Monday, January 31, 2011

Convent Friday

On Friday, P., Sally and Roger and I went to the Convent Friday night 'market'. This consists of a number of not-very-inspiring stalls and some food stalls. We had the paella, meat balls and samosas and a glass of wine. There was a huge crowd enjoying the summery evening.

Usual shopping on Saturday, then on Sunday P. and I went to The King's Speech at the Nova in Carlton. We meant to go to True Grit, but when we arrived there was a huge queue and only one server, so the starting time had passed by the time we got to the head. It was worth seeing the movie, though it fitted the standard formula of these very well-made British royal movies/TV series. 'Let us show you how human the royals really are.' Pull the other leg. Of course, all of the royals, including the young princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, look a lot better than the real thing. Even Winston Churchill was an improvement on the original. They are all actrines after all.

The other event was that I used my Myki Seniors Card for the first time. And, predictably, it didn't work, charging me for 'free' travel on the weekend. When I rang to complain today, they said they were having some trouble with some seniors cards but were 'working to fix it'. They'll credit the amount to my card, but to convert my Seniors Card to a Seniors Concession, the other problem, I have to go to a Myki office at Flinders St, Southern Cross or the Town Hall. I'll do that sometime this week.

On Saturday night, P. made a delicious fish dish with a roasted aubergine sauce, then last night he made Karen Martini's casserole lamb chops. Frank came for dinner and we had a blob-out night watching Hercule Poirot.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I don't believe it

Today I went to cardiology expecting some hitch or other. Instead, the cardiologist checked me out, gave me an ECG, then dictated a letter to renal saying there was no reason why I couldn't get a kidney transplant. Apparently, I don't need to be on heavy-duty bloodthinners with a single, simple stent. Aspirin is quite sufficient, he says.

There must be a catch. There always is. My next renal appointment is on 24 February, so all will be revealed then. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as well as completing the essay collection, which is dribbling in slowly, I have a novel for report to the author. Apparently someone had told him that before submitting to a publisher, he should have it 'professionally edited'. I suggested that this wasn't necessarily necessary, and I've have a look to see what was required, then quote.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More medical moments

This week has been very quiet apart from a visit to the Club for cardiac rehabilitation. It consisted of OT people stating the obvious about postoperative care, then a good hour of exercise. My last one is in a fortnight, then it's over, I hope.

Today, I went up to the Health Centre for my jab of Aranesp and to collect some pills. Helen the nurse is off to South America and Antarctica next week. Good for her! I'll miss her. I also ran into Vicki Rousseau from Clifton Hill, whom I haven't seen for years. It was good to have a catchup and a chat.

I'm trying Karen Martini's kipfler recipe with tahine, yoghourt and sour cream sauce for dinner tonight. The kipflers are from Carmel's garden in Stawell and are roasting away in the oven.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sailors Falls two days later

Pic.: P.
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Sailors Falls in full flood

Pic.: P.
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Weekend away

On Friday, we headed off to Hepburn Springs in the pouring rain. It was fairly heavy going along the Western Highway (the Calder was blocked, we were told by a call from our destination). It cleared around Ballan, which had a power outage, so no pies were available for lunch. We proceeded on to Daylesford, where we found pies. On the way, we stopped at a swollen Sailors Falls (see pics above). Then on to Hepburn Springs and the welcoming Shikuka Ryokan.

It consists of a series of guestrooms with tatami matting and little courtyards (and western ensuites). There is a dining room where you can have a choice of Japanese or Western breakfasts (both delicious and both with Japanese flavour and crockery). For one dinner, on Friday, we had Japanese small dishes, then on Saturday, a banqet with fish entrees, then a tempura course, then sukiyaki, then dessert.

On Saturday, we went to the local blowhole (again running a banker). We tried the local lavender farm, but the creek blocked access, so we proceeded to Mt Franklin, then to Trentham and the falls, very spectacular. Lunch at Trentham (at Mrs Marples Tea Rooms, a haven for the local elderly cits), then back to Hepburn Springs. The ryokan earns full marks as a weekend destination, both for accommodation and for food.

Shizuka Ryokan

The entrance to the Ryokan. Pic.: Peter
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Very quiet in Abbotsford

The event of the week so far was going to Frank's for curry dinner last night. They were very tasty, and followed up with delicious invididual summer puddings. Yum! Sadly, F. had an attempted burglary yesterday. The local constabulary were quick to respond, but it is very dispiriting.

Our other local distinction is that the Investa building, the five-storey monstrosity in Johnston Street, which you can see from our place, has now been named. One of the tenants, GlaxoSmithKline, has their name emblazoned on the side. They are the company who has been so assiduously advertising herpes on television, so they might as well put up HERPES in large letters. It is really something being the herpes capital of Melbourne.

Apart from that, it has just been a bit of tidying up on the essay collection. No new work is hoving into view.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lots of outings

Last Thursday, P. and I went to the Wharf Revue's Not Yet Out of the Woods at the MTC. An excellent cast performed with panache. Some highlights included an Amanda Vanstone in Rome with the Pope send-up, plus a mash-up of The Mikado about Japanese 'scientific' whaling. However, overall the political satire lacked bite and wit. Phil Scott on piano was superb.

In the weekend, we celebrated Lorraine E.'s birthday at the Town Hall Hotel, Fitzroy. The food and service were both exemplary. It was a shame that the packed dining room was so noisy, in spite of carpet. I had the pumpkin soup with crab meat, then the yellowfin ceviche, to leave room for the dessert, a splendid tiramisu. Everyone else's food looked good too, especially P.'s bollito misto, a meat overload. On Sunday, we had a return match, chez Noel, with a very nice lamb casserole a la middle eastern.

Now settling back into the essay collection, which is nearing its final phases. A few authors still haven't sent back their contributions. When they have, it can be laid out, and will need to be proofed again. I know more about this subject than I really need to.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Quiet time

After a very quiet weekend at home. yesterday P. and I went into town to the Potter Gallery, Federation Square. It's not normally open on Mondays, but we thought we'd try on a public holiday, and it was. We were both impressed by The Naked Face: Self-portraits, a large exhibition on the top floor. It had a very broad definition of self-portrait, but it was pleasing to see work from the international collection (Rembrandt, Durer) as well as mainly Australian work. It is a very good show, not to be missed, and it's free. Less satisfying was the Living Artists exhibition, which, apart from work by Paddy Bedford and John Wolseley, didn't leave one with a great faith in contemporary art. We rounded off with a visit to the Indigenous galleries on the ground floor, which never disappoint.

Lunch at the good cafe on the top floor, and those wonderful 'point' sandwiches: egg, salmon and chicken are the three varieties. Frank came for tea, and P. made a wonderful 40-clove-of-garlic chicken casserole.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


It's a Saturday, but, because of New Year's Day, we did the shopping yesterday on Friday. A quick visit to the Mall, then a Japanese lunch in Smith Street (they're not normally open on Saturday for lunch). Now on Saturday, I feel as though it should be Sunday with the Age Sunday crossword to do. Instead, we have a very skinny Saturday Australian.

Last night, for New Year's Eve, we went to Frank's for dinner with a yummy curry and mango, raspberries and icecream to follow. We munch chocolates while watching Stephen Sondheim's birthday spectacular (a Christmas present from Frank). It was a very satisfying end to the year.

Now it's time for end-of-year accounts and back to the essay collection and a probably quiet weekend.