Monday, January 28, 2013

Artwork at Heide 1 second view

Pic: Lorraine E.

Artwork at Heide 1

Pic: Lorraine E.

Sturt's Desert Pea in desert garden at Heide

Pic: Lorraine E.

Musk Duck at Serendip

Pic: Peter

You Yangs landscape

Pic: Peter

Rhino at Werribee Park (not Elvis Costello)

Pic: Peter

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Elvis Costello and Rhinos

On Friday, we went with Lorraine E. to Elvis Costello and the Imposters at the Palais. After a good and quick meal at Chinta Ria, busy as always, we went off to the Palais and enjoyed Joe Camilleri and a duo of guitar and piano accordion in a good half-hour set. On came Elvis and Co. with his Spin-a-Song wheel. As Gypsy Rose said: you've got to have a gimmick. It was kind of Elvis as panto, or Elvis as Edna Everage (without the drag, just a soggy suit and hat). But the concert was very good, if a little loud for the lyrics.

On Saturday, P. and I had a quick trip to the Convent market, then piled into Ramona to go to Werribee Open Range Zoo. There was every imaginable ethnicity there, and though it was very busy, it was easy to get around because there is so much room. We had a lovely day: hippos, rhinos and all. Only the lions (the prize charismatic verterbrate) were crowded. Even the lunch wasn't too bad. The lady driving the bus around the fields was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

We then went on to Little River where we stayed at a very good (and reasonable) B&B and had a nice meal at the pub (for a pub). Next morning, we headed for the You Yangs and did a short walk, climbed Big Rock (where I nearly slipped arse-over-tit because of the slight rain) and drove around the perimeter road (a very nice, if sometimes hairy drive). We then went to the Serendip Reserve where we saw many creatures including a very vocal Pobblebonk frog and a beautiful Musk Duck catching yabbies. We returned via Lara where we had lunch. It is definitely NOT the gourmet capital of Victoria! Bogan city with lots of big SUVs.

Now back home again for the rest of the long weekend.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two good lunches and some art (what's new)

After a week's fairly solid work, and some positive feedback from one author, we did normal shopping with Frank on Saturday, then decided to go to The Commoner for lunch. It was quiet (we were the only customers) so we had a good chance to talk with Jo (the owner) and try the new menu. We all had the choux pastry filled with chicken liver mousse, and Frank and I both had the marinated yellowfin. I also had the splendid spicy steak tartare.

On Sunday, we went with Lorraine E. in Vincent to Heide. We went mainly for the Louise Bougeois exhibition. She is truly splendid: even the old dresses placed as if on a rotary clothesline were spinetingling. The Australian artists exhibited who claimed some inspiration from her were in some cases less impressive, though Patricia Pizzinini didn't fail to disappoint (though evoking some rather creepy feelings). I don't much like Sid Nolan, so the early works in Heide I left me a bit cold.

P. and I retired to lunch at Marmalade and Soul, where we both had croquettes (not as spicy as at Huxtable) and I had three oysters and steak tartare (again) which was different from The Commoner, but just as tasty. P. had eggs carbonara. Time for an afternoon nap on return.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Electric concert

Last night, after a quick meal at Yoyogi, P. and I went to the David Byrne/St Vincent concert at Hamer Hall. Backed by a sizable brass combo, the pair sang a range of their own songs in an energetic performance. Some worked better than others, but it was a very enjoyable concert. She, by the way, has the more prosaic real name of Annie Clark and is quite talented, but not as much as she might be. As P. said, she's no Patti Smith. The poor brass players not only played but also performed semi-elaborate choreography at the same time, including one with a huge tuba.

There are a series of good concerts (I hope) coming up, including Elvis Costello and Mavis Staples with Bonnie Raitt.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Two excellent (but different) meals

On Friday night, P., Frank and I joined Lorraine E. at Moon Under Water in the old Builders Arms Hotel in Gertrude Street for dinner for her birthday. It was an irony that there is a plaque outside recalling that it was an Aboriginal pub which was a rallying place for organisation to rival the nearby church. Lorraine recalls, many years ago, being refused service there. Not any more! It is thoroughly trendified.

The eatery has an excellent fixed price meal. The three boys had that, and L. had the vego version. Both were excellent with impeccable service (not obsequious or matey but just good). Some highlights included the wood-grilled quail (very smokey) and the blackberry, liquorice, orange and white chocolate dessert.

After the market and shopping today, P., Frank and I went for brunch at Bayte in Johnston Street. I revisited the mezze breakfast and P. had the chicken with garlic sauce. It was splendid. Both venues are highly recommended, one for a treat and the other for any time at all: coffee, brunch or lunch. Opening for dinner soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


On Wednesday early, Nick came to pick up their car. The Moss Vale mob are off to the Great Ocean Road and Otways until the weekend. It was really good to catch up with them, and (truism) the kids are growing up quickly.

I thought I'd finish the big manuscript before P. got home from work yesterday, then this morning it took another three hours of checking to finish it off. But I think it's done now, apart from the author's queries and comments. Phew! It has gone from fairly unwieldy to entertaining and informative, even if I say so myself.

P. is off work tomorrow but, sadly, it might be too hot AND wet to do anything. We have both Heide (Louise Bourgeois) and Tarrawarra (Jeffrey Smart) on the agenda.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Busy with Moss Vale mob

After the Saturday shopping, P., Frank and I headed to Lesley, Louise and Michael's place where we were having lunch with the Moss Vale mob. David was at his ballet class, so we were one short, but had an excellent and enjoyable lunch. Mark was the only one to have a swim in the pool, and was driven out by an annoying wasp. Michael has had an acceptance from Tasmania university but has to wait a couple of weeks to see what he gets in Melbourne before deciding.

Then on Sunday afternoon, Dad put on an early lunch. P. and I went to Montmorency by train, as did the MV mob a bit later. My sister and her husband also were there. Father had done a monster job putting on a feed for eleven (?) people, but we managed to hoover most of it up and retire on the train very satisfied.

Now back at work, finishing off the large manuscript before the author gets back from overseas. Another arrived yesterday, but I haven't got to that one yet.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Trip 2012

Royal Palace, Bangkok
Blue Mosque, Istanbul
From our hotel, Les Grands Crus, Gevry-Chambertin, Burgundy
Fire escapes in Jones Street, West Village, where we were staying

Holiday Pics

Over the Christmas/New Year period between us, P. and I captioned posted our holiday pics from a mere two months or so ago. Rather than blog them, which is a tedious process, I've put them on PicasaWeb so those interested can look them up.

The addresses are:
Bangkok photos:

Istanbul photos (including first day of tour)

Turkey and Greek Islands tour

Burgundy, Lyon and Switzerland

New York photos

Any errors or additions will be gratefully received. There are some samples posted above from each bit of the trip.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Arrivals from Moss Vale

After a quiet New Year's Day, Dad came around on Wednesday to talk about my accounts and make some arrangements for the arrival from Moss Vale of Nick and Kirrilly's mob, which is happening today. They are here for older son David's participation in an Australian Ballet countrywide summer workshop.

They dropped their car around today (they are staying at the Mantra in City Road who charge an incredible 25 bucks a day for parking) and we went for a coffee at the Convent. They all look well (David was, of course, in class). The youngest, Mark, is something of a reader.

Frank is coming for dinner tonight: roast lamb. And we'll catch up with the Moss Vale mob over the weekend.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year frolics

On Sunday, P., Frank and I had lunch with Lesley and Michael Podesta at Madame Sousou's.  It was a very pleasant celebration as Michael has just had very good VCE results and is awaiting uni. acceptance(s).  Some of us had brunch. Michael couldn't finish his Madame Sousou's big breakfast in spite of some help. I had the Spanish omelette. The others had various lunch things. Sousou's might not be gourmet but is consistently very good.

On New Year's eve, David G. came down from Castlemaine and Frank, P. and I had dinner with him at that old standby Qan 88 in Victoria Street. It was surprisingly good and we retired to Frank's for more chatting until David went back to Castlemaine and we retired home for New Year which was very quiet. We flipped back and forth between the Sydney and Melbourne fireworks and their fatuous commentaries.

Happy New Year to all.