Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big News

I've been working away all week. The first section of the autobiography is done and back with the author and the short stories are bustling along.

On Tuesday, P. and I went to see Dr Cohney, the transplant coordinator. After consultation with colleagues, he believes I have a 5% chance of failure with P.'s kidney. We've decided to take the risk on 12 December. So we'll both be out of action for some weeks.

Yesterday, I went to see George P. who is holding up well in really adverse circumstances in the care hostel. Although it is not bad, as they go, most of the patients are neurological cases who are off their heads so hardly companions for George who is quite compos.

As well as a bit of work, around lunchtime today, I went to the Potter Gallery at Melbourne Uni. where the director gave a good talk on William Morris and the art and craft movement. They had a (not very impressive) morning tea as well.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Varied weekend

I've been working away on the short story collection, and on Friday, got a new job, 'fixing up' a memoir so it can be sent to a publisher in a respectable form. I started that today.

On Friday night, P. and I went to The Commoner for dinner after a couple of false starts in Smith Street (booked out, we'll try later). The Commoner didn't disappoint. I had a selection of entrees, the highlight of which was blood sausage and a quail egg. P. had the roast duck and we shared a very tasty lentil salad.

On Saturday, there was a farmers' market, so we stocked up on various things but didn't have time for the mall shopping as we were off to Ashburton. We trained there in a mammoth journey (it's on the Alamein line) into the leafy suburbs. It was my brother-in-law's birthday bash , held at the house of a friend with a big garden (fringed with bat cages). They had got caterers in who did a good job of carry-around entrees, roast (three kinds) and dessert. Then it was back on the train feeling very satisfied.

On Sunday, after the crossword, P. and I went to Carmen, ably presented by Melbourne Opera at the Athenaeum. I've said before how nice it is to hear opera in this smaller venue but we also got a good view as we were in the front row. Tania Ferris did a splendid job of Carmen, and the nice thing about this production was that the relationships between her, Don Jose and Escamillo were credible, even though the story as a whole is schlock. But it has wonderful tunes and Greg Hocking and his orchestra produced a very good sound, very close to us.

Now, back to the desk.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


On Saturday, we did normal mall shopping but this time with Vincent from Bell Street (off Brunswick Street) as Diane the Yaris had gone on a holiday. However, it was a good location to brunch again at Madame Zou Zou's which didn't disappoint. Frank, P. and I are doing a revolving choice there, trying the different brunch items, including a very nice pain perdue.

In the evening, P. and I went off to the State Theatre for the Melbourne Symphony pops evening of mainly Gershwin, with leavening of Walton, Bernstein and Shoshtakovich (a charming arrangement of Tea for Two). The concert was not without drama. The oboeist collapsed in the middle of Rhapsody in Blue and there had to be a pause, filled in by the piano-playing conductor. He (Bramwell Tovey) did well but liked the sound of his own voice a bit much. The audience seemed to like his jokes. I didn't. It was a very pleasant concert, though the Canadian soprano is past her best.

On the work front, the short story collection is continuing, plus a Parisian novel hoving into view, plus possibly a fictionalised autobiography. Things are getting quite busy.