Thursday, September 21, 2023

Lazy Day

I took Bruno for a walk in the morning. It was a lovely morning for a walk. I was listening to Billy Joel’s 52nd Street. I was also re-writing an old story, There Should, of Course, Be Jam. I do a lot of writing on my phone.

I lay on the couch with a headache, I think it was coming from my neck, for most of the afternoon with Bruno watching YouTube.

I fertilised all my indoor plants later in the afternoon when I felt like I had to get up and do at least one thing for the day. You know, as lovely as it is lying on the couch all day, it doesn’t, exactly, leave you with any sort of sense of achievement. I fully intended to continue re-writing my old story, you know once I get going on a re-write it really does normally all flow, but it is hard to write with a headache.

I pretty quickly got back on the couch, after watering my plants, with Bruno until Sam made dinner.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


Cute blond guy who I chatted to throughout the tram ordeal. Yes, I sneaked a photo of him, he was just a gorgeous guy. And that is my shadow rather ominously stalking his shadow. Ha ha.

Birthday Lunch

It is really sunny and warm as I leave the house.

I decided to catch the tram instead of drive, I didn’t want to have to worry about parking. I stopped work at 11 and had a shower. I googled it would take 45 minutes, so I left at 11.30, having to be in St Kilda at 12.30pm. I walked to Nicholson Street to catch the 96. One came along immediately.

David text me. He only did 41 steps yesterday. Was that enough, he asked? And today he couldn’t get out of bed to take his car to be service. He called the mechanic and delayed it until 2pm.

“But, you won’t get it back today,” I said.

“No, the guy said I could have it back at 5pm.”

“Are you blowing him?”

“I don’t have the energy for that,” David said. “No, they said it was a quiet day anyway.”

12.01pm. Australia’s tallest building is going to be in Bourke Street, cnr Queen Street. I’m just passing the building site, it is still just the basement floors, but it is going to be some ridiculous height when it is done.

12.08. We stop at the Spencer Street stop. A large group just got on the tram. One of them has a birthday girl badge on. Oh, the people, the people. They are so loud. Oh, KILL ME NOW! One of them is singing. Kill them. Oh god! THIS IS A NIGHTMARE!!!! One of them is clapping. They are all yapping yap yapping.

I realise they have only got on down my end of the tram. I move seats. I end up opposite three 15 year old slappers bent into a huddle conspiratorially in their pod. One of them looks like Lucy’s female sidekick, Vivian Vance (when she was in her fifties, so, not so good for a 15 year old). That was all, actually, before my time, but the worldly amongst would know who she was.

12.16pm. The tram smells like bubble gum. Pink and sweet.

Oh, the slappers are eating fruit roll up thingies. Grrr. It’s one of those moments when I’d like to see one of them choke on their pink fruity thing. Oh, not really, the thought makes me smile, but the reality would not be funny, all that gagging and gasping for breath. No thanks. I'd have to step away and find another seat for a second time. I don't need that.

The sun is shining. Smile.

There is some Gavin wandering the tram shirtless. Young, strapping, western suburbs bogan in basketball shorts and nothing else. The 15 year old slappers can’t stop looking at him. The whole scene has pregnancy written all over it.

I love the feeling of the tram sprinting along the light rail track, like a rocket ship. When a tram zips along at speed like that, I always become aware of the shape of the receptacle that it really is. Next stop, the space station on Glamertron.

12.26pm. St Kilda Station. A really handsome Asian guy gets on dressed in a black singlet and black shorts with hi tech black headphones on his black hair. He is a big strapping boy. He smiles so sweetly as our eyes meet. I may have been staring, sure. I didn’t bring my headphones, as I was planning to write all the way to the lunch.

Some chick gets off the tram pulling her Lycra shorts out of her snatch. I’m sure I can see her long fingernails pulling the thin cotton from each of her lips as she walks past the window chatting to her friend.

12.29pm. I’ve been watching out for stop 135 all the way through St Kilda, then I miss it too busy writing this. I get off one after my stop. I can’t believe I did that. I walk back along marine Parade, but not right back to stop 135, what was the point. I found some stairs and headed down to Jacka Boulevard.

I’d googled it before I left, and it appeared to be a high rise building, but as I walked along Jacka Boulevard there were no high rise buildings.

Suddenly, I was a bit lost. I’d walked past the St Kilda Sea Baths, but there was no other building immediately after the St Kilda Sea Baths, let alone high rise buildings. The high rise must have been the buildings up on Marine Parade. It had to be The Sea Baths, they were in the right place according to a map I googled. And then I had to double back. I was wondering where it was when Gill called. 

“Is it next to the Sea Baths?”

“Yes. Can you see orange flags?”

“No, but I will.”

Then she came out to meet me.

I was the last there, everyone else had already arrived.

I sat at one end of the table by the window next to Kayleen, with her husband Rick, and opposite my cousin Emerson and next to the party girl herself, my Aunt Mary. She seems to be more present than the more recent times I’d seen her, but did she know who I was? I couldn’t tell you. Cousin Morgan, her brother Cousin (Big) Christian are sitting on the other side of Auntie Mary. (We were called Big Christian and Little Christian when we were kids) Cousin Chloe, who we all agreed was looking like her mother, Aunty Marge, and cousin Anna and Anna’s husband sat further up the table.

Kayleen and Rick and I chat away. They are nice. I haven’t seen Kayleen for the longest time. She is all the cousins I have mentioned cousin.

Bible thumping, Trump loving cousin Sarah-Jane, who is in America, and Cousin Gina, who is in Sydney weren’t there.

I have spaghetti Marinara. $42 worth. No, it wasn’t worth $42, but still what can you do.

Morgan asks me what wine I want, and I ask for red, as there only seems to be rose and champagne on offer so far. I don't really drink, not much, but if I am going to drink, I am going to drink red and not that other girlie muck. Cousin Little Rick (same big Rick/Little Rick situation. Funny, Little Rick was never little, he was an AFL football player in his twenties) (Big Rick and Little Rick were father and son) is sitting opposite, next to my sister Gill, and they both have red too.

I eat Auntie Mary’s chips, she’s only playing with them anyway. Kayleen offers me her chips too, so I eat hers as well.

There was chocolate mud cake birthday cake to eat. I drank coffee to wash drown the rich mud cake.

It was nice seeing all of them. We have all always got along well. We have all really liked each other, well, always. We have always liked each other.

Auntie Mary seems to have had a good time, although it is pretty difficult to tell now a days, she just seems to smile at everything.

Photos are taken.

3pm. Gill and I leave together. We only have to pay for our main meals, Emerson and Morgan were paying for everything else.

3.41pm. I’m standing on the tram stop number 135 waiting for the tram cnr Fitzroy Street and Jacka Boulevard. The sun is shining. There are some good sorts in football shorts getting changed on the tram stop. I guess they have been swimming, down the beach, or something, it is St Kilda after all. 

The sun is shining, a glorious afternoon sun. It almost feels like that feeling late in the afternoon having spent the entire day out in the sunshine, normally on the beach, but walking in the country would do it to.

A number 16 comes along and the nubile youths get on and are whisked away. I should have got on, but it was the oldest of the old trams, and I want a new air conditioned tram, and it wasn't going where I wanted to go anyway, just part way.

The time clicks away. I’m supposed to be getting back to work. Where is the 96 tram? The longer we wait, the busier the tram will be when it eventually comes.

3.52pm. I’m still waiting. Come on tram let’s get going. And then here it comes.

The tram is full, pretty much just one seat. There are a lot of young men on the tram.

There are two handsome backpackers up the back, one blond, one dark. The dark one keeps looking around, not at me, to see where we are. He has a handsome face and gorgeous eyes.

An old fat chick with a shopping jeep gets on. “Excuse me girls,” she says. And two girls in the front seats of the back section get up to give her their seats. Later, some girl goes to sit on the other seat and she says no. 

“Sorry, I’ve just had surgery and I can’t have anyone sitting next to me.” I think that kind of sounds like too much on public transport. 

Then she and the girl get chatting. The old chick with the shopping trolley says she has 9 grandsons. One of them has just started at Harvard. The young chick’s parents apparently had 5 sons in the family. They chat away happily about large families. Truthfully, it’s really nice, the generations happily chatting away, especially when it didn’t seem likely to start with.

The tram stops part of the way along the light rail track. 

16.04. We’re just sitting, I don’t know why.

It sits for a while inexplicably, then moves on.

We get tossed off the tram at Middle Park because there is a power failure in the lines going to the city.

The driver couldn’t really tell us anything, just wait. He told us to wait for the next tram at which point we will be able to tell if the power has been restored. He didn’t seem to really want to communicate with us, and he took our tram back down the tram line the way we’d come. So, we all wait.

I chat to the cute blond boy in black shorts and a singlet standing next to me on the platform. I call Sam to tell him, saying that if all else failed I’d catch a taxi. The cute blond guy had a tram tracker on his phone, he told me there were faults on the line and that perhaps I’d be catching a taxi home, like I'd said on the phone. He heard that, I think?

We all stand on Middle Park Station not really knowing what to do.

Eventually, the tram appeared coming back up the line from St Kilda towards us. It stopped just short of the platform, just short of any of us being able to get on, or even ask. The tramways worker appeared again on the platform, I think, to tell us there was no use waiting. He said he couldn’t tell us anything, in fact he said he wasn’t obliged to tell us anything. Yeah, great customer service you doofus.

At the same time, Sam calls back and tells me there is a number 12 tram a block away, there were no promises that it would be running, but it was worth a try.

I walk down Armstrong Street, leaving everyone else behind.

The sun was shining, at least it was a lovely afternoon.

Everyone else turned up one by one before the tram arrived, cute blond boy included.

16.42. I catch a tram @ Armstrong Street and Danks Street, but it is still on the wrong side of the power outage, so we are all getting off again pretty soon. 

The sun is shining down brightly.

The cute blond boy sits opposite me. He really is gorgeous. We chat. He has a lovely smile, when I amuse him.

16.46. The tram is trundling along but, as I said, it is still on the wrong side of the power outage so we are all getting off again soon

The number 12 stops at Clarendon Street and we all get off.

16.53. I’m now walking up Clarendon Street. I don’t know how I’m going to get home? Walk to the city? I feel like I could walk to the city, if only I had on runners rather black leather shoes. The cute blond boy is walking with me. He’s lovely. He talks momentarily on his phone, giving someone details of what’s going on. I hope it is his boyfriend he is talking to.

Secretly, I am looking for an ice cream shop, I just have the urge for ice cream. I guess I should be thinking about getting home? I guess I should be thinking about getting back to work. But truthfully, I am tonguing for a gelato.

17.00. I see The Red Cross Op Shop. What the hell, I think. The afternoon is a right off, why not? I say good bye to the cute blond boy and head inside. I find the CDs. Three for $7 the chick working, I guess volunteering, there tells me.

I get The Very Best Of The Eagles. Crowded House, Wood face. Billy Joel, 52 Street.

I have a quick look at the DVDs. There is Men of Italy, do they have gay porn and they don’t even realise it? I couldn’t resist. It cost me $3. It turned out to be really bad when I upload it. A waste of $3, really.

I keep walking up Clarendon Street. Should I just walk to the city? I stumble across Cash Converters, it is small and has nothing to interest me. It was, quite possibly, the smallest Cash Converters I have ever seen. Just tiny.

I keep heading in the direction of the city.

I keep running into people from the tram off which we were chucked. An older husband and wife were trying to arrange some sort of taxi. She said it was a 45 minute walk into Spencer Street from there. I wished them good luck. I told them I wished I had walking shoes on.

I see the Salvos across the road, I head over.

I got Head On DVD. Why didn’t I have this film already. I remember when I first saw it at the end of which I thought, I could have written that. Alex Dimitriades is always worth it.

I got Joe Cocker’s Cocker album. I was pleased with that.

The nice girl working there tells me they are closing soon. I say, “Just tell me when its time and I’ll leave.” I tell her I am just wasting time hoping the trams will start to run again.

She questions the trams not running.

17.29. She looks up her tram tracker and told me the 58 tram is coming along Kingsway in 7 minutes. She tells me to walk back up Clarendon Street to the first intersection, just up the street a bit and walk down York Street to the big intersection.

“You better go,” she says. “You only have 7 minutes.”

17.35pm. I’m on Kingsway waiting for a tram. It is a really shitty tram stop. Have I got used to the super tram stops I so often slag off as being just a huge waste of money, (wheelchair access with standing?) and really just an excuse for private tram companies to reduce the number of tram stops from the network.

They are having a questionnaire on my route the 86 at the moment, which is really just corporate speak for we need reasons to justify reducing the service we provide.

I have a tram stop near my house, between Brunswick Street and Smith Street which I am sure they are gunning for to delete from the network. I'll let you know if I am correct.

17.44. The tram is packed and hot, and it seems to be making lots of turns, I can’t really see there are too many people, and it is not a route with which I am familiar. It’s smells like hot people confined. I’m sweating. Some chick is speaking loudly into her phone, of course. Shut up. I presume this tram will cross Bourke Street at some point and I’ll get off. I have no idea where we are.

The 58 eventually went up William Street. I get off at Bourke Street. I wait for the tram cnr William and Bourke Street.

It always gives me chills when I get too close to 600 Bourke where I spent many unhappy years with the black law firm and all those fucking psychos, quite frankly. Tier one, celebrity CEO. That’s all I am saying. Biggest bunch of cunts!

17.50. I’m on the 86, what is it, 3 hours since I left the restaurant, something like that.

Some girl hangs doggedly onto the aisle seat, and have to squeeze past her and sit on the window side. I think I see she is sitting on $2, but when she gets up the coin is foreign, 10 something, too small for me to read.

There is a girl wearing transparent plastic high heal shoes. They just look sweaty. I wonder what her feet would smell like at the end of the day?

The tram clears out at Parliament, I guess that is nearly the end of the free tram zone. I’ve already touched on my Myki as I just couldn’t be bothered doing it any other way.

18.06pm. I’m getting off at Smith Street

18.08. Home again. Sam has taken Bruno for a walk.

I finished at 11am this morning and got back at 6pm. I do an hour of work, just finishing off a few things. 

We ate Fried Chicken and leftover fried rice for dinner.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

My Aunt's Birthday Lunch

We had great parents, me and my twelve cousins have always said that. Our parents were great. All six of them, 3 families, we were very lucky.

They loved us, they did everything for us, well, you know, good things, not spoiling us things. They took us all away on holidays at Xmas. We had boats. We all became really good skiers, actually, great skiers.

They were really great people, our parents, we all agree. And, surprise, surprise, we all turned out just fine, all of us.

Well, they are all dead, except for one. My lovely aunt is the last one.

And today, we are all meeting for lunch to celebrate her 95th birthday. I think all twelve cousins are coming, plus a couple from the other side of the family to me.

My cousins had cousins who used to join us on holidays and then there were lots of us.

And it is lovely, we all like each other and we all get on fine. We all get on great.

The problem being, my aunt is in the clutches of dementia and she is struggling with who we all are, no matter how we might hope she doesn't.

She'll be wheeled in in a wheelchair, she'll be sat at the end of the table, with that slightly vacant dementia look on her face. We'll say hello to her hoping she knows who we are. There are two Christian Fletchers, my cousin and I have the same name, so that's always had its confusing moments, more so now. 

We'll all enjoy the meal and we'll chatter away, and laugh and tell stories, none of which she'll be able to participate in. She can a bit, minimal. And when it comes time to go, we'll kiss he as though she knows who we are. There are a lot of us, of course. And we'll all head home.

It's just sad, that's what it is. My lovely, gentle, aunt, such a gorgeous person, now kind of a non-person, a blank space, disappearing.

It just makes me feel kind of sad, more than it makes me feel anything else.

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Voice To Parliament

I was in Murchison on the weekend and I was surprised to see cars with 'Vote No' written on the back of them. Written across the paint work, on some of them.

The proposition for the referendum next month is 'do you support a First Nation's People's advisory group being set up to advise the government of the day on legislation that effects first Nations people.'

It is an advisory group, the only power it has is to advise government. That's it. That is the question.

I really don't know how anybody could be against that.

I would have thought that Australians would be happy for an advisory group to be setup to help advise on legislation that affects one of the most disadvantaged groups in our rich country. You know, that famous ‘fair go,” we all hear about.

The reason we are having a referendum to put it in the constitution is so it can't be used as a political football in the future by political parties.

(because political parties never use issues as political footballs)

I'm surprised that people who will never be affected by this, ever, are actively working against it. I really wonder why? 

Why would people actively work against something that will never affect them, but could potentially help so many others? Shake of the head.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Is This Avoidance?

I'm re-formatting my poetry blog, it needs it. It is hard work, though.

I had just finished re-formatting this blog, which I call my main blog, that took some time.

And before that, I re-formatted my story blog. And re-wrote a lot of it.

It seems I will do just about anything to avoid writing anything new. 😬

Ha ha.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

"You old cow!" Murchison Saturday


Friday, September 15, 2023


Here's a poem I wrote about Sam a few years ago.

Your love is sublime

like putting ice cream

on waffles.

It made me smile reading that again, yesterday, when I was looking through my poetry blog.

I still think that way about him.