Where the Bodies are Buried

I like good “true crime” books, but I was a little under-whelmed by “Underbelly – Where the Bodies are Buried” (John Silvester and Andrew Rule).  On the plus side,  some of the stories are fascinating, and in particular I found the chapters about Carl Williams and Paul Dale very interesting, as most of us have a general awareness of these men, but how they actually fitted into the jigsaw isn’t always top-of-mind for many of us.   There are lots of anecdotes, with many of the major crimes (solved and unsolved) and criminals over the last 30 years or so being mentioned somewhere, along with a few of the detectives who were involved.  “Chopper” Read, a number of bikie gangs,  Denis Tanner and many others are mentioned.   In short, the amount of ground covered in the book is extensive and makes Melbourne sound like a hotbed of crime (perhaps at some stages, it has been?)

I gather that the stories in this book and in those of its companions have been used in the Underbelly TV series.

Just the same, on the whole, the writing isn’t great and there are some obvious proof-reading errors.   At times things are repetitive and the sequence is hard to follow.   The authors are experienced crime reporters (and have written other books in this series), but the lack of a sub-editor shows!




Cullling those seats (2)

Ooops, I may not have told the whole story when I asserted that Metro were culling the seats at Flinders Street station.   Yes, indeed, the number of seats at the western end of the platforms has been reduced, but it seems some additional seating is being placed in the centre of the platforms – where the little kiosks are being culled!

The work is still in progress, so it’s hard to know if the total number of seats will be reduced, but what appears to be definite is that the kiosks will be culled.  The work is at different stages on different platforms, as the photos below show.    I’m reserving my judgment about this, save to note that I do like to sit down if possible but I have never bought anything from any of the kiosks.  I do wonder, however, what has become of the former lessees?

Kiosks are going…..

Tree removal

We’d been putting off removing a Japanese maple that had grown too large for its position.   However, the work eventually just had to be done, so the guys turned up.  There were four of them, and they came equipped with a big chipping machine which they parked in front of the house.  We asked them to remove a couple of other trees and some creeper as well as the Japanese maple.   They had powerful saws and the like, and breezed through the work.

Everything – including the trunk of the Japanese maple, which was quite substantial – disappeared into the chipper!

I was most impressed when the whole task took just under an hour.




Bastille Day

Bastille Day (14 July) seems to be observed more around Melbourne than American Independence Day.   There was publicity material on the tram for a series of events at the North Melbourne Meat Market to occur over the Bastille Day weekend.  Yarra Trams are a sponsor, perhaps because about the only viable way of getting there is by tram.

The event is described as “Celebrating the best of French culture”, and it does seem that there will be a diverse range of events.

Over in France, Donald Trump will be in Europe, but there’s no suggestion that he’ll drop into Paris for the festivities there!




We saw Gloria at MTC, after having glanced at a couple of the reviews, which were fairly good (here, and here, for example) and which mentioned that we should expect the unexpected.    The Age told us that “Gloria lulls you into a false sense of security before unleashing a shocking twist”.   Well, yes, there is an unexpected twist, but suffice to say, this play is basically about inter-actions between people and how they react to each other – 20-somethings, mainly, but their reaction with the generation ahead of them, too.   In this way, the play is certainly “interesting”, and by the end we’re asking, what’s “normal”?  Perhaps it varies from person to person?

The play is set in New York, and clearly a lot of effort has gone into getting the accents “right”.   However, just as a comment, authenticity doesn’t always result in clarity, and there were just occasional exchanges where I struggled to pick up each word.   However, the general thrust generally came through.

Most of the cast play multiple roles, adding a bit of interest.


The train is going to ……

Upgraded displays have been installed on the platforms at our local station. Quite nice, I suppose, although the more relevant information was already available on the previous display.  The new display lists all the stations that the train will stop at, and also shows the 2 following trains.   It also gives details of disruptions, although it will be interesting to see whether these are helpful.

But, on weekdays,  city-bound trains are still shown as heading to Flinders Street.  True, they do go there, but the majority of them then proceed after a short stop on to Southern Cross and then to places out west.


The older style, now replaced

But, the destination of the train after it arrives at Flinders Street is a big mystery until you get to Flinders Street, where you have to check what the train does next.  Even at Flinders Street, it’s a bit “hit-or-miss” whether an announcement will be made as to where the train is headed;  the only  sure way of knowing is by looking at the displays on the platform.   It would be so much more helpful if the display at the local station gave us this information, as many passengers seem to go past Flinders Street.

Disruptions in yellow (at weekends, trains still go around the loop)


Culling those seats

Well, Metro trains don’t give up, do they?    They yielded to pressure a few years back and reinstated some of the seats that they’d removed from some of the platforms at Flinders Street station – but now, down the track a bit,  things have settled down a bit, and they’ve “updated” the seating – and the result is that there’s only half the seating that there was until a couple of weeks ago (which, in turn, is half of what originally existed)!

Marks clearly indicate the latest round of seat culling