Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Away

We are going away for a a few days break at the seaside. The weather doesn't look too great, but never mind. I will deal with this sheet fail when I return.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Monday Mural

 This 'dealer' dog amused me. The artist's name is ovrsze.

Death Cleaning

I used to keep my will in the filing cabinet under the folder Misc, for miscellaneous. One day R needed my passport number to book a holiday and later yelled at me for having my passport also filed under Misc. I knew where they were.

Nevertheless I made a new file in the filing cabinet called........I forget. Maybe, Personal. That is where my will and passport now reside.

I will add to the file with an envelope addressed to Fire Fighting Nephew and inside the envelope will be the wedding ring given by my father to my step mother. This is my plan and here is an edited version of what will be in the letter with the ring. I know it needs a little polish but do you think this is a good thing or am I being a drama queen or melodramatic?

Dear B,

As for you no doubt, it wasn't easy for me when my parents separated when I was a teenager. I had such feelings of insecurity. My parents had been together for about sixteen years when they separated.

Did my father and mother ever love each other? I don't know but they were a gorgeous and graceful couple on a ballroom dance floor, before my Dad went outside to drink beer with mates and Mum was left alone inside the dance hall alone and the town girl in the latest Melbourne fashions did not fit in with the local country stout girdled ladies. Always faults on both sides.

Dad went on to meet T number two. I did not know what passionate and true love was until Dad met my step mother. Wow, this is what real love is about!!!

They married and exchanged rings. I became a bit teary when T gave me her and Dad's wedding ring this year of 2021. In the months since I have puzzled over what to do with the ring, that is who to leave it to or hand it on to.

Clarity of thought came to me tonight. One day B, you will be the senior member of the family.

Pass on the story of the ring and what true passionate love really is that I saw between Dad and T, at least maybe to your daughter J.

B.

PS. You've done well in life. You've travelled the world, lived and worked in Glasgow and have now settled to a stable family life with your own home and very good employment, a lovely wife and daughter.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Sunday Selections

I'm joining in with Elephant's Child (over 80 comments on her last Sunday post) and River for Sunday Selections and there is a red autumn theme this Sunday.

On the edge of Fawkner Park.


Victoria (army) Barracks. Wasn't it once a punishment in the army to put a miscreant on guard duty? Now the Federal Police guard the Barracks. The creeper was removed a couple of years ago when windows were repaired and repainted but it didn't take long for it to grow back.




An apartment building nearby with a very and large front garden.


Red in South Yarra, the area of so many of my ISO Walks during our 2020 lockdown.


An expensive apartment building across the road.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Busy

I was a bit scared to tell R, but Sister asked if she and Jo could stay this Saturday night. R mumbled something but was ok with it. Last weekend Nephew imposed and this weekend Sister imposes. You can't say no to family, except for your own mother who I have told she can't stay here. She is hard work and has little respect for our home. She breaks things and adjusts our things to her way of thinking. R can almost deal with good guests in our home, but not difficult ones. I don't too much like the phrase 'go with the flow' but is kind of what I do.

Sister and Bone Doctor are kayaking or  canoeing on the Yarra River Saturday night. We will 'look after' the now very self sufficient Jo and then Bone Doctor will return to The Bellarine with canoes or whatever and Sister and Jo will stay here and go to see Mother on Sunday for Mother's Day. 

Mother has been in hospital for a week or so. It seems she has finally accepted some happy pills and is very chirpy. We will also see Mother on Mother's Day. There is a mass in her thyroid gland that one of the doctors is very concerned about. A biopsy has now been done but we don't know the result yet. 

I may get something together for a Sunday post, or maybe not.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Funny Friday, or just a stupid politician

City of Yarra covers the inner eastern area of Melbourne. It actually has a socialist as a local council member, quell horreur. 

Gas is used for cooking and heating in Victoria. Gas fired central heating is dusty and while effective enough, I find it makes me sleepy. It no longer the cheap energy it once was and has become less popular. Electric heating is more economical. Australia exports natural gas to the world which buys it cheaper than domestic consumers here pay. I don't think Australians love gas too much, although it is not bad for cooktops. Most ovens I think are electric.

City of Yarra wants to phase out new gas connections and why not? Green generated electric is better and generally cheaper with our climate and poorly insulated homes.

Our state conservative party's leader one Michael O'Brien thought there might be some political capital in this and Tweeted;

Talk about stupid political point scoring. Firstly barbeques use LPG not natural gas as is used in homes for cooking, heating and hot water, so the barbeque angle is irrelevant. No one is going to arrive in the dead of night shut off the family gas tap. How can you have respect for any politician who says such ridiculous things. Note the 'cold dead hand' quote steal from the US National Rifle Association. O'Brien made himself look rather stupid. Tosser!


Labor and the Greens want to ban gas appliances - like your BBQ - to meet climate targets. They can have my BBQ tongs when they pry them from my cold dead hand! BBQs aren’t a “luxury” - no matter what the Greens say. Tell Labor and the Greens to keep their hands off our BBQs!

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Kill the poof

I am making assumptions but it seems this man was killed because he was gay. Tongans were screwed up by missionaries. If that sounds like a superior white male statement, so be it. Tonga embraces effeminate men who are female like, but not men who like men. 

https://www.starobserver.com.au/news/shock-and-grief-over-tongan-lgbt-activist-polikalepo-kefus-murder/202789


This one is just too awful, such a horrible way to die.

https://www.starobserver.com.au/news/gay-latvian-dies-after-vicious-homophobic-attack/202751


Both overseas but not our business to bother with their judicial systems although to note, people are in custody for both crimes. This one is, a copy and paste from Star Observer. FYI, Grindr is a gay hook up app. The penalty from the South Australian District Court Judge Liesl Chapman follows. It doesn't really matter that the victim was gay. It is an extreme crime against a person and credit to the SA Police and public prosecutors for getting it before the court with damming evidence. That is not always the case by police forces. 

This is not something I do lightly. Blogger may disappear one day and we will all be forced to Wordpress (sorry Wordpress users. Beta videos were superior to VHS but hey, Beta disappeared), but my blog is also archived by the State Library. It is on the record for his future grandchildren to find if they Google him. This is not summary justice. Caire has been convicted by a court and his penalty for torturing someone is an absolute disgrace.  

 saw the victim lured through a fake Grindr account set up by Caire. The elderly man was taken to a Murray Bridge house and then tortured by what was described as a ‘horrifying array of weaponry’ including having a gas lighter held to his head, being probed with a taser, electric drill, his arm sliced with a knife and his fingers placed between secateurs.

The victim was also injected with a needle that he was made to believe contained AIDS, and was told “there’d be consequences” if he did not hand over $5,000 in cash.


Charlie Michael Edward Caire is a right charmer and not even particularly attractive. The sentence? Caire will be released from the Mount Gambier Prison on Wednesday to travel to the District Court in Adelaide to sign a three-year good behaviour bond. 

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Baby care

Before last Saturday night Fire Fighting Nephew asked if we could look after his daughter for a couple of hours while he and his wife had dinner in town with friends. We asked if they would like to stay the night as they live one hour and twenty minutes away on the Surf Coast. They said no because they had to get back to their dog. 

They could have brought the dog here and we would have looked after the number two child too, but he is a large and exuberant dog who has a tail sweep that would clear our shelving unit of precious things, and sweep the coffee table too. 

Then they contacted us again; someone is looking after their dog, so they will stay the night after all. The two hour dinner with friends turned from 7pm to 1am. I went to bed but R stayed half awake listening for baby distress noises. I is a bad great uncle.

Nine month old great niece Little Ju is the most delightful baby. She was always happy and went to sleep easily, unlike Little Jo some years ago. She seems very advanced for her age, so unlike the Café Latte Twins. Little Ju will win people over with her beautiful smile. Of course I love all the greats equally, whatever their temperaments. 

Apparently FFN and his wife bought take away food from the Scottish restaurant across the road and at 1am sat on balcony while eating, so awed by the views of lights.

R was very good with Little Ju and had her to sleep soon enough. It was so good that she did not projectile vomit while she was in our care, but she did at 5am and 6am. Not our problem then. I am the gofer in such child care. I look after everything else except looking after the baby. I even had to take R's cooked lasagne out of the oven and put it on the dinner table. I think I then afterwards I had to put a plate in the dishwasher. I am terrific at support. Just ask me for assistance.

I had put out towels for FFN and his wife to shower but they didn't. I put out cereal for their breakfast, but they had none. I put out the toaster, but they had none. I had a tea bag in a mug for FFN when he eventually arose, but we didn't have any soy or almond milk so he didn't have tea. They left at about 10am Sunday and no doubt stopped off somewhere for brunch. 

Nevertheless, a successful visit and Little Ju was a delight. I'll sneak in a photo and let it sit for a day.


Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Town Hall Tuesday

Northcote is known as an area where ladies who live there wear sensible shoes. Wherever gay and lesbian people start to buy homes, it ends up making the area expensive and very desirable to all. Take us living in Balaclava in the 1990s. It has been thus in Northcote. 

I am not so familiar with the north eastern areas of our city but it was a very nice place to visit by tram and train back to town. 

Off to Wikipedia. The City of Northcote became the City of Darebin in the 1990s after forced local council amalgamations. The town hall is now mostly used as a performance venue and was built in 1887, earlier than I thought. I saw something about it being quite Art Deco inside.

It is a rather nice town hall. I had good coffee at a nearby café served by a nice looking young bloke of Middle Eastern appearance. 



Ah, another of the bicycle fixing stations. Air pump and tools for fixing your defective bits.

 

Monday, May 03, 2021

Lord, save me

I hate English. I originally wrote "I suppose our television set is called the Idiot Box for a reason". No it is not just ours, so... 

I suppose television sets are called the Idiot Boxes for a reason. 

Delete one word and I had to change three others. Anyway, on to the stupid news story. 

I predicted this in my head last year yet commercial tv news tonight gave us this, to paraphrase, 'The 2020 COVID lockdown  has led to an unexpected huge increase in births in Victoria for this month'.

Unexpected? Really? I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but it was perfectly predictable. 

Monday Mural

While it is only a small mural on a traffic light control box in Chapel Street, it is attention grabbing and Reven is a rather good artist. I can't give you link to a website because his name is common and I am quite weary. 

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Go west, old man

Still with neck pain making it uncomfortable for me to drive, I commanded my driver to take me to the western suburb of Keilor East because I wanted to see something train related. My driver has had about eight weeks of driving and parking now in everyday situations and I doubt when I can drive again that he will complain so much about my driving. My driver moaned on about freeways and then moaned on about unfamiliar streets, even though I gave him precise and correct directions. 

After viewing what I wanted to see I then guided my driver to a café in Maribyrnong where eight years ago there was an ever so hot waiter at a nice café. Alas, the café is something else now and the waiter would now be eight years older and not so hot. You can read about our visit to Jacks Magazine from eight years ago. Still, we found somewhere nice where I had poached eggs on sourdough toast and coffee. We drove down to the Maribyrnong River, well it is a lake actually with the river running on the far side. Very pleasant on a fine and cool morning with lots of people out and about.

In Keilor East is a vacant block of land among a suburban street of houses and a viewing area with a seat to view a bridge. As soon as I stepped out of the car I was gobsmacked to see the train viaduct was so close. It is mostly used by freight trains and the Sydney to Melbourne trains and some trains to and from the NSW border town Albury. We didn't get to see any trains using it, but still, wow!

With much of Victoria being broad gauge rail lines, with some dual gauge this one is standard gauge only so it is compatible with the NSW standard gauge. Actually, after looking at a map, it is dual gauge.


It would be great to see a steam train crossing the bridge, any train really. I know of one other similar viaduct near Geelong and crosses the Barwon River gorge and it is freight too, from Geelong to Ballarat.


The viaduct is correctly called the Albion Viaduct and crosses the Maribyrnong River gorge at a height of 55 metres (180ft) and is 383 metres (1257ft) long. Construction by the Victorian Railways was completed in 1929 but I doubt it was built as dual gauge. 


Looking down the gorge towards the city. Pity we couldn't see the river. We could hear so much bird life in spite of the traffic noise from the nearby imaginatively named Western Ring Road. 


Even my driver who is not interested in trains was rather impressed by the bridge and the scene. I know how to show him a good time.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Don't Bother with Nomadland

The flim Nomadland has won twelve prestigious awards at my count. The acting was excellent. The scenery quite stunning. The filming, first class. The plot (was there really one?), close to believable.

But excuse the French, it was as boring as batshit and I couldn't wait for it to end. It was just so tedious, and in a film I don't want to see a woman in her small camping van sit on a bucket and hear and experience her having an explosive bowel movement. I don't want to experience that seeing anyone doing that. Not much subtlety there, in fact not much subtlety in the film at all. 

I can waste time perfectly well with my own company and not waste time sitting in a cinema and $22 would have bought me a lot of chocolate bullets or aniseed rings.

If I've put you off the movie, sorry. If you've seen it, I will be interested to hear your opinion and what I missed in the film that made it win so many awards.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday Funny


I respect police. I admire them. Most are excellent people who do a very difficult job. So when a friend asked me to say 'I love cops', without closing my lips, I tried.  My attempt may have made me say something quite true.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Gay Outing Photos

Candee said on stage she is now 67 which may be true but unlikely. She has been performing for 45 years, probably true. She can't dance, she can't sing, she can't even lipsync and she has a very deep male voice. But Candee is a Melbourne institution and much loved. 

I've had three conversations with her male alter ego. He's a nice guy and should you see him walking down the street, you would never guess what a monster he could become when he turns into Candee.

I've seen Candee so drunk on stage she could not perform. I've seen Candee so drunk she fell into a bush at Midsumma Carnival and could not get up. I've seen Candee eating a kebab in full drag from the night before on the street at 9am. 

Candee has perfected the scowl, the sneer, the upturned and downturned lip and her timing is brilliant. She now has an Indian lesbian stalker as she refers to her, to help her get up and off stage. One of her most amusing performances for us was at Three Faces in the 90s where she performed as Lindy Chamberlain with a blood stained baby cardigan miming to a song and crying out about how a dingo took her baby. Too soon? You had to be there.

I tried espresso martini for the first time, thanks to our Hairdresser Friend and at $22 a pop. After that I stuck to wine. We had delicious chips and onion rings to start with and then ok pizza.

The other performer was Laura Gravity

Great fun. Thanks DT's Hotel. Photos.....




















Hairdresser Friend added a touch of glam.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

More on no tram wheels

It is official now. Australia doesn't have any spare tram wheels. Not one to be seen throughout the land. When was the wheel invented? No, I don't know but there are no wheels for our trams. What shipping restrictions are there from the great tram land of South Africa? Doesn't the word approximately really grab you. Read on:

The following routes will run an amended timetable during peak travel time:

  • Route 70 and 75 trams run approximately every 10 minutes
  • Route 19 trams run approximately every 6 minutes
  • Route 58 trams run approximately every 5 minutes
  • Route 59 trams run approximately every 6 minutes
  • Route 109 trams run approximately every 10 minutes

Yarra Trams are experiencing delays to replacement wheel deliveries from its South African supplier due to COVID-19 restrictions.

As a result, some A-Class, B-Class and Z-Class trams have been temporarily removed from service until wheel shipments arrive.

I anxiously await tram wheel importation in spite of COVID. 

A Gay Outing

This is prelude to tomorrow's post that comes with pictures and less verbiage. 

There is a song I vaguely remember with lyrics something like 'Gay bar, gay bar. I wanna go to a gay bar'. We no longer have any great desire to go to a gay bar, two lonely old men with no friends. Note to self. In next life have younger friends not older friends. 

Aside from in (insert place name drop) New York and Sydney, we haven't been to a gay bar for over twenty years, I think. 

What gay bars are there in Melbourne now, a city of 5 million people? Well, very few. DT's, Sircuit, Laird O'Cock Pen and The Peel. There were many more. I modern times gays integrate with straights and go to the same venues. 

In the 80's gay entrepreneur Ken Payne owned and ran the mega successful Mandate bar in St Kilda. At some point it changed its name to something I can't remember. Eventually the late night bar closed for reasons unknown to me. But people nagged Ken about missing Mandate and he went on to open Precinct 3182, the number being St Kilda's post code. There was a stand alone pub, a movie theatre, another bar, a cruise area including a train carriage and a sauna. All those people who nagged Ken made a single appearance and never returned, because they were older and past such things. Precinct 3182 did not attract enough people and slowly closed down, although the pub lingered on for longer. Ken must have lost a fortune. 

So, I've put that on the record. Since then many Melbourne gay bars have closed. People hook up via the internet now, not by meeting in a pub with flirtatious glances. 

One venue that opened in the 1990s has survived and has made a soft reopening after you know what. It was our Hairdresser Friend's birthday and she expressed an interest in seeing a drag show. We haven't seen her since last year as she has been at at mother's in northern Victoria as her mother had a toe amputated. Hairdresser is back in her beloved St Kilda now, but her mother now needs another toe cut off, so she will probably have to return.

We worked on where to take our friend for her birthday and booked to see a drag show at DTs. I don't do late nights now, and 5pm to 9pm suited me fine. The show did not begin until 6pm as I thought. 6pm was lock out time. There were a whole 22 of us there to see the show, such as COVID restrictions allow. 

Our friend works at a salon in Chapel Street so we would meet her on a tram at the corner of Chapel Street and Toorak road to go to the Church Street venue. It was a stressful nightmare for me to get this right, but I did. She texted, I've got seats for you. Then she texted, some old codger has sat in one of your seats. I replied, Kick the old **** out of the seat. 

We caught trams home too and it all worked so well. I can't see us going out to a gay bar again soon, but I am pleased we made the effort and well done DTs and its terrific staff.

I know drag is not to everyone's taste and some women find it offensive, but I just see it as fun and I don't connect drag queens to real women, and I'm sure I've heard drag queens say, 'Some of my best friends are straight women'.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Town Hall Tuesday

 After this one only three more town halls to go unless there is another old one I don't know about. After I post the last town hall photos, there will be a quiz, so pay attention. 

For most of the 19th century well into the 20th century Collingwood was a flat and poor inner Melbourne suburb, with much noxious industry and dirt poor residents. I think it was essentially Protestant and at war with the neighbouring also mostly working class Catholic inclined Richmond. 

NB When I was young there was still antipathy and discrimination between Proddies and Micks. 

Poor as the city may have been, Collingwood built a very grand and substantial town hall. As par for the course for most inner local councils, during the various 1990s council amalgamations City of Collingwood became part of the City of Yarra. Like any inner city area, it is now very costly to live there.

I've just remembered some personal stuffs (come on, I've remembered two things, so plural, stuffs). In perhaps the 1990s we were at the town hall ballroom for a gay boot scooting dance competition. In the same era we watched Our Friend in Japan compete in a ballroom dance competition in the ballroom.



A police station abuts the town hall. I'd pull it down.


Not the town hall but across the road is a Mormon tabernacle.