Saturday, January 01, 2022

01/01/22

The year we have left was not what one may call a terrific year, except for my pandemic superannuation investment fund. My superannuation fund balance increased by twice the amount of money I took out to live on and I am not a cheap person. Long may pandemic profit last.

But still, I think I need to call one of those interstate shock jock radio stations and complain that while I am a self funded retiree, I am a person on a fixed income and prices keep rising.

International travel was out of the question in 2021. We managed one interstate holiday, as our own state went into lock down when we returned. 

We had a short holiday in Echuca in March. We visited and stayed in Sydney for a week or so in May and Victor was a great travel  host.

We stayed a few nights in Lorne in May, later in Torquay and a few nights in Queenscliff a month or so ago.

We had quite a number of family get togethers, and hosted a niece and great nieces here. 

We even had a couple of gay old nights out at venues at some points. We were home early. Given the circumstances and our lockdown times, that wasn't too bad.

Now I must contact Channel 7 commercial tv news. Temps, Friday 38, Saturday 37, Sunday 28, Monday 21 does not a heat wave make and it was absurd to suggest we are in a heat wave.

I wish you all the very best for 2022. Happy New Year.

NB Off to a bad start on the first day of the year. I had the publishing time wrong for this post.


Friday, December 31, 2021

Covid

This Omicron strain of Covid is out of control in Australia. You can read electric newspapers as well as I can. We know what is happening. In January this year my cardiologist told me, don't worry about it. We will all catch Covid at some point. In spite of his alarming statement, we are doing our best to not catch Covid.

We both have booster doses booked in January, but we are going to try walk up places to get the jab earlier. 

We are extra alarmed as on the 27th  there has been a case in our building. We don't know if it is a resident or visitor. Oddly, today on the 29th the cafe across the road is closed. I had coffee there yesterday, outdoors and I ordered at a window. I had earlier asked the cafe owner if he would be open between Christmas and New Year and he assured me he would be. While clearly closed, I walked past today and sure enough, there had been a Covid case attending on the 28th, the day I had had coffee there outside. 

I wonder if it was the Covid person in our building who attended the cafe. 

Whatever, this is getting too close to home. All we can do is avoid busy areas, keep masks on and hand sanitise. 

Later: I researched getting a walk in booster shot now to no avail. It is New Year's Eve on our shopping day Friday and the shops will be very busy and the forecast temperature is 38 degrees. We decided to shop today, Thursday. We walked past the chemist in South Melbourne Central and noticed people sitting in chairs waiting and filling in a form. We went in and were told, yes you can have your booster here. Come back in half an hour. We went and had coffee and returned, filled in the form and were injected with Moderna, the vax of our choice after two AZ doses. Well done Pharmasave and thank you.

So far, seven hours later, no reaction. Booster appointments have been cancelled and documentation has been downloaded to our phones.

We feel a bit safer, a bit happier but far from invincible. 

Thursday, December 30, 2021

A gay time in India

In 2018 India's Supreme Court stuck down anti homosexual laws and it is no longer illegal to be gay in India. As is often the case, laws follow what has already happened. Of Australian Indian gay men, I've known many.

An openly gay judge and LGBTQI activist has been recommended for appointment by the Supreme Court of India to the position of Delhi High Court Judge.

Saurabh Kirpal. I don't know his politics or views, but I would guess he and I would agree on many matters.


Manvendra Singh Gohil is an Indian prince and very wealthy. In 1971 the status of Maharaja was reduced to commoner. Manvendra would have been a Maharaja. He came out as gay in I think 2006 and is a respected person. He does some very good charity work.

India has many problems but for the rich being gay does not seem to be a huge problem. We can only hope there is a good trickle down effect, in spite of the trickle down of wealth theory being thoroughly discredited.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Christmas in brief

Christmas Day was at Tradie Brother's place. Him, us, Mother, ABI Brother, Hippie Niece, her partner and her twin daughters, Ex Sister in Law and her husband, Sister, her wife Bone Doctor and Jo. Sister, Bone Doctor and Jo were going on to Korumburra to stay Christmas night with Bone Doctor's parents. 

There is a new freeway towards where Tradie Brother lives. It was as congested as the old new freeway, but our trip was perhaps not as bad as the last couple of years. Doesn't freeway mean free flowing and not stop start? A fifty minute trip turned to an  eighty minute trip. It is always our problem that we do things at the same time as everyone else does things. I pine for the old days when you could travel freely on our roads without  traffic congestion before mega immigration. 

Boxing Day I just used the M3 pay road to travel to Ex Sis in Law's home. The Peninsula Freeway slowed at one point but it wasn't a bad trip at all. 

It was the same cast less Sister, Bone Doctor and Jo and plus many more. I could do the names but enough to say many of the other side of the family there. It was a fine old time. Firefighting Nephew's wife gave a part reveal of their twins to be born. One is boy and the other undetermined.  I would guess if it can't be identified, it will be a girl and a sister for Little Ju who has just started walking, with lots of falling down.

Mother's present of a feet propelled ride airplane with a spinning propeller and noises went down a treat with Little L. Mother kept going on about batteries being flat. Given Little L's father is an auto electrician and Little L has two older sisters, I think they know all about batteries.

Good times but we are glad it is over for another year. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Montreal to Halifax in a choof choof

Right you Maple Leaf folk. What's the deal here? 

I watched this rather interesting YouTube clip of a train fan taking The Ocean sleeper train from Montreal to Halifax. It looked like a great trip on an older but very comfortable train designed and built for the Channel Tunnel but not used and the carriages were bought by Canada for what seems a bargain price. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQdGvtZeBXY

I was surprised the trip takes nearly 24 hours by train, but Canada is not known for high speed trains and to stay in Canada and not intrude into the US state of Maine, the train has go a long way north before going south. But even the quickest car route goes well north before going south, taking around 12 hours. It is 14 hours in a car by travelling via the US states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. 

The question is that what is in the middle of the state of Maine that has prevented a more direct road being built? Is it just about borders? 

Montreal on the left, travel upwards through Quebec City to avoid the US State of Maine then down to Halifax on the right where the name says Nova Scotia. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Melbourne in Gingerbread

When we caught the tram to town with Santa at the controls, we chatted to another traveller who was very excited by seeing Santa driving. She was taking her young grandson from London to the city for some fun times. She mentioned about a gingerbread display at The Emporium department store. I don't like The Emporium much. Like Melbourne Central shopping centre, its layout is confusing. In time you can get to know the layout, but if you don't like it initially, you won't persist. I expect this is an old man view.

The gingerbread display was fantastic for adults, perhaps less so for children who don't know the locations or buildings. Here are too many photos of a brilliant display. Gold coin donation charity tin was in view but not forced.

I am not sure about what is Myer and what is The Emporium now, but this depicts the building.


Melbourne Town Hall on the left and St Pauls at the top.


This might be a back view of Myer.


Young and Jackson's Hotel on the left and St Pauls on the right. Christmas celebrations at Federation Square in the foreground.


Flinders Street Station and I guess a Federations Square Shard. Don't ask.


Arts Centre spire.


I'm not sure which gardens these are.


Shrine of Remembrance. 


Botanic Gardens. I think this is the Volcano, filled with water and dry soil and sand planting around the edge.



I believe the Heavenly Queen Temple in Footscray.



Flemington racecourse, where the Melbourne Cup is run.



Back to the Botanic Gardens with the River Yarra and the lake.


Melbourne Cricket Ground, the MCG. 



The Royal Children's Hospital in Parkville.




Luna Park in St Kilda.


Brighton Beach bathing boxes.


I can't get this one.


Melbourne Zoo.


Docklands.


Whether the models were made of gingerbread, who knows but I thought the display was terrific.

This pair of buskers were high energy and had gathered a crowd. Some couldn't resist a boogie.


Crowds to see Myer's Christmas window Peter Rabbit display.


We bought these for Little M, Little Em and Little L.