Friday, January 31, 2014

Madonna and other trivia

It was a week of administrative tidying up: Chinese visas, medical matters, finalising will, organising transcriptions from records to CDs. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of tidying of the mess in my office. My excuse was it was too hot, but in fact I was too lazy. Last night, P., Frank and I had a meal at DOC Pizza in Carlton which was delicious but very noisy. There's nothing as noisy as a girls' night out. It is also a very noisy venue with all hard surfaces but very good service. Afterwards, we went to another Midsumma show at La Mama this time. Wayne Tunks did an engaging account of his life and loves, structured around quotes from Madonna lyrics. On occasions this device became a little strained, but on the whole worked well.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mexico by proxy

But first, Turkey. On Thursday, Frank came for dinner and I tried a new recipe: Turkish duck salad, a very spicy dish which is quite easy but long in the making (first roast your duck). The side benefit of the roasting is a good supply of duck fat for the later cooking of not-very-chlorestorol-friendly roast potatoes. The end result is delicious and will certainly be revisited. It uses absurd amounts of dukkah. The Mexican theme started with dinner chez Noel on Friday where he used his Mexican chillies to make a spicy dish which was very tasty. With dessert, another great meal at Noel's. More food fun after the shopping (convent market and mall) with a brunch at Backstreet Eating, then in the evening a Mexican meal at Los Amates Mexican Kitchen in upper Johnston Street. Reviews of this place are mixed, but we had a very ample and tasty meal, not too flash but good. Afterwards, we headed citywards to the Butterfly Club's new location off Little Collins Street. The show was 'Rebel' written by and starring Drew Downing. It was a very appealing piece, both funny and moving about a country boy going to Hollywood and being a rock performer and part-time hustler. Good songs, good band, good script and great performance. Thanks Drew. Now for a quiet Australia Day after all that busyness.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sweet Dreams

Last night, P. and I met at 45 Downstairs for a cabaret show, 'Sweet Dreams' presented on piano and vocals by Michael Griffiths. It was a great show, with a witty narration, on the career, songs and loves of Annie Lennox, presented to tables with wine available. 45Downstairs is on a winner again. There is a later performance based around Madonna. Afterwards, we dined at Il Solito Posto (The Usual Place) and had an excellent meal, having found at around 8.30 there was still a huge queue at Mamavista, which we wanted to try. Some other time, when it becomes a bit less trendy.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bits and pieces

I've spent part of this week 'finalising' the government agency job, though it still has to be checked by the interviewees then given a final check. I'll see the author about it tomorrow and they'll do their final check. A lot of checking. As well, I've been to the health centre for the first round of innoculations for China: Hep A and B and typhoid. More in a month. Helen, the nurse, did a great job. I hardly felt a thing. As well, today I visited my Dad's lawyer to do some fine tuning on my will (actually making it simpler). It will be ready in a few days for signing. Des is a very good and thoughtful lawyer. I appreciated his advice. I also had a very pleasant lunch at the Farm Cafe with Jo B., who is going back to work in about a week.

Monday, January 20, 2014

ALGA History Walk

On Sunday morning, P., Frank and I met at the ornate 1888 building at the University of Melbourne for the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives History Walk around the university. It was a pleasant ramble for a bit over two hours, led by Graham Willett and Wayne Murdoch with guest appearances by the indefatigable Helen Pausacker, Gary Jaynes and Graham Carbery at various points. The well-structured walk picked up on the influence which the university had on lesbian and gay history in Melbourne in all sorts of ways, including headmistresses and their 'special friends', products of the university, and various activist movements through the years. We finished with a good lunch at DOC Lygon Street.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Redhot Rutherglen

This week, Frank, P. and I took Harley the Corolla to Rutherglen for a few days in search of, among other things, some hot durif. Harley performed well in the heat, and was our refuge. Our accommodation was good and spacious, but because of the extreme heat (over 40 degrees) the aircon was a bit erratic and didn't work for the three nights. On the other hand, the food on offer (mostly) and the airconditioned wineries were splendid. Lunch at Pickled Sisters (Wahgunyah) and Jones Winery (Rutherglen) were excellent and we had quite good meals at Taste restaurant and the Tuileries (in Rutherglen). As I was the designated driver (indeed the only driver), P. and Frank did all the tasting and picked up some samples for later ordering online. On the way home, we stopped at the excellent Benalla Art Gallery for morning tea and good Fred Williams and Jack Dale (Kimberley) exhibitions. Home again, and shopping with a great lunch at Bayte, Johnston Street.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Luverly lunch

Yesterday, P., Frank and I did the mall shopping with Vincent the i30, then met Lorraine E. at The Commoner for a birthday lunch for her. The food and hospitality (and the Alsatian bubbly) were excellent. We had an assortment of plates which were all good or outstanding. Unfortunately, there was no room for what sounded like yummy desserts. For dinner we just had soup (leek and potato) and assorted leftovers as we were still full.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A working week plus

My sister's suggestion seems to have worked (thank you, Julie). I really didn't want to go to the trouble of transferring everything to Wordpress. This week was mainly spent on the government agency job which is going well (I hope) after a meeting with the author for Friday lunch and them taking away about 70 pages of the revised manuscript to read. The feedback from the agency was very thoughtful and thorough (after about 8 months)! On Wednesday, I also went to visit George P. who is well and comfortable in his new home. We had a good mag. On Thursday, I went to the optometrist for a two-yearly check and to my amazement the head man said that I DIDN'T need new specs and my eyes were okay and healthy. Hooray!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Lots of eating (what a surprise)

After a 'rest day' on Saturday, Nick and David joined P. and I and Sally S. for dinner at Madame Sousou's in Brunswick Street. We have often brunched and lunched there but this was our first dinner. We did well with a variety of dishes: David and I had entrees only, while others had the duck, fish (barramundi) and the steak frites. My tartare fish and steak (two dishes) were splendid. Afterwards, we went to the nearby chocolate shop for chili hot chocs etc. On Sunday, David went off to ballet and Nick, P. and I had a very nice lunch at the Farm Cafe, which was booming with sunny Sunday business fuelled by the bikepath. In the early evening, we all went off to Dad's place for a good tea of chicken and cheesecake (not together). Nick and David moved to Lesley's place this evening. They can have separate beds there plus a swimming pool, though the weather is not being kind to them. They head off on Wednesday.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Nick and David

David and Nick arrived on Thursday night and we polished off a fair bit of the beef burgundy and P.'s trifle (not together). David headed off next morning with Nick to the first session of his workshop. It's a fairly strenuous five days at the Australian Ballet. In the evening, we all (Nick, David, P. and I) met up for dinner chez Lesley and Louise. Michael P. was over from Hobart and Margaret P. (Lesley's mum) was also there. We had a great meal and get-together over Thai fishcakes, hamburgers with everything and fruit pavlovas followed by lots of baby cheeses. A great time was had by all. Today, Nick took us shopping at the mall and we've had a bit of a rest day. Not so for David, who was off to ballet again.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year

On New Year's Eve, P., Frank and I went to Noel T.'s place for a splendid dinner and retired home to see in the New Year. Noel is getting used to his new leg and goes next week for fitting a new casing for it. Meanwhile, I am cooking up a storm in anticipation of the arrival of Nick and David. I did a lot of tidying of books, old clothes to make room for them and even found some old medicaments tucked away, some of them over ten years' old. They've gone to the pharmacists at the Health Centre for safe disposal.