Saturday, June 15, 2024

The Friday that was

It was a normal morning. Plenty to do at home. More paperwork. Visit the bank. Damn it. I want to go for a decent train trip and I decided to visit Werribee in our western suburbs for brunch. I want to travel on a a suburban train at 115km/h, 71 mph. Our suburban trains can travel faster but 115km/h is the speed limit. So instead of attending to afore mentioned matters, I caught a train.

Not so normal is my recent DIY efforts have resulted in back pain, at times bad. It will disappear within a few days, but I could have done without that. 

Sister called and she will stay here Saturday after seeing a football match and seeing a stage performance. That will be nice. I have Chinese sausage in the freezer, so I can make us my most excellent fried rice, just to use up the sausage. I will have to buy a capsicum and some spring onions. I will probably never make fried rice again. Ray loved my fried rice but I can't see a reason for the effort anymore.

Sister imparted the news that her wife's mother has a variant of Motor Neuron Disease. Bone Doctor, her mother and Jo are flying to Queensland later in the year for the celebration of BD's mother's mother's 100th birthday. BD's mother is a lively person, a retired nurse, and has just returned from travelling all over the 'Stan countries with her friend. She has travelled to the strangest places in the world, places tourists don't generally visit. It is a cruel blow. It is expected that she may survive two more years but they won't be pretty as she rapidly deteriorates. Sister saw her MiL last at Christmas and mentioned to Bone Doctor, your mother is slurring her words. Bone Doctor replied, yes, she's had a couple of drinks. So much for doctors. All very sad.

I enjoyed my trip to Werribee. But luckily Werribee is a train terminus so no rush to leave the train. After sitting for over half an hour, I could hardly stand up. At a cafe I looked at the menu and decided on bruschetta but as I waited to order, I spied as sausage roll. Yes please. It was just an ordinary sausage roll, enlivened by some tomato sauce. My train to Werribee was a German built Siemens model. So, smooth and quiet.

The return trip was a French built Alstom train. The train bucked, bounced and swayed at high speed. I didn't know that about this model of train. Also the air con was blowing down on me. It was heated air but it didn't feel like it. There wasn't anyone interesting to look at, aside from a large young white woman with her quite attractive South Asian husband and their say four year old son. The son was funny and made me laugh. 'We are on an electric train. I want to travel on a purple train (regional diesel powered train)'. He'll be a train nerd, for sure. 

Whatever, I enjoyed my trip. I snapped a mural photo and came across these couple of little delights outside Southern Cross Station. 

A rainbow revolting revolving door and a mention of 1700's Melbourne.

There won't be a Sunday post. It is the day of Ray's memorial, a celebration of his life. I might have a Monday Mural ready to post. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

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.

Integral. I put the emphasis on int, but mostly people put the emphasis on teg, inTEGral rather than my  INTeGral. 

I say KILOmetre. Most here, even in England people, say kilOMetre. I recall then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam telling us of the correct pronunciation when the metric change occurred, and that's how I've pronounced it ever since. 

I pronounce secretary as SECretry. Most say SECreTARY. 

I say REPortarge as a French word, which it is, but others say rePORTage. I was far from being young when I first heard the word, and the way I say it is how I first heard it said by radio broadcaster Elaine Canty. I don't think I've ever heard said the word aside from in media.

ProTESTors and not PROtestors. ProTESTors do PROtest.

Your suburb might be Reservoir and you pronounce it as Reservor, and I happily do the same. Your suburb, you have the right to pronounce it how you like. But if you have a body of stored water in Reservor, I will call it a reservwha in Resevor. 

None of this is intentional on my part. It is just how I speak. I would guess I had some strong influence at a young age from someone or something. I am too old now to change the way I speak.

I've not finished yet, sorry. My hearing aids speak to me with a very limited vocabulary. I think I've heard them say, Maximum volume. I am not sure. I can't make them say that now. But the other word it says, and I've heard this a number of times when one of the batteries is exhausted, is battery. Except it is pronounced baddery. They are two very different sounding words. Where would that come from? It sounds so weird. What other words are there with double t between an a and an e? Cattery. Caddery. How amusing.

The times are a changin'. During AM this morning, ABC radio's thirty minute current affairs programme, the host was talking about period bleeding, 'a new treatment for women and others who suffer from excessive bleeding during their periods'. I don't have a problem with 'others' and I just thought it was interesting to note as a society and media marker. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024


Must go on. Got to keep the place to a standard, as Ray would say. But then of late as we ummed and ahed about the painting, carpet and bathroom regrouting, he suggested we should go shabby chic.

When the cleaners were here a couple of weeks ago, the man ripped the seal off my shower door to clean it. Pointless really and he broke it. As you can see, it had yellowed as well. He put it back cleaner but didn't say he had broken it. 

I took the damaged one with me to the big green shed, deliberately choosing to visit when the sausage sizzle run by each weekend a different volunteer organisation operates, and naturally bought one. I felt like another one when I was leaving but I resisted. 

The seals were a bit hard to find, but I did. Oh, is it 8mm or 10mm, as these were the options. I carefully matched up the old one to the 8mm one, and I was sure that would fit. Cost, $13. Happy.

Once home I cut it down to size and pushed it into place. While my shower door opens in or out, opening out was best but for the seal to be in the correct place when showering, the flap part need to face into the shower. It wouldn't as the seal was large and didn't give much, and so I put it on backwards as a temporary fix, making the door usable at least.

I called the company who supplied and fitted the bathroom furniture and it has moved stores. Nah, not driving all the way to Ringwood. They can post it. Staff brought up the information from when the work was done and she straight away knew what I needed, but ouch, $20 plus $10 postage. Well, I have to have it. 

Normally if it is sent by Australia Post and you aren't home  to receive it, it is left at the post office, which is across the road from us. It should have arrived and I checked using the tracking facility and it was at the post office. A card should have been left in my mailbox but it wasn't. When I collected it, staff wanted to see my ID, which I showed, but it wasn't there under my surname and neither of the first names I'm known by. Staff asked for the tracking number, which I showed in an email on my phone, still puzzlement. Then as was about to close the email, I noticed the information from the job  seven years ago was in Ray's name and that is who it was sent to. Duh. Proof of address was now needed. I apologised to staff.

It was in a tube, capped and taped, with the seal wrapped in bubble wrap. (Hey, I can pop bubble wrap at home with no one to complain.) I thought the postage cost and the good packaging, perhaps $10 wasn't so bad.

This seal was a tight fit to get on, but just perfect. I was happy.

The old one on the right, the chunky one that did not work in the centre and the new perfect strip on the left.

Two days ago we had a howling northerly wind, which knocked out power in one area. It disturbed the sleep of my neighbour HH who is on the north eastern corner of the building. Me on the south eastern side, was quite unaware and I slept soundly. 

It was a different situation the next night, with squalls coming across the bay from the south west. Twice heavy showers beat against one of my bedroom windows and woke me. Wind from that direction at that strength only happens in winter. Every year the same things happens, a terrible draught comes in under the balcony door. My lounge chair is a bit over a metre away and I can feel the draught. I've looked online at options to seal the door at the base but I found nothing suitable. 

I know. An old fashioned solution, a sausage dog. The store I call Big Trouble You had several different types but they were all 90cm and not the 110cm I needed. I had to visit South Yarra today to buy some meals, so firstly I went to the store. I eventually found them, quite logically with door mats, and while they didn't seem to have the expensive ones I saw online, they had the cheap type, just over $5. One weighs just under 2kg and I had something undeveloped in my mind but and so I bought two. There was cream, black and grey. As the new carpet will have grey highlights, I chose the grey.  At nearly 4kg they were quite heavy to carry and then the meals I bought weighed around 1.5kg, I had quite some weight to carry and tram my way home.  

I made them a bit tidier than when I took this photo, but it seems I will have to do some cutting and sewing to turn two draft excluders into one. Do they work? Oh  yes. Brilliant, and although the sliding door rests against them, they don't interfere with the door's operation. When they aren't needed, most of the time, I can put them beside my armchair, almost invisible.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


The BBC programme Witness looks at past events. I don't listen to them all but pick what interests me, and this one certainly interests me. I listen when I am out walking or on public transport. I thank my Sydney friend Victor for alerting me to Witness, so many years ago.

No need to go on. Irish shop workers strike against South African Apartheid. (Fingers crossed it is interesting)

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Outer Hebrides

YouTuber Steve Marsh has been visiting the Outer Hebrides. It is odd that there are two islands on one land mass. One 'island' is called Harris and the other Lewis......that rings a bell. Ah yes, blogger Graham of Eagleton Notes lives on Lewis. 

During my thorough research ten second skim, the climate is considered mild. Hmm, mild compared to where? Anyway, I really enjoyed his visits to both islands, worked out at the last minutes as twice his ferry to the island of St Kilda was cancelled. 

I find this map so useful. I hope you (checking map) UK types can endorse the accuracy of the map. I expect many residents of the UK, would need to consult this map too. 

It was quite amazing to see a Stonehenge like arrangement of rocks, a mere 4,000 years after humans placed them in their positions. 

The housing looks so well built against the cold and storms. If you do watch the clip about Lewis, the house near where the whale bone stands is stunning. 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Seaside art

Last Friday I saw two photographic exhibitions. I think photographs are my favourite form of art and both, one planned and one spontaneous, were absolutely brill. I haven't enjoyed myself so much since the event of 5 1/2 weeks ago. 

I will get to them in time but not everything I see can be ab fab. Some things are just nice, like this art installation along Kerferd Road Pier, at our nearest beach just over 3km away. 

I know what these boats are called and what they do but my mind is fuzzy. I think they are volunteer coast guards.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Seriously old

On the sixth of this month, Lorna in Bordertown, South Australia, turned 110. Gee, she looks good for her age, is somewhat of an understatement. 

You can read the ABC story here

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...