Saturday, January 08, 2022

Strong recommendation

Why being vaccinated is so important to society as a simply explained by a microbiologist with a masters degree.

Thanks Annster.

Anzac Park

I was looking at Google Maps, as I do, and I spotted a green patch, a small park I did not know about. It is in my local area of South Melbourne. I must investigate. It was the first tram trip I took after last year's lockdown ended. I was nervous, but the tram was pretty empty. I know I would have caught the number 1 tram, but I can't remember how I got to the tram route 1.

No matter. It is a nice little park without being remarkable. Here are few photos.

Ah, I remember now. I caught the 58 to the corner of Sturt Street and then the 1. What a strange office building garden. As if tall buildings aren't phallic enough, let's just ad some phallic garden design too.

Anzac is an overused name, but Anzac Park was quite nice.

Seats in the shade in the distance. I wish there were more shaded seats in public areas instead of in beating down sun. 

Facing the street is this (war?) memorial hall. 

It didn't take much time to look at the park. It was time for coffee and why not at The Old Paper Shop Deli cafe in Clarendon Street. I walked a different path back to Park Street. This house is so un-Melbourne and so un-South Melbourne. By the bits of tape around it, I wonder if it has been condemned.

Park Street as I walked along. There aren't too many laundromats around now. 

This building looks a little grand to just be an old knitting mill factory. I should research it, but never mind.

Sated by good coffee, I walked down the hill to Kingsway to catch the 58 home. This office tower was once the home of the Mercedes Benz car company. I've no idea what it is now. 

Friday, January 07, 2022

What a day!

While I am not a sports fan, I love the atmosphere in Melbourne when the Australian Open is underway. If you stand at the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street before the tennis for the day begins, thousands arrive at the station and spill out to the tram stop where an intensive tram service whisks them to the tennis. Plenty walk the kilometre or so to the tennis. Everyone is happy and excited. The sun nearly always see to shine, a little too brightly at times. It is truly a wonderous thing. Then the tennis celeb spotting starts. Where will they dine tonight? 

However this year has been sullied by the antics of Djokovic and the incompetence of our Border Force, perhaps even Tennis Australia and the State Government.

World champion tennis player Novak Djokovic posted online with a photo of himself  at an airport saying he was on the way to Australia to compete in the Australian Open. This story has been bubbling along for some time. Will he? Won't he? It was made very clear he could not unless he was double vaccinated or had a legitimate exemption. One, if you have had an anaphylactic reaction to vaccines. Two, certain very rare health conditions. The third I forget but it's quite esoteric. Having contracted Covid in the last six months is not one of them and this was made very clear in correspondence. 

Yesterday, Wednesday, Australia as a whole erupted with anger that Djokovic was granted a visa. From letters to the editors, to radio, to tv, to Twitter, to  social media. There were cries of boycott the Australian Open, spectators to turn their backs to him as he entered court. Ensure every winning hit with his racquet was booed.

I suppose there were some who supported him but they were well and truly howled down. I'm sure Djokovic's media team was quite aware of the outrage Australians felt.

Tennis Australia had a committee set up to consider tennis players and officials exemption requests without knowing the name of who they may exempt. The anonymous  details were passed on to a State Government committee who also granted an exemption to a few anonymous applicants. Djokovic was granted a visa. 

I woke to the news Thursday morning that Djokovic arrived around 11pm Wednesday night and was being held and questioned by Border Force at Melbourne Airport. At 8.20 the news was out and at 8.29, no doubt delayed by the need to verify, ABC Radio's current affairs AM announced his visa had been denied. The consequence of this is normally the person would be put on the next flight back to where they came from. Lawyers for Djokovic are appealing the visa decision and a Federal Court is sitting as I type. He is being held in an Covid isolation hotel. 

My view.

Anti vaxxer Djokovic tried to play Australia after successfully playing Tennis Australia and our State Government.

The Federal Government's agency Border Force has been thoroughly incompetent by allowing a visa to be issued to Djokovic and allowing him to fly to Australia. Ultimately the clearly competent on duty Border Force officers were on the ball about Djokovic. He should be on the next plane back home without waiting for the result of an appeal. His visa is invalid, he is not a citizen of Australia and has no legal rights here.

Bad guy. BBC:

Not perfect but a much nicer person than the arrogant prick above. Go Raffa. Tennis 365:

I have been in a foul mood since I heard he was coming to Australia, like so many are. I am a forgiving person for human frailty, but fame and arrogance really piss me off. 

 I did find something about the whole business to laugh about though, Djokovic's father's rather melodramatic media statements. My words in bold.

"Tonight they can throw him in a dungeon, tomorrow they can put him in chains." He is detained at a luxury hotel.

"I have no idea what's going on, they're holding my son captive for five hours,' he said. 'This is not a fight for the libertarian world, this is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world!' he said."

This one is really a hoot!  "“From this moment, Novak has become the symbol and the leader of the free world, the world of the poor and disadvantaged nations and peoples,” he said.

“Tonight they can imprison him, tomorrow they can chain him, but the truth is like water and it will always find its way. ”

Later: Djokovic can stay in detention until Monday while legal matters proceed. This may be out of date when it is published in seven hours time.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

I is how good?

If you look at the left hand side bar of my blog, you will see I have won The Laughing Horse blog award for 2021, among exalted company of former winners and honourable mentions, many who I consider blog mates. As I read through Yorkshire Pudding's list I was wondering where my name was and why wasn't I given some kind of mention at least, and then at the end, there I was, the winner. I was both shocked and chuffed that YP along with his harsh judging committee had declared me 2021 winner.

For many years personal blogging has been declared dying, if not dead. In one way it has died. Young people are no longer participating and that is a serious loss. We need to know what young people think about, their concerns, their lives and a whole lot more about them. That is to be regretted. 

But what has happened is the cream has risen to the top of the bottle. Most of those on my blog list are committed and regular posters of like minded thinkers, or at least very decent and intelligent people. You and I don't have to agree about everything. Best of all, you all interest and amuse me. 

'Nuff said.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Transport Tuesday: The trains that killed Alitalia

Alitalia was Italy's flag carrying national airline and mostly government owned (it's complicated). It is effectively no more and many suggest it is victim of highspeed trains. Domestic and short haul services can be very profitable for airlines and the loss of passengers to trains is felt severely. On a continent like Europe, trains speed between countries and generally take passengers to a station in the heart of a city. Investment in high speed trains is seeing the end of flying around Europe.

Look at this map of Italy's high speed trains, now extending into other countries. 


I'd be lying if I said I don't feel some glee about trains killing off an airline. The company who runs the trains, Trenitalia, is owned by the Italian government.

I am not very train knowledgeable but the consensus among experts is that Italian Frecciarossa high speed trains are fabulous and the best in Europe.

Every Western European country has high speed trains of some sort. Tilting trains, or pendolinos seem in favour at the moment.

The fastest is not a tilter, but the gorgeous Frecciarossa 1000 can travel at 400 km/h, 250 mph. A train can only go as fast as the track conditions allows and so the train is limited to a top speed of 300 km/h. Why on earth would you suffer the stress of airports, security and flying when you can have train ground speeds like that from city centre to city centre!

International Railway Journal:

Milan designers were hired to make sure the interior was up to scratch. The seats look so comfortable and the fare cost is quite reasonable.

Seat 61:

The buffet car has been closed because of you know what. 

Train Store:

You are looking at the way of the future with air travel over land will become redundant. One day we will only be flying over the wet bits of the world.

Monday, January 03, 2022

Not Monday Mural

A Monday Mural was my planned post, but life has intervened and I need to have the record.

It was a quiet New Year's Eve for us, in bed before midnight.

Nothing was planned for the weekend and we were looking forward to the nothing.

Sister, Bone Doctor and Jo are at a scout jamboree in Elmore and having a grand old time. Dib, dib, dib. Jo is a peer elected team leader scout of around thirty scouts.  Sister ticked off two more country swimming pools within our state, with her aim to swim in them all.

New Year's Day Ex Sis in Law's husband called to ask if we would like to lunch somewhere, although many places were closed. It was so hot I strongly indicated to R that I wasn't keen. Fortunately the husband called back and said so many places are closed, maybe we will give it a miss. A wave of relief washed over me. 

We went out on a deliciously cool tram for brunch at a deliciously cool small shopping centre and soon returned to our deliciously cool apartment. 

Then Brighton Antique Dealer called. Would we like to join her and her beau at the Elsternwick Hotel for dinner? Any night R doesn't have to cook wins for him, so we went. BAD won a few hundred dollars from a gaming machine and shouted us dinner, but not before we ordered. I wished I hadn't chosen the cheap Senior's Meal. Actually, my meal was very satisfying. It was a pleasant catch up.

Again I wondered why people bother working when it is so easy to make money from gambling machines. 

No sooner home and Ex Sis in Law's husband called again. Would we like to visit Fire Fighting Nephew, his wife and Little Ju tomorrow. The weather was forecast to be cooler and they picked us up in their car and we had a lovely time. Torquay was so busy but a table and bench were found at the beach in the shade of a tree and seven of us devoured perhaps $80 worth of delicious fish and chips, potato cakes, calamari rings etc. Eighteen month old Little Ju was a delight.

Pregnant with twins, Fire Fighting Nephew's wife needs a day alone at home. Frankly, she looked terrible, bloated, sweaty with dark circles under her eyes. She hates being pregnant. Today, Monday, Nephew is taking Little Ju on a road trip to see Nanny Fud, her great grandmother, aka Mother. He will pick up lunch for Nanny Fud at a specific bakery with specific salad roll and specific cake. We texted him the bakery address and what should be in Mother's salad roll and her preferred cake. 

R has just asked if we have anything on tomorrow. I replied no and he raised his hands to the ceiling and said yay.

We stopped along the way for food and coffee. Three weeks ago the grassland would have been green. 

Nephew bought off the plan about five years ago. About two years ago their apartment was built and they moved in. I like the ageing wooden facade, with their overlooking the ocean views. In the five years since they signed up, the apartment has doubled in dollar price. 

People swimming.

And surfboarding?

Little Ju preferred to travel in her cart rather than her pram.

The greenish floaty thing sailed past us at speed and someone, perhaps official came on a jetski and retrieved it to return to its rightful owner or be sold in a pawn shop or Ebay. 

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Sunday Selections and spider image

Joining in with Elephant's Child and River for Sunday Selections. As usual, random photos unused elsewhere.

Neighbours were on their balcony admiring the sunset. I looked around the corner and sure enough. It was very impressive.

Don't worry about the pedestrians. We'll just block their way with our signs.

Melbourne Marathon madness.

I was too slow with the camera.

Not this time.

I believe he was last. He looked awfully lonely and tired as he trudged along.

A broadcasting tower at the former ABC television studios in Ripponlea. The land has been sold and a gazillion apartments will be built there. The land was acquired by the government for the ABC Studios from the  Ripponlea Estate. You can read below about my visit to the gardens. Lots of pretty pictures.

Gird your loins chaps.

A new station has been built at North Williamstown, along with a messy road intersection fixed to continue to be a messy road intersection. It may settle down in time.

I like the panel of a steam train's...wheels and pistons.

It is very small and the entrance to where it lives is so tiny.

Orchids at home for a change.

No sniggering now that boy. The Cock of the Bay is held annually around the time of the Sydney to Hobart, Melbourne to Devonport and Melbourne to Hobart via the wild west Tasmanian coast yacht races. The Cock of the Bay race is much shorter and in the calmer waters of Port Phillip. The race from Port Melbourne to Blairgowrie lasts about four hours and passes by a number of piers where spectators gather.