Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter

Thirty years on

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be. This is especially so for school reunions. My eldest son is pondering whether to even go to his - the people he wants to stay in touch with, he does via Facebook. Fair enough. I however do go to my school reunions. Melbourne High School has an active Old Boys Association which is very well organised for them. The 30th (gulp) reunion was on Friday nig

music, Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter

So darling share this wine with me, we’ll be together on the eve of World War 3

Friday night concert! I was sold on Things Of Stone And Wood - though my compradres were really going for the support act, Club Hoy. It might be cruel to call TOSAW a one-hit wonder, though none of their efforts charted as well as Happy Birthday Helen. But the song was on an album called "The Yearning" (1993) which I really really liked back in the day... perhaps apart from the title track, whi

Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, TV, Video games

The Old Bill

I used to love The Bill, way back when it was a cop show with a sense of realism, rather than a full-on soapie. The episodes I enjoyed the most, season 4 (from 1988) are currently airing on the ABC, in the middle of the day (around 3pm, and again the next morning around 5am). I've got my PVR recording them and I'm checking to see if any memorable episodes pop-up that I want to watch again. B

Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter

August anniversaries

It's the end of the phone call that I remember the most. Before she hung up, she said: "Drive safely". I'm sure it was a standard line, but I'm equally sure she meant it. She was a nurse; the last thing she'd want having communicated the bad news would be the recipient having a crash on the way to be there. I rang my sister, and simply said "He's gone", and we headed to the hospital to see D

Consumerism, Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, TV

The ABC Shops to close

Warning! No transport content! If you only want to see transport blog posts, you can use this URL, or sign up to the email alerts! My first recollection of the ABC Shop in Melbourne was a small space in their then Lonsdale Street radio HQ, which was where the County Court is now -- on the corner of Queen Street. I think it's where I got the 1983 Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special book (a lo

Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Five years ago today: A day on the trains

Five years ago today I posted this video: A Day on the Trains. The footage for it was gathered over the space of a month or two in the dying days of the Connex Melbourne Empire in late 2009, and it was designed to capture a few scenes I thought might be changing in the coming years. Obviously some things have changed, others remain the same. Liveries: Connex (Metlink) became Metro (

books, Doctor Who, Film, Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, TV

Before home video

In the days before home video, we had to resort to other means to re-live movies and TV shows. Novelisations of productions were common. I knew people who had hundreds of Doctor Who novelisations -- virtually every story had a book published. I had perhaps a dozen. Other books made it into publication -- scripts, programme guides, and spin-off material. Of course these are still common, but

Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, TV

Who remembers Infinity Limited?

Sometime one morning in 1983 (I think) I was walking through Elsternwick Park on my way to the bus stop to go to school (year 7), when I saw a hot air balloon at low altitude. On the basket appeared to be a Penrose triangle -- the logo for Infinity Limited, the ABC's science show for kids, which we used to watch at school. Turned out they were filming a scene for an episode -- the park is less

Retrospectives, transport

How long did it take to get into central Melbourne from your suburb… circa 1925

This is very cool. Similar to tools Jarrett Walker often talks about that show how far you can get in X minutes on public transport, here's a map prepared around 1925 or so (I'm guessing) by the Melbourne Town Planning Commission showing how long it takes to get into central Melbourne from various suburbs by tram and train (and walking). Here's the area around St Kilda and Caulfield:

Retrospectives, transport

Smoke, steam, nostalgia: Steamrail Open Day 2014

The Steamrail Open Day a couple of weeks ago was good fun, though in some ways very similar to the previous one in 2012... But I'll post some pics anyway. This is a Tait train ("Red rattler") -- dating back to the 1910s, and very common when I was growing up, but phased-out in the 1980s. If you've ever wondered what the destination signs looked like from the inside, here it is. I was fascinated