Saturday, August 5, 2023

Getting out the box

Our friend from over the Great Dividing Range caught the train to town and we lunched somewhere. He came back to our apartment. He and his brother live together on a a few hectares and his brother is an amatueur junk restorer and seller. His brother's partner is very knowledgeable about 'old stuffs'. Our friend picked up some skills from them and took at look at what we brought out. 

This used to sit on a plate stand somewhere in one of our former homes. It is a rather nice Chinese plate, but not of any real value. Dishwasher unfriendly. 


Four setting or six setting? I can't remember but the Turkish coffee set is complete and undamaged. It is quite lovely and comes with a jug and sugar bowl, but few seem to desire an old Turkish coffee set nowadays. Dishwasher unfriendly. 


In the early 1980s we were good friends with a dyke couple. They lived in a house owned by one of their aunts in St Kilda's then notorious Vale Street. I slept there one night after a serious disagreement with R. He cared enough to track me down. I am not sure he would now. This plate was nicely painted by Jennifer Anderson's mother Vi. I'd like to know what she Jenny is doing and looks like now, but you try and Google a name like hers! The plate is dishwasher unfriendly. 


I can't remember any history to this cat figure but apparently the manufacturer is very well known but the piece is worth nothing. Dishwasher unfriendly. 

The other item is a candle stick holder. It has been used by us during power blackouts a long time ago.  Amazingly as it came out of the box, there was a box of matches sitting in the holder. It is very dishwasher unfriendly and I used to polish it with Brasso. 


I recently commented on Hels blogpost about hoarders. You can read that here. The candle stick holder was an item from the hoarder's possessions.  I just love that there is a box of matches. Can you still buy them like this? Yes! Mother smokes when she is not in hospital and she cannot work these fangled disposable lighters so she still uses matches to light her cigarettes. 

Friday, August 4, 2023

Lazy Friday post

A new railway station has opened and the train now burrows under Glen Huntly Road, rather than impede the progress of cars, trams and pedestrians at road level. We visited the station Wednesday and had a nice bite to eat at a local cafe. Here is a comment I made on another blogger's post about the new station.

Given the light loading often seen in the front and rear carriages, is it a bad thing that this station has an entrance near the rear of the train?

We used the station yesterday, mainly for a look. I didn’t check in advance if the lifts were yet working. My partner struggled with the stairs. I planned to have a good look before catching the train and 58 tram home but my partner suggested we just catch the 67 tram home to avoid the station stairs and the steep South Yarra Station ramp. Interestingly the tram trip took only four minutes longer than train/tram.

So aside from noticing the station is a long way from being complete, and may as well not be for some people who can’t deal with stairs, I didn’t get to have a good look around. Thanks for the photos.

Meanwhile at Metro Trains and elsewhere, the Glen Huntly/Glenhuntly battle goes on. A real estate agent had a bob each way with the office address being Glenhuntly Road, Glen Huntly.

Oh yes, there was a woman at a cafe who thanked passing hi-vis workers returning from a break for the fine work they had done. That was nice and the workers looked rather pleased.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

(Insert difficult post title here)

What a spectacular moon we have at the moment. We face east and it rises in our evening in the south eastern sky and is spectacular as it turns from orange to yellow to white. Many photos will be taken and a few seen but try this one by Canadian M's sister in Ireland. I just wish it was posted larger.

Now, a question. The sun is stationary and the earth rotates around the sun. The earth spins on its axis and the moon rotates around earth, so how come.......ah, I've forgotten the question now. Be grateful. 

Here is something I am better at, a bit of DIY. I can still do it, as long as when I go down, there is something to grab to pull myself to standing upright. The crab like method is rather inelegant. 

I learnt some skills from my father and one was what to do with a problem crack, and I've known a few over the years and dealt with them, like this one below that recently confronted me. It is a hard plastic cover to protect our carpet from the castor wheels of the desk chair. It does the job but it does have a load limit and the limit may have only been slightly breached, not by me I hasten to add, and it has cracked in three places.

My DIY experience over the years has taught me that anything problematic must be either hammered or drilled, even though screwing is easier. It was the latter, drilling, in this case and out came the thirty year old electric Black and Decker and a shiny new drill bit was inserted into its gaping mouthpiece, with the mouthpiece firmly tightened over the drill bit. 

No weak rechargeable Milwaukie battery operation for this drill. It took the full mains 240 volts to drill holes at the ends of each cracks. There was third too. Two weeks later, the cracks have not extended. 

The carpet facing pins are to keep the mat in place and hopefully you can see where I drilled.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Train travel at speed

Over the last four years with a combination of newer, faster and more comfortable trains, along with better train tracks, technology and competition between companies, train travel in the UK and Europe has increased its share of medium to long distance travel. There will be great figures from many European countries but here are a few examples. I think they are figures of competition between flying and trains for fast and convenient comfortable travel.

London to Edinburgh trains, from 33% of market share up to 63%. That is substantial and has killed domestic airline flights, but it should be even better. 

Madrid to Barcelona, 12% of market share by trains up to 73%. The train is very fast.

Milan to Rome, 36% of market share to 80%. This too is a very fast train. 

Carefully controlled competition between train companies, often against a government owned rail operator has improved services no end. 

Four companies compete on the Madrid to Barcelona train route and they are very fast trains at a cost well below flying, making travelling between the two major cities a no brainer decision.    

The Italian designed and manufactured train running under the brand Iryo is the best looker and perhaps the best choice, depending on your needs. It's interior was designed by a famous Italian interior designer, so famous I can't recall his name, and it's beautiful and ultra comfortable. 

We in the Antipodes can only look on with envy and wonder why we can't have such a train company or four to choose on one of the world's busiest flight route, Melbourne and Sydney. The flight is longer than it once was as there can be lot of taxi time in Sydney and to allow for plane congestion in Sydney, but even so, at 80 minutes as against 11 hours by train, well, what can I say. There is no defence. 

The Italian train Frecciarossa 1000, running high speed, 300 km/h I think, between Madrid and Barcelona.


Clearly first class and I think there are four classes to choose from. 

Monday, July 31, 2023

England Wrap Up

There is not really much more to say. 

This is a video I must have taken at The Denton Hotel. It was very busy and there were sports on tv. Normally it is such a pleasant place to meet, have a drink and a meal. But this night it was just too noisy. Sister 1 rarely complains but she certainly did this night. We left as soon as we could after our meals.

Later note: Given I can't remember taking the video, it could have also been at the Fox and Hounds pub.

Sent to me by a friend, footage taken at a Melbourne gay bar.


The model railway at York Train Museum was very good. I wish I had more time to watch all that was happening with various trains.



This vehicle is what I know as a rail motor.


Wink was a bar in our Colombo hotel. Rather swank.


The spicy nibbles were complimentary and very nice. R had an Aperol and I had a martini, too much vermouth and not enough gin (yeah, one or the other written would have done).


The hotel grounds were of many hectares, some groomed and some semi jungle.


I assume the "I do" balloon was an answer to a marriage proposal to someone who would soon appear at the airport exit door. 


Later edit: I failed to mention that my voice cracked as I hugged R's Sister 1 goodbye. I kind of knew it was the last time we would see her. 

Also, this was supposed to be posted tomorrow, and I do have history of mucking up when a month changes. 

Monday Mural

I'm joining with Sami and others for Monday Mural.

When we lived in Rosamond Street, Balaclava, almost opposite in what was originally a two bedroom single fronted worker's cottage like ours, lived Helen and Ross. They were a lovely couple and while we never socialised with them, we used to chat to them for ages. They had a two storey addition built at the rear of their house and when I was recently in the area, I noticed this mural on the garage door to their back yard.

Nice. It is the head of an echidna or spiny anteater if you like. While shy and they bury themselves in the ground if they feel unsafe, they are quite interesting animals and can be reasonably easily seen by bush walkers etc. Sadly they are so often roadkill too. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

More on Mother

Mother was brought back from the nearly dead by clever medical intervention from rapid onset pulmonary oedema. This Saturday morning  a professor no less called me and explained the issue and how, in my words, it was a 50/50 bet as to whether she would recover. Mother is wondering why she being paid such attention by so many doctors. 

I alerted my siblings and Ex Sis in Law about the call from the professor. 

Ex Sis in Law and her three children, Fire Fighting Nephew, Oldest Niece and Hippie Niece all visited Mother this Saturday and found her in good spirits, so pleased to see her grandchildren and hear them banter between each other. Jo, her youngest grandchild will see Mother tomorrow in the company of Bone Doctor. 

My voice has cracked a bit when talking to my siblings, but they would barely notice. I am being strong and logical.

Over the course of day I have told R about all that is going on, but it is rather hard to remember detail from nine phone conversations in one day. 

Meanwhile R with his new smart watch is concerned about his heart beat rising from 65 to 90. Thankfully his new watch doesn't measure blood pressure...oh, it does, but he hasn't set it up yet. 

Mother is rather concerned about her hair. We have been brushing it and using a spray dry shampoo but we can't do much about the grey. Her latest demands are for barley sugar that is not hard to unwrap and a bright, deep pink nail polish. 

Words #397

I pronounce words so differently to many people in Australia. I don't know why. It is just how I speak. Here are some  examples. Integra...