Archive for the ‘Good ideas’ Category

Two red shoes.

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

At the start of the pedestrian area in Agrigento, Sicily, we came across this monument to the victimisation of women. 

Thea interpreted the plaque to read:

‘In memory of all the (women) victims of violence so that they can tell their story without silence and arouse conscience and civility’.

Given what we have experienced recently in Australia, I think there should be one of these in every Australian town and city. 

It might just jog the conscience of some of the many perpetrators. 

Look what was staring at me.

Monday, February 26th, 2024

On our trip north last year, we were having dinner in our apartment near Torquey, Queensland and I got rather a shock. 

I went to serve myself some salad and this little feller was staring at me from the bowl. 

I doubt a really good food stylist could create this, even if they tried.

It was just a freak of nature.

Surprisingly, I’m agreeing with the church – again.

Friday, October 6th, 2023


Back in 2013, I wrote a blog in support of a poster on the facade of St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne. 

That message has remained up there for the last ten years. 

However now it has changed and the new one, again wins my applause. 

This one is in support of the ‘Yes’ vote. 

Good on you St Paul’s, you have hit the mark once more. 

Vote yes.

Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

Surely the original owners of this country, who have been here for over 65,000 years, should have a say in how it’s run. 

When a good idea gets compromised.

Saturday, May 27th, 2023

Supermarket trolleys have been around for quite some time.

The first one was invented in June 1937 by Sylvan Goldman, the owner of the Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain in Oklahoma, USA.

He simply took a folding wooden chair, attached wheels to the legs and a basket on the seat. He had already pioneered the idea of a self-serving store, so this was a natural progression.

Sylvan saw it as a way to get customers to purchase more, because they could carry more, on each trip to the store.

They were also seen to be of benefit to the customers, especially getting around the store and then to their vehicle or whatever form of transport they used to get home.

However now, because so many are abandoned, they are seen as nuisance.

And the supermarkets only have themselves to blame.

When some supermarket chains introduced the ‘pay to borrow’ concept the number of abandoned trolleys reduced dramatically.

The refundable $1 and $2 coins was enough incentive for people to return them to the racks. 

As is always the case, there were still lazy buggers who couldn’t be bothered and didn’t mind forfeiting their money. However this was counteracted by the people who couldn’t see the money go to waste. They were very happy to get some free cash and would willingly return other people’s trolleys, even if it meant a short walk back to the supermarket racks.

Then the supermarkets introduced plastic tokens, to replace the real money, and the entire system started to fall apart.

And they gave the tokens away. 

Now there was absolutely no incentive to return your trolley. Which is surprising, from the supermarket’s perspective, as a trolley can cost anywhere from $300, for a basic model, to $600 for a large child enabled one.

Some local councils put the onus of retrieving abandoned trolleys back onto the supermarkets. But this is just a bandaid and doesn’t take into account the inherent laziness of many people.

Apparently Coles are currently trialing the use of a QR code on their trolleys.

Firstly you have to download the app, then sign up to a Coles account. Once that is done you then have to scan the trolley and purchase a refundable digital token worth $2.

Once you have returned the trolley and rescanned the code again your money will be refunded.

So paying for a trolley has come full circle.

However this also has its downside.

With more and more personal data being compromised, just look at the Lattitude Financial debacle, people are unwilling to sign up to yet another scheme. 

Then there’s the fact that we still have a large group of ‘Boomers’ who just don’t get the digital age. They still visit a bank, carry cash and post letters to their friends.

They are being left out of so much and now the simple task of getting a trolley might yet be another example of contemporary life just abandoning them.

Why the supermarkets don’t just return to the old system of ‘cash for a trolley’ is beyond me.

The best of both worlds.

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

On a recent ‘overseas trip’, well it was over the bay to Queenscliff, we visited the Queenscliff Brewhouse for lunch.

This is a great craft brewery and restaurant, just a short walk from the ferry terminal.

There I had an IPA (India Pale Ale), which isn’t unusual, but the beer certainly was.

It was described as a Chardonnay IPA.

I got chatting to a guy, who was sitting at a table near by, and he believed it was matured in Chardonnay oak barrels, which made perfect sense.

Then I got talking to the manager and got the full picture. He took me behind the bar and showed me the ‘Barman’s briefing notes’ that were attached to the beer tap.

And sure enough, it was matured in Chardonnay barrels but it also contained 7% of the wine itself.

It was a great American, West Coast style, IPA with a fruity character, obviously helped by the inclusion of the Chardonnay.

If you like your wine but want a beer, this is for you.

This one came out of the blue.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

While having coffee at Le Capucin in Portsea, I noticed this rather lovely bit of art in the window of an antique shop near by.

I felt it was perfect for our house in Sorrento, so I decided to buy it. We have owned the place for over 30 years so this was going to be a celebration of that.

The following day, when I looked in the shop again, it was gone. I then asked the owner, Sally, if she still had it and this is where it got interesting. She told me she did and then gave me some background information to it.

It was based on a Reckitt’s Blue poster that was produced in the 1930s’ and signed by the artist Rowles. Unfortunately I can’t find any information on this particular illustrator.

I recall my mother using a Reckitt’s Blue Bag in our copper (yes, back in the 50s we had a copper). The ingredients of the blue bag was synthetic ultramarine and sodium bicarbonate. It was put in the boiling water to help whiten the washing. As most sheets and shirts were white and not synthetic back then, it was used a lot.

It was also used as a remedy for bee stings and bull ant bites. My mother used to just rub a wet Reckitt’s Blue Bag over the affected area and magically the pain would disappear.

The original Reckitt’s Blue poster, used for this piece, has been reworked to delete the ‘Reckitt’s’ and the baseline, ‘Freshness out of the Blue’ and customise it for Sorrento.

Sally then admitted that she was the artist and had created it in 1996.

I love art but when it comes with a great story, it’s even better.

Toilet Humour.

Friday, December 23rd, 2022

The graphics on this this Portaloo delivery truck are priceless.

I caught a glimpse of one of these trucks down on the Peninsula and was too slow to get a photo.

Then, a few days later, I spotted another one, this time closer to home and it was parked.

I had to get a shot.

Normally a photo of a guy, in high vis, sitting on a toilet with his dacks around his ankles, isn’t that funny. But when you make him the driver of a toilet delivery truck, it’s hilarious.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” As they say.

Thursday, November 24th, 2022

During our recent travels, I found this old Guinness poster in Derry, Southern Ireland. 

This one was probably developed in the 1940s or 1950s and could have been illustrated by the famous British artist, John Gilroy. 

Unfortunately the available information is a little sketchy.

Around the world Guinness is an exceptionally strong brand and it’s advertising like this that has made it that way.

Arthur Guinness founded the company in St James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland in 1759. However it wasn’t until 1929 that the Guinness family permitted the beer to be advertised. And that was with the stipulation that “The quality of the advertising was as good as the quality of the beer.”

The result is that Guinness has always differentiated itself from other ‘beers’ in a unique and interesting way. 

There are many stouts but only one Guinness. 

Another great idea.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022


Food delivery vans can be boring, however this one is designed around a great idea. 

And it’s selling the product in a very appetising way.

I found this one in Haverfordwest, Wales.