To India

We’re off to India soon,  and I’ve set up a new blog for this.  It’s here.

And yes, for the India blog, I’ve gone back to Blogspot.  Seemingly, photos on Blogspot can be a higher resolution than here on WordPress (although there are fewer options for re-sizing them).     WordPress have also irritated me recently by imposing an unwanted “rainbow” line across the top of the Dashboard page.   True, it seems easier to search old posts on WordPress, but for now, I’m giving Blogspot another go.   Hopefully I’ll have some wi fi access, and my rather ancient netbook will be up to the task of posting some blog entries.

In the meantime, this blog will go into recess.



Parcel deliveries

We read and hear a lot about companies that sell on-line, such as Amazon.  Existing retailers with their “bricks and mortar” stores are said to be worried by these developments, as perhaps they might well be.

Just the same, in the final analysis, it’s about getting the stuff to the consumer.   And that means that the delivery has to be  right.   A recent incident made me wonder about the mechanics of this.  Australia Post recently delivered a package to us, because it had our address on it.  However, the person to whom it was addressed lived down the street, and she had obviously provided an incorrect delivery address.

Being neighbourly, I took it down to her place – to be met by a locked gate and an intercom.  Fortunately someone was at home and seemingly a little reluctantly came to the gate and took the package.


But what if no-one had been at home?   Would I have thrown the package over the gate?   I guess a delivery guy would have left a note, but that wasn’t really an option for me, and I wonder about the convenience of deliveries from an on-line seller if you have to go to a depot somewhere to pick the item up.   As for me, I don’t know what I would have done as throwing it over the gate could be seen as “unneighbourly” .

I’m not really sure why people really need to live behind a locked gate.   Security around here isn’t a big issue these days, especially with a locked security door at the front of the house.      Yes, we do get the occasional charity collector at the door, but they don’t trouble me.  I guess the issue is one of perception more than reality.

Renovating the bank

The local branch of ANZ bank is going to be renovated.    I received an email about this, presumably because I use the ATM there a lot, although technically the account I have with ANZ is at another branch.    There are alternative branches to this one – but all are some suburbs away.  Yet it’s going to be totally closed for two months!  Even the ATMs won’t be available.  There’s another ANZ ATM in the nearby shopping centre, but it doesn’t accept deposits (and the centre is closed late at night).  So although obtaining cash won’t be a big deal, especially with the abolition of “foreign” ATM fees,   any other dealings with ANZ just won’t be possible.

The people most affected are obviously businesses who rely on the branch to deposit their takings and obtain change.  Perhaps ANZ has made special arrangements for them  such as an ability to use one of the other nearby banks?

Otherwise, it seems an arbitrary decision to close a branch for two months.

Now gutted!


Long-established local restaurant Giorgios has undergone a major refurbishment.  I see on the website that it’s described as a “fresh new look”.    The website even invites you to browse through the renovation, but contrary to the usual case when pictures are posted on the internet, I think that the new atmosphere is better “in the flesh” than on the website!

We’ve been there a couple of times since it re-opened, once for coffee and once for a meal.   Service is as good as in the past and the new atmosphere is, well, “fresh”.   As well as extending the area, it breaks the spaces up quite well.

Fresh new look?

The food is fine too.   You wouldn’t call it adventurous, but it’s certainly of a high standard, and the quantities are generous!  Prices have crept up a bit, but that’s probably fair enough, although corkage if you BYO at $15 a bottle seems a bit of a “hit”.

Recall (2)

The appointed day arrived, and I headed off to the dealer for the replacement airbag to be fitted in line with the recall.   I’m not sure how long it would have taken to do the actual work…a few minutes maybe?    And it’s true that I arrived a  little earlier than the appointed time, but the elapsed time before I was told the work had been done was still 90 minutes.

Yes, I was supplied with a cappuccino and a reasonably comfortable place to sit (overlooking the shiny cars in the  showroom….funny that), but it does seem to me that anything to do with the servicing of cars always takes longer than what I would have thought was required.

Hopefully we’ll never have to put the replacement airbag to the test, but at least if worst comes to worst, it ought to operate safely.

Hay Fever

Marina Prior as Judith Bliss in MTC’s production of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever raises expectations of a good performance, and so it was.   In this review, it’s described as “frisky”.  Well, we enjoyed it, but it’s wacky and light-hearted.    Any issues I have with the performance are with the script, as all the acting is fine, with Marina Prior’s character being the wackiest of them all.  But perhaps, as this review states, who needs a plot, when this production invites you just to sit back, relax and enjoy (as we did)?

An on-line booking

We’re planning to have a few days interstate later this year, so after comparing airfares and the like, I went to the Tigerair site to make an airfare booking.   The site was a little unresponsive once or twice during the process but at the last step, it seemed not to complete the booking.   So, I did it all over again!!   Then it dawned on me – I’d duplicated the booking.

Oh no, in hindsight it was all my fault.   True, the site hadn’t confirmed the booking quite in the manner I had been anticipating, but nevertheless, had I looked at what it more closely, it would have been clear that the booking had been made.

What to do?   With not a lot of confidence, I called the phone number listed on the website.   After listening to a recorded speel dealing with all manner of issues, I got through to an operator (obviously off-shore) after just a few minutes (more quickly than I was anticipating!).

And although it was fairly tedious giving every detail of both bookings, I was told that, yes, I did have a “duplicate booking”.   They’d been made 9 minutes apart, and, to my great relief, because they’d been made directly on the Tigerair website, Tiger would cancel the 2nd one and refund the money!    It might take between 2 to 4 weeks for the money to turn up, but they’d do it!  (see Update below).

A great sigh of relief on my part.   The world of on-line bookings isn’t quite as fraught as I thought it might be.  I wonder if things like this are not unusual, so perhaps it’s good customer relations to allow a little flexibility in such situations.

UPDATE:   The refund was credited to my account by close of business on the next business day.   Much better than I dared to hope!