Monday, January 23, 2023

Monday Musings

We visited my almost dead Mother on Saturday. ABI Brother paid for lunch from a take away chicken shop with Mother's bank debit card. Delicious. Hippie Niece had put up Mother's Christmas decorations and Mother decorated the fake tree. She had left them up for when we visited. 

R cut her fingernails. She has become so deaf that I can quietly converse with R and ABI Brother with Mother still talking on about her ailments. ABI Brother had bought a new DVD player and although Sister got it to work for him, she didn't show him how. I worked out how to do it and told him as Mother talked on, none of us listening to her. 'Mother, where is your nail polish?, I yelled. On the ironing board in that purse. 'Do you still iron Mother?' 'No, but it is handy to use as a place to put things'. Mother used to have a dozen different nail polishes, but there was only a soft red and pale pink to choose from. I put some pink nail polish on the remote control next to the button on the tv remote that ABI Brother has to press to then watch a dvd. Still, I expect a call at some point from about how to watch a dvd.

Millions or billions have been spent on the upgrade of the Monash Freeway we use to visit Mother. In spite of that, two lanes were closed for maintenance on the way out, and two on the way home. At least work was happening on the way out. There was no need on the way back. I think parked trucks with lots of flashing lights and portable generator and solar powered illuminated signs counts as work. The lead up to the work zone is kilometres long and in slow traffic, it added at least 10 minutes to roughly a 55 minute trip. Not much, you may think but I hate driving and any reason meaning I have to drive for a longer is bad.

Today, Sunday was Gay Day, now called I think Pride Carnival. R asked me if I wanted to go and I said no as I knew he would want to go in the morning and the wandering around when my arthritis is at its worst without a seat with a back to relieve pain was untenable. Instead we went to St Kilda for brunch, or tried to. 16 and 3A trams were diverting along Dandenong Road from St Kilda Junction. Instead we stayed on the tram and had a nice brunch in Windsor. Yarra Trams had given no advance notice of a 'carnival in Balaclava Road' that disrupted trams. I searched online once home and I could not find anything about a carnival in Balaclava Road. I sent my former workmate a Whatsapp message. He mostly works at night and did not reply until mid afternoon and he too was perplexed. Soon after he replied he had found it on Facebook, a march by Jewish along Balaclava Road, perhaps between Hawthorn Road and Kooyong Road. Yarra Trams was not notified in advance, meaning that it wasn't on their website as a service disruption and no one knew about it in advance. The overseeing organisation should be prosecuted. 

Late afternoon found me on a St Kilda Road tram, leaving at the Arts Centre along with half the tram load. I had decided to visit Carnival on my own. I walked down the gentle slope. There wasn't the usual gold coin donation collectors. Now I mostly mask up only on public transport but it was so crowded, I put my mask back on after removing it when I left the tram. I ventured about 100 metres into the crowd of thousands and thought no, get out of here old man. You don't belong here and it is just too hard. 

I did see Grandpa Acid and quite a few luscious young, smooth and slim young men in crop tops. One may have worn one in his younger years. To note, a couple of those very tall and very dark black African men were in the crowd attired with with gay rainbow dress. Odds on there will be some gays in such a large demographic. 

I went to Clocks at Flinders Street and all outdoor tables were occupied. A duo were playing with the vocalist singing the Michael Jackson song, Billie Jean. The duo was rather good. Crowds continued to stream by, combining people out on a Sunday, gays and lesbians coming and going to Carnival and those celebrating Chinese New Year. 

I bought a takeaway long black and descended the stairs to a bench on the river bank. Even along the river bank, gays and dykes were walking past on their way to or from Carnival. Many other folk as well. I can officially say the city was manic. What Covid? I felt some melancholy as I sat there after spilling my overfull super hot coffee with my shaky hands. What a sad old man I have become.



33 comments:

  1. "The overseeing organisation should be prosecuted..." I can hear the sirens bleating as a voice comes over the sound system: "ANTISEMITISM DETECTED! KEEP YOUR DISTANCE!"

    There's only one thing happening in Melbourne right now...Tennis! So why aren't you blogging about it Andrew?

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    1. YP, it would not be the first time I've been accused of being anti sematic. I've run out of hot tennis players to blog about.

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  2. I hear you on the shakes - and the consequent spillage. Almost invariably on me.
    I am glad that you got out and saw some sights to please you anyway. I am increasingly wary of crowds and wonder whether I am using Covid as an excuse rather than a reason. A little of both I expect.

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    1. EC, I am so careful about spilling things on myself. I lean over a table to eat. It ain't pretty. You can never know if the person next to you and seems healthy might have Covid. Covid has never stopped us from doing things. Family are the greatest risk.

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  3. These days I always feel distinctly uneasy in a crowd and just want to get the hell out of there.

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    1. Jay Cee, Covid fear or just not liking crowds as you get older?

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  4. It seems a busy weekend for you. All I did was to visit Tenby Point for a sunset. The rest of time is watching "Wednesday"

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    1. Roentare, I look forward to seeing photos of Tenby Point, which I don't know. What is special about Wednesday?

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    2. If I remember correctly, "Wednesday" is a TV series about Wednesday Addams, the daughter in The Addams Family. I have season one on a usb, but haven't watched it yet.

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  5. I am sorry you felt melancholy, Andrew. At least you got out and about.

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    1. Caro, maybe I was being a bit theatrical about melancholy. R kicked me off earlier when he said he did not want to remember old times.

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  6. I understand the melancholy, but take issue with the sad old man. You are a delight to your nieces and nephews. You do the best that you can do by your mother. You are social. You have a sharp wit. I imagine there is more, but it is getting late. But you are much more than a sad old man with shaking hands. Madelyn L'engle: 'We never lose all the other ages we have been.'

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    1. Great quote Debby and your words are kind and comforting.

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  7. Glad you got out, even feeling melancholy.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. Yes it was Dora. Have to make an effort at times.

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  8. Maybe it’s time to get Mum a place somewhere- I realise your family are happy to do the hard slog but you really do make it sound like one.

    As Debby quoted ‘we never lose all the other ages we have been’. So as with many things in life we must let the younger ones have their fun…..they think they invented it…..you and I and others know otherwise. You’re just having a ‘bad day’ and mourning the passing of time

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    1. Cathy, could you write to my mother and tell her she needs a higher level of care? I think not. It will always be her decision until it isn't. In some ways I do miss my younger years but mostly not. I am fairly content with my life.

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  9. Did you not have a lid on that coffee to prevent spillage? How old is Grandpa Acid now? Ten extra minutes in slow moving traffic is a nightmare when you are busting for a wee.

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    1. River, yes there was a lid. Where it all went wrong was when I was taking the lid off the coffee for it to cool. I never drink coffee in a takeaway cup from the spout. I remove the lid. Maybe now I have to leave the lid on. Oh yes, for older people the line is apt, never pass by a toilet.

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  10. As long as the weather is perfect (not under 24c and not over 32c), the Tennis Open is the place to be. With lots of icy white wine.

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    1. Hels, 22 suits me better, but you are spot on with chilly white wine. You are a naughty lass at times.

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  11. Cheer up Andrew, I'm sure you are not as decrepit as you say :)

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    1. Ask your local mate and former blogger Sami. She will confirm, and that was a few years ago now.

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  12. Well, I'm glad you visited Gay Day even if you didn't stick around. It's important for all age groups and diverse segments of the community to REPRESENT! I always wind up with coffees that have been filled too full.

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    1. Steve, that is true and there was a good representation of older people there.

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  13. I long ago tuck my napkin around me neck and 'ave at 'er. And no, you're not a saddo Andrew. Reflective yes. And thoughtful like so many of us with time on our hands.
    I build my life around expected pain levels too. Not shaky yet but the other stuff makes up for it.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Old man with shaky hands !! let me laugh, you are like your daily dying mother ! I am much older than you on my passport. Numbers don't count it's the head and it seems to me that you are not old at all. You are young in another way ! I can't hop around anymore either because of my asthma ! We call your Carnival "Gay parade" and the most famous one is in Berlin. Old and young from all over the world go there. Gay or not. We have one in Brussels too once a year, but I don't know in which month. Enjoy life and let your cup of coffee drop !

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    1. You always make me laugh Gattina. Don't tell R about the resemblance to my mother. I have to work out my coffee better.

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  15. I avoid crowds now as well, is it age or covid? We used to be avid theatre goers but have only gone once since covid. I know I definitely do not want to get sick! I also wear my mask on public transit.

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    1. Jackie, a bit of both for me. There is a lot I just can't be bothered to do now. I am still masking on public transport.

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  16. You're not dead yet! Enjoy every second. You should hear my joints pop and crack, sounds like percussion section of a bad band. Sad? Pathetic? Ha. Maybe.

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    1. Strayer, I try to. Like you I have joint issues.

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