School Holiday artworks on the station platform
Ugh! All last week my body was very After Easter – meaning it kept telling me it wants to stay home, sleep in, watch tv and eat lots and lots of Easter eggs. But we must work and I console myself that if I hadn’t gone into work I would have missed;
– A small boy making squeaking noises to mimic the cry of the flocks of rainbow lorikeets that are feasting the gum trees around the station
– A young man wearing bright gold sneakers and carrying a flower a la Oscar Wilde.
– A man metal detecting on the grass nearby looking for old pennies. He found only bottle tops, squashed deodorant bottles and an American one cent piece. “I look on it as a deep clean of the landscape,” he said.
– A chat with young men from the Graz (Austria) Boys Choir
– Lots and lots of happy school holiday kids with their parents and grandparents and stuffed animals bought at the zoo. Noisy but nice.
On the other hand if I hadn’t been at work I would not have the bruise on my lower stomach that I got from trying to help an elderly man manoeuvre his scooter inside the train. He panicked and reversed by mistake and wedged me against a railing. Ouch!
Children enjoying the Royal Park Station Children’s Library (some at least)
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Two young men, two stolen potplants and a suggestive dance.
Last Saturday night two young men were arrested after dancing naked and performing a “lewd act” while in possession of two pot plants stolen from Melbourne Town Hall. Given that one of our Metro Trains in the back ground, I feel reasonably confident this isn’t a hoax. (I’m also glad the pot plants weren’t involved in the lewdness as this would have confirmed all of Cory Bernardi’s worst fears about same sex couples)
2 Men Stripped Naked, Rooted, & Danced Around A Plant At Flinders St Station
Its a station story that writes itself. The Daily Mail said [Shocking moment a couple are caught on camera having SEX in front of horrified families on a platform at Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station]
but at 11 pm even on a Saturday night it seems unlikely that many people on the platform would have been under 18.
Also it looks more like a cuddle than any particularly pelvic action.
You can even watch the video footage although be warned the ad before is longer than the footage itself.
p.s. its not the same advertiser every time. Presumably a number of companies are happy to be associated with this kind of activity.
I guess the fact that I took more time wondering what the potplants were than anything else is a sign of my advanced age.
A young couple regularly waiting at the station are clearly very much in love/lust. They seem to spend the whole time draped over each other exploring each others tonsils to the occasional discomfort of tourists from more repressed countries who seem to look at me to “keep things nice”. What I find interesting is that the other day I saw one of the couple holding hands with someone else and leading them towards home in a way I would not like to see my own partner doing. Yet the next day the original couple were back in place. I do wish I could take the presumably deceived member of the couple aside and warn them they are about to get their heart broken, but in no way is this appropriate or probably even wanted. I may be misinterpreting the whole thing.
My friend, Melbourne arts and culture critic Mark Holsworth
told me of a piece of railway graffiti he once saw that seems pertinent to this situation.
“Just remember I didn’t give it to you”
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Spring is sprung and youths are riding on the back of trains again. Two of them went by on the 1.04 on Thursday, bandannas round their faces and long blond hair flapping in the wind. “I’m going to report you,” I yelled after them. You go inside and report them on the two way radio and by the time they reach the next station the driver knows they are there. Very satisfactorily, these two jumped off and ran away at the next station. These days I report them as coupling riders. If I report them as train surfers that really panics the control desk. Train surfers are those who ride on the top of trains and since they are up there with a whole lot of high voltage electrical wiring they are really dicing with death.
It was a pleasure to stand outside in the warm spring sunshine watching the birds squabble over the sprinkling of chips left by a team of teenage footballers. A man with a stylish haircut, wearing leather trousers and gold and black cats eye glasses (you’ll have to look them up- I couldn’t download a picture) jumped off the train, handed me a lost backpack containing a Nepalese passport and jumped back on.
Another man was singing along loudly and reasonably tunefully to some folksy album on his iphone. Some thuggy looking 14 year olds arrived, full of attitude, carrying blaring loud rap music. For a while the two kinds of music warred in the waiting room. The man’s singing was completely out of step with the kid’s music, but he was in his own little world and completely unaware of them. Interestingly enough he won the war and they turned their music down. Their leader, a solid looking girl with red dyed hair, shot me an anxious look. She clearly thought he was mad. I guess madness trumps attitude.
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On a freezing day of sheeting rain, a dark-haired young woman without shoes gets off the 1.44 train. Not only are her feet bare, but so are her legs. I can’t tell if she’s wearing anything on her bottom half. The shirt and hoodies she’s wearing covers her down to the top of her thighs.
I greet her thinking she might be one of the clients of the youth mental health service nearby and in need of directions.
“I’m hungry,” is all she says.
Figuring she needs it more than me, I give her the chocolate bar I have squirreled away for my afternoon treat. I can think of a number of reasons why a young woman would be out in cold rain with no pants or shoes on and none of them are good. She eats it and proceeds to wander around outside the station. After a while she comes back with a cigarette butt she’s picked up outside and asks me for a light which I can’t give her. She tells me she is off to another youth health service in the city. I am much relieved. Hopefully she can get the care she clearly needs there.
If she gets there o.k.
The train is late and for a long time she stands on the edge of the platform staring grimly into the pit. She’s calm – not agitated. Stoned? In shock? The Boss is visiting and she starts to get worried. So do a number of the other people on the platform, many of whom have children in tow. Everyone is watching as the Boss approaches the girl, asks her to come away from the edge and is told, “Don’t treat me like a Fucking Child!”
At this the Boss goes inside and rings Control. The driver is told to come in slow and on the lookout.
As the train creeps in the young woman leaves the coping and walks away down the platform. I shadow her ready to pull her back if need be.
But the train stops without incident and she gets calmly into it. To go where? I wish I knew.
Later that day I ring the place she said she was going, but I only get answering machines. I hope she’s alright. I wish there was more I could have done.
For some reason 🙂 St Patrick’s Day last week made me remember some photos I took back in January.
Why were these bras hanging outside Brunswick Station? Could this be an Art work? Somehow they didn’t look like it. The fact that there was a backpackers hostel and pub nearby could have been relevant.
I ride past the station on my bike every day and after they’d been there 48 hours, I undid them and put them in the local charity bin. (I noticed they were all the same size. Relevant?)
I asked the cleaner who is a devout Iraqi Christian (from Mosul, poor man), “Did you see the women’s underwear outside Brunswick.” He said he had but he didn’t like to remove them. “I thought they might be part of your Australian culture,” he added.
On Friday one of the zoo volunteers told me she’d been working in animal enrichment all day – making popcorn for the elephants. Apparently they’re not allowed any sugar or fat on their popcorn. She left on the train before I could find out more – leaving me with a vision of elephants frolicking through vats and vats of popcorn.
That was the charming thing.
Then I listened with great pleasure to the HooDoo Guru’s tuning up for their evening concert inside the zoo. I remember going to see them when I was in my mid-twenties. They still sounded good. Then someone told me that their current tour is being sponsored by APIA – Australian Pensioners Insurance. OMG!!! I’m 54!!! How did that happen????