Halloween approaches

Just after I moved to my current address, I noted that some of the local kids went Trick Or Treating for Halloween. It’s been the same in subsequent years, and I fully expect the same next week.

I’ve decided that while I’m not into cultural imperialism and the adaption of American traditions to Australia, this is something I’m happy enough to support on the basis that it’s a good way to meet some of the neighbours.

In fact I’m seriously considering getting some fake pumpkins from the $2 shop and putting them up in the doorway to flag that we’re joining in. And I’m wondering if my kids want to have a go… perhaps the Dalek costume Jeremy built for my sister’s 40th birthday (theme: Best of British) might get another outing.

What’s the situation in other neighbourhoods?

  • About 24 per cent of Australians plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to McCrindle Research. Social analysts suggest the commercialisation of the event is behind its growing popularity.The Age today

Want to dress like Sherlock Holmes? The menswear shop in Bentleigh is selling Deer Stalkers

Spotted at Stanley’s Menswear in Centre Road: UK-made Deer Stalker – a snip at $129.95.

Deerstalker in Stanley's Menswear, Bentleigh

(Apart from sleuthing, I guess you could also use it for stalking deer.)

New 40kmh limit on Centre Road: our community is not your highway

The new 40 kmh limit now applies along Centre Road in Bentleigh, 7am to 7pm, every day.

40 limit, Centre Road, Bentleigh

This is good news, particularly as earlier this year it appeared the plan was for it not to apply on Sundays — one of the busiest shopping days.

It’s official recognition that the street is not just for the benefit of motorists.

And it’ll improve safety, and help make the neighbourhood more walkable, as well as assisting public transport interchange, for instance for those changing between trains and westbound 703 buses (for whom there is no convenient pedestrian crossing).

Intriguingly, they also seem to have changed the traffic lights at Jasper/Centre Roads to activate the green man automatically — and not just on Saturdays.

That’s a good move too, a positive for pedestrians (previously one could just miss the lights and have to wait longer) — all these changes appear to be a reflection of the VicRoads “SmartRoads” strategy kicking in… it flags this area as prioritising pedestrians and buses.

PS. Another pic:
Centre Road, new speed limit

Lest we forget: ANZAC Day 2012

I was passing Bentleigh RSL in early March when I noticed a new sculpture being installed out the front. (The bloke installing looks a tad grumpy…)
Sculpture at Bentleigh RSL being installed

Nearby on a truck were some more of the figures, ready for installation.
Figures for sculpture at Bentleigh RSL

The completed sculpture nicely captures representations of all the services.
Sculpture at Bentleigh RSL

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Lock up your motors

Unlucky pictogram manMy neighbour Bob had his car broken into this morning. He said he heard noises outside and went out to find a bloke smashing up the steering wheel and console, apparently trying to hotwire it.

When the bloke realised Bob was out there he shouted “I’m coming out mate, I’m coming out!” He did so, pushed past Bob and ran down the street. Sounds like the bloke wanted to avoid a physical confrontation.

Bob says he inadvertently left his car unlocked overnight, and suspects the bloke was just an opportunist. He also thinks he may have been affected in some way by drugs, alcohol, or something else.

I’d have to assume a pro could have hotwired a car in seconds, and not made enough noise to rouse people. Bob’s got an older Commodore — perhaps it doesn’t have an immobiliser, though it’s unclear if the bloke would have known that.

The police CSI team came and took fingerprints, but one would guess they won’t have much luck finding anybody… more likely they might pin that on him if they find him for something else.

I thought nobody would try and break into a car in a driveway, because the assumption would be that somebody’s home. The Lady Cop said you can never assume your car in your driveway is safe. Some people will notice an unlocked car and grab gold coins from the coin tray — you wouldn’t even know anything had happened.

Bob’s okay… he was just a little shaken. But his car will need some repairs.

It reminds me that although Bentleigh is a pretty safe, low-crime suburb, it’s good to take care. I sometimes leave my car open, windows down, doors unlocked if it’s a hot day and I’m expecting to go driving somewhere. The lesson I’ll take from this is to at least ensure the doors are deadlocked (which should also activate the immobiliser, hopefully preventing hotwiring) whenever the car is unattended.