Saturday, April 09, 2016

Saturday Morning Musings - a Labrador called Moneypenny

It  may seem sometimes that I suffer from a nostalgia, a desire to return to the past. It's actually not true, for I find the present intensely interesting. 

There are aspects of the past that I would like to preserve. More to the point, there are aspects of the present that I would like to get rid of, things that have accumulated like dross, that tarnish life. Ironically, some of them are things that I have supported in my reformist past.  

Eldest daughter is in Copenhagen working on ways to improve the efficiency of global shipping, youngest has a stand this weekend at Supernova, the pop culture expo, on the Gold Coast. .The stand is in, and I quote, the "artist alley indie press section."  This photo shows set-up. Ready to go, good mike, but just waiting for the cable. 

I spent Thursday and Friday in Melbourne, my first visit for four and a half years. Recently, I have written a little on Sydney and its restrictions: this is an example And the banners flapped lonely in the wind - licensing laws and Sydney's growing sterility.

Driving around Melbourne and on Thursday night at the Arbory, I thought why bother?  Sydney has lost the life style wars. 

I had left my camera at the hotel A bad error. This photo does not do credit to the venue. 

It's a long narrow strip between Flinders Street Station and the river, the type of space that would be either wasteland in Sydney or limited just to a walkway. Somehow Melbourne manages to multi-purpose these spaces so that the walkway is still there but with additions. 

Add five times the number of people. Now imagine that you are sitting there drinking a beer or whatever your favourite tipple may be, looking at the river with the sound of buskers in the background while the oyster cart comes by. We were there having a farewell drink for a colleague. As we watched the water and the passing parade, I found myself explaining to my still new and now somewhat bemused colleagues that fine dining peaked in Australia in the thirty years leading up to the First World War. As part of this, oyster bars peaked in popularity during the 1890s! You know, you have to have an historical perspective on things.

As an aside, AC's love affair with Melbourne continues. She is an entertaining writer. In order, her posts so far are:
Another aside. On my walk this morning, I passed a pet shop. I wasn't paying much attention until a voice said "Come on Moneypenny, you really need a drink." Startled, I looked around. There was a girl trying to persuade a large Labrador to have some water. Poor Moneypenny. What have we done to you? If it's not bad enough to suffer unrequited love,  do we have to name Labradors after you?   

Finally, on the question of national animals and birds, one of the arguments about Australians eating kangaroo is that we should not be eating our national symbol. This caught kvd's interest, leading him to ask how many countries did just that, eat their national symbol. 

You will find a list of national birds and animals here. It seems to be the case that people do eat their national animals where they are in any way palatable. So I will continue eating kangaroo with a clear conscience. Mind you, I still have to try emu. 

I was especially.struck by Moldova who have the auroch as their national symbol. That's an animal that was eaten out quite some time ago.  


My Observations said...

Thank you for the promotion, Jim. Much appreciated.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi AC. Found our perspectives on Melbourne very interesting.

Anonymous said...

I wish we'd caught up when you were in Melbourne, but I'm not really mobile right now. Give me another 3 - 5 weeks (after the baby is born...)


Jim Belshaw said...

There will be another chance, LE. Would love to actually meet up!

Anonymous said...

I envy the auroch. I too have an ambition to get eaten out.

Jim Belshaw said...

Good lord anon!