Railway works

I see that there’s going to a complete closure of the railway line through our suburb for a week in January.   I know that this has happened on other lines, but because we’re not too far from the city and there are 4 tracks, we’re accustomed, when works are occurring, for one pair of lines to continue to operate.  However, on this occasion, it seems there are going to be big electrical works at Caulfield, so presumably there’s little alternative?

Signage at station

There are signs around as well as information on the internet (and here) stating that there’s going to a be a total closure.     Amongst other “issues”,  I notice that the replacement buses from Flinders Street station operate from way down St Kilda Rd, in front of the Arts Centre, and that if you want to go to a loop station, you’ll have to take a train from Flinders Street.

And from reading Daniel Bowen’s blog, when a similar massive closure occurred on the lines through Camberwell, there were plenty of hitches with the replacement bus services.

It sounds that this week will be a good time to avoid the trains!

 

(Left - looks as tough some materials for use during the works have already been pre-placed)
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Vivid White

The Fairfax review was unflattering, to say the least.   The Australian’s review wasn’t quite so harsh nor was the Herald-Sun’s,  but they still had reservations.   MTC’s Vivid White is supposed to be a satire on housing affordability.

Well, let’s understand what it is:   think “student review”.   Perhaps consistently with this, the ensemble includes students from the VCA Music Theatre class (seemingly on a rotational basis).    The language at times and some of the jokes are also in line with what you’d expect at a review.  There’s a lot of music and yes, the basic theme is a satirical commentary on housing affordability in Melbourne and home renovations.   But there’s a lot of idiocy and absurdity and jabs at other things too, such as the adoption of lost dogs, putting wheelie bins out  and even at the nature and role of satire itself.

My initial reaction was “weird”, but on reflection, there are some very good parts and excellent performances (in particular, the auction scene and the Dulux lady scene are memorable).   But it’s inconsistent and seems to wander around, and frankly I’m still bewildered by the last scenes involving the tentacles of a mind-controlling creature.   I must have missed the point somewhere along the way.

However, the full house seemed to enjoy the performance.

French Brasserie

We went to dinner with T and W, who suggested The French Brasserie.   We had a great night.

The French Brasserie is in the city, down Malthouse Lane, which is an alley that runs off Flinders Lane.

The night was pouring rain, but the restaurant is spacious and we were made comfortable at a nice table. There was lots of activity around;  it seems that Flinders Lane is now a “lively” area, and it was the night the “Same Sex Marriage” legislation passed Parliament which may have had something to do with it.

The approach is very French in staff, service and food.  In fact, most of the staff  appear to have French as their first language (are they here on working holiday visas?);  obviously this is appropriate in this environment, although there were occasional moments when things had to be repeated to ensure there was no confusion.   The menu isn’t extensive, but it does appear to be authentic.  Our only issue was that the “Le Canard Rôti” was described as “Roast duck breast with slow cooked egg”.   We mistakenly (as it turned out) assumed that the duck would be roasted and hence more than pink, but we managed to sort this out amongst ourselves.

The Trip Advisor reviews are very positive.  They mention the comprehensive wine list, but seem to gloss over the cost!   Sure, you get a lot here, but you need to pay for it, so this is not the place for a bargain night out!

Choice at the ATM

The bank has been renovated, and along with the  ramps and “accessibility” features come new ATMs.   One of the machines had a sign on it to the effect that it “offered” a wider choice of denominations.

A nice idea, I thought.  It would save me choosing a withdraw amount that forced the machine to dispense some $20s as well as $50s.    So I selected a withdrawal amount of $210, wondering what I would be offered.   “Offered”?   Nup, no choices provided at all, as there was no option to provide any input at all into what notes might be “offered” (remember, when ATMs first arrived they sometimes allowed for this?)   I had no choice but to accept the 4 $50s and one $10 that emerged.

Perhaps the word “offers” on the sign ought to be changed to “dispenses”?    Or perhaps the screen that enables a choice is still “work in progress”?

100 Restaurants

The so-called “delicious.100” magazine fell out of the Sunday paper.   It supposedly lists what it regards as the top 100 Victorian restaurants, listed in order from 1 to 100.   I notice that I blogged about the equivalent publication last year.

It’s not clear how the list was compiled, and it’s not specifically stated that the reviewers (who are named) actually dined at all the restaurants listed.   There’s a suggestion  that one of the factors was popular vote (but I didn’t persevere long enough find the link to this).     Maybe the listing was at least to some extent compiled from other sources (although of course I can’t say for sure).

Hence, to my mind it doesn’t have the credibility of the Good Food Guide.   Just the same it’s an interesting “read”, and the task of actually listing restaurants in order of rank is certainly ambitious.      I admit (as I’ve done before) that (top) restaurants aren’t really my scene, although I like to read about them if only  to make sure that none of the restaurants that I do like have made it!   And it’s interesting to know the sort of dishes that these restaurants serve (often not my “style”).

This year the publication is stated to be compiled in “partnership” with Uber Eats.  Strange indeed, because it’s hard to imagine that any of the really good restaurants would condescend to allow their food to be delivered!  But perhaps the readers of this guide are likely to use Uber Eats when they’re not eating out?

Rain

Well, lots of rain was forecast, and  we got some, but the forecasts primed us for a lot more.     I wasn’t at home for all the time, but it seems to me that, although there were a couple of heavy showers, these were quite short, and  from this report, it seems there was about 66mm in the city.    Apparently this is a lot for this time of year, but it didn’t really seem to amount to some form of a crisis (even though heavier falls were recorded elsewhere).

So, I really wonder why the SES found it necessary to text me with messages about floods.   These text messages can  now be directed at phones in particular locations, so I was left wondering how I “qualified” to receive them!

Some high rivers in the north-east

On a somewhat related note, in the lead-up to the predicted rainy conditions, I glanced at the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather radar map from time to time.   The technology that enables radar to detect rainfall is obviously interesting, although I don’t understand how it works.

 

However, I’m not convinced of its accuracy.  On several occasions, heavy rain was shown to be falling where I was, but looking out the window, all that could be seen was light drizzle.