Saturday, March 27, 2021

The personal

Mother lives on with her right leg swelling up each evening and returning to normal by the next morning. Now her left leg is doing the same. I ordered a drink she requested, online, Nestle Resource. It is a fruit flavoured tonic and Fire Fighting Nephew bought it for once and she liked it. $80 for two dozen 375 ml cartons is not cheap.

But now she is half a millionaire, she can afford it. Already she has started spending big. Flowers for R for his birthday would have cost about $80 - $100. A huge joint birthday cake, $120. Most old people would say, I am not paying that sort of money for a cake. Not Mother. She is, if nothing, well adjusted to modern prices. Btw, the cake was very very nice and so beautifully decorated.

The cake was bought for last Sunday whereby all the family gathered together at Tradie Brother's house, except for Ex Sis in Law's husband.

It was a great afternoon as we celebrated Mother's 87th birthday, R's blub blub birthday and great niece Little M's 7th birthday. Although warm enough for short sleeves, Tradie Brother lit his half tin drum fire and the kiddies baked potatoes in foil and later toasted marshmallows. Bone Doctor, also a scout leader gave Little M a lesson on fire and the fire's need for oxygen. Over my head. Little M payed dutiful attention, and she is going to come and stay with us for a night or two in the forthcoming school holidays.

Sister had booked a holiday to take Mother to Phillip Island but Mother said no. I am not well enough. So Sister cancelled the next day at no cost. Sister asked Mother to come down and stay over Easter and Mother said she would think about it. While booking a cottage near Sister in Queenscliff for August, I discovered the cottage was available for Easter. I checked with Mother. Are you going to Sister's over Easter? No, I am not well enough. Next breath, I get so lonely with only my ABI son to talk to. No I am not well enough for visitors. But when they visit, she loves it and immediately brightens up.

We have booked a week in the south coast beach town of Lorne in May. We plan to visit Queensland in July. After further research, I've gone off the rail bed train. Debby was quite right. You are so exposed and once your bed is made up, at around 9.30pm, your seat has gone. The bar closes at 10pm and lights out. I am cautious when reading Trip Advisor reviews. Some people are really over the top picky, but there was enough there to tip the balance and not book the train. If I am to sleep on a train, I will do so in a first class private compartment. I'm trying to learn how to spend money after a lifetime of getting by and managing.

I've been riding lots of trams, trains and buses in the last couple of weeks. Mostly for reasons but at times just because I can.

A doctor's appointment last week, physio for my neck yesterday, skin cancer appointment on Tuesday. My neck does seem to be improving. I hate taking pain killers but I am, and doing the exercises my physio person tells me to do. 

Well that's your bloomin' lot for today, but I'll leave you with a couple of photos of blooming flowers R received for his birthday.

From Mother.


From one of R's sisters in the north of England. The bunch looked better that it does in the photo.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Steam is back

After an absence of steam trains running around on our suburban and country rail tracks for one year purely for people's pleasure because of you know what, they are back. I have never taken a trip or even seen one pass by except I've seen smoke rising from the South Yarra cutting from home.

Odd how when there is a single track and it then changes to a double track briefly, it is called a passing loop. It is not a loop at all really. It is also odd that trains don't go up hills but climb a named bank, such as Albion bank in this video, where in almost didn't climb the bank.

I thought what a strange and unattractive engine, that could barely do the job of towing five carriages and what I guess is a water tank, until I realised it is 130 years old, dating back to 1891. So really I think that is quite impressive. It was locally made at a Ballarat foundry and was last in service in 1961.

Unless you are really interested, this video at 18 minutes is a bit long for most people, but if you want to click through it to certain points, here are some. Keep in mind that a camera lens can and in this video does distort a little of what you see.

30 seconds in, see how hard the engine is working.

3.36 the train exits the Bunbury Street Tunnel in Footscray and crosses the Bunbury Street Bridge. The curve can't possibly be as sharp as it appears and I know it isn't. 

6.50 it is returning from Southern Cross Station and the engine is travelling backwards. 

7.30 the engine is losing traction on a bank. You can hear the engine speed up and it belches smoke as its wheels start spinning on wet track. 'I think I can', comes to mind, and it did.

10.00 the engine is again working very hard.

12.40 the engine is put back in place at the front of the train.

16.10 the screed says the engine failed. I am not sure how it failed. It seems to be working well enough to me. It returned to its home base.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A South Melbourne Stroll

I took a COVID ISO walk last September. South Melbourne Primary School, also known as Eastern Road Primary School opened in 1877 and closed in 1991.


I did see a puty cat.

It is now, wait for it, private apartments. At least the building was saved.


Here is an old photo before the school was surrounded.


The old and the new.


Even though these houses are only two kilometres from the centre of a city of over four million people,  I doubt any of you could afford them.


You could perhaps afford an apartment here though at City Edge, designed by the well known architect Daryl Jackson AO. The top floors of the two apartment buildings seems to be recreational, maybe an indoor pool, gym, room for a pony, whatever. 


I'm not a fan of seventies architecture and these buildings haven't changed my mind.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The bad Attorney General?

Ok, I can no longer resist my twopenneth. It won't surprise anyone that I don't like the ultra conservative right wing bible bashing Federal Attorney General Christian Porter. He is anti anything socially progressive and would have us all in mines breathing in coal dust for $1 a day. Photo from SBS.

He has been accused of rape in his teenage years against a woman with mental health issues who has suicided. 

As she is dead and cannot provide more evidence or appear in court and aside from her initial report to police, police have closed down investigations. 

The Federal Government won't raise an enquiry into our chief law officer Porter's accused rape and in my opinion that is correct. There is little even circumstantial evidence. NSW police have investigated as far as they can. The Federal Police say it is out of their jurisdiction. South Australia Police are still investigating in some manner. If more evidence arises, and might about to when Four Corners is broadcast, I could change my opinion.

Porter is now on extended mental health sick leave.

While the government won't hold an enquiry, Porter is suing our government funded broadcaster because before he admitted he was the person in question, the ABC gave out enough information for him to be identified. This is so untrue. I am in tune with news and I was hanging out to know which minister was accused of rape and not once did the ABC come close to identifying who the alleged rapist was. When he named himself, it was a complete surprise to me, but then of course no surprise really and I pointed my finger gun at my head and said, of course.

No government enquiry into the matter, but boy, will the defamation case against the ABC become an open air enquiry. 

The combo inherited and self made wealthy Porter should just go as quietly and gracefully as he can from politics and shut the phuc up (thanks for the spelling Padre).

One further thing that occurs to me, if you rape when you are a teenager, might you as a privileged wealthy white man not rape again? 

I think the outcome of this may be a good conversation about what is and isn't rape. It is far more complicated than no means no. From personal experience, I know.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Town Hall Tuesday

Is one town hall starting to blend into the next. I suppose because I know most of them, they don't for me. I travelled to this one with an acquaintance who had delayed his train and tram enthusiasts annual trip to Melbourne  twice because of you know what, then at the last minute booked a long weekend here. After photos here where we arrived at Glenferrie Station, we caught a 16 tram to Kew and then although I had told him the modest Kew Town Hall had been demolished, he wanted to look for himself. We caught the 109 and not expecting to go there, I hadn't checked a map and it was only a few hundred metres away. There was a lovely asphalt car park where the town hall once sat.

He then wanted to travel on the new rail flyovers on the Frankston train line. I suggested we catch the next 109 tram to Hoddle Street, then the 246 bus to Richmond Station and then the train, and he thought that was a good idea. He then said, doesn't this bus go to Elsternwick Station? I said yes and he said we will just stay on the bus then and catch the train from Elsternwick. I unthinkingly agree and he made the mistake I nearly have myself, it is the wrong train line. We needed the Frankston line, not Elsternwick Station on Sandringham train line.

We would have to backtrack to South Yarra Station and go from there, but we had just missed a train and being a Sunday, the next one was twenty minutes away. I'd had enough and it was getting late, so we caught the approaching 67 tram back to The Highrise and he continued on to Flinders Street Station. He then discovered there was bustitution (another useful invented word Hels) on the Frankston line, so he went to Sunshine instead.

Anyway, a little about Hawthorn Town Hall, at the corner of Glenferrie and Burwood Roads. The plaza to the right of the building is on the actual corner and was once the site of a 70s bank building.

Hawthorn Town Hall was completed in 1890, somewhat late for a grand town hall but Hawthorn then would have almost been an outer suburb. Maybe not from my photos, but it is perfectly symmetrical from the absolute front of the building. I like symmetry. City of Hawthorn was absorbed into City of Boroondara in the 1990s local council amalgamations and is now called Hawthorn Arts Centre.

On a personal note when I was 18 and I was working in a pub, I met Olwen, a woman 20 years older that myself. We became friends, travelled together to Queensland and stayed for a couple of weeks, kept company, she cooked and cleaned for me in South Gippsland when my father and step mother took a holiday and we used to go ballroom dancing, and Hawthorn Town Hall was one of the places where we used to go dancing. Afterwards we would have one drink at the nearby Glenferrie Hotel as she hoped her unrequited love man might have been there. He never was. She had a smoking hot teenage son, two years younger than me, but he looked older than me. While he was straight, Des and I had some quite frank conversations. Wow, I haven't thought about all that for many years.

This photo is duplicated as a test. I used to resize photos before uploading them when Blogger didn't. Now Blogger does, I want to see the difference between my resized photo. I like that it is not a painted white hotel but painted in a stone colour.








Monday, March 22, 2021

That long curly haired man

This dude who no one recognised is a regular character in the excellent British tv detective show, Vera. Vera always has a younger detective in her company and there have been a few, and a future post may feature Vera's handsome sidekicks. 

Kenny is office bound in the show and does great work, and is a terrific low key character in the show. His real name is Jon Morrison, but I think Kenny suits him better. He is a bit older in Vera than he was when the first photo was taken. I am so pleased I still look like I am 25 years old.


Monday Mural

These are three different but themed murals adorning the walls of the Port Melbourne Beach showers, toilets and changing rooms. While I don't know of the artist Conrad Bizjak, nor his works, he is an accomplished muralist who can be commissioned. You may like to embiggin the second photo for an accidental capture of a hot looking bloke.



Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday Selections

Joining with Elephant's Child, River and others for Sunday Selections. Today these photos have all come from the www that for some reason I saved. I hope none are repeats.

The Victorian Railways opened a tram line in 1919 from Melbourne's Sandringham Station to Black Rock, extended to Beaumaris. It served quiet residential streets and a couple of small shopping areas. It closed in 1956. I recently travelled the route by bus and I could not see a skerrick of remnants. This photo shows what seems to be a very exciting opening day in 1919.


In time for Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, these rainbow mail boxes appeared on Sydney streets, and they also appeared in Perth. 


The circle surrounds the old Victorian (horse) Racing Centre, where The Highrise was built. The tall building was BP House, now The Domain, and an apartment complex for the rich, famous and politicians. The Shrine of Remembrance features at the bottom of the photo with Albert Park Lake at the top. The same view now would see lots hidden my mature trees and Gunn Island in the lake is very overgrown with native vegetation and home to all sorts of creatures.


I'm sure Mrs Bucket, aka Patricia Routledge had something amusing to say to Her Maj. A former friend was taxi driver and drove her in Melbourne and said she was just wonderful.


These are COVID related in I suppose March 2020 or perhaps April. I expect the second last one refers to the destruction of an important Aboriginal area in Western Australia and the last to koalas after our early 2020 bush fires. I'm sure I've used this one before.


There will be trams for Canberra. Here is the plan by the designer of Canberra, Sir Walter Burley Griffin. Canberra now has one tram line, with an approved extension and another extension being considered. 


Give me a head with hair, long shiny hair. Gleaming flaxen waxen....Who is he?


A great photo of a train on the former Inner Circle train line. If you are interested, you can read my posts back when I walked the long closed line in 2014. http://highriser.blogspot.com/search/label/Inner%20Circle


Hmm, we've been looking at train travel.