Friday, April 26, 2024

Unexpectedly bereft

The most wonderful person I've ever known has suddenly died, Thursday night Australian time. He was kind, generous with a great outgoing personality. I am going to miss my beloved and much loved by all partner Ray for all of 44 years so terribly.

Family and friends will flock here tomorrow, Saturday. Today, I just wanted to be alone. I'm in a daze and shocked, tired after phone calls to England overnight and lack of sleep, local calls and messages today. I've just read the most beautiful letter he wrote to me enclosed in an envelope with his will. I wasn't looking at his will but he had told me to look there if the worst happened, and now it has.

I'll return to the wold of blog soon. To write is therapeutic for me. In advance, thanks for your the kind words and sentiments you will undoubtedly offer. 

Hair cut memories

A few days ago we walked down Russell Street in town from Lonsdale Street to Little Bourke Street and as we did, a memory kicked in. R, one of the shops we've just walked past is where Trevor used to cut our hair. 

Back in about 1980 when we lived in a flat in Milton Street, Elwood, Trevor lived a bit further down the street. As well as being our hair cutter for a few years, we also socialised with him and he had a fling with a workmate of mine.

He was a meek and mild kind of a guy and quite nice looking. He knew how to dress to impress and had style with grace.

From his Russell Street salon where he first cut our hairs, he moved to the just renovated Gordon House, where we went quite a few times to have our hairs dealt with. I can't believe I used to pay $35 some forty years ago for a haircut and I now pay $20, admittedly a quick buzz cut. 

Mimma was one of his staff and she opened a salon in Waverley Road, East Malvern. Her father had a make to order wrought iron business nearby. When we moved to East Malvern from Elwood, it seemed pretty obvious that Mimma would attend to our hair needs, and she did. From there my memory fails me until I saw bare topped hairdresser Simon opposite my workplace painting his soon to be opened salon. 

But going back to Trevor's salon in Russell Street, it was opposite what is now called the Mantra Hotel. I think it had another name in 80s. Trevor told me about a nice looking guy with long blond hair who came into Trevor's salon for some hair touching up who was staying at the Mantra across the road. Trevor told me his name but I couldn't remember it as I was pointing out our history to R, who finds such reminiscing boring.  I didn't Google who it was and I've now remembered it was pianist Richard Clayderman. 

He was rather popular back then and everyone remembers his He is rather decorative.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

ANZAC Day 2024

This is a somewhat different type of war song, about a war I can more closely relate to. 

We will remember them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Queen Victoria Gardens

As I said on my rather odd Sunday Selections post featuring a train bed,

"This Sunday not so random but photos I took last winter as I wandered around the Queen Victoria 

There is a statue of Queen Victoria looking her usual grumpy self, but it is at a distance and I have showed you her statue before. 

Our floral clock, a gift from the watchmakers of Zurich. I don't think Zurich paid for maintenance. The flower beds are replanted twice a year. 

The plaque says Switzerland, so why did I say Zurich? I'm sure there is a reason. 

A statue of the Marquis of Linlithgow. I've no idea who he was and life is too short to check. My father told me we were related, sorry, I've remembered it was the Marquis of Lithgow, not Linlithgow. Perhaps there was a lot of begetting involved. 

Lots of phallic stuff visible from the gardens.

Who was he? The QE2's father was a George, wasn't he. The father of said George? The timeline seems wrong and he only lived to be nine years old? Or was 1901 to 1910 years of his rule. I've always been so bad at English royalty. 

A fountain jet of the Walker fountain is visible. Ron Waker who paid for the fountain was a bit of a Trump like person and while he was a VIP, I really disliked him. He lived nearby at The Domain and I saw him once as he left the garage in a black sports car with its roof lowered. Maybe Trump picked up his wig hair styling from Ron Walker. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Yorkshire Pudding recently pondered on the world of blog. I will do the same. 

I can be described as a well brought up, self educated working class person. That I could retire at the age of 61 as a self funded retiree is down to me working a crap job for 40 years. At times I would arise at 3am and at times go to bed at 3am. To put it frankly, like a garbage collector, it was a very important job, as people discover when garbage isn't collected. 

So, back to my point. Blogging is classless, with some bloggers who are financially very comfortable, some wo are not but they all contribute to world of the blog and the world wide connections are truly amazing. Blogging as we know it might disappear in the future as our generation dies out, and that will be loss, but the electrics are still there. Your blog will probably be around for eternity. It is more than possible that our youngest relatives will see the year 3000 2100. Googling relatives will be a thing of the past. It will be one click, or you will put on a helmet and the information will be transferred to your brain. Who knows?

But let me assure you, over the last thirty years bloggers will go on to become an invaluable resource and will continue to be so for eons, and become a great historical resource, yet a doubtful historical source as mostly what they write about relies on memories, short and long term. Historians will hate what we have written but there will be many clues to the truth for them. 

What social bloggers will really contribute is a snapshot of society in the period we have blogged and continue to blog, pretty well much of the early 21st century. Our pleasure, our pain, our thoughts, our social attitudes, our politics...well a long list, and it will all shine through. Your blog is not Facebook aka Bragbook. Don't underestimate what you are contributing to history and you will be admired for your honest writing. 

In the light of that, at a hospital today I heard the words 'I will cut here'. What was a small lump in an  incision wound after last year's kidney surgery, became larger and needs to be repaired. It's known as a surgical hernia. Last year's surgery was with a private surgeon. It cost me a few thousand dollars and my health insurance company around $12,000. I can't afford to use private health in spite of having private health insurance. The highly esteemed kidney surgeon told me during a three minute $180 phone consultation, that he could recommend a surgeon to repair his perhaps negligent work, given I'd had hernia repair surgery before. I am sure he could give me a mate's name, who would also charge thousands of dollars. 

The free public health system is doing quite well for me, but $10 for parking! Barley Charlie. Otherwise it costs nothing. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

Monday Mural

I am joining with Sami and others for Monday Mural. 

I believe I took this mural photo in Geelong a few years ago. 

While I thought the face, head and body trunk were quite well done, it seems limbs are quite difficult. Still, I quite like it. 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sunday Evening

The sky is clear and the moon is almost full.

Only three stars are visible in the light polluted sky.

How good are humans at polluting!

Night time will be 6 with a shiver. Daytime a glorious 23. Where's my hat to stop the harmful rays.

Autumn is here with her glorious tree colours. But she is a harbinger of the cold and winds of winter. 

Still on roads and pavements below on a Sunday night, cars and people move on as everyone has a place to be, to get to.

Where are they all going? Maybe like us who drove to an Indian restaurant for some decent English food. 

Such safe and dependable food. Indian by name but English by taste, one of Australia's best imports. 

I missed a little tv sound, Vera, because of a very noisy motor bike, the sound of which penetrates. Can citizens buy road spikes to throw in front of noisy vehicles? 

Trams are rumbling past, so the world is still functioning. I imagine in Ukraine, the nearly forgotten war, how reassuring it must be for citizens to hear trams rumbling past. 


Sunday Selections

I'm joining with Elephant's Child and River for Sunday Selections. 

It's been a while since I've produced a Sunday Selection. Normally my photos are quite random. 

The past week was busy with spending some time to book a holiday, later this year to escape our winter for a couple of weeks. Train, flights, hotels, coordinating. It all takes time to do yourself but back in the days when we used to use a travel agent, that too took a lot of time. . 

This dude looks like a smooth operator who might make up our beds. Our first overnight train journey is looking promising. Will he return to tuck me in?

This Sunday not so random but photos I took last winter as I wandered around the Queen Victoria 

Well, by the time I had read and commented on so many blogs, then replied to comments on my own previous post, I don't have time to finish this post. Publish and be damned. 

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...