Saturday, December 18, 2021

Looking sou'west

We have a 90 degree view to the east and south from our balcony. Sadly not city views as folk on the other side of the building see. I like our views so much. They were what sold me with buying this place when I wasn't particularly interested in high rise living. I've always been happy wherever we have lived and so it has been R who has pushed for change and he still makes a feeble attempt, mentioning a small modern new place with a courtyard. I say nah. We live in a building that only step or so short of low level supported retirement living. 

From the bedrooms we have views to the south west to the west too.

Looking down south along St Kilda Road. We can see a lot more in winter when the trees are leafless. Although we are officially in summer, we have received good rain thanks to the La Nina weather system and everything is looking lush. Four days of nearly 40 degrees can change that quickly, perhaps with a massive leaf drop by the elm and plane trees. 

St Kilda Pier and the marina are visible in the distance, along with golfers in Albert Park Golf Course. The sea is Port Phillip, a mostly calmish bay with a narrow inlet from the furious Bass Strait.

The waters of Port Phillip to the top of the photo and Albert Park Lake, originally a swamp, in the foreground. Bottom right is The Point venue. The Shape business in Queens Road wisely changed its name from Isis. You can't see it in these photos but the Australian Grand Pricks car racing circuit runs around the lake. We can see cars flash past at some points. Just so interesting, not. Some abominable people have been in the GP leadership, including the non convicted Hitler loving Max Mosley, another Hitler admirer Bernie Eccleston and our local late excretable Ron Walker. 

Now the Grand Pricks have been held in the disgraceful country Saudi Arabia. The organisation is a prostitute selling itself to the highest bidder, be it a murderer or torturer. 

Friday, December 17, 2021


Aren't passwords banes of our lives. I tied to simplify ours to just one but failed. Just when I thought I had the right one, sites would request a more complex password. I gave up.

R had our car insurance to pay today. He tried to log on to internet banking and in spite of being able to auto remember his six digit log in, he couldn't remember his internet banking password. 

He then thought to pay it over the phone but the auto system for payment asked for 19 digit bill number. R is not the most patient person and his blood pressure was starting to rise. There are good reasons for not having our banking log ins and passwords on our password list, but R complained that his banking password is not on the list. So, it is my fault then.

We use phone apps to do our banking now.  I said why don't you pay the bill using your phone app? I can do that? he asked. Yes, just like when you transfer money to my account, go to Pay Now. He did and paid the car insurance using BPay. 

I began to think, when was the last time I logged on to internet banking rather than using my phone app? Quite some time ago and I am not sure that I remember my password. I should log in and I think my fingers will remember my password, my fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

More personal

Oldest Niece's partner is a strange fish. He is a pleasant and polite bloke, loves his children and is good to Oldest Niece. He has his own business, quite profitable, something to do with buying and fixing up broken cars and reselling them, along with a internet parts order business that has boomed during Covid.

He can hold a conversation but among any of my side of the family he never really talks. 

Today we pick up Little Em at his business place. I expect his staff will ask who we are but of course not to our face. I am his father in law's brother, or his wife's uncle and R is my partner. I can picture the staff member realising that we we are a gay couple when he is told. A pause of two seconds while the information is absorbed, 'Ah, ok, cool'. Or maybe just, 'Ah, right'. Society has come a long way.

While outing themselves is a constant thing for gays, it is in a way for friends and relatives too.

Mother considers R as a son she always wanted, and not one of her useless uncaring children, She always manages an appropriate introduction of us to strangers without stating the obvious.

Of course much of the respect we have is because we have been together for so long. 

Instead of getting into the shower at ten, I will have to be in some place called Carrum Downs to collect Little Em. I can do this. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The personal

Mother has been in hospital for a couple of weeks while her leg ulcer has been treated with IV antibiotics. Infection has been cleared although the ulcer far from healed. She did have another stent inserted in her leg to help blood circulation. She will have to visit a nurse daily for dressing changes. It is expected she will go home Thursday. She is old, frail, panicky and fearful. She remarked 'I just want to be well again'. She hasn't been well since Tradie Brother was born over fifty years ago.

Sunday before last we drove to Geelong to see Jo perform in Seussical and it was quite good. As Jo joined the group late, all leading roles were cast, but even in her minor role she shone. How did Little Jo evolve to being Jo wearing revealing cabaret performance clothes and fishnets on stage. I feel so old.

Thursday we travel for an hour to pick up great niece Little Em from her father's factory and she will stay with us for two nights. As a five year old she is quite challenging. We return her on Saturday and then her older sister Little M will stay for two nights next week. Little M has stayed before twice and she is known quantity. 

I think for the third year in a row Tradie Brother is hosting Christmas dinner. Mother now with money after the sale of her house will pay for the catering. Boxing Day, Ex Sis in Law will host another less formal Christmas lunch.

Sister and her wife the Bone Doctor and Jo are off to Tasmania today, the first day the island state has opened up to other states. They are doing some hiking thing and I think camping and one or two nights have proper accommodation.

We asked Jo what she wants for Christmas, the last child we haven't bought for yet and she wants a square metre of black cotton fabric to make a dress. So needlecraft is another skill she has or is learning. Easy for us to buy and we will take Little M with us when we buy it. With Little M at seven and Jo at fourteen, Jo is the aunt of Little M. 

Jo expects an advent calendar from me every year. I bought one from Germany once and it was fantastic,  but oh the rip off postage. One year I found one with chocolates in each window, which was good. This year I bought her a Harry Potter calendar which has inside the windows Christmas tree ornaments and little cards and other stuffs. It cost more than the calendar from Germany. Next year, the German calendar. The rich old aunty can afford €40.

I think Fire Fighting Nephew's wife has adjusted to having twins. 

Hippie Niece and her bloke seem to be doing so well. It is the longest relationship she has had. Her twins behave much better than they used to and they love their step dad. They stay with their father every other weekend. I hope he doesn't indoctrinate them with Pacific Island Mormon religion. Their father and his new partner have two children together, so the twins have step siblings. 

I'll just slip in a photo of Jo on stage and pull it in twenty four hours. Yes, I know once it is on the internet......

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Not my Monday Mural

Just when I didn't think I had anything to post today... a case of the lazies…have a look at this stunning mural promoting young female education posted by Mumbai Daily. The mural is at Juhu Beach in Mumbai and it reads like it would be a rather nice and interesting beach to visit. 

Education will defeat dictators and extremists.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Monday Mural

Joining in with Sami for Monday Mural. I don't normally sing the praises of the murals I show you, but I just love this one, I think in Ryrie Street Geelong on a hoarding. Hoardings being short term, I can't see the rest of the mural with Street View, that is if there was more to it.

Later: The artist's name is Vicki Clissold.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Sunday Selections

Elephant's Child and River should have a Sunday Selections post today. Mine this week is just a hotch potch as is often the case.

An old poster I may have shown before but the photo is new. Odd how in Australia it is 1.5 metre distance but in the Americas and Europe it is 2 metres.

A little history at Altona Station. This 1974 plaque commemorates the Golden Jubilee of the Altona railway line, but as the plaque states, it is actually 36 years older.

This plaque placed in 1988 commemorates 100 years of the line back to its early private ownership. 

One of the columns supporting our front entrance. I guess it is something to do with dogs. It was quickly removed but there was another a couple of hundred metres away.

I don't have a clue what this is about. Usually I can make some kind of guess. Which zone is safer please?

You really could run a market stall with what is thrown out in our building. This toddler ride on toy was in perfect condition.

While it wouldn't suit our place particularly, I thought this oil painting was quite good. 

Geelong. I've given up on working out what the initials are.

White fellas paying respect to black fellas. 

R attended his volunteer work place Christmas party one evening last week. Like a child who has to be looked after he was most concerned about my dinner as he wouldn't be here to cook me a meal. His last suggestion was buying a made up meal from a Chinese food vendor when we were out shopping during the day. As you can see, I did not starve and I enjoyed my eggs on Vegemite toast with fried cherry tomatoes. No greens, but it won't hurt for one night. 

About once a year R likes to buy large packets of curry powder and satay powder. We can only find small ones locally. So we trammed to Richmond to buy the large packets. Those who know me will not be surprised that I remember the Asian grocery shop among many by the name Hung. An older and nice Vietnamese man served us who I guess is the owner. I so wanted to ask him if he was Hung, but R would be embarrassed. 

Our brunch was at a Vietnamese owned and run western food cafe. The owner is very handsome and such a stylish dresser. At one point some years ago I thought, you cannot be so stylish and be straight, but he is and his also very glam wife served us. Hmm, could be his sister I suppose.

We walked further east to Lennox Street, drug dealer corner and the usual vendors and users were about but they mind their own business and I've never had a problem with them in all the years I have been there. The now old 70s and 80s Vietnamese public housing refugees ignore the druggies and the druggies ignore them. It is amazing how an old gay couple, bearded hipsters, drug users, drug addicts, loud Aborigines and old Vietnamese refugees can all meld into such a disparate yet tolerant society. I see the same in another area, Footscray, and put black Africans into the mix on top of the formerly mentioned. 

Over brunch I mentioned to R about our desktop mouse dragging, to best describe it. It has been happening for some time but is getting worse. I can barely drag and drop with it. R asked if we can get a tram to the city north big blue office place. Of course we can. We caught the 109 or 12 to St Vincent's Plaza and then a 30 to QV. A bit of a wait for the 30 but not too long. Seventy dollars later I have a new cordless keyboard and mouse, I think about our fourth over fifteen or more years. The keyboard can do magical things, that I will not bother to investigate.