Saturday, February 25, 2023

No Post

Thursday night, a wine tasting hosted by the wine shop across the road at our building's recreational area. It included a sausage sizzle and food fellow residents brought food along. We contributed a dozen raspberry and lemon tarts from our local French bakery. In the blink of an eye, they were gone. R always gets such things right.

R wasn't feeling terrific, so we didn't go out in the heat for our usual brunch this Friday. I was confused by the heat and took a country train ride. I can't remember where I went and without planning my trip, I ended having a 50 minute wait for a train back to town. Fortunately there was a pub next to the station so I had an ice laden g&t as I killed time.

We had dinner this Friday night with my gay former workmate at the most excellent Kantipur

So, too busy to write a post...my apologies.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Living in 70s

In 1970 I was thirteen years old.  By 1980 at 23 and I was in a same sex relationship with R and had began to work at the place I retired from forty years later. What a decade the seventies was for me, especially the profound effect on me of my parents separating. 

In about 1975 I bought some soft porn gay magazines at a city bookshop. In 1977 I decided I was straight and burnt them in the incinerator at my grandmother's where I was living at the time. By 1978 I'd had three sexual experiences with women but only one proper one. Yeah, I could do it but always I was thinking of men. Men were just so fantastic, so sexual, always ready. There was no mystery about them. They really liked sex. They didn't need to be primed. They needed to get off, frequently and often. Foreplay may have been flirting and the act of picking up with some excitement, but the actual foreplay was a couple of seconds long before we were lunging at each other. It kind of seemed innocent to me as I learnt the ropes. It certainly felt natural.

I think in seventies my mind ricocheted  from uncertainty and a natural instinct to go for what I wanted. An instinct about life I suppose.

Society was changing and after a long period of conservative federal governments, the reformist God Gough became Prime Minister because it was time. There are so many Australian celebrities of the time in the clip from the seventies. God Gough was duly elected.

Gay men and women were protesting on the streets for rights. We had heard of the Stonewall riots in New York. The music of the time was amazing and somewhat reassuring to gay men, especially Supernaut's song I Like it Both Ways. As far as I know they were all straight men, but open thinkers and I think they made others think more openly.


But for a gay teenager who moved from the country to a large city, Skyhooks gave me the best understanding of the city I embraced. Skyhooks had hit after hit, successful album after the last. Although they had a great song called Somewhere in Sydney, their song lyrics were mostly about Melbourne. 

Before I moved to the city, I had seen Skyhooks perform live in the local Civic Centre. I was front row, staring at Graeme 'Shirley' Strachan in his revealing tight white satin pants. Red Symons was so glammed up with makeup and styled outrageous outfits. Once the band broke up, Shirl went on to a tv career before sadly dying in helicopter crash. It you are not fussed to watch any of the clips above, watch this one. It's a sound check and the ease of how Shirley performs so professionally is a wonder to watch. Nevertheless, I am sure he was lip syncing. You can't use a microphone like that, can you?


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Tech Memories

Sammy J is a comedian and hosts ABC Melbourne's radio breakfast programme. Yesterday as I write he asked the question of his audience along the lines of what technology of the 1980s did you know and would you have to explain to your now adult children.

One was mentioned that really sent the sparks flying in what remains of my brain, teletext. I am not looking it up but I remember it being a ticker tape like thing scrolling across the bottom of your tv screen. There was a button on your tv remote control to turn it on or off (yes Virginia, we did have remote controls in the 1980s). It showed share market prices, news, weather and I am not sure what else. 

I ask you for your memory of 80s tech that you would now have to explain to younger people?

I'll throw this into the yet to be mix. Now we hang up after making a phone call, landline or mobile. Maybe at times end a call.

Well into the 1970s in Australia we would say 'ring off'. Why? I can tell you why.

C'mon. Talk to me. Go off topic with 'early tech memories' if you want. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Controlling Nature

You won't believe me if I tell you I don't have a controlling nature. Maybe I do a bit. I can control nature, up to a point.

I did the same last year with a pot of petunias but I can't remember if it was successful.

The plant start to look 'leggy'. I can fix this. While I can't remember how successful it was I do remember new shoots appeared within a week and at two weeks it was beginning to fill out. Did it bloom well again and will it this time? We shall see and as I write this a week later, new shoots have appeared.

I tidied it up a bit more after its prune and soaked it the sink full of with a liquid fertiliser. I usually measure the amount of liquid fertiliser but over time I have learnt what size 'glug' is equivalent to 30 ml in my estimation of 10 litres of water.

When R noticed what I had done, he was as horrified as he was last year. "Trust me", I replied, with my fingers secretly crossed.


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The book burners

I wonder if in very old times stone tablets were smashed because someone in authority did not like what written on them.

Certainly in the years AD writings have been destroyed, latterly in WWII when Hitler presided over book burnings.

History has proved that if you tell someone they can't read something, they will really want to read what they are told they can't read. In Australia word had gotten out that there was something interesting that a young NYC Jewish man could do with a piece of liver meant for the dinner table. The word was out there and no matter that the book Portnoy's Complaint was a banned book, it was not too hard to find in print in the 70s? I found it a bit boring. Much better for teens was author Paul Zimmerman but I can't remember his book titles and Google doesn't seem to know about him. Maybe I don't have his name correct. Librarian help needed.

Now in the US there is a lot of agitation to remove books from library shelves deemed inappropriate, some because they have gay characters or other reasons where the conservative Christian right book burners deem inappropriate. 

This was written a little while ago. This morning I woke to the news that Roald Dahl's children's  books are being edited to remove offensive words. A couple of expressions I did not like and a couple I had no issue with. 

As you would guess I am against editing books to remove what is offensive now, and perhaps even when the books were written. It is suggested there could be say a sticker applied to the book explaining that some terms within the book may be offensive to some. No doubt it will be in small print somewhere. If we are to go down this path, it needs to be a full page in simple clear language right before the story begins.

If you read Noddy books, Famous Five, Biggles, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer books when you were young, did it make you some kind of prejudiced adult? The word wog here was mostly used for Mediterranean (I can't believe I just spelt that word correctly) immigrants. While it is an offensive word, at times it has been embraced. I once asked my father what wog meant. He told me  W O G was, Wiley Oriental Gentleman.

As a child, even now I can recall non fiction books = boring. Fiction = good reading. Nothing I read as a child influenced my thinking as an adult and it never occurred to me that Noddy and Big Ears could have been in an older man and toy boy same sex relationship.

Fiction censorship is bad. Book publisher Puffin/Penguin, you've done wrong.    

Monday, February 20, 2023

Monday Mural

Joining with Sami and others for Monday Mural.

I've posted photos of this terrific mural before but it was a long time ago. It has been very disrespected and is mostly only visible from inside a clothing shop at Spencer StreetSo Cross Southern Cross Station. Part of it is visible in the shop next to where I took this photo. I just love it but it is hard to photograph with the lighting getting in the way. At least you get an idea of the mural in these photos. It is very wide and while this is only part of it, the rest is quite similar. This link has outdated information but tells you what you need to know about the mural. 



Sunday, February 19, 2023

Tidying my sock drawer

That is what I should have done. Instead we visited Mother and took her our for lunch. Three hours with Mother is mentally exhausting. I don't know how ABI Brother does it permanently, even though he is paid to do so up to a point. He goes beyond. 

I have no energy for a blog post and we've taken to strong liquor to recover our sanity. ABI Brother and Tradie Brother went to a concert to see singer Richard Clapton perform and ABI Brother stayed the night at Tradie Brother's home. It was dad custody weekend for her twin daughters and Hippie Niece stayed with Mother overnight. They had a great time together and Mother related some goss today about Hippie Niece and her partner separating. 

I've cropped Hippie Niece out and this was a photo taken a week ago. Mother turns 89 next month. It looks like she will make 90. You'd never think she was about to die and her life is so bad she may as well be dead.



I have a question for you dear readers. Last night Fire Fighting Nephew stayed and slept in the bed in the spare room. Normally we would change the bedding between visitors but in a fortnight his mother will sleep here. I figure given it is mother and son, we don't have to change the bedding. FFN is well past the age of wet dreams. No angel, pademelon or green tree frog will die if the bedding is not changed? 


Call me a cynic

City of Melbourne took a vote on calling for a ceasefire in Palestine, motion lost. I am not sure it is within the remit of the City of Melb...