Saturday, June 17, 2023

Disgraceful ABC

I am not sure I really like ABC's political editor Andrew Probyn. That kind of translates as being I don't always agree with him. But hey, he is first class presenter of political stories. It is hard to believe he has been sacked.

Along with some not so magical machinations with ABC's arts programming. 

And the loss of Sunday state based evening tv news for a national news service. I know what that means from radio. It will mean Sydney news with a local Sydney car crash story and a filler from one of the states.

I have marched on the streets for Our ABC. I was a member of Friends of ABC. I've been to large public meetings to support our ABC. These were mostly against conservative attacks and defunding of Our ABC.

I have written letters and latterly sent emails to all and sundry to urge support for Our ABC. 

But I am old and I know ABC needs to go down a digital path for the newer generations. However, I feel so disrespected by these aforesaid changes, especially the loss of our local news. If ABC TV gets away with this, there will be no end to cuts to ABC from within.

PS My next post from England is a long time in the making. Hopefully tomorrow. 

Friday, June 16, 2023

Frivolous Friday

I had no intention of watching this. The group Steps was just post my interest in pop music. I took no notice of the group but how can anyone not be aware of the song Tragedy. 

Well, this is a bit interesting. The performance is at Wembley Stadium and it looks lavish. Wedding bells? Anyway, I am not watching it. 

How does this music eventually become the song Tragedy? I am not gonna watch it though. 

Well, just a bit a more. When the main song starts, I will close it down. 

It has been quite some build up. I was watching the YouTube clip on the large tv screen. It doesn't look as good on a small screen. 

I am a retired person. I don't have spare time in my life to watch a seven minute music clip. 

I was mesmerised by the clip and I couldn't stop watching until the end. Maybe that won't be the case for you, no matter.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

England 02/05

It didn't seem to matter where we went in Chesterfield we could see the twisted church spire. I'll paste in Yorkshire Pudding's comment on yesterday's post. I'll just add that the church is centuries old but the spire seems to have been added in 1362. In the 1700s 33 tons of lead sheeting was added to the tower. Repairs were made and much work has happened into the twentieth century, often after fires and one lightning strike. While YP's account of the spire is plausible, I prefer the one that the devil was resting in the spire when incense wafted up from the church. He sneezed so violently, the bent the spire.  

"That is the twisted spire of St Mary's Church and the reason why the local football club - Chesterfield F.C. - are nicknamed The Spireites. I understand that the spire is twisted because the wood of its framework had not been fully seasoned before construction took place."

So we were out on our own reasonably early and wandered the old town just five minutes walk away from our hotel. The market village was still sleepy. Aren't these Tudor buildings wonderful. 

To the south I think, there were modern shops and a supermarket and I assume a large car park.

R couldn't resist the Royal tat this time and bought a teaspoon I think with a royal theme on the handle.

We found a nice little place to sit outdoors for coffee. We had already availed ourselves of the included hotel buffet breakfast.

We had arranged to meet R's cousin and his wife for lunch. They collected us at our hotel and we drove somewhere and it was just lovely. The cuz was a family playmate of R's when he was young. The day before R moved to Australia in 1970, his three year older cousin was driving the bus R rode on and R told him he was moving to Australia. They never heard from each other again until this cousin popped up on FB. Naturally there was much family news catch up along with reminiscing... along with contacts for even more old cousins, his remaining brother and sister. 

This area would go off like a cracker on a warm summer's day. Today was not a warm summer's day.

A headless swan swimming on what is a human made lake overlooked by the hotel. I guess the lake is called Smithy Pond.

A Canada goose resting or nesting below the hotel deck. It was a huge bird.

Can you see a green tinge to the water? 

R's cousin is 77 and estranged from the children of his first marriage and twenty years ago married a woman much younger than himself. She is about to turn 40 and she is warm and lovely woman who has always called Chesterfield home. We left the hotel to pick up their 16 year old son from school and went back to their home for coffee, a house with the front door right on the street. A very happy family in spite of the age difference. She drove us back to our hotel the long way, through the area where she grew up and went to school. She pointed out many places which I have now totally forgotten. 

That night we had a fantastic meal at this place and it wasn't expensive. YP, can you give it a glowing review on my behalf please. Please insert the word succulent. 

The cousin suggested a few places we could visit near Chesterfield the next day. One suggestion made my eyes pop wide open and then roll in various directions in anticipation. Can anyone guess? 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

A transport puzzlement

This is probably a little esoteric for many but I used to write a good bit more about public transport than I now do.

I was in Box Hill on a weekday and I needed to catch the train to the city and then a tram home. Oh damn, 15 minutes wait for the next train. I just missed one. I was actually surprised that the wait wasn't 10 minutes. It's a busy station on a busy line.

A look at timetables once home and the respective Belgrave and Lilydale lines merge at Ringwood. Both only have a 30 minute off peak service, hence the 15 minute service from Ringwood to the city through Box Hill. Well a half hour weekday off-peak service on each line is not very good, but there you go. That is why there is only a 15 minute service from Box Hill.

Just a thought. I looked at Saturday and Sunday, and my goodness. Both lines have a 20 minute daytime service meaning a train every 10 minutes at Box Hill, which is how I expected it to be on weekdays.

There can't be too many public transport services that have a better service on weekends than weekdays unless say they are tourist hotspot like St Kilda. Very strange indeed. 

Just to add some colour, during another public transport outing, I walked past a shop in Sydney Road, suddenly stopped and thought, walked back and went into the divine Sweet Nata. Both the tart I ate and the coffee were brilliant.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

England 30/04-01/5

Sunday was a Sunday roast for lunch/dinner in the mid afternoon, as is the English custom. Toby Carvery was packed and I expect like us, most people had booked. You paid for a small, medium or large plate and the appropriate amounts of meat would be served to you. No restrictions on anything else. I was lacking in vegetables so I had a small plate with lots of vegetables. Doesn't seem much else was done that day.

We had booked a hire car for Monday. We saw the price and it seemed reasonable for five days. We began the booking process. Australian! £40 extra. Automatic! £80 extra. We can't help being Australian but we settled on the manual car. While I've never owned a manual car, I have driven plenty and so has R. We made a mistake. We were out of practice and we'd not had to deal with six gears before. 

We were upgraded to a brand new Citroen C4, which was very nice. In spite of filling in all the details online, there was still huge administrative matters to go through as we picked up the vehicle.

R kangaroo hopped out of the car park and moved the motor car along for the drive to The South on the A1/M1. 

I suggested we stop to set the sat nav. R nosed the car into a fence intending to reverse into a space, but he couldn't find reverse. Nor could I. We pulled the gear stick up, pushed it down, pushed it sideways, searched for buttons. Nothing. I got out of the car in exasperation. It can't be that hard! We are going to have to depend on the kindness of a stranger and ask. How embarrassing. Then the call came out.

"I've found it", from R. There is a small ring below the gear knob to lift and then you can move to reverse. Who would have thunk that.

The sat nav was as stupidly complicated as that in our own car at home, so we just used Google Maps on our phones.

We took a break at motorway stop and after three hours of travelling, we reached our Ibis Hotel in Chesterfield. The hotel is two star but it was good enough, quite good really and the buffet breakfast was fine. Our intention was to stay in Nottingham but nothing there suited us well.


R has a cousin in Nottingham who we know and one in Chesterfield who we didn't.

That evening the cousin in Nottingham came up to Chesterfield with her husband and two of their three sons and their partners to join us for dinner at the Alma Park Harvester.

There were some conversation gaps which R and myself quickly killed with meaningless babble. It was a bit awkward for no real reason. They were all lovely people. 

WTF is this? I like my old architecture to look right to my eyes and this does not. 

Big day. Time to sleep.  

Monday, June 12, 2023

Catching up with the personal

You may remember last weekend we journeyed to Torquay to celebrate the twin boys' first birthday. It seems it was a not a safe event. Thursday their father Firefighting Nephew felt unwell and tested positive for Covid, his wife and daughter the next day. They are doing their best to ensure the twins don't catch it but I am sure that is very difficult.

Nephew was due to fly to Canada to fight the terrible fires there. If all stayed normal with his children, his wife could cope. There was support she could call on if things went wrong. He has decided not to go now.

This Saturday Bone Doctor brought Jo to Melbourne to visit Comic-Con, Jo had invested a bit of money and learnt how to use a sewing machine to make her costume. With a short black wig and skillful makeup, she looked fantastic. They came back here and we went out for an early dinner. They then went back into town to see The Rocky Horror Show.

Mother is in hospital again and no one is telling her what is happening and what her treatment is. Bone Doctor suggested she and Jo stay the night and she and I visit Mother the next day where Bone Doctor could speak to someone. It worked perfectly. Bone Doctor discovered Mother is perfectly aware that the hospital is adjusting drugs for her mental health, that is to reduce her anxiety, and trying to get her off Panadeine Forte onto a better pain relieving drug that won't upset her digestive system. It is a battle to change Mother's mindset about these 'drugs that work', very old fashioned drugs, onto to newer and better drugs with less side effects. Haha, Bone Doctor told Mother if she keeps turning up at hospital like this, she will be judged as needing to go into nursing home care. We were back home by a bit after 11 and Bone Doctor and Jo, who had been out for breakfast with R, dashed off home.

Meanwhile Bone Doctor's wife, Sister, has been sunning herself in Queensland for a few days.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

England 29/04

To toon.

R and I caught the bus to toon and had a wander and some lunch. It was pleasant and nice to be on our own. R decided he needed a puffer jacket to ward off the cold. We found some for a very reasonable price in Primark but the didn't have his size. Just as well really. We found a much nicer puffer jacket in M&S...yes for a good bit more. 

Grey's Monument.

Through the sharp toothed hoops and fire the busker ran. It was all over in two seconds after such a long build up.

Coronation tat. It was selling. 

A protest, I  believe.

Complete with a band.

One of those pedal beer bikes. Hard work on the steep streets of Newcastle.

Home for a rest and then a catered party had been put on for us at a local pub. It was a fun few hours and I think about fifty people came and went.

Bumping another car

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