Vpanel1It’s happened again, another amazing coincidence. On Monday I was browsing in JB HiFi for CDs and DVDs and a couple of discs by Loudon Wainwright came into my view. I was not interested, but I knew the name from the 1980s, I think.

This morning in the Guardian:  “In 1995, veteran folk singer Loudon Wainwright III released…”

This is uncanny! Spooky, even.


I started reading The Martian last night, the book that inspired the movie. The fillum, as we used to say.

I’m only about 20 pages in but it’s good enough that I want to go back to it even now at 10am.


Crumbs, technology – I love it. I’ve just read (most) of an article in the Guardian about the death of British pubs, specifically about the near death of The Golden Lion in London.

So I find the street and suburb in the article, Google Earth it, street view it and there it is, in living colour.

Clip_2Marvellous. This one was saved from demolition by the persistence of the pub leaseholder, but 30 pubs of the old British type per week are being closed down. The land is more valuable as flats and redevelopment than as a pub, so the predators circle and pounce.

That’s what happened to the shops near my house in Trigg. We had a service station with full mechanical services, a pharmacy, a fish and chip shop, a hardware store, a newsagent, a supermarket, a greengrocer, a hairdresser, a clothing shop, a really good deli, an Indian restaurant and a Vinnies shop. I used to walk there almost every day to at least buy the paper and I did most of my grocery shopping there. It was a small village. I was on name terms with nearly all the shop people. (Once, the greengrocer lady said, “How are you now?” I was surprised, and it turned out she’d heard I’d had an ambulance ride. It was amazing that the word had passed around and I was really touched that she cared to ask.)

But it was all bulldozed in about 1995. Completely gone. The land was more valuable as townhouses, so that’s what was built. An ugly set of three blank white shops with no awnings or verandahs was included: the chemist, a hairdresser and a fish and chip shop, but these were of little interest to me. This was not an area where you would “shop”, specifically because there was nowhere to park except on the street. Not many parking spaces. I had to transfer all my shopping to the North Beach Plaza.

I felt the loss, but there’s no solution. Just pass laws saying you can’t do this? The lawyers would make mincemeat out of these laws. The cost of the law is simply prohibitive, so they’d line their pockets besides. Property developers and lawyers. Huh.