Saturday, January 23, 2021

#45 sacked the usher?

My blogmates in the US might be able to cast a light on this almost last disgraceful act by #45 leaving President Biden and Mrs Biden killing a few seconds at the front door of the Whitehouse after his inauguration. True or untrue?

For one, there was no chief usher to greet the Bidens when they arrived. Although it is unclear exactly what caused the delay with the doors — which are normally opened by Marine guards — the chief usher of the White House, who manages the residence, had been fired less than five hours earlier.

Timothy Harleth, the Trumps’ chief usher and a former rooms manager of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, was busy moving furniture on Inauguration Day when he was told at 11:30 a.m. that his services were no longer needed, people familiar with the process said.

Happy on the balcony

This plant is some kind of miniature petunia. We bought it for about $15 at the big green shed hammer shop. It has been a terrific balcony plant aside from a few moments of misery. I once let it go dry and it was not happy and wilted but quickly recovered. 

It also looks miserable on cloudy and overcast days but give it a blast of sun from dawn to noon, along with some heat and its roots being damp, it smiles at me as I step on to the balcony and almost exudes glee. Best $15 ever spent. 

The apricot flowers open red and fade to a soft peach colour. It was only after a few weeks I began to deadhead the flowers and it has looked better since then too. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Friday Funny

Good to see President Biden undoing some of the bad things #45 had done and doing some things #45 should have done. As for #45, let the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, have the last word as he fades into history as a very bad dream.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A little thought provoking

I guess you would have to live in both countries to know. I can't say I've noticed much difference between English women and Australian women but I am just going by R's family where the women are what I describe as strong. Interesting to ponder and I don't know where this came from or when it was written but with the word organically is used, it can't be too long ago.

“…very independent women.”

My most favorite commentary of all. When I returned to the United States I could not believe how conservative and repressed most American women felt to me.

Australian women are among the most organically self-possessed population on our planet. From whose standpoint American women seem unsure.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Brrr in summer

It has been unseasonably cool this summer and I don't mind one little bit, hey EC. Sister, Bone Doctor and Jo are holidaying in the north of the state and visited Mount Hotham and it was snowing. This is Sister's car.

R's oldest sister in the north of England sent a photo of the park outside her front door and it isn't really a surprise to see snow there and of course it is winter. So pretty.

Jackie in Toronto posted this amazing photo of a partly frozen Niagara Falls, a place I remember being very warm and humid. 

Tradie Brother is staying tonight as he has jury selection at the County Court tomorrow, so I can only give you a quickie this morning.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Town Hall Tuesday

Tram 58 to Victoria Street, tram 57 to Errol Street, tram 57 to Union and Maribyrnong Roads, tram 82 to Moonee Ponds Junction, tram 59 to Abbotsford Street, tram 57 to Errol Street, tram 57 to Victoria Street, tram 58 home. All done in the name of two town halls photographed, plus coffee and a mural discovery.

This is Moonee Ponds Town Hall, at times known as Essendon Town Hall. It is a bit ordinary really and not a grand Victorian period building like the other town hall I photographed earlier. It is now a performance space. The original building was built in 1880 as Essendon Mechanics Institute and has been altered and extended since. It became Clocktower Centre in 2000 after significant renovations. It is within the City of Moonee Valley, formed after the amalgamation in the 1990s of City of Essendon and part of City of Keilor. 

There is pleasant space opposite the town hall from where I took the photo. The area looks quiet doesn't it? It is not. Behind me asewer of traffic moved slowly along and on the far side of the town hall another sewer of traffic slowly moved along. It is a complicated six way intersection with the through routed tram 59 and the terminating 82 tram, along with a large bus interchange. Even though it was early afternoon traffic was banked back around 800 metres along Mount Alexandra Road towards the city. It was nice travelling around in areas I am not so familiar with.

Monday, January 18, 2021

R is reading a book

He must be enjoying the book. Well I know he is. He hasn't read a book for a a year or so. The tv sound is muted and all to be heard is him turning pages, the rattle of the keyboard as I write this and the occasional tram gong from the street below . Oh, and the wind, the shocking wind.

On line public nonsense

I make mistakes when I am writing. Quell horreur! But I am a averagely educated working class person. I am not a large multi million dollar private company nor a government health department. People are paid well enough to get these things right and I become very annoyed when they don't. 

How about this COVID instruction on our state health website? We've had around nine days without community transmission after a small outbreak. I know which rule I would choose from below. To save you the bother of checking, the places, the dates and the times of possible infection sites are all the same. Just the advice above about how to react is different. 

New train timetables begin at the end of the month. I've been looking at the extensive changes. I bumped the live timetable forward to the 31st of January and look at the nonsense on the PTV website. If you are familiar with the Sandringham train line, I despair. I gave up looking at this point. Ok, briefly explained, trains start at Flinders Street Station and terminate at Sandringham. They do not start at Richmond Station.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Returning Jo Home

Last Sunday we took Jo into the city and had lunch at Riverland, a bar on the edge of the Yarra River and it was a very pleasant day. We then thought to take her to ACMI, The Australian Centre for Moving Images, but it was closed. Ok, lets go listen to the Federation Bells, upside down bells on a hill in a park. Well, maybe later. We'll take Jo into the most important Protestant church, St Paul's Cathedral, in Melbourne. No, closed. Myer Christmas windows? Removed. Buskers in the Mall? None. Still want to visit the bells R? No, tired now and hot, so we came home, R and Jo had a swim in the pool and then Jo created some artwork.

It was Sister's suggestion that on Monday we catch the relatively new ferry service to Portarlington on he Bellarine Peninsula near to where she lives and she would meet us there and take us for lunch. We caught a couple of trams to get to the ferry departure point at Docklands. Unfortunately the temperature was forecast to be 37, nearly 100F. But the trams we caught had air con and the ferry was very well air conditioned. Generally I took photos through glass. I wasn't standing on the decks in the heat.

Portarlington is bottom left of screen.

This is perhaps the only old wharf left now, with the rest demolished to create Docklands. Unfortunately it has been declared unsafe and businesses had to close and move out. I told Jo we used to go to dance parties in the shed up until the late 90s, along with several thousand other gays, lesbians and those in between. 

The ferry departed right on 10.40 as scheduled. It was quite impressive and the $30 return fare for oldies with Port Phillip Ferries was quite reasonable. Unfortunately the speed limit in the river is very low but once out of the river into the bay, the catamaran flew along. The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel has great views of the occasional movement in the docks area, along with the occasional shunting freight train in the railway yards.

Where have I seen a building like this before? 

Wattle was once a tug boat.

Under the Bolte Bridge.

Thingies to remove containers from ships.

Approaching the Westgate Bridge. It is very high to allow container ships sail under.

Now out in the bay with the city skyline in view.

Approaching Portarlington. On a clear day it is just visible as a mound on the horizon from  home. The trip takes seventy minutes.

I've never seen so many people on this beach. It was even busier when we departed at 4.30.

We lunched in a area called Wallington at the Flying Brick Cider Company.

The meal was good. I am not a cider drinker so I had wine. R had a paddle of four different ciders. His favourite was the chilli cider. Only a few brave people in the heat outside, no doubt proclaiming how glorious the heat was. That did not include us in the cool but moaning about the heat.

We went back to Sister's place for coffee, a chat and in R's case a nap. Sister, Jo and I watched a couple of episodes of Derry Girls. The trip back was uneventful and we were home by about 6.30, exhausted but it had been a good day.