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.