Pig's Ear Park and Other Adventures

Month: May 2013

A gentle scam

First  time we have not been gathered up by a family member, in latter years David, and driven away from  the airport at high speed.

As we were heading off to Russia we decided to recover at an airport hotel for two nights before hurtling thru the air again.

T trotted off to get tickets on the airport hotel Hoppa bus, “machine broken” says the uniformed man , give me your money and I will do it manually for you”

he did and yesterday T discovered that he had been given Australian coins in change,the uniform had made about 2pound on the deal. a gentle scam but one that would return a reasonable profit over time.

The Sheraton near the airport looks like a prison but it was reasonably comfortable and we walked to the village of Harmsworth yesteday, very prett now parked in the lounge at Heathrow waiting on our delayed flight to Moscow which is not now going to make the  connection to St Petersburg.  Well that will make for some  excitement!!!


Technical things

…even mechanical things are best avoided by me I have decided after a recent experience with a back pack sprayer.

We have two Solo back pack sprayers , one for bugs and beasties and one primarily for Round up. I am mainly in charge of the  Glyphosate(Round Up) one and leave higgedly piggedly lines of dead and dying grass all over the property. They both hold 15 litres when full so I can inflict a fair bit of mayhem with one pack- my record was 5 in a day, lots of wiggly lines that day.

Anyway the sprayer was starting to misbehave with the long hose part starting to fall out at regular intervals therby dousing both me and whatever I was near with spray. I decided that given T’s health I would take care of it myself. With still a little bit of  spray liquid in the  the pack I dismantled the handle connection- aha, a split in the connector plus a broken seal. I drove off to our local agricultural supplies depot and had to nag to get served- very macho these places, explained what i wanted and left with a new handle.  Once home i ripped the packet apart and took the existing handle off, and tried to fit the new one. i gor spray all over my hands as various pressurised parts released themsleves and the damn thing did not fit, well it fitted but the business part that sends the water down to the nozzle still kept falling out, obviously the wrong size handle connector for the hose part.

I confessed to T who did his bun of course, there is supposed to be a crack in the clamp part what there is not supposed to be a crack in was the washer- that was all I needed!

 Today we are BOTH taking the sprayer now with its original handle in bits and the new handle now back in its bag, back to the agricultural depot where all will be sweetness and light as man talks to man. Think I will stay in the car with a blanket over my head!

T is Ok, gone onto diclofenac now as well as paracetomol and if he gets 7 months out  of the diclofenac before having to go onto anything more serious we would be thrilled. The accompanying drug they wanted him to take with the diclofenac, losec  had more effect than a vindaloo so he will avoid that.


T took the offending sprayer back to the agency, I had business elsewhere and could not attend(!). Back home we tried to get it going, I took it aprt too fast for the engineer to see, could get water coming out of the tube part but no way would it come out of the spray attachment. We left it for another day!

A farmer friend arrived and was chain ganged into helping to fix the offending item. An hour later  he and T had it going. I am now banned from touching with intent to fix, anything vaguley technical.


Well, that is how the locals say it!!!!

Whatever the pronounciation it is a lovely city. Friend picked us up and whizzed us back to their super apartment with a lovely wide and long view over tree filled suburbs in the Toorak /Malvern area. Friend’s wife had left all sorts of details and cards for us including Myki cards which gets you around on the buses and trains. Friend told a lovely story about an upmarket friend who could not travel on trains and buses as she simply did not have the clothes for public transport!

We did have the clothes, in fact we fitted right in, and immediately put the cards to use and headed into central town to visit the short persons section of Myers and David Jones- much diminished- the section not me, but picked up a couple of things anyway then browsed all the little,  read expensive arcades.  Purchased some chocolate frogs and went back to the apartment on the bus.

Next day we had  a lunch we had to attend and luckily it was in a nice part of Melbourne and at a nice restaurant- Spanish tapas, one of the dishes was kingfish!

Our weekend excursion, thoughtfully organised by our friends, was down to the Great Ocean Road, we cut across the bottom of the peninsula then drove back along the Ocean Road. Drove about 300 k’s and on a map it  was barely a smidgin  covered. The feature of the Great Ocean Road is an area known as ‘The Twelve Apostles’, there are only eleven now as one washed away- took a few thousand years…  The Apostles are giant limestone stacks that rise up out of the ocean. They are caused by erosion from centuries of wild weather and you can see the same strata replicated in the Apostles  as in the cliffs 200 metres away.  A wild wild coast but very beautiful.

Stayed the night at Wye River in a lovely house set up amongst the gum trees with a view of the pounding surf down below. Friend cooked a lovely dinner and we were all asleep by 10.30pm- all that sea air. Next day we slowly wended our way back to Melbourne via Geelong. Geelong has a recently(?) redeveloped waterfront which was very attractive. We had  a lovely afternoon tea there in a converted barge run by a furniture restorer and his Kiwi wife. The barge is just that , a barge with a building on top that is the cafe, you get to the barge by a walkway from the beach. It seemed to be a success as it was very busy and a nice change from the sidewalk cafes.

Monday T and I went off to the Victoria National Gallery which was between major exhibitions- Monet soon, most interesting thing was a large shallow pond painted blue with porcelain bowls gently moving around it and producing a chime like sound as the bowls touched. Bowls were all white and three different sizes. Whole thing was about 4 m by 4m. very different. Went to the Hollywood Costume exhibition, MM’s famous dress worn by her when standing over the grate was there, also Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress from the famous breakfast film.  Some John Wayne stuff and the Belushi Brothers suits. The point of difference with this from a usual costume show was the projected animated faces above the costumes. I could have sworn that John Wayne wicked at me, looked again and there he was winking away. Great exhibition.

Tuesday we met up with friend for lunch and generally mooched the day away. Bought T a new shoulder bag, he always complains about his travel bag- he better not complain about this Melbin priced one! We then went off to the opera “Aida.” Cost an arm and a leg and was friend’s first full opera. We wondered as it proceeded if we were just picky, we haven’t seen that many operas, but the voices seemed a bit less than wonderful and the staging was quite eccentric, lots of projected stuff. Read the review afterwards and actually we were very kind…I would hide under a stone for a few years after a review like the one in the Age.

Next day we caught the train into town , assisted by friend who dropped us off at a convenient station, then caught the bus to the airport , plane home and all uneventful until ….

We were staying the night with son and wife as we had to renew my passport for the upcoming Russian saga and time was a bit fine, so decision was made to take the passport in person to the immigration office.

Had been fine all week in Melbin, we arrived back to cold and wet, put son’s address into the Garmin and set off, only missed a few turns but I had put in #54 not #60 so when it said we were there we were not! T got all excited about the number and could not understand why I was yelling ‘igmore it!” A very domestic moment, took several glasses of wine and a nice meal to calm down! Next day we navigated our way to immigration, wheedled to get the passport done that day(travel agent had said to try) no way. Anyway next day while I was in the garden and T was mooching around inside the mailman came and left a card saying he had a couriered item for us! Damn- the passport. Saturday we went into town to get it then to take it straight to the travel agent to get the Russkie visa. ‘No’ mailman has taken it back out to deliver , they expect people to be home on Saturdays! @#%!! On the way home we realised that we had not brought T’s passport anyway!

Skulked around the front door waiting for the mailman, he duly arrived and handed over the passport!!!! All this because my passport would have been 11 days short of the requisite 6 months they now seem to need prior to expiry. #@!&*&*

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