Monday, July 31, 2017

Vale Barbara Niven

On Sunday, it was crossword day, plus a small amount of work, soup for lunch and P. made spaghetti marinara for tea. This morning, we collected Franz and Frank and went to East Brighton for Barbara Niven's funeral. It was a very affecting service, a GOOD funeral, with a revealing eulogy and sentiments from her four children and some friends. It was very thought-provoking, looking back on Barbara's life, as she was twelve years older than me, yet from another world entirely, pre- and post- WWII. Home again for pies and quiches for lunch. Then P. made lamb shanks for dinner. There'll be enough for another meal.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ho hum, then something splendid

This morning, the local distributor mucked up the paper delivery AGAIN, though we did get both papers after three phone calls. I then did a fair amount of work, both on the last of four translated short stories and autobiography no. 2. It will take a while to finish that off, probably a week or two. We had soup for lunch, then a rest, then off to Hamer Hall for a Simone Young concert with ANAM and Australian World Orchestra musos. First, we had a quick meal at Yoyogi where we are now, at last, treated like regulars having drunk them out of bottles of wine. ANAM were also in on the act to supplement the huge orchestra which made a big noise indeed from the third row. It was a totally engrossing performance of Messiaen's Turangalila symphony. I can't really explain the title which is a bit obscure, from Sanskrit, but never mind, hear the music. The soloists, on piano and ondes Martinon, were superb and the orchestra obviously had a good time.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Shopping plus

This morning, P. and I and Delila (this time, Franz was off with someone else) went to Victoria Gardens for the usual shop followed by a delicious but overly filling brunch at the Bluebird Cafe, near the Vespa shop where Delila lives. Tonight is fish night with oysters to start, then P. is making spaghetti marinara. Friday night cop shows to follow.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Beetling on

Yesterday (Wednesday), I finished the current work on the glossary for autobiography no. 2 and today went on with the text corrections from the author. I interrupted this to go up to the bank, the barber and the health centre for pills, so I'm now all trimmed (beard and hair). Last night, I converted the remains of the roast pork into a not-bad sweet and sour and there's still one meal left. This arvo, P. and I went to the Arts Centre and had a very good meal at Barre, then went to the Menace of Venice at the Fairfax, presented by Bell Shakespeare. It was very good indeed and avoided the obvious pitfalls of the piece by playing it full on with anti-Semitism rampant but with Shylock completely unsympathetic as Shakespeare wrote him. Prize for pathos (and there were many) went to his daughter Jessica. I still don't see how it can be seen as a comedy but there you go.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I did it

This morning, I finished the report on novel 2 and sent it to the publisher and finished the edit on the translated story and sent it to the translator. Phew! Now I can get on with autobiography number 2 on which the author has done an incredible amount of work and it's now ready to go except for a few entries in the glossary. P. is doing roast pork for dinner tonight.

Mainly working

Yesterday (Monday) was mainly spent working to try to get through the large amount I've got on my plate at present. I should finish the novel report today (I keep saying that) and the edit of a short story in translation. Then tomorrow I can get on to the autobiography from WA. Last night, I cooked chicken kievs with a very nice salad (even if I say so myself) of peas, broadbeans, anchovies and boiled egg.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Busy Sunday

Yesterday morning (Sunday), I slept in a bit (because of Tour de France watching the night before), then picked up the Sunday Age for the crossword which P. and I completed with despatch and without error (I think). We then had a coffee and sangos with the neighbours as the Lelleton family put on a one-year memorial to Maria's death. It was good to catch up with everyone for the last time before the shop and flats go into the hands of the developer. However, the tenants will not be thrown out instantly so have a reprieve but they don't know for how long. We then went off to the Recital Centre for the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra with a program of Debussy Preludes (four of them), Mozart's piano concerto no. 17 and the adagio of Mendelssohn's piano concerto in A minor, both ably performed by Adelaide pianist Lucinda Collins. The program finished with a spirited rendition of Beethoven's first symphony. Home again, where P. made baked salmon on potato and tomato with broccoli. A few Aboriginal shows (Warwick Thornton and Cleverman) plus the inevitable three-cornered hat program, Poldark plods on. We saw the start of the end of the Tour de France, but the last stage is usually pretty boring unless some hapless cyclist smears themself all over the Champs Elysee.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Shopping plus

Yesterday, P. went off to his U3A film course and I did a bit more work on the report on novel 2 but did not get finished as I had hoped. It's a busy weekend so I probably won't get it done until Monday at best. Last night, I cooked our Kyneton-bought steaks which actually weren't as good as the ones we got at Coles for the same price. However, they weren't bad. We did the new and old cop shows then more Tour de France though this time I sensibly waited until the morning for the replay of the finish. Still no big surprises and I doubt that tonight's time trial will give any either. This morning, we picked up Franz the Corolla, who didn't seem to have moved since we dropped him off on Wednesday arvo, and went to Victoria Gardens for the weekly shop. Home again for the last of the French onion soup. In the early evening, Frank joined us to go round to Noel T.'s place where we joined Darren V. for dinner. Chilli con carne was delicious, followed by cheesecake. We had a very good night, but then stayed up far too late for the last stage of the Tour de France. The last active one, that is. Chris Froome has won as predicted with Matthews in the green, and the Frenchman called Warren as king of the mountains.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Blast from the past

Because of staying up to the end of the Tour de France last night, I slept in, then did some more work on the difficult report on novel 2. I hope I'll finish it tomorrow. P. went off for lunch with the S. sisters. In the evening, we had a quick meal at Yoyogi then went to the 'My Fair Lady' revival. There were piles of merchandise plus a HUGE program (which we didn't buy). It purported to be the original production though the sets seemed more lavish than those at Her Majesty's in the sixties. Perhaps J.C. Williamsons were skimping. It was an excellent production, though it had the air of being embalmed rather than alive. It was good to see old stalwarts like Tony Lewellyn-Jones, Pamela Rabe and Reg Livermore strut their stuff with great aplomb, though L-Jones missed an entrance in a song. Reg must be getting on (78 at last count), but is still hoofing and singing with the best of them. Home for more Tour de France. And I did the same again. The Frenchman called Warren won the stage but the basic state of play remains unchanged. Probably no surprises now, unless someone crashes.


On Monday, P. and I picked up Franz the Corolla and headed up the Calder to Castlemaine. We dropped in on Ann de H. for a coffee and had a good mag especially about her Indian trip earlier in the year to the Jaipur litfest and to Kolkatta to visit Martyn B. We then went on to Maldon for a pleasant lunch in this historical village which looks as though it is struggling a bit. On then to Bendigo to settle in to our Bishopscourt very olde worlde residence with four-poster bed and fireplace. We had a very nice meal at the nearby Malaysian (actually pan-Asian) restaurant midst thundering hail on the roof. Next morning, we had a fine breakfast provided by Bev, our maitre-d. We then went to the Art Gallery which had some good shows, particularly a swodge of stuff from the La Trobe University collection, plus a good animal art collection including some Leigh Hobbs work. As a bonus, we got a free lunchtime concert by chamber players from Orchestra Victoria with works by Mozart (horn quintet), Rossini (duo for cello and double bass), Strauss (sextet from Capriccio) and Dvorak (terzetto). We also visited the Post Office Gallery for aerial views of Bendigo. We had a good lunch at Fat Gordo, then a very fine meal at the Dispensary. Everything I ate was raw: fish plus steak tartare. Next morning, another good breakfast then off to the Chinese Museum which contains two dragons (one a bit faded) and lots of Chinese curios and history. We had a drive in the Whipstick Forest and headed home with lunch in Kyneton. Leftover Bracciola for dinner then more Tour de France.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Spooky music

I spent most of today on novel number two. P. cooked up a storm for lunch with smoked salmon, scrambled egg and avocado mash (really) on toast. In the arvo, we headed for the Recital Centre for the Benaud Trio and a concert called Ghost Stories. There were three nocturnes by Bloch, a contemporary work by German Wolfgang Rihm and piano trio in D, no. 1 'The Ghost' by Beethoven. It was a musically good and well-thought-out concert. These Salon concerts are distinguished not only for their musicianship but the care and thought which has gone into the repertoire. We went home and I did steak on my new griddle with beans and chips. We also had the new garlic mustard from Milawa. Yum! More Tour de France but not till stumps.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Gasman Cometh

Yesterday (Thursday), I did quite a lot of work. I got the report on novel one off to the publisher and started going through autobiography number two revisions which seem to have solved most of the problems. Also, the gasman came to fix the heater which had a fan which finally gave up the ghost. Fortunately, it wasn't too expensive to fix and we hope it will last out the winter. I made anchovy pasta for dinner, but, even though I doubled the amount of anchovy, it was still a bit bland. This morning, we're off to do the shopping with Frank and Franz. We then had a good, if somewhat eccentric, lunch at Addict. I had some green stuff as garnish which looked and tasted as if it had come from some hedge somewhere. However, the rest was very tasty. I did lots more on novel two, had a nap then served oysters and fish soup for dinner. More cop shows and Tour de France (not all of it) followed.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

At home mostly

On Tuesday, I spent most of the day working and by today (Wednesday) had one autobiography checked and ready to send back to one of the authors for reworking. I have also nearly finished the report on draft novel number one. Both novels are first up on the agenda tomorrow. I've also received the amendments to autobiography number two which came just at the right time. P. went to town for lunch with Robin S. Tonight, P. and I went to the Malthouse for 'Heart is a Wasteland' superbly performed by Ursula Yovich and Aaron Pedersen. Written by John Harvey, it is an account of two 'drifters' who briefly connect and 'heal' each other after parting. We had a good dinner beforehand at the Malthouse.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Working and Music

This morning, I did a fair bit of work, part on the autobiography and part on the first novel report. The jolly cleaners came and briskly went through the place and P. and I had the leftover beef burgundy on toast for lunch. This arvo, it's off to the Recital Centre for Latitude 37. They did a splendid concert, though the Haydn transcription did not quite work in the balance between the lute and the flute, but the Quantz flute sonata was brilliant. The rest of the program was fairly obscure German composers and was most enjoyable. Afterwards, we had a tasty, quick meal at Blondie.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Kelly lunch

I was up this morning, not too early, to get the Sunday Age for the crossword. I also finished off the fritatta for lunch. P. and I went off to Sally's place for the Kelly lunch (July version). Sal had made a delicious soup plus baked ricotta which joined the fritatta and was followed by baby cheeses and Rennis' lemon tart. All yum. Sadly, Sal had an onslaught of vertigo and had to leave for a walk. A delicious lunch was had by all. Leftovers for dinner.

Shopping and quick trip to Germany

Yesterday morning (Saturday), P. and I picked up Franz the Corolla and went to Victoria Gardens for the weekly shopping. In the early arvo, we trecked to the German Lutheran Church in Parliament Place. After a quick viewing of the Jeff Kennett gargoyle on St Pat's, we enjoyed a concert The Triumph of Telemann: and the genesis of German cantata. Bits of Telemann bookended pieces by his predecessors and contemporaries. After an intro. by the sponsor, the Bach Society, we enjoyed tenor Robert Macfarlane and soprano, Kate Macfarlane plus instrumentalists, David Irving and Lizzy Welsh on violin, Laura Vaughan on an energetic viola da gamba and David Macfarlane (no relation) on harpsichord. Sitting in the small Lutheran church with its magnificent flowers was like a quick trip to Germany. Home again for oysters and a fish dinner.

Friday, July 07, 2017

A bit of worki

This morning, I did a bit of work on the autobiography while P. did his American Literature U3A. I had the last of the French onion soup for lunch, then a nap. Afterwards, I got another novel for report. Tonight, we're having leftover beef burgundy with mash. What a treat!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Two out of five grandkids

This morning, P. and I got up early to meet Kirrilly S. and two of her children, Mark and Maggie at Southbank. They are in Melbourne so Mark can do his workshop course with the Australian Ballet for a week, which he seems to be enjoying. Maggie came along for the ride with Kirrilly's mum who was resting with a sprained ankle. They are doing girl things while Mark is in classes. We came home to do some work and reading before soup for lunch. Tonight it's soto ayam to finish off for dinner.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Rebel rebel

Today, I did a good whack of work on the autobiography and the novel, then we had herrings on toast for lunch. Tonight, after a good meal at the Malthouse cafe, we saw 'Rebel, rebel' and various additions to the title. It was a supposed feminist play but seemed about thirty years out-of-date. Come to think of it, thirty years ago it would have been funnier. Alison Croggon's review was correct: it started well, then went right out of control, though the hysteria was probably accurate by the end.

Melbourne's buildings

Yesterday (Tuesday), I did lots more work including reading all the rest of the new novel (the plot junkie had to find out how it finishes, but being a draft, it didn't). We had more French onion for lunch, then a nap, then headed to the Deakin Edge to use Sal's tickets for a lecture by several planners/architects for the Melbourne Open program. Before that, we were in town early enough for a drink, chips and dumplings in Fed. Square beforehand. The talks were good, not least because they gave promise of some interesting buildings to come: the new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music on Sturt Street and the huge Collins Arch, Melbourne's version of the building-with-a-hole-in-it which seems popular worldwide. The master plan for Monash University was also interesting as was some of the history of Fed. Square itself. Less absorbing than the public spaces was the creation of a very expensive building at ultra-privileged Mandeville Hall, and a private house which seemed to be almost gold-plated. Okay for some. We went home for P.'s beef burgundy, which was delicious and stayed up far too late for the Tour de France which made for a late start this morning.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Sunday, sweet Sunday, then guess what, Monday

It was freezing yesterday morning when I went to get the Sunday Age for the crossword. Some of the gardens in Abbotsford Street were frosty! After a very small amount of work on the autobiography, I finished off the crossword then started making chicken stock (for soto ayam) and French onion soup. After cooking up a storm I had a nap then Sally came late in the arvo and regaled us with tales of her recent holiday in Greece, Vienna and Budapest. P. and I then had the completed soto ayam for dinner, some tellie then some Tour de France. On Monday, I did quite a lot of work at last because P. was being interviewed by some social scientist from La Trobe about old folks' use of social media (!). He was recruited as a 'subject' through U3A. We had home-made French onion soup for lunch, then revamped soto ayam for dinner. It's always better the second day after it has matured a bit. Q&A was better this week after having the albino sprog on the week before (guess who). This time it had some quite intelligent women who, though they agreed to disagree, at least made some sense. Mad Bob Katter made up the comedy quotient.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

End of Financial Year

This morning I had a frenzied burst of activity and did my end-of-month and end-of-quarter accounts and lodged my business activity statement. Unfortunately, I could not do my tax return for two reasons: my super fund is out of action for two days (probably for end-of-year reasons) and the auto-fill has not completed on my tax return online. Oh well, I'll just have to do some work (for a change).