Friday, October 31, 2003

Good news first: B is off the drip and is having an iron infusion (will that make him a "man of steel"?). They're arranging to do a scan of his lungs today, but the downside is that he probably won't be coming home today.

P is coming for a late dinner tonight so perhaps there'll be some more information later.

Last night was Xmas Oratorio rehearsal - numbers were very low, but we had a good sing. ST and I were the only tenors; Tristan, for whom I'd brought a CD set, was not there, but I lent it to April instead.

This morning, when organising for monitors to be moved around, we discovered that MS's PC has died completely. Am trying to organise a new hard drive for it before she gets back from leave. On top of all that today has been an absolute nightmare. I want to go home. Now.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

B's kidneys are going to sue P for defamation as it's looking as if they're not responsible for his hospitalisation - the lung infection seems to be the more likely culprit. Only had a short talk with P last night so have limited information; will try to post more tonight.

Last night to Cicciolina for dinner with DL and AB (DC-4 project) and had a wonderful night: the food was, as expected, glorious, and the company was great fun (despite AB's complaints about public transport and Melbourne's weather).

Then hopped on a bus and was home by 9.30. Around 10.45 I logged in to the web and found BrA was on IM. The fun part was that he has a webcam, so I was able to see his expressions; I also got to see Arnoud. I must investigate one of these gadgets - it certainly adds something to an otherwise texty interaction.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Just typed a whole blog for today, only to find that it hadn't saved when I quit.

Second try:

Busy at work today with DL and AB talking to Information Services staff about what we want from DC-4. Mostly good, but some not-so-encouraging news - it seems we may still have quite a bit of work to do processing edition changes and updating pictorial records.

This evening I went to P's for dinner as arranged on Saturday. However, despite my rhythmic knocking there was no answer at the door. When I got home I called JB who told me that B had been taken to hospital last night. P rang a little later to say that B had not been feeling well last night so they called an ambulance which took him to the RMH. It seems his kidneys had been acting like drama-queens demanding some attention - he's responding well and with luck, may be home for the weekend.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Saturday shopped with P as usual, then after lunch we headed to Victoria Gardens to see Kill Bill - I am completely ambivalent about this film. Tarantino is obviously a great film-maker, but I have a huge problem with the main idea of the film (revenge) and the violence involved. Despite his sometimes beautiful distancing of us from the action, it still remains a rather nasty experience.

In the evening for cards with M, D and L - dinner first at Café India then fun around the card table. M and L won - again.

Remembered to change clocks.

Sunday evening L came for dinner (my version of the Moroccan chicken, preserved lemons and olives as a risotto) and Spirited away. This is the most wonderful and refreshingly different fantasy film around at the moment. The ideas and execution are both new and exciting ("it's nice, it's different, it's unusual").

Mum is well, except for her ankles and knees, and is planning to arrange for her fourth series of cortisone injections for the year (her maximum). I hope they provide some relief for her, I hate to see her hobbling around on her stick. Left her the new Ruth Rendell, as I have too much on the go at the moment. And there's a new Pratchett to buy...

Friday, October 24, 2003

Spent much of yesterday honing my Photoshop skills cleaning up some images grabbed from microfilm for Steve Foley (more correctly, for the 150th book). Quite pleased with the results.

P was on my traiin home and we organised that I'll go round there for dinner tonight. Gave him some roses (MCallas, Ophelia) for B.

Last night to the VCA where Stuart and I joined the student choir for the Xmas Oratorio - nice symmetry as rehearsals for XO under Marco at VCA was where I met ST and SB (and all the rest), resulting in my joining Tudors, etc. Tristan (a young guitarist) sat between us and was grateful for our presence as he'd been the only tenor in past rehearsals. I was surprised that he didn't know what a hemiola was, as he's in his final year. Promised to lend him the CDs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Met LE after work and headed off to see Finding Nemo - thought it was just marvellous. What a treat to hear an array of Australian accents in an American film. I think it's Ellen DeGeneris's best work - admittedly that's not saying a whole lot - and I loved the music, especially the playout over the credits. Thomas Newman certainly does weird well (you can hear echoes of the Six feet under theme).

After we went to the ever-popular Nudel Bar for dinner. The food was its usual high standard, but I wish their serves were a little smaller. Went home full of laksa; and I mean full.

To work this afternoon via Carlton. Spent some time wandering around Readings where I eventually bought the latest Ruth Rendell and a book on the history of the alphabet (from the specials desk).

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Oops! I forgot Berlioz in that list - such a small oeuvre, so much great music. I know he's not to everyone's taste; that some people just "don't get him", but I do. One of the musical highlights of my life was hearing Colin Davis conduct the LSO, soloists and choir in Les Troyens at the Barbican in December 2000. And to think I nearly didn't get tickets!

If you asked someone who knows me who my favourite composer is they'd probably say Wagner. If you asked me who my favourite composer was I'd have to equivocate; yes, Wagner is up there, but there are so many I love, and even more that I just like a lot.

Let's just start with a random of list of people who have at least one work to their credit that means something to me.

In no particular order: Monteverdi, Weber, Marschner, Rossini, Grainger, Bernstein, Strauss (Richard), Wagner, Humperdinck, Lortzing, Brahms, Dvorak, Schubert, Schumann, Britten, Glazunov, Bach, Mozart.

But then I also love musicals - I don't know a lot, but some that I do know and love are: any of Sondheim (and I don't know them all), Bernstein's Candide (West Side Story less so), On the Twentieth Century, as well as Showboat and most of Rodgers and Hammerstein. However NOT Lloyd Webber or Les Mis -- I've never found them anything but tedious. Oh, and any Gilbert and Sullivan.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Saturday's concert went off well, though again there was much faffing about before the warm-up. I snuck off quickly afterwards as I had no-one in the audience.

LP didn't think much of my escalator rant - and looking at it again myself I think I could have worded it better. But I still mean all of the content.

Emails from BrA and Tat today which I had to read because my PC at work chucked a hissy-fit last Friday and had to be rebuilt. I spent most of this afternoon reinstalling software and tweaking things how I like them - for some weird reason the library printer seems to have removed itself from the print-server, though it still works for most people. Perhaps it was in cahoots with my PC.

Saw Mum yesterday - she's much the same. She hurt her ankle again, but still gets around, albeit slowly, with her stick.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Last night's reheasal went much better though at one stage I almost walked out - we were called for 8pm, but so much time was wasted farting around with lights and who should be where when and other such nonsense, we didn't get underway until at least 8.30. A case of too many chiefs; everyone had to make a suggestion about everything.

Anyway, the performing went off well and tonight promises to be quite good. Though I don't think I'll be hanging around for supper.

Haven't heard from DG this week, but that's not unusual. Might try to contact him today. Have arranged cards with M, D and L for next Saturday night - it's been too long.

I hope Tat is having a great time in Britain - revisiting all those places she saw as a child, and more.

Friday, October 17, 2003

This morning went to the clinic to pick up more of the nasal spray which is supposed to bring back my much depleted sense of smell (sometimes I think it's working, sometimes not). When I walked into the waiting area there was B, also waiting for pharmacy. He was looking great - as his father said, it was the first time I'd seen him clothed for quite a while.

Later P and I went to the State Library to see the interesting exhibition photos by Morley, including the famous one of Christine Keeler on the chair. Had a quick lunch at the "Blade Runner" restaurant then went back to the library for a tour -- unfortunately the tour I wanted to go on, of the new Arts section, is no longer being offered, so we just took the normal one of the services. We finished in the domed reading room; it has certainly been restored beautifully.


Number one in an irregular series.

The escalator is a wonderful invention allowing for the mass movement of people faster and safer than stairs. Unfortunately many people have absolutely no idea how to behave on them.

People are either standers or walkers on escalators and that's fine; I prefer to walk. My problem manifests when standers choose to stand on the right-hand side of the step instead of keeping to the left (surely most people drive; surely when they drive, they keep to the left; surely it makes sense to do this in a pedestrian situation (I feel another RANT coming on)). This is especially annoying at peak times when I (and others) prefer to move in an orderly manner down the right-hand of the escalator.

What's as annoying as a stander in the right lane is the walker who stops just as the escalator is reaching the top, thus causing those following to slam on the brakes.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Well, it seems I have at least one reader (you know who you are). For L's benefit I've added a link in the left column if you want to contact me. Please do and let me know what you think.

I lay in bed last night working out what I was going to write this morning. However, between then and now my brain seems to have forgotten all the brilliant word play and fascinating analysis I had worked out.

Yesterday's lunchtime concert wasn't without hitch - one piece began very badly. I was waiting for Trish to restart, but she persisted so we all came in as and when we could. The concert finished well with the viol and theorbo providing good support. Tomorrow night's rehearsal will be long and hard, I suspect.

This has been a long, hard week. Being out every night has meant that I'm running out of voice, so I've cancelled tonight's rehearsal with AC so I can just sit at home and vegetate. After Saturday's I will tell Trish that I won't continue with The Ring Singers. It's been fun, but tiring.

No news on the B front as I've not been in touch over the last 24 hours - I'm hoping to catch up with P tomorrow (perhaps a movie, lunch?) so will no doubt see B then.

The garden is thriving on this weather - fairly regular showers and lots of sunshine. The broad beans are coming on and the Albertine rose will be out in about a month. At the front, Mme Alfret Carrier is covered but Ophelia is taking her time - have only had one flower so far.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Good news - I just spoke to P and B came home today. They were drawing up a shopping list of things B can eat. Hope to catch up with them both this evening before Ring Singers' rehearsal.
If all goes to plan, B will be coming home today - P is very happy, but it all depends on the results of tests to be done this morning.

Had a lovely email this morning from BrA who is teaching in Italy (Castelleone), but will soon be going back to Holland. Also yesterday got postcard all in Italian from D&A who seem to be having the most wonderful time - also brief email from Tat. It must be my turn again soon...

Sunday, October 12, 2003

David and Peter for dinner last night - chicken on (not quite 40) cloves of garlic with roast potato, pumpkin and fennel and steamed zucchini. Quite delicious.

Up with the lark this morning for Bach at St John's Southgate - I had to stand next to AV which annoyed me a tad as he knew it less than I did. Went off better than we deserved, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Working this evening - the coming week has already filled with engagements: rehearsals, working, accompanying the Amandas (Amande?). Still I've got Friday off in lieu of today which will be nice.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

More good news about B - the drips have been removed, to his great relief. There is still an infection scare in the ward so B's exercise is confined to trips around his bed, but at least he can enjoy more of the view from his window. The latest release date is now the middle of next week and he can hardly wait. P is now in a mad flurry of cleaning activity and DIY - he has fitted a new toilet seat!

Lorraine dropped in on B last night after work and then had dinner with P at the Nudel Bar (an old haunt for both).

More news as it happens.

P and I shoppped this morning as usual although the poor jeep is on its last wheels.

Friday, October 10, 2003

B has continued to improve, but he is not completely free of the drips yet. He had a lot of attention from the staff who aren't doctors today. The OT advised on adjustments needed when B comes home. Later he had a chest x-ray and some physio so we are reading these as signs of preparing him for release. He is much more mobile, but he still has a slight problem with his breathing.

He was able to eat some more solid food, but that is still difficult. P says that while he has not been officially told this, it looks pretty likely that B may need an extended period of recuperation once he gets home. P has been " enjoying" contact with the few friends he can speak to each night but feels terrible about making contact so irregularly and being so hard to catch. I will post further news as we get it.

Caught up with Amanda C last night at the VCA - the two Amandas are working on the Pergolesi Stabat mater. The piece is unusually jaunty for a not-too-cheerful text. But lovely all the same.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Went in to Peter Mac to see B today - he's looking better every time I see him. He's read a novel by Julian Davies, The Boy and has asked for Middlemarch, which should keep him occupied for a while. He's eating more - he ordered roast beef for lunch tomorrow - he always was ambitious.

Latest news is that he may be home on Monday - but there are no guarantees. P is bearing up well under the circumstances but overwhelmed by the cleaning chores facing him at home. We'll see what we can do about getting him some help with that.

Later P and I went to the Nova to see American Splendor which we both enjoyed.

Ring Singers rehearsal tonight - concert is looming next week (I think). When it's all over I think I'll tell Trish I won't be continuing.
Day off work today - this morning took boots to dubious shoe repairer in Richmond. Let's hope it all works out. Then to Peter Mac to see B. He's improving all the time, has read novel by Julian Davies, The Boy, and asked for Middlemarch. He's eating more - has ordered roast beef for lunch tomorrow - he always was ambitious.

Latest news is that he may be home next Monday but there are no guarantees.

Later P and I went to see American Splendor - which we both enjoyed.

Monday, October 06, 2003

It's been too long, but here goes:

B is in Peter Mac recovering from his treatment - had developed pneumonia amongst other things. He's off some of the antibiotics and is trying to eat proper food, though the possibility of a naso-gastric tube is still there. Visited last Monday and again on Saturday (prior to shopping) and both times he looked better than before. I'm confident that he'll keep improving and will be home within a couple of weeks.

Gombert sang at the end of Carnivale Christi @ St Pat's on Friday night - the Aston mass went off quite well. But I'm a bit worried about the noise I'm making - doesn't sound brilliant to me. Tonight it's back to Gloriana and week after next is the Ring Singers' concert (ghastly name).

Last night went to hear Ian Rankin talking about Rebus - very entertaining stories with much emphasis on coincidence in his life. Lorraine and I ate after at place in Gertrude St (name of which escapes me).