Archive for March 2nd, 2010

Interesting morning

Posted on 2 March 2010. Filed under: Rant and Rave Time | Tags: , , |

It was a very interesting morning. My youngest has just started university and needed me to go in with her to wield the credit card to get some of her books.

We have a really good public transport system in Melbourne and sometimes the trains even know where they are and where they’re going. We got on the train at Murrumbeena Station and happily looked at the station listed on the LED sign. It said Westall, it continued to say Westall until just before Richmond when the automated announcement came on to tell us we were approaching Richmond. At this point the LED sign told us the next station was Clayton but rapidly changed to Richmond. About here would be a good time to put in a map of Melbourne’s public transport but I’m having trouble finding a suitable one on the internet. Suffice to say that Westall Station is six stops before Murrumbeena (heading into the central business district) and Clayton is five stops. Richmond is the last stop before we head into the CBD.

The other excitement of the morning was at South Yarra Station. Just while the train was sitting at the station we saw a kookaburra alight on the power line across the road. For those of you outside Melbourne this is something I’ve never seen. Admittedly South Yarra Station is close to the Botanic Gardens and various other large parks so it’d be one of the most likely places to find a kookaburra, but they’re still something you very rarely see in suburbia. I guarantee it was alive and not an automaton.

It’s lovely being in a country where we have freedom of speech. I do take into account the recent attempt by the South Australian government to have people who comment on political matters on blogs to put their real names with their comment, but that was quashed. The reason I mention it is because a Chinese writer and government critic, Liao Yiwu, was forcibly removed from a plane and placed under arrest so he could not attend a literary event in Germany. This is only the tip of the iceberg where he is concerned as, in this case, he was released after only a few hours and placed under house arrest, whereas the poem he wrote about the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 landed him in jail for four years.

I’ve finally finished reading Dracula. I won’t have the temerity actually review it but I will make some notes about my thoughts about the book in the next couple of days.

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