Saturday, December 16, 2023

A Fraught Friday

We met 16 year old niece Jo at the station and spent several hours with her town, and an hour or so back home. What a day. We were exhausted. A burst water main in the city saw Swanston Street trams out of action but we worked our way around that. It was a good day, but nice to have a drink before and after dinner.

You can't tell it is cheap sherry served from a Waterford crystal decanter but that is exactly what it is.

Scotch and nibbles after dinner must mean all food groups have been covered. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Friday Funnies

Sometimes I come across much humour on the www, sometimes not. Aside from what Bob posts at times, often bleak humour, there hasn't been much of late but this amused me. I am Margaret when the detail is important, but my idea of what is fact and what is important is rather different to R's, and yes I did recently correct him on how many years we have been together. I'm always in trouble!

I am sure the lovely real Margaret in Tasmania is not like this, is she? 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

The revolting kiddies

Teen age children have been out on the streets protesting against the invasion of Gaza by Israel. Once I was an ignorant young teenage supporter of Mao Tse Tung and the communist party in China. Naïve idealism, at best.

Most of my schoolmates were uninterested in such things as world politics but for some reason a few of us were. I was influenced by a fellow student, one Morag Mason whose older brother was studying at Monash University, which was probably the most politically active Melbourne university back then. I was given a copy of Mao's Little Red Book. I didn't read it. I was too busy sitting on top of my wardrobe chanting Hari Krishna.  We loved the Ford Cortina with the peace sign tail lights.

I don't have a problem with you if you are moderately religious, religion is just not my thing. Australia was riven by the Protestant and Catholic divide and even in my young years, I remember being at the 'mixed' Trafalgar swimming pool, hearing my older school mates chant Catholic dogs, sitting on logs, eating maggots out of frogs. The Catholics had a verse to chant to call back. Children are led by adults and there weren't Catholics in our family. Nothing was ever said, but we were just different to them. Even so, my parents were good neighbours with the Catholics on the farm next door to us, just not quite friends. Young people would simply not understand the Protestant/Catholic divide of my childhood. I think after the election of God Gough Whitlam, the divide just disappeared. Catholic or Protestant became of no interest to anyone. 

What we all wanted was world peace. Isn't that what the ignorant Australian children are protesting for. They seem to be unaware of the murder of innocents in Israel, the rapes and the abductions by Hamas. But by golly, isn't Israel having revenge against the innocent people of Gaza, dead person score way in Israel's favour. Israel has oppressed the people of Gaza for so long. 

The ignorant children here are not protesting against Israel. They are protesting against the killing and the injuring of children of their own age. Even as I was so ignorant, as they are, we all hate war and the killing of humans, especially if we feel empathy.

Religion causes so many problems in the world and this graph is interesting, stolen from Bob perhaps. I take a little pride in Australia being red on both counts. Let's keep it that way. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Just another Choosedy

We had a very pleasant few hours with our Friend from Japan. We brunched at the perpetually busy Brunetti's  in Flinders Lane, busy for good reasons, then visited the reindeer at the Town Hall. More on them later. We walked past  the Myer Christmas window display last week and the queue was at the extreme. That was peak children viewing time. The queue was very short by about 1.30. The anatomic display this year was all about Bluey, apparently influencing US children to use Australian vernacular and slang, if not accents. We've bought a great niece and a great nephew Bluey pyjamas for Christmas. 

Then on to Federation Square to the Christmas decorations and Christmas tree. It was warm and very humid. A cold drink was called for so down stairs we headed, because the lift was not working, to Federation Wharf  and Riverland. We chose our different refreshing alcoholic drinks. It was so nice to see her and we chatted like we had seen her a month ago and not two or three years ago. She thinks she may like to return to Melbourne in her retirement but it is all quite up in the air. 

The effect of the refreshing drink was wearing off and I was feeling hot and bothered in my hated humid warm weather. It was time to head home. Four hours out were enough. 

A couple of updates.   

Coincidentally Jim of Sydney - City and Suburbs daily photo blog today posted a photo of this sculpture which we have seen. It is by the same artists as the sculpture I featured yesterday. The artists are Gillie and Marc and their website tells their interesting story. As I remember there are two or three of their sculptures at St Kilda Sea Baths which I have shown you back in the mists of time. 

Snap, Send, Solve update. I received an email acknowledging that the reports had been sent, and another when the messages were opened and a message that it had been sent to the appropriate department. I checked the rubbish bin yesterday and all was good. I expect the offending telephone wire connection post will take longer but I do know my complaint has been read by someone at Telstra

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Tuesday Tribulations

Not are all tribulations but lets begin with them.

Sunday we visited a German church near St Patricks Cathedral. There was a German Christmas Market. What fun, not. It was in the small carpark at the rear of the building. Oddly the market didn't open until noon. We arrived a couple of minutes after the hour and it was already busy. We noticed a couple of stalls selling jams, maybe one selling something else and one devoted to selling glasses of wine and bottles of wine. 

We decided the only thing to do was console ourselves with bratwurst sausage in a roll topped with sauerkraut and onions. There were some other food options and the volunteers were very well organised. We queued and didn't wait too long and the food was delicious. We then queued to enter the church where there were more stalls but we noticed people weren't staying inside for very long so we gave up and toddled off to a coffee shop near Parliament Station, where we arrived and would depart. The church yard was becoming seriously overcrowded but fortunately we cunningly followed a clever woman with a battering ram containing her child. She ensured the sea of people parted to let us pass.

Aside from the food, the German style Christmas market was a fail. It needs a larger space and interesting stalls. Clearly people were interested in attending such an event. People were still streaming towards the market as we left. If you don't like crowds and I don't really, it was the stuff of nightmares, thinking of you EC.

I've researched these sculptures before and I am not doing it again. I can't remember. But hey, it is so good, near South Yarra Station.


We took a break on a seat after climbing the Parliament Station stairs.


The Windsor Hotel was across the road, apparently owned by an Indonesian family company. 


I think these are ducks but they don't have wide bills. If you know...?

Parliament Station...R struggles with the stairs but you have to walk so far to get to a lift to access the station., nearly to Lonsdale Street. Relatively new being built in the 80s, it is ridiculous that there isn't a lift at the main entrance and two need to be retrofitted at the main station entrance. How? Where? Not my job. We used the train as the tram system right to the city was pretty well closed down because of various protest marches. But that also means R has to walk up a steep ramp at South Yarra Station to get home. No escalator and no lift at one of Melbourne's busiest stations.

Matters medical. I thought I would be fine for a while but no, about three weeks ago a bit fell off one of my canine teeth, then another small bit. Last week my dentist said it could be conventionally filled but that could lock in bacteria and the filling would probably not last anyway. So it is a root canal filling with three dentist visits each two weeks apart, beginning early January. Ka-ching for the dentist. No ka-ching for me. 

Just one more. Sydney has spent AU$17 billion on a brand new inner suburban road interchange and when it opened, it quickly became a disaster. Apparently funnelling four lanes of traffic into two lanes and then into one lane doesn't work. Apparently funnelling ten lanes of traffic into four lanes doesn't work. There has been massive congestion. How can such money be so badly spent. The impact on inner western Sydney residents is beyond the pale. 

Photo from the SMH.


There is some good. We have bought most of our Christmas presents. We had a nice pub dinner Sunday night with Brighton Antique Dealer and her toy boy. She bought me a glass of wine as a Christmas present, a large one at that. 

Tomorrow we are meeting our Friend in Japan for brunch who is visiting her old home city here now. She begins cat sitting in an apartment tomorrow too. We are looking forward to see her after a couple of years.

Friday 16 year old niece Jo is visiting us for the day. We will meet her at So Cross Station (Southern Cross), visit the National Gallery of Victoria and shop for her birthday present. She may help us buy a gift for one of our great nieces. She knows about kid culture. We old aunties don't. 

Our mate from Kyneton is also supposed to be visiting, but I am not sure a retired person who is busy being a retired person can fit that in.  

Monday, December 11, 2023

Monday Mural

I am joining with Sami and others for Monday Mural. 

What to make of these painted on an electric substation? 



Sunday, December 10, 2023

Sunday Selections

I'm joining in with Elephant's Child, River and others with Sunday Selections. This week the selections are photos I've taken of buildings which I found to be of interest in some way, and I have rather a backlog of them. 

I took a mural photo near here and noticed the lovely vertical garden. Not being neatly trimmed is part of its appeal. 


This is not really a building, well there is a building behind the walls and a nice garden. It's the Melbourne Club. Rich and powerful white men with the right antecedents are generally welcome. If there is a sniff of a scandal about you beyond an underage sex charge or a tax avoidance charge, or you don't meet the other criteria, bugger orf. 


I've no idea about this display but it looks like a nice repurposed old building.


In 1980 a workmate had a fling with a hairdresser who lived near us in Elwood. He became our hairdresser and we socialised a bit with him. Even once we moved from Elwood, we still had our hair cut by Trevor. His salon was in Russell Street in the city but he moved to Gordon House after it was renovated.. Gordon House used to be a place for homeless single men. 



From Elwood we moved to East Malvern I think in 1982, to one of a pair two minutes walk from the tram terminus. The owner of the other half was the sister of artist Albert Tucker. As I recently ticked off the route 3 tram with tram trips on every line, I walked for five minutes to take a photo of our old house. We renovated it but it has been much renovated since. You may have picked up the two minute walk and the five minute walk. I was twenty five in 1982. 


My roses have all gone but most of the trees remain, including the fig tree in the photo above, who a number of neighbours used to strip of figs.



Albert Park. I was gobsmacked by the prices for US confectionary, and I reckon US folk would be too. I bought nothing. 


This was a surprise to me, in Victoria Avenue, Albert Park. It's such a nice house.


But look at what they have in the small front garden. 


My photos don't do it justice. 


I tried but I couldn't get a better photo and the shop was closed. I've seen Budapest and Vienna and they are fabulous cities, all that I expected and more, and I always wanted to visit Prague, but alas as Yorkshire Pudding recently lamented, you reach an age where you know it just ain't gonna 'appen. 

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...