Saturday, February 05, 2022


My maternal grandparents who profitably worked the land used to have their 'dinner' at lunch time. I guess their evening meal was light, but they dropped that once retired and changed to dinner in the evening and a lighter lunch.

Australia is very divided over our evening meal. Some call it tea and others, like me call it dinner. I think calling the evening meal tea is dying out here, but if you think not, say so.

It was interesting to visit one of R's relatives on a farm in northern England. While very modern but people of a decent age, a large meal was whipped up and served at 5pm. Ouch, I thought. I can eat now but I will be very hungry later. No problem. A decent supper was served about 9.30pm. When R's parents visited us from England in 1983 after the first couple days it became clear our meal times were not compatible. R's father wanted his dinner at 5pm and we didn't normally eat until 7pm. We agreed to disagree and R's mother cooked for their dinner at 5pm and R cooked for us to be ready at 7pm. While meaning well, I eventually also asked R's mother to not wash our clothes and leave them for me to wash.

The Australian culture shock was a bit much for them and they cut short their six week visit to four. They did see plenty and do plenty while they were here.

Do you have anything to add to the lunch, dinner, tea, supper matter?

What? No brussels sprouts on the plate that no one likes?

Thursday, February 03, 2022

Rough week for GLBTI etc citizens

This was to published at the normal time of 5am, but for a certain reason, I am publishing it early.

Citipointe Christian College in Brisbane requires parents to sign a contract to say gender roles are defined (truly, I don't understand this gender dysphoria thing and it makes me feel old). 

If a girl feels like she was born a boy but has the wrong parts, ok, I get that much at least. Apparently Citipointe Christian College is the wrong school for she or he to attend. She or he will not be welcome. Gender must correspond with biological sex.

It also states that the school believes homosexual acts and pornography are sinful and offensive to God. (Oh my God, have I sinned or what!) Sign here on the dotted line to approve your child's education and agree to terms and conditions. 

It is quite likely that the school has breached some discrimination laws and the appropriate authorities are on to it.

School principal, Pastor Brian Mulheran.

The world if full of crackpot extreme religious schools but I think this one is receiving government education subsidies, possibly tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach intolerance. Our federal government seems to approve, as it tries to enact federal laws against state laws that will allow such discrimination. 

That one was clear cut. Religious extremism makes me angry. Later: Further information is the taxpayer subsidy to the school is $13 million. The school has backtracked a little and withdrawn the contract. However, its ideals remains. 

Moderates within the Prime Minister's how party have forced change to a most outrageous bill that has been informally debated before being presented to parliament, but the Prime Minister and many of his colleagues created the bill. It is scarcely believable. From The Age.

The right of church schools to expel LGBTIQ students will be scrapped as part of the government’s push to legislate religious freedom laws, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison tries to lock in the support of moderate Liberal MPs ahead of a potential vote on the bill in the next sitting fortnight.

It would be no surprise that female football of all kinds is played by quite a number of lesbians. I found it quite troubling that one Muslim player of Australian Rules Football, Haneen Zreika refused to wear the gay pride footy jumper during the gay pride football match. She is Australian and presumably embraces and takes advantage of  'western values'. She plays a sporting game along with many lesbians yet she won't publicly show support for the rights of her team mates if they are dykes. 

Whether she was an immigrant or not, or her parents were, I really do not approve of people taking advantage of a tolerant western culture and then having issues with the ideals of such a county. Shame and shame, and so disappointing. 

Some quotes putting it more simply and succinctly than I have. 

“So you’re progressive enough to be a woman playing in a male-dominated sport and fight for the Invasion Day cause, but you’re so against LGBTQ+ rights that you can’t even stand wearing a rainbow guernsey for 90 minutes? Pick a side,” one commented.

“Absolute f***ing hypocrite,” another wrote. “You have no right to preach about having a support system when you refuse to be one for your teammates and players who just happen to be part of the LGBT community. It is a privilege to be awarded a spot in the AFLW and one that you should not take for granted, especially when you choose to deliberately discriminate against your own teammates. Absolutely NOBODY in the AFLW has discriminated against you because of your religion, yet you have the audacity to basically tell your teammates you are better than them simply because of who they are? Sorry mate, take a long hard look at yourself. There is a difference between having beliefs and using them to deliberately hurt others.”

It is just sour milk

Late last year we had a two litre container of milk go off before its use by date. Oh well, we thought. It happens at times, but of course it shouldn't.

A couple of weeks ago, another of the same went off. I told R, he smelt it and said it was fine. I poured it onto my cereal and the first mouthful told me the milk was properly off. R had made his coffee and used the milk and agreed, it was off. The milk had an expiration date long into the future.

I emailed the German foreign owned company that we are generally happy with and I received a prompt reply. There was a little email ping pong with the person admitting it was a known problem and it was addressing the issue with its supplier. The last email stated that if I replied with my postal address, I would receive a $20 in house hush money shopping voucher. 

We shopped last Thursday and bought milk. Monday morning when home alone as R was off doing good works for the community, I opened the new milk. I have been giving milk the sniff test of late and it did not pass muster. I am being silly, I told myself. This can't happen again. I poured a little into a glass, sipped and by golly was it off. At least I hadn't wasted my cereal. I took a carton of long life full cream milk from the cupboard. Full cream and warm from the cupboard? I couldn't tolerate it. Cereal was squished down the sink hole. 

Andrew was not happy. Just an hour earlier I had emailed my postal address to the supermarket to get my payola. 

Back to the keyboard, this time including a photo that showed the expiry date and batch details and an indication I was a little cross. I received an immediate reply stating that it was a State of Victoria wide problem, of course with an apology. I hope the payola voucher hadn't been sent and the hush money value would be upped. We shall see. 

Household Management has told me we won't be buying milk from that supermarket for a while, so I won't have an opportunity for more hush money. I probably should have referred it to the Department of Health and the local council. 

After I poured the milk down the sink, this visible residue stayed inside the bottle. Sour milk is not a first world problem. It can make people sick. I really wonder though how this happens in first world countries with high food production standards. As you can see, expiry 09 Feb.

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Damien and Aiden

Another post not published. Change date from 27/12/2021.

When R worked in a caring profession for many years and in the early days of that part of his life he cared for severely disabled children, most victims of the pregnancy symptom easing Thalidomide drug. I have my own opinion of deinstutionalising such children. However they lived in well supported and well staffed houses with maybe five others.  

I am sure it wouldn't happen now but R could bring them home for overnight stays and did so a few times. There weren't even police checks back then. 

Aiden had a mother who saw him occasionally. He was a blue eyed blond angelic looking teenager the size of a two year old.

Damien was dark haired with freckles and also a teenager in the body of a two year old. No family contact.

A friend's mother remarked when we told her about them, wouldn't it be better if they died at birth. We subsequently called her Old Scar Face, not nice as the scar was from a deep skin cancer removal, but there you go.

Both Aiden and Damien had a good quality of life, with the government paying for their 24 hour care. They couldn't speak but could hear and they would laugh and giggle. They both had the best medical care but they had be cared for as 18 month old babies.  It was fun to get them to laugh. R was the best carer for them. Unfortunately some of those who work in caring professions with so much patience, have little left once home. You know, I even had to cook meals at times back then if R had to do a sleepover, that is on duty but he could sleep.

Both Aiden and Damien used to lie in what was then called baby bouncy baskets. While they were the size of two year olds, they were teenagers and so often when R went to change their nappies/diapers he would say one or the other had a stiffie (hard cock) and he couldn't get it into a nappy. I saw Damien's hard on once and it was a large disproportionate size compared to the rest of him. No wonder it was hard to get into a nappy.

I don't think it shows directly in government budgets, perhaps under the heading of personal care, but certainly a decade later sex workers were available to the moderately and severely disabled, less disabled than Aiden and Damien  perhaps. Thinking more, I think the client would have paid themselves, but staff facilitated such situations. 

Both Aiden and Damien died before the age of twenty. They had pretty good lives well worth living.    

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Transport Tuesday

Go Chicago!!! I am amazed and impressed. 

Train and tram/street car/lightrail do not tolerate heat and hot sun well and are prone to buckling as you see below. The clickety clack of trains has gone from back when short sections of rail were laid with gaps between each rail. This did though allow for heat expansion.

I believe current tracks are called continuously welded or something like that. It makes for a nice quiet and smooth ride without a clickety clack. But in the heat, it means there is little room for the steel tracks to expand, and so they buckle.


Extreme weather causes all sorts of problems to trains. We saw our first example in Canada where there were gas storage systems at  track changing points. While I don't know how the system worked, the gas was to fire up some heat to keep the points clear of snow and ice.

Our Friend in Japan told us about multiple small sprinklers along railway lines in Japan but I can't remember if the sprinklers were to keep the tracks clear of snow and ice, or to ameliorate the effects of heat. 

In Italy and Spain tracks are often painted white to reflect heat rather than absorb it. I've seen that happen here with tram tracks too but quite a few years ago.

But woo hoo and lol. Have a look at what Chicago does with its trains tracks to keep them free of snow and ice. They simply set the train tracks on fire. There is a video here at the tv channel SBS, hopefully viewable by you foreign types. I am very amused. 

Monday, January 31, 2022

Place name pronunciation

I am exhausted. We took Mother out for lunch Sunday and three hours of hearing her medical problems moaning did us in. R feels ill tonight and used a RAT kit just in case. He is negative. This is perhaps an unfinished post but I am trying to not increase the number of unfinished posts so here it is as is.

My step mother lives in a place that Mother, R and myself find very difficult to pronounce. I can confidently rattle off Wurundjeri and Birrarung Marr but I find Bamawm very difficult. I guess it is that we aren't used to the awm sound. It took me many seconds to type, almost letter by letter copying. 

Another I find difficult although I have mastered it now is Waurn Ponds. I think I overcomplicated Waurn. It is in simple language Worn Ponds but if correctly pronounced, Waurn and worn are different. Your mouth makes a different shape.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

A find on the street

No, it was not a find like Steve makes when he is out and about. 

When  we recently visited the Jewish Museum, we debated over whether to catch the tram or drive. I can't remember why but we drove. Maybe Covid caution. We are trying to get back to using trams and trains to get around, but the threat of Covid and the fact that maybe 40 percent of the trams we can catch do not have aircon. How can a tram without aircon possibly compete with driving point to point in your own cool car. Yes, you do have to bother with parking but in this case someone pulled out and we pulled in.

We were a little early and crossed the road to look at a new apartment block. Wow. Nice touch. I took photos before noticing there were more spread along the width of the block.

Emu is our large flightless bird and incredibly stupid. They can stand two metres tall and doing my usual for Australian tourism, they have huge clawed feet that can easily.....wait for it, eviscerate large mammals. 

I think the correct way to say the currency amount here was five pence hapeny.

Are they of real stamps? I don't think any of you are old enough to remember. Bit hard to sculpt a kangaroo flying through the air, so a rendition of a coat of arms was used, possibly the Australian one, but City of Melbourne has a similar. Nine pence. We never used pee here (no YP, don't bother). The first e in pence was almost unpronounced.

Blue winged kookaburra.

Australian lyre bird. The coin amount is one shilling, which equalled 12 pence, with became 10 cents, which caused my grandparents great distress as the government had devalued their savings.

Lyre birds are shy and excellent mimics. Sir David showed it here