Sunday, May 30, 2004

Normal shopping on Saturday at Victoria Gardens with Frank, but not lunch as P. and I headed off to Bryony and Philip's place in downtown Camberwell for lunch. We joined Sister Hope and Tim, and Maureen Kane and David Smith. It was a very pleasant afternoon, magging away and eating far too much. We staggered home and just had soup for dinner we were so stuffed full.
Today after completing the crossword, and having 'fat-free' eggs, tomato and bacon for brunch, we went out to Bundoora Homestead to have arvo tea with my parents. There is an exhibition of Buddhist bric-a-brac and one of Victorian Koori Art, both of which were interesting. My favourite Koori painting, by someone called Turbo,with an army of echidnas marching across the countryside, had already been bought for the collection, though he has another one with emus and kangaroos with very startled looks, which is very appealing. Before that we popped into the La Trobe Nature Reserve for a bit, where we saw live kangaroos including a mum with a joey, quite close up. They are obviously used to people and know that they are safe.
Tonight Frank came round for dinner (saltimbocca, roast spuds and onions and spinach with anchovy and lime, followed by rhubarb and icecream). We watched the ABC Sunday night historical soaps while Spencer snored on the couch, appropriately.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Well, from a situation of drought to flood. Having just completed a report on the 862 page novel, which might lead to me working on it, today the 140 000 word non-fiction work arrived on CD. At a quick glance, it doesn't require a great deal of macro work, though it could probably do with some fine cutting. It is a real dilemma for a quote, as it is obviously a very well prepared manuscript, which means that its errors and slips are subtler, and need closer attention. I'll talk to the publisher (a small one) and see what they are prepared to pay. I'd like to do it, as it's a subject I'm interested in, and it doesn't have the huge conceptual challenges of the novel. It also depends on when they want it.
Peter did a very nice chicken curry for tea tonight with coconut milk, basil and chilli.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Still working away on the vast ms, and am nearly there. Today, I didn't get much done as I went to the hospital. A quick visit to Greg at the cobbler elves, who was very busy, so I'll go back next Tuesday to get a softer silicon nose. In the meantime, he gave me some demisting stuff to put on the glasses to alleviate the fogging problem. I've tried it once today, and it seems to work for a bit but not for too long. It could be handy for driving. Then off to Ear, Nose and Throat for a checkup which went well, though there was little to report. The surgeon seemed almost young enough to be my grandson.
Sally dropped round tonight. She's emptying her frig before going overseas on Sunday. We scored a chicken, some peppers and spanish onions. Sounds like a recipe in itself.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

The weekend has been spent mainly in bed with a cold (borrowed probably from Frank via Peter). Bron said she didn't think I'd be able to get colds without a nose, but you can. It just goes straight to the throat, but with all the usual symptoms. I won't go into that! So, apart from Saturday morning shopping at Victoria Gardens and lunch at the boathouse, Kew to follow, I've spent most of the weekend in bed. We went to Frank's last night for tea, a very nice chicken concoction followed by stewed quinces and cream (yum!) and watched The Bill and the second half of Monteverdi's Return of Ulysses by Les Arts Florisants. It is a little lengthy as it takes a while to get to the point, but it was beautifully sung and produced. The band was heavenly.
Today, I've just stayed in bed apart from P. and I doing the crossword which is successfully completed less ONE word. Damn! Tonight P. is doing roast lamb.

Friday, May 21, 2004

As Peter was still home from work yesterday (rostered day off, but he was still a bit fluey), we went out to Heide. The main exhibition was Three Colours (Gordon Bennett, Australian and Peter Robinson, Aotearoa). It is a really vibrant exhibition, well matched by the Abstracts from the collection in Heide II. A quite nice lunch from the cafe at Heide and a whiz through Heide I completed the day. Though it was overcast, the weather was pleasant enough.
This morning I woke with the same cold that Peter and Frank have had. Fortunately, the prosthetics department rang to cancel (Greg and Brent were both away), so I'm staying in today to get a bit of bed rest! I'll ring them on Monday to reschedule the appointment.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Still working away on the vast ms. It is taking much clearer shape, but it is taking time, just reading through 850 pages and taking notes, which doesn't seem very productive. However, until I get a good grasp of the structure, I can't get very far with it.
Frank came round for dinner last night, and we had some more of Peter's Vera Bolognese which was delicious. P. is still off work sick, and went to the Health Centre yesterday for a certificate.
Thank goodness the wood man came today with a fresh supply for the fire. It is getting very chill at night.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

A normal day on Saturday: shopping at Victoria Gardens with Frank, than lunch at home after a quick foray into fierce traffic in Bridge Road. A quiet afternoon (snoozing) then sardine fillets for dinner. Today we had a trip to the zoo, which was very nice as the weather was not terrific so it was quieter. The birds were especially good, perhaps as it was overcast and spitting with rain a little bit. We also got a good view of the big cats, especially the Sumatran tiger, and the gorillas put on a good stoush for us. I remain unimpressed with the new elephant-faux-trip-to-Asia, though their enclosure is marginally better than it was. At least now they get dirt rather than concrete. It was very pleasant. Now off to Frank's for Irish stew!

Friday, May 14, 2004

Frank came around for dinner tonight. I rang the changes on the cajun fish recipe, and made it cajun steak. It worked very well. Then rhubarb and ice cream for dessert. (I agree with Lesley. A fixation with food seems odd, but it is central to our lives, or should be.)
I've spent most of the last two days working on an author's ms as a favour. It is vast (850+ pages) and I'm reading it a second time to get a grasp on it. Working out what to suggest is very difficult, as it is like turning a vast ship around. Never mind, I have a few clues so I'll get there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Not a very eventful few days: I finished the book report on Monday and sent it off. I've been asked to quote on an editing job of about 140 000 words, so I'll have to look at it to see how difficult it is, as they will want it cheap. We'll see when it comes.
Today, Dad came around and did some painting, then we went off to the Health Centre where I got an extension on my sickness benefits (or at least medical approval for same). We had some leftover bunny for lunch, and now I'm cooking chicken kiev for dinner with spinach and sweet potato.

Monday, May 10, 2004

It was a day for eating yesterday. We had lashings of roast pork with excellent crackling at my parents' place for lunch (though I should record that Peter didn't have a second helping), then a delicious dinner at Lorraine's. Only an afternoon snooze intervened.
Today I'm working away on the report for HarperCollins, and it is now taking shape well, I hope. I've ordered some firewood, but it will take nearly a week to get here. It was a cold foggy morning this morning and obviously heaps of people have rung up for wood because of the cold snap. I'll have to get a bag or two from the garage so we can have some fire this week. Spencer will be grateful, though it has turned sunny just now, and he is basking in it. An unashamed opportunist cat!

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Up reasonably early this morning to go to the Farmers' Market. Peter bought another bunny and we got assorted fruit and veg including rhubarb and watercress. (Anyone for The Importance of Being Earnest sandwiches?) Then off to Victoria Gardens for the rest of the shopping and home for lunch with Frank ('gourmet' pies). Then Deb came around and we sat in at the auction across the road. It is really only a one-bedroom house, with a small upstairs study, and I'm sure that when the nuns bought it, it went for $470 000, but this time it went for $417 000. The slump IS happening. Off to Frank's for dinner tonight (roast lamb) and tomorrow to the Olds for Mothers' Day lunch (more roast porK) and then to Lorraine's for dinner. We'll be like little pigs after all that. Meanwhile, Spencer is still luxuriating in front of the fire and hardly moving at all, except to roll on his back to have his tummy rubbed.

Friday, May 07, 2004

I've spent most of the last two days reading the ms for report from HarperCollins. It's a heavy slog, and I still haven't finished. I have to finish the report over the weekend, if I can. It was something of a relief to have Frank for dinner last night for roast pork (with crackling, which worked). We stopped watching the teev, as there was nothing on, and listened to music(als). Steve, the real estate agent from Los Angeles, has trumped me by meeting Stephen Sondheim TWICE. You can't beat that.
Tonight is Friday night leftovers (Peter's goulash with spinach as a side dish). It is fire time and Spencer is taking full advantage of sitting by the fire and luxuriating. My new glasses keep fogging up, which is irritating and not helping with the reader's report. I'm nearly there with finishing the ms, but a witty and penetrating response is eluding me.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Dad came this morning to do some more painting, then after lunch we went off to the hospital where I saw Brent who adjusted the glasses and recoloured the nose to match me more closely. It's a very fine judgment, as your colour changes through the day (and depending on how much claret you've had). Then off to the renal clinic where they told me I had been stable for the last year (almost) and that I might stay that way with about 60 to 80 per cent kidney function (depending how you count). The doc said much as the last one that I could have a 20 year guarantee if I was careful.
Then off to the Melbourne Writers' Festival programming committee which was fine except we can't get a keynote speaker for the opening night. All suggestions welcome from blog readers. It has to be someone who will fill the Town Hall.
Then to Ladro in Gertrude Street for a quick meal. It was packed at six o'clock so we had to sit at the bar to have our gorgonzola pizzas. Very nice but obviously very trendy as well. Then to the Melbourne Museum (for the second time in two days) to see the Chamber Made Opera production 'Recital' with Helen Noonan. It was good fun and an accomplished performance. It is the fifteenth anniversary of this show, and Chamber Made.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

A very quiet morning, then into town to meet Nan for lunch. We went on a tram ride to the Melbourne Museum and had a good look at the Aboriginal section and the rainforest and a quick lunch. It was blustery, rainy weather so we went back to the hotel about three so we could both have a rest for the remainder of the afternoon. Peter's spicy goulash for dinner! My glasses and nose combo is working well. It needs a slight adjustment to the right ear which is a bit tight. But apart from that it is working perfectly, except for a slight fogging problem in the cold weather.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Sunday was very cold. So we stayed at home all day in front of the heater and went to Frank's for roast chook dinner, and a DVD (Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum - very silly). Today I went to pick up my glasses and took them to the Hospital where Brent (Greg is on holidays) glued my nose onto them. I have to go back and see him on Wednesday to check the fit and colouring. Tomorrow (Tuesday) I'm having lunch with Nan while Elisabeth works on a job.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

P. and I went shopping this morning with Frank. For variety, we went to Piedmonte's in North Fitzroy, which is dearer than Coles or Safeway, but has a different mix of things, including a very good Italian-style deli. We lunched in Clifton Hill, then this evening went with Elisabeth and Nan for Nan's 89th birthday to Abla's. Saturday night is the compulsory banquet which was not too gross, and Elisabeth's friend Kathy Bail had sent a tiramisu cake for dessert which was scrumptious. Abla threw in a bunch of rose buds for good measure. It was a good night. E. bought a copy of Abla's recipe book for Nan, and she seemed to like the two books P. and I got her. (She said the best present is a book.) I hope we'll catch them again in the next few days they're in Melbourne.