Friday, February 17, 2023

Matters Social

I haven't really mentioned much of the social things we have done this year, probably because nothing was too exciting, just catching up with people.

I think I did mention lunch with Mother at ABI's place. As Mother wouldn't go out, she paid for a nice roast chicken with all the sides from Red Rooster. I also mentioned lunch at the Seafood RSL with Ex Sis in Law and her husband, along with their grandchildren twins. 

We dined one evening with our Hairdresser Friend at Romeos in Toorak Road. 

We lunched and then a few weeks later dined one evening with Brighton Antique Dealer at Clocks, Flinders Street Station.

On our own we have dined at Nar Bangkok across the road and twice at the Elsternwick Hotel. 

One of the cafe late coloured twins had an appointment at the Dental Hospital, so we trammed to Carlton and had lunch with Hippie Niece, her companion and twin daughters. Staff said sorry, only one chef today. Lunch menu is limited to non spicy pasta, mild spicy pasta and quite spicy pasta. The girls can have spag bol. It is amazing how quickly you can order if you have such limited choices. The food was good and the service wonderful. Where was it? Ok, Ms Frankie. 

We caught up with our Sydney friend for lunch at Abory (sic) Afloat, and that was nice. Afloat means you are afloat, on a pontoon and it felt a bit strange when it moved. Who said you can't make real friends on the internet? 

This week past, we caught up with our Dyke Friend from Tasmania for brunch at Hobba Cafe along with our Hairdresser Friend. 

My acquaintance from the Gold Coast is in town and with a temperature of 38 degrees (100F) forecast for tomorrow, I have postponed our public transport roaming catch up until Sunday.

Early next month Ex Sis in Law is joining her Fire Fighting son, wife, toddler daughter and twin babies to travel to New Zealand. She is not backwards in coming forward and asked if she could stay the preceding night with us, leave her car here and we drive her to the airport, then pick her up a week later. She still works and has no understanding of how busy retired people's lives can be. At great inconvenience to us (we have to be organised early), we can do that.

Then Fire Fighting Nephew is staying this Saturday night after travelling to Melbourne from Geelong by ferry. I think he will be with mates and they are coming up to see a soccer match. He needs to come here to get a key and then I guess in the early hours of the morning he will return here to sleep OR he may go straight to the football match and now being sensible dad to three, may not stay out late and be home here before we sleep. He may have coffee with us in the morning but in spite offer of cereal and toast, he will find somewhere nearby to buy Bahn Mi. 

I will give the laddie a sentimental something when he visits. More on that later. 


I must have walked past this building many times without noticing its wonderful and stylish facade which I suppose is Art Deco. No, it is Moderne, a style I also like.

It appears to be a tiled facade and the tiles are smooth and very beautiful. I know you can't see the building very well in my photos. I will return when trees are leafless. 

The ground floor of McPherson building appears to be vacant with a hoarding around it. I will take better photos in the winter.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Curious phone screen

Here are a couple of screen shots of my from my phone when I was vertically scrolling through The Age newspaper. As you scroll through now, there is a tiny pause when passing through ads. It is not smooth scrolling.

My phone is not old, I have fast WIFI and a good 4G strength so I was surprised to see this pop up. Good work Chrome. 

But why? Here is the answer. Advertising is so dominating and using so much of your phone's resources to the extent that Chrome says it is not going to bother showing such ads. A shot in the foot by those who place such advertising. They have gone too far.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Mother Musings

Mother explained her early writing of Christmas cards and buying gifts last year was in case something happened to her, in case of a 'surprise' stay in hospital. Of course the surprise hospital stay happened. 'I want to be out by Christmas Day, but I am not sure I will be well enough'. Hospital staff discharged her two days before Christmas Day as she was well enough.

There is no doubt Mother's health is deteriorating but still she has great plans for when 'she is well again' and still spends mental energy on how to manipulate people to suit her purpose. 

While I'll be able to wax lyrical of Mother's attributes in her younger years at her funeral, I will struggle to say good things about her final years. But there is one quality Mother has that has worked for her throughout her life and that is the ability to bring out the best caring qualities in everyone. 

If you remember back to last year when Mother became confused while staying at our place and after her second invasion of R's bedroom at around 5.30 in the morning, I woke to hear R screaming at Mother to get our of his room. R went on and on about her deliberate invasion of his privacy. The next time I went to see her, he did not come. But all seemed well on Christmas Day among family, and when we visited Mother a couple of weeks ago R insisted we take her a bunch of flowers.

From family to neighbours, to friends and professional medical staff, to retail shop staff to strangers on the street, she manages to extract the kindness factor from them all to help her. A neighbour used to drive my siblings to school and often enough the school principle's wife would drive them home. It was a distance they could have really walked, although along a highway footpath. Various people have transported her around in their cars for whatever reason. One of her former dyke couple neighbours keeps in touch by mail with the 'best neighbour we could have wished for'. Dog and cat lovers connect. 

Mother's children are very critical of her and we make our thoughts plain to her, yet it washes over her and we love her no less. Maybe it is because she wears her heart on her sleeve more than most people would and certainly much more than her children.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


I haven't received a social security payment since about 1976 when I was briefly unemployed and I spent the payment on an AM portable HMV shelf radio, with an illuminated display. By the late 1990s my leather bound portable radio entertained Step Father's budgerigars in their aviaries. 

So without any recent experience, I did know that the unemployed and other social security recipients had to report their fortnightly income to Social Security or whatever it is now called, and their subsequent payment would be adjusted to take into account the previous fortnight's pay. Fair enough.

But then the Minister for Social Security came up with a programme mockingly called Robodebt. The minister at the time happens to be our disgraced former Prime Minister, one Scott Morrison. 

The calculation by the automated system Robodebt was made for annual income and that is how your social security will be calculated and this was back dated. Honest people who faithfully reported their fortnightly income could suddenly owe thousands of dollars in back pay to Social Security if they had very variable incomes each fortnight and the onus was them to have kept payslips and prove their innocence.

Many couldn't as they had not kept or were not provided with pay slips, so they had a theoretical debt to government. A simpleton could understand if your income was judged fortnightly for social security payments, that is not going to work if the income is averaged over a year.

The scheme operated  for a number of years. It caused terrible stress to so many innocent people and some suicided. It is flabbergasting that the scheme lasted that long before being struck out by the courts as being illegal. A royal commission has discovered the public service did advise the government that the scheme was illegal but the public service was also very cosy with the disgraceful former conservative government. 

The former government ministers behind the scheme who are still sitting as a members are former Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a back bencher, the disgraced for other reasons and about to retire minister Alan Tudge and the also disgraced and retired Christian Porter.

Their actions were inhuman and they should hang their heads in shame, and be suitably punished but they won't be of course.

Gallery of shame.

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister for Social Security when Robodebt was introduced.

Former Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge.

Former Attorney General Christian Porter.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Monday Mural

I am joining in with Sami and others for Monday Mural.

I have many mural photos yet to be seen. Not all are great. This simple mural is the oldest in my folder so best to use it. It was freezing cold in May a couple of years ago, like 12 degrees, when we stayed in Lorne and I took this photo. Riding a dolphin is kind of cute.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Sunday Selections

I'm joining in with River and others for Sunday Selections.

The French are revolting and when the French revolt, they do it with style. This barbeque can run on tram tracks and therefor can be easily transported from one protest group to another. Feed them sausages, not cake. Photo by Juan Buis.

Fake I hope. How awful to be deprived of beer.

South Melbourne. Liver pills, liver salts. What was that all about? I've Googled and liver pills cured everything. Carters was the dominant brand it seems but I don't remember that brand here. My grandfather used to take Ford's Liver Pills. 

On public housing land someone or more than one person has made a little garden. It's not grand but a good effort.

The floral clock was gift to Melbourne from the watchmakers of Zurich. I've no idea why. The clock is problematic. Plantings have to be below the sweep of the hands and people keep interfering with the hands. You never know if it will be working or if it hands missing. At the moment the second hand is missing.

Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop was a surgeon captured in Singapore by the Japanese during WWII. He saved so many lives in the camps where the prisoners of war were so brutally treated by the Japanese. He was a great man and the sculpture is worthy and deserved. In the background was a Latin festival. I've never thought of Latins being boring, but the festival certainly was; more a gathering of food vans than an exhibition of culture. 

Who kicked the cop car door in?

Remember the 'dangerous' playground? The rocks are real.

Quite a good job really of making what was once a traffic sewer into a much more pleasant area.

How many cockatoos does it take to make a flock?

This green slime rubbish atop Storey Hall has been there for years. It really need to be removed.

Last Sunday was (gay) Pride March. Trams in Fitzroy Street where the march happens did not run for several hours with the exception of the not in service Pride Tram. I never knew what a moquette was until a few years ago. It is the patterned and tough fabric used for public transport seating. This drag queen dress is one of the moquettes used in one of our tram models. Photo by Yarra Trams. 

Window Wankers

Some of you may remember me complaining about the apartment occupants to my immediate front having their windows open, well mostly the one a...