Saint Corona Day – How Will You Celebrate?

Tomorrow – 14th of May – is Saint Corona day. 

A big thanks to Mike still in partial lockdown in Milan, Italy for pointing this one out to me.

Saint Corona is not well known. But thanks to this recent “pandemic” of coronavirus her name is being talked about again. All we know is that she was a martyr killed for her christian faith, probably in the year 177 A.D. But nobody seems sure of where she lived.

What do we know?

She is mostly revered in Germany and Austria with a chapel dedicated to her in Sauerlach near Munich. There is an ancient relic of St. Corona that has been stored in a vault in Aachen cathedral. Now, with this virus thing going on, experts have taken it out to clean and conserve.

‘Corona’ of course is Latin for crown. The virus being named due to its crown-like structure. Her name is meant to symbolise being given the ‘crown of eternal life’ for her strength of faith.

It gets bloody!

Most of what we can find is the stuff of myth and legend. Like, at the age of sixteen,  being made to watch her husband being brutally killed. Her husband is Saint Victor. Tomorrow is more accurately known as St. Victor and St. Corona day.

Legend has it that Corona herself was killed in an even more gruesome manner. Tied between two palm trees that had been bent to the ground. When they were released she was torn apart. Horrible eh?

Money, Myth and Economy

Saint Corona was is associated with superstitions involving money, such as gambling and treasure hunting. ‘Coronae’ (or crowns) was a word given to coins in many countries. Some currencies in Scandinavia still use crowns.  It is sad that treasure hunters invoke this saint in an effort to find a haul. In March this year the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh suggested invoking her in order to  support the world economy which looks likely to collapse during the coronavirus “pandemic”.

There is an easier way, and one which will definitely save the economy of any country without the need for faith or divine intervention. Just get the people back to work. I and many others have been saying that all along…

How will you celebrate?

Like me probably not at all eh? Personally I will probably have a beer or two – which was the plan anyway. And because today is the beinganolddad anniversary (hardly worth celebrating eh?)

Is it just a coincidence that this saints day is coming when there is light at the end of the (virus) tunnel? We shall see…

LEGO Quiz. Movies and Music.

This coronavirus crap must be really getting to me. I was playing Lego with my son and realised there were some interesting bits and pieces to some of the Lego people. So I decided to make this little quiz. OK, I know. I clearly have too much time on my hands. Like most people these days eh….

LEGO Quiz – Movies

OK, here is a little fun game. We all know Lego already make a lot of sets based on movies, so it is pointless using anything like this one…

Too obvious right? Darth and R2 hanging out. Dani also has a load of superheros and villains so they will not be in this quiz either. Although part of them probably will be. So the quiz below will be made, as close as possible, with the very limited Lego pieces we had available. Get it?

There are 10 movies and 4 bands/singers. See if you can get all 14 correct. Plus right at the end there is a bonus one .

Movies in Lego

First for some films. Can you guess which films these are?

  1. An easy one to begin.

2. This one really was scraping for parts. But probably the most obvious to you all…

3.   OK, some idiot will probably try to say something about this one.

But this really was a classic movie…

4.   This one may be a little more tricky… Not an easy film to show with the parts we have.

So here’s a couple of clues: That purple was as close to the colour I wanted. Plus for the guy at the front it’s more about his hair.

5.  A classic. Say no more…

6. Another very famous movie

7.   Not great but I think you will get it.

8.   Even if you have not seen the film you will probably get this next one…

9.   Not so much a superhero as an anti-hero maybe?…

10. I struggled with this one but definitely wanted to do the movie.

Hair styles as close as I could get with the bits we have. But it is all Lego. Clue: The two characters in the foreground were never in the background scene.

Music – Name the Bands or Singers

Now for a few musical ones. Four groups/bands or solo artists…

  1.  A well known group.

2.   Struggled with this one but had to do it. It needed the clue in the background though…

3.   Name the person or his band…

4.  From a similar era. I thought we had a Lego snake somewhere but I was wrong.

Still he doesn’t always need one…

And a bonus one…

A famous painting…

How did you do?

Please send your answers directly to this blog site by clicking on “LEAVE A COMMENT”, just below the title. Anyone getting them all correct will receive a (virtual) pat on the back. If you did get them all correct, well done!

Mother’s Day Australia

Today was Mother’s Day in Australia. Last weekend it was Mother’s Day in Spain (día de la Madre) and Dani forgot. More to the point, so did I. Dani’s mum never got a card, present or flowers.

Too Many?

The thing is this: I got confused. With all the talk about Mother’s Day coming soon here  in Australia, I just thought that was the only one.

Should we celebrate Mother’s Day twice in one week? I suppose there is an argument for celebrating it every week. Right now we have three dates. The one for UK, one for Spain and now Mother’s day Australia. I would struggle to remember just one, but at least the Aussie day has been advertised enough here. And of course the schools make sure the kids know about it.

Anyway; we came up to this weekend with Dani already having made a card in school. (They weren’t going to make one for last week’s Spanish día de la Madre now were they?) So, all we needed to do was buy a present.

Present Ideas

Trying to get Dani to even think of an idea for a present is hard work. But it can be fun. I finally got him to come up with an idea. Lego !! Yes he came up with that one all by himself. Clever kid eh? So after school on Friday we went to the shops to look for something suitable. Yes you can still buy Lego from certain shops that are still open. Essential items didn’t you know? As essential as toilet rolls anyway.

I had to rack my brains to come up with an alternative as the Lego was ultimately going to be for only one person. And that was not Dani’s mum. Book? Flowers? Erm… hmm…

Actually, it turns out that there are a few Lego sets Dani’s mum would like. This is the one Dani chose for his mum… And this is also how she built it…

Lego Ice-cream Van

He did also give her some chocolates so quite a good boy really…

Mother’s Day in Sydney

With the travel restrictions not quite lifted we stayed in Sydney this weekend – see previous post. So we celebrated Mother’s Day locally. Just like yesterday we explored the coast of the South Head. It was sunnier than yesterday but cooler. This southern hemisphere autumn is taking some getting used to. Anyway, here are some photos from today.

CBD Viewed from Camp Cove Beach
Hornby Lighthouse
Lighthouse View over Harbour Mouth

The Hornby lighthouse is the third oldest in Australia. Not as striking as the Macquarie lighthouse we saw yesterday but the location is better. It lies on the southern tip of the entry into Sydney harbour with some great views.

Lady Bay Beach – very close to the Hornby lighthouse – is one of only five beaches in New South Wales that allows nude bating. Needless to say today was a little too cold. Or was it? We didn’t go down the steps to find out…

Little Lighthouse-Keeper
Beautiful Watsons Bay

More Lego?

For more Lego stay tuned for tomorrow’s Lego Quiz. Movies and pop music made from what little Lego we have here. Not brilliant in some cases but still funny…

A More Local Day Out at South Head

After reading about the Parrot Fever (see previous post) but mostly after looking into possible closures in the Blue  Mountains, we decided to stay in Sydney. So we headed for South Head peninsula; the bit that sticks out at the mouth of Port Jackson (probably better known as Sydney Harbour).

The Heads

The Sydney Heads (also simply known as the Heads) are a series of headlands that form the 2 km (1.2 mi) wide entrance to Sydney Harbour. North Head and Quarantine Head are to the north; South Head and Dunbar Head to the south; and Middle Head, Georges Head and Chowder Head are to the west (further into the harbour).

This South Head peninsula starts at the suburb (and bay) of Rose Bay and includes Vaucluse and Watsons Bay suburbs. There are some great old buildings in the area. (Old for Australia at least.) Like the vintage Doyles restaurant in Watsons Bay; sadly temporarily closed at the moment due to this virus thing.

Doyles on the Beach at Watsons Bay.
Cliff Walk
View to CBD

On the Pacific facing side South Head is mostly sheer cliffs. The coastal walk takes you right to the edge, but there are fences in place so even those scared of heights can get a good view. For obvious reasons, South Head peninsula is home to the Hornby Lighthouse, Australia’s third-oldest lighthouse; and Macquarie Lighthouse, Australia’s first lighthouse. It is also the location for a Royal Australian Navy training base.

Macquarie Lighthouse

The Macquarie lighthouse and associated buildings were designed by James Barnet and built between 1881 and 1883. It was the first, and is the longest serving, lighthouse site in Australia.

Just north of the lighthouse and equally important is the Marine Rescue Port Jackson base.

Interestingly, in these covid-times…

Quarantine Head was so called for exactly what its name suggests. An old quarantine station specifically built to keep the (former) colony safe form the spread of diseases. Those who might have an infectious disease would be kept in quarantine until it was considered safe to release them. The area operated as a quarantine station from 14 August 1832 to 29 February 1984.

The importance of the Northern Heads was highlighted by the Quarantine Act of 1832, which set aside the whole of North Head for quarantine purposes in response to the 1829–51 cholera pandemic in Europe. Which just goes to show eh? People never, ever learn from history.

In any case that was all  across the mouth of the harbour and we will visit that place some time soon.

Parrot Fever? Who Needs Coronavirus Virus

Parrot Fever Interferes with Weekend Plans

I was checking the internet to see how accessible (or not) the Blue Mountains areas would be this weekend. Within one minute I found a “news” item warning people to avoid contact with wild birds because of something called “parrot fever”

I shit you not! (and ‘shit’ is the operative word here). I really wish I was joking, but sadly no. As if all this corona crap wasn’t enough? I have heard the term ‘bat shit crazy’ but now we have this bloody parrot shit fever!! You really could not make it up…

Local News Site…

Anyway, in the interests of even handed and unbiased reporting, here is a snippet of that article. Then you will know as much as me:

Blue Mountains and Lithgow residents have been warned to avoid contact with wild birds after three local residents were diagnosed with “parrot fever”.
The Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District said three residents have been diagnosed with psittacosis, also known as “parrot fever”, since April.
Psittacosis is a rare bacterial infection acquired through exposure to infected birds or their droppings. Symptoms may develop between five and 28 days after exposure, and may range from a mild flu-like illness to severe pneumonia requiring hospitalisation. Older people generally experience more severe symptoms. The disease can be treated with antibiotics…
… Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District public health director, Dr Bradley Forssman, is advising locals to take care around wild birds and when mowing the lawn.
“Exposure to birds, or dust containing bird droppings, can result in infection. Direct contact with wild birds, including handling and feeding, should be avoided where possible,” he said.
Protective equipment, including a dust mask and gloves, should be worn where contact is unavoidable and also when gardening or lawn mowing in areas where birds may have left droppings, according to Dr Forssman.

This was the source:

I admit it is funny…

Shortly after the initial shock I did find this article funny. But let’s talk straight here. Since when did anyone think it would be a good idea to go playing with bird shit? Any bird shit. The world was always a fairly wild place, but since this coronavirus nonsense any remaining shreds of common sense seem to have been made illegal, or extinct, or something…

“…where contact is unavoidable…”?

And what about that part about protective equipment? “Protective equipment, including a dust mask and gloves, should be worn where contact is unavoidable…”

Really? Really!?

I really must touch that bird shit. It’s unavoidable. Totally unavoidable. I have to do it or will never be able to show my face in public ever again. Best put my protective dust mask and gloves on then eh? Unavoidable? On what planet is touching bird shit unavoidable? Anyway, on a more serious note; this ‘parrot fever’ could end up being worse than coronavirus in Australia. The country has not seen any real covid outbreak (yet) but there is plenty of bird-life to spread shit everywhere. Watch this space…

The Increasingly Curious Case of Coronavirus in Oz

I wrote about the curious case of Australia and coronavirus (aka covid19) a few weeks ago. The whole thing has been odd in Australia because there never was a real lockdown. Most people just go out as and when they feel. Quite rightly too in my opinion. So many things have remained normal that it is impossible to see how politicians (and their advisers) can take any credit for any success which may be perceived in the next few weeks. But of course they will.

The Good, The Bad and The Stupid

Well after several weeks of (so called) “lockdown” there have been less than 100 deaths in Australia attributed to coronavirus. Yeah, really. In 2018 there were 28 deaths from breast cancer in Australia – for MEN!!! That’s right. It seems to average around 30 per year for data I could find. Male breast cancer has killed as many in the last few years as covid19.  And covid19 is supposedly today’s answer to the bubonic plague! Get your heads around that one for a minute…

So what’s really going on in Oz? So few deaths with no real lockdown “to flatten the curve”. There is no bloody curve. Not even a bump. It is really non-existent. So; Let’s look at what has been done, what they say has been done and what has not been done. Some things about it are contradictory, some are clearly odd or just damn funny. 

Lockdown of citizens? It has to be a “no” to that one. Supposedly, and when asked on the news channels they talk about it like it is happening, but in reality people go out and about as they wish. They did close beaches but then the promenades are packed with people brushing shoulders etc…
Closing of restaurants? Yes. But they can all offer takeaway food services and deliveries. If you are really worried about this virus then read the story of Typhoid Mary and think again about getting a takeaway meal (and this recent post). 
Incidentally the delivery lads and girls are generally from the back-packer community which was supposed to have been responsible for ‘spikes’ in the infection rate because of the way they flout the ‘social distancing’ rules (amongst other things!).
Closing of pubs? Yes. This is one they have done and will be the very last measure to be lifted. Bastards!
Closing shops? Yes and no. Most food stores have always remained open – and not just supermarkets. All of them really. Clothes shops and shoe shops and places to buy things for the home are generally closed (with very few exceptions).  Many other shops have just stayed open; here are some examples: Bookstores, TV/HiFi/PC type places, white goods stores (let’s face it, the sale of freezers has gone to the  moon and back!), booze stores (apparently considered an “essential” service). Surf shops too  – clearly an Aussie “essential” service now the beaches are reopen for surfers. A walk down some out of town streets will show that most independent stores are trying their best to stay open; good for them I say.
Hairdressers? Nope! They are still open. Amazingly with a 1.5 metre social distancing order these people can still cut your hair. Again, good for them. I wonder if hairdressers are good basketball players?
Stop Sporting events? Well, yes. They did stop all rugby and Aussie Rules footie, horse racing and any event that lots of people attend. We can’t have people enjoying themselves now can we? Bizarrely, the horse racing still takes place but to empty racecourses.
Ban on flights entering the country? No. They never did this. Not at all. The claims by politicians that they closed borders is pure shit! Fancy them lying about that eh? Whatever next? Many airlines are no longer operating most routes so the numbers are way down, but there are still several that enter Australia (and every other western country by the way). And let’s not get into the cruise ship debacle. But in the end it seems they did stop ships docking and disembarking thousands of people some of whom were known to be infected. You couldn’t make that one up could you?

“Social distancing”?

If you combine the crazy idea of allowing takeaway food from restaurant with the 1.5 metre distancing then why can’t restaurants be open? People congregate around place to get their food. Often infringing on other people’s space. Why can’t they sit at well spaced tables?

All the bottle shops are open. All of them! They clearly want people to drink themselves into a state where they accept their fate, but they don’t want people drinking in pubs where they can socialise and talk about the scale of political cock-up in these virus times.

Internal flights continue despite certain states “closing their borders”. Flights are generally full so you can imagine how the ‘social distancing’ works on those aeroplanes. Another huge joke!

Beaches were closed but when did you ever see people set their towels deliberately right next to someone they do not know? People generally avoid each other on beaches and doing so is far easier than in a supermarket aisle. Yet they have partially reopened beaches in Sydney allow swimming and surfing only. Surfers bob the waves in small packs probably only one metre apart most of the time. Similarly those “swimmers” (most of whom just want a dip) congregate at the shoreline or on the promenade. It is laughable.

Mobile Phones will sort it all out? What!!?

Then to top it all there is now a mobile phone “app” they want us to all download. You get a message from your mobile network: “Help us to keep you safe and ease restrictions by downloading the CovidSafe app now.”

Is there anything more pathetic than that?  What about a common sense approach like protect the old and vulnerable? while other are tested and if OK can return to work? What about herd immunity? Or even a vaccine? Oh no; a bloody mobile phone “app” is going to make all the difference. For crying out loud. This shows how far we have fallen. How can people be so dumb not to see this for what it really is. It is to track everything you do, everywhere you go! From the wording it looks more like they are blackmailing us. When enough get this “app” they will ease restrictions? Yeah, right mate! Yes, I know what we are supposed to think this “app” is meant to do etc… but this is completely ridiculous. 

Remember: All this rubbish when less than 100 have died of this virus. Anyone still asleep? Whatever the governments tell us, whatever measures they try to implement, there has not been a serious coronavirus outbreak in Australia. I for one still think that Australia is a very curious case. Can anyone explain it?

But here come’s the flip side…

It is now flu season in Australia. That’s ‘normal’ flu to us non medical experts. Us plebs that are not good enough to be one of the hundreds of chief medical officers and government medical advisers that seem to have popped up this year. The temperature has dropped quite drastically this past week. In recent years there have been a few big flu outbreaks in Oz. Killing far more than this latest virus. One only a year ago. So the big question is: Are things about to take a turn for the worse in Australia?

Fuel Price Chaos

Here in Australia the price for a litre of petrol (E10) had been lower than at any time for years. It had dropped over the last month from around $1.40 per litre to less that 90 cents. With discounts of 4 cents per litre being offered to regular shoppers you could refuel your car in Sydney for as little as 82 cents in some petrol stations. That is incredibly low and would be about £0.40 in the UK; about 50 Euro cents.

The proof…

We pass a petrol station on our way into school each morning. Here is the same petrol station showing yesterday’s prices and the the cost today. A massive jump of almost 30 cents per litre. An incredible hike in a short space of time. We all know these are supposed to be “difficult times” but hey! That is one huge price rise.

Petrol Price Yesterday

Petrol Price Today

The price yesterday was the lowest since the year 2002 – eighteen years ago! You have to go back to 1992 in the UK to match that low price. That’s 28 years ago. Amazing eh?

What is going on?

The government is about to relax restrictions on in-state travel. This weekend I believe. So they fully expect many people to hit the road and visit family and friends. Also inter-state travel may be lifted. Most western governments make a large chunk of their revenue from car fuel duty. Australia is certainly trying to capitalise with this one.

I guess they have to get some money from somewhere to fund this crazy (coronavirus recovery) spending spree they are about to embark on… And you, dear motorist, are expected to pay your share.

Bang Bang, The Mighty Fall

Right now there is a song in my head and I can’t stop singing it. The lyrics are.perfect and very appropriate. Here is a small part:

Lord Nel and Lady Hamilton they fought for love,
When he came back from the war he gave her what for love,
The mighty fall when love has called
Bang Bang.

Latest Headlines…

I was going to write a second part to the very curious case of coronavirus – for a patient named Australia. (First part here.) But then this happened…

Imperial College scientist Neil Ferguson QUITS his role as top government advisor after ‘breaking lockdown to see his married lover’ despite warning Boris Johnson that 500,000 Britons would DIE if the strict rules were not enforced. 

That’s right folks. This “professor” (puke!) Neil Ferguson is the very same idiot who is responsible for you all (outside of Oz) being locked down and imprisoned in your own homes. Ferguson is the fool who used his pathetic computer modelling tool to predict that millions were going to die of this bloody glorified flu virus. People of the world get put into lockdown with all sorts of rules about not being able to go to and meet others who are not from your household. But such rules do not apply to him do they? Oh no! People like Ferguson are better than the rest of us. Or so they think…

Now are you awake?!

Let’s not try to gloss over what a complete c*#t this bloke is. His predictions and advice has seen virtually the whole planet locked up. People not even able to visit their loved ones in hospitals. While all the time he was doing what he wanted. Well if there was ever a signal to get out and break the “lockdown” this is surely it! Come on folks! Where is that true grit? that Dunkirk spirit?

I have asked this question before but have to ask again: Are you awake yet?

How the mighty fall eh?

While on that subject here is that song. It was written for slime just like Neil Ferguson. (Well, here is a link to a video of it – Click Here )
This is B.A. Roberston’s 1980 masterpiece, ‘Bang Bang’. Basically a tale of the consequences when men can’t keep it in their pants. The pitfalls of love (or lust) plus a touch of the femme fatale also, I suspect. See and hear for yourself on the link above. 

Oh the irony. You really have to love stories like this one. Let’s hope that he can’t use this ‘resignation’ as an excuse to walk away into the sunset and escape some serious hassle. He deserves to be dragged through the streets.

Statues in the Park

One of the people responsible for the creation of Centennial park was (the aptly named) Sir Henry Parkes. He was a politician and longest non-consecutive Premier of New South Wales when it was a colony.  He is sometimes referred to as the “Father of Federation” due to his early promotion for the federation of Australia, combining the six colonies. Parkes was also responsible for choosing the first set of statues to grace the park.

What in the Dickens?

Statue of Charles Dickens in Centennial Park

Here are some interesting facts about Charles Dickens and this statue:

There are only three statues of Charles Dickens. Apparently he wanted to be remembered for his writing not as some adored monument. Understandable eh? Well, one of them is here in Centennial Park.

It turns out that Sir Henry Parkes was a mate of Dickens’ youngest son Edward Dickens. Edward emigrated to Australia at the age of 16 with his older brother Alfred. and was even a prominent New South Wales politician between 1889 and 1895.

Charles Dickens encouraged Edward and his elder brother to migrate to Australia, which he saw as a land of opportunity. Interesting that while he was writing a lot about the misery of Victorian England he could see the land down-under for what it truly became. Not only was Dickens a great fiction writer and historical recorder of his times, he seems to have been able to foresee the future.

By the way; the other two Dickens statues are in Portsmouth, England and Phillidelphia, USA.

Odd History of the Dickens Statue

The statue has a slightly chequered history. It was one of the first 11 statues chosen for the park  by Henry Parkes in 1891.

It stayed in the park until 1972 when it was removed and mysteriously went missing. Even more odd, is that nobody seemed interested until the early 2000s when a volunteer at the NSW Library saw a photo  of the statue in a book and started to look for it. It was found in storage in Rozelle to protect it as vandals had already destroyed its head. The statue was eventually restored and unveiled on Charles Dickens birthday, the 7th of February 2011.

Sir Henry Parkes statue in Centennial Park: “Father of the Federation” and mate to Charles Dickens’ son


1977 vs 1927

Tomorrow is Star Wars Day – May the Fourth be with you!

Dani has been watching the original Star Wars films – again. He now spends most of the day asking me questions about the plot, characters, who they are and where they came from; and who knows what… Some I know the answer to but others are so difficult, there is no answer. Like, “Dad. Who is Darth Vader’s dad?” Come on Dani give me a break…

1977 – The year movies changed forever

One thing I knew right away was this one: “Dad, what year was A New Hope made?”

That was the first ever Star Wars film. Also known as ‘Episode IV’. It was 1977 and I was 13 years old when I went to see it in the cinema. It thought is was the most incredible film ever made. It blew me away. It was easily the biggest film of that year.

Then he asked, “How many year ago was that dad?”
“Forty three years ago mate.” (Wow, 43 years ago…)

And that got to thinking… When I was his age what films would have been big in the cinema 43 years before? Come to think of it would they have been ‘talkies’ or silent movies? I worked out the dates and looked it up. It was quite an interesting year for the film making industry…

1927 Movies

It turns out that the talkies began in 1927. The very first picture with sound was released in 1927. That film was ‘The Jazz Singer’ starring Al Jolson. As soon as I saw that I remembered it. A classic Trivial Pursuit question. Of course! It was also the highest grossing movie that year. A very famous film.

Another top movie in 1927 was also one I had heard of. But I have only seen small bits of it. – oddly enough, mainly from the video for Queen’s 1984 hit “Radio Gag-Ga”. The movie is called ‘Metropolis’ and features a C-3PO lookalike robot called Maria. I seem to recall seeing something about C-3PO being based the robot Maria in Metropolis, in one of those ‘how they made star wars’ programmes years ago.

Other Movies…

There were three Hitchcock movies coming in at 13th, 14th and 15th a ‘most popular’ list. Two things surprised me about this. One was that I never realised Hitchcock was making films that far back. Secondly, I didn’t know he made silent movies. The film ranked 13th most popular was called ‘The Ring’ about two boxers fighting in love with the same woman.

The Ring, a film by Alfred Hitchcock from 1927

Feeling Old?

Wow!  I am not sure about this going back in time to compare my life with that of my son. It definitely makes me feel old. At least they were making ‘talkies’ back in 1927. But only just!