Kitchen tip: don’t buy peelers with magnetic handles. They’re just annoying.

Kitchen tip: don’t buy peelers with magnetic handles.

It might seem like it’s a cool idea, but actually they’re just annoying; having them stick to other things is not at all useful.

Peelers with magnetic handles

We lost power last night in the storm

Things I learnt when we lost power:

Take-away pizza by torchlight a bad way to have dinner.

A Smart Meter won’t keep the juice flowing if there’s problems in the local distribution network.

I don’t have enough torches. At least one per person would be good.

The Dolphin mini LED torch I got recently is really good. Will get a couple more of these I think.

Thank goodness for mobile internet, and having a phone that still has a charge in it.

If you’re not sure who your electricity distribution company is, try the list here.

The United Energy Distribution web site is quite good, and accessible via a Smart phone. It shows you maps of the affected area and so on, but is not to be trusted entirely — our area vanished off the list when their estimated recovery time of 8pm passed.

The UED phone service was more candid, with a more up-to-date (?) estimate of after midnight.

The early night didn’t do us any harm. I was glad to get the extra sleep.

Questions I still have:

If the power was off from about 4pm, until sometime overnight (perhaps up to 12 hours)… is the stuff that was in the fridge still okay? The milk seems to be all right (as far as I can smell), but what about frozen food?

PS. Jeremy noticed that some ice that had been loose in a container was still frozen and loose; eg it hadn’t even melted enough to stick together, let alone into water and then frozen again. Which to me suggests all the food should be fine, as (in the freezer especially) the temperature never got very high.

Lunch on the Restaurant Tram

It was actually a present from my last birthday: a lunch on the Restaurant Tram.

Boarding was at 1pm sharp near the casino. Presumably they don’t like to hold up service trams coming from St Kilda or Port Melbourne. It was a fleet of three out for lunch, and we were told to board the front car, number 4. (I can’t quite read the photo, but the records indicate it was MMTB 938, first in service in 1948.)

Restaurant tram arrives for boarding

Restaurant tram appetiser

On boarding we found the appetisers already on the table, and ordered the entrees and mains (a choice of two possibilities for each; all including meat — it seems you have to notify them in advance if you want the vegetarian option). Champagne and wine was forthcoming — I’m not much of a drinker, but whatever plonk they were serving was very nice.

Marita and I swapped the food around so we got to try everything. After the mains there was a cheese platter with tea or coffee (and an option of another after-lunch drinkie — we both chose Bailey’s) and a couple of little chocolates to polish it all off.

Restaurant tram passing Elizabeth Street

All the food was very tasty, and while perhaps on its own (eg in a conventional restaurant at this price) it wouldn’t win any awards, with the great service and the novelty of the experience it made for a very very satisfying meal.

And the route? From the Normanby Road starting point, the tram went north up Spencer Street, east along Bourke Street, along Spring/Nicholson Streets, then west down Latrobe Street, turning south down William Street, along Kingsway, then into St Kilda Road. From there we rolled down to St Kilda Junction, along Fitzroy Street and The Esplanade, and all the way down to the end of Acland Street.

Mohawks in a convertible, Acland Street St Kilda

From there we went back along The Esplanade, into Fitzroy Street, but then reversed into Park Street, following the 112 route back in towards the City. In Albert Road we manoeuvred out of the way to let a service tram overtake, then continued on north along Clarendon Street. We reversed again at the casino, and then headed a short way down the 109 light rail, just past Southbank depot where we once again reversed back to the pickup point again, arriving just on 3pm.

Daniel and Marita on the Restaurant Tram

We didn’t see the other trams in the pack until we arrived back, so I assume they must have taken other routes around the place. After all, on a tram network the size of ours, there’s plenty of possibilities.

The tourists and locals dispersed, and Marita and I strolled back to Southern Cross to catch our trains home, a little light-headed and very full.

I’ve got to say, it felt very civilised rolling along the street with all that good food on the tram. I’d definitely recommend it.

(No, they didn’t have Myki readers aboard, and no, the trams weren’t showing up on Tram Tracker. But the departure and arrival were dead on time.)