Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quiet Easter

On Saturday morning, we went mall shopping, armed with the voucher which I got in return for being a guinea pig for the Royal Melbourne medical students. This allowed the purchase of two cheap crayfish (as well as plenty of other shopping) which we devoured for dinner with seafood sauce (a la Margaret Fulton). Then, I turned the two carcasses into crayfish bisque, using a recipe by Jean-Jacques, which we had for lunch today. It was very flavoursome, though quite thin in texture.

Apart from that I've been starting on the poetry manuscript which so far seems long, but not difficult. I've had feedback on my paper from two of my co-conspirators on the research project which is quite favourable, but requires a small amount of revision, which I'll do this week before heading off to dizzy Brizzie for the conference.

The author of the dads manuscript has just dropped in a couple of nice bottles of wine in thanks for looking at his manuscript. Received with thanks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Various talkfests

On Tuesday night, P. and I went to hear Michael Kirby in conversation with Julian Burnside about the recently released biography of him (Kirby). After a bit over half an hour of witty conversation, Kirby demonstrated his performance skills by roaming the audience with his portable mike taking questions. He is very good on his feet, providing snapshot justifications for the monarchy ('She doesn't come here very often') with an undercurrent of support for human rights. It was an entertaining session, which no doubt sold lots of books, but was fairly devoid of content.

On Wednesday night, P. went off with Lorraine E. to the Blind Boys from Alabama (hallelujah! hallelujah!), while I went to the launch of the Gay-Archives-produced Secret History of Queer Melbourne at Melbourne University. The book is splendid, the result of a long process, and is full of great and disturbing stories (the description of the flogging of an early gay miscreant is particularly grisly). The speeches were brisk and included the actual launch by Christos Tsiolkas.

On the work front, I have sent back the guide to being a good dad to the author with a few suggestions, made arrangements for the revisions to the lit.crit. book to be done by the author by the start of May and received the poetry book which is a lot larger than I thought it would be, over 400 pages. However, it shouldn't be a difficult job as much has been published before and the author is fairly thorough and deliberate. We'll see. I should get a good idea of its dimensions over Easter. Meanwhile, more hot cross buns!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Four generations

After lunch at The Commoner: L-R Bruce, Allie, Ben, Nick, Kit, Bob. Pic: Peter
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Frantic weekend

It was unplanned but just turned out that way with a 'double' booking. On Saturday, we did a quick shop with Frank at the Mall, then hurried home to be ready for a big family lunch at The Commoner. Jo of the Commoner had given us the big upstairs room so it was quiet enough to talk, and on the one occasion we had all three of my children, and four generations: my father, me, my children and two grandchildren in the one room. We had an excellent lunch for ten, including, for me, croquettes, a beef pie then beignets. I exercised restraint, and only had one croquette and two beignets, knowing there was more to come. Then in the evening, we went off to Charcoal Lane with David Golightly for his and P.'s birthday, with Frank and Lorraine E. Again, it was an excellent meal, with a new menu. I had two entrees (being still stuffed from lunch) one of waygu beef and one marron, then finished with a raspberry dessert. Everyone else's meal looked superb. David stayed overnight, rather than going home to Castlemaine. Then on Sunday morning, it was off to the zoo with the NSW party of Kit, Nick, Allie and Ben and my father. The Sumatran tiger cubs were in fine form, eating each others' tails as in Little Black Sambo. It was a sunny day so the zoo faux jungle was very appealing. Then, still galloping, in the evening we went to Noel T.'s for dinner: a pork caribbean dish, with poached pears to follow. Phew! Now back to work!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe...

I forgot to mention that the AFL book has gone back to the publishers. I probably won't see it again until it becomes a book. I hope that there's a launch in Melbourne, as I'd like to meet the author. Just as I thought things were going to go quiet, three new projects came up: a self-published self-help book, an academic book on an unknown subject and a poetry book. We'll see whether any of them come to fruition. As well, there are still two essays to come from the essay collection. I hope all of these are completed by the time of the transplant. To complete this little burst of productivity, I finished the paper for the Queensland conference at the end of April. It has gone off to my colleagues for comment, if any.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Moments Medicaux

On Tuesday, after delivery of copious dialysis boxes from Fresenius medical, P. and I went off to the Royal Melbourne to see the transplant people. The issue is the fact that our blood types do not match, so I had to decide whether, before the transplant, I'd have a blood flush to reduce my antibodies, which might attack P.'s blood. I said, 'Yes', as anything to reduce risk seems a good thing. It requires insertion of yet another catheter to allow for the flush, the day before the transplant. Ho hum! Another hole to add to the collection. On Thursday, I had my six-monthly service at home dialysis, where they change the outlet on my other catheter, take blood tests and generally check me out to see whether my dialysis is working. They were very kind and efficient, but by the time you collect up all your bags from the day before, plus a 24-hour urine, the whole operation is very time consuming. It took four hours for a procedure which only took a bit over an hour once you got there. Then, on Saturday, I went off to the Melbourne again, this time to be a guinea pig for medical students learning how to do ultrasound. It only took an hour and a half, and it feels worthwhile, helping eager young medical students learn their trade. On Saturday night, in the pouring rain, we went off to Noel's for a very pleasant dinner. He is looking not bad, though his recovery is far from complete.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

More food

After shopping on Saturday, without Frank who was doing some rubbish removal, P. and I finally made it to the Terminus Hotel in Clifton Hill where we had a bar lunch. The menu is the same as the dining room, without table service, though ordering at the bar is no difficulty. Then the food is delivered, so it's hard to see what the difference is in practical terms. We had half a dozen Shoalhaven oysters to start with vinegar dressing (two sorts) which were scrumptious. Then I had the crayfish risotto, which was very seafoody and delicious, with a small medallion of cray on top. The barman warned it was small, but it wasn't. It was a very hefty lunch. P. had the Waygu burger with double-cooked chips, which looked delicious. Big Mac eat your heart out. Of course, it was a wee bit dearer than a Big Mac, but it looked as though it was worth every penny. The chips with dill mayonnaise, which I sampled, certainly were. Then last night we had salmon patties from the fish shop. They were okay, but won't be a repeat act, as they didn't have very much taste. They probably needed more spice.