Saturday, January 31, 2009

Medical update

Frank came for tea on Tuesday and I made a simple version of soto ayam, which worked very well. Macadamias became cashews and lemon-grass powder substituted for the real thing, but the overall effect was terrific for our burgeoning very hot weather. The old soto works for the tropics, which is what Melbourne is like at the moment. It is telling when I get emails from Broome remarking on the temperate weather there, compared with here. What's going on?

On Thursday, I valiumed up to go to the dentist at the Hospital, but he only looked and prodded a bit. 'Healing well,' he said. 'Can I get teeth?' 'I think you should wait for two or three months.' I explained that they said three months from extraction, which is now up, and that I am heading overseas in April and need to be able to eat LOTS. So he reneged and said to wait a month. I toddled off to the vampires to give blood for my next week's renal appointment, which, with the valium, was the best visit to the vampires I've ever had.

Also, as a special birthday treat, my renal appointment is joined by one from cardiology, so I've got a double bunger, one at 2.30 and one at 2.45. I'll have to check in to cardiology, say I'm off to renal down the hall and hope that renal is quick, which they usually are. Cardiology will almost certainly be late. It is to have a check on my cardiac nuclear medicine results before ENT have a go at my sinuses. Ah joy! Oh rapture!

On Friday, I had a very pleasant lunch with Jo B. at Caballero's and we had our usual mag about our respective jobs. She starts her new one on Monday. Today was fairly normal shopping, though warmish and I've reached the end of the first pass on the film autobiography. Now back to the middle for more cutting.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let us rejoice

On Austrayia day, P. and I went, appropriately, to the Melbourne Museum, as we hadn't been for a while. The Aboriginal area was moving, as usual with its permanent exhibitions, and had a very good temporary exhibition of Western Desert art, including some very fine animal wood-carvings and textile animals. The indoor forest was absorbing as usual and the Live Bugs exhibition had lots of creepy crawlies (ants, tarantulas) which really impressed the kiddies and us (the big kids). Most appropriate in the Melbourne exhibition, after passing by Phar Lapobilia, was a giant representation of the Australian coat of arms, including a giant taxidermed kangaroo and emu. Very impressive and bizarre. A new reproduction of two houses from old Little Lonsdale Street revealed living conditions at the time. Very primitive and cramped.

In the evening, Father came for dinner, bearing a Rough Guide to Vienna, which he had used a couple of years ago, and some interpretive work on the Penguin non-fiction figures which was very interesting. We had sweet potato and lentil soup, lamb casserole, followed by passionfruit icecream and licorice icecream (the first home-made, the second from the market).

Now back to work. The art biography from last year has reappeared with some revisions, so I have to go through that, and I've had a good response from the author of the film autobiography to the first quarter trimming.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Roses from Frank's garden

Doesn't our place look trendy. How misleading. Photo: Peter
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The world of film

Last Sunday, we went for lunch at Lorraine's with Noel Tovey. Lorraine E. produced a delicious lunch of almond soup, latkes (?) with smoked salmon, and finishing with classy two-tone icypoles with lemongrass sticks. A very pleasant Sunday afternoon.

For the rest, it's been heads down on the autobiography so I haven't had time for much else. It's by a film producer, hence the title. The second part of the autobiography went off to the author on Friday. He responded well to the first part, and agreed with most of the changes. Hard to tell whether that was through gritted teeth as he signed off, 'Your obedient servant.'

The only variation was a long day at the hospital on Tuesday, first for a peri-operative visit in preparation for a FESS procedure. This involved seeing a nurse, an anaesthetist and a surgeon. The less said about the procedure the better, though it is not serious, but does involve an overnight stay. Really it's just a sinus-cleanout but mercifully requires a general anaesthetic. Then in the afternoon, I had a regular Ear, Nose and Throat appointment, which consisted of a quick look, a koala stamp and a fresh appointment after the 'surgery'. In between the two appointments, I trammed over to the Royal Park annexe of the hospital to rehab. to see Jane Nicholls who is holding up well, preparing to return home. She might have to return for a fortnight for further rehab., physio. etc.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Words of wisdom

from Maria in the milk bar across the road. 'Will Obama save the world? I don't think so. An old Greek-Cypriot saying when politicians change: they move the hat from this side to that side. That's the only difference. Or as old Mr McHugh [the DLPer who used to live in our house] said, Six of one, half dozen the other.'

Meanwhile, on Thursday I had a pleasant lunch with Rochelle J. at the Farm cafe which was a long overdue catchup on what she (and I) are doing and yesterday I kept up my routine of dropping in to see Peg Prain (Frank's mum) when I go to the post box. The Good Shepherd nursing home seems not a bad place: it is a good sign that the staff are cheery and friendly and even ready with a joke.

Next week will be interesting to see what author response I get to the suggested cuts to the autobiography and to the more than slightly critical response to the novel. I'm just finishing off the report on that and it is difficult to get the tone right. I don't want to appear too combative, but I also want the author to know that I don't agree with his philosophical position. I'd certainly like to work on a redraft down the track, but if it's not to be...

Plans for the overseas trip in April are proceeding swiftly. We are past the point of no return, so I have to resolve all medical problems by then, including new teeth. There's not much point in going to the land of tapas if I can't eat it. Never mind France. And then there's the haggis and the sachertorte.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Long manuscripts keep me quiet

I suddenly discover I haven't blogged for nearly two weeks. I must have been busy. In fact, I've been working away on the first quarter of the autobiography, and along comes a novel for report of equal length (180,000 words). So I'm up to my neck in words folks. I've now reached a point where I can send the first bit of the autob. to the author for checking, and can write a report on the looooong novel. So I surface briefly for the blog.

Son Nick and his family were in Melbourne for a few days, and on a nice sunny day, Father and I went to the park with them (Harmony Park in Moreland?), then to Coburg Lake for a picnic lunch. The kids are full of vim and energy as usual and it was good to see them.

Meanwhile, Frank's Mum has moved into the nearby nursing home (at the Convent) and I've been to visit George P. in his hostel and Jane N. in rehab. where she is recovering from losing a leg and preparing for life without it. As well, I've managed a bit of work on the research project (Father has done a LOT) and the different categories of non-fiction are showing up their differences in strange ways.

Food has been fairly mundane old favourites that I am able to eat. Last night, P. did a splendid spinach souffle and tonight I'm doing the old biftecks lyonnaises (hamburgers to you!).

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hey, hey Heide

Just normal shopping this week including a fairly ordinary brunch at Clifton Hill. Most of the Collingwood places were closed. Frank came round for tea on Saturday and P. made delish Moroccan chicken with preserved lemons.

On Sunday, I picked up Janie the Wagon and Lorraine E. and we headed for Heide. The main exhibition was a Les Kossatz retrospective which was very interesting: a portrait of several decades of art and shifting philosophies which made a pleasant unity. There were some interesting Tucker landscapes as well, though it was hard to tell whether he influenced Nolan or vice versa. But their landscapes had great similarities. An exhibition in Heide II from the permanent collection completed the picture.

As the eatery was reduced for renovations, we headed back to Birdman Eating in Fitzroy and got a place for a tasty lunch though it was very busy.

P.'s leave has been approved, so it looks as though the overseas trip might be on again. Amsterdam, Vienna, London, Scotland, France and Spain, here we come. Later in the year. I am enjoying reading Robert Dessaix' Arabesques, a Christmas pressie from P., which covers some of the area in France we'll be visiting. Sadly, we won't make north Africa.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New neighbour

It's official. Peg, Frank's mum, is moving into the Good Shepherd establishment at the end of Abbotsford Street next Monday. Frank has inspected the premises and found that all is well, so Peg moves from faraway Malvern (temporarily Kew) to just down the road.

Meanwhile, I am doing a final check on the Queensland novel, and have sent off my report and quote on the Queensland film autobiography. The front room/office is looking a lot better, but I have had to pause on that, as I've run out of wheelie bin for all the rubbish. Service will resume after the garboes have been next Tuesday.

I also had a quick visit to the Health Centre today to renew prescriptions and get a general checkup from Doctor Jenny and answers to a few queries.