Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Hot Hot Hot and Home and Away

Boy is it hot here in Oz. I've just been out in the back garden to hang the washing up. I got back and drank the regulation litre of water and then took a deep breath and went back out to retrieve the clothes before they all burst into flames. Only kidding, I waited all of 3 minutes before going back out.

Yesterday was a bit cooler and I borrowed my sisters car and went up to Palm Beach. Palm Beach is a nice beach a few kilometres north of Sydney and is famous for obscenely expensive houses and it is where some of the outdoor scenes of Home And Away are shot. There were a line of big white trucks parked at the north end of the beach so I parked the car and joined the small (50) crowd of people watching the shooting. If you watch the soap here is a preview of a scene you will see some time soon. I don't watch, nothing against Aussie soaps I should add but these two characters walked along talking, probably about the latest infidelity, marital or otherwise taking place.

The first time they got it wrong and they did it again. Then the director shouted, "Cut and lunch". The young lady in the shot stayed out for quite a while talking to the crowd and having her photo taken with many of them and chatting with them with obvious enjoyment, not giving away to many story lines though. If at some time you see the scene on TV remember you saw it here first.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Gone Away, Just for a Holiday

Sorry I haven’t been blogging much recently but I am away for a few weeks away from the cold and wet and wind of Southern England. The picture might give you a small clue as to where exactly I am hiding, I can also add that when I got here on Tuesday it was hot 31C, Wednesday was the same but that's why I came half round the world, to get away from the cold. Certainly worked. Yesterday, Friday it was cooler so I went into the nearby City, I am sure the picture clue I gave you will have been far too hard for you to guess where so I will admit it is Sydney. After Small Town Torquay it always comes as a bit of a shock to the system to come out of the train station at The Town Hall and In a couple of minutes watch more traffic pass by then a couple of weeks in beloved Torquay. As you can see Woolworth’s is still going strong here.
To day I also went into Sydney to see one of my nieces and her partner. It was overcast and I made a mistake I don’t usually make when in Australia, I didn’t take a hat and now the top of my head is glowing like a nuclear reactor 5 seconds before melt down. When your hair is as rare as mine that is not something to easily contemplate.

A couple of weeks before I came there had been a TV program about Arther Stace, a homeless man who wandered round Sydney writing the word Eternity in beautiful copperplate script on walls and pavements, this was pre graffiti days and he did only use chalk. The Sydney City Fathers celebrated this gentleman’s achievement by displaying Eternity on the Harbour Bridge for the 2000th New Year’s Day fireworks. I mentioned this to my niece and she told me about a site containing over 1300 photos taken by 90 year old Alan Waddel in which he walked round ever street in every suburb of Sydney taking the photos. An impressive collection. View it here.

More in a few days.

Saturday, 10 January 2009


Sweet, cute, hansom, strong, vicious, noisy, messy and likes food. Seagulls have decided that life is better where the food is close by and doesn't need much effort to catch it. So instead of spending half their lives out at sea looking for dwindling stocks of fish and the other half annoying the inhabitants of sea side towns by waking up the moment the sun gets up and raiding the rubbish bins for food they are moving inland according to an item in the Mail On Line.
Unfortunately the gulls still living around here don't seem to have heard of the advantages of living in London and still wake us at sun up with probably the loudest cries any bird is able to produce and dive bomb any tourist foolish enough to feel sorry for a lone bird and throw them a chip only to discover 20 more gulls were perched on every lamp post for 200 yards and come to join the feast, usually the rest of the chips said tourist was eating, and the fish as well.

When they start nesting on the Houses of Parliament it should be fun, the Speaker will spend all his time trying to shout them down instead of the noisy MPs.

Mind you, a pack of wolves hunting ducks in the Serpentine in Hyde Park would be interesting, draw in the crowds.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Sitting on the Fence.

An atheist campaign claiming "There's probably no God" has been reported to the advertising regulator.
Posters with the slogan appear on 800 buses in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as on the London Underground.
But organisation Christian Voice has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority saying they break rules on substantiation and truthfulness. In other words if you can't prove any claims made in an advert your advert is breaking the law. Unless God himself turns up any day now and says, "There is No God" the adverts might have to come down. But this is a two edged sword because lots of adverts appear in side buses proclaiming, "Jesus can help you." so the christians should now be made to prove this statement with facts, not hearsay.

"There's Probably No God", is a bit wishy washy, rather like a larger advert which claimed to Probably the Best Larger. Can't remember which larger the advert was for, sorry.

This advert hasn't yet appeared on any buses in Torquay, not that I have noticed anyway. Once Torbay Council had a shop keeper take down an image of the Buddha saying it was a Pagan (1) image so any buses that drove round the Bay with this sign on might end up off the road in double quick time.

(1) Pagan means any none mainstream religion. I think Buddhism is a fairly mainstream religion which means some one in the Town Hall didn't have a dictionary.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Torquay for the Cup!

Three items of news from yesterday. First is the result of the 3rd round of the FA CUP:- Torquay 1 Blackpool 0. If you aren't totally familiar with English Football then let me explain, Blackpool play in the Championship League which is the Second Division of English Football, Torquay play in the Conference League which is ranked as the 5th Division. Blackpool are 60 positions above Torquay so us beating them was a pretty big achievement. And it is the first time Torquay have made it to the 4th Round since 1990. Now a home game against Man U would have been nice, loads of money there but we have drawn Coventry who play in the same division as Blackpool. A draw against Kettering, who play in the same division as Torquay would have been nicer, more chance of making it through to the next round and the last 16. Never mind and good luck to the Gulls. Game to be played 24 Jan 2009.
Anyone know what happened to Manchester City by the way?

Next item is the Time Lord known as the Doctor who is believed to be 903 years old has decided to regenerate. At the moment he looks exactly like the actor David Tennent. There was a program on BBC TV on Saturday evening to announce what he would look like in the future which drew a bigger crowd than the FA Cup program on an other channel. The Doctor, who is believed to be the last Time Lord will look just like the actor Matt Webb. In case you aren’t too sure what Matt looks like here is a photo.

Third thing is the Under 11 rugby team(Sponsored by Stagecoach Devon ) won again on Sunday, their 4th win in a row after a disastrous start to the season when they lost 4 games on the row and had the Club Chairperson expressing complete confidence in the coaching staff, one of whom has a day job driving a bus so he'll be OK. It is a bit of a shame they are now in a winning mood as I have decided that England is just too cold and am moving to Australia for a few weeks next Sunday so I will miss the next 6 games.

In case you are interested the temperature here hasn’t got above 5 degrees C for what seems like weeks while Sydney’s temperature has been around 25C to 30C and could get warmer.

And finally, couple of weeks ago in the local paper there was an item about taxis parking illegally on the Strand and blocking the bus stops making problems for the bus drivers and their passengers. The article stated that the Taxi department and the police were going to come down heavily on any taxi driver parking illegally around the Harbour. Apparently, a reliable informant told me, there were 15 taxis parked on the bus stops on the Strand on Friday and Saturday evening and not much was done to remove them. Town became some what gridlocked around 11 in the evening. In some areas nothing changes.

Friday, 2 January 2009

An Other New Year

Well an other New Year. They seem to speed by these days, it hardly seems like yesterday it was 2000 and we were all recovering from the Millennium Bug, what ever that was. Been cold here so no long bus rides out for a while. In fact I am beginning to realise that even though not working is much nicer than working, it isn't as interesting, well not to the readers of this or any blog. I mean the 3 photos below show the most interesting events of the last few days. The top one is an electric plug I received through the post. For free, I am not exactly sure who sent it but I do remember receiving some long life, cheap to run light bulbs, also free from some company who were giving then away in an attempt to turn us all green. I imagine the government is behind it but even those details are hazy. I do remember filling in a form for the plug but that was weeks ago and I can not remember who I sent it to. Anyway, what it does is when I switch the computer off the plug also switches off the other bits and pieces that run with the computer, the printer, the monitor, the transformer that runs the loudspeakers and the modem. All to save the eccentricity (and electricity) I could save by getting down on my knees and switching the plug off at the mains. Something I never did. The big advantage is the switching off the modem. In the past I used to leave it running and sometimes when I switched the computer on the modem didn't work and I had to spent time unplugging it, waiting a couple of minutes before plugging it back in when it would work. There's a technical term for this, it's called 'giving it a good kicking'. Now this plug does the job for me and the moden always works. (So far anyway). Thank you e-on.

PS. You can buy one of these plugs for about £14.50 on the internet.

Next most exciting thing turns up on the photo below. It's of a notice stuck on a phone box down in the Harbour in which Sue is asking Barry Marchant to phone her. This notice is stuck up all round the town centre. So Barry Marchant, if you are reading this, please ring Sue and Sue, in the interest of reducing fly posting in Torquay, if Barry has indeed rung you could you take the notices down please. And in the interest of curiosity could you replace it with an other notice explaining why you need Barry to ring you, we are all agog.

The last photo was taken at the bottom of Fleet Street on New Years Day, on the morning of New Years Eve I walked down to the harbour and this shop looked just like some of the shops here in Torquay, I can't say all because about a third of the shops here seem to have "Closing Down 50% Off" Signs in the window. This one just had windows. Not any more. But it was New Years Eve and it isn't really New Years Eve unless at least one shop window gets kicked in.

I do hope 2009 is a good year for all of us.