Author Archives: meizpod

Melbourne – most livable city?

Yet another Economist “World’s most livable city” report mixes up the usual suspects, this time Melbourne is on top above Vancouver.  Just what are they using as a metric?  As it is a magazine for economists it must be based on economist type preferences.  Weather will not have any sway as economists like to sit in climate controlled offices in suits and ties.  Stepping outside without removing the suit jacket and loosening the tie needs a cold climate like Melbourne so I can see the advantage there.  Economists like simplistic models to work with so an easy to read street map must be another part of the yardstick.  Economists love graphs like toddlers love sparkly mobiles, so anything that has a graph like trace will excite and the muddy Yarra River observed from a top floor hotel room, while on an expense accounted corporate jolly, must be heavenly.   So there you have it economists love Melbourne – good reason not to go there.

… I won’t mention the large number of strip clubs.


The Bickering City Sisters

Once upon a time in a vast clear blue ocean a long way from anywhere there was a family that had eight sisters and they all lived together but very far apart and each were quite different.

Sydney was the oldest and was a glamorous beauty with a beckoning smile and fine clothes. She turned heads and caused breathlessness in whoever saw her. One couldn’t help falling in love with her at first sight. To linger around her though, it became apparent that the clothes never changed and at a more intimate distance there was a distinct body odour as well as bad breathe. Once she had a big party that everyone came to, everybody loved the party and said it was the best party ever. Sydney glowed, but she never forgot that party and would talk about it all the time even though it was a long time ago and it bored her sisters so much they would tell her to shut up.

Melbourne was a plain girl and quite bookish, she had grown to hate her bigger sister Sydneys’ beauty. “What about me, I play sport” she would cry “I’m much more interesting than her”. But all eyes were for Sydney. Melbourne tried very hard to be as popular and even learned to cook. She cooked so well, some would visit her just to try her culinary delights, but this was never good enough to stop her longing to be as popular as Sydney. Melbourne loved parties as much as Sydney and would hold small parties with lots of games but Sydney was never impressed. Melbourne would get so cold in the winter that to keep herself warm, she invented a ball game with such strange rules not all her sisters could follow how to play.

Brisbane was younger and no one really took any notice of this younger sister. That was until she came through puberty and started to become a very attractive and carefree, her bright sunny smile was captivating and she exuded good health and warmth. Melbourne and Sydney had been fond of Brisbane when she was young and would spend time helping her but they were now starting to envy her obvious appeals and they both had started to be really quite nasty to her. Brisbane although personable and attractive had a dark side and could dissolve into a flood of tears which would upset her sisters who would always try to help her when things got rough.

Adelaide was really quite sensible, she wore traditional clothes and went to church regularly much to the amusement of the other sisters who regarded her as a little strange. Their teasing did not worry Adelaide at all, she went about her business as she had always done and always will. She had been greatly influenced by an old Aunty from overseas who she still aspired to be like to this day not knowing that the old Aunty as she knew her had died long ago and the other sisters didn’t like to tell her. She mainly kept herself to herself and never bothered to get involved with Sydney and Melbournes’ childish bickering. She quite liked Melbourne’s strange wobbly ball game but did not like Sydney’s version.

Canberra wore glasses and had few social skills, she was quite simply “Miss Bossy Boots”. She would never stop telling the others what to do and how to do it, which became so very tiresome for the others that they tended to avoid and ignore her altogether. She showed little emotion and could be very cold, always butting into conversations that the others were having without really understanding or listening to what it was about, she thought her sisters understood how clever she was when infact they thought her rather stupid and interefering. Canberra preferred high art to the trivial things some of the others liked, like the beach and fishing and regarded herself rather superior even though she was the youngest and certainly a surprise late arrival.

Perth Perth lived a long way away from the other sisters and although she was young and beautiful, none of the sisters really knew how pretty and charming she was. She had become quite wealthy and would always send money back to the others, just as Brisbane did and this was to cover the other sisters extravagances, which were many. Although remote she had everything she needed and more so she never felt as isolated as she indeed was. She liked to think of herself as completely independent from her sisters and even sisters would agree although they were more than happy to receive all the money she sent back to them.

Darwin Like Perth, lived a long distance away and the only time the others heard her was when she had had a brush with a crocodile which were many as they roamed freely where she lived. She had been a sweet girl but when she got older she had started to drink and even sending her away did not solve the problem in fact it made it worse and her lack of a regular wholesome diet made her quite skinny and very small.   In fact she was the smallest of them all but tougher than any of them and could turn her hand to anything.

Hobart was pure and clean, without a blemish and healthy too.  She loved nature and the outdoors, brisk walks kept out the cold of the harsh winters.  She was quite close to Melbourne but was always a loner, so much so that all the others would joke about her behind her back, but they loved her really.   Her behaviour was not always pure and when she was young she had behaved abominably.