Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch

We had a lovely Indian meal out with friends tonight, Saturday night. Golly, it is long time since we have been the last to leave a venue, but we were, at 9.20pm.

Tomorrow we are taking Mother out for lunch. It is about eight weeks since I have seen her, although we have spoken on the phone. R takes her out once a week, as usual. I thought I might selfishly make our outing work for me too. Gembrook is not too far from Mother's and it is the outer terminus of the Puffing Billy steam train. There is a pub right opposite the train station. We will lunch there. In winter there is only one Puffing Billy train to Gembrook, with the rest terminating at an earlier station. It arrives at 1pm and departs at 2.45. We may see it arrive but I hope we are on our way home by 2.45. Pity. Watching a steam train depart is such fun with clouds of smoke and steam, rather a lot of steam I should think with our very cold temperatures in the daytime of the low teens.

I looked at an electric map and aside from the direct main road, there are other slightly longer routes. Oh, Mount Burnett Observatory. Might be interesting and a good place to take some snaps. We shall see.

On the way home from dinner, I asked R if Mother had mentioned a time to arrive. I have to clean her air con filters, so I want to get there a few minutes early. R says she will have a list of jobs for us, which we won't do, but her air con filters will need cleaning. R then said, she will have called and left a message tonight, and sure enough, she had. "I am not well. I will sleep late in the morning. I have my jobs to do. Don't come before 11.30." Well Mother, I have my jobs to do too and we won't be there before 11.50. That time may sound silly, but we will leave at 11.00 and it is a 50 minute drive, traffic permitting.

Every Thursday R arrives home ranting about Mother. She said after her house rewiring, which I remind you, we, her children paid for, that the lights weren't bright enough, so R was putting in some brighter lights and she said, no, not in my bedroom. A previous electrician told me it should not be stronger than a 40 watt bulb as a larger bulb would not be safe. Stupid woman. Her house has been rewired and modern bulbs don't use 40 watts to give the equivalent light anyway. If this happened once, ok, but she told this to R twice. Rather like she will only put about three things in her washing machine, as it will 'make funny noises' if any more is put in. That could be true. When our clothes dryer fails, as it must do at some point, (we have replaced the belt to turn the drum and replaced the latch mechanism and it is nearly 20 years old), we will buy a new washing machine too and give Mother our old one.

Later edit: We had a lovely lunch. Photos and possibly a steam train video or two to come.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Musical Monday

River always puts up a Musical Monday clip of artists with different styles, clips of different genres and of different times. While I doubt anyone will think much of this clip, it represents to me a different time in my life. Francophile Grace might like it because it is French, but probably not. I loved it and I won the cd single in some kind of competition from our local gay radio station, Joy when it was released here.

Sash, with Encore Une Fois.

Later: This from Wikipedia about Sash is interesting and Sash is rather impressive.

SASH! is a German DJ/production team, fronted by Sascha Lappessen (born 10 June 1970) who works in the recording studio with Ralf Kappmeier and Thomas "Alisson" L├╝dke.[1] They have sold over 22 million albums worldwide and earned more than 65 Gold and Platinum awards.[citation needed] In the UK, their first four hit singles incorporated vocals in different languages (FrenchSpanishEnglish and Italian).[1]

Sunday, August 20, 2017

World badness

On Saturday night, 19/08, when I brought up at dinner the subject of the missing Australian boy in Barcelona, our Ex Policeman/Politician friend said he is dead, and this person is normally right about such things and so it has come to pass.

You fucking Moslem religion fanatics, why oh why would you want to kill an innocent seven year old boy, never mind anyone else.

One tries to be tolerant of differences in the world but to make the most massive understatement, I am not really so enthralled by the Moslem religion. What had this lad done to you? And you failed. People are still strolling Las Ramblas and all you have done is added to the hate towards your religion, well at least the extremes of it, but it does fall generally to Moslems. 

Bland, Dull and Boring

Yep, that is me in three words, mostly. They are also names of towns or areas and the triumvirate recently received some media publicity. Bland is the newcomer to the paired towns of Dull in Scotland and Boring in Oregon. Apparently a local Scottish woman was a on a cycling holiday and passed through Boring in 2012 and set the ball rolling to pair the two towns for their mutual benefit. Bland has just jumped on board.

The first, Bland, in Australia. Well let me see. Shire of Blan is a local government area. It's kind of a bit south of the middle of New South Wales. Nice modern shire building.

Plenty of things to do in Bland's 'capital city' of West Wyalong. But also one and a half hour away from West Wyalong, you can see Iandra Castle. One and a half hours country driving is nothing for local folk, and I think it would be worth making the effort. It looks ever so European, French, dare I say.

Dull is in Scotland, a little to north in Scotland and rather to the middle. It has a population of about 80 people. I had a look around using Streetview and frankly (you knew this was coming) Dull looks rather....dull. It has a couple of nice churches but not a pub to be seen. How very un-Scottish.

The village housing appears to be well maintained and solid, probably like the good burghers of Dull themselves. It is starting out point for an organised Highland Safari, and it's only a 45 minute drive to Blair Castle, ancestral home of former British PM, Tony Blair*.

Maybe Boring will be more interesting. It is southeast of Portland in Oregon. It does have a pub, if that is what the Not So Boring Bar and Grill is, and you can buy a Boring Beer, which if anything like other American beers, you won't. It also has, for your convenience, a Clackamas County Bank. Clackamas sounds interesting and a little bit vulgar or naughty, so I did a little more research.  It is a town to the west of Boring. You may want directions to Clackamas from Boring. I can tell you, and I am ever so proud of my own wit, you take the Road to Damascus. Check on a map if you doubt me (subsequently I find out I am not the first to suggest that route to Clackamas. I am really getting to like saying that name, Clackamas).

Speaking of which, while researching this piece, I was looking at an electric map and discovered there is a river just above Portland, Oregon. It is called the Columbia River. Just above the river is Vancouver. My head was a little confused with electrons buzzing around to make sense and I thought, ah yes, Portland is closer to Canada than I thought, and the marvellous cat rescuer/fixer/carer Strayer has a kind and generous cat supporter friend there. Cogs meshed, belts whizzed, gears turned and I realised it is a different Vancouver. Just on the other side of the Columbia River in Oregon is the US Vancouver.  Dearest Strayer, for we ignorant, you need to mention if it is not the Vancouver we all think of when we hear the name.

Better get back to looking at Boring. Dull, while dull is a very civilised place to live. How about Boring?

While Dull seems a bit huddled together, perhaps against the cold, Boring is widely spread out and looks quite pretty with lots of trees.

It does have a prosperous look to it. There are about 8,000 people in Boring and served by the incredible number of 14 churches or more! This is more a venue for a wedding than a church, but it is more interesting than the other modern and boring churches in Boring.

In the town itself, there is not too much to attract tourists, but there does seem to be many nearby forest parks.

Well, that was all a bit interesting and some fun.

*I made up the bit about Blair Castle being the ancestral home of Tony Blair.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Too close to home

I think it was the 6th of May this year when R, his sister, his brother in law and myself strolled along Las Ramblas in Barcelona. I may have remarked in my subsequent holiday posts that it seemed a street where people stroll and look at people strolling. Nothing wrong with that really. We have such streets here. I loved Barcelona. It is a wonderful city.

We are all old and no great loss, well an advantage to some, if we had been mown down by a terrorist in a van and killed. But what if we just were terribly injured. My current back issues might pale into insignificance. Never mind that young kiddies have been killed in the attack, kids who had their lives before them, full of mystery and hope and uncertainty.

What sort of human animal would set out to kill and maim such people?

Barcelona has become so popular with tourists that the locals have issues with the sheer numbers of tourists. I get that, and tourism needs to be controlled. The person who scribed on a Barcelona wall with spray can paint, saying, 'If it is tourist season in Barcelona, does that mean it is open season and we can shoot them?', kind of had his or her wish come true.