Saturday, June 25, 2022

Roe v Wade

I quote Canadian Jenny on this. If she is correct, fine. It could be 25%, 30% or one third of US citizens who believe Trump was cheated out of winning the election. One despairs about what is happening in the most powerful and richest country in the world

Cat Woman in Oregon posted this rant from a very sensible person. I hope it goes viral and I want as many people to watch it as possible. I don't know who Ana is nor if she is a person of influence, but I hope she is. 

Sydney 2, messing about in boats

Monday we were up early to fly to Sydney and Tuesday we are again up early to meet our friend Victor and his friend C at Central Station at... I can't remember. We caught the train from Museum to Central and found Victor and C on the famous Sydney Central Concourse. 

I am a jaded older gay man and not much excites me, but this trip did. Sydney trains are so smooth, quiet and comfortable, which is just as well as we spent an hour on one to reach Hawkesbury River Station. At some point it did reach 115 km/h but not for long. Most of the track was so curvy and so the train was heavily speed restricted.

Victor had booked for us a trip on the Hawkesbury River 

The boat travels around the huge tidal Hawkesbury River to various locations to deliver mail. Some of the locations do not even had a road to use, totally reliant on boats. The boat also offers lunch, which we had,  and a running commentary. I can't recall what I ate....yes I can, some kind of Ploughman's Lunch. The trip was for three hours and just wonderful. Mail was delivered, as were parcels and items picked up. There was so much to see. Here is a little of what we saw.

From the train, views of the Hawkesbury. Looking lovely.

At the boat walkway, a pelican.

Lots of river craft moored.

Our table was the first on the left. Apparently there were people below in steerage lunching as well. The poor will always be among us.

A typical river settlement.

Oh, this is quite some bridge in the distance.

More settlements to deliver mail.

Post Mistress and boat boy exchanging mail.

This is the rail bridge over the Hawkesbury. 

There are pylons of the former rail bridge, that were constructed very badly, hence the newer rail bridge. 


The boat pulled in to near the shore line to view these 'beautiful' rocks.

They are nice enough rocks but I felt a sense of underwhelment. The boat's passengers were all on one side to admire the rocks as urged by the boat's captain. I recall writing in blog about something similar many years ago when we urged by a guide to look at something rather basic and everyone did. I called my own behaviour and questioned why I was doing this.  A woman standing next to me made a sarcastic comment about the rock viewing to me, and I totally agreed with her.

You don't agree they are stunning rocks? Everyone else seemed very excited about the rocks. The 'beautiful rocks' became a bit of a joke between the four of us later.

Rail bridge and road bridge above our boat.

Post Mistress (yeah, I know what I said about sexist language but hey I am old) coming along the pier.

A blurry photo of fast travel, the river taxi.

The electric must cross the river at various points, protected by visible...thingies. 

The train times and the boat departure and return match really well and we didn't have to wait too long for the train back to Sydney. The trip back seemed faster and I mentioned to our friend Victor that it was because we are going downhill, which is nonsense as the river is tidal here, so we are not really elevated from the Sydney Harbour shoreline. 

There were mangroves along the boat trip and here are some exposed mudflats. 

Nearly back to Central we passed by the preserved Mortuary Station, where funeral trains would once depart for Rookwood Cemetery, where my paternal grandmother was buried. 

At ground level of our hotel is a Thai restaurant. We have dined there a couple of times before and it was good, so why not again. This time we realised it is also a cooking school. It is not expensive, the food is so well presented and the super polite staff, if a little formal but can also be quite friendly. I highly recommend Marko's Restaurant

Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday Funny

Some of you may have seen this before on social media or wherever but if not, it amused me and perhaps it will you too. My words below, which I hope add to the clip of wankery corporate team building nonsense. 

Boss: Everyone in the office is so glum being back at work after the Covid lock out. We need some team building, some building of trust among staff, a little fun. Unfortunately there is no money in our budget because of Covid so this year we won't be sailing a yacht, nor playing paintball or even have a staff barbeque. You will have to come up with something yourselves that is free. What do you think Geoffrey?

Geoffrey: I do know a game that can certainly build trust. We could start with that. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Sydney 1 and an incident

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate airports? I detest the experience. I'll start at the beginning.

R booked the holiday using Wotif. It was incredibly cheap, working out to a $70 plane flight to Sydney with Virgin and a very cheap stay at our favourite hotel, the Oaks Hyde Park Apartments. But using Wotif gives you little individual power or credit with accommodation. I'll get back to that. 

How to get to the airport? Taxi one way $70. From one and only Uber experience, over $100. Airport bus, maybe $55 for two. Airport train...oh, we don't have one. You need to allow more time to get the bus from the parking but the renamed from Long Term Parking to Value Parking at the airport was looking good at $73 for a week if booked in advance online, and that's what we did.

Terminal numbers are confusing. R said we should go inside out of the cold and find our way from there. I wanted to walk along outside to see the correct entrance.

R was wrong. We went through one security screening after asking a bloke on duty if we were at the right place for a Virgin flight and he said yes, but then you need to walk right. There was an incident when going through security with my toe nail clippers, but only after explaining what it was that showed up on the xray screening. The arsehole bloke on duty should have told us to use another entrance as using this security screening meant we would have to go through another security screening, and we did.

The second security process was not so forgiving and confiscated my very expensive toe nail clippers that were no more dangerous than a teaspoon. I was furious and I mentioned to the security person how expensive they were and he checked with his superior but the decision was no and my clippers were dumped into the confiscated bin. 

The flight was uneventful and afterwards R said that was a really nice flight. Maybe for him, but not for me at the airport. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate airports? 

R likes an aisle seat as he is tall and can stretch his legs out a bit in the aisle. That means I sit in the middle and can't really see out the window, but even so I managed to snap snow covered mountains.

We caught the very expensive train from the airport to Museum Station and walked up the hill to our hotel. We went out to buy some groceries and liquour and later had a drink at the Colombian and then went on to the very gay Kiselas for another drink and a nice pub food dinner, that came from the Courthouse Hotel pub next door.

In Sydney a VIP Lounge is code for a pokie gambling machine venue. These are to attract Asian gamblers. Ho hum. 

I'll throw in some more photos to fill out this post. Oh yes, Oxford Street is very gay. 

Art class underway. I passed a couple on the street who had left the studio and told him his art was wonderful. He thanked me. I didn't really see what he painted. 

Had we have booked this room directly, I would have complained big time about the filthy windows. 
I will still give it a harsh review on Trip Advisor.

Aside from the dirty windows, the one bedroom studio apartment was ok and had a wonderful shower.

With a wet cloth I wiped a space on a the outside of a window to take photos.

Why is it so hard in Australia to get twin beds? R put it in as a request when booking. As we were driving to the airport the hotel called to confirm that we want a king bed. In the reply that we wanted twin beds, the hotel person replied, the best we can do is a separate trundle bed. I left R to do the check in and I could hear his voice rising. We got a twin beds in a one bedroom apartment with a kitchen area. we didn't use aside from washing cups and glasses. . 

But our original booking has us with a balcony. I like a balcony.

Looking down on Hyde Park and the city.

The Connaught apartment building. Goodness knows what you would pay to live there.

War memorial building. nicely lit at night. Big day tomorrow. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Not a blog post

I am home, but not back writing blog posts. I am enjoying not composing posts and just blog commenting. I'll get my blogging mojo back soon enough. 

We had a great week in Sydney. Obviously much to come about that.

It was slightly marred by news that Fire Fighting Nephew's new twin boys have infections. Little R is has been in hospital for eight days, often on oxygen. Little Lou spent one night in hospital. Little Lou's hospital was local. Little R's hospital is not. 

You know when you post on Bragbook, Facebook you are full of self importance with your check ins at wonderful places, your flights, where you dine?

R hates any words I write on FB, so I don't but I did do check ins. R complains about nearly everything I do on FB, which is usually when on holidays, I have given up.

Family are monitoring our every move? Nah. FF Nephew asked if he could stay if Little R was admitted to hospital. We were in Sydney and it was very clear via FB if had checked what his wonderful uncles were doing. I replied of course but we won't be home until the weekend. But in the meantime you can get a key for our place from Sister if you need a bed.

To say we aren't worried about the health of the newly baked twins is an understatement. 

What else is there say when I am not writing a blog post. Well, I was amused today to see on Insta our ABC TV weatherman Nate drag up, with the drag name Gail Winds. She is pretty, oh so pretty. So pretty and witty and gay.