Saturday, February 24, 2024

Call me a cynic

City of Melbourne took a vote on calling for a ceasefire in Palestine, motion lost. I am not sure it is within the remit of the City of Melbourne to take a stand on such a complex matter. As I have indicated, I have sympathy for Israel and the Hamas attack and abductions were terrible but I have a very firm view on the matter of the mass killing of innocent citizens. There were some protestors at the Town Hall, some nastiness and the public gallery at Town Hall was full. Lord Mayor Capp was on leave when the vote was taken. 

Lord Mayor Capp and Acting Lord Mayor Reece.

The vote was down to the line, with the Acting Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece casting a deciding vote for the negative.


This seems to be catching. I think Wednesday night my local council, City of Port Phillip, voted to turn over a lot of inhouse services for the old and those who need help to the private sector. Something like 45 staff who do cleaning, showering, transporting etc, will be made redundant. Guess who was on leave for the vote? Yep, Mayor Heather Cunsolo. 


I believe acting and former Mayor Louise Crawford cast her vote for the council to rid itself of care for the elderly and needy. She argued the case well on the radio. It seems new standards and a widening of care dictated by the Federal Government cannot be met by ratepayers without receiving  a significant increase in Federal funding. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Phunny Friday

While originally a morning children's show, Hey Hey It's Saturday became adult viewing when it transferred to Saturday night. As we primped, preened and prepared to go out Saturday night, we would be watching the show. As it was early in the evening, it could not go too far but there were so many double entendres. 

I had no intention of watching this whole clip about phunny photos, but I did and enjoyed it. 

Daryl Somers AOM, Ossie Ostrich voiced by the late Ernie Carroll, and you only see the back of Dickie Knee's head, a wig on a stick. The voice over you hear is John Blackman and he also voices Dickie Knee.


Later edit: Here is a direct link to the video.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The dreadful So Cross Station

I didn't know but I was at Southern Cross Station on the last day of operation for the H Class train carriages. I still think of the station as Spencer Street and I expect one day a government will receive praise for returning the original name. 

H Class carriages are hauled by a locomotive, mostly between So Cross and Seymour but at times to Geelong. They were built at suburban passenger carriages in the 1950s. In the 60s with my early train experience, the blue Harris trains were luxury suburban travel compared to older red rattlers. They were so smooth and so quiet, so quiet because they were packed with asbestos. In the eighties it was decided that asbestos filled train carriages weren't a good idea and most of them were buried at a rubbish dump pit. 

A few were kept, the asbestos stripped out, air conditioning added, and renovated to a standard suitable to travel on the regional rail network. They were quite a comfortable train for regional passengers in spite of their age. 

I am quite chuffed that I accidently took a photo of the H Class carriages on their last day of service. I had noticed a couple of lads taking photos of the train, so now I know why.

The reason for taking the photo was to demonstrate the purple colour used for VLine regional services. Blue is used for suburban train services, green for trams, orange for buses. So why does this destination board use an orange/red as a headline colour for VLine services. It should be purple. I do like that it uses 'Country Departures', rather than Regional Departures. 


So, I was travelling to Sunbury using a Bendigo train. I was outside at the upper level of the station and I had six minutes to get to the train. Simple, enter the station, check the platform number and drop down using the escalator to the platform. Ah, platform 8B. That's a bit of walk. In fact it was a walk from Collins Street to I estimate Lonsdale Street being only a short three carriage train. A lad ran past me to catch the train. I can't run. I purposefully strode along the platform and the train conductor held the train for me. The door closed behind me and we were off. There wasn't a single seat of two available so I sat next to someone. Without a window seat, it wasn't a pleasant trip. It was the same on the return journey, a short three carriage train with all window seats occupied. 

My issue is that I would have left the 58 tram at a different stop and that would have meant much less walking to Platform 8B. I checked the PTV app, the VLine app and I could not find out which platform the train was leaving from in advance. 

This person did not enjoy her Southern Cross Station experience. She is right about some things. It is hard for someone who knows how things work to understand what it is like for a stranger. It is hard for someone like me who thinks they know how things work and doesn't. Transport for London seems to understand this and uses strangers to test wayfinding for its services. 


So Cross Station is not an easy station to use. It is modern grim, full of closed retail outlets, full of commercial advertising, very busy, full of diesel fumes from idling trains, bound to leave an asthmatic gasping for air. Worst of all, very confusing.

Maybe our State Government should take back control of the station from the private company.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Local Kulcha

We visited the Linden Art Gallery in St Kilda last week in the final week of its postcard display. I think the annual show began with art on post card sized paper. We visited about ten years ago and no doubt I blogged about it back then. It has evolved to become an amateur art show. Many works are interesting and there are so many works and to take them all in is a struggle. Of course there are some that are absolute crap, but I didn't take photos of them. Here are some that appealed to me enough to take a snap. 

As we left the tram at the nearest stop to the gallery, we were outside a high rise apartment building, formerly a high rise hotel and before that the very well known St Moritz that burnt down in suspicious circumstances. This is funny, you can still book to stay at the demolished Novotel. Wow, the website is truly awful and so inaccurate. 


Linden is a lovely building, with the displays on two levels. My arthritis was very bad this day, so I was grateful for the lift to get to the upper storey.



Is this called a diorama? 


Boys doing what gay boys will do.


Emu looks a bit scary. They generally don't bother humans but they are very big birds with a strong bite and dreadful claws. 


Australiana. 


I don't know why but Australia has always had a fascination with American car number plates. 


Gotta be St Kilda. 


I would have thought this was quite inspirational...if I hadn't seen the same words elsewhere before. 


A very nice work depicting Alice in Wonderland. It had a red sticker below, so it was already bought, which saved me from making a decision. It wouldn't suit our place anyway.


No argument from me.


The modernisations to the building did not grate at all. 


R wrote the one top left.


We were done and headed along Acland Street to Fitzroy Street and had a bite to eat and coffee at the gay Victorian Pride Centre. R had not been there before. There was a wall of photographic art relating to gay Latins in Australia.

It had been the Pride March the weekend in before, so the street was decorated with many of these.  


1898 to 2024 is a very long time for a business to exist,126 years. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Momentous deaths

No, I can't remember when JFK was shot dead in Dallas. Nor can I remember when Lord Mountbatten was blown to smithereens by the IRA.

I was filling my car with petrol in the late 1970s at the local cooperative store just after hearing on the radio that Elvis had died. A friend pulled up to fill his car and he went into shock when I told him. He initially thought I was talking about a Pope who had just died. I must have said something like 'that was sad to hear about his death'. 

I was in a tram with an earpiece in my ear and listening to the radio in Toorak Road (insert tram speak) as the tram descended the steep hill to Grange Road when I heard Princess Diana had been terribly injured in car crash in Paris. We know the sad outcome of that.

We were relaxing in the evening at our Balaclava house while it was morning in NYC. Whatever we were watching cut out and we saw the results of the first plane hit in NYC, 9/11. Live we saw the second plane hit. As the details came out, we thought we were heading to another world war. I stayed up too late watching events as they unfolded. Eventually I went to bed. Even my mother who never tuned into world news was fearful of a subsequent war. 

I heard on 7am radio news that our Queen had died overnight. I remember going to bed that night hearing she was gravely ill, but I didn't expect she would die. As soon as R arose, I told him and he was shocked. 

What are your memories of public figures dying? Like do your recall what you were doing or where you were.? 

Monday, February 19, 2024

I expect better from our ABC

The Department of Transport spokesperson, one Brad Arnold, espoused on ABC Melbourne radio, that there would be hundreds of extra train services to cater for the Taylor Swift concerts, (my words now) each evening catering to crowds of 95,000. This was repeated in ABC news broadcasts. 

Our evening peak train system pretty well runs at maximum capacity. With a 6.30 concert start, I can't imagine where all the extra trains, drivers and track capacity come from to add hundreds of services. 

Governments and the Department of Transport will pump out their propaganda. But it is very wrong for our ABC to pump out such outrageous nonsense. I call our ABC into question for what I see as lies, and I did.

What makes the lies worse is that our train system seemed to work quite well to clear the crowds after the concerts. There may have been an extra train or two.  

Lodge a complaint

Thank you!

Thank you for contacting the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Monday Mural

I'm joining in with Sami and others for Monday Mural. There is a link at Sami's blog to see murals all over the world and I am sure there are some excellent murals but a retired person has a lot to fit into a day. 

In 'artwell, 'ereford and 'ampshire, murals 'ardly ever 'appen. 

But there are some in Hartwell and I've been past them a number of times and not noticed them, until I did. There are four murals at this location, two today and the others another day.

They are a bit faded, but who of us isn't? They must be quite old.


Toorak Road is so busy. It is hard to take a photo without a car in the frame.

Sunday Selections

I'm joining with River and others for Sunday Selections. These have sat in a folder for quite some time. 

This bent post with wires inside has sat like this for a couple of years. I have contacted the the telephone company I believe is responsible for the post to no avail. I must try harder. It's a disgrace that it is left like this. 


There was a person sitting on this vehicle but I think everything it did was pre programmed 


Late at night it moved around, like it was measuring distances, left, right, back and forth, turn around. Then suddenly it would lay down a painted line or a chevron.


It somewhat reminded me of a Robovac but it was much more precise. 


It was mesmerising to watch. 


We don't have the energy to venture far to see NYE fireworks, but our friend from Japan was staying the night, so we trooped down to the tram stop below to see the 9.30 fireworks. I am so ho-hum about fireworks, having seen so many since we moved here some 20 plus years ago, but it was a bit of fun. 




Back home we tuned into ABC's NYE coverage from Sydney. It was terrific. I don't think I saw midnight, having peaked too early. 


A stir fry was prepared for dinner. 


There is chicken, an egg, fresh spring onions, red capsicum, more spring onions for decoration, broccoli, carrots, celery and cocktail tomatoes. There is also a frozen vegetable mix. 

It would be a healthy meal but a boring meal as it is. What brings it all together is soy sauce, green curry paste, coconut cream and dried chilli flakes. All goes into the very hot wok with peanut oil, served with rice and Bob's your mother's brother.  

Bumping another car

I once had a bit of an inappropriate laugh when I read in the online Fiji Live electric newspaper that someone in Fiji was killed after two ...