The bus route

I’m an occasional user of the 605 bus.   True, I don’t use it all the time, and so I was taken aback when I went to the bus stop on Exhibition Street hoping to catch it.   There was a sign to the effect that the bus doesn’t come this way any more!

I checked the situation when I got home.   There have been very substantial changes to the route at the city end.    The Minister’s press release says this has this has to do with the construction of the metro tunnel, a fact not mentioned on the PTV website (which talks about “improving reliability” by avoiding the Olympic Avenue precinct – not a credible proposition!).  I’ve yet to work out how it can possibly be that the construction of the Metro tunnel would have affected the previous route (perhaps time will tell), but as the bus now travels up Anderson St then along Birdwood Avenue and Linlithgow Avenue, it seems to me that what’s going on here is that this circuitous and inconvenient route for many has been imposed to offset complaints about the removal of former route 8 from Domain Rd.   I hope Merton Hall is satisfied!

In an earlier era I might have got indignant about this, but these days I’m saving my energy for causes that more directly affect me!

Choice – and “free range” eggs

I still read Choice magazine, although sometimes its passion for causes leaves me a bit cool.   One such cause that Choice has come back to again and again in recent months (and on-line, too) is the matter of “free range” eggs.  They’re upset that eggs can now be labelled (and also see here) as “free range” if the hens are stocked at densities of up to 10,000 per hectare.  Their preferred stocking density is up to 1,500 per hectare – a point that they’ve made a number of times in recent months.

Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t worthy issues here.  However, all the emphasis on this aspect of egg labelling seems to me to be a bit shrill.   Choice’s concern doesn’t seem to be welfare of the chooks (not a word about the animal welfare aspects of “cage eggs”, or even “barn laid” eggs).   My cynical mind suggests that the real concern is that the density figure adopted has made it possible for large scale producers to get into this segment of the market, presumably at the expense of smaller producers, one of which is actually named in the current issue of the magazine.   But isn’t the real issue whether consumers are properly informed?

I observe that the figure of 10,000 is less that the originally proposed figure of 20,000 that parts of the industry were pushing for and also that if specialist producers really think consumers want eggs laid by hens at the 1,500 density then why don’t those producers promote their eggs on this basis, bearing in mind that all producers of “free range” eggs now have to state the stocking density on the label?   True, it’s apparently open to state “one hen per m²” which may sound better than 10,000 hens per hectare, but surely not a lot turns on this?

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40th Anniversary of the Uniting Church

22 June marked the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Uniting Church.   There was a small gathering at our local Church to mark the occasion, and to reflect on the past 40 years … and what the future might hold.

We tend to measure a lot of things by looking at the number of people involved, but over the years, there’s obviously been a decline in the number of people actively involved in the Uniting Church – and I believe, other denominations as well.  There doesn’t seem to be any likelihood that this trend will change;   we have no alternative but to accept  the fact that Christianity is in decline in our society.

 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

What wonderful entertainment:  adventure, eccentric characters, enterprising children, baddies, a little romance and a car that swims and flies!    It’s all in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Babirra’s production with a total cast of 37 plus a few dogs as well as 14 in the orchestra delivered in spades.

It’s based on a book by Ian Fleming that was subsequently made into a movie.  The car of course has James Bond-like features!

All the cast gave strong performances, and while it’s a bit unfair to single out Michelle Eddington as Truly Scrumptious (because the part itself invites admiration!), I was amazed to read in the program that apart from school productions (and a life long love for music),  this appears to have been her first major role!    And everything else came together, too:   the movement of the car (enhanced by the bold use of projection), the choreography, the costumes, the sets and a polished finale.

 

Mornington

Although we’re home now, we spent a little time looking around Mornington.   These days, it has something of the look and feel of an outpost of suburbia.   However, its proximity to the sea and historical connections with Matthew Flinders give it a few interesting characteristics.   And, at the risk of a massive generalisation, someone commented to us that things were a bit quiet around town because “everyone’s gone to Queensland for the winter”!

The main street is quite long, with extensive car-parking behind the shops on one side and a shopping complex on the other side.   The shopping complex is built on the site of the former railway station.

The railway line, closed since 1981, still operates with a few heritage trains, but stops short of the town (resulting in there being no level crossing at Nepean Hwy).

These days commuters are catered for by a bus to Frankston.  There are 3 routes which when taken together give a basic 3 buses/hour frequency during the day (but not always at even 20 minute frequencies)!

The foreshore park has some nice views and allows for some interesting walking, as well as access to the beaches.   There are a number of memorials to Matthew Flinders (I’m planning a future post on these).

View from cliff top
Memorial to 15 members of the football team who were drowned in 1892.
Old police cells (modern police station behind)
A walking possibility!
Shopping complex where the railway station once stood.

Jackalope

After checking out from our accommodation, we spent a bit of time around Mornington.   We then decided to head for a winery for lunch.  Our first choice was closed (notwithstanding that the map I’d got from the information centre said it would be open)!   So we headed down the road, and found we were at Jackalope.

Well, with the benefit of hindsight, I now realise that it had been mentioned to me, but I was not prepared for the stylish atmosphere that we encountered.  We had a lovely lunch at the Rare Hare, all designed around “tasting plates” of various sizes, for sharing.  We had the chargrilled squid, roasted pumpkin and the ducklegs.    Very innovative, good flavours and interesting presentation.  Our only minor quibble is that we’re sure the quince jelly mentioned on the menu as accompanying the duck legs had been replaced by a tomato relish;    kind of an interesting touch, and I was OK with it, but S wasn’t impressed.

Seating was at benches (but no problems with these), and the number of patrons even though we were there early in the week attests to the fact that this place has clearly earned a name for itself.

Hotel reception, accommodation block behind
The Rare Hare restaurant
View over the vines while at lunch
More vines!
So trendy for up-market chefs to have a kitchen garden!
..and yes, lots of things growing in the kitchen garden!
Accommodation wing at Jackalope

 

Sorrento

After a “continental breakfast” (included in our room rate) consisting of generous serves of muesli, fruit, croissants and rolls and more, we ventured down the peninsula to Sorrento.   The day was cool and cloudy, but there was no sign of rain.

Lunch was at The Baths, our first visit after it was rebuilt after a fire a few years back.  Very pleasant welcome and nice food, although the kitchen was slightly slow I thought (not really complaining just mentioning).  We were amazed that the carpark at the Back Beach when we headed there was completely full – we had stumbled on a memorial service.    I returned later, when things were less hectic and. yes, the timeless atmosphere of the back beach is intact!

After a stroll around the shops, we headed to the Sorrento Hotel for “coffee with a view”, thence back to our accommodation to get ready for dinner.

The Baths – rebuilt
View from The Baths
Pop-up ice skating rink being erected on Sorrento foreshore
Sorrento Back Beach – timeless
Ferry watching while having a coffee
From balcony at our accommodation – city skyline across the bay