Saturday, April 1, 2023

GB£2 = AU$50

Ok, who me exaggerate? 

I ordered from UK's Royal Mint a commemorative £2 coin featuring the centenary of the Flying Scotsman, the train that travelled from London directly north to Edinburgh. I seem to recall it could travel at 160 km/h, 100 mph, which is terribly impressive for a steam train. The Flying Scotsman visited Australia some years ago and travelled around our country's rails with great success and adulation. 

The commemorative £2 coin was priced at £21, but hey, I am a foreign type and I don't pay VAT, so £17. But with £12 postage added,  I am up for £29 for a £2 coin.

Then the conversion rate by my bank kicked in and while it wasn't quite AU$50, it was close. 

Anyway, I like my coin and I am happy with what I bought. You are really going to have click to enlarge to see these photos properly. 

Our new Royal Highness Kingie Charles at the backside. 

Friday, March 31, 2023

Vale Lily

67 is a young age to suddenly die at home, but Paul O'Grady did and what a loss. Paul O'Grady was a high achiever if you read his Wiki entry,

Many of you won't know him by name but you may know his alter ego, Lily Savage. I had no intention of watching five minutes of Lily Savage, but I did, entranced by Paul's skills. I would have heard soon enough, but I first heard of Paul's death from John Gray of Wales

It seems Lily did visit Australia but I can't remember if we saw her live on stage. I think we did, but I am not really sure.

I am using the same video as John, as it is just unbeatable. I struggled at times with her accent and rapid fire delivery, but she was just brilliant.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

A Victorian Disaster

Trans I think means someone transitioning from male to female. I know nothing about trans but I do know what it like to be born a certain way, in my case gay. I offer to trans the same as what I expect for myself, that is respect. 

Let's start with the editor of the Tasmanian newspaper the Launceston Examiner, the editor having written a letter to the the editor with a nom de plume protesting against a trans being in women's sports changing room. Total fiction and he has resigned.

Then a public speaker from England arrived on our shores to preach hatred against trans, one Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull. Apparently a women's group felt uncomfortable about trans too and turned out to listen to her hate speech against trans. The speaker also goes by the name of Posie Parker. She has been proved to be associated with neo Nazis and our local neo Nazis were there to support her.

A brand new state politician with extreme anti trans views attended the speech, one Moira Deeming. I believe she wasn't to know neo Nazis were in attendance. She had already made her views clear before she was pre selected for election, yet she went on to be approved. By her attendance at the speech, she has nearly destroyed the state opposition conservative party. 

Moderate opposition leader Pusetto said she must go from from the party. There were no ifs and buts.

After a very long meeting the party decided she would be suspended for nine months and then reassessed. 

Of course Pusetto has attempted to explain this away but it has wounded his leadership to such an extent that some, including me, think he has lost power within his own party, with the party beholden to the extreme anti social acceptance intolerants.

Mainland Australian state governments are all now Labor, as is our federal government. What is it about modern Australia that conservatives don't get? It is only when Labor really screws up or becomes very stale that the conservatives might be elected.

Meanwhile Ms Posie Parker went on to New Zealand to preach her hatred. In Auckland protesters overwhelmed her and lol, someone threw tomato sauce at her, with a direct hit. Guards rushed her through  protestors out to police car for protection. I think her Wellington appearance was cancelled.

I ask, why was a speaker of hatred ever given a visa to visit here? Australia has banned speakers of hate in the past. Why not her? Her visit has almost brought down two politicians at least.

Meanwhile a gay couple in Indonesia has been thrice refused a tourist visa to Australia. They wanted to visit Sydney for World Pride and Mardi Gras, but immigration said no. They are work professionals in Indonesia, have plenty of money and have travelled Europe and Japan, ten countries over ten years and never overstayed anywhere.

Loving couple, denied. Speaker of hate, most welcome. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Strath 4

For our final full day in the morning we moseyed around some antique shops for a while, which we quite enjoyed, not having done so for quite a while. OF was with us, of course. 

Yes, some sweets were bought, mine being chocolate covered liquorice bullets. I should have read  the detail as they were raspberry flavoured and I did not like them at all. Still in the car glove box. R will eat them.  

Where we dined outside the previous night. 

I wonder if Strathalbyn is one of those country towns preserved by neglect, that is there wasn't money to be made by pulling down the old and putting up new. 

I believe this is the former Town Hall, now with a multitude of uses including a museum. We did not visit. There is another museum but it is only open at weekends. 

There was an excellent car museum to rekindle memories. The entry price was quite reasonable. 

I am unsure which of the two cars below was my favourite. They were both beautiful.

Kinda cute.

This looks racy. 

My grandfather had the same Ford Zephyr but with an automatic transmission and it was two tone blue and white. 

Somewhat terrifying.

Then it was off to Bremerton Winery in the Langhorne Creek area for a very nice lunch. We bought a pack of small bottles of wines and they were very nice.

It was so pleasant sitting outdoors in the shade of umbrellas, gazing out over a beautifully maintained lawn. Yes, the grass was a very bright green. 

What is this critter?

It's a robot lawn mower, just like Gattina's Oscar a few years ago. 

It does a fine job of cutting grass and amusing diners. It headed for one couple's ankles and fortunately stopped at a gutter before chomping into their feet.

While I was reluctant, OF cooked us a delicious chicken curry for dinner and it was a very pleasant evening. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

We know, we know, but we don't

Unfettered capitalism around the world has been an absolute environmental disaster over many decades. A list of the worst could be quickly written but I see no need. Others will have done it. I thought I was pretty well unshockable at what the excesses of capitalism could do, and I knew it was bad in South America,  but after watching this 15 minute doco, I am truly shocked. 

I am not shocked by the environmental disaster. I knew about that. What I am shocked by is how the world and its legal system has failed in redress, in clean up and financial compensation. For goodness sakes, the pollution is still sitting there in South America. The world should be ashamed.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Monday Mural

I am joining in with Sami for Monday Mural. 

This mural is or was very large, painted in the time of one of our periods of Covid lockdown. Covid looks rather relevant in the mural. Rather poignant in Southbank. I had kept within my five kilometre exercise limit. 

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Strath 3

OF planned the next day. We will visit Victor Harbor(sic). I planned our next day. OF does not like car air conditioning and with a forecast temperature of 32 degrees, I insisted we will use our car, with the air con on. I can also control how long we are in the company of our friend better to work for us.

Look, I am being harsh. He is quite lonely at times and he really enjoyed our visit, as we enjoyed seeing him, but you know, it has to work for me too. 

Cafe, Granite Island, closed. Oh well, we will eat elsewhere. The main road was closed for repair and the alternative road was flat and boring so we took the scenic route through some hills. We stopped at a bakery in Port Elliot and it was terrific. We all chose healthy options such as sausage rolls and strong coffee.

OF chose somewhere to park so that we had to walk past a number of shops and cafes to reach...wait for it... a tram to Granite Island. The walk was quite interesting but some distance and at the time of the day my arthritis is at its worst. I no complain. R understands when I say I need to sit, that is in a chair or bench with a back. I understand when he says he needs to sit, as he is exhausted. What a pair of old crocks. I think R may have had a quiet word to our friend about my issues. 

Typical, we had just missed a tram and had to wait a while for the next tram. We filled the time well enough, at times discussing the fertility of young daddies with children who were around. A daddy of twins won hands down and he was rather hot, if a handsome tanned daddy about 30 years old with good dress and personal grooming style, if that is your thing. 

Port Elliot Bakery was a great place for a break, with nice 'bad' food and almost ok coffee, for a bakery.

Well, Crocs are the height of fashion among the teens of Port Elliot. Is this a trend I have missed? Is John Gray of Wales once again fashionable with his Crocs? 

He was a nice looking daddy in the outdoor seating area at the bakery.

A local pub, for local people. 

As we ambled towards the tram, there was this rather modern looking rotunda. You may recall how much I like a good rotunda, frequently and often. 

A seat in the shade to ease my back and view this rather cool fountain. 

Here comes our tram. I wondered if it would be 600 volt electric or 750 volt. Forget the volts, it was horsepower. Just one horsepower.

The outlook was very pleasant. 

The horse was called Albert, but typically of public transport workers, he insisted on a break from his labours and so Scotty was brought into service and towed our tram to Granite Island, maybe a kilometre away partly along a causeway. I am not seeing horse workplace gender diversity here.

The young woman seemed to be in charge. She changed and guided the horses and operated the tram brake, a small disc to turn which seemed to be quite a complex skill on a flat tramline as we arrived back at the mainland terminus. Don't you just say whoa Neddy Dobbin Scotty?

The views back to the mainland and of the island were very nice.

Hmm, I know new tram track when I see it. This will have cost $$$.

I can't believe three old faggots did not get a good face photo of  who I think was the tram conductor. He was very cute looking. Shallowness on my part aside, he was such a nice a welcoming guy, absolutely without artifice. 

I think I am right in saying these aren't original trams but copies of originals. They seemed very authentic to me. Interestingly a horse drawn tram once travelled the 50 kilometre distance from Victor Harbor to Strathalbyn.

We arrived and the tram would begin its return journey in five minutes. We have walked Granite Island in the past, as has OF. I think he wanted to explore again but given it was forty minutes until the next return journey, I said no. We will return on this tram in five minutes. R was concerned that we offended OF and I reminded  him of the facts that we can't walk far, and we don't do stairs. 

Older tram track here. 

A duck family.


We drove the flat diversion road back. It seemed to take forever. After dropping our friend off, we rested at our motel and met up for dinner at an Italian place. OF chose a pizza that turned out to not terribly to his taste but R's and my meal were great. At some point he had shown us around his daughter's house and we returned there for coffee and biscuits. Then back to our so comfortable motel to sleep the sleep of the innocent. We'd had a lovely day. 

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 ...