Saturday, October 23, 2021

Freedom Friday

Not quite. Retail is still only click and collect or delivery for another week or so, however we can now visit friends and family in the greater Melbourne area.

The government tried to play down Freedom Friday, but the media made sure that it was pointless. We woke this Friday morning to hear of pubs and bars having opened at midnight, people lining up outside hair and nail salons and people feeling very gay and joyous. Later there were family reunions and school kiddies back full time in classrooms. 

We rose so early and were at the barbers by 10.45, a cracking effort by us. Some were queued at 7.00 R, we have to catch one of these tram car thingies to get to town. After eleven weeks, the car can have a day off. 

While there was an outside queue, Barbers on Degraves Street was terrific. Three cutters were at work and there were about seven in the queue ahead of us. As after the last long lockdown, the boss was there to monitor and make sure everyone was happy. Working forwards, we stood at the back of the line, moved to desk chair then two stools, a two person bench seat and then a bench seat inside. We waited about an hour, but time well worth it. The owner had clearly worked out a deal with a local cafe and asked if we would like coffee. We said yes, and the cafe delivered it to us. Later she came along with mints in a bowl. She was quite touchy feely, which sometimes makes me feel uncomfortable but she did not. She was just so lovely and naturally nice.

It took me a little finding out but I had time to kill as I waited and it turns out the photographer who took outside photos of the queue and then was given permission to photograph inside if no customer objected was from Newswire. What it that? Ah, news.com.au and he is a Rupert Murdoch minion. Maybe we will be in the tabloid papers tomorrow. 

Feeling like recently shorn sheep, we bounced up to our usual cafe in Centre Place for a plate of  bacon, toast and scrambled eggs and wow, I had forgotten how good the taste of coffee is when served in a china cup.

This not being locked down thing is a little tiring so we adjourned to home for a good long rest and regained our energy for dinner out at Rosco's, just a three stop tram trip from home. As we do, we overordered and we gave no thought to starving Biafrans. Except I did. I hate wasting food. Not a lot was really wasted. Why were we once so concerned about Biafra and where is it? A copy and paste.

a secessionist state in West Africa that separated from Nigeria and existed from May 1967 to January 1970

Not a bad day really although R of course found fault with me and gave me what for about something, but I can't remember what it was.  Water and a duck's back.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Friday Funny

By the time a new coalition government is formed in Germany, there is a good chance Angela Merkel will be the longest serving Chancellor of Germany, exceeding Helmut Kohl. I instinctively disliked her initially, being of a party called Christian Democrats. Oh, religion in the party name! I am not keen on that.

Who would have thought she would go on to be one of the most powerful political leaders in the world.

The Merk is such an interesting person because she is so uninteresting. Germany does have a little history with 'interesting leaders'. For nigh on twenty years the uninteresting Merk has ruled with aside from admitting a large number of Arab refugees, without great controversy, and Germany remained prosperous. You really have to respect her for presiding over a generally stable and prosperous Germany. 

Nevertheless, no politician can't have the piss taken out of them. As usual before publication I've watched this several times and each time, I am still amused, this last time by the final line. Viewing time, 2.45, Tracy Ullman playing both roles.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

On our floor

Our new neighbours who paid AU$1.3 million moved in Monday last. Steph would be in her thirties and introduced herself to us when we met at the lift. She is bright and bubbly and there is a baby. Her adjacent neighbours, who rent, have a toddler. 

Since I began this post last week, I have met Steph in the lift. She had her I suppose 18 month old boy with her. He has the same name as R. From what I could see of the sole time we saw her partner, he looked and sounded pretty good, even when masked.

There isn't an apartment on any level that ends in four, as the building was originally marketed at Asian folk and four is unlucky number for some Asian people. Even one of the lifts does not display level four, but there is a fourth floor, and there is a level thirteen too.

Until the the top three levels of 19 to 22, the apartments above the 10th to 18th level are all the same design. There are six apartments on each level, five are three bedroom and one is two bedroom. The two rear three bedroom apartments don't have views although they did when the building was opened. The office building behind was extended upwards with a residential component and so the rear apartments lost their very nice views. 

Aside from the afore mentioned new residents at the beginning of this post, on our floor there is us, a pleasant single woman about my age who bought her apartment a few years ago, a friendly European born guy with a slight limp with a female Asian partner who I think have lived here nearly as long as we have, an older Asian couple who are nice but rarely seen, and a smoking hot guy with his wife and now grown baby to be a toddler. 

Ah, so you are dying to hear more about the smoking hot guy??? Maybe not. He is very very handsome, speaks beautifully, is very well groomed, fab thick dark hair, always impeccably dressed...rather like a younger version of me really. Alas I saw him topless in the lift as he was going down to the pool for a swim. I don't think I've ever been so disappointed since I learnt that Father Christmas was a fiction. What a wonderful thing that men can expose their chests and nipples and women can't. Well, a bit strange really.

There is a couple we know well in the building who we get along with well but he has dementia and she has mentioned that they may move to Queensland to live near a son, and that would mean (I have to check a couple of people) that we are the longest term residents in this building of 128 apartments. 

R always thinks we should move form this place 'no better than public housing' but when I ask where, what sort of place and we need to able to afford it at a change over price, he has no answer. 

I've ordered my individually measured box to carry me away.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Transport Tuesday

To look at this photo you would not think that Sydney's tram system was very fast and very efficient. Sydney had the largest tram system in the world after London. Note at the bottom of the photo a policeman in a pith (no lisp) helmet. He is directing traffic and with the huge number of people moved by trams, priority was given to keeping them moving in preference to motor cars.

The photo was taken at Taylor Square looking towards the city along Oxford Street, later to become known as the gay mile. Back then it was quite a retail shopping street and a very busy tram arterial with trams to Bondi Beach and numerous south eastern beachside suburbs. The photo was taken in 1950. By 1961 trams had disappeared from Sydney's streets. 

I expect the Google Street View car was there at a quiet time. While not manic like in the old photo, Oxford Street is still very busy with many cars and buses. The Oxford Hotel visible on the right was a gay venue, then degayed and has now regayed. We had a nice meal and a good time there in May this year.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Monday Musings

You may have noticed my new blog header photo but it is off centre. What a trial it was to make the photo right. I finally thought I had it right but as you can see, it is off centre. I'll sort it tomorrow, manana. 

I was sitting in the nearby Little Sandy Desert on Sunday and I looked at my blog on my phone. 


The phone shows you a phone friendly version of your blog, but you can switch to desktop view and I did so and suddenly realised the header photo is left margin justified, so if it is too wide it won't centre. More pixel botheration and I will get there.

R bought some hair gel Saturday and we both successfully glued down our hair this Sunday. From the coming Friday hairdressers will be open again. We'll be queueing and then again at a car wash. 

From the end of this week we can travel over Greater Melbourne. Half an hour after the announcement, Ex Sis in Law was on the phone, asking if we would like to join them for lunch somewhere on the Mornington Peninsular. Seeing Mother should be the priority, but we need some fun time. The new car will have a new experience, travelling at 100 km/h. I know R hates freeway driving so in spite of the pain it will cause me, I will drive. I may even push the car to 105. 

R asked why Ex Sis in Law and her husband why were they so keen to see us? I replied, they have disobeyed lockdown rules and seen everyone else. We will be a novelty. 

By the end of this month Victoria will reach 80% double vaccinated. Mother is having her first jab this week. The government forecast is 94% double vaccinated I think before Christmas. It will be impossible for anyone to function in society here if they are not double vaccinated. Nevertheless the tick to show for admittance to anywhere can quite easily be faked. I expect tech will catch up. It is a government certificate and faking one should have a high penalty, as I have heard is happening in the US where one woman with fake vaxx certificate was fined over US$20,000. So it should be.

I easily installed the double vaccinated tick to my Service Victoria phone app. I can check in to anywhere using the QR code and show anyone who is checking the tick. R's phone was harder. I did ask him if Medicare was linked to his MyGov account and he said yes, but it wasn't. Hours of frustration and very bad words by him towards our Premier and Chief Health Officer before I discovered his Medicare was not linked and that is why he couldn't get the tick to his app. Sorted eventually and he is very happy. 

I limit the podcasts I listen to, to a manageable number. Robyn Annear is long time local historian and author. I have her book A City Lost and Found: Whelan the Wreckers Melbourne. She has made some podcasts, about local matters but they would be interesting to anyone. I've just finished her third podcast and all three have been brilliant. They are essentially about quirky things she has discovered in old newspapers when researching, saving them and then thoroughly investigating the stories. An elephant weighed down with a stone in the late 1800's to retrieve the body of a drowned boy from a waterhole in inner Melbourne. What a story, stretching all the way to an elephant in the beer garden of a pub in Adelaide. 

After four weeks of R not being needed at his volunteer job, he is back on duty tomorrow, Monday morning. Wow, a morning to myself! What shall I do? Probably sit too long in the seat I am now sitting in. Such is life. 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Selections

This Sunday's post is accompanied by the (you have to imagine it) the sound of the bottom of a barrel being scraped. I've nearly run out of photos to use until we are set free. 

Check out Elephant's Child's and River's Sunday Selections.

One sole cyclamen flower has survived for a couple of weeks. We will keep the plant until places are open and we can buy something for summer. Green leaves are better than nothing. It did very well over our winter.


I caught this wisteria maybe three weeks ago. It was already just past its prime. It faces a walking lane, so motorists will never see it.


Socially undistanced and poor masking at the corner of Domain Road and Park Street. Even the arrival of a police car with four officers no longer sends people on their way. Everyone knows the police are there to buy their coffee too.


Aww, how sad. These poor dumped and unwanted stuffed animals lay there for a couple of days. Maybe council workers removed them to nice open fields.


A food delivery motorcyclist receiving either a fine or a good telling off buy our constabulary.


The tram and the pulled over white van were in collision. Given the tram has its own right of way, it is clear the van was the offender.


The tram was probably undamaged. With my knowledge it should have been a five minute delay to the tram while details were exchanged, but it was over half an hour. A tram line officer turned up in his car. It is possible the tram driver was too shaken to immediately drive. Some would brush it away as nothing, others be very distressed.

How did it happen? Traffic was banked up in Toorak Road back during our Covid five reasons to leave home time to where the white car is in the bottom of the photo above. Those who were stuck there were swinging right to go further down St Kilda Road and find a less congested route.  So imagine the white car at the bottom of the photo suddenly swinging right as the tram was passing by to its right. That would be what the van did. I heard the tram emergency brakes activate, which is what caused me to look to see what happened. No doubt the van driver would have said, I didn't see the tram. That would because the driver didn't check mirrors to look. Hello, trams run along tracks and I need to take check?