Thursday, April 18, 2024

Sydney Day 7, the end

Having had dishwashers for most of my life, I hand washed dishes while we on holiday and it was revelation. Each morning after R's shower water was turned off, I washed a bowl, glasses and cups. I just left them sitting on the draining board and by the time we returned to our studio, they were dry and ready to put away, but I didn't, and it was a case of repeat the next day. 

Unlike our modern deep back breaking sink, this one was shallow. Unlike our severely restricted water saving sink tap, this tap could fill the sink in thirty seconds and with water hotter than we get at home.

We have some kind of draining board to put next to our sink. I've no idea where it is and its never been used. This smart old sink had an inbuilt draining board. 

Good morning kookaburra. 

Ibis are still around but don't seem to be as much of a pest as they were.

Signage on Sydney buses is frequently updated, such as this travel advice for January 26th, I'm sure advising well in advance for 2025.

A nice frangerpanni, sorry frangipani. Generally I get public transport right but not always. It has been years since we have visited The Rocks. Trains were disrupted so we would need to travel the wrong way and then the right way to get to Circular Quay. We could have walked to George Street and caught the L2/3 but no. There must be a bus to get us to The Rocks and there was. The distance didn't look far but that took no account of topography. We walked a good distance, and then up we went, steep road, stairs, ramps and then descended to The Rocks. R was not very happy. I really screwed up.  

Still, it was quite a photogenic walk and each time R collapsed onto the pavements, I found opportunities to take photos.

So much of Sydney City is cut out from rock.

There. We arrived. This looks expensive but quite good. The waiter wanted to shove us to back and out of sight to keep the front tables for the young and beautiful but I insisted we sit at the front.

Keeping in mind we are in a prime tourist place, our finger sandwiches, and Devonshire tea cost a bomb. The passing parade of people was amazingly constant. I couldn't believe the number of people. 

We wandered a bit. through a crowded market area. 

Then headed to the Quay to go back to our hotel. I think the trains were ok in that direction to get back.

The numbers of people at The Rocks were amazing, and we discovered why.

Yep, a very large cruise ship moored nearby.

I think I've looked up the Commissioners Steps in the past, but I can't remember. 

I am not game to name this building. I will get it wrong. 

For our last night we returned to Kinselas for dinner. We saw this guy cavorting in Oxford Street and then he came up to where we were seated. He was rather attractive. Two foot patrol police passed him by and so they should. Sydney's Taylor Square is the gayest place you can possibly be in Australia. The recently opened museum Qtopia Sydney - The home of Queer History and Culture, is across the road. I had planned to visit but didn't. Next time.  

No one took much notice of him, aside from me. I expect he is regular in some kind of manner.

Well, that's pretty well a wrap for our Sydney visit. The next day we caught the train to the airport and flew home, to collect our car from the long term carpark Value Car Park. We flew with Virgin Australia and it was fine, punctual and it just worked. We did have issues with boarding passes on our phones when going and when returning home. Staff advised it will just all work better for you if you print them out. I am only a stupid old man who doesn't understand mobile phones, ever though I've used computers, the internet and mobile phones since the mid 1990s. I stupidly thought boarding passes on our phones would just work. 

Here is a short clip of the fountain, as you can see the guy above over outside Kinselas.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Party in a Park

Note to Kirk, flags at government buildings were at half mast the next day, not that anyone would take much notice. 

As I have mentioned in the past, the seven year old twins have become delightful young girls at the age of seven.

We celebrated their birthdays at Eliston District Park in the outer suburb of Clyde. There was maybe a dozen adults and perhaps eight children. The children's play equipment was the best I've ever seen. The park is so well designed with older and younger children play equipment, a number of tables with benches and quite nicely landscaped, although I would have liked to see some good deciduous shade trees. I get the reason for planting native trees but they are not generally good shade trees.

There was also outdoor exercise equipment spread around the park, along with skateboard ramps. Really, it was so good, except...

There weren't toilets. Twice children were taken to a vacant blog of land with houses each side to 'go'. Some adults also almost discreetly used the vacant block of land. How charming for the houses either side. One rather forward and cheeky person in our party knocked at a house door where we had seen the resident sitting to ask to use their toilet. No one answered the door and I guess this would not be the first time for such a knock. 

The intention was a sausage sizzle, but both electric barbeques would not work. So many other park users arrived with food to barbeque and could not. Fortunately one of our party had a single burner portable gas stove, fuelled by cans of gas. It kind of the did the job, but not really. It took some time to cook the meat for our number of people. 

The sole rubbish bin was overflowing and why no recycling bin? 

The non working barbeque was a very basic maintenance issue. The park without toilets is a design matter. Anyone who has had children or closely experienced them knows how often and how erratically they need to go, never mind adult needs. 

Some did the same as R and myself and left the park, drove a kilometre south to a petrol station to use its toilets. We felt obliged to at least buy a flavoured milk drink. Someone else among our party had done the same and bought a chocolate bar. 

The park was very busy and I expect many others were in the same situation. In one way, a great achievement City of Casey. In another way City of Casey, it is a disgrace, and to be sure, City of Casey will hear of my opinion. 

I didn't take any photos although R did and they are on his phone, along with 2,700 other photos. Here is a Google Maps screen shot of the park. Contrary to the photo, it was very green. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Sydney Day 6

You simply can't visit Sydney without a ferry trip to Manly and finding somewhere for some nosh. Fusion Cafe is our usual choice and it didn't disappoint. 

Circular Quay has pedestrians, ferry wharves, cafes and other useful place at ground level and is also the terminus  of the L2 and L3 light rail lines. Above are train lines and above those, cars whiz by. There are good arguments to demolish it and start again but it works quite well in my opinion. 

The old Customs House Maritime Services Building, from the Quay. 

Oh my. He has a big board.

This dude who photo bombed my picture looks like he would crush you. Gosh, I hate to think. 

That's better.

Manly is so beautiful. 

This fellow ferry passenger was very entertaining as he sang an operatic version of Rod Stewart's Sailing. He was so good, without backing music. 

We easily walked down the steep hill to Bill and Toni's Italian restaurant in Stanley Street for dinner and it was good, if somewhat noisy. Not so easily, we walked back up the steep hill to our digs. We are from Melbourne. We don't do hills. There is usually a tram to deal with steep hills. R said it is the last time he will tackle the hill. Good luck to him to get a cab or Uber to travel 100 metres. One of those electric old person scooters might be good. They can be hired on the Costa del Sol where R's closest sister is now visiting. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Musical Monday

To whet your appetite, a twelve second clip. Oh my, can they sway their hips.

From the ashes of the punk band Joy Division rose a new order called New Order. Was New Order  New Wave or New Romantic? I think its origins were punk and New Wave but in the 80s became New Romantic. 

First released as a 12" single in 1983, it was re-released with this version in 1988. I bought a couple of 12" singles, one being a Liza Minelli collaboration with Pet Shop Boys called  'Losing my Mind'. The music is still as good as ever. The other was the rather obscure Drac's Back.

An old DJ said, back in the time Blue Monday was track to get people on the dancefloor, and went on to say, forty years later, it still is, rather like B52's Love Shack. 

New Order with Blue Monday is almost the music of my yoof. I love it and I've been humming away all day. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024


Well not lazy but being a retired person, I have vey busy days and I don't have time to compose a blog post.

When there is nothing on the calendar to do for the day, there is the usual conversation. 'What do you want to do today?" "Dunno. What do you want to do today?". "Dunno". Eventually one of us suggests something and today it was for R to suggest buy a pasty each at Elwood Bakery while I would buy coffee at the cafe opposite the bakery. We will drive to the nearby beach to eat our pasties and drink our coffee at the back of our car, while watching all the hot men the passing parade of people pass by on foot and wheels. We used to do this weekly when we were Covid locked down, for our exercise. It was only a few metres beyond our 5km 'exercise limit'.   

Wow, the popular cafe has closed, so we bought coffee at the bakery, inferior but ok. The pasty was delicious, the cinnamon doughnuts R added to our order too. The beach was nice.

I did go out on a 58 tram in the afternoon to buy a metaphorical pint of milk. I don't care to patronise the not so convenient convenience shop opposite us. The only thing of interest were two twenty year old or so lads sitting on seats across the aisle from me, sprawled out, legs wide apart and resting their feet on seats. They had private school voices yet weren't familiar with the area as they were counting tram stops. I love hearing what young people talk about, as I liked when I was young about what older people talked about. My conclusion was after listening to the lads, young people talk a load of meaningless shit.  

Household Management refused to cook an evening meal, so it was across the road to Nar Bangkok for a delicious meal. It was good to see it quite busy. 

Being oldish, we like to be at home in the evenings, and so we were by 7.30, with all old person medications taken. We're living the life to the max. 

Oh Jesus. The tv is telling us that a random mass stabbing has happened in a Sydney shopping centre we have been to. Eight people dead, including the assailant who was shot dead by a policewoman. I just want to cry. Our Prime Minister had personally called the policewoman to offer comfort and praise for her action. 

I expect our opposition party leader will tomorrow bang on about crime, law and order is out of control under the NSW state Labor Government, totally lacking sympathy for anyone. Peter Dutton is a nasty piece of work. Ah, he has already made a public statement. Here is a clip. Prayer won't help them Dutton. A good public medical system will, yet your government wants to go to down the road of private health care. “We pray for those who have been rushed to hospital with injuries. We are thinking of all those families whose loved ones have been caught up in this attack,” he posted.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

People disappointment

I was catching a tram towards South Melbourne. I have to change trams to do that and while there are plans to to connect trams passing us to South Melbourne, somewhere might be very cold before that happens. 

About ten ticket checkers were at our stop where they were checking tickets as people left trams rather than getting on trams. I was there for about four minutes and I reckon I saw nine people nabbed for not having paid a fare.

I changed trams from the 58 to the 1 to get to South Melbourne Beach and on my return, as far as I could observe, I was the only person who validated their card. There are people who don't validate cards because if they have already paid the daily fare, that is taken two trips in more than two hours, it is pointless and they are not fare evading. Maybe the Myki Pass alternative means it is pointless to validate as you have paid in advance. But still, I think many people were fare evading, from young to old, to public housing types to private home owner types to tourist looking people. 

Some weeks ago, Indian born neighbours boarded the same tram as us and they did not validate their Myki cards. Disappointing if they were fare cheating.

A queer thing happened when I caught the 58 tram from our place. I saw a neighbour, European born with a Chinese wife, with them both being friendly and nice long term neighbours on our own floor, leave the tram I boarded at the stop after our stop where he should have left the tram at Anzac Station.. He would have to walk back one stop to get home. He is not the type to be engrossed in his phone and miss his stop. Yes, I was guilty of that once.

I don't believe they have a car and they use public transport all the time, so they are quite familiar with how our public transport works. What I suspect is he hadn't paid his fare, saw the ticket checkers and correctly guessed they would not get on the tram and so not to be caught, travelled to the next stop.

It is all so disappointing. They think they may be cheating a private company, or the government, but they are cheating we taxpayers, their fellow citizens. We pay more tax to cover their fare cheating or there is less money the government has to spend on services. 

I cast my mind back several years when we caught a tram to the city with Hippie Niece and her then partner. They were caught on the tram for not paying their fare. Our cards were not checked. I suspect one of the ticket checkers might have recognised me after the cheaters were caught. 

I was both angry and subsequently embarrassed that she didn't pay her fare. That wasn't how she brought up. I'm very glad she was caught and would have had to pay a fine of over $200. She is now very good about remembering her Myki card and has set up via her phone automatic Myki top up for her and her two daughters. 

Another older upstairs neighbour didn't pay her fare on trams. She now has serious dementia but she didn't ten years ago when she fare evaded. 

I plan to say something quite subtle to our neighbour when I next see him, but he will understand. I just hope R is not with me. 

It is a bit of x over y divided by kind of question. If you are watchful and understand how ticket checkers work, you will be miles in front by not paying your fare, as against the occasional fine you may receive if you are careless with observing.

Paying your fare rather depends on your character, and I am not liking what I am seeing about people's characters.  

Friday, April 12, 2024

Gone to the dogs

Sister and Bone Doctor have an aged dog, to the point where they can't plan too far in the future as Fuzzy Cocoa approaches the end of her life. She is some kind of poodle cross. Several years ago, after a severe fur trim. 


Oldest Niece has Charlie, a smallish dog and it too is quite old. 

Ex Sis in Law has two pugs. I'm afraid it is not a breed I like. I hate the noise they make when they pant. The noise they make is just horrible, and how anyone thinks they are attractive, I don't know. Sorry if you have one.

Mother's dogs were Socks and Pooch, medium sized dogs. Father's favourite dog was Cindy. There were other child hood dogs, Red, who was killed by a trailer behind a car. He was a tyre chaser. One dog was kill by wild dogs. Awful, but there was one dog permanently chained up as he would immediately rush off to chase cattle in a mindless way. 

My grandparents had a Collie dog when I was just past toddler age called Joffey. He too was pretty well permanently chained up. 

Our dogs were Toby, a medium sized mongrel bitzer mixed breed dog with cattle dog instincts. He was terrified of thunder and alerted us to when it was approaching, and fireworks. I vividly remember his last walk in Alma Park, as we lifted him out of the car for him to stagger around the park for a bit, Pretty well blind, with collapsed claws. From there we took him to the vet for the last time. We sobbed and the vestiary practice sent us flowers the next day. 

Jessie was a pure bred West Highland White Terrier. She was a lovely dog, always so close to us but apparently she barked a lot when we weren't home. We didn't know as we weren't there. She had so many medical problems, from hip dysplasia to bowel problems. I can't remember why now but she went to our now late friend Arthur who lived at the foot of Victoria's Mount Elephant. At a youngish age for a small dog, she died of throat cancer a year or so later. What I already knew about pure bred dogs, proved to be true. Photo of Toby and Jessie from about 1990. 

We had the privilege of looking after the small mixed breed white Jack E Boy, here in the apartment so many times, the dog of our friend who now lives in Tasmania. He was great and we loved him as our own. But he died of old age a couple of years ago. 

And then there is Tradie Brother with his deaf dog, Dog. He has tried to let her off leash at contained parks and at the beach but it is quite hopeless as she doesn't hear calls back to her master. I admire him for taking on a deaf dog, but I think he was foolish. His last dog Cobber died at a premature age. Dog is is a big white dog and should she jump up onto you with affection, she could knock you over. But worse is she slobbers. No big deal on my shirts as they are only worn for three days, but I only wash my jeans every two months. Dog slobber means an immediate wash.  

Sydney Day 7, the end

Having had dishwashers for most of my life, I hand washed dishes while we on holiday and it was revelation. Each morning after R's showe...