Saturday, October 09, 2021

Here is the news, from the BBC

 A headline popped up briefly on my phone. It takes less time to ignore and delete them than find out where they come from and why, and then find out how to stop them. 

The headline was Saudi Arabia buys the English Newcastle United football team. I've always thought of football teams, both here and in the UK to be community organisations. But no, they are commodities to be bought and sold. Apparently to get around rules, the Saudis set up some kind of removed trust to take ownership and get past foreign ownership rules. 

"The shock news will delight the fanbase after a Newcastle United Supporters' Trust survey on Tuesday showed that 93% of its members were in favour of the takeover."

I very much doubt that it was what the people in Newcastle I know think. More like "f****** Arabs now own our footy team. What was the point of voting for Brexit?". Brexit didn't turn out to be a cure all, hey. Later: After an exchange of messages with R's nephew in Newcastle, they want the old out so much and go on to football success, not caring where the money comes from. 

Hmm, I am now looking at English news. My city of Greater Melbourne has it's Green Wedges that can't be developed or built upon, except they are. London has its Green Belt, that can't be developed or built upon, except it is. What an absolute disgrace, in both places.

But it is hardly a wonder that there is pressure to develop London't Green Belt for homes. Little is left for the English in London but a modest flat once you subtract the land and housing owned by the Church of England, the Catholic Church, the Royals, Russian oligarchs, oil rich Middle Easterners and South East Asians, celebrities and the lords and ladies of realm. It is a very broken model. 

I am not going back to the BBC website. It is too depressing. Especially after reading the champion of the working class, former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife he having denounced as he was elected the rich and big business avoiding paying tax, and now he and his wife have bought a property for millions of pounds using a purposely set up overseas company and thus did not have to pay something like £350,000 property purchase stamp duty. 

The pub sniff test smells like a rather rotten odour. Crooks, liars, thieves and charlatans.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Friday Funnies

I think I used the best of them last Friday, but here is the remainder in my store. I am busy working on another post. 

Thursday, October 07, 2021

It's for the birds

Remember the photo of the beautiful magnolia I published a few weeks ago, well the magnolia is now in full leaf without flowers but continues to give with this kookaburra sitting on a branch. 

We have lived here for 19 years now and had many avian visitors to our balcony. Rarely sparrows. Mostly Indian Mynas, never a seagull or Australian magpie, but mudlarks or mud jays. There was the great cockatoo massacre of one of balcony plants resulting in a broken pot and a well chewed up plant. We were out at the time. 

We've had visits by sulphur crested cockatoos, corellas, galahs, butcher birds, kookaburras and currawongs. Two days ago a pair of currawongs visited. Their call is quite distinctive and more noticeable at this time of the year when the boy bird and the girl bird want to like each other in that very special way. Note one bird has a stick in its mouth for nest building or repairing. 

The breeding peregrine falcons atop a city building must be very pleased with their 2020 successful breeding of three healthy birds last, with a total fail the year before. This year four eggs were laid, three eggs hatched almost together and days later the fourth hatched.

You can see them here , in black and white at night but high definition colour during the day, and there is a moderated Facebook chat site with stills and short videos, along with plenty of information.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Current Affairs #101

Ma'me, there is a new leader in the Australian state of New South Wales. Your Governor swore him into office today.

Isn't that so quaint that I can still do that in Australia. Do tell me about him.

He is their version of our Tories, Ma'me. He is presentable, albeit rather boring. He is happily married with six children.

Six children! Ah, so he is...well has an Irish background?

Yes Ma'me.

Is it known if he would bother chaps like my footmen, equerries and many of my male staff? Chaps like you, you know. I mean bother them in areas of human and civil rights?

He is quite religious Ma'me. It is possible.

I like my subjects people to be happy and gay. Will this new NSW Premier upset that? 

I really don't know Ma'me. 

You should know before 'advising' me. Who is the Australian High Commissioner to Britain now? I need to meet him.

One George Brandis Ma'me. Strange last name but he is sound and not a rock the boat person. I will summon him for a meeting.

Don't. I tire of the obsequious low bows by our colonial representatives. Just let him know my thoughts via the usual discreet channels. 

Ma'me, I know just the right journalist to do that.

Thank you. I vaguely recall reading about some trouble with women's rights in one of our former colonies. Now where was that?

Ma'me, it is within the State of Texas in the United States and about a woman's right to decide what her body does so far as bearing children.

Like Ireland then? Will this new Premier go down that path? 

Yes Ma'me, like Ireland. I don't know about the new Australian Premier. You know those in the south of our old American colony have always been difficult.

Thank you for filling me in. I find it hard to wade through so much reading at my age but I did note something very odd. In our old colony across the Atlantic around 640,000 people have died from Coronavirus. In our large South Pacific colony, sorry almost independent...  I am not sure what Australia is really. Is it a dependency? Well, 1,300 have died from this wretched virus. Yet Americans protested outside the Australian Embassy in New York City against the lockdowns in two Australian states. Why would they do that?

Sorry to interrupt Ma'me. HRH Prince Andrew is on the telephone and wishes to speak to you about his legal bills. 

I will not tolerate eye rolling or pursed lips by staff in my presence. Put my son's call through and you are dismissed, after you bring me my cheque book, fountain pen and a first class postage stamp.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Boy trees and girl trees

I could look this up myself of course but what fun is that when I have you to show off share your knowledge.

St Kilda Road elms are about to leaf but at the moment they are covered in seed pods, hops. In the nineteen years we have lived here, I've never noticed the rats of the skies eating the elm seeds, tossing the husks around on the ground until they get at the seed. Such are the things you notice when locked down and have time.

However, the elms in nearby Fawkner Park are bare, with just a few tiny leaves beginning to appear. They don't have any seeds at all. But it seems both trees will come into leaf at the same time.

Are there boy elm trees with the seeds and girl trees without the seeds? Different varieties?

Elms with seed.

The seeds make a mess and pigeons love the seeds.

An elm tree in Fawkner Park that has no seeds and if you embiggen the photo, you may see traces of green leaves emerging. I can see all of this from our balcony.

Monday, October 04, 2021

The Unvaxxed

Sadly within friends and family there are the unvaccinated. 

Mother; your four children are fully vaccinated by Astra Z without side affects. Our genes are very akin to our yours so it is unlikely you will have a reaction. She has placed no importance on being vaccinated and I think it was remiss of the hospital where she was for a number of weeks to not vaccinate her. 

It wasn't until Carer Brother told Mother that her hairdresser Dawn would only accept clients who are fully vaccinated that Mother started to take notice. Mother is very afraid of side affects but she is not anti vax.

Our Hairdresser Friend is 60, so not eligible for Pfizer but is for Astra Z. She is afraid of Astra Z and wants Pfizer. She has waited and hopes to get Moderna now. She is at the absolute bottom of the queue for Pfizer.Later: It looks like she can now get Moderna. 

Oldest Niece is not a small woman. She read on the internet that she is at risk from any vaccine because of her size and is hesitant. However given she runs a childcare centre, her unvaccinated status is untenable and she will have to be vaccinated if she wants to work. 

In England R's smoking hot great nephew is not vaccinated and his grandmother, R's sister, does not know why. The great nephew's stunningly glam partner won't get vaccinated either because she wants to have a baby and worries about the effect.

None of the above are anti vax, but they are concerned, hesitant and subject to internet propaganda. 

Why can't people listen to medical experts and scientists instead of the crazies and crazy things they seem to find online. As expert medical people say, the best vaccine is the one you can get now. Stupid, stupid, stupid people

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Sunday Selections

Joining in with  River and Elephant's Child for Sunday Selections with some random photos. 

We left Point Ormond as the clouds threatened and the rain pelted down on our car shortly afterwards, but five kilometres away at home, it was dry. 

When Household Management wails, I am sick of trying to think of things to cook for dinner, I come up with some helpful ideas, although me cooking isn't one of them. The McCain's roast chicken meals from the supermarket are rather good. We've tried a couple of other meals from the supermarket under the same brand and other brands, and we weren't keen on them, but this roast chicken meal is really nice.

An acorn came to Australia from England in 1937.

Here is the result.

Leafing up trees in a local park looked wonderful in the afternoon sunlight.

It amazing how much expensive South Yarra property is owned by Melbourne Boys Church of England Grammar School. At least it looks after the buildings it owns.This Victorian era pair are just so nice. 

I wonder what this is at Sandbar Cafe at Middle Park Beach? It appears there may be a flame involved.

The Almighty Lord Premier Daniel Andrews decreed we can picnic in a group of two if we are unvaccinated or five if you have had your first vaccine but only from two households. No one took notice of the detail and just started picnicking. 

My friend Grace at Perth Daily Photo may have once or twice inserted red into a black and white photo.. As a Francophile I am sure she will like this photo, although she may have seen it before. 

Full rainbow. Tick!

It is all my fault we didn't buy a large enough 'fridge to fit everything in but in recent years of not entertaining visitors, our 'fridge seems quite big enough for the two of us. Household Management cleaned the glass shelves a day or so later. 

Another night when Household management took sick leave and we had to buy food from the Thai restaurant across the road. By gosh, it was good Aussie tucker. Note the fried rice in the half cut pineapple, the wooden satay sticks visible, and the peace de resistance, hot and sour soup.