Saturday, January 28, 2023
Friday, January 27, 2023
I really laughed when I read the short piece. While I don't like Clarkson, he can be quite funny at times.
Here is a summary YT clip of the episode, 8 mins.
So what eventually happened to the campervan? If you read the article above you would know but for simple folk, here is another brief clip, 3 mins.
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Happy Indian Republic Day to all.
Today celebrates the enaction of the new Indian constitution post independence from Britain. Generally Indian immigration to Australia has be a wonderful success. For some reason, the 'towel heads' as Sikhs may have been called in the past, seem to fit in exceptionally well and their organisational abilities to provide charitable food and care during times of disaster has been amazing. One such Sikh leader was up for last night's Australian of the year award.
Brighton is now a very posh suburb and probably always has been. The eastern part was once mostly market gardens, growing vegetable for the citizens of Melbourne and my mother's side of the family owned quite a number of them. Mother's grandparents are buried in Brighton Cemetery. Market gardening is hard physical work, with very early mornings to be at the market by 4am, dealing with the Italian market mafia so that you didn't have to deal with them, the heat and cold. However it was lucrative and the various family members did well, and extra well when they sold their land.
So when home invasions and car hijackings by the black yoof came to Brighton, there was shock. Although this had been happening for some time elsewhere, when it happened in Brighton, it was realised there was a serious problem. The older gentlewomen of Brighton knew how to agitate over inappropriate property developments, how to impress on their accountants that they should not be paying so much tax and how to get a local council worker out to pick up as cigarette butt someone had dropped in the gutter (I am only half joking).
It is a few years since I have heard of home invasions and carjackings in Brighton, so the dear senior citizens of Brighton must have learnt how to lobby about policing. Truthfully, the state government has taken a multi pronged approach to the racial social crime problem, and it does mostly seem to be working.
Have I painted a picture of Brighton? It is a lovely suburb, full of high quality older and newer housing. The streets are tree lined and aside from very busy roads to the east and west, the traffic is slow and there would rarely be road rage. People are educated, polite, respectful and environmentally and socially conscious.
It is always a pleasure for us to visit Brighton, as we did this day to North Point Cafe, along with Ladies who Lunch and quite a wide but comfortable demographic. Psst, I think there may have been as Asian person there.....ah, no she was staff.
No trams in Brighton, everyone drives their own cars, except if they want to go to the city whereby they will lower themselves to taking the train because it is a damn sight quicker and more convenient.
After lunch we needed a rest on a nice bench seat and wagtails amused us as they hop paraded up and down.
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
I think we were only travelling to Sydney when we decided to try Uber. For some reason on a Monday morning at about 9.30am we were price surcharged, meaning our trip to the airport cost nearly $40 more than it would have in a taxi cab. We've never used Uber in Australia since. For our airport trips we use taxis. We either hail one on the street or I summon one on an app, we get in, the meter is turned on and at the end of the journey we pay what is on the meter.
It seems taxi cab meters are no longer the way to do things.
I simply cannot believe a Labor government did this, but it has.
I remember the time when the government decreed that to increase competition, taxis no longer had to be yellow. Well, if you are hailing a cab, being yellow is very useful. I think it was a mistake but I can live with that.
As a fairly media attuned person, I did not know of other changes and the principle ones being that you can negotiate with a taxi driver and also the taxi driver can refuse to take you if a price is not agreed on. Can you just tell the driver to turn on the meter? I am not sure. I have heard conflicting information.
Nevertheless, taxi drivers have been refusing fares, refusing to turn on meters and charging usurious prices for trips in times of high demand.
Taxis have adapted to the challenge from Uber, with lots of information available if you use an app. Like with the Uber app, you can see your ordered taxi coming, how far away it is, fare estimates and the details of the driver. Yet now the certainty that came with taxis, get in and the driver can't refuse you, the meter is turned on and you are taken to your destination, has gone.
One Ben Carroll is the state minister responsible. You can be sure he will hear from me soon. In the 90s a conservative government highly regulated the taxi industry. In 2000 teens, a Labor government let the capitalist wolves free.
Monday, January 23, 2023
I've began two posts for today but after yesterday's post, I think something lighter is due. It was a few months ago when I took a little walk in South Melbourne. Just in one minor street I came across some interesting stuffs.
Such as this nice little hidden away park that only locals would know about. It was mid winter, told by the leafless trees, cold and so no one was around.
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.
Sunday, January 22, 2023
I recall Wise Woman Web put this photo on her blog but it wasn't her photo. I think it is an iceberg passing by St Johns in Newfoundland, Canada, where WWW lives.
I don't do it often in the Highrise, but I spoke up loudly and eloquently. From in the morning "I am not cooking for you anymore a...
Somewhat edited but I felt the need to: Here I am with a new blog as my old one has gone. I am not sure if I will attempt a reconstruction o...
It is unsaid between R and myself, but we both know this will be last time we will visit England. It will be the last time we see his family...
I am home. Normal blogging will very slowly return. Being away from home for a month and returning to immediately having to sort out medical...