Saturday, January 30, 2021

Unveiled

Many things can be revealed when a building is pulled down. I meant to have a look at the front of this building, but I forgot. After just checking, it is a lovely pink marble building. I must return. Two ghastly 1960s buildings have been pulled down to reveal this old sign on the side of the building that survived the construction and demolition of her neighbours and she still looks marvellous. Thanks for the tip off Virginia.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Friday Funnies - R rated

The Divine Miss aka M Better Midler is a consummate performer and as River reminded me in a comment after last weeks Friday Funny featuring her farewell to Donny.

They may be called steam rooms, bathhouses, saunas or more formally sex on premises venues but in late 1900's they were often the way gay men connected. Bette's career kicked off as a performer at a (NYC?) gay bathhouse and she knew the lingo, jokes and gay humour to get gay men excited and applauding her. 

Midler performed in London in 2014 using swear words and vulgarity. Just wonderful. I loved the clotted cream remark. 

Sit back, turn up the sound and enjoy this clip. There may never be stage performers and song writers of her calibre again in the more conservative 2020 and on.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Back of the queue you oldies

Last week, and similar happens often enough, I sat at an outdoor coffee table where there is table service and I was ignored by staff for about five minutes. The lad who eventually served me was perfunctory. 

An attractive young blond long haired man with his attractive young female companion sat down and received immediate and very friendly waiter service. To ameliorate a little, my waiter was very nice when I went inside to pay.

I remember once reading, men don't really see woman as sexual beings once they are over 40. I see women above that age but perhaps not for the reason mentioned. Women are so interesting to watch in a non sexual manner. For me it is all about them and not what one part of me wonders about when I see men. 

Maybe it happens a few years later, but a fifty year old gay men also become invisible to younger gay men. 

I am not talking about a possible really personal connection but just a mental connection of some kind of respect or something like that. 

But gay, straight, male or female, we all become invisible to younger people as we reach our older years. We have to be served but we are not young and attractive.

I am normally so organised with ensuring I have an adequate supply of wine, but I ran out tonight and crossed the road to buy a bottle. After I paid, for some reason I gave the attractive young man a wide and sincere smile as I said thank you, and lordy, I fell in love with him as he returned the same smile. It was such a nice moment. 

Speaking to people with a smile on your face goes a long way.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The litracher

I enjoy reading English trash detective novels. Some of them are really so implausible but put that away, you still want to find out who did it. I also like WWII and post WWII European spy novels. Over the last year, especially during lock down, I consumed a huge number of such books of little merit and enjoyed them. At the end of 2020 my second Kindle died and I started to read books on my phone.

I did at times intersperse them with other more serious books and I can't remember any of them. I also read a couple of proper books made of cardboard and paper and again I forget what they were, except for one Sister recently lent to me. Both R and myself devoured The Land Before Avocado in a couple of days, ok it was large print and not a long book. It was a great biographical read of my childhood, that is Australia in sixties, seventies and eighties. To prove the book title, I never knew what avocado was until I was in my twenties. 

What a different Australia I grew up in. It was remarkable to be reminded of what a backward and insular country it was. EG, you as a woman married? You had to give leave your job. Young and attractive policemen entrapped gay men into sex and who were then prosecuted and newspapers named them. A woman's body was not her own and men dictated whether the fertilised egg within her should continue to fruition. 

Ah, the good old days when there was no crime, paedophilia did not happen and best of all, women wore high heels while doing the housework and kept their mouths shut because their husband was a hard working provider. Sad to say, I think there is a bit of that old Australia still existing. 

I sent the author of Land before Avocado, Richard Glover, a complimentary email and he kindly replied. Mother loves dog stories and films and she is reading his latest book Love, Clancy: a dog's letter home, lent to Mother by Sister. I expect I will read it.

But I needed to step up to class literature and the Booker prise winning author's work sounded pretty good. While it was never stated in the book, clearly Shuggy Bain was destined to be gay. He was different. I remember that. I was different. 

Shuggy grew up as poor in Glasgow and there is no better book than No Mean City to know what poverty was like in Glasgow, albeit a few decades earlier. 

Shuggy also grew up as a kid who did not fit into the norms as a probably future gay man. Just like me, he always dodged a sports ball when it came in his direction and tried to not be in the field of play. 

It is not a cheerful book but brutally honest and I do recommend it.

The star character in his book is his attractive alcoholic mother, who would pass out drunk each night in the middle of sex with a stranger for beer or vodka money or on her own, or with a couple of different partners at times, and appear in the street the next day beautifully coiffed, made up and dressed. She appeared too posh for where she lived. Shuggy was always there with her, supporting her and helping her until she died from alcohol abuse at a youngish age. I both loved her and hated her as I read the book. The characters in the book were all very strong and none were left out without a proper description.

I think the book was autobiographical and 'Shuggy' went on to be a successful American fashion designer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

More on Margaret Court's Gong

Champion tennis player Margaret Court did receive the highest award of our land and the skittles have been falling with a Canberra doctor notifying the Governor General's department that she was returning her award in protest.

Widely respected retired ABC journalist Kerry O'Brien did not accept his award in protest, citing the decision as being deeply insensitive and divisive.

Now Sydney artist and environmental activist Peter Kingston  has not accepted his award, saying Court needs to reconsider her words and actions. 

When the awarded reject them or hand them back there is a serious issue on principle of being in 'the company of someone else who received an award and should not have'. The system is broken, and in more ways than one.

Town Hall Tuesday

North Melbourne Town Hall was built in 1886 and known as Hotham Town Hall in the then Borough of Hotham. The area's name change to North Melbourne happened the following year. This part of North Melbourne has been covered by City of Melbourne since 1905. I think it may be a contender for my favourite town hall. It is just magnificent and it is not a stand alone building as to the right for say one hundred metres a double story row of shops extends along Errol Street. I forgot to take that photo.

Errol Street is a very pleasant and wide street and also has wide pavements with a good number of outdoor dining cafes and restaurants. It is quiet, the traffic is slow and quiet and you would barely know you are five minutes by tram away from the edge of Melbourne's Central Business District. You are further from North Melbourne Station which is in West Melbourne and its a twelve minute walk away. It is best to catch the Elizabeth Street 57 tram with a rather good daytime service.


You can see some of the shops attached to the town hall in this photo. The cast iron drinking fountain was donated by former mayor of the borough Thomas Henderson and is on the Victorian National Trust register. This is curious as so far as I know, this a reproduction of the original, although just as nice. Bubble taps have replaced the chained and ever so hygienic enamel drinking mugs and water spout.


The area seems to have changed over the preceding decade. I remember Errol Street cafes busy serving thirty to fifty year old men with thinning and often dyed dark hair, loud accented voices, dark clothing, dark sunglasses, dark tans and driving dark Mercedes. Maybe they were shift workers and had the daytime to dine in Errol Street, or maybe they had 'no visible means of support' to tax. Just sayin'...

Monday, January 25, 2021

Monday Mural

Joining in with Sami and others for Monday Mural.

I spotted this one in Queensberry Street, North Melbourne and thought I would take a photo. I forgot and had to go back to take the photo.

Should I have bothered? Well, the unsigned bright and colourful mural is certainly better than a blank wall.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Australia Day on Tuesday

Tuesday is Australia Day, divisive between we white invaders from England a couple of hundred years ago and more recent immigrants, and those who have lived here for hundreds of thousands of years, the Australia Aborigine. Many of the original people refer to the day as Invasion Day. As I have said in the past, there needs to be a less divisive and more inclusive day to celebrate Australia rather than the day white men arrived from England.

Australia Day awards are handed out and folk receive honours such as an Order of Australia. The homophobic and all round nasty person Margaret Court, even though she has two lower awards, is about to receive the highest honour of the land. Last night I was busy contacting the Australia Day Awards Committee, the PM, with copies going to my Federal politician, my current State politician and my former State politician. 

I am not asking you but if you feel strongly, https://www.change.org/p/governor-general-oppose-margaret-court-s-australia-day-2021-honour

Attached is from  her church where she ministers. 


Here is what I wrote:

Firstly, why was the award leaked before it was awarded but I am pleased it has been which gives time for the committee to not proceed with the award.

So Margaret Court was a very good tennis player. She has already received two Australian honours for successfully playing sport in recognition and if either of them were recent, I think those awards were mistakes.

While not always the case, generally Australia in 2021 is not homophobic and it is an outrage the this homophobic extreme right wing religious nutter will be given the highest honour of the land.

I know the committee does not say why nominated people don't receive awards but I will be very interested to read why Court is up for an award who has all about being self when the very decent Dr Helen Caldicott who worked for the betterment of society and peoplekind was not. Did the committee consider her a rabble rouser leftie?

Attached is the aim of her church towards gay people. How can the committee possibly think she is an appropriate person in 2021 to receive the highest honour of the land? By giving her such an award you are endorsing an overtly homophobic person as worthy of honour and a person Australians should respect!

I have no respect for her and if she receives the award I have no respect for this committee.

I will add, there is a whole lot wrong with the way Australia Day awards are given. Get out there in the real world and find people who selflessly give their time and energy to society and not those who are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing their jobs. And what is Court's wage from her church to do her job?

Sunday Selections

Joining in with Elephant's Child and others for Sunday Selections and this week I took a stroll down St Kilda Road.

I believe this sculpture is called Waves and it sits on the lawn between Hamer (concert) Hall and the Arts Centre.


Eureka tower. See the protrusion at the top left of the building. That is the glass bottom viewing platform that slides out, much to the delight or terror of those who have paid for the experience. We visited in 2007 and I think we took Hippie Niece. Wow. She would have only been 15 then. 


Another building with very significant protrusions. 


The Floral Clock, again, looking fine.


It was still a gift to Melbourne by the watch makers of Zurich. 


The Walker fountain. The late Walker was once in charge of the Australian Grand Prix corporation and donated the money to have the fountain built.


The rear of Police Memorial with the names of all officers killed in the line of duty inscribed on the rear.


The front of memorial. Victoria Police use a blue and white checked pattern as part of its 'corporate' colours.


You should be able to read the plaque by clicking on it.