Monday, January 30, 2017

On the go with Franz

This morning, Peter and I picked up Franz the Corolla to get a parcel from the Post Office (the balance of our New Matilda supporting Sparkke Drinks, this time more pilsener, ginger beer, cider and alchoholic lemonade). We then did some supplementary shopping for dinner in Smurf Street lebanese then hurtled out to Heidelberg to a long overdue visit to George P. who seems to be holding up well, but sadly cannot come to our anniversary bash because he is too much hassled by wheelie taxis. Tonight, Frank is coming for dinner for what is looking like mouth-watering lamb.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Midsumma again

Yesterday (Saturday), it was good to have the Saturday Paper back again after its summer break to provide an antidote to the Saturday Australian. After a very quiet day at home, Peter and I went off to an early show at the Fairfax at the Arts Centre where Ash Flanders did a show called 'Playing to Win'. He had a four piece band with three women in it. The show was very tight for the first half then seemed to lose focus a bit. Neither Peter nor I knew any of the songs which shows how old we are. It was the second Midsumma show we've seen with fairly poor attendance. Either Midsumma has overstretched or has poor marketing. In both cases, I bought tickets because of non-Midsumma advertising. We then went to Dumpling House in Swanston Street for a very ample dinner. Today, we went to the Irish joint in Southbank, P. J. O'Brien, for a lunch with the old ATOs. The food was not bad (Kim and I had a very tasty entree platter which was quite Irish enough for a main course). Home again for a thinner dinner (vichyssoise plus baby cheeses).

Friday, January 27, 2017

Boring shopping

None of Frank, nor Peter and I needed very much shopping today but we took Franz the Corolla to Victoria Gardens anyway. Franz has moved but just across the road to a parking spot which is a bit more accessible with no street furniture for the passengers to negotiate. After shopping, we went back to Addict for another excellent brunch. They do very tasty food which is why it is sometimes hard to find a seat. We had a quiet Saturday night at home with garlic scallops for dinner followed by baby cheeses.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Australia Day or Invasion Day

This morning I spent a bit of time rechecking the autobiography and it is as well that I did as I found another rather large error. However, you could do this for ever and keep finding something. We had leftovers for lunch then in the evening, went with Frank to Fonda in Flinders Lane for a pseudo-Mexican meal which was quite good. Thence we went to 45downstairs for a bravura performance of ' I am my own Wife', a play about a transvestite/transexual (not sure) who survived the Nazis and the Stasi in Berlin. While the 'true' story was left elusive, and always will be, it was an intriguing play with the single actor, Ben Gerrard, playing 29 parts, some very briefly. His was a bravura performance of this complex work by U.S. writer Doug Wright. It is on until 5 February so don't miss it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hotted up quickly

I got up early than I would have liked today (and so did Peter) as the Solar Panel installers were arriving at sparrow fart. They worked valiantly all day and finished the job on our very high roof. We now have to wait for inspections and connection to the grid which will take weeks before we can start to take advantage of our lower rates. Meanwhile, I kept up with my filing which is going well but will still take a few more days for this stage. Negotiations continue but are nearly finished, I hope, for the anniversary bash which will probably be at Charcoal Lane in Fitzroy on 1 April. We had leftovers for lunch while the installers took a quick break from their labours. In the evening, I cooked merguez frites for dinner (with fresh peas) and the autobiography arrived back for some last minute checking (just as well as there were a few errors). I was a bit pooped by the time I got to it so will recheck in the morning. Off to a well-earned rest.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Very quiet time at home with leftovers for lunch (fish curry, roast pork). In the evening, off to the annual Midsumma Homophonics concert at the Courthouse in Carlton. It's always good and number 6 tonight was not an exception. Six works by contemporary Australian and U.S. composers were magnificently played by musicians (youngish) who did it for love of music. We had a good meal (Peter, Frank and I) beforehand at Tiamo which deserves its huge success. Thanks to La Mama for hosting such a great show. This year it had two performances. Next year, maybe three. It was booked out.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Quiet day

A very quiet Monday, tidying up some administrative tasks and not getting very far. Peter went to Carlton for lunch with Robin Shaw and I polished off the magic-pudding soto ayam. In the evening, we had, on a very hot day, the cold vichyssoise I'd prepared earlier followed by custard-cream doughnuts with icecream.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gay history East Melbourne

After nearly finishing the crossword, Peter and I joined Frank on the steps of the Treasury to begin the annual Gay History Walk put on by the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives. The usual team produced a crisp walk through the Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne and surrounds with lots of gems from our gay and lesbian history. The participants weighed in with some titbits, though one of the highlights was Maie Casey referred to by Pig Iron Bob as Lady Macbeth (presumably because he suspected her of urging her hubbie to topple Ming). The escapades of an ex-Archbishop of Melbourne in the beats of the gardens were also mentioned. We finished off with lunch at Laurent Patisserie in East Melbourne and brought home some cakes f'rafter. We had some of them after dinner for which Peter made delicious roast pork with roast veg and beetroot.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Potter and collectives

This morning, the Saturday Australian arrived with the usual mix of good (or at least interesting, Christopher Allan) arts coverage and crappy news (Greg Sheridan, who seems to suffer from delusions that US presidents listen to him). Then Peter and I went to the Potter Gallery at Melbourne Uni. for a panel which accompanied their exhibition, 'Don't Be Too Polite: Posters and activism'. A group of poster makers from collectives spoke of their experiences in the later part of last century. They were all interesting though I'd speculate that the fall of collectives, political posters and funding corresponded to the rise of economic rationalist economics. The posters in the exhibition are all good too, especially one of a dead man on a floor holding a gun, saying, 'Some men will do anything to avoid doing the dishes.' I cooked fish and pea curry for dinner which is very easy and good (even if I say so myself).

Friday, January 20, 2017

Shopping plus

This morning, Peter and I picked up Franz the Corolla in Trenerry Crescent, then Frank and did the shopping at the Mall. Then we had a very good lunch at Rita's (my anchovies and cod fries were great and Peter's plate of hors d'oeuvres looked yummy), the only fault being that the serves were all too large.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Calming down

This morning was mainly administrative with a bit of tidying up on the nearly finished autobiography and some more on the flood repairs and organising the anniversary bash (more on that later). There are now quotes out for three venues. We'll see. I've returned Sally's car and keys, so I hope it starts for her tomorrow. Tonight, off to La Mama for our first Midsumma event: The Little Prince based on Oscar Wilde's story. The show was an excellent piece of theatre, though the message was a little hard to discern. Two wonderful performances by Janine Watson and Catherine Davies illuminated the evening. Beforehand, we had an excellent meal at DOC Carlton (me vitello tonnato, Peter lasagne followed by tiramisu for each of us).

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

More running around

This morning, I got up early to go to The Club (RMH) to see Maxillo-Facial for continuing check-ups. I don't quite know why I am seeing them AND ear-nose-and-throat but they are quite thorough in their checking and ready to answer any of my mad questions. I bought some stuff from Parisienne Pate on the way home (for lunch and f'rafter). Then I charged up Sally's car and went to pick up a parcel from the post office. It turned out to be a part delivery of the beer etc. I bought to support New Matilda (how self-interested can you get). Then I cashed some more change at the bank. We're up to over $300 so far in loose change. Get rid of those 5 cent coins folks, before they become obsolete. We then had leftover soto ayam for dinner, which has matured well as the chillis took greater effect.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Running Around

This morning, Peter and I picked up Cade the Van, filled him up with boxes of books (plus some from Frank's) and took it to stock up the Field Nats bookfair in the eastern burbs. We then took some more stuff for recycling then took Cade back to Brunswick Street for a rest. We had a very good iced coffee at Jasper's to reward ourselves. I then fired up Sally's car and took it to the bank with my packets of changes which all-in-all amounted to over $200 worth of change. More to come. Tonight, we're off with Frank to Uncle Noel's for dinner where we had blinis, spicy chicken and potatoes and trifle. Delicious.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Never ending

It's just as well that I am semi-retired or I would never get everything done. This morning, I made the main part of tonight's dinner (soto ayam) and took Sally's car down the freeway to keep it charged. We'll have a scratch lunch of the remains of last night's fish cakes and the leek & potato soup. Then, as part of the clean-up I bagged a fair proportion of the loose change (massive amounts) to go to the bank. Phew.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Slightly active weekend

Yesterday, Peter and I did a bit more tidying up. I've now finished filing all the programs. Now I've got to get on with filing all the papers and holiday leftovers (maps, brochures etc. which are worth keeping). That will take a while. Last night for dinner, Peter made a pasta, prawn and lemon dish which was very clean tasting and delicious. The trifle dessert keeps on giving and will have its final round tonight, I think. There was trouble today with Sally's car when I went to go and get the Sunday paper (for the crossword and some toilet paper). The car wouldn't start. After checking with Sal, I called the RACV, who came amazingly promptly (10 minutes). It turned out the battery was flat but still working. I hadn't started the car for over a day and a half, apparently a little too long. The man recommended doing it every day for at least five minutes. I will until Sally returns. I made fish cakes for dinner and we did indeed finish off the very rich trifle. David G. has suggested making the Pedro Ximenes jelly accompanied by mascarpone only. We might just do that.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Shopping plus

This morning, all we had to do to go shopping was pick up Sally's car from outside the door (I call him Pepe the Peugeot), then Frank and off to Victoria Gardens. As we had the car, we then went to Officeworks for more storage things, then to Pope Joan in East Brunswick for brunch. They had very tasty food and we asked about their prices for functions (for our planned party). In the evening, Peter and I went into town, had a quick but good meal at Yoyogi then went to the Arts Centre to see Tim Finn in his autobiographical show, 'White Cloud'. While it was absorbing in many ways, a show that calls itself 'immersive' is almost certain to lack focus and this one did. The audience, which I think expected Tim Finn's greatest hits, remained relatively unmoved even though the show made some powerful points along the way. Co-written with Ken Duncum and using movies made from old family super-8s by Sue Healey, the prize for best part was the co-performer Brett Adams on guitars. A bravura performance!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Heide again

This morning, Peter got the Age for its Green Guide. I did some more tidying (I've nearly finished the programs), then we picked up Franz the Corolla because it's a bit bigger than Pepe the Peugeot (Sally's car) and went to Noel T.'s place. After a bit of manoeuvring, we got his walking frame into the back and headed for Heide. We saw the Modernism exhibition (Grace Cossington-Smith, Margaret Preston and Georgia O'Keefe). It was well worth a revisit. We had a simple but good bite to eat at the busy restaurant which seemed to have every woman from the eastern suburbs there then dropped Noel at home. We came home for a rest then had leftovers (chicken, steak and trifle) for dinner.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Still housekeeping

Today, I took advantage of having Sally's car to go (with Peter) to Brunswick Street to get coffee (Wild New Guinea is the cheapest and best), then I dropped him chez Robin to be a home handyman (stop laughing), then I went to Officeworks to get more filing boxes for our vast collection of programs which I'm sorting, then to the Health Centre for more pills. Pharmacist Le was amused by my suggestion that Sussan Ley was getting what she deserved (she tried to close our pharmacy and indeed changed its nature to a PBS-based one rather than a cooperative). He laughed and said, 'Karma.' Home again for more tidying of the programs and finishing off making the dessert for dinner. David G. and Frank are coming for Peter's famous roast chook and an experiment, a Pedro Ximenes trifle.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tidying on

This morning, I did a bit more tidying (it seems, and is, endless) plus took a few things up to the dump. I hope that by tomorrow I will have broken the back of the filing but we'll see. Peter went into town today to visit his bank while I consumed the leftover udon/chicken for lunch. Tonight, cold leek and potato soup (or if you're feeling flash: vichyssoise).

Monday, January 09, 2017

Still tidying with a little help

This morning, Peter and I went on with tidying: me the books and Peter upstairs. Then the cleaners came (a bit astonished at how much had changed) and then Jim's Mowing came in the form of Hiten Patel, who, with great despatch and the assistance of his mate, cleaned the gutters right round the house, cut down the tree violet and removed the rubbish from the backyard. Now everyone is exhausted and at least two of us are having an arvo nap. Peter made a delicious dinner: very good steak with mustard, potato salad (thanks David Herbert) and sweet-and-sour zucchini.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Hot Sunday

I didn't get up early after a late night last night. However, it was good on such a hot morning to have Sally's car to go and get the Sunday Age for the crossword (no mistakes this week). Then a quick lunch (herrings on toast). Tonight's dinner will be a rerun of the udon noodles with chicken, cold to suit the hot day. This time I didn't leave out the step I did last time (soaking the chicken pieces in sesame oil). It did taste better. The radio says there has been a change but I don't know where it is.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

On the small road

This morning, I got up early to pick up Sally's car which we're minding while she is away. Then Peter and I went up to the Clifton Warehouse to get a new vacuum cleaner which we did with great despatch. However, how naive am I, taking only silver coins for the meter. The Council has become so rapacious that it only takes gold coins now. After that, on a blisteringly hot day, we're not going anywhere or doing anything. However, the gutter clearing man came on this scorching day. We thought he was coming to do the gutters and tried to put him off. In fact, he was only coming to quote and will return on Monday to do the deed. I hope we don't have a downpour in the meantime. It doesn't look likely. In the evening, Peter and I joined Margaret N. and Kent P. for a meal at the Clyde Hotel. It was an okay meal followed by lots of chat and gossip as we hadn't caught up for a while.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Shopping plus

This morning, Sally came and took the last of the current load of boxes to the Council station. Peter and I picked up Franz the Corolla and Frank and went to Victoria Gardens and did the weekly shop. Then we had a good brunch at Bedford Street cafe, near Smurf Street. For dinner, we having (from the shopping) oysters natural and fish soup. In all the cleaning, the vacuum has died after a good and long life, so we'll have to get a new one among the many other consequences of the clean-up. And, something very surprising, someone I knew at university through student theatre, has asked me to 'friend' them on Facebook. They now live in Jerusalem. Wonders will never cease.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

More chucking

Without any wasabi, the udon and chicken was a bit bland, but I liked it as a cold dish for hot days so it was fine. This morning early, Roger D. very kindly came by and silently removed more boxes from the veranda. Sally arrived a bit later in the morning and took more and more and more boxes of junk (mainly paper, how many trees does it represent?) I now have a very large filing pile of the things which I want to keep, plus a very large box of photos from a previous era to sort. Never mind: I found some gems to keep on file while I was chucking stuff which is unlikely to be needed. This evening, Peter and I went to the Robbie Burns Hotel in Smurf Street for a Spanish dinner which was very good indeed. I had croquettes and fried oysters on gazpacho with cream cornettes and rich chocolate icecream for dessert. I shared bits of it with Peter's seafood stuffed pimentos and grilled rabbit leg. A very worthwhile dinner. We arrived home and soon Sally arrived to finish off some gardening. She is a glutton for punishment, but we're very grateful.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Good Vietnamese

Yesterday, Peter and I spent a good part of the day clearing up then went out to dinner with Frank and David G. to Minh Minh in Victoria Street. It was good to catch up with David after a while. He has bought a new house in Newstead near Castlemaine. This morning, Sally has arrived to help with the clearing up and we spent much of the day cleaning up at different ends of the house (upstairs, front room and garden). Sally, of course, did the lion's share. She also made many trips to the Council dump and organised a hard rubbish collection. Tomorrow phase two. In the meantime, I have made cold Udon noodles and chicken for dinner. I hope it works out all right.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Clearing up

Roger and Sally came round this morning to assess the work needed on the house, partly after the deluge of last week and partly in general. It was very helpful and Peter and I have started the cleanup and Sally will come later to assist and get some tradesmen to help. Apart from that it was a quiet NY's day holiday at home. Peter is doing a roast pork fillet for dinner.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Over New Year

It was a very quiet New Year's Eve for me at home doing a bit of tidying up. Peter went into town to do some shopping. We then had a very peaceful NY chez nous. This morning, Peter and I headed off to Sally's barn where she and Roger had prepared a feast for a large group of friends. We had good chats with many then headed home full of food and New Year's conversations. Leek and potato soup for dinner.