Organic restaurants, expensive and uncomfortable

If you want to sit on a crate, balance on a swing or hurt your back on some Scandinavian style sterile furniture, then an organic restaurant serving that yummy organic food is the place for you.

The whole thing about organic is that if it hurts or tastes bad then it must be good for you. Take kale, for example. A green triffid-like growth that tastes so awful it has been promoted as being the best vegetable ever.

Well, I bought some just to see what the fuss was about and all I can say is it must be very, very good for you.

When I was a TV critic at the Courier Mail newspaper I reviewed a British series called “Heartbeat.” One of the characters in it was a lovable rascal called Greengrass who was always looking to make a fortune in a less than honest manner.

In one episode he was seen dipping some farm eggs into manure and rubbing that smelly stuff all over them. When asked why he was doing this, he replied “There’s lots of money in being organic.”

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Good on you, Garland, Texas!

There was a time when I was against guns. But that was before the Sandy Hook School massacre in Connecticut, U.S.A in which 20 very young children were brutally killed by a gunman. There was no armed guard at the school which prided itself on being very liberal and tolerant.

That school had a marvellous philosophy which preached that we should all live in peace, and sing Kumbaya my Lord as we hug one another and pretend that everyone else agrees with us and wishes us well.

Sadly, the evil people in this world did not agree with the peace-loving ones at Sandy Hook and so 20 children were murdered by a monster.

That atrocity took place in 2012 and I grieve for the dead children and their families. There should have been an armed guard in the school to protect them.

So here we are in 2015 in Garland, Texas. A couple of crazy jihadists have decided to attack an exhibition which offends them. They arrive armed and ready to kill. The two pieces of excreta shoot a guard but then a policeman shoots the two murderers dead.

ISIS claims responsibility for the attack. That’s okay as long as the assassins were shot dead before they could massacre people. So be it.

The sooner that people learn that we live in a different world now and that good people are under threat from an horrifically evil force the better and they had better change their idealistic views.

If you don’t learn from experience you pay the price and surely Sandy Hook should have been a lesson to us all. We need to face reality and protect our citizens, even as we lament the loss of innocence in this world.

Back online

Following an erratic interruption of almost two weeks I am back online. I won’t go into the details but, fingers crossed, I hope to be online for a while. I still don’t really understand why my website had problems, but it has made me very sceptical about the reliability of it all.

Whilst the internet is an asset in many respects, it has changed the way we live, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

I know that communication is less frequent now because people expect me to be on Facebook with pretty pictures of my cat or dog. I also know that I can’t expect phone calls from people. Now it’s texting. And what pleasure is there in that? It’s like semaphores and smoke signals. Hard to have a real conversation nowadays without somebody fingering a phone.

No wonder I become nostalgic as I caress my Montblanc fountain pen and remember the letters we wrote together. But then who has the oportunity to express oneself in depth nowadays when everything has to be encapsulated into 140 characters?

Melbourne’s alcohol problem

There is something wrong in a society which demands that you explain why you don’t drink alcohol. This is the case in Australia, unfortunately.

It has been the case ever since we came to Australia in 1951. If you didn’t drink then you had better explain yourself. Are you ill, or are you an alcoholic, perhaps? Do you follow some strange religion which forbids you from touching a drop?

You were made to feel uncomfortable and unsociable if you said, “I don’t drink.”

Every occasion was accompanied by drinking alcohol. In fact, if you weren’t allowed to drink then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy watching sport or weddings or graduations or births or even wakes. Shades of Ireland really.

It was and still is the Aussie way of life. Friday night is for “getting pissed” as it is called and a hangover is proof that you had a good time, even if you hardly remember it yourself.

What has struck me since arriving in Melbourne is the number of liquor outlets in every suburb here. There are people drinking in the morning by themselves in many coffee lounges. The solitary drinkers ore often lonely women of a certain age.

What exacerbates the problem is that many of these people are driving after they drink. And to make matters worse, we have a big drug problem in Melbourne. It is cause for concern when you don’t know who is driving in front of you. We have been advised not to look at drivers if we drive alongside them on the road. Who knows what they are on?

The drivers here are very aggressive, competitive and rather frightening. They are obsessed with playing with their phones as they drive and even women have been caught under the influence when they try to park outside a school to pick up their children.

I did comment once in a previous blog that the most polite drivers I have ever encountered are Texans.

I really cannot understand why Melbourne is supposed to be “the most livable city in the world”. For druggies and alcoholics, maybe…

Bagelicious Melbourne-be sure to read the fine print

I like to get good value for money, no matter what I buy. It’s not pleasant when you feel you have been taken for a ride and that’s how we felt when we went to Bagelicious this morning.

We only went for a snack, a bagel and coffee, and I was pleased that they were advertising in large letters a morning special of coffee and a bagel for $5.

This sounded pretty reasonable since many eateries have morning specials. These special offers usually end around 11 am so we assumed this place was doing the same. To our surprise we were charged an exorbitant price for a bagel and coffee. Apparently, the special offer ended at 10 am and we were there about 11 am.

So I asked the staff why we were not warned about the time the special ended. “It’s there” they said. I peered at the picture of a bagel and coffee and the special offer of $5. “There” they repeated as they pointed to a tiny disclaimer-size line at the very bottom of the ad. It was almost invisible and was obviously in need of magnification.

We paid quite a lot for our measly snack. The seats are uncomfortable and there is no atmosphere in the place, but I could see that when we entered. After all, we only wanted a quick snack and that would have been okay if we didn’t feel so cheated.

So be careful if you go to Bagelicious and please read the very fine print before ordering.

Melbourne Australia’s solution to insufficent public transport

It is hard to believe that the public servants in charge of Melbourne’s transport system are allowed to run free to ruin our lives.

Since The Intergenerational Report has been released by our government we have been informed that our population is aging.

This is an important report because it will help provide for the needs of a changing demographic.

One assumes, therefore, that the Victorian government is going to encourage the use of public transport which will inevitably be more in demand as the population ages.

So what have the brightsparks announced to ease the overcrowding on our trains and trams?

Those who run “the world’s most livable city” are going to remove seats from our trains and trams so that there will be more standing room. In other words, the result will be “cattle trucks”.

How that should prepare the city for an aging population who already find it hard enough to locate an empty seat in one of those contraptions is a mystery to me.