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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Jeremy noticed that when there are stories on the TV news about the Simon Overland/Sir Ken Jones senior police controversy, often stock footage of the two of them in front of a doughnut shop seems to get used. It got a run again last night.
It seems to have almost become the equivalent of the Myki machine falling apart footage.
This web site (which may or may not be authoritative) offers some interesting theories on how the cliché developed:
My understanding about the cops/donuts stereotype is that the donuts were largely incidental.
The bigger factor was that ‘back in the day’, donut shops were the only places open all night where the cops could get COFFEE.
PS. I also meant to say, the stereotype appears to have started in the USA and spread to elsewhere. After all, doughnut shops are not actually very common in most countries.
My kids were in Hawaii over Christmas with their mum for a family get together.
They looked for something uniquely Hawaiian to bring me back, and settled on this.
I love getting a souvenir that is truly unique to a place.
It’s just as is labelled on the can. They’re macadamias, but they’re spam-flavoured.
Kath Lockett found some old adverts, including this one:
We sometimes had these cheese slices when I was a kid.
It must have been my early computer-geek (binary) mind at work, but I would eat them by folding them in half, so one half broke off, eating that, then repeating with the half that was left… until the bit left in my hand was so microscopic it couldn’t be folded in half any more.
Was that just me?
I think eventually everybody figured out that the processed cheese was really not that healthy compared to other snacks.
There appears to have been a recent reluctance from dieticians to use the term because of its manipulation by food marketeers, with the EU banning its use unless it can be proven.
However this page from Kraft Foods flags their top ten (none of which, I think, they make or sell):
- Oats — I regularly have oats in my breakfast
- Yoghurt — not regularly. I used to, but kind of went off it when I reduced my dairy intake last year. (Update: though come to think of it, we often have frozen yoghurt)
- Blueberries — not regularly
- Spinach — yep, it’s a green that the kids don’t mind eating, so it’s a staple in our house
- Nuts — yep, I’ve been trying to snack on these a bit more recently
- Soy beans — not really, though I have switched to soy milk on my breakfast cereal; does that count?
- Tomato — certainly cooked into pasta sauces. Sometimes on sandwiches
- Citrus fruits — not as often as I should
- Sardines and oily fish — ditto
- Rosemary and other herbs — not particularly often
What others are worth the bother?
Some figures I need to keep in mind the next time I am tempted by one of Hungry Jacks’ evil Bacon Deluxe Value Meals (opting for the OJ):
|Food||Burger||Reg fries||Orange juice|
|Energy||3030 kJ||1601 kJ||695 kJ|
|Protein||43.3 g||5.9 g||1.6 g|
|Fat – total||47.5 g||19.0 g||less than 1 g|
|- saturated||19.2 g||10.2 g||less than 1 g|
|Carbohydrate||29.2 g||44.7 g||38.1 g|
|- sugars||5.9 g||0.6 g||36.1 g|
|Sodium||1226 mg||452 mg||8 mg|
Source: Hungry Jacks
A total of 5326 kilojoules. Not exactly healthy.
According to this exercise chart, to burn off that much energy, I (weighing about 75 Kg) would need to walk at a brisk pace (6 km/h) for 231 minutes — or almost 4 hours.
Maybe today for lunch I’ll have a sandwich.
(It’s a sharps disposal container at Monash Medical Centre.)
Also spotted just before Christmas, reindeer carrot in Safeway:
- “The carrots preferred by reindeers.”
- “Ingredients: Carrots, magic, love.”
I wonder if the ACCC would approve of those claims?
I recently had a bunch of blood tests done, a kind of overall health check thingy.
It was quite funny actually. M coincidentally went in as well for something, and while waiting in the Pathology place we observed what looked at first glance to be the most unhelpful receptionist ever known to mankind. A lady sitting in the chair, ignoring absolutely everybody, reading a magazine for the entire hour we were waiting.
It was towards the end of the wait that I twigged. She wasn’t a receptionist. She was another customer, having to wait a while between tests, and she had grabbed that chair because it was the only one left free at the time and/or she wanted the most comfortable chair due to being heavily pregnant.
Anyway, I got the results back. Everything checked out fine.
Except for cholesterol, which is at 5.9, certainly on the high side, though not high risk. (Over 6.2 is high risk. Under 5.0 is desirable level for men.)
The doctor asked if I eat a lot of cheese. What’s a lot? I’m not sure. I eat my share; I commonly put it on sandwiches and pasta.
Evidently other high cholesterol foods include eggs and butter. Switching from butter to some kind of canola oil spread might be the go there, if I can find something that tastes half-decent.
The top one on that chart, with 1900 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams, is boiled lamb’s brain. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble avoiding that.
What about foods that can lower cholesterol? This page lists some which I could get more of into my diet pretty easily: Oat bran/oatmeal (but not the instant kind), walnuts/almonds, fish with plenty of Omega-3 (baked or grilled), olive oil.
And of course exercise helps. I don’t do terribly or brilliantly at that, but the kids and I have started taking regular evening walks around the place, which will help.