Saturday, July 31, 2021


As I type this it is raining outside, 13 ml since 9am, over half an inch. In many countries people would say, it's f***ing raining again. But here in Australia we will say 'Oh well, we need the rain", even if we have floods. 

I didn't know of rain yesterday but there must have been for a rainbow to form. 

A win over England

It always good to have a win over England, be it in cricket, on the grass courts of Wimbledon or anything else. We continue to win if this nomination for the worst new building in 2009 is the best effort England can come up with, Australia beats England with a lay down misere of ugly modern buildings. 

This is a fire station in the village of Poundbury. England really needs to try harder with ugly buildings. Perhaps it has achieved it in the last decade, but I reckon the pressure is still on from Australia for the title of ugly new buildings. 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Fraught Fun Friday

 Nothing really to say about this video except leave it for the fit and young.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Winners Pt 1

In 1979 when R and I met we began buying joint Tattslotto tickets. The Tattersalls gambling company has a long history in Australia with its beginnings in the state of Tasmania. Tasmanian mass murderer Martin Bryant was an heir to some of the Tattersalls' fortune. You can do some research if you want :-P  Ok, there is some history here

Back then you chose six numbers from forty numbers in as many squares as you wanted to and laboriously marked each box containing your chosen numbers by putting an x with a pen. Over the years it became became increasingly high tech and the number to choose from in each box rose to forty five numbers. We did not change our numbers and so if we see any above 40 drawn, we know we have not won first prize. The drawing of numbers used to be quite a broadcast event on Saturday nights, always supervised by a serious and grim looking government staff member from The Department of Treasury. 

Now it all very high tech to put on your Tattslotto tickets. You simply have your plastic card scanned with your chosen numbers embedded in the card. You receive your tickets printed out for later manual or electronic checking. The price has increased a bit over the years. We now each pay $8.50 per week. 

R is very good at putting the weekly Tattslotto on and checking later to check if we have won anything. Early in the 80s he did forget once. We did not look at the drawn numbers that week. 

With the same numbers for forty plus years, how have we done? The cost of tickets has increased over the years, but we regularly win prizes of maybe $10 and presumably many do to keep their interest. $10 doesn't cover the cost of next week's tickets, but as we say, it is better than nothing. In the 80s we won a single prize of about $1500. In the 90s about $1000. In the 20teens when we returned from South Africa, we found we had won about $1000. Last Saturday we won a little less than $800. Wow, we are rich. It is almost all spent already on the day of the end of our lockdown and the shops reopened and we indulged in retail therapy. This is covering two things and becoming rather too long. See part 2 to find out how we spent the money and R's mysterious logic about how what we bought cost us nothing. 

In the meantime you may enjoy seeing one of our old Tattslotto draw barrels. I remember one that I think worked on suction.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Buy Australian

Good luck with that if you want a new car.  Car manufacturing is highly automated and so labour costs should not be too high, yet it seems it is not a viable business in Australia. Australian car manufacturing has completely closed down. 

Our supermarkets promote their Australian grown vegetables, fish, fruit and meat. This is mostly a good thing. We generally do it better, cleaner and greener than other countries and there is very little that can't be grown here, although we seem to import many tonnes of canned tomatoes from Italy, along with oranges grown in California whereas our orange harvests are often just dumped to rot.

To steal from Hecla, buy Australian. It's good. 

With thanks to our Aussie friend Wombat in northern Japan, buy Australian is not new.

The sign sounds racist but not really. That's not to say Australia wasn't terribly racist then. The "Australian Made Preference League Exhibition Touring Train" visited all corners of New South Wales. Buy Australian, Preference Australian made. 

The steam engine towed twenty carriages each with a letter on on them making up Buy Australian, the last two carriages being sleeper cars for staff. 

There was a very posh dining car attached to the train and local dignitaries wherever the train stopped were invited onboard for dinner before or after grand speeches. 

Onboard generators powered the internal electrics and sweeping searchlight type fittings to attract night time attention. 

Most days a lecturer left the train and visited local schools to impress upon students the importance of buying Australian. 

There were some fabulously lavish and beautiful art work advertising on the train., some of which advertised Nestle products? Yes, Australian made but not where the profits ended up. Get your Jusfrute made with fruit from Gosford, New South Wales.

Ultimately it could be judged as a propaganda train. So what happened to the Buy Australian train? The Great Depression of the late 1920s/30s killed  it. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Almost set free

Melbourne's lock down moves to lock down light at midnight. We have to remain masked indoors and out unless you are at home, have an exemption or are eating, drinking or smoking. The five kilometre travel limit for only five reasons will be lifted. Pretty well all businesses can reopen but still with some heavy restrictions. Office buildings can have 25 percent of workers return. 

There has been about a dozen new infections in Melbourne over each of the last three days, all in isolation for their whole infectious period. 

However, we won't be able to visit people in their homes. It is over four weeks since we have seen Mother and thought we would be able to do so this coming Sunday.

Technically if she waited at the bottom of ABI Brother's driveway and we picked her up in the car, we could take her out for lunch and shopping. But that goes against the spirit of the new rules, so we won't. 

I said to R we will go for a nice long drive in our new car on Sunday, it yet to travel over the speed of 60 km/h. He replied screw that. We have nothing on the calendar for Thursday. We will go out that day.

Not so bad for my state, but what about New South Wales, specifically Sydney? What a disaster with days and days of over 100 new infections. While Sydney does lockdowns less severely, can someone with Sydney knowledge really explain to me why the infection rate is so bad there?

Monday, July 26, 2021

Monday Mural

Quite a number of people participate in Monday Mural, including Sami in Perth, WA. 

It was late summer when I caught a train to Hawthorn and saw this mural as I waited at the tram stop outside the station. I am not sure why later I was where I was in Riversdale Road when I came across this second mural. I expect there are big stories behind both.

I couldn't do much about the shadowing. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Birds in the 'hood

I was delighted to come across these lorikeets in a South Yarra side street as I took my lockdown exercise walk. This Saturday I was there at the same time and they weren't being fed. I think it is ok to feed native animals as long as it is irregular and they don't become dependant. However, once they know you are a possible food source, they will hang around, as was evident when I walked the same street today and I could hear lorikeets squawking away. That's ok. It passes the time for them. They are very noisy but ever so pretty. At times they fly past the Highrise, but so fast you never really see them, only hear them.