Saturday, January 14, 2023

It's only words...

I knew citizens of the US used different words for a car mudguard, a bumper bar and a glove box. Pull the hood or bonnet. I knew they spelt colour as color. Wow, spell checker is not happy with color. I must have an English or Australian spell checker. 

The battle with the great nieces of the Americanisation of our language is futile. No matter how many times old Aunty Andrew asks them to press the lift button, they will reply with, the elevator has arrived.

Over the years of blogging, differences I have learnt have really surprised me, such as the alt spelling of the word offence/offense. I was truly shocked at mould/mold. I had no idea. Now I wonder if in the US a mould or mold is used for a sculpture. I am reading a book set in India at the moment, a former English colony so I expected the spelling would be English English but it isn't. 'Wrong' spelling abruptly distracts me when I am reading.

This US couple produce quite good videos about their UK visit. They remark about the differences between the two countries without criticism. Their enthusiasm is infectious. Apparently in the US mediaeval is a three syllable word whereas some of us will know it as a four syllable word. She can't pronounce the word with four syllables. 

But we are not slavishly tied to the UK. We say zucchini as is used in the US, not courgette. We say eggplant not aubergine. 

I am not sure any Australian knows the difference between rock melon and a cantaloupe. Is there a difference? Do educate me. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Swamp Coolers

A comment on my blog by Darla M Sands sent me googling. In my Christmas Day detail post, I mentioned Tradie Brother's home air cooling system with a brief description.

So this is to educate you foreign types about how we stay cool in Australia. 

There are two types of cooling, refrigerated and water cooling. Refrigerated is the most effective as it cools and dries the air of humidity. It is what you will have in your motor car. It does cost a good bit to run though and while we have one adequate unit to cool our place, any larger we would need a second unit. Our friend in Kula Lumpur has three units to cool his smaller apartment and admits one is a bit of spare in case one breaks down. That says something about the climate in KL. 

In larger more outer suburban houses there might be six units, small ones for each bedroom and a couple of large ones for the living areas and the kitchen. It is expensive enough for us to run one unit. Who knows what six units running would cost. 

A much cheaper alternative to cool large homes is evaporative cooling and that is what my Tradie Brother has, ducted to each bedroom, kitchen and living rooms. Darla M Sands sent me off searching to see if swamp coolers are the same thing, and they are. I continue to learn stuffs. 

Early Australian settlers noticed indigenous people using porous kangaroo skin bags to carry water. The passing breeze with the slightly porous skin kept the water cool. The settlers adapted this to similar but using porous canvas. I remember my grandfather's canvas water bag and motorists used to hang them in front of their car radiators to keep water cool. 

From that knowledge we move on to Coolgardie safes, where the life of perishable food (and maybe bottles of beer) was extended by having hessian hanging on the sides of a cabinet and extending to the top where it sat in a water tray and the wick effect drew the water down the hessian. The safe would be hung outside in a breeze and keep perishables for much longer than usual. 

Moving on to the 1970s, my father and step mother bought a water cooler on wheels. It had straw filled panels on three sides and a fan. We had to feed it water using a bucket, maybe ten litres at a time, well a bucket full of water. The water was pumped to the top and dripped down through the straw panes. It worked well enough and was somewhat cooling.

Now on to the 80s and the early 21st century, whole homes were cooled by water evaporative coolers. I remember visiting the home of a distant relative of Step Mother's in Griffith, NSW. The water cooling was lovely and cool and I guess Griffith only has dry heat. The local club had proper refrigerated air conditioning. 

In the 80s or early 90s in Melbourne water cooling began appearing in Melbourne, with roof top units appearing atop so many outer suburban houses. This version had a plumbed water supply and a drain and of course a powerful fan but still it was the same principal. That is blowing air through a wet material, just like the Aborigines kangaroo skin water bags worked. 

Contrary to refrigerated air con, it is suggested you open a window or two in your home if you have evaporative cooling. 

So look, evaporative cooling is not bad unless the weather is humid whereby it totally fails, and that happens rarely in Melbourne. If you are in humid climate and try to use evaporative cooling, your wallpaper will peel off, your wardrobe contents will grow mould, fungus will grow between your toes and you will come down with pneumonia and end up in hospital, where there will be refrigerated air conditioning. . 

However, with the price of gas, in the usual middle to outer suburban areas where ducted gas heating is falling from favour because of the cost, hence the swing to reverse cycle air conditioning which heat and cool with dry air, too dry at times. What some of the McMansions must cost to heat and cool is barely imaginable. This great article describes McMansions so well if you don't know what they are. There are smaller versions of McMansions too. 

A typical evaporative home air cooling unit that can be seen in middle to outer newer suburban housing. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Royal Coats

Was it a royal march in Sandringham to church on Christmas Day? 

The royals were perfectly turned out in stunning coats that must have each cost hundreds of pounds. Their coats were just so perfect. This photo is clearly not 2022 or the year before hatred and nastiness cane it the fore.


What's her name...Mary? William's wife. She stands out in the photo above. Sparkle looks like she is attending a funeral but in spite of her we are all playing happy family visage. I remember now, Kate.....Middle...Middleclass. 

Here we go. I think this is the 2022 Christmas walk to church. A perfectly turned out rich aristocratic English royal family. Just you wait Mary Poppins, just you wait.

 The phrase, 'I'll just get my coat' was de rigueur in English tv shows in the 1990s if a woman was requested to leave home. Earlier years might have been 'hat, scarf, coat and gloves'. 

I have a nice work supplied woollen coat but it has my place of employment identified on the coat. It is dark blue and perhaps I should take it to a tailor to remove the work place identifier. I am not sure it is a good cut as I've never worn it or even looked at it, but I am sure it will keep me warmer in winter. I really felt the cold last winter. I should pull it out from under its plastic covering and take a look at it. 

Aside from the ghastly puffer jacket longer coats, generally we don't wear long coats in Australia. Jackets and short coats to keep our central body core warm are adequate. 

Right, I think my overcoat will go some charity shop. Just a little more Swedish death cleaning done.  

I shouldn't ignore the elephant in the room, the spoilt, rich, whining, and whingeing English brat. It is good that so much of his teenage like immature whining is getting out there in the media. No need to buy the Spare's book at all. 'Nobody likes me. Everybody hates me. Guess I'll go and eat some worms'. I can understand that he may have been traumatised by his mother's death, as any young child would be, but I just wish he would just bugger orf and burn his pale skin in California. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Not a Mother visit

I spoke to Mother on the telephone this Monday evening, suggesting we will visit her tomorrow, but that was only after she explained her most recent bowel issues in explicit detail. She said, ok, if you just visit. I said c'mon, it does you good to go out for lunch.

An hour later her carer ABI Brother rang and said Mother has bowel issues, as if I didn't know, and is not up to visits. That is fine with me, postponing another hated motorway drive. 


It was pretty warm when we visited the Seaford RSL for Sunday lunch, meeting up with Ex Sis in Law, her husband and cafe latte coloured twins, who were actually quite delightful as there mother wasn't there. Gosh they are pretty. I cannot say the venue is classy but for good meals and drinks at cheap prices, it was fine. The staff were excellent. The price for desserts seemed high though, so we thought we would find somewhere for an ice cream. The Seaford area and the Frankston area were swamped by visitors and not a parking space to be found, never mind the queues at the ice cream and gelati places we did see. It ended up being McDonalds ice creams in Frankston where we did just find parking. Frankston McDonalds on Nepean Highway is the scummiest and dirtiest similar place I've ever been into. I won't return.

It too was so busy and as I stood waiting, I tried not to look at the bare topped young men standing in front of me who ended up sitting at the table next us. Gee, I once had skin smoother and as blemish free as they had. Once had. Being so close to the beach bare topped men kept coming and going from of McDonalds. I didn't know where to look, which is a lie. After a  lifetime of time of experience, I know how to look without being caught. 

I see a young male bare torso as a straight man might see young female bare torso. It is way weird that I can see something so sexually exciting but straight men can't see bare young female torsos including breasts. Well, in most countries. Mind from what I saw at McDonalds, some young women's bikini tops left so little to the imagination, it is a rather moot point to make.


A bloke at the RSL club explained to us that the lorikeet pole had fallen down and they had just put it back up and the lorikeets have returned.  Pretty cool to see. The twins were entranced. If we weren't in harsh and hot sunlight, I might have been too.

With a little knowledge, I found the way home and my good driving manner, travelling at speed limits without harsh acceleration and braking had my fuel consumption down to a record of 6 litres per 100 kilometres, around 40 mpg. There is a strange turn to do get over the Frankston train line and we passed by the Frankston Arts Centre, where for many nights in the 1990s, bored out of our brains we watched the young nieces and nephew perform for their schools on stage.

If I wasn't driving, I would have taken a snap of 40 km/h Outdoor Dining area signs placed on the main Frankston street. A speed limit needs to be explained?  Right or wrong, it was set at that for some reason. Do we need to know why by the sign?  It is a very busy place.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Transport Tuesday

 This was an exciting arrival at South Yarra Station as I waited for a city bound train. 

Various manners of freight trains pass through South Yarra Station. I haven't seen enough of them to not get excited to see them, the engine at least that looks like engine that used to tow the country Gippsland train.

This curious train sits at I think Platform 4 at Spencer Street Station So Cross Station Southern Cross Station. I've seen it many times just sitting there and I guess it is spare train to replace a service when another train becomes unusable. It seems it was once one of our more luxurious Melbourne suburban trains knows as Harris trains or blue trains, appearing in the 1950s. They were much more comfortable and quieter than Red Rattlers but full of asbestos and most went into landfill but it seems this one was converted to be for service with asbestos removed and air con added, along with modern interiors. 

I wonder if my vague knowledge is correct. 

Monday, January 9, 2023

Monday Murals

Joining in with Sami for Monday Mural. 

Murals taken from a moving tram. Not so bad really, given the conditions and without expectations.. 

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Sunday Selections

I'm joining with Elephant's Child and River for Sunday Selections. 

A large pot of meat sauce was made by R for spaghetti Bolognese. First we fry an onion. There was enough left over for one lunch the next day and half the sauce was frozen to be later made into this lasagne, which gave us two meals of lasagne and one lunch.

The Royce Hotel, closed at the beginning of the of what seems the never ending pandemic. Victoria alone had 108 deaths last week from Covid. We are not a situation of post Covid. The Royce Hotel takes it name from being a Rolls Royce dealership. In the early eighties I remember street side petrol bowsers still in front of the building. At some point our army took occupancy of the building. Maybe in the very early noughties it became the Royce Hotel. In the Covid years of 2020 to 2023 it has been extensively renovated with more hotel accommodation rooms added. It looks fantastically flash and this photo of the entrance was taken through the front glass door. I think it will reopen in weeks, if not days.

What is the writing on the number plate? How do you buy such plates? It looks Arabic but maybe Hindi. Ferrars Street, Albert Park. 

Thunderbirds are go. This Thunderbird, around a 1955 model did go, effortlessly. Not bad for a nearly 70 year old car. Market Street, South Melbourne which is oddly a street away from South Melbourne Market on York Street. 

What is this car about? There isn't advertising, just decoration. How queer. 

That's quite a copper patina on the roof of a building I know so well, but I can't remember where it is.

Only if I am talking to someone who knows the right words would I say, 'We rarely see a reticulated bus in our area'. The bus was in service during the appalling managed tram replacement by buses. Articulated is the correct word.  I also might describe a vehicle's braking as degenerative rather than the correct regenerative. I like degenerative. It seems like more fun.


A poor attempt at flower photography. The lilies did look nice.

Oh wow. Nine balloons in sight as dawn breaks. I must have gotten up for a wee at a very early hour and saw this. So many want to balloon cruise above our city. 

Bumping another car

I once had a bit of an inappropriate laugh when I read in the online Fiji Live electric newspaper that someone in Fiji was killed after two ...