Monday, March 27, 2017

The lull before the storm

A very quiet couple of days, with only the Sunday crossword for diversion (plus Vera of course). There was some tidying up of the guest list for next Saturday's party. The list is now 55 (including us) whereas I had confirmed 56 a few days ago. We'll see by Wednesday, when I'll send out some reminders to people I haven't heard from for a while. It won't matter if we slightly overestimate as it will just mean more food for the people who do come. The Friday dinner is now at 9, though might reduce to 8 by the end of the week.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


A quiet morning reading the Saturday papers and cooking the beef rendang for dinner (courtesy of Herbie's Spices). This arvo, we're joining Frank at the Arts Centre for a short (40 minutes) production of The Princess and the Pea which was slightly diverting and well performed. It was a mystery why it was performed in German to the complete incomprehension of all the kiddies in the audience who became a bit restive. Afterwards, we came home for beef rendang followed by baby cheeses.


Yesterday, Friday, P. and I picked up Franz the Corolla and did normal shopping, then went home for French onion soup for lunch. In the evening, after a nana nap, we did dinner at Yoyogi then went to the Recital Centre for the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra. The first half was all Beethoven, followed by Wolf and Mendelssohn. It was an excellent concert with an audience much younger than a usual classical audience which bodes well for the future of music and this orchestra. Benjamin Bayl did a great job as conductor with the assistance of Rachael Beesley as soloist and director in the Beethoven Romance for Violin and Orchestra no. 2. His 12 Contredanses for Orchestra were very speccy too, especially contrasting their jollity with narration by Richard Gill about Beethoven's approaching deafness.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Painting over

Peter the painter returned this morning and did a wonderful job. Thank you. Now for the carpet. In the meantime, while he worked, I checked on the stragglers for the anniversary bash. We are now up to 55 including P. and I (we intend to eat and drink too). There are still 7 possibles to be contacted but most of them are unlikely. Tonight, off to Charcoal Lane to case the joint (and with any luck have a good meal).

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Painting (is it art?)

Peter Goldsworthy, the painter not the novelist, arrived this morning after traffic delays to paint the front room and P. went off to his architecture U3A course. Later in the morning, Bryony C. dropped in for coffee and cake (which she brought) and a good mag. The painter finished by lunchtime and is coming back tomorrow to finish off, probably by lunchtime. In the evening, after a quick meal of leftover shepherds pie, we went to the Fairfax studio for 'John', a fairly rambling play by Annie Baker. In spite of valiant performances by the four actors, it really didn't hold together as a play (and where was George?). It was diverting enough for a show lasting nearly three hours but unsatisfying in the end.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Good concert of old workhorses

Yessterday (Monday) was a fairly quiet day. The cleaners came and whizzed through the house and P. went off for a haircut. In the early evening, we went to Hamer Hall for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for a concert including Strauss' 'Till Eulenspiegel', Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto no. 1 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony no 6. The Russian pianist, Daniil Trifonov played with panache under the baton of Andrew Davis. It was a good and well-received concert. Home for French onion soup afterwards, rather late. The painter rang early this morning to say he wouldn't come today because of an illness in the family, but will be here tomorrow. Otherwise, it was quiet at home. We had leftover pork chop and fennel for lunch with the watermelon and fetta salad. Yum! Then I made shepherd's pie for dinner from the leftover spicy lamb.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lazy Sunday

It was an especially lazy Sunday as, apart from finishing off the Sunday crossword, I did very little. P. cooked lunch, sardines on toast with watermelon, onion and fetta salad. He also cooked dinner, a delicious pork chops casserole with fennel etc. and mashed spuds. He also made a raspberry couli which we had with vanilla icecream. Frank came for dinner and we watched the marvellous Vera.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


Yesterday (Friday), there was a bit of house work to do. I checked on the carpeting of the front room, which won't happen until after the painting is done next Tuesday and Wednesday. The plumber came to repair the sink mixing tap which seems to go bung a bit too often (it is only three months since the last time). Next time, we might get conventional taps put in. The rest of the day was quiet with P. going off to his U3A film noir. In the evening, I tried a new recipe for roast lamb (which was really one for rack-off lamb). It turned out quite well: a very spicy crust on the lamb. Today, P., Frank and I went to the post office to pick up our wine that Australia Post did NOT deliver, even though when we picked it up Australia Post sent an email saying it had been delivered! I then picked up some pills from the health centre, then we went to Victoria Gardens for the shopping. After returning Franz the Corolla we had a good brunch at Bedford Street, then sauntered down Smurf Street to see Barry Dickins at his exhibition at the Collingwood Gallery. It is selling well and on till the end of next week. In the early evening, we went with Frank off to Greville Street to Aka Tombo, a little Japanese restaurant. The food (we all had something different) was excellent and not the usual Japanese standards (although these were available on the menu). We then went to Chapel Off Chapel for Saint-Saens' mini opera, 'The Japanese Princess' put on by Melbourne Lyric Opera. It was very well sung and played. Melbourne is doing very well. There are probably not many places in the world where, in one week, you can see an opera by Respighi and one by Saint-Saens. Congratulations to all concerned.