Saturday, April 29, 2017

Quiet day then chamber opera

This morning was just a quiet, read-the-papers kind of day with soup for lunch. In the evening, after leftovers, we joined Frank to go around the corner to the Gipps Street Masons for our local opera, Massenet's Werther, performed in a minimal production with piano and cello, but very well done. Unfortunately, the Masons have a few disadvantages, like a woeful acoustic which makes the singers (who were very good) sound as if they are in the shower. Also, an old pic of Betty Battenburg peering down from the wall doesn't tally with much in the opera. However, I enjoyed it in spite of the drawbacks, but I'm not sure I will return to our 'local' opera. I think there were very few genuine audience members there. Most seemed to be related to the singers.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Shopping, lunch, art and Shakespeare

This morning, P. went off to office volunteer for U3A and I picked up Franz the Corolla and Frank the person and went to Victoria Gardens to do the shopping. After we dumped the goodies, Frank and I picked up P. and we headed to the nursery in Heidelberg to get plants and compost. We then had a good brunch at nearby Heide and went to the Charles Blackman Schoolgirls exhibition, a good chance to view the creepy schoolgirls en masse. There was also the bonus of a showing of Fred Williams and Bert Tucker landscapes of Springwood in Queensland. I'd have to say Tucker's landscapes appealed a lot more than some of his grimmer surreal pieces. There was also an airing of works by the little known (to me) Australian NY-based artist Denise Green. Tonight, P. and I are off to see Bell Shakespeare's Richard III. We had a good meal first at Barre which was very busy with Friday-night revellers. The production was excellent with a bravura title performance by Kate Mulvaney. The three old queens were also very impressive in their venom and pain.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

To the club

I went early this morning to the Club (Melbourne Hospital) for my usual quarterly visit to the vampires. They were very efficient and I was in and out very quickly ONCE I GOT THERE. On the way, however, our limping bus services kept me waiting at the corner of Grattan and Lygon Street for half an hour at what was meant to be a ten-minute service. The driver, when he arrived, said airily, 'Oh, I'm half an hour late.' On the way home, the 200 bus was a mere ten minutes late, a bagatelle on this joke of a service. I've complained to the minister, though that will do no good at all. I also got some quiches for lunch, plus some cakes. An arvo. nap after lunch, and P. is making pasta for dinner.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Home again from Blackwood

On Monday, P. and I picked up Franz the Corolla, packed him and headed for Blackwood. We were suprised by the autumnal colours, both in the town and at the Garden of St Erth nearby. We enjoyed the beautiful gardens (if a little soggy underfoot) and had a cheese plate at their cafe, followed by less healthy chips at the town pub while waiting to check in to our cottage. It was a very comfy one-bedroom place with a very well equipped kitchen (though the oven was a bit mystifying). On Tuesday morning, we went into the Wombat State Forest to see our old kombi camping spot at Nolan's Creek. There was a lone man camping there in the 'new' rotunda but apart from that it was much as it was. We then went through Bullarto to Trentham Falls, gushing from the heavy rain overnight, then into Trentham for morning coffee and cake and a glance at their Anzac march. We bought a meat pie for dinner having established that the Blackwood pub wasn't really a goer. We then went in search of lunch, but most things were closed, as was the Greendale Pub till 2pm, so we went to Ballan where we got a very reasonable lunch plus ANOTHER Anzac March. We escaped just in time to get home for an arvo. nap. The pie was good for dinner. This morning, we awoke to the ducks and kangas, plus numerous birds and parrots. A quick trip back to town, then in the evening, we went off to the Recital Centre for Zoe and Joey (Zoe Black on violin, Joe Chindamo on piano) performing American works by John Adams, Ives and Copland. It was a warm and intimate performance in the Salon, which deserved a larger audience.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday lazing

Well, not quite lazing. I got up reasonably early to get the Sunday Age for the crossword. That will be the major loss when newspapers bite the dust. Then I did some more tidying, which I hate doing, but must get the front room back into working order again. Tonight, it's Billy Bragg and his mate, Joe Henry, in a three-hour concert (including interval) at the Recital Centre. Beforehand, P. and I had a very good, leisurely meal at Blondie. The concert was beautifully constructed and brilliant from two great pros on a rail journey across the U.S.A.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


This morning, P. and I picked up Franz the Corolla and did Victoria Gardens for a very normal shop. Afterwards, P. made guacamole for brunch, very spicy and nice. Now for a nap, though I didn't do most of the tidying I promised myself. Frank is coming for dinner for soto ayam.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Work away

I did lots of work this morning and got the questions off to the authors of the autobiography. What I didn't know was that the one with the internet has been off the air for two and a half weeks since connected to the NBN. Thanks Mal. We caught up later in the day and re-established communication, I hope. P. meanwhile, went off to his U3A film course, this time The Blue Dahlia, film noir with Alan Ladd of the famous standing on boxes or in trenches. P. made Italian sausages with potato and onions, plus salade nicoise for dinner which was delicious.