Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Pete Denahy – Sort of Dunno Nothin

[Just saw this for the first time on a Sp***s and Specks repeat]
[*** - would hate to offend anyone]

First bit of work I’ve had in yonks!

Got a new security keycard with prison photo.

Fiddled for ages with the lanyard trying to have the card/photo fall in such a way that no one could see the mug shot.
Finally got it sorted then wondered why I bothered if my real face isn’t covered up?
Had three days of induction and job training, which was all ‘death by slide’. Kept telling myself “I’m getting paid to sit here… I’m getting paid to sit here…”
Catching the train from Franger to the city is always an experience. Catching the train to and fro every day is another thing altogether.

Now leave home at the time I normally go to bed. [Daylight is so uncivilised – makes it hard to hide the mug.]

The second day coming home - again seeing no relationship between the train timetable I downloaded and realtime train movements - went back up to the ticket office to ask what the story is.
The ticketseller pulled out a timetable printed in May, then made a phone call. She was very nice and determined to help.
“Monday to Friday, trains leave from platform 13, and on the weekends, platform 12”.
Unfortunately, the May timetable and the platform numbers were about as useful as a hole in a pocket. Or should that be as useful as a hardcopy of the latest online timetable?
Now I know the trick is to catch a train that only goes halfway to Franger – because these actually do run from Southern Cross and on time – then get off halfway home and wait for an express that hasn’t passed through Southern Cross. This has cut a full hour off the home journey.
ICI House was the first ‘tall’ building in Melbourne – finished in time to impress visitors here for the [1956] Olympics.
We knew it was cold in Melbourne if the weatherman reported ‘there was snow on top of the ICI building today’.

Now it is owned by Orica [whose ‘new’ logo always looks like ‘Dorica’ to me], and the building is just a pimple. 
Melbourne was once a Marvellous city of laneways and little old shops and pubs and warehouses, with pockets of Stately Old buildings erected before the 1890 land bust. Right into the late 1930s, the height of buildings still seemed to be determined by the possibility that a lift might stop working and people would have to use the stairs.

At least the insurance and banking quarter has survived relatively unscathed. 

I always liked the way the ANZ incorporated a gothic design
in their modern tower

Many of Melbourne's classic buildings are still with us, but approaching the city by train, residential towers are starting to make my hometown look like a housing project.
ecchh--- Federation Square 


Now that the hideous Storey Hall/Fed Square craze has passed,
the new obsession seems to be tubular meccano
[though I must admit the station is growing on me]

Spencer Street Station [now “Southern Cross”] has lost all it’s lovely underpasses with wall tiles incorporating the legend “DON’T SPIT”, and signs like this advising which platform to use:

Gone, the metal pillars and Victorian Lacework.
Gone, the basement showers [on which I relied from time to time, depending on where I was living].
Gone, the Parcels Office where a person could actually send stuff by rail to anywhere in Victoria. [The wood stove in my mother’s house was delivered by rail, from Collingwood].

Thought the old History of Transport Muriel was gone but have just discovered it was re-erected in 2007. Must look around some more.

One of the great joys of suburban train travel anywhere, of course, is perving into people’s backyards. Everything from trampolines and junk to carefully landscaped, regularly manicured gardens.

Another great joy on this line is the mouth of the Patterson River at Carrum.

Peppercorn trees hanging over old weather board station waiting rooms.

Pity the train doesn’t go all the way to Mt Martha – Mt Martha is a perfect little village, and we are looking to downsize.


  1. Gaspers were a word used for cigarettes. So Cross Station is a gasper, where you gulp in diesel fumes. I posted about the Patterson River and the train going past a while ago. It is nice spot.

  2. Hi Andrew,
    Southern Cross Station is a real stinker of a gasper, I agree. An exhaust fan or two would help.

    I shall look for your post about the Patterson River!

  3. Yep, I wish the train still went to Red Hill, the Mornington Peninsula needs more than buses ;)
    I like that you've worked out the bizarre workings of the Franger train ( or the Fkn train).

  4. LOL Jayne,
    that new abbreviation is going to get some use...