Christmas decorations

It’s December, so the Christmas decorations are appearing.

One of the best around our area is the large, European-style, gingerbread house, in the window of an up-market bakery.




Over the last few months, I’ve had  some issues with my shoulder (it supposedly got “frozen”), so in addition to an injection, I’ve been having some physio.   For me, the jury is still out as to the effectiveness of physiotherapy, although things have definitely improved.  The question is, would this have happened anyway?   Who knows?

The therapist probes into all sorts of muscles I never knew I had, and then I’m given some exercises to do at home.

Some of the exercises involve using a tension band, and some require weights.   As with the sessions on the bench, I’m never quite certain which muscles the exercises are aimed at.

Just the same, as stated above, things have improved, so I guess I can’t complain.

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?


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.


Station names

So, the names for the stations on the Metro rail line have been announced.   The station originally designated as Parkville will stay the same, but CBD South becomes Town Hall, CBD North becomes the State Library and Domain, near the Shrine, will be called Anzac. The station at Arden will be named North Melbourne, while the existing North Melbourne station will be renamed West Melbourne.

I suppose these are relatively uncontroversial, although the renaming of the existing North Melbourne station could cause a bit of confusion.    Perhaps this can be minimised by making this change well before the Metro line is opened.

The general reaction seems to be that the naming of one station as Anzac is a “good” thing,  although the link is to Daniel Bowen’s site, and he admits he was on the naming panel, so perhaps he’s not entirely disinterested in the reaction!  Personally, I don’t know what was wrong with “Domain”.

However, I do wonder how the “Honest Historians” feel about the name “Anzac”.  Their basic message (on their website) is “Australia is more than Anzac – and always has been” and they “challenge the misuse of history to serve political or other agendas”.    Well, I have only sampled the material on the website, but from the little I know about them I have problems with their own “agenda”.  Moreover, I heard a talk recently from a person who supported their approach, and the conclusion I drew was that he at least thought that the way we commemorate Anzac Day “glorifies militarism”.  In short, the “agenda” in his case seemed to lean strongly towards pacifism, and hence he thought Australia’s history ought to de-emphasise the country’s military history in general and the Anzac tradition in particular.  He also had a problem with the level of funding for the Australian War Memorial.

I’m far from convinced that the community’s perception of  Australia’s history is as slanted as he appeared to think it is, but be that as it may, I strongly suspect that the naming of the new station isn’t going to please him and probably not the other supporters of that site!

Funeral (3)

We were at yet another Orthodox funeral, once again for an elderly friend of S’s.  The lady in this case was just a few weeks short of being 95 years old.   We were told that she had been born in the Ukraine during Stalin’s era, and suffered the famine and deprivations of that era, before being taken by the Nazis to Germany as a forced labourer during World War 2.     An upbringing that we can only begin to imagine.

Arriving in Australia in 1948 as a displaced person with her husband (who she had married in Germany), she appears to have led a happy and rewarding life, with a family (extending to great-grandchildren) who obviously adored her.




Any funeral is a little sad, but in this case it was good to reflect that after early years of hardship, her life turned out well.


Well, I certainly wasn’t very happy when Tiger cancelled our 11.10 am flight to Sydney and re-scheduled us to fly at 6.30 pm the NEXT day.

But the offer from Tiger to give us a credit for the fare, instead of a refund, really annoyed me.   I received an email confirming the credit, and then I called the call centre after we returned and asked for a refund instead,   The call centre operator was hard to understand and evasive, but the essence of his response was that the call centre couldn’t depart from the “policy”.  However, he did refer me to the website for the contact details of a “customer support” address, which was a postal address (in Gladstone Park).

I’m a bit old-fashioned, I suppose, and I’m OK with writing a letter.    So, doing the best I could to keep my emotions under control, I composed a letter to “Customer Support”.  By my calculations, on the same day that the letter would have been received, I received an email response,  to the effect that “as a gesture of goodwill” the fare would be repaid.

The letter also stood by the assertion that weather conditions had caused the flight to be cancelled, and hinted that I ought to have taken travel insurance!   Just the same, credit to Tigerair for responding quickly, and for (eventually) doing the right thing.  I guess some compensation towards the much higher fare we had to pay to Jetstar would be step too far for a low cost carrier.   In the meantime, I’ve posted reviews setting out our experience on both TripAdvisor and Skytrax, so they allowed me to let off a little steam!