Di and Viv and Rose

Well, MTC’s production of Di and Viv and Rose deals with what seems to be almost  the full range of issues that three women can have – then nearly at the end, when you think it’s coming to an end, there’s a “but wait, there’s more” moment!

It seems that the play is structured to serve the issues up and “deal” with them.  The Herald-Sun review referred to the “unsatisfying plot development”, which resonated with me.  It’s as though the issues drive the play, that it’s just there as a vehicle to hang the issues on, rather than the other way around.    Just the same, the Herald-Sun review liked the acting (agreed), and on this basis, the play was definitely worth seeing.

However,  this comes with a plea to MTC -we struggled sometimes to hear parts of the dialogue.  Yes, I know, we’re old and our hearing isn’t as acute as it may have been in our younger days, but it’s not too bad and is certainly still fine for day-to-day purposes.   And, dear MTC, we’re rather typical of your audience!


I had to google to find out the concept behind “oBikes”.  I saw that they had attracted adverse publicity   (and here) which didn’t surprise me when I found out that the arrangement is that when you’ve finished using a bike, you just leave it in a public parking area where it’s locked and unlocked remotely via a mobile phone app.   The idea is that users can pick up and drop off a bike “anywhere” they like, as opposed to returning it to a designated docking station.

Seemingly, the system works satisfactorily in Singapore, but in what might be considered less law-abiding Melbourne, it appears that at least some users are less conscientious about parking the bikes properly when they’ve finished using them!   There’s a system of “credits” designed to reward good behaviour and penalise poor behaviour, but it seems we live in an imperfect world.

In a local street

We’re beginning to see them in our area.  I’m not sure if our area is a neighbourhood in which they’re supposed to be used (it wasn’t listed here), but as the website didn’t appear to address this issue, perhaps there are no strict limits (another “challenge”,  I would have thought!).

How it’s meant to be

The Ikea catalogue

I suppose nearly everyone in Melbourne has recently received an Ikea catalogue in their letterbox.  Actually, we got two copies in the course of a few days so it seems the distribution system isn’t perfect.

But why blog abut what really is just another item of junk mail?   Only because I actually flicked through this once-a-year catalogue, which is more than I can say for most of the junk mail we receive.    In fact, I suspect that Ikea run a very standardised operation world-wide (except, of course, for the prices), so perhaps the catalogue is fairly standard world-wide?

I’m not sure if I ought to own up to looking at this sort of thing, especially because I’m not actively interested in anything likely to be in Ikeas’s range, although it’s interesting to see what’s around.  But Ikea seem to have the knack of making their junk mail actually readable!  It’s got lots of catchy headings pushing Ikea’s concept of fitting everything in and also includes a number of “feature stories”  (promoting Ikea’s products and activities, of course), especially stressing how “noble” they are (such as the articles on reclaimed fabrics and their certified coffee, to mention just a couple).

Travel Expo

I wandered along to the Travel Expo because I had a quiet Sunday afternoon.   Although it’s not really my type of thing, I do have to respect Flight Centre for the way it works:   get a whole lot of suppliers there, create a lot of “activity” (presentations and the like), publicise some “specials”, have lots and lots of travel agents (all the Flight Centre brands) on hand to sign people up, and hopefully by the end of the day, there will be plenty of new business!   Perhaps there weren’t a lot of booths that were of interest to me, but just the same I collected some  reading matter for later on.

Although we’re thinking about possible travel for next year, we’re not sure what else might be happening in our lives that would affect our plans, so it’s premature to make any firm arrangements.   And, frankly, I’d be too analytical to “grab a special” at an event such as this.  Nevertheless, there was certainly a crowd, and so far as I could tell, the numerous travel agents present seemed busy.


CBA – and the Dividend Reinvestment Plan

CBA have announced a strong result, including an increase in the dividend  – but have, of course, been caught up in claims that they’ve failed to comply with the “money-laundering”  laws.     Lots has been written about this, and I don’t propose to add to this.

However, CBA are also trying to induce shareholders into reinvesting the dividend, with the new shares to be issued at a 1.5% discount to the average price from 21 August to 1 September.   For me, DRPs are troublesome because of the future capital gains tax complexities that they create, but CBA’s offer raises other issues as well.

Would I really want to invest more money in an corporation that appears to have reputational issues?    And will the Austrac claims have an impact on the value of the shares that won’t be taken into account during the price-setting period of the DRP shares?   Although these issues don’t motivate me to sell the shares I currently hold, I might “pass” on the offer of additional shares!

The street trees

There was an impressive avenue of mature melaleucas lining  a street not far from us. I’ve previously commented on how good they were.

As it was

But no longer – they’ve all been cut down!    I just don’t “get it”.   There’s nothing that I can find on the Council’s website to explain this drastic action.   Yet normally, the Council is quite conscientious about street trees, so what the story is behind this action has me baffled.

Trees all gone!
Work in progress


“Baby Shower” – the male perspective

I’ve heard of “baby showers”, but they weren’t around in the era when they might have impacted me.  However, time has passed and so I became indirectly associated with the planning of one.   Hmmm,  it’s a different world these days!    I put my head in for a few minutes and had some of the “bubbly” – but not my scene!   But there were some leftover nibbles, so I’m not complaining.

How many sweets are in the bottle?
No chance of getting thirsty!
Is there a party here?