Saturday, January 7, 2023

The Week that Was

It was such a nothing week. We did nothing of any significance. Each day we went out in the morning at about 11 for brunch and coffee, in the City, Prahran, Port Melbourne, St Kilda and South Melbourne. Thursday was different as R went out with a former workmate and two former high functioning disabled clients, except one was in the last stages of a Covid infection, so there was only one former client.

They visited their former work place to find out it is now a medical centre. They went on to Rickett's Point Cafe for lunch, a mega popular place right on the seaside. Don't quote me on this but I think it began with a couple of middle aged ladies opening a tea room there. They went on for a walk on Mordialloc Pier. R left home at 9.30 and arrived home at 4.30. I remarked, 'The ladies who lunch, lunch long'.

I've travelled most of our tram lines in the last ten years but not the route 59 tram. I have a few to tick off still. The tram driver was simply awful. Way to much ringing of the bell at a passing sparrow in the sky and a surging acceleration and braking style, off on, off on with the foot. No sooner had we started off than some bloke boarded the tram and sat to the right of me and ate a cooked supermarket chicken. Revolting, and the stench awful This did not bode well. Then someone to the rear of me decided his music was for the public and god awful music boomed out from his music machine  Just horrible. I went to end the end of the line and the trip itself was interesting. I bailed off the tram on the return journey when it reached Essendon railway station and caught a train back to the City. The train was very comfortable. 

Brighton Antique Dealer called R. She had totally forgotten we met for lunch just before Christmas. At 86, maybe she is losing her marbles. At 88 Mother says she is, but no, she is still sharp as a tack. I respect my mother's thoughts, if they aren't about her medical issues. Yes, her granddaughter Hippie Niece is hard work. 

A phone call from Ex Sis in Law informed us that her daughter Hippie Niece had separated from her partner and moved out of his parents home with her five year old twin daughters, with her moving back to her mother's and staying some nights with her father, Tradie Brother. Her former partner seemed like such a good guy. As Mother said, on Christmas he took my arm and walked me across the room without my walker. He is always nice to us. The twins love him dearly. It is so sad and I guess it is really down to Hippie Niece's mental health issues. Hippie Niece says he is 'too controlling'. 

A phone call from Ex Sis in Law's husband this evening asked if we would like to join them for a Sunday lunch at the Seaford RSL. Apparently Hippie Niece had a 'bad day' today, this Friday. They will bring the twins and give their troubled mother a break. That's terrific as we were thinking we really ought to visit my 'dying' mother. Mana. She'll live for another week.  Next weekend. Need to mentally prepare. 

This Friday afternoon our public transport served me well. A 58 to Sturt Street, a 1 to Clarendon Street and a 12 to Fitzroy Street for an ice cold g&t at Leo's Spaghetti Bar with a 16 tram home. I was lucky, two minutes waits only. But Jesus, the Yarra Tram driver on route 1 was a another surge and brake type driver. Doesn't anyone check their driving? 

This Friday night after cleaning my bathroom,  R made a pizza with fresh ingredients. Very nice. I am a spoilt person in so many ways. Just keep my trap shut.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Frenetic Friday

I once put up the clip linked here, the official version of Sandstorm by Darude. It may not be your kind of music as it could be describe as frenetic dance music but mien gott. It has been performed here in Melbourne at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl by a classical orchestra and the music really comes alive. It is fantastic.

The orchestra is called Synthony and performs in both Australia and New Zealand to sold out audiences. 

I don't know enough about orchestra conducting to know if the conductor is good at her job, but by golly, does she entertain. After a few seconds of checking, Sarah-Grace Williams is an accomplished conductor. 

Electronic music is great but has a long way to go yet to match an orchestra. As usual I have watched this about five times to ensure it suitable for your delectation and sought R's approval, so if it isn't, tough tittie. It is rare nowadays for music to excite me, so enjoy the luxurious orchestral music with ear buds in and loud.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Magical Travel

Apologies for yesterday as I seemed to schedule two Monday Mural posts. I really thought the non bird post had already been published. Rather odd. Apologies for the above reference as it is now well past Monday.

When lunching at a friend's place we talked about travel as we often do. Our friend's Indonesian born partner said something along the lines that when he was a child, he could have never imagined seeing the Eiffel Tower, yet there he once was looking up at the tower. He now works in aged care and is much loved by those he cares for. He didn't know he was caring for a famous person in her last months, Melbourne artist Mirka Mora. My photo below. 

R remarked how he had seen as a kid his grandmother's biscuit tin lid with a picture of Mount Fuji, and he never imagined he would ever see it, but he did. The photo on his gran's biscuit tin lid was probably taken at a distance and when it was snow covered. There was minimal snow when we visited but it was great. 

I never thought about such things really, but mine might have been standing on The Strand in London while R was in Boots, where my ancestors may have once walked, or a lunch of finely cut sandwiches and pots of tea with our friend Marie at Brighton's Grand Hotel. Yes it was expensive but what a memory for an ill educated country boy from a Gippsland farm. Who would have thought!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Not the Sydney 'arbour.

I don't like the spelling but Arbory is a popular day and evening bar and restaurant sitting where Platform 11 at Flinders Street Station was once located. 

Then came Arbory Afloat, a pontoon? floating below Arbory on the Yarra River. Mid 2022 it closed and that was puzzling, and then reopened, larger and better than ever before. 

I took a walk mid year on both sides of the river and these photos went unposted so here they are now.

Ponyfish Island, a bar and cafe. I've seen it flooded once. There are evacuation plans displayed at the venue.

Crossing the river on the northern side I noticed this. I hope those responsible for maintenance have noticed it too. A bit of filler won't fix a structural problem.

A new venue on the south bank, Yarra Botanica.

Boats for sightseers and boat parties travel the Yarra.

Arbory Afloat in its former guise.

I am not sure what the protective barriers were about. They weren't there for very long.

When this photo was taken the south bank below Hamer Hall was having work done. 

The work has been completed and it seem to give more landing space for cruise boats.

I am not sure that the Thursday before Christmas Day on Sunday is any kind of special day but nevertheless, the enlarged Arbory Afloat was so busy. There must have been 150 people there, with even mid afternoon a guard at the boardwalk entry. Is this how working from home manifests itself?  It is huge. 

Yes, it now has a pool, albeit small.

Folk are lying on what are almost beds.

More people on the upper deck and inside below no doubt with air con.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Artistry at its best

Could he possibly be a retired bank teller? It is extremely unlikely. He looks like a person of the land. He has seen fire and flood, pestilence, droughts, hard times and good times. His written sentence punctuation is probably poor. His knowledge is great and his telling of tales even better. He indulged in the excesses of life and pulled himself back. His life is writ upon his face, a life well lived.

So this must be a photo. I doubt any artist could paint this picture. Scenery photography is of course great, but capturing a face like this takes a magical camera operator effort. 

But painting or photo, I don't know. 

Later edit: Pencil drawing by 16 year old Irish artist Shania McDonagh.

Monday, January 2, 2023

A shocking assault

This happened maybe five kilometres away from The Highrise and I find it just so distressing as a innocent worker was on his way home and brutally attacked resulting in life threatening injuries.

I feel uncomfortable doing this but look at the names of the offenders! This happened in one of our richest and probably safest inner suburbs of Melbourne. Houston, we have a problem. 

If the allegations are true, ten years in the slammer each. 


Girlfriend tried to shield unconscious DJ as he was brutally attacked in Toorak, court told

ByMarta Pascual Juanola

A Melbourne DJ was repeatedly kicked in the head by four attackers as he lay unconscious on the street during an unprovoked assault in Toorak in the early hours of New Year’s Day, a court has heard.

Police say Darrien Fisher’s girlfriend tried to intervene by using her body to shield him from the attack and was punched in the head herself before the group ran from the scene.

Melbourne DJ Darrien Fisher is fighting for his life after being brutally attacked in Toorak on New Year’s Day.

Melbourne DJ Darrien Fisher is fighting for his life after being brutally attacked in Toorak on New Year’s Day. CREDIT:FACEBOOK

Fisher, who performs as DJ Dazz, suffered life-threatening injuries and had emergency surgery at The Alfred hospital on Sunday morning.

The 23-year-old is in an induced coma and remains in the ICU in a critical but stable condition, police prosecutors said.

Fisher’s alleged attackers – 19-year-old Michael Nous, 19-year-old Ayoub Abdulrahman, 20-year-old Mohamed Buram and 23-year-old Cleveland Momia – appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday, charged with affray, assault and recklessly causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence.

The court heard Fisher was walking back to his car after finishing DJing at a Sounds of Africa event at Jacksons Hotel on Jackson Street at 3am on Sunday when he found a group of men leaning against the bonnet of his white Jeep.

Police allege the group became irate after Fisher asked them to move away from his car, hurling verbal abuse at the 23-year-old before striking him repeatedly in the head, causing him to lose consciousness and collapse on the pavement.

The attack, which was captured by security cameras at a nearby Woolworths supermarket, continued as Fisher lay unconscious on the ground, with all four men kicking him in the head, groin and back, police said.


Fisher’s partner, Sharni Conroy-Green, attempted to use her body as a shield to protect Fisher and was struck in the head by the men.

According to police, Momia then said, “Boys, we need to dip, we need to get out”, before the group ran away from the scene, leaving Fisher unconscious and covered in blood on the pavement.

The men, who were filmed running east along Jackson Street by a witness, were arrested nearby.

Abdulrahman, Momia and Nous, all from Dandenong, made separate applications for bail.

Momia, who appeared without a lawyer and requested bail against legal advice, said he was “a bit intoxicated” during the attack and only remembered “glimpses, bits and pieces” of the night.

The court heard Momia had told the police he could not remember “the specifics of the actual offence” or “what kicked everything off” but claimed Fisher had thrown the first punch.

Buram appeared in court later in the day and did not apply for bail.

Magistrate Robert Stary described the violence as a “serious attack on a defenceless person” and rejected the trio’s applications for bail.

“In my view, it’s a serious allegation of recklessly causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence and, in my view, there are no exceptional circumstances,” he told the court.

The group will return to court in March.

Posters of the party shared online by Jacksons Hotel show the event was marketed as a New Year’s Eve gala with performances from six DJs, as well as African drumming and free shots of alcohol for women. Footage of the event shared on social media shows a dance floor packed with revellers.

A friend of Fisher’s from the reggae music scene, who did not want to be named, described the 23-year-old as a “lovely” man who is always happy and loves his job.

“Dazz is a very good guy, almost every person who knows him will tell you,” he said. “He is very passionate on his career DJing. That’s what he loves most.”

He said he learnt about the attack on Sunday morning after friends began calling him asking about what had happened.

“I had to call some people I knew, and I found out that he was beaten after him finishing DJing, and he was going back home,” he said. “Very sad.”

Monday Mural

Sami is otherwise busy at the moment but normally I would  be linking to her for Monday Mural.

I wonder if I have posted this mural before. I can't remember doing so or actually seeing the mural before. Anyway, they are new photos and it such a sweet work of art. The location is Wynyard Street, South Melbourne.

This photo features a magpie, a galah and a red tailed cockatoo. Under the magpie are some blue wrens or fairy wrens if you like and under the galah, I am not sure.

Here we have a pair of rosellas, below seemed like a good idea at the time to name all the birds...I am not sure what the spotted birds are, nor the small ones to the right. What is probably a Pacific gull flies over a blue winged kookaburra and note the owl like faces peeking out of the tree hollow with a different looking rosella above. 

We go on to a sulphur crested white cockatoo and some more birds below I don't know.

To see the photos at a really large size, with Chrome right click on the photo and open in a new tab. Do the equivalent with whatever browser you use.

Monday Mural

Maybe not joining with Sami for Monday Mural as she is away. These may have been taken in a laneway off Acland Street in St Kilda. I am not really sure. Quite good art really. 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

The year that was

It wasn't a bad year really. I didn't die in spite of spending more time with medical appointments than I wished for, and we didn't need to attend a funeral. 

We haven't travelled overseas but we've had some terrific local Australian holidays, visiting Sydney to see Moulin Rouge and lunch on the Mail Boat on the Hawkesbury River with our friend Victor and his mate, Adelaide by train and visiting the terrific Adelaide hills, Brisbane and the astonishing Parklands Gardens and a river cruise, and the Gold Coast, along with a number of local stays within our state.

Next year is looking like a trip to Fiji with many family members to celebrate Ex Sis in Law's 60th birthday.

We quaver about a visit to England. R has has found half price business flights to England via Sri Lanka. We are too old now to fly in cramped economy for 22 hours and if we can't afford to travel business, we won't go. But really, R is struggling with walking long distances as you do when travelling and I simply hate airports and all that is involved. R gets stressed and distracts me from my focus on what we have to do. My arthritic pain is at its worst mid morning, but what time will that be elsewhere? If Border Force takes one more pair of my manicure implements away from me, I will scream. Clearly an old white multi generational Australian man with nail clippers or a nail file has nefarious intentions.

At least I haven't been explosive tested in the past like R was at the age of 70, Brighton Antique Dealer at the age of 84 or our late friend David at the age of 78. Once R had to take off his shoes for some stupid test. It is not actually flying I hate, but airports. 

With few friends now, family has become very important to our lives. Mother lives on, but for how long? For how many years can she say I won't be with you next year, until it actually happens that she isn't.  

Imaginations about what I would do in retirement have died, and I don't care. I am quite content with my life. I will continue in 2023 to get out and about and investigate and find things to perhaps share with you.

I thank all of you who have stuck with me. You are not just blog addresses to me, but real people who I may wake up thinking about.

A very happy 2023 everyone. 

PS We have bitten the bullet. Travelling Business Class with our national but privatised airline Qantas (QANTAS) return would have cost us over $11,000 each. We have booked the same with Srilankan Airlines for under $6,000. There is a half day stopover each way in Colombo but the airport hotel is nice, cheap and doesn't require border clearance. I have changed from being negative about the UK trip to being somewhat excited. Closer to the time, we will start booking trains, Colombo, London and York accommodation. R's family are all so nice, funny and kind and it will be good to see them all again. 


Words #397

I pronounce words so differently to many people in Australia. I don't know why. It is just how I speak. Here are some  examples. Integra...