Have you seen a large python?

If so, please return to its owner, or ring 000. It’s 3m long. It’s as thick as an arm.  It escaped from a balcony at  Tim Marshall’s Noone St, Clifton Hill apartment on the 9th, where it had lived with another carpet python for a decade. They suspect it might be in your roof, or up a tree. The police suggest not leaving little birds outside in little cages, but the opinion on that is divergent.  Tim says the snake ate well last week, so not to worry. The Hun reported that the snake is not on any medication.  And this, for me, is the fascinating bit of the story.  What motivated Patrick Horan to report that bit of non-news?

Abbotsford house prices go up

The Age reported yesterday that the median Abbotsford property sale price — that is the middle number when all the sales results are lined up in chronological order — was 12.7% higher in the first three months of this year compared with the last three months of last year. But there were fewer than 30 sales results in the line of numbers, and the data are therefore implicitly not statistically reliable. The median was $575,000 in the first 3 months of this year, compared with the median for the whole of Melbourne of $380,000, and the median for houses within 10 km of the city of $566,000 (that figure is up 15% on a year ago, compared with the whole of Melbourne figure which is up only 5.3%). Richmond and Collingwood were also up about 10%, but Fitzroy — also with fewer than 30 sales — and Clifton Hill were down about 5%. The median sale prices in the last 3 months were: Continue reading “Abbotsford house prices go up”

The Tote tunnels myth turns out to be common Aussie pub lore

I journeyed out of the ‘wood today to North Carlton, and bought from Alice’s Bookshop two books which will stand this blog in good stead. My uncle had an Alice’s Bookshop addiction for a long time. Its owner is an old Cambridge man, a fact noted on his website, a bookseller for 20 years. The first was Bill Brodie and Brian McKinlay’s Collingwood and Fitzroy Sketchbook, published in 1978 when the Convent was still inhabited by nuns and the Eastern Freeway was just opened. It is a lovely hardback and has taught me some fascinating tidbits which I will feed you with over time. It is one of a series of 175 published in Adelaide as the Rigby Sketchbooks which also include Old Melbourne Hotels Sketchbook, River Yarra Sketchbook, and Richmond and East Melbourne Sketchbook.

The other was J.M. Freeland’s The Australian Pub; An Illustrated History of the Development of the Australian Pub from the 1790s to the Present one of the more interesting books to come off Melbourne University Press’s Presses. I declared to those I met for coffee at the Paragon Cafe that I was hitherto an amateur pubologist. The book was last owned by Thomas Hazell from 11 April 2005. Google suggests he is a Melbourne University fine arts academic and one-time president of the Dante-Aligheri Society.

And so I learned from Mr Freeland that the myth which I have come to know relatively recently about secret tunnels under The Tote is one of frequent occurrence: Continue reading “The Tote tunnels myth turns out to be common Aussie pub lore”

Yarra Leisure Centres membership sale

Miss K, nascent gym bunny, has alerted me to a handy deal on membership to Yarra Leisure, an amalgamation of what used to be the Fitzroy Pool on Alexandra Parade, down the end of my old haunt, Napier St, the Richmond Pool off Bridge Rd in Gleadall St, and the Collingwood Pool on Hoddle St opposite Clifton Hill station. They are offering 6 months’ full use of all three pools, spas, saunas, lockers, gyms, and classes for $307 (and tennis court for family memberships) with no joining fee. After the first 3 months you can suspend your membership for up to 9 weeks a year in blocks of 2 months or more which is unusually generous. That makes it a bit more than $1.50 a day and a bit more than $11.50 a week. After the first 6 months, the special deal is off, and you pay about $2.50 a day or $16.50 a week. Unless you join with your better half, in which case you can pay $2 a day or $14 a week each, but you have to join for a year. Thanks to the cameraphone weilding Doubtful Guest for the pic.

Shooter of cyclist on Merri Creek bike path fined $6,000 & ordered to do 100 hours’ community work

I have earlier reported the shooting of Melinda Zygarlicki, noting with amazement the fact that she thought she had been struck by a tennis ball, and continued riding home. This is a crime with a quicker than usual denouement — I read in the paper just a day or two ago of the sentencing of one of the characters who carved up one bloke with a sword after a fight over a girl in July 2002 and chased two others, instilling such fear into them that they jumped into the Yarra and drowned — no doubt because Andrew Pernell turned himself into police and then pleaded guilty to firearms offences. ABC Online reported: Continue reading “Shooter of cyclist on Merri Creek bike path fined $6,000 & ordered to do 100 hours’ community work”

Clifton Hill gets the Domain treatment

The Age‘s Domain section’s featured suburb today is Clifton Hill. Like its neighbour Abbotsford, it is a small suburb. Amazingly enough, in the year to mid-August 2006, 10 people shelled out more than $700,000 to buy houses there, including 2 $1 million homes on the Esplanade. They recommend Flowers of Sorrento:

“Spensley Street, a friendly, well-stocked, family-run grocery with an interesting Italian influence, also has consistently fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs, a small meat section and flowers.”

and Marshal Meats:

“27 Ramsden Street has extraordinary variety for a butcher hidden away from passing trade. A specialty of the house is lamb smoked on the premises. Crays and other seafood are sold along with fresh meat and some deli meals.”

and Cafe Quince, 43 Spensley St, described as:

“a true neighbourhood meeting place with boards advertising babysitting and lost cats, a box of toys to keep the kids amused and plenty of magazines. At weekends the casual room is filled to bursting with chatty groups tucking into full English breakfasts or variations on the theme. New owners will continue to serve breakfast and lunch seven days a week, the cafe is licensed and the coffee is very good.”


According to a spreadsheet clickable from this part of The Age yesterday, the median price of Abbotford houses for the March 2006 quarter was $434,000, up 4.6% on the December quarter. Collingwood is up 0.9%, Richmond up 2.5%, Kew 5.5%, but Clifton Hill is down 4.1%, and Fitzroy down 3.8% (while North Fitzroy is up 13.2%: go figure). Only Kew and Richmond had at least 30 sales which seems to be a measure of statistical reliability. Prices in Docklands plummeted, hehe. The photo is of a house I loved when I visited Jeparit recently, where there was a 76% rise in property values over one year. Jeparit’s booming, baby!