Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Launceston Day 1

Our Dyke Friend made us most welcome for our Launceston visit. Let  me call her T and our Hair Dresser Friend who we travelled with A.  T had monitored our flight and knew it would be late. Not too long after we arrived, she picked us up in her sister's car larger car.

Now, we have been to Launceston before, but it is hard to remember. We stayed near the centre of town, I think I have worked out it was near the corner of George and Canning Streets. I remember the city area as being quite flat but also the motorway to the airport being quite steep. Let me tell you, Launceston once out of the central city area is very steep and absolutely gorgeous. We loved it. There are so many stylish old buildings, no real tower glass boxes. The housing, from the historic to the modern is stylish and well maintained. While there must be some not so nice parts, we never saw them.

In my finest stalking manner, I had looked extensively at where T lives and the area. What I could not see on maps and with Street View was the steepness of West Launceston, and really of much of the city. T has a couple of passionfruit vines and in autumn one is valiantly making a last attempt to flower.

We arrived about lunchtime and after settling in and checking out her rather nice place high on the hills of West Launceston, T took us along the eastern side of the Tamar River to where she herself had not been, Low Head. Mein gott, could the weather have not been better.

Low Head was the first area of settlement in northern Tasmania and a springboard point for explorers to prove that Tasmania was an island and not connected to the mainland. So, these very old buildings built by convicts date back to the early 1800s, but they were not for them, but the officer class. The convicts lived in timber housing. We visited the museum and the guide gave us a wonderful chat. the five dollar cost was cheap and we had the time, even though we were hungry. R had not eaten at all that day and it was around 2pm. He normally eats at about 11 to 12 in the morning. He had contracted a cold and it was really manifesting itself.

There was no wind and the sun was shining but not too hot. I never did find out what this thing is. By the time we left the museum, the cafe was only serving coffee and cakes.

A very old church snapped as we were leaving Low Head.

George Town is where we will find food, and after a little searching we did find a nice cafe in Macquarie Street.

I am not saying really, but the owner may have been a stylish slim chick dressed in black and a wearer of sensible shoes. She was very friendly and the food and coffee was good.

After the sustenance, we went to the end of the street where there are timber sculptures of the explorers Bass and Flinders, including Flinders' cat Trim.

Just so beautiful and peaceful.

From the net; in 1804, Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson took possession of Northern Tasmanian in the name of King George III. Memorial to him.

We headed back down the eastern bank of the Tamar River to where we could cross on a rather spectacular bridge. T kept having to take time to upload local football scores to a Facebook site. We were going to call into a football match, but instead we headed up the west coast of the river to Beaconsfield. The mine has closed and this is the remaining minehead.

The Beaconsfield mine has been here for a very long time. It was the site of extraordinary survival by miners when the mine collapsed in 2006, and sadly the death of miner and a respected television journalist.

It is now a museum site. Note how the building is braced with side bars and straps to prevent its collapse if there is earth movement from the abandoned mines underneath.

The town once had a train station and these railway buildings have been preserved.

We drove back along the west coast river highway but diverted off on Rosevears Drive to closely follow the river. As we were back on the highway into Launceston there were some absolutely stunning late 1900s and early 20th century houses. Launceston is just fabulous for old buildings, most repurposed. We were rather weary by the time we arrived back at T's but no time for a nap or rest. It was time for pre dinner drinks and nibbles, and how nice the cheeses, meats, olives etc were. Dinner was curried clams on a bed of mashed potato with some greens, the clams being fresh from King Island, in between the states of Tasmania and Victoria. We watched rubbish television and some football and chatted before going to bed, me and R sharing a double bed. We haven't slept together since we we were in London in  2014, but then it was in a king size bed. It was ok, and I had my earplugs in my ears. Of course I was awake early the next day, having being up at 5.30 the day before to catch our flight. I used the time to check what you had been writing about and catch up on all matters of the internet. Everyone else surfaced at about half past eight and T cooked us toast, bacon and eggs for breakfast washed down by a pot of coffee. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Toronto Tragedy

Melbourne has had its turn, as have many other cities in the world, of a motorist deliberately mowing down pedestrians. Now sadly the great city of Toronto has been added to the list. It catches you a little bit more when you have previously visited the city where the crime has now been committed. Thoughts and good wishes to Torontons.

Flag of the Province of Ontario and the flag of Canada. They may at times be at half mast in the near future, but they will keep flying.

Youse get what you pay for

Jetstar: A few years ago, Melbourne to Tokyo, 8 hours late.

Recently Melbourne to Sydney, one hour late.

Sydney to Melbourne, two hours late.

Melbourne to Launceston, one hour late.

Launceston to Melbourne, two hours late.

Jetstar is nothing if not consistent. All flights come with screaming and badly behaving children. While crying babies must be tolerated by grumpy old men, not so badly behaving children.

We won't fly Jetstar again. I feel bad for the quite good staff who have to put up with such poor company management. It is not the fault of your check in staff or flight attendants, or even pilot. The fish rots from the head.

Monday, April 23, 2018

BAD Dinner

After our friend's recent funeral, Brighton Antique Dealer asked us to her place for dinner. I will invite a couple of other gay men to join us, she said. We really weren't looking forward to it, cooped up and trapped with BAD and two other gay men who may well be bitchy old superior queens. R didn't tell me some of the details that he learnt from BAD's inummberale texts and a couple of phone calls. That at 82 she communicates with us by phone sms is quite impressive.

Dinner was a catered affair at her posh residence in a public area. Friends and family of all residents were invited. I am guessing BAD paid for us. The building where she lives has a large area on the ground level that contains reception, a bar, a library, a kitchen, table and couch seating areas for chatting, a garden and a pool. 

It was a really nice evening, the food being quite ok, games along the way to entertain us and boy do really old people know how to drink. 

The two gay guys we already knew. Perhaps BAD had forgotten that we met them in the past. They are perfectly nice and fun. Another person on our table was a 94 old very stylish woman who we had also met before. She is deaf as a post, but such great fun with a constant amused expression on her face. The former conductor of the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus flirted outrageously with her with much double entendre. We were caught up in the running joke that it was her birthday this day. Every day is her birthday as she hints, and friends are in on the joke.

Remember paper planes at school? We had to make them and that was another competition. The chap sitting at left angle to BAD had his son and daughter in law at the table. The son was a quite nice looking bloke and the older than him gay men at the table lusted after him. Meh, he was ok, warm and friendly, but spoilt for me when he left and I saw his bad fitting cheap looking trousers. He is a university lecturer of some sort. I may have mentioned in the past so I am superficial.

Subsequently seeing BAD, she mentioned about his father, her neighbour. She keeps accusing him of being gay and he replies, how can I be when I have children. Then he secretively showed BAD a photo of him in a tutu. BAD keeps her view that he is gay.   BAD's second husband wasn't gay, but he was a cross dressing wealthy yachty. BAD presents an annual award in his name at a yacht club. You may not remember but her first husband was an Arab and when she first saw him naked, she said, surely you are not going to put that monster anywhere near me. She must have relented as she had her two children by him.

There was also the token exotic of the complex, a 93 year old born black American who we have met with a couple of times, although I had no idea he was so old. A few years ago when BAD introduced us and our Late Friend and they realised they knew each other from some 30 years earlier when the US guy visited our Late Friend when he lived in northern country Victoria. Yes, I expect for an assignation. We don't like the old 93 year old black bloke. He is so pompous and grumpy. I would prefer to die younger than become like him.

Other games were indoor bowling which even expert bowlers could not manage to allow for the speed of balls on carpet. R had a go. Put a pair of panty hose on your head with an apple at the end to knock something off the floor.

There was also a trivia quiz on paper. Our table had two sheets of questions, but still we failed. No one listened to me when I knew the correct answers.

One chap, who was there for pre dinner drinks and not dinner, was a friend of the aforesaid US guy and he said he loved the diversity within the residents. Really? Diversity among very comfortably off old white people? That is not the real Australia, only a small segment of the quite privileged.

While we were feeling a bit snowed under with social engagements, it was a fun night, and not too late.

Have a crack yourself. I expect you will have to click on the photo to make it embiggen it.
1/ Everyone correct.
2/ General agreement and I would think most had that right. It is confused at times because people include territories. 
3/ Everyone correct
4/ Not many correct responses. Spotlight is a fabric chain retailer. One person on our table cheated and used his phone. I didn't have a clue.
5/ My answer was correct but then someone cheated again and checked their phone. 
6/ I didn't deliberately cheat, but I did have to go out to the car for something and I tried to take note, and it was quite difficult to work out. I think on the sheet, the answer is wrong marked as wrong. 
7/ My suggestion and I was wrong. 
8/ Disputed. Someone used their phone and there was some suggestion that in Australia they go clockwise, and that is what I said. 
9/ Me wrong again. 
10/ I had this one correct, but who listens to me?
11/ I said five, but I was overruled.
12/ Someone else went through the list and someone noticed the missing socially awkward dwarf was missing.
13/ Too easy.
14/ I said Ace, and again I was overruled. I was correct.
15/ I didn't have a clue and I did not have time to think before someone wrote an answer.
16/ My answer was correct.

The list of questions was found as one of the deceased residents, and there have been many, possessions were dealt with. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday Selections

Joining with River and Elephant's Child for Sunday Selections.

I once went to Junction Oval a couple of a few years ago to see Shane Warne play cricket. It was mildly interesting. It was once the home of the St Kilda Football Club, before the team moved to Moorabbin. Now some very nice people live in that area, but why would that area be a home for the St Kilda footy team? Am I correct in thinking the St Kilda footy team are returning to Junction Oval? Not sure, but a bomb load of money has been spent at the oval with a really good result. It is looking terrific and I am sure there are some nice areas within for posh people. In fact I can see the area for posh people in this photo. That would be the modern building.

I do like that Blackie Ironmonger stand has been kept.

Our late friend loved sunflowers, and so we bought some.

Fed up with overcrowded trams in St Kilda Road, we are looking at an alternative, new and modern  means of transport.

Not my photo, but it is rather magical lighting of our Exhibition Building. 

A visit to the Altona car wash usually involves brunch at Altona Village. Eggs seem to be the theme. 

One does love good workmanship, be it by chippies or concreters. Fail on both counts in Carlisle Street, St Kilda.