Thursday, March 31, 2011

Uneventful week

P. has been home all week with flu and sinus, so has had to go a couple of times to the Health Centre for certificates for work. I've been plugging away on the AFL book, which has now gone back to the author for a few day's checking. It should return on Monday for a final proofing. Meanwhile, I've booked everything for the conference in Brisbane at the end of the month and arranged for my dialysis bags to be delivered there in time, I hope. Now all I have to do is finish writing the paper (quite difficult). In other events this week, I was interviewed by a Monash student in editing about my 'career' and we had a really nice dinner chez Frank when P. felt up to it. We also went to Macleod today to pick up the repaired DVD player and recorder, plus I went to the Health Centre for my regular Aranesp jab. Not a very exciting week, all in all. Tonight, it's roast lamb for dinner, so I'd better get on with it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

And then...perhaps a piece of Mahler

On Thursday night, with P. still in Brisbane, Frank and I went to the Clown Hall to see the diminutive Mark Wigglesworth conduct Mahler's Seventh Symphony. It was a knockout. We preceded with a cheap and not nasty dinner at the Malaysian in the QVB, ever good value and prompt service. P. returned from Brisbane on Friday night (his luggage arrived about two hours later, courtesy of Virgin). On Sunday, P. was still suffering from the 'flu (imported from Brisbane), so Sally joined me for the Gloriana performance of Rachmaninov's Vespers. It was a vigorous performance which rocked the roof off old St Mark's, Fitzroy. A very pleasant Sunday arvo., and good to catch up with (as well as Sally) Helen B., Chong W. and Barbara T. (who kindly gave me a lift home). Thanks for the plonk! Now settling back into proofing the AFL book, which has to be finished this week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And even more Mozart

After a quick Japanese dinner at YogiYogi in Swanston Street, Frank and I met Deb. at the Playhouse for The Magic Flute with the Victorian Opera. It is very nice to see opera in a smaller venue and we had very good seats. The production, by Jean-Pierre Mignon was excellent and minimised the absurdities of the piece, but emphasised the personalities. It was well sung on the whole, and the newspaper criticisms were a bit over the top. The cast ranged from competent to excellent. Janet Todd was stunning as Pamina and Samuel Dundas made an engaging Papageno. Set and costume designs were very effective, though I doubt the Sarastrian priests would attract many adherents in those absurd get-ups. A very pleasant night, and thanks Deb. for the lift home.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lots of Mozart

I did the shopping on my Pat Malone on Saturday as Pierre was on his way to dizzy Brizzie and F. was not feeling well (possibly from something he ate yesterday). Then on Sunday, he and I went to the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra who did an all-Mozart program: the overture to La Clemenza di Tito, a clarinet concerto, a violin and orchestra rondo and the 40th symphony. Paul Dean was especially good in the concerto and bounced around the stage, second guessing the conductor (it seemed). His sound varied, as Frank put it, from whisper to loud gurgle and was splendid. The audience doesn't seem to have got any younger. I said that Frank should become an honorary senior just for attending.

Frank and Sally (who was also at the concert) came for roast lamb for dinner.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beethoven plus

Last night, P., Frank and I went off to Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, for the new Australian National Academy of Music season. It was their current orchestra conducted by Sebastian Lang-Lessing. They did Webern's Variations for Orchestra which is so dense (according to the conductor) that they played it twice (it's only ten minutes long). Then they did Australian composeer James Ledger's trumpet concerto which was less than twice as brisk, at twenty minutes. They finished with a spirited version of Beethoven's Eroica symphony (no. 3). The slow movement was especially good.

Beforehand, we had a quick meal at Wasabi, across the road. P. and I both had sushi and sashimi while Frank had tempura.

P. has headed off to Brisbane today into the bosom of his family so I am batching for just under a week. There are a plethora of events to keep me busy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Head down

It's been a case of head down, tail up on both jobs in the last week, apart from yesterday when, in Brett the Alto, P. and I went out to the Bundoora Homestead, ostensibly to see the Boyd ceramics. Unfortunately, they finished on Sunday. Oops! However, we looked around the homestead, then headed home to pick up the sick DVD player and take it to the menders in Macleod. We await the result, though it is still under warranty.

We also went to Frank's for a delicious Indian dinner on Sunday, and we returned the favour on Tuesday with Pierre's pork belly from the market, a la Stefano di Pieri. Now, back to work. Both jobs have fairly stiff deadlines, but both are fun. The novel is difficult, being very unusual, though the footy ms. is pretty straightforward in a football kind of a way.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Capsis triumphs

Last night, P., Frank and I dined at the Malaysian in QVB: very tasty and cheap. I had the 'anchovy soup' which was delicious, but more mincemeat than anchovy. We then decamped in the rain to the Spiegeltent, still in an advanced state of disorganisation, to queue in the drizzle waiting to be let in to the Paul Capsis show. It was performed with an expert trio (where do all these great musos earn a living?) and consisted of a runthrough of last century hits from the likes of Billie Holliday, Nina Simone and Lou Reed. But it was far from a 'tribute' show. It was a stunning solo performance which was beautifully timed and paced. More please.

Back at the ranch, things have got very busy. Two jobs arrived yesterday. A novel, for report, from an author I've worked with before. It has now had its first read and it is 'unusual, different', which is a great relief from 'hackneyed and done before'. Also, the football manuscript turned up and is now half read. It seems a fairly straightforward job and is quite entertaining. I should be able to finish both on target before the end of the month.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Kransky and other food items

Yesterday, after the shopping, we returned for brunch at the Johnston Street Food Store. They had a special of scrambled eggs, baked tomatoes and potato (with corn and ham). It sounds very ordinary, but was of exceptional quality, as were the chocolate milkshakes. We'll definitely try there again (just around the corner from Smith Street).

On Sunday, P. and I went off to the third of our Spiegeltent shows: The Kransky Sisters. In spite of the general disorganisation around the tent shows, this one continued the excellence. The Kranskys were in good form. Their renditions of 'Psychokiller' and ' Highway to Hell' were splendid. But there was a dark side: 'Mother then gave us the wooden spoon...And the cheese grater, on our ankles.' Not to mention the implied oppression of Dawn Kransky and the repressed sexuality in the whole act. It was a triumph.

Home again: and P. prepared roast lamb Middle Eastern-style. Yum!

Friday, March 04, 2011


Yesterday I finished off the current proofing on the essay collection. Phew! One of the compilers will pick it up on Monday (it's huge, about 420 pages), check it and transfer it to the designer for corrections. I'm still waiting for the last two essays (they're included in the page count).

In the evening, P., Frank and I went to Esposito's at Toofey's, in Carlton, for their fixed-price degustation menu, all seafood. Their regular menu has only one meat dish: a steak. We had oysters to start, then a salmon dish, a calamari ravioli, then a balmain bug lasagne (really a bit of bug with pasta above and below, but delicious), then steamed barramundi, then dessert, a kind of cake with a raspberry sorbet. It was very good. I recommend this place for pescatorians though it's not cheap. However, at 65 bucks for all that (apart from the oysters), it was very good value. If we'd been really gluttonous, we could have had a cheese course as well, but exercising something like restraint, we didn't. We staggered onto the nearby bus which arrived right on cue.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Whoa up

Last night, P. and I met in town for a quick Japanese meal at the every reliable YogiYogi in Swanston Street, then off to the Spiegeltent for the Wau Wau Sisters. Unfortunately the previous show, unlike the magnificent Renee Geyer did not finish on time. In fact, would-be warbler and songwrangler, Martin Martini, went for at least half an hour overtime, keeping a huge crowd of people queuing outside. How inconsiderate! The management just shrugged and blamed the artist. I would have pulled the plug on the microphone!

When we were finally crammed in (and I mean crammed), the Sisters put on a very good show. It was kinda raunchy and the lesbians in the audience loved it. It was supposed to be shocking and I suppose it would be, if you were fairly easily shocked, by language or nudity. The gals stripped off for the finale and were doused in red wine (what a waste!). Their duo on one trapeze was very impressive (that part wasn't nude).