Saturday, August 21, 2021

I is Aussie

 Snowbrush posted a recent and interesting comment on my blog and I will insert his quote directly. 

"Setting aside politics and focusing on the fact that white Aussies, white Brits, and white Americans share fairly recent ancestors, do you feel any more--or less--of a connection to Brits than you do to Americans?"

When I first visited England in the early 2000s, I walked out from Paddington Station after our flight to Heathrow and our Heathrow Express train journey and I had to focus and concentrate so much, I had no time to absorb and think. It wasn't until a day or so later when R was in Boots (pharmacy) and I was waiting outside standing on the The Strand pavement, I looked around and thought, these are my people. This is where I (partly) came from. My ancestors walked these streets. Ok, maybe most of the people I saw on The Strand were tourists and foreign students.  But the point stands. I am sure my ancestors would have at some point walked on the pavement of The Strand, just as I was. But no long lost fifth cousin twice removed came up and greeted me. The English can be a bit insular

My second London visit found me annoyed at the busyness and noise of the big city. My third just two years ago, I felt at one with London. I get this city and I really like it.

Anyway, Snowy's comment made me ponder, thinking of all sorts of things. When young I knew I was of British stock. No one I know has found any convict associations on my father's side and I know about my mother's side. The Italian part of me is of dirt poor Swiss stock. God knows how they knew how to emigrate to Tasmania. 

What I knew of Britain and America was from tv. Why in the tv show On the Buses do they keep opening and closing doors in the family house? To keep the rooms warm of course as then they did not have central heating. I really wanted one of the six metre phone leads so I could walk around with the phone in my hand as Mary Tyler Moore did, and not be tied to the hall phone table with a less than one metre cord.

Our esteemed Australian media doctor Norman Swan arrived in Sydney from Glasgow, to the very inner suburb of Balmain to be precise. He said while it looked like Glasgow, it felt like what he imagined America to be. 

I was born in Australia with multi generational ancestors here. This is my country. This is where I was born, this is the country I love. It is not God's Own Country. We have many problems here but for better or worse, it is my country and I feel no connection to Britain or the US.

Grace, Sami, Cathy, Diane and perhaps others are Australian but weren't born here. How do they feel about Australia? Do they feel the belonging? Do they feel Australian above all else and or disconnected to where they came from? 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Prematurely grey

My grandfather, Mother's father would have been I guess mid 50s in my first memory of him. He was bald except for a grey ring of hair around his scalp. Even in his wedding photos when he would have been late twenties, he was bald. 

My maternal grandmother was younger and may have been under 50 with my first memory of her. We used to call her Granny Grey behind her back and you can guess why.

I may have a grey hair or two but I am in denial, but not nearly as much as Mother.

"I am dying. I can barely walk. I complained to my heart specialist that his prescribed drugs make me ill, so he changed them and the new make me even worse. I stopped taking one I thought was making me so bad and gone back to the earlier ones. I think I need to go back to hospital to have all my problems sorted out."

"Also dearest and most wonderful senior and caring son, my hair has turned grey in a few weeks. That is how unwell I am."

In the 1970s I noticed a patch of grey hair at my mother's head crown and truth be told, I don't think she actually knows her hair is grey.

She doesn't know because at least once a month for as long as I can remember she has had a hairdresser colour her hair. Since her last hospital stay she had her hair cut but said she was too unwell to have her hair coloured. 

Of course with lockdown she can't go to her hairdresser, but once the lockdown ends, I am sure her grey hair will have been a temporary aberration because she was so unwell. It will return to its natural colour very soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

To Toon

Toon as some Scottish and Geordie people in the north of England pronounce the word town. At some point between Lockdown 6 and Lockdown 7 we went into town for brunch and a wander.

I came across the bees at Southbank years ago but then I couldn't find them again. This time I Googled them and then asked Google Maps for directions and there they were. I think they need a bit of a polish to gleam as when I first saw them.

Much publicity was given to The Knot in Federation Square. We felt a little underwhelmed. Apparently it looks quite good at night when illuminated.

Nova Peris is an Aboriginal woman who was part of a winning Olympic hockey team in Atlanta in 1996. She swapped to sprinting for the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumper where she won two gold medals. She also competed in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. In 2013 she was elected as a Northern Territory Senator and left politics at the next election in 2016. This is wonderful sculpture of Peris at Fed Square. 

But who is this Aboriginal lass depicted in another very good statue at Fed Square?

Later edit: The sculpture is a replica of a statue called Fearless Girl in New York City and unveiled on International Women's Day in 2019.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

COVID Funnies

Nothing about COVID is funny. Nothing even engenders a wry grin. But there was laughter at this joke at an illegal engagement party. Can you believe some in medical professions attended!

“Clearly this is legal,” the man says to the room, “because this is a group therapy session.” The crowd made up of men and women from young children to older middle aged, laughed at the joke." And then the spread started. 

I often walk to the Domain Road cafe area. At times it seems too busy. I buy a takeaway cup of coffee from a quiet place and sit on a bench on my own at an electricity substation. I think I may have gone there on Saturday and it was extra busy. Now I know why. People were buying take away coffee and take away alcohol and gathering in groups to drink. Rinse and repeat. The police who themselves buy coffee from cafes there have never challenged anyone, but eventually they did crack down.

These examples of irresponsible behaviour has led to a tougher lockdown, extended for two weeks. We now have a 9pm curfew, children's playgrounds have closed and masks cannot be removed to drink alcohol in public. 

Thanks to you all for having our lockdown extended.

Crowds in Domain Road not socially distancing and with poor mask wearing behaviour. It has been worse than when I took this photo.

Ditto for Elwood Beach.

New South Wales Premier during Victoria's COVID outbreak in 2020 with our twelve week lockdown. Yesterday new infections for Victoria, over 20, NSW, over 400. Let thee who casts the first stone....

Our Prime Minister received his first vaccination.

While Australia burned in early 2020, our PM was enjoying a holiday in Hawaii. Good advice for the NSW Premier as she may as well be in Hawaii for all she is doing.

Almost to a year our PM has changed his mind and thinks lock downs are wise.

PS Two really down consecutive posts. I will do better tomorrow.

History repeats

History repeats itself even in my lifetime. Remember the Saigon scenes as in this photo as the last American evacuation choppers airlifted evacuees out, with many wannabes left behind?

It took no time for a tank to crash through the gates of the Presidential Palace. 

How much was spent by western governments during the Afghan war? The US alone estimate is three trillion dollars. It's only money. There were lives lost too, 3,500 coalition forces soldiers killed, 20,000 US soldiers injured and maybe 70,000 Taliban and also peaceful local citizens killed.

And now, 46 years after the western world bolted from Vietnam, we have seem the same in Afghanistan. Did the west really think they could do what the Soviet Union couldn't? Such arrogance. Twenty years of war by the 'Coalition of the Willing' for nothing. The west is always right and the rest is always wrong.

I am not saying the west should not intervene where mass human life is at threat, as we should have in then Kampuchea, and while we did so belated in East Timor, perhaps some East European countries and African countries too, the west cannot change the cultures of other countries and why should they be able to? This pull out from Afghanistan is going to get worse before it gets better. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Monday Mural

Aboriginal influenced murals at Preston Market plus one weird one that makes no sense to me. I don't mind them at all. Preston Market is quite a distance from home. I took the train for reasons other than taking mural photos and I came across them.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sunday Selections

Joining in with EC and River for Sunday Selections  Can I get this done at 9.40 10.20 on a Saturday night? Maybe.

Hatched area means not for parking, but the sign said otherwise. We are quite pleased with our white car with lower black..

Too many rainbows at The Highrise to count.

Walking through bushland in the posh inner suburb of Kooyong to the train station. 

My photo doesn't do him justice. He was smoking hot.

Cheap and nasty self watering pot but it works and has done for many years. R looks after indoor plants and I look after outdoor plants.

The 20th century artist Albert Tucker lived here for much of his later life. The house itself was hidden by vegetation, but not now.

A fountain has been installed.