Sunday, November 27, 2022

Geelong 2/2

Up above the caravan park were some buildings. You can see an old chimney peaking above a modern building on stilts. The old mansion's views were built out. There is also a huge home dominating the hillside. How the rich live...

I see and older place to left. 

These same looking houses above the park fascinated me and of I course I had to look them up. They are old enough to have chimneys. They are the Alexander Miller Memorial Homes, paired buildings with each containing two one bedroom flats. They are owned by a private charity housing trust under State Government supervision. You can read more about them here

A permanent cabin within the park with a colourful garden.

So, what shall we do on this Sunday before meeting up with family? We will go to all three lookouts in Geelong and have brunch somewhere. This his is the Newtown lookout.

There is the Barwon River in the beautiful Queens Park. 

Zooming in, you can see how flooded the river is.

Hungry and need proper coffee! We went to the Old Paper Mill on the edge of the river for a sandwich and coffee. There are artist workshops within the old buildings. We perused what was on offer at the main gallery. We couldn't see much of the what was at the whole site. You really need to take the walking tour around the complex to learn its history, as a large group were.

We drove for about 15 minutes to visit another lookout to see Buckley Falls. I don't think the Barwon River normally looks like this. It is in flood.

Goodness, there is the Old Paper Mill across the river. So near but so far by road. 

Don't trust me, but earlier I said to R about the Old Paper Mill, paper mills need water, so it will be near the river and so it was. I did read that there was a water race at the Old Paper Mill, so I will speculate that Buckley Falls is a constructed weir to dam up water for the paper mill water race. 

Downstream from the falls, the river is flowing high.

We are now at the Wandana Heights Lookout.

The fly swatting lighting at the football ground Kardinia Park and the city centre are just visible.

Back to cabin for some down time before meeting Sister, Hippie Niece, her partner and the five year old latte coloured twins for and early dinner a place called The Hot Chicken Project, or something like that. The owner was very nice and it is a good place to take children.

We had some time to kill before seeing Jo on stage so we walked the streets a bit. Jo was fantastic on stage and the one hour show was entertaining. The twins were fidgety but engrossed in the show. Afterwards we crossed the road to a gelati shop.  

Next morning we drove further down the peninsula to see Fire Fighting Nephew, his wife and their two year old daughter and 6 month old twin boys. Hippie Niece, her partner and their twins arrived soon after us. It was lovely catch up. Between their apartment and the beach, there is a huge international volley ball competition about to start. Apparently there will be millions of viewers around the world but not so many in Australia. We arrived back home around 2pm and collapsed.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Mother visit

Mother had to attend an appointment at the Eye and Ear hospital at 10am so she said she and ABI Brother would stay here overnight before the early appointment. R cooked a nice barbeque meal with salad and a French bread stick for us all and especially bought Mother some tinned fruit for her desert. After dinner Mother and ABI sat at the table ensuring she took the right medications for about an hour and a half. I showed her our dosette boxes that we each prepare once a week, as I have done in the past, but she won't have a bar of them.

Mother never closes doors, not even the toilet door and she wanted the bedside lamp on all night, but for some reason I was woken at 3am by a commotion as Mother had been to the toilet and tried to go into R's bedroom with its closed door. I heard him speaking sternly to her and guiding her to her lit bedroom.

At 6am I heard R screaming out, 'just get out of my bedroom. Get out. Get out of my bedroom. Leave me alone. Get out of my bedroom'. Mother had again tried to go into R's bedroom and banged her walker into his door. Yet her way was clearly lit from the bathroom to her bedroom.

Then she barged into my bedroom. I can't find my bedroom door. Duh Ma, it is right there. You may be thinking she has dementia and gets confused, but she doesn't. She just won't focus, constantly thinking about her medical woes and drugs. 

At 6am R and I were both very awake. R showered early and otherwise stayed in his bedroom, avoiding Mother and then went off very early by tram for his medical appointment. I drove Mother and Brother to the hospital in nightmare traffic. I rarely drive in inner city areas. We have trams to get about. I dropped them off and ignored Mother's request that I come with them into the hospital to find the right place. Mother, I am illegally parked now. There isn't car parking. I used Punt Road to come home, better and the same to return a couple of hours later to collect them. 

R was sitting up mid afternoon watching tv when I returned with Mother and ABI Brother. As Mother tried to apologise for what happened the night before, R really gave it to her. You are not stupid woman T. You knew exactly what you are doing. You just can't do this to me. I added, and you can't barge into our bedrooms without knocking or calling out first.

Mother replied how many times whereby she had lost her sense of direction. Things became ok as Mother told the result of her eye examination and R actually laughed at something she said.

As I do, I disassociated and wished Mother would just piss off home. They did by about 3pm.

Then I got it in the neck from R. I've told you time and again we should move to a two bedroom place or turn the the third bedroom into a study and stop overnight visitors...yes dear.

I have to step up to the crease and inform family and friends that they are no longer welcome to stay here. I can only say look after yourselves and R is just getting too old to host guests. It is not that he can't, it is that he gets so stressed.

Embracing Cultural Diversity Pt 1

I am going to have to modify my offensive subject line. It was just to remind me and not meant to be seen.

African Americans are a tiny minority of our population yet they they are featured so much in Australian advertising. It wasn't long ago whereby we would only see Anglo Saxon white people in advertising. It would be nice to see advertising reflect our population but it doesn't. Advertising will push whatever buttons it has to, to make money. 

We can now see very middle class South and South East Asians playing happy families in advertising, consuming away like there is no tomorrow. At times you have sit up at take notice that they are not western heritage. But that is not so different to advertising in aforesaid countries, which doesn't make it right. They kinda look like a version of white.

Don't get me started on car advertising in Australia showing left hand drive cars. Cultural imperialism at its best, or worst. 

For our forthcoming state election our conservative party has rolled out some whining Indian accented Australian women who complain about a lack of services in their area, a place they have chosen to live in their McMansions to keep up with other Singhs. My home may be a quarter the size of theirs, with them being in their twenties and me being old but I chose to live here because I get good services, the lack of public grass mowing notwithstanding.   

Advertising should reflect our population and it doesn't in spite of the African Americans. Advertising is about money and targeting those who spend money. I can't see any reason for that to change for the better to truly represent our population. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Friday Funny

 An ocker said on tv...

What is an ocker? I'll see if a dictionary agrees with my opinion. 

an uncultured Australian male.
an uncouth, offensive male chauvinist.

I don't quite agree with that definition. Let me try another. 

Slang for a stereotypical Australian.
Someone with a strong accent who enjoys beer, bbqsAustralian footballV8 cars, thongs etc.
"Macca is such an ocker"

Getting closer but V8's are rare here now.

an Australian who is not well educated and does not behave in a polite way

No, ockers can be perfectly nice and polite people. It is left to me to define.

Their speech can be rough, punctuated by swear words but mostly not extreme swearing. They have little respect for correct English but still communicate effectively. They have broad Australian accents, they put on no side and are uninterested in culture, until something cultural bombs them and they are interested. Most would live in country areas but many on our suburban fringes. Some will be very poor reliant on social services' money but most will be quite comfortable and own their own homes. 

My Tradie Brother wasn't brought up ocker, but it is persona he has chosen and he carries it off well, until he called me to ask me to research an old mansion in either Aspendale or Edithvale. He wants to know its history. He pretends ineptitude with modern technology but I know he knows more that he lets on.

Australian Ockers are not equivalent to UK chavs, nor US rednecks/hillbillies. 

Well, you may well be puzzled by what I have written in connection to the headline, Friday Funny.

The is an ABC TV show called "You can't ask that". It is rather good. There was an ever so ocker firefighter speaking, recounting his experience when once surrounded by fire. He thought it was miraculous that he escaped being burnt to death, and expressed it as, "A fairy must have kissed my dick". Did I hear that correctly? I checked with R a few minutes later and he confirmed. We both had a good laugh. In context, it was quite funny.

I think I may have heard all old Geordie and English sayings now. R's best one was delivered many years ago at a body corporate meeting when discussing a former building manager. Everyone thought, "It is like nailing jelly to a wall", was very funny.

What's your own favourite? 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Geelong 1/2

Sister asked us if we would like to see her daughter in a one production of the musical Madagascar last Sunday in Geelong. We agreed and decided we would stay a couple of nights in a caravan park cabin. The price wasn't bad and the cabin looked quite nice on the website (don't they always?). I am now looking at various websites when looking for accommodation, working out prices and availability, then calling the place directly and ensure we get what we want for the lowest price I can find on the WWW.

So we had booked the Saturday and Sunday nights and Sister called to ask us for lunch on the Saturday, cooked by Jo. We agreed even though it added an hour to total travelling time, so that was nice.

Standard check in time in Australia is 2pm but at noon we received a message that our cabin was ready. A second message informed us the road to the park from the north was closed due to flooding and to use the southern entrance. 

Our cabin was nice enough except it had a very old split system air conditioning unit and with night temperatures under 10 degrees, we really needed it. It was barely adequate. 

R fancied a little flutter so we dined at the local Returned Services League club. It was good and I had a little flutter too and doubled my $20 investment. I should have put in $200 and doubled to $400. Normally I would advise folk to take up gambling. Look how easy it was for me to double my money, but R lost $30.

Back at the cabin, the rains fell...all night. We are not used to hearing rain on a tin roof.

Jo's lunch for us, lamb meatballs on a bed of salad with fetta.

The board will soon to be changed to Tasman Holiday Park.

While R napped after checking in, I took a walk to the flooded Barwon River, just across the road. Because I grew up on a Gippsland dairy farm, I have a strong aversion to mud, and my walk to the river just became too wet underfoot. This is not the river but just some flooded areas next to the river.

There is a war memorial at the RSL where we dined.

Complete with defence, a tank...

and a bomb.

Spare parts for planes too. 

Once back at the cabin, down the rain came. It was kind of fun to watch the gutters outside flowing but will we get a knock on the door early morning to evacuate the park? Will the big hill behind the park slide down onto the park? Rain beating down on our roof did not stop us sleeping well. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Ravin' about ravens

I feel a little like Tippi Hendren when I step out onto the balcony in the evening. Ravens are madly flying around, in pairs or small groups. They are gathering together and then dispersing before gathering again. As I am typing this in my peripheral vision I can see them flying in all directions. They are landing en masse nearby before, very late for birds, finding somewhere to roost. 

The native Australian raven is only found in southern Australia, not really above the latitude of Adelaide. They are larger than crows found in northern Australia but seem otherwise very similar. They are clever and resourceful birds and have varied diet and are rather fond of road kill. In spite of their large size and threatening black appearance, they are not a risk to humans. I've seen Indian Mynah birds chase them off, as I have seen wattle birds do the same. Some local councils have raven proof bins and others don't. Ravens have learnt of the delights to be found in rubbish bins and will pull everything out and make a terrible mess in their search for easy food.

We've lived here for twenty years now. We were initially bereft of birds but since either Melbourne's environment has improved and is more attractive to a huge variety of birds we now see, good, or a declining country environment is driving birds to city environs, bad, is an unknown. This is a lush year in my state and there is surely no reason for birds to visit the city for easy food, yet visiting they are doing. 

I won't post the worst clip from The Birds, but here is Tippi Hendren in a build up scene. She is now 92 years old.

Even at 8.30pm, nearly dark, the ravens are still flying close by the balcony with their mournful calls. I am scared. Update, 9.10pm they are still flying around and have not roosted. Update 10.10, small flocks were still flying around but then finally settled somewhere nearby. I can still hear them calling. Will they be lined up on my balcony railing in the morning? Should I take Tippi's fears onboard? I'm afraid.  I need I a comforting cuddle. 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Giipsland train

I was at South Yarra Station when this locomotive arrived pulling freight. The engine looked just like the train engine towing the carriages I used to catch from Gippsland to Melbourne in my youth but with a significant difference. The train at South Yarra did not have a pantograph on its roof to connect to electric wires. It was a diesel fuel powered train. If I catch a train to Gippsland now it will be diesel powered.

The Gippsland train once had electric overhead wires as far as Traralgon. The then State Electric Commission transported dug up coal in Gippsland,made into briquettes to make power and heating briquettes. The briquettes were transported to Melbourne by train and given the coal extraction and electricity production, it made good sense to electrify the the train line.

But the electric locomotives became old and unreliable as coal traffic reduced, to the point where a spare loco would be attached to each train to take over in case of failure of the the working loco. Things are pretty crook when you have to do that.

It is extra sad that it was a Labor government who decided to de-electrify the Gippsland train line, turning it into a diesel train line instead of commissioning new electric locos. The concrete stumps that supported the poles that supported the overhead wires are still present. One day I am sure the line will be electrified again.

When catching a suburban train at South Yarra, who would have thought a passing train would rekindle memories of the electric Gippsland train with its heated and chemical warmed foot warmers, draughty compartments, rusty and dusty old emergency train stop chains and the clunks ricocheting through the length of train as slack was taken up by couplings. Of course it fascinated me to peer down onto the tracks visible in the toilet bowl and noting signs to warn not to use the toilet at train stations. Haha, you tip the wash basin backwards to empty the water down onto the track. There were two light bulbs in each fitting ensuring you were never plunged into total darkness if one bulb failed. I can't recall ever seeing the full lights not working. Electricians who work on electric trains know their job. Overhead wire luggage racks would be filthy, the wires encased in solidified dust. Train cleaning was perfunctory at best. 

I have so many memories of the old electric Gippslander train. We are away for a few days. Back soon. 


Geelong 2/2

Up above the caravan park were some buildings. You can see an old chimney peaking above a modern building on stilts. The old mansion's v...