Saturday, August 19, 2023

This service to Flinders Street via City Loop is delayed

Maybe there is something I am not aware of but a few weeks ago some trains were stopped because of a trespasser on the the train tracks, actually a viaduct, between Flinders Street Station and Spencer Street Station (Southern Cross). Most suburban trains use this viaduct, so it was chaotic.

Football fans coming in from the northern suburbs, whose train was stopped between stations several kilometres away from the city, forced the train doors open after an hour or so. I would not have done this but if someone had, I would take advantage and escape the train. There was a steep embankment to descend and I could have managed that.   

My thoughts, the train was nowhere near the location of the trespasser so why was it stopped between stations? It could have at least proceeded to the next station at 5 km/h if necessary. From there are alternative transport means.

Even if there is a trespasser, why can't trains proceed at a very slow speed? I know trains can do this. I've experienced it often enough. 

People can be very stupid about things the do every day, but by golly if you jump down from a train and then descend a steep embankment, you are going to take great care. Unfortunately the said train line was further delayed by the need to check that those who left the train were clear of the tracks. Of course they were, they left by the left hand side of the train. Why would they cross over to the right handed side onto other tracks? Again, trains proceed at 5 km/h or even 10 km/h. 

Over an hour to check if a trespasser was clear of train tracks on a viaduct? There is nowhere to hide. Extraordinary. 

This is all down to Victoria Police and Metro Trains management and it is a disgrace. 

It may be an urban myth but I've heard in Thailand if there is a car crash on a freeway, a helicopter with a lowerable hauling claw comes along to remove the cars from the freeway. 

But wait, there is more. I expect all over the world tram overhead wires that power trams, and trolley buses for that matter, have dead sections of a few centimetres to isolate one part of the wires from other parts, so that the whole system doesn't to shut down if the electrical problem. There is a dead section below The Highrise and last week at tram was stranded on the dead section. In the past, as I witnessed, the tram behind would push the stranded tram off the dead sections and there would be minimal delay. I've even experienced passengers out of a tram giving it a push off the dead section. It seems neither happens now and the tram stays there until an emergency vehicle arrives to push the tram off the dead section. The wait causes massive tram delays and inconvenience to passengers. A slogan of Yarra Trams is 'Think like a passenger', but I don't think it really does.

Private companies and government departments have become so risk averse to protect themselves, they unnecessarily make their customer experiences quite miserable.  

Does Sydney do it any better? No, its relatively new and small tram system is constantly being shut down for maintenance. Its two of three tram lines, the newest, seem to be worse than the older original line, so often breaking down with long delays until repairs. 

While Australia valiantly fought against England in football, some drug affected blokes with mental health issues entered an unstaffed signal box full wires and control systems for trains and began to cut wires. Part of Sydney's train system collapsed and there weren't trains when the football ended, leading to chaos. Why was such an important part of infrastructure so insecure? Over to you, Transport for New South Wales

So risk averse in some ways, but not in others!

Friday, August 18, 2023


When a historic building in Melbourne is not demolished it may have a saved frontage and be reinvented, which is what I expect is happening here, with possibly a high rise building behind the facade.

This photo is dated November 2022.

In July 2023 this is what I saw at the rear. Kind of sad really but that is my mood at the moment anyway.

It's worth embiggening this photo to read about Kurt Cobain. 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Some pride in old posts

There were a few posts in my former blog of which I was quite proud, as they took a lot of research. They weren't particularly popular though. 

This one about the late artist Mirka Mora and a demolished building. I admit it is a confusing read, but I am rather pleased with the substance. The comments were the icing on the cake. The post may take some time to load at Trove.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Wednesday Words

Once again among the drivel such as this,

My 11-year-old daughter took her life 2 days ago and my husband won't get over it. What should I do about him?

Quora at times comes up a gem when English people stop baiting US people while pretending to be from the US, and I will steal from a post for this post. 

Well, I can't find the post now but to stay on my thought wave, here are some hard English words to pronounce, especially for those without English as a first language. No, I found I had copied the post as an Open Office Document. Sometimes I get it right.

And I came across this too, which amused me. A chronic infinitive splitter I probably am. 

Writers should learn to not split infinitives.

These are hard words for native English speakers to pronounce, ignoring speakers of foreign languages where 'rural' would be a nightmare for Japanese and 'marshmallow' very difficult for Germans.

Word one is tests, and while it is a short word, it takes a long time to say it. 

Sixths is another. Your tongue really has to do tricks. I've seen videos of tongues doing marvellous tricks, but we won't go there. I saw mention of 'unbreathed fricative to a breathed sibilant' mentioned as a reason, but I've no idea what that means.

Try saying this, A rural lawyer in Worcestershire discussed the strengths of the sixth squirrel’s tests.” I can say that well enough. 

No one loves a fairy over forty, as the song goes, least of  all an older lisping gay man. However if you try to pronounce the word 'isthmus' phonetically, you are going to sound like a lisping fairy. I've never had to use the word but it seems you just pronounce it as 'ismus'. 

We native speakers of English keep learning our language until the day we die and no ever perfects their use of English. It's complicated and changes, frequently and often. I don't know other languages but I reckon English is quite a fun language. 

PS A good tip EC.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Mother and religion

Already someone on the online condolence book for Mother has mentioned religious stuff. She was a good and kind friend to Mother and I replied with nice words but that doesn't mean I have to like her comment. 

Young Mother was a church goer, as that was the custom in her time. She also taught Sunday School classes and played the piano for child friendly hymns. In 1962 when we moved to the country, the local church was Church of England, and Mother as Presbyterian, would have nothing to do with kneeling to pray in church. While her children were sent to Sunday school, she never bothered with religion again. 

She was not really a believer and I am sure I've made it known that I am not either. 

I do recognise the cultural and social importance of religion. That works, until you do wrong within viewed by hypocritical eyes. Cue Harper Valley PTA

In spite of the huge current immigration levels into Australia causing many problems, the immigrants don't seem to be having a strong influence on 'who believes in a god' in Australia, as this graph shows. But I expect if you did take immigrants out of the graph, the stats would be even more extreme. 

In spite of the collapsing figures of believers, society has not broken and Australia carries on. 


Monday, August 14, 2023

What's happening?

Well, one's Mother might die and the funeral organising takes a lot of time, mental energy, family discussions and travel on the dreaded Monash Freeway and the toll road CityLink, life goes on and we kept our booking for Saturday night at the Torquay Hotel to celebrate our great niece Ju's third birthday. Her normal for young children shyness has gone and she will at least high five us. I can't believe how much we spent on her birthday present but she did seem to really like it.

We had a grand time on Saturday, with a couple of hundred children among us. Ok, it just felt like that but the noise level was high. After the party with food for Ju's birthday we chatted. We checked into our hotel and after a break, returned to Fire Fighting Nephew's home. Homemade hamburgers were served as we watching some girls kick a round ball around. The noise levels increased but not by children at this stage. I don't understand the girl ball game. It is supposed to be 90 minutes but the match went for five hours. 

It was a fun night. We returned the next morning for Ex Sis in Law's husband to feed us with sourdough French toast adorned by blueberries, strawberries, maple syrup and bacon. After breakfast, we headed for home.

I'll spare you the somewhat gruesome details but essentially Mother died from low oxygen levels. Tradie Brother saw her the day before and she was very alive, chatty and complaining. It has hit Sister very hard. I knew Ex Sis in Law would be very emotional at the hospital and she was, and that was when I cracked up. Sister wailed and cried outright at the bedside of her dead mother. Sister's daughter Jo is also very upset. All the others are sad but not emotional. Of course, it is not their mother. 

At about 10.00 pm the day Mother died, I sat on the balcony with a glass of the Scottish doctor in my hand and did my crying and sobbing. R was inside and heard me.

R has been very solicitous. Mother loved him like a son so it isn't easy for him either. 

Ah, this is getting a bit hard to write. Take two.

For stalkers, her funeral is to be held in her home town on Monday the twenty first. You can work it out.

On her deathbed, Mother's grey hair was really starting to show. Her long time hairdresser will come to the funeral. We used dry shampoo and combed her hair. But by golly, she didn't die without her nail polish on. She was rather vain.

There is still much to sort out. Blog posts may happen or not, ditto for comments on blogs.  

Window Wankers

Some of you may remember me complaining about the apartment occupants to my immediate front having their windows open, well mostly the one a...