thought we would be able to do so this coming Sunday.

Technically if she waited at the bottom of ABI Brother's driveway and we picked her up in the car, we could take her out for lunch and shopping. But that goes against the spirit of the new rules, so we won't. 

I said to R we will go for a nice long drive in our new car on Sunday, it yet to travel over the speed of 60 km/h. He replied screw that. We have nothing on the calendar for Thursday. We will go out that day.

Not so bad for my state, but what about New South Wales, specifically Sydney? What a disaster with days and days of over 100 new infections. While Sydney does lockdowns less severely, can someone with Sydney knowledge really explain to me why the infection rate is so bad there?

Monday, July 26, 2021

Monday Mural

Quite a number of people participate in Monday Mural, including Sami in Perth, WA. 

It was late summer when I caught a train to Hawthorn and saw this mural as I waited at the tram stop outside the station. I am not sure why later I was where I was in Riversdale Road when I came across this second mural. I expect there are big stories behind both.

I couldn't do much about the shadowing. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Birds in the 'hood

I was delighted to come across these lorikeets in a South Yarra side street as I took my lockdown exercise walk. This Saturday I was there at the same time and they weren't being fed. I think it is ok to feed native animals as long as it is irregular and they don't become dependant. However, once they know you are a possible food source, they will hang around, as was evident when I walked the same street today and I could hear lorikeets squawking away. That's ok. It passes the time for them. They are very noisy but ever so pretty. At times they fly past the Highrise, but so fast you never really see them, only hear them.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The return of 2020

I hope this excellent effort by ABC Radio broadcaster Sammy J is viewable in all countries. There is a couple of references to explain. 

Our Prime Minister Morrison said I think late last year that it wasn't a race to get everyone vaccinated. Now with COVID outbreaks in four of our states, the worst in Sydney, he has apologised for saying that and pretty well admitted drug companies should have been lobbied harder for Australia to receive more doses. The Gladys (Berejiklian, Premier of New South Wales) reference is about her being too slow to lock Sydney down, which is has seen over 100 new infections on some days last week.

Friday, July 23, 2021

A note to bro

Dear Tradie Brother,

in spite of you being very tipsy (drunk) thanks for your call. That you are helping someone to learn to walk again is a great thing and you have clearly made great progress with him. I am not sure about your wisdom of when being suspended from work because of our lockdown and that you are doing it voluntarily is wise, that is unofficially, but I admire you for the effort.

You do need to call your ex wife, our Ex Sis in Law. She is having a rough time with wild and untrue allegations being cast at her at work by one person who she has gone out of her way to help and now with lockdown, she can't take her longed for holiday in Queensland. She spoke to our mother a few days ago and was in tears. I had an online chat with her Wednesday and R did Monday night and I hope we gave her some comfort. You do the same.

Ah, you wanted a printed timetable for a train. Good luck with that. Use Google, or an public transport app. C'mon, if you can post videos using your phone to Facebook, you can do anything on your phone. As I said to you, you will be disadvantaged if you don't get up to speed with the internet. It is laziness on your part. You need to learn about apps etc. Timetable printed out for the Stony Point line enclosed.

Nevertheless your train trip sounded great, from Baxter to Stony Point, about 25 minutes each way I guess. My memory is now hazy but I think our late friend David drove us there once. Let me have a look on Street View... I can't recognise it now. There was a building to the left and outside there was a lone piper playing a mournful tune. I suspect he is the same piper who I once saw playing outside The Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron in St Kilda. 

I think your trip was on a VLine Sprinter train car. I don't think I have have travelled on one and I think they are powered diesel electric trains with each carriage having its own motors. Diesel electric means diesel engines power electric generators to run electric motors to propel the train. I really should check this about Sprinters, so don't take me at my word.

I remember once at Frankston Market when your ex wife had her caravan selling pofferjes? There was a train engine with the name (Sir) Harold Clapp parked near by, named after the early 1900s train engineer, and the locomotive pulled a couple of carriages from Frankston to Stony Point. I don't know if it is the same engine, but at the end of Wiki is mention of the first diesel electric train with his name.

About ten minutes walk from us in Domain Road near Punt Road is the home where he lived. It has blue plaque outside telling of his achievements.

Yeah, so we haven't travelled on the train to Stony Point but we will. We must do the historic Mornington train too. Maybe you would like to join us. Let's make it a family event with your daughters, partners and their children.

Cheers Bro. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Friday Frivolity

Oh those Spanish! Doesn't this look like a fun wedding to attend and how good does everyone look. The woman in polka dots is mesmerising. Sorry Grace, but here we go again.

Later: No it was only Thursday when this was published. I blame Lock Down Lunacy. 

Yesterday morning I watched a YouTube video of the train trip from Lisbon to Porto, in Portugal. By the look of the train, it was the same model high speed tilt train we caught for the same journey a few years ago. The tilt was unnoticeable and for various reasons it rarely reached its capable speed and ended up being quite late. It's nice to look back at some blog posts. http://highriser.blogspot.com/2017/05/europe-17-day-6.html

We loved Portugal and Spain. While my favourite city in the world is possibly Vienna, to be practical, where best to live in the world is a different matter. Spain is rather tempting, but I would go for Portugal. It's just an easier place to be. 

Then the rabbit hole of YouTube opened up and somehow I was looking at videos of  Portuguese soccer star Ronaldo. Gosh he is is nice looking and as Madonna almost sang, He has style, he has grace, he indeed gives very good face. He seems so tolerant of his fans as well as being kind to children.

Love him, well I did until I saw a photo of the disgusting act of being down on his knee on the soccer field and urinating. How long is a soccer half? Players' bladders can't hold out for 45 minutes? Or two hours? Further checking indicates maybe he did not and his bits just fell out of his shorts but he was caught urinating in a street in St Tropez. 

Still, if he proposed marriage to me and wanted me to have his babies..... 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A train to the country

We have two major train stations in Melbourne, Flinders Street Station for suburban services and where some if not all country Gippsland area trains stop before going on to Spencer Street Station.

The other is Southern Cross Station or as I prefer, Spencer Street Station. Along with dealing with most suburban trains, its primary role is the departure and arrival point for regional trains and bus coach services. There can be a lot of walking at Spencer Street Station, but for those who struggle with long walks, Travellers' Aid will come to the rescue with a pushed wheel chair.  I remember being thoroughly confused in Lisbon by a station terminus that had two name. Best we revert to Spencer Street Station in my opinion.

Next to the station is the old Victorian Railways headquarters, where all of our state's trains were managed from. It is a very fine building, now a combination of a hotel and expensive private apartments. Here a few photos.

Does the sign over the doorway tell you this is serious place. Don't expect laughter or humour should you enter.

It isn't common in Melbourne to have below ground level storeys. I expect this iron work is original.

Another entrance.

And yet another. It's a wonderful and massive building. You can see a photo of its minor southern face at this Grand Hotel link. It's eastern fa├žade in Spencer Street is much longer.

On the other side of Spencer Street is this quite nice Best Western hotel.

Down on the corner of Flinders Street is the dilapidated Sir Charles Hotham Hotel. It too is a fine building and from memory, its proposed demolition was prevented and it will be restored for modern usage of some kind.


Tuesday, July 20, 2021


I was going to write about the appalling Katie Hopkins. but what is there to say really. The reason for her  getting into the country is very wrong. You could hardly say she is subtle and neither is my mother.

Mother refers to her GP doctor as Doctor Dumbo. Her heart specialist is Doctor No Knickers as he made her take off her underwear for an entering via the groin procedure. 

She found a doctor's prescription she did not recognise and was not taking and dispatched ABI Brother to the local pharmacy. The chemist called the doctor who said he changed the heart medication because Mother insisted she was allergic to it. Mother is a great taker of drugs but there is always one she is allergic to that is responsible for her bad health and nothing to do with her being 87 years old with normal  illnesses of the elderly.

Australia deported this person who should have never been let in.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Monday Mural

Joining in with Sami and others for Monday Mural.

We are now in COVID lockdown number five. Our various lockdowns merge from nightmares to bad dreams.

We seem never quite free but I suppose we were at some times within the last 12 months as I was on the Upfield train and took this photo of a mural from the window of my passing train at Anstey Station. I wonder what the mural is about? There is quite a bit to see in the photo really, but that is coincidental. I just took a quick snap from the train.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

You Tubers Part 2

I said we would get wet and messy in part two.

Have you ever used your shoe clad foot to move away some leaves or rubbish to allow water to flow into a drain? I have and it is better than sex quite satisfying.

My interest in drains began with this bloke who uses the moniker Post 10. While he has other interests his primary one is an interest in clearing flooded road drains and road drain culverts. I understand how he loves to clear blockages and let the water flow from a flooded road in just one minute. He is an interesting guy and I think he may live in New Hampshire. From Post 10 I've also learnt about beavers and them damming water that they hate to flow.

Hi Maribeth, who lives in the lovely New Hampshire too. 


As Drain Addict says to his little toys in his company, Ratty, Magpie and now Crocodile; Blocked Drain! Ollie is the ultimate drain cleaner. Do not trust the noises you hear. He inserts magpie noises as he strides to the drain cleaning point with his his orange gloved arms swinging in front of him. If he gets splashed by drain contents or something else amusing happens, listen for the laughing kookaburra noises. I say drains but they are mostly blocked sewerage pipes. I was initially horrified at what flowed out in a flood from a blocked sewer, but you get used to seeing it. I never realised corn is so indigestible. Drain Addict is Sydney based.


That lead me to an interest in drain clearing and the Korean Blocked Drain cleaners are ok and the videos are subtitled There seems to be so many people employed to attend to clear drains at just one home or business, whereas Ollie above mostly does it on his own. 


Drain clearing is not pretty. We are talking sewerage, wipes, tampons, pads, fats and oils. They could be all combined in one solidified almost unbreakable mass, blocked by tree roots in drains with the obstructions blasted away by high pressure water jetting. Fascinating. 

Now we travel to England, Merseyside. That would be the greater Liverpool area, yes? We've were there a couple of years ago. Mersey Rods has become better and better with its video productions. While the boss does most of the filming, his secretary edits the footage for YouTube. Though he is an older person, there is something quite attractive about him and he has a younger bloke with him at times too.


Let's get away from all this sh*t, pun intended, and look at a nice lad who cleans pools and spas. How can one resist a good looking English pool cleaning lad who's slogan is 'Holla your boy for your pool work'. I am amazed there are so many swimming pools in cold old England* to the point that his is a viable business but you do need to add in spa cleaning...err, jacuzzies?


Holla your boy for your pool work. Yes please! Frequently and often.

As I learn from your blogs, I've learnt so much about such diverse things from following YouTubers. The above are my focus now but I will get bored with them all and move on. You must think I am terribly shallow old gay man, and you are right, so we will conclude with the smoking hot Barron and his partner Elsa Rae who have travelled America in their tiny Scamp caravan/trailer with their dog Kamp and have now bought land. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaXSPxQxctfY_7smdTVkK6w

Did I say conclude? GTOger seems to have stopped posting.


It is an American business having private but open car parking off the street in a popular area and it contracts a company to tow away cars illegally parked in the 24 hour a day business car park. Some of the cctv of car owners returning to where their towed away parked vehicles were are hilarious. For someone who makes such an effort to always park legally, it's a real case of schadenfreude for me. This video is a classic of what you will see. Stupid stupid people. Skip forward to three minutes to see the real action.

*Except when we have visited there and it always hot.

PS I am breathless. I can't remember putting such effort into one post for a long time. It's been proof read, spelling, grammar and writing style edited and link checked three times, but I just know there will be an error or ten. Worse, it will not be of interest to many. Never mind. Publish and be damned.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

No post Friday! Why?

It was total coincidence that we had arranged to meet our hairdresser friend at a St Kilda pub on the Thursday eve as we in Victoria were going into COVID lockdown number five at midnight. As I and many feared, the virus came in from New South Wales via a triumvirate of furniture removalist who were only supposed to be moving freight, not being unmasked and taking furniture into an apartment block. We had a drink upstairs in the very smart bar before moving to the basement for dinner and the bingo. We were a little familiar with the downstairs but it is quite different to our last visit, maybe 15 years ago.

Strangely the crowd were mostly younger straight people, but then it is in St Kilda and lines are often very blurred. Never try and put St Kilda locals into a box. We were assuredly the oldest trio there.

Isis Avis Loren wasn't just there to call bingo. She was there to entertain too. 

Look at those (padded) hips. She is quite tall and slim but in spite of my searching I can't find out what he looks like as a bloke. Maybe she doesn't do bloke.

Of course the bingo numbers were tailed with a lot of wonderful gay vulgarity. The DJ was part of the show with comments every so often and appropriate intervening music bites. They are dancing to Mambo No. 5. It was terrific.

Going out at night is such an effort but invariably we are pleased when we make the effort. We didn't do well with bingo. Our concentration wavered. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The new motor

Out with the old and try not to be sentimental. The old car at about 17 months old is a bit hard to be sentimental about but I did feel a slight pang the last time we took it for shopping Friday past and again on Tuesday when we exited our garage to take it to the dealer and pick up our new car. We never even gave it a sex or name. Perhaps it should have been Big Boy. What's the word, phewnomic or something like that? I remember its registration by a phoonomic. One Queen Letitia, Six Virgin Marys. 

The new number plate begins with BOP. so I thought we might call it Boppa or Boppie, but R came up with a much better name. Its colour is Pearl White, so we will call it Pearl. How gay is that! If you are in Victoria and listen to the ABC Radio's Coodabeens, you might be familiar with Pearl from The Peninsula. 

The new car is good. R really wanted a white car this time and we really like the exterior appearance. It feels nippy and has a better turning circle. We love the proximity locking and unlocking, the electric tail gate, the personalised electric seat adjustment, the auto folding in exterior mirrors, the automatic day time running lights. I said to R the seats and steering wheel will take so long to heat up, you will already be warmed by the car heating. I was wrong. The seat and steering wheel heating works fast and while it is not something I ever wanted, it is great and you soon feel very cozy. It's a pity the steering wheel is not a cooled for summer.

We are still to discover if the boot (trunk) is wide enough to fit in our shopping trolley or Mother's walker. We will know by Friday and Sunday respectively. 

Naturally for a smaller car, if feels smaller inside and doesn't have quite as many places to put things. One annoyance already, although it could be operator error, is that the muted radio comes back on when we next use the car. I will decide what noise comes into my car. The A clap for you if you get that feeble Aussie humour.

Two significant difference are all the tech works much faster than it did with the old car and it has so many more safety features. The screen shows you five different camera views at low speed if you feel the need. Even at speed you can watch the road in front of you on the screen. I made R turn that off straight away when I saw the road in front.

There was a time when you bought a new car all you had to set was the car radio by pulling out the push buttons when tuned to your favourite AM stations and then pushing the button in.

Enough talk. Here is the newie. Will it make me look young, modern and hip? Will anyone respect me more in the morning? Probably not on all counts.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Queer Things

My state of Victoria has learnt a lesson. When COVID enters your state, you lock down hard and fast, contact trace hard and the pain is pretty well gone within two weeks. By lockdown number four, we knew how to do it and we did do it.

Our Glad in the State of New South Wales learnt nothing from that and waited far too long to shut the state down, and even when she did, still left shops open. The shops are open, but stay at home and you can't go to them, haha. People often did not stay at home and went to shops, and the viral infections became bigger and bigger. So many people have remarked to me about her folly of a soft lock down. Is Gladys beholden to big business? Her political party? Both? It's all about the economy, it seems. Not quite let the virus rip and businesses survive, but pretty close. Let the virus rip and there will be no business aside from hospitals and funeral parlours. 

Then Prime Minister Morrison, of the same political party as Our Glad, gives financial support to Sydney with such largess compared to what he was dragged to kicking and screaming for Victoria during our last lockdown. For Sydney payments to those affected were raised as were for those put off work and the means test eliminated. 

Now the gall of Melbourne based Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg tipping out on his own state. Frydenberg had a scare at the last election. I hope he is rolled at the next election.

I can only conclude Sydney based Prime Minister Morrison and even his Melbourne based Treasurer Frydenberg have no time for or interest in Melbourne and our state Victoria.  Victoria is the enemy!

Comments are always welcome but don't feel the need for this post.  I just want this on the record.


When you have been blogging for a very long time, you have probably covered lots of things and I guess I have. Comments still go up on very old posts or an email arrives asking me for some detail. I would miss comments on old posts without comment notification and the moderation of older posts.

Back in 2012 I covered Melbourne's different train types, not in detail but just the types that would be in service that would be in  someone of my age's memory. 

I received an email about this photo of an old train in Port Melbourne with a request to use it for a Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society photographic exhibition. It is not my photo but it is wide circulation and the photographer's name has been lost in spite of my checking. It could be by the late Weston Langford and I will check at the archive of his wonderful public transport photos online. 

Port Melbourne is one of our oldest areas and very interesting. Maybe that historical society is an organisation I might join, or maybe not.

The post is here

With my positive reply to the email I asked a few questions of the knowledgeable person. The person who sent the email moved to Port Melbourne in the early 1980s. She replied but these are my words.

Well, I was not the first person who asked why Bridge Street in Port Melbourne is called Bridge Street when there isn't a bridge and it didn't lead to one. Shown on plans of the 1800s was a footbridge over Port Melbourne Lagoon, a swamp. An embankment wall was built and then not much later, the swamp was drained and filled in. The need for the bridge had gone but the pre-emptive street name remained.

No, in the early 1980s trains did not go on to Station Pier from Port Melbourne Station.

Yes, many locals were upset at the demolition of the Centenary Bridge

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Failed Plans

I had retirement plans. I was going to become involved with the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society, now know as AQuA, https://queerarchives.org.au/ I was going to play golf and take long beach walks. I was going to join adult education places and find a camera course. I joined one and and it wasn't for me. I looked at another, and it wasn't for me. I joined a local historical society and perhaps is was my multiple identities causing confusion, but that did not work for me either.

I visited our inner suburb tram museum with the intention of becoming involved, but I realised it was not for me to volunteer there.

I tried and as Ian said after my retirement when I mentioned my lack of involvement in community, and one day drifting to another, that is what I was afraid of.

Yet I don't care. I am quite happy in my own little world, not full of friends but plenty of family and plenty of people online who educate, amuse, challenge and interest me.

R is involved in the community. For about four hours a week he drives old and or infirm people in a supplied car to various places, medical, social and shopping. It is not an easy job because of the way the schedules work and if one person is a ditherer and always late, he may be late for the next pick up and the messenger will be shot.

R has taken a number of well known people out and about. Cheaper than Uber at $6 per ride. He often has amusing anecdotes to tell me from his volunteer work and it is not unusual to run in to one of his fellow volunteers or clients when we are out about. 

The latest is that he picked up Daisy to take her to an appointment. That's an appropriate name for an old Aussie woman yes? No. Daisy entered Australia from Greece as an immigrant and Dimetria? was 'misheard' by the immigration officer as Daisy. Daisy was entered on Dimetria's official papers and so Daisy she became.

That was Australia in the 1960s.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Monday Musings

What old person would call her son as the commercial tv news started at 6pm with the first story being an outbreak of 77 new cases of COVID in Sydney? My mother of course. She wouldn't waste time watching tv news when she can totter around and think about herself and her 'woe is me' situation.

A former neighbour of Mothers left a phone message saying  she would visit Mother Sunday at 1pm. ABI Brother confirmed with her husband. Mother ordered ABI Brother to get in sandwiches and cake. Following Mother's orders, ABI Brother put out a second chair at the front of his house for Mother and her former neighbour to smoke. The former neighbour was a no show. I don't know but I would guess it was a mix up and an abject apology will follow from the former neighbour.

Our afternoon tea with Jo and Sister was great. They loved seeing the musical Frozen. After they left this morning to see Frozen, we took the car for its final wash. R doesn't want to take a dirty car to trade in. We then went to the supermarket and R shopped while I vacuumed the car with the sticky beak nozzle of our stick vacuum cleaner. 

I forced Jo to give me a hug for her birthday when she arrived in the morning. She gave R a heartfelt hug when she left late afternoon but not me, nevertheless she did talk to me. She and Sister argued about when they saw the movie Pricilla. Sister said a few weeks ago, but apparently it was longer than a few weeks ago and Jo argued the time line. I advised Jo to not be pedantic in conversations when details don't really matter. But when I was fourteen I am quite sure I argued with my mother. I know I did.

Jo was very pleased with what we gave her for her birthday. She was wearing a great dress from Dangerfield, which is a trendy alternative shop and her earrings were playing cards dangling from her ears. She was wearing interesting makeup, kind of red eye shadow and light mascara and eyeliner. 

Jo has turned out to be a fine young teenager. She can play a flute, play a guitar and is tinkering with piano chords. She will be on stage twice in August, once in a performance of Suessland. and then in a very professional production of Mary Poppins. She can sing, dance and act.

She is also a Sea Scout and so can row a boat and was or is playing basketball.

She is doing very well academically at school by her last report, but with her organisation and time management poor. Aunty Andrew is not surprised at all.

Jo's social skills could do with some improvement, but are mine so good? Jo needs to tone down her cleverness and adjust the way she speaks to people, depending on what social level they are on. I so admire Jo, but do I like her...

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sunday Selections

Joining in with Elephant's Child, River and others for Sunday Selections. These are mostly my photos and a few others have taken.

I can't remember where I came across this painting but I saved it just because I like it. I guess it is Japanese.

The lovely Mama Seka with a gaggle of gays entourage. This statement at the ABC News website is simply not true. "Mama Seka, operator of Melbourne's first gay establishment the Key Club, pictured with Michael Jarmyn and Paul Mathews from The Laird which opened as a 'men's bar' in the 1980s." It was not the first gay bar in Melbourne.

Here's one for Perth Daily Photo's Grace and the other Perth blogger I follow, Sami. The tram is  at Barrack Street Jetty, I guess in the 1950s. I doubt the location is recognisable now.

I pondered aloud to R what Princess Dianna would look like at sixty, a birthday she would have recently celebrated had she lived. Sure enough, someone had a try and it is close to believable.

Just a photo of some happy and cheerful old duck wearing a nice hat, twin set and pearls. She is getting on and the day will come when republicans and royalists alike will be shattered. She still drives, recently driving herself clad with her driving head scarf to Frogmore Cottage to see Prince Harry. I wonder if she muttered to herself when caught in London traffic, I should have caught The Tube.

It was very wet in Gippsland area of Victoria a few weeks ago, floods even. Spiders know what to do in such weather. They make webs, well up off the ground. The next time you walk into a spider web, be thankful it wasn't one of these. I wish I could credit these astonishing photos of astonishing things creatures do.

Those damn gladdies again blocking my view.

Well, it is nice to record history but if the house was forty metres west of here, why not put the plaque there? Next time I am in the area, I might just step out forty metres to see where the house was.

I've seen everything now. Tap and pay for a kids car ride.

Care for a little gin?

While we see lots of bird life at home, it is years since I have seen a case moth, let alone the pupa out of the case. It was in the most unlikely place, the Prahran Square metal drinking fountain. 

Speaking of Prahran Square, this display was briefly in place for about a week. I believe it came alive at night with amazing lighting.

At Footscray Station is a 'comfort station' for dogs. There's drinking water, a green mat to deposit their business, a bin with bags to dispose of their business and it is secure so they won't be harassed by other dogs.

A phalanx of phallicism taken from Southbank.

It was still Autumn and the elm trees were beginning the process of dropping their leaves.

Home view.

Not dress to impress. Police uniforms take into account looking authoritative when they are designed. Victoria Police changed theirs from dark blue to black.

Her name is not Miriam Margolyes.

Today, Sunday is Jo's 14th birthday. Sister is taking her to see the matinee performance of the musical Frozen, delayed for many months by you know what. Sister will leave her car here and return for afternoon tea before they head home. Sister gave us a birthday gift list. We bought Jo a string of LED lights, I guess for her bedroom and a stylus for whatever device she uses. The LED lights were available at the Kmart department store. I went to the one in Richmond as there is none other nearby. The shelves were bare of many things, including the lights. 

On Tuesday R went for lunch to Warrandyte with a former workmate and stopped off at a large Kmart on the way and bought the lights. But before that when we were checking on our phones, the website was saying there was one in the city, in Bourke Street. Nah, there isn't one in the city. When we visited the city for haircuts, we went to investigate the address and to our astonishment, the Target department store had changed to being a Kmart. I headed straight for sock rack to see if the socks I buy were still stocked, and they aren't. At $24 for 3 pair, they were expensive but they were really good. Damn! And I don't even remember the brand. 

R spotted a couple of tee shirts he liked and tried them on the fitting room. I took this photo in an adjacent fitting room. I think one hook should be named, 'Not until I lose weight'.