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, 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'.