The new Target Store at Chadstone: Are we there yet?

It’s no secret that the Chadstone Shopping Mall is undergoing a refurbishment and an expansion to rival the Seven Wonders of the World.  It’s taking quite a long time, but we are all reassured it will be worth it.

For the past few months Target has been closed and so we have been waiting for the opening of its new resurrection in September.  It will be so terrific,  marvellous and fantastic that poems will be written about it. I’m thinking of Kubla Khan’s pleasure dome, of course.

There may even be a musical written devoted to the brand new super dooper Target and how its construction added to the attractions of the most liveable city in the world. (Melbourne, that is)

Well,  it opened about a week ago and there has been a noticeable hush all over the world  (Melbourne, that is) about the new improved Target.

We went there today for a peek and had a rather long trek through corridors and passages, past the construction area.  Our excitement grew with each painful step. It was a long way to go,  about one kilometre there and back,  but it would be worth it,  yes?

Not exactly.

I expected to be handed a bottle of water at each turn, as happens in a regular marathon, but there was none and so we marched on in an intrepid but increasingly breathless manner.  When we finally arrived at Target, which is situated in the bowels of this planet,  we noticed a sign saying “We hope you enjoyed the journey.”

Apparently this was meant to amuse us,  but we could not even conjure up a chortle.

Still,  we persevered in a pioneering spirit.  We were nothing if not optimistic.

As it turned out,  we were nothing since the new Target is very uninspiring.  Same old, same old.  Surely there should have been some welcome for those of us who had put in such an effort. No great special offers to tempt us. No elegance or chic appeal. No ambiance.

Is it a work in progress,  perhaps?

As for me,  I can wait to find out.


Cricket Matters!

If you ever doubted that Australia is a lucky country,  here is the proof that we live in a farcically fortunate land.

I woke up this morning to the news that Australia had lost the Ashes.  Our cricket team had been totally defeated by England and this was a tragedy…apparently.

At the same time that the Aussies lost the match Taiwan was being demolished by an enormous  typhoon.  Taiwanese lives and homes are being destroyed.

In the Middle East factions are massacring one another.

Europe is having to cope with an overwhelming influx of “migrants” while Hungary is  preparing to keep them out by building a fence.  Apparently, it’s okay to have a fence now for protection.

All this is going on while our newspapers report the sorry defeat in cricket.  It’s all a matter of priorities, isn’t it?

If it ain’t cricket then it’s some doping scandal in football.

We Aussies definitely know what matters. A little red ball or some other larger one that is chucked around,  passed around, or kicked around a field of grass.

And that’s what counts here in Oz.  How lucky is that!

Abuse of prisoners in Australian prison

Yesterday 300 prisoners rioted in a remand prison in Victoria, Australia.  It was the biggest prison riot in the state’s history.

Millions of dollars of damage and injuries are now being investigated.  How could such a thing happen?

Were the prisoners being physically beaten?  Were they being starved?  Were they denied medical attention, perhaps?


The reason for the riot was much more serious than mere torture which takes place in other countries in the rest of the world.

You see the prisoners will no longer be allowed to smoke cigarettes on account of smoking being bad for your health.

Well,  no wonder they are rioting!

What next?

Will they have to stop screwing one another or using hard drugs?

What if they are no longer allowed to eat junk food?

These poor fellows were even offered nicotine patches,  chuppa chups and extra bottles of water to help them through their ordeal.  I kid you not. And they refused…

Frankly,  my dear…



The Spanish Parliament welcomes back the Jews. Big deal!

After several hundred years Spain has decided to entice into its country Sephardic Jews. These are the descendants of the Jews who were tortured  and expelled by good old Queen Isabella of Spain and her spouse Ferdinand in 1492.

It’s an intriguing phenomenon that countries such as England, France and Spain can’t wait to expel their Jewish inhabitants when the economy is okay, but when things go bad these countries decide they need Jewish contributions after all.

Am I cynical about Spain’s current welcome mat being rolled out for the Jews who were kicked out of its country in 1492?  You betcha.

It seems to me that the Spanish economy must be doing very badly indeed for the Jews to be invited back once again.

Domestic violence at Melbourne Zoo

Australia is in the grip of a domestic violence epidemic. I won’t go into the causes of it since there are many, but let’s say that most of it is due to drugs, alcohol and failed relationships.

A tragic state of affairs which I hope will be improved in years to come.

To make matters worse, last Friday a male gorilla at Melbourne Zoo attacked a female gorilla who subsequently died the next day.

Otana, who is a Silverback gorilla (whatever that is) behaved like an absolute animal!

Silverbacks are known for asserting themselves in a normal manner, the zookeepers inform us, but this time Otana went too far. He overdid the aggressive asserting and poor Julia copped a bashing.

Now that is sad indeed, but I have to confess that I chuckled when it was announced that the primate keepers have been offered counselling to help them through this difficult time.

Let them eat cake at Ashers bakery. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

In 1997 Tasmania became the last Australia state to decriminalise homosexual activity between  consenting males.

A propos of this I can recall one of my favourite cartoons of the day. There’s a very Aussie male wearing a dinkum hat and singlet as he waits in line at the airport in Hobart.

His comment is:-

“First it was illegal, then it was tolerated and then it became legal. I’m getting out of here before it becomes compulsory.”

So why am I recalling this cartoon today?  Well, it’s got to  do with the ruling in Northern Ireland which fined a devoutly Christian bakery for refusing  to bake a cake promoting gay marriage.

This was a case of discrimination, the female judge declared.

According to the judge the bakery was conducting a business for profit.  Hmm… very unusual motive.  “They are in the business of providing services for all. The law requires them to do so,” she declared.

My question is  ” If Ashers were a halal  or kosher food store would the owners have to supply a pork hamburger to anyone who demanded it?

The reason for not doing so surely would be the same as the Ashers bakery case. It is against their religious beliefs.

As I hinted above, there will be a day when we will have to come to terms with our sexuality…heterosexuality, that is.


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.”