Saturday, December 11, 2021

Nick and the Tattooed Gardener

What a great name for a gay porn video. It's part of the title of the book, Our Brother Nick and the Tattooed Gardener. I read it more than once when I was young. I learnt a few things about London from the book. 

I don't know if it is a well known book or not, nor do I remember how I came by it. The cover displayed what Nick, his older brother and older sister presumably looked like. Maybe the brother's name was Julian, or was that Famous Five.

I can't remember much about the plot beyond a few things. The siblings solved a crime. I learnt about the existence of the Thames Water Police, that a postal van in the 1950s could have ER or GR on its side and that Marylebone was a difficult place name to pronounce, especially for the young Nick who kept saying Marry the Bomb. 

As in the picture, I don't remember Nick's siblings riding horses, so why the jodhpurs? Then I remember I wore them when I was a kid. Well, Mother tried to make me wear them but I thought they looked ridiculous and I refused at a very young age to wear them.

The book was first published in 1958 and I've just learnt that there was a series of Our Brother Nick books.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Friday Funny

We've all seen versions of this in real life, unbelievable explanations by public figures for their behaviour. It is not particularly funny but it is good satire. Media seems to be lacking in satire now.

Now what did happen to our late Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser's trousers in Memphis, Tennessee? Didn't seem to do him harm.

Of course there was Australia's highest rating right wing ranting radio broadcaster Alan Jones, charged with committing an indecent act in a public toilet in Soho, London. Didn't seem to do him harm either. I like how the wife in this clip moves away from her husband and stands alone with the children, rather than with him.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

You don't have mail

No mail anymore from this building. R worked in this building when it was a mail exchange sorting centre. It is now a pretty good hospitality business. I was at Spencer Street Station and I noticed these crowns adorning the building. Are they Doric columns?  

This one looks like a king's crown. Note the GR in the railings, George Regina Rex I suppose but the building is older than the reign of King George. 

And this one is like a queen's crown. 

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

What's for dinner?

I never ask. I also say, anytime you want to get takeaway, a supermarket meal or eat out is fine with me. Cooking is such an onerous task for me but R tends to enjoy it but does tire of thinking of what to cook. I can often come up with a good suggestion.

Saturday he made kedgeree for dinner and for Sunday he had premade minestrone. He said some nice bread would be good with both of those. I can make some, I volunteered. 

Now unlike Caro and perhaps others, I do not make bread from scratch. I put a bread mix in the old electric bread maker. How old? Judge by the colour of it. It is certainly not for sitting in a place of pride on a bench top. It may get used half a dozen times a year. I tried once and it makes excellent jam too. I've never had a loaf fail but I thought this one would be.

We tried a different loaf, brand and style, a white Vienna. The instructions said select the French setting on your bread maker. Ah yes, I've seen that setting. A little travel experience indicated an Austrian setting would be better, but I lack the cooking experience to argue. 

Overhead lighting shows what is happening via a clear window in the lid. It was rising nicely. Still rising nicely. Oh, rising a bit much. Oh, the loaf is pressing against the lid. Will it push the lid open? At this point I thought it was going to be a failure. 

But no, it was a terrific loaf and very light. Next time I may just add five grams of yeast rather than six.

Far from a perfect shape, but so nice. We use an electric knife to slice the bread.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Train Tuesday

I was at Flinders Street Station a few weeks ago and I noticed one of our new trains on an adjacent platform ready to depart. Of course I will remember the time later when it will become useful, but of course I would have forgotten. I know myself well enough to make a note of the time on my phone. The time was 2.45.

I really want a ride on the new train. It is known as an HCMT train, High Capacity Metro Train I think, and is purpose built to run from Pakenham and Cranbourne Stations in the far east to Sunbury in far west using an under construction tunnel from South Yarra, under the city, rising to ground level at South Kensington. It is a huge project and should be complete in 2025. The trains are built here from local and imported ingredients. 

A couple of weeks later when lazy retiree found some spare time, I checked timetables and estimated it was the 2.47 from Flinders Street which would make it the 2.54 at South Yarra Station. I was hoping that the train was allocated to the same run each day. Traffic was heavy in Toorak Road but I had allowed enough time for the 58 tram to get me to South Yarra Station on time. 

I was pleased as punch when I saw the bright LED headlights come into view. If I was a kid, I would have jumped up and down with excitement. Anyone looking at me at the time would not imagine that at all with my expressionless face mask on....ah, well yes, I was masked too. 

The train was very nice indeed. It was so smooth and quiet. In my glee I forgot to take photos except for this long one down the infinite length of the train. The line runs express through four stations and I left the train at Caulfield, its first stop after I boarded and caught the next train back to South Yarra, an old Comeng, not a bad train but quite old now. 

HCMT, fast in the inner suburbs.

Very quiet too.

There was a bit of a wait for the next tram home and as I was peering down at the Metro Tunnel works, I noted that the train following the one I caught was also an HCMT. Noted for future use.

Yes, so a lack of photos. That's not good blog fodder. I will take the same trip again however there was a train service alteration with trains only travelling to Westall Station and then buses. I was very disappointed to see an old Comeng arrive. I knew I had enough time to stay on the train for one station further, Carnegie to catch the next train back that should be a new HCMT, but it wasn't. 

Take three. Yay, here comes an HCMT. I journeyed on to Carnegie in almost luxury apart from the padded but rather hard seat, and the train back was an HCMT too. I got photos. Enough writing. Here are some pics. 

My first trip showing the infinity view through seven carriages. 

Here it comes into South Yarra Station.

The interior is nice with great and live displays of the train's path and current location. Good auto announcements too. But oh, the interior had barely had a surface that was not covered by signs. This signage thing has become way out of hand.

The overhead train line has replaced a congested road level train crossing.

It is so good to see that Koornang Road traffic congestion has been eliminated. Ah, well...

The are under the train flyover has been quite well down. Rosstown is an old name for Carnegie.

Lads shooting a few hoops. 

I think the original station.

Here comes my HCMT to get back to South Yarra.

The distant orange like seats are for people like me. Old and infirm and close to doors.

Departing South Yarra Station. The arse end of the train if you like. 

Speaking of stickers, train windows are now being plastered over, in some cases right at eye level where you look out the train window.

Oh dear, before my eyes this sticker fell off the window. I know some are stickers, but this one seemed to be just a cling on type sticker. It must be as it just fell off so easily, which was great for me as I could properly see out the window. 

Monday, December 06, 2021

Musical Monday

While I am not really a music person, shouldn't I at my age be listening to Country or Western, or perhaps something classical, even opera? Nah, music bores me, until I hear something I like and the extract of a dance tune in the style of what I danced to in gay night clubs grabbed me. 

I Googled Aldi supermarket dance music television ad, and my search auto completed well before I finished typing. So I am not the only one. I kind of remember it from years ago but I've never seen the clip though.

Oh, gosh, the track was released over twenty years ago. Where have I been? 

Ignoring my constant companion Arthur Itis I just want to dance.

This is the Aldi advertisement and while I can't be certain, I think the female voice over might be actor Sigrid Thornton. As ads go, it is pretty good in my opinion. I also just looked at the British Aldi Christmas commercial and it is rather different.

The original music clip.

Sunday, December 05, 2021


As you know, you never hear me whinging about anything. I simply point out errors of what is done or in behaviour.

What's the whinge about a bit of public art? I investigated. I caught a tram to the city and the 11 tram to Rose Street, Fitzroy. Ha, I remember former bloggers That's So Pants and Brownie going to the street market there one Sunday. 

The 'sculpture' made the news as it received a nasty assault., although I had heard it mentioned on radio before the assault. The back story to the work makes me cross, as it has others.

As I took photos, a local person asked me if I liked it. I replied, I don't mind it. Later at home looking at my photos, I decided I did not like it at all. It looked better on tv. Mein Gott, the wankery art description quote from The People's Republic of Yarra City of Yarra.

“Fallen Fruit seeks to both engage with and subvert this tradition,” the website says.

“The work does this by employing the symbol of the banana, anthropomorphised through the inclusion of a human skull, a memento mori to meditate on our Western tendencies towards unsustainable desires and excess.

“Using absurdity and humour as an entry point, this oversized pop object reveals the ‘infallibility’ of the super-human figure as social myth.”

So good to get a good understanding of the work. I read today that artist Jeffery Smart will never describe his art. Wise man. I don't think the City of Yarra should have tried. 

The cost of the artwork was $22,000, yes three zeros and paid for by a grant to City of Yarra from the Transport Accident Commission for road safety improvements in the minor Rose Street. 

It amused me that when I was taking the straight on photo I endangered myself by standing in the middle of the street. A car turned the corner and I had to step out of the way. What a marvellous road safety initiative. 

I don't like being a misery guts about the work of artists, but really? Anyway, here you go. What to you reckon? Worth $22,000?

There were several attempts made to decapitate the statue but none succeeded.  You can see where the cuts have been patched over.