Saturday, September 25, 2021

Footy Grand Final

The Australian Rules Grand Final football match is normally at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with its always sold out capacity of 100,000 spectators. 

I'm not a great admirer of the avaricious Australian Football League but it has for the last two seasons managed the changing Covid landscape and state lockdowns so well. 

The football grand final will be played in our far western capital city of Perth. Tickets to watch the match were sold out quickly with a stadium capacity of 60,000. I am not expecting to see Grace or Sami in the crowd. Western Australia is Covid free and the players and AFL have been bubble quarantining in Perth for the proscribed two weeks.

The grand final teams of Footscray and Melbourne are now known respectively as the Doggies or Bulldogs, and the Demons. The two teams last played a grand final against each other in 1954 and Footscray had a resounding victory. 

Below is photo of  Mother with her friend Rita in 1954. They were going to see a film and film listings were in newspapers back then, hence her carrying a newspaper. Yes, I have used the photo before. 

Mother was a supporter of the Footscray team and was at the match at the MCG Grand Final in 1954 when her team won.  Sixty seven years later, again the working class team of Footscray, from the wrong side of the river, is playing the posh Melbourne team. Well, it was very much like that in 1954. Not so much now but there are still attitude vestiges of the times.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Friday Funny

Ah, the English north and south divide, beautifully illustrated and maybe not too exaggerated by the marvellous Katherine Tate. Two minutes of your time won't be wasted.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

A Covid distraction day

It seems our earthquake became world wide news. It was around 9.15am here and I was loading the dishwasher. R who was sitting in a lounge chair said something and I couldn't hear him above what I thought was a very loud truck or helichopper. Impolitely I said "what?", and he asked in a panicked voice, what's happening? 

Our sherry decanter is Waterford crystal, bought in the early 80s duty free in Christchurch, New Zealand. The glass port decanter cost much less and doesn't seem to have flat base. The port decanter rattled away on top of the glass topped drinks trolley and then I realised it was an earthquake. R thought he was having a heart attack, and others did too. Sister said it made her feel quite sick.

Official earthquake advice tells us to get under a table or desk. There wasn't really time. It was seconds of quaking not minutes. And with a glass desk and dining table, we need to think of alternatives to those, lest we be sliced in half by broken glass.

Meanwhile it was a shocking day in Melbourne with a few construction workers protesting, along with far right folk, neo nazis, anti vaxxers and anti lockdowners. It was nasty. Rubber bullets were fired. Ex Sis in Law called to tell us to stay inside as the protestors were close to us just five minutes walk away. I had taken my afternoon walk and stopped not within sight of the protest site of  The Shrine for coffee and I wasn't far away at all and I could hear the hovering tv news chopper. 

About 10 o'clock Sister called to find out if we felt the earth move. She had just called Mother to check on her and Mother just thought it was a loud vehicle passing by. We joked that the quake was in sync with Mother's shaking and that is why she didn't notice. 

A Victorian period building not too far away suffered falling brickwork but otherwise damage was very minor. I checked an app to see if trams were disrupted in Chapel Street and they were. The street is closed. I then checked Twitter to see what Yarra Trams had posted and I came across a Tweet I found amusing, cleverly connecting the riotous protest and the quake. It is slightly rephrased by me.

Protesters at 9am: Today we're gonna shake up this city.

Mother Earth at 9.15: Hold my beer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Construction Workers

It has taken time coming but now Covid has broken out on building sites. In spite of government, construction companies, unions and workers denials, you only have to walk past a building site to see that there is very little Covid working rule compliance. Hey, building workers won't even comply when they leave work for smoko or lunch, while not eating, smoking or drinking coffee. They are big powerful straight men, and large biceps probably make you immune to Covid, but they sure can contract it and spread it, as they have.

Building workers have been protesting against the lock down of their lunch rooms, a prime place for Covid transmission where they unmask and sit together, and them having to be vaccinated to work on site. It seems like they prefer to catch Covid, prefer to infect their families and the community and overload our hospital system. I suggest such people are not the brightest sparks in the fire.

The government is punishing them and rightly so. All but essential building sites have been shut down for two weeks and the construction workers won't be paid. 

I don't usually side with conservative politicians but as a late past 1960s Victorian Premier said about schoolteachers who were protesting to improve their working conditions and pay, 'They can bloody well march up and down Bourke Street until they are footsore'. 

So I say it to building workers. I do not like masks. My mother at 87 does not like masks. I don't like not being able to see friends and family. I don't like being so restricted. We were both vaccinated against Covid at the earliest opportunity we could without being choosy about which vaccine. The best vaccine is the one you can get now.  We follow the rules for our own good and that of the communities we live among.

Construction workers, get with the majority of us. You are not above nor beyond us.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

I'm from the government and you can trust me

Here is a story from London that caught my attention. I will summarise mostly using information from the south east London website, The Charlton Champion.

A freight line used by trains maybe once a day and not far from where we stayed in North Greenwich in 2019 has an unsignalled and non auto gated pedestrian crossing. In spite of not seeing much freight traffic, the signalling was upgraded and Network Rail wanted to close the pedestrian crossing, used by nearly 700 people a day. It was built in 1850 for farm workers to cross the track. 

Network Rail is a government organisation and claimed the crossing was the most dangerous in the London area. The aforesaid Charlton Champion challenged NR to produce evidence. NR then said the crossing was the most dangerous in that area. CC challenged this too and NR then fessed up that it the 34th most dangerous crossing in the area. Still odd when there aren't any other official pedestrian crossings

Thieves, crooks, liars and charlatans, and you ought not expect that from a government organisation. 

People power saw Network Rail cancel the closure, a good result in my opinion. It's not like it is a line that sees a train every few minutes and being freight, the diesel powered trains would not be travelling very fast on the single track. Can't people look after themselves just a little bit?

Photo of the crossing from 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday Mural

I am joining in with Sami and others for Monday Mural. 

We lived in our small and modest house in Balaclava for eight or so years. We have wonderful memories of life there when we had lots of friends, family visits, hosting Christmases, our gorgeous back courtyard with one wall covered in creeping ficus, another with potato creeper, one with wisteria, yet another with ivy, overhung by a large silver birch tree and invaded at times by a neighbours bougainvillea.  

Hydrangeas bloomed in the summer on the well shaded western wall. We had a barbeque and an eight seat outdoor table covered by a huge umbrella. All history and memories now, especially in our locked down lives. Life moves on, things change. No going back. Just great memories. 

The supermarkets and other shops were a couple of minutes walk away, so we never shopped weekly. Almost daily one of us would walk along Woodstock Street from Rosamond Street to the shops.

Woodstock Street is quite different now to what it was. There certainly wasn't a mural on this wall, but there now is. I can't see any meaning in this work, but nevertheless, I like it. 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday Selections

I'm joining in with Elephant's Child and River for Sunday Selections, this week just random photos. 

I think this was just before our current lockdown when for 'one night morning only' a free coffee cart appeared down below. I expect it was our tram company's doing, normally as compensation for scheduled works, but in this case, I don't know of any. It caused some congestion with people trying to pass  each other and those waiting for their coffee fix. There was much furious warning tram bell ringing by passing drivers. 

I wonder if they are famous footballers? They were doing what footballers do by standing in cold water although they were standing below the male comfort water line, which is generally mid thigh level They seemed to be aware that I was taking their photo. 

After they left the water we walked out along the Kerford Road Pier. 

I like how I composed this photo. The structure going into the water is a boat suspension launching system. 

This site now with an inappropriately tall building, so high it needs a flashing red light atop to warn aircraft, was once the sight of a cable tram engine house where steam power pulled cables along within under road slots in the streets to drag tram cars along. Just guessing, cable trams had disappeared by 1940 with an electric tram system replacing it. The system was the same as still can be seen operating in San Francisco. Have you ridden a San Francisco cable car? The engine house went on to become a bakery, then a roller skate rink with a retro hamburger restaurant called Jonny Rockets. I won't say dined, but we did eat at Jonny Rockets once, and attended Gay Skate at the skating rink. We observed the shrieking young faggots ungracefully rolling around with the occasional experienced skater. 

Set in the footpath outside the building entrance, the historic site is faintly noted. Only nerds like me would take a photo of the mention.

Bay Street, Port Melbourne. No idea what these are but they are planted in a number of places in the rather nice small park where we have so often sat and drunk coffee and eaten while locked down. We are allowed to go out for food and exercise. The exercise factor may have been a bit light on.

Grossness at Mac.Robertson's Girls School.

A word play on Lindy Chamberlain's now historical and 'proved' claim that a dingo ate her baby. Too soon for humour?

Kerbing at the edge of tram tracks in Toorak Road, evidence of where motorists have stupidly gone up the tram tracks and then moved left to road where they should have been if they were concentrating. and then damaged their car wheels. 

It amused me that we accidentally followed this KGB MI5 car around several corners until it eventually shook us off. Highriser saw the spooks off. Feel free to use the photo Sami.