'Trains Not Toll Roads' at Parliament & 'Time of Our Lives' Shoot?
It was another freezing day on Tuesday, but at least the rain held off. But nothing would have dampened the ardour of the 300 or so Trains Not Toll Roads protestors who assembled on Parliament steps. We were determined to make our intentions absolutely clear to the State Ministers returning from their winter break.
And there were Ministers in our ranks. Daniel Andrews, the leader of the Opposition was poised to present our 10,000 strong petition to Parliament later that day. Richard Wynne, MLA Member for Richmond and Shadow Minister for Public Transport, spoke in support, as of course did Greg Barber, MLC Leader of the Greens. And our wonderful Greens Federal Minister, Adam Bandt, stood modestly in the background.
Jackie Fristacky, Yarra's committed Mayor was welcomed by that national treasure, comedian Rod Quantock, the rally's Master of Ceremonies.
|Tony Morton, President of Public Transport Users Association|
But the speech that I found most moving was by Tony Morton. Tony suggested that it should have been the passionate advocate and stalwart of the Public Transport Users Association, Paul Mees, at the podium. But tragically Paul died in June, after a long illness. Tony went on to give an utterly rousing address, one that Paul undoubtedly would have applauded. Personally, I have a particular soft spot for the PTUA since they used a photo of mine on their flyer launched at the Fitzroy Town Hall extravaganza. But even without that soft spot, I still think Tony's address stole the show.
|Stepping up to Parliament|
Tuesday's was a fabulous rally. Many community groups, across the whole spectrum of progressive thinking, were represented. At one point a fellow protestor asked me who I was affiliated with. Taken aback, I initially replied feebly: 'I'm an individual,' until I noticed my yoga teacher, Andrew walking in our direction shaking a tin. Grabbing his arm, I said with relief: 'I'm affiliated with Andrew. I do yoga with him every Saturday morning.' Perhaps it wasn't quite what my interlocutor had in mind.
Another reason I found the rally fabulous was because my suggestion to Yarra Council has been taken up. I'm sure I was only one of many with the same idea, but our meeting point for the early Friday morning protests now boasts a huge and permanent Trains Not Toll Roads hoarding. And the council has decided that the Friday protests will not finish at the end of the month as originally planned, but continue on for as long as necessary. Hearing that announcement at the rally, I must confess I felt a little bit influential. But not for long...
Next day, I was walking towards the Fitzroy Star pub, when what should I notice outside but a film crew obviously taking a temporary break. Fitzroy these days is often like one big film set. It reminds me of my days working in the Bath Child and Family Guidance Clinic. Because the clinic happened to be located in a Georgian mansion in the centre of town, we were very popular with the film industry.
Often producers would knock on our door, offering us chocolates and even occasionally champagne, to hide our faces and ask our clients to enter by the back lane, while Jane Austen classics were filmed outside our front door. Sometimes we used to peep out the upstairs windows in the hope that we would be immortalised as illegal extras in the next BBC period drama.
But getting back to last Wednesday outside the Fitroy Star, noticing the actor/comedian Stephen Curry, who plays Herb in the ABC's current favourite Time of Our Lives, I whipped out my mobile phone to take some pics. I only managed to take this one of the support cast...
|Time of Our Lives shoot?|
- on second thought, an SAS-style police presence seems an unlikely addition to the feel-good story line - before a polite but firm producer suggested I 'move along please, Madam.' I tried smiling winningly, but that was one representative of officialdom on whom I made zero impact.