Saturday, July 22, 2023

The oven is preset

This is the best I can do after five hours of looking after a pair of 13 month old twin boys. They were delightful and even the grumpy great uncle did not bring them to tears, although every time they did something 'doubtful', they turned around to see if grumpy great uncle was watching. One twin walks, the other is a bit slower. I actually gave one a nurse on my knee and a cuddle, but he wriggled so much I put him back on the floor. Erk, children.

I charmed their three year old sister with a small Easter bunny chocolate, once before they went off to the chicks soccer/football match and another when they returned. 

Some stupid old prick who I may live with gave them a lamington to share. Chocolate was embedded into the carpet. There is't a right mouse click to remove embedded chocolate. Our windows are sticky with handprints but if take my glasses off I can't see them.

We took them out in their two tiered pram to learn how to be chardonnay sipping inner city cafe latte drinkers. Well, across the road to the local cafe where we had coffee and they had nothing. Pushing the pram was terrible. Any footpath camber, the pram had to be fought against to keep it straight and was just so heavy.

R hasn't said that is the last time we do that, and that is not too bad. They are just gorgeous young boys and perhaps have cooking ambitions. 

Or food ambitions. 

Friday, July 21, 2023

Farnham Friday

John Farnham AO, once known as Johnny, was an Australian pop singer for perhaps five decades. I wrote was because I think it is  clear his singing days have past after a bout of jaw cancer.

If you liked sweet, perhaps cheesy, pop music, he was one of the best. Yet as I listened to some of his songs for this post, there was a serious message in a number of them. I think his largest support base came from 'mums' through the decades. One of my own mother's biggest thrills was him waving to her from a taxi stopped at traffic lights and many years later seeing him lunch in the same hotel where she and Step Father were having lunch.

Here are some of his 36 tracks to make it into Australia's top forty charts.

It began in 1967 with John at 18 performing Sadie, the Cleaning Lady.

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head in 1970.

Also from 1970 was One is the Loneliest Number. This is clearly a  later recording. It is perhaps my preffered song of Farnham's. 

Was it really so long ago? 1986 You're the Voice was released, the song for which he will probably best be remembered. Here is an official version. Hmm, difficult. I'll try to embed it if not

Or you can view this version recorded with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

And this one just because it amused me, with Tom Jones, My Yiddish Mama. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Road rights

The Australian state of New South Wales recently legislated that all new traffic lights must have head off pedestrian lights. If you are at traffic lights the green signal for pedestrians will light first and a few seconds later the traffic green light will allow cars to proceed. This causes minimal delay to car drivers and by statistics makes intersections much safer for pedestrians. I thoroughly approve.

This seems to be happening in my state of Victoria too, but I don't know of any legislation. 

Our building and our two sister buildings have lost on street parking of about 15 spaces purely because of segregated bike lanes. Personally I don't think it was necessary for us to lose parking, but it is already spilt milk. 

There is more than one type of cycling lane in Melbourne but here are a couple of examples.

This one is good but does not offer cyclists any real protection from a swerving car. The green is painted where there could be car and cyclist conflict.

This model is gold star for cyclist safety and this is how my street, St Kilda Road is mostly already, just waiting for completion. While it has come at a cost for us because of the lost parking in front our building, I do approve of the change. The cycling lane will encourage bike riders, meaning less cars on the road and less people on the trams. It was once a very dangerous road for cyclists as they rode past parked cars and were 'doored' by drivers opening car doors in front of them. You who drive on the wrong side of the road will have to translate in your heads. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Let there be light

 A week or so we took Hippie Niece and her twin daughters to see the light show Imaginator, formerly Imaginaria at Docklands. The trio stayed the night before and they enjoyed the fun at Imaginator. Half an hour was enough, although the booking was for an hour. No one would stay longer than an hour, so that didn't need to be policed.

A few photos. Children never seen, never heard. You wouldn't know they were here. This ball sits discreetly in the lounge room but anyone under sixteen is liable to use it to roll around. Sometimes even older really.

Almost wouldn't know they were here. They were quite good and tidied their things up a couple of times.

I rarely thank god for anything but thank you lord for John Logie Baird. 

On with the show.

I lay down on this rotating cushion, I thought next to Hippie Niece and started chatting to her. It was not her. Such embarrassment. Getting up right from the cushion could not be described as elegant either. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

England 20/05

It dawned a nice sunny Saturday, not that any of us saw the sun rise. Mr Sun gets up very very early in summertime England. Sister 1 suggesting we take an outing to Whitley Bay and have some lunch at a cafe within the Spanish City. Neither she nor her partner had been there before. While it was wonderfully sunny, it was not really warm. While the large cafe where we lunched was well staffed, I can't say it was good value or recommend it. 

We entered via the main doors into a reception area where you gather before entering a wedding or party event space. I'm sure the space was very nice. The Spanish City building was pretty well abandoned for eighteen years.

But that is not what we want, We want a cafe and this one will do, with its nice views to the outside.

The old W.D. & H.O. Wills cigarette factory, now repurposed as many have given up their addictive vice.

In the afternoon we met up with another of R's cousins and her son who cares for her. Her late husband as I remember was the loveliest of gentlemen. To visit her we would have to walk for five minutes, cross the A69 by ramp and footbridge, and walk for three minutes...we drove. 

That night it was a return visit to The Poacher's for dinner. Tomorrow will be our last full day in England and we went out with a bang. 

Monday, July 17, 2023

A Monday Morning Malaise

I should have posted a Monday Mural post, but I didn't feel like it.

I should have written the penultimate England visit post, but I didn't feel like it. 

I should have written a push button post, where I know there will be a lot of comments, some disagreeing with me, but I didn't feel like it. 

I should have written a Maurice from Mornington post complaining about the Sunday Melbourne disruption to trams and traffic caused by a FUN RUN, but I didn't feel like it.

I should write a post about R's new smart watch (RRP $650), that came as a bonus with ME paying for my new phone, but I didn't feel like it. 

I should write a post about how adept I was with technology in the 1990s and I was the go to person for help and to my regret evolution has not given me the flexible thumbs that young people have as they skim over their phones, but I didn't feel like it.

I think Quora is a bit like Reddit. I am a member of both but understand neither. Somehow I receive a couple of emails a day from Quora. Because I keep reading posts of English people pretending to be US people, baiting English Quora members to respond, whereby crap is then piled on to the US for its gun laws, poor social security and the lack of a universal health care system. EG, Why is American health care the most expensive in the world but leads to bankruptcy and a low age death rate in the US? Or, The communist health system in the UK can't cope with the numbers of patients in the tiny and dreary wet nation. Why don't people of the UK look to the US as the best nation in the world for superior healthcare?

Once you've read a few of those, it becomes tedious. Perhaps the Quora algorithm has picked up my boredom with the subject and today sent me some subjects more interesting. Here are a couple of copy and pastes. 

Does this clear the dinner matter up? Yes...and no. 


Simple. Forget clocks and time.

First meal of the day is always Break Fast. Typing is deliberate. A fast is a period of not eating. Breakfast breaks that period following sleep. That one is fixed

Lunch is the mid-day meal … EXCEPT when it is dinner, in which case it is dinnertime.

Tea is teatime, around 4PM until 6PM ISH depending on work/lifestyle etc. (let's not draw in afternoon tea or high tea). EXCEPT when it's dinner time.

Dinner time is dinner, sometime after tea time …. .think light tea and then a proper dinner. EXCEPT when it's not.

Supper is always the small meal at the end of the day, irrespective of dinner time.

Why?;Simple. Dinner is always the main meal of the day irrespective of when it is eaten time wise : think meat n 2 veg, treacle sponge n custard for afters. Or a sit down 4 courses in a restaurant even if you had meat/veg n pudding for lunch.

Lunch could be dinnertime with sandwiches and a cuppa eaten for tea.

Tea could be dinnertime with a hot ovaltine and a choccy biscuit for supper…

Dinnertime is always dinnertime ‘cos that is when you eat the main meal of your day.

Simples. You could have just looked in a reputable dictionary.

As this author says, native English speakers not knowing order words rules are not picked up for word order correctness. Read on. The author expresses it better. Note, if you don't know ESL is English as a Second Language. 


I mean, I’m not able to answer the question definitively for every language, but my favourite in English is a (by now somewhat notorious) rule in the English language that most English speakers pick up by default.

The order of adjectives in English, at first, doesn’t seem to be fixed. However, as quoted by Mark Forsyth in The Elements of Eloquence, adjectives in English ‘absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.’

Some examples:

a French silver lovely rectangular green old whittling little knife.

a silver green old French lovely whittling little rectangular knife.

a lovely rectangular silver French little whittling old green knife.

They all just seem wrong.

In native English-speaking English lessons, I’m pretty sure no-one gets taught this rule (no-one I’ve shown it ever has been) - but it is taught rigorously for ESL students, which blows my mind.

So yeah, probably nothing in comparison to other languages (I can’t imagine learning 64 cases in Tsez), but something from English that is more complex than you may think.


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