Saturday, November 27, 2021

Oh Dear

New South Wales has four public transport light rail tram lines. 

Sydney's L1 line has been suspended for up to 18 months because of defective trams. 

Newcastle's (upon Hunter) single tram line has been closed indefinitely 'for operational issues'. 

Sydney's L2 and L3 lines within the city between the busiest train station Central and the busy ferry terminal Circular Quay right through the heart of the city will be closed for maintenance from Friday night until Monday morning.

Two of the lines are suspended and the other two partly suspended. 

Nice work, Transport for New South Wales.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Looking at Motors

There was a very large car exhibition in St Kilda last Sunday. I caught a 16 tram to have a look. There was a huge number of cars and it was so busy. I was one of the few masked people and I really didn't want to mix among the crowds, so here are a few photos taken at one edge of the huge display. It was rather disappointing that I did not feel like mixing with the crowd, but there will be future car displays. How lucky are you to not have one hundred car photos to view! 

In my childhood a car engine could be called a donk, and my oh my, what a large donk this car has.

Dunno what brand this car is. It is very stylish, so maybe Italian?

Who doesn't love a VW Kombi van, especially an early one with front opening windows sending a warm breeze through your hair as you drive a scenic coastal road or through a mature grown temperate rain forest on your way to a camping site? I left my own fantasy once I got to camping.

I drove my Chevvy to the Acland Street doesn't quite work, hey.

A General Motors Holden. I have to look at the parking lights to decide the model. I'll go with FE.

A Ford Fairlane, ZF model I think. I drove one once for several kilometres. It's large V8 motor pushed it along effortlessly and almost silently. It absorbed any bump in the road. It's steering wheel could be turned with you little finger. I also drove Mercedes and BMWs but this Australian car was the nicest car I have ever driven. No doubt it was very thirsty for petrol, it is too big for inner city driving and it didn't have air con, but gee in my fantasies I would really like one. 

I was about to cross the road to the tram stop to go home and this stretch yellow New York taxi appeared, loaded with party goers. I've not seen it before. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Queenscliff Day 3

The Saturday was a busy day. In the morning we had a local brunch in Queenscliff and a mooch around the shops. There is a fantastic gallery we nearly always end up visiting but never buy anything. It specialises in glass sculptors and very costly they are too. 

I'm not sure what this life sized Wombat lamp is made of but I thought reader Wombat would appreciate the photo. Lousy photo, I know.

Something was plonked in front of this sign and along with it being down low, hard to photograph.

Sister had asked what we were doing for the day and our plan was to meet our friend in Geelong and visit the newish library and the art gallery. Sister, who was very busy and in a state of high concentration with exam marking asked if we could take Jo into Geelong for some kind of performance class from 1.30 until 3.30. We agreed and we picked her up at 12 and drove to Geelong and she marched us off to her favourite Vietnamese place for lunch, except she couldn't find it. She walks very fast and we breathlessly tried to keep up. We went somewhere else, which was fine. The way she walked was along Little Malop Street, through a shopping centre, across the busy Malop Street and into another shopping centre. Little Malop is super trendy with lots of bars and cafes and very restricted traffic. Who would have thought. Nice discovery. We made our way back to where her studio was and left her there for two hours. 

This looked like an old fire station but the door was too narrow for a fire appliance. It was just a warehouse it seems, now a rather well regarded bar.

We met our friend and walked in the light rain to the Geelong Library. It's an interesting building and has a wonderful cafe terrace, closed because of you know what, but the terrace itself was still open. There are nice views over Johnston Park below and the Geelong skyline. Ten years ago there would not have been one highrise building to be seen. 

The roof of Geelong Station can be seen. 

I used the toilet in the library and thought I had been transported to Portugal. 

We walked back to art gallery which we really enjoyed when we last visited. This time there were two paid exhibitions and very little space for free viewing. One was a Frederick McCubbin exhibition and the other the Archibald portrait prize contenders. I was a bit annoyed. we ummed and ahhed about paying to see the Archibald exhibition but decided not to. I remember once seeing the same for free at the Bendigo Art Gallery.

We went for some afternoon tea and by that time Jo had finished her class. This neon sign above our table amused us. 

We dropped Jo home having decided we needed a night in and would have take away pizza. Sister called and said she had a large lasagne if we would like to join them but we were whacked and declined her offer. Pizza it was, just one hundred metres away to pick up. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021


A little lighter than yesterdays post, and written well early as we were out last night to see a gay ex workmate's new apartment and then have dinner together at a Nepalese restaurant. That will be nice.

I'm obliged to Mal for this amusement. Type askew into Google search and see what happens. 

Since it opened during lockdown, many afternoons I have bought coffee from the cafe Otis. I sit at an outside table, but under lockdown when outdoor seating was not allowed, I would buy takeaway coffee and sit in the adjacent Little Sandy Desert park. Once near closing time I was offered an egg and bacon tart for free as it was unsold. Yes please!

It was delicious, a whole egg in a pastry topped with bacon, somewhat healthier than one of John Grey of Wales' Scotch eggs, I have bought a few over the months. There are more exotic versions of the tarts too. R likes a spinach and something kind. 

Now lockdown has ended, the tarts are sold out earlier and I haven't been able to have one of late. At times earlier in the day I pass the cafe in the car or on foot. I so want to pop in and say, "Can you save me a tart for later", but it just sounds so wrong. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

I am ashamed

I am very ashamed of some of my fellow citizens. A group of protestors have for some time been protesting against previous lock down measures, non compulsory vaccination, (practically, compulsory if you need or want  to function in society), construction workers who have continued to work during lock downs who had a major hissy fit when told they couldn't use their lunch rooms for a short time and generally would not mask up at work in spite of it being a legal requirement. How do nurses feel having to wear a mask all day or worse, full protection? 

The protestors who occupied the space outside State Parliament House were made up of anti vaxxers, hard right, Nazi types, christian right, the extreme left, anti lock downers, anti maskers and especially those who are against legislation shifting public health rules from the Chief Medical Officer to the Parliament where there would be normal parliamentary oversight. Oddly, well not really, this is what the opposition party wanted, but now they don't, and so currying favour with the protestors. 

I have no problem with legitimate protests and even extreme protests against megalomaniacs, dictatorial leaders and despots. But in a relatively civilised place, a mock hanging of  Premier Andrews using gallows was a step way too far, as was the urging of the extremists for protestors to bring guns. 

Hilary Clinton came up with the most marvellously descriptive word and if it didn't cost her winning office it must have surely cost her votes. Politicians must never put themselves above the common person, in the US case the very common person. But I am not up for any election.  

Yes, Hilary using the phrase The Deplorables was unwise, but The Deplorables is just such a great way to describe our local protestors. I am rather sad that we have them at all. It's not how I want our country to be. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Monday Mural

I was walking from Clarendon Street to Kingsway to catch a tram home and I walked past a public housing three storey walk up apartment building. It looked so shabby and run down and I expect it will soon be demolished. I hope it will be replaced with better public housing.

Nevertheless it is very much brightened up by these murals at the front of the building. Technically, maybe not great art, but surely great art can come from making you smile.

The cat looks looks like one of our two dearest departed pets, Thomas. He was a large cat who you could drape over you shoulder. He would go to anyone who would give him a nurse or affection. He would purr loudly as soon as he was on anyone's lap but unfortunately would then copiously drool. We loved him so much. He disappeared one day and we found him under a shrub ready to die. We took him to the vet and with many tears by us, she put our dear Thomas down. Unlike children, you are allowed to love some pets more than others. Much sympathy to Jenny in Canada who will have to make a decision in the near future about her beloved puss Meredith.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Queenscliff Day 2

We had to be up at the crack of dawn to meet our Geelong based caravan friend in by 11.30. Geelong is 30 minutes from Queenscliff and we were nearly late. He had parked at the Botanic Gardens and we picked him up from there and found a free parking space right outside our intended destination, The National Wool Museum

We battled with the parking meter. At home in City of Port Phillip and City of Melbourne I use an app on my phone to pay for parking, but other councils use different systems. Absurd!

I thought I might get a good understanding of how the fleece of a sheep is turned into wool but in spite of the excellent displays, old machines and information, I feel I know less than I did. However I did pick up some information, like 98% of our wool is exported. I am sure a decent percentage is sent back to us as made clothing. A case in point, we bought a pure Australian wool beanie for our youngest great niece Little Ju as a Christmas present. The beanie was made in Pakistan. It is a curious thing that we ship wool to Pakistan and they send it back in the form of a beanie. Well, I am not an economist. 

I am not sure what this has to do with wool but this display by changing lights makes patterns and if you look long enough shapes become forms of something recognisable. I didn't stare long enough perhaps.

It was controlled by these relays? loudly clicking away. I didn't get too close in case rats were nesting in there.

This is a very large and impressive carpet? loom. You can see some carpet was being made when, it seems from the out of order sign, the machine failed.

So much yarn.

It looks so complex.

The runner carpet made on the loom was stunning to both look at and feel. It is a 80 per cent wool, 20 per cent nylon mix, just like ours at home.

A word on this sign grabbed my attention. Steve, did you know teasel flower heads were used to raise the nap of wool? 

Initially I thought I had accidently walked in the museum's staff kitchen, but no. It was a very authentically set up 1950s kitchen. A lot of wool was processed in Geelong and perhaps the industry was at its peak in the 1950s. I've never seen cannisters like these before. Aren't they delightful. Some of the wool stores survived and been repurposed, as has this one. 

I really liked these spice containers too.

After our look around the museum, thankfully not full of school children as it often is, we went to the cafe Two Sugars we had been to a couple of times with Sister, Bone Doctor and Jo. I ate a large bowl of lovely mussels in a rich tomato sauce. So good!

It pretty well rained lightly the whole day. We returned to our digs opposite the Queenscliff railway station. R was napping and I heard a train whistle. Out I went with a brolly and managed to get a couple of train photos. The train is not public transport but a tourist railway, and it does so many different trips from just tourist rides, to dinner journeys and blues music nights. Sister had been on it a number of times. The longest journey is from Queenscliff to Drysdale. From Drysdale on towards Geelong it is just a rail trail for walkers and cyclists.

Note to self, steam against a grey sky doesn't show up well.


Maybe for our next visit to the area, we will take a lunch or dinner train trip. The wait staff were so nicely dressed.

Our friend staying in the Geelong caravan park joined us, Sister and Jo at the Queenscliff Bowling, Tennis and Croquet Club. While elevated to give nice sea views, R did not really like the venue. I thought it was ok. As we used to say in the 1990s on Saturday nights, we were home in time for The Bill.