Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Where does the time go?

The weekend seemed to fly past - shopping as usual on Saturday morning, then a spot of gardening in the afternoon. About time, I hear you say. Ripped out a lot of unnecessary scabious which was filling in too much space and gave those of the roses I could reach a light trim; mostly dead-heading. Must do something about the pile of bits masquerading as a compost heap. Heap, yes; compost, no. Still lots to do.

Saturday evening P came for a feed and we watched Russian ark and Travelling birds. Both interesting for different reasons; I'm not sure if I want to see the Ark again, but could easily watch those wonderful birds.

Rode to Mum's and back again on Sunday, returning borrowed DVDs on way home. I should do more of the biking, but after work I just want to make and eat dinner then fall stunned in front of increasingly mediocre telly. Then in the evening I went to P's for dinner. B still in hospital and not expected home until today at the earliest (but haven't rung yet to see). After the test results the surgeons want him back next week to have a little more removed, just to be sure.

Heard from Tat yesterday; she has developed a bad toothache and, while she was hoping to get an appointment today, is having to wait until Thursday. Hope the special mouthwash helps. With luck I'll see her tomorrow for a double rehearsal evening -- Bach and Saint Saƫns.

This morning as I lay in bed I listened to a gentle shower (alas, no more) and thought I heard the garden sighing with thanks, but saying "More, please". If the BOM is to be trusted there are more showers ahead.

Work this evening.

Friday, January 23, 2004

A certain sub-editor once at this newspaper and now with the Other Side rang me this morning saying that he had tickets for the filming of Deal or no deal, a cheesy quiz show where contestants can win up to a million dollars, and that he needed a partner. He had rung to ask (tell?) me that he'd like me to be his partner.

This is all very nice were it not for the fact that this man has often in the past told me I "should go on Sale of the Century" or Who wants to be a millionaire, or any other quiz show around. Despite my consistent refusals he persisted... and persisted.

Once upon a time I might have considered such thoughts, but these days, no. While it's all rather fun to answer such questions sitting in front of the telly, I have no doubts that the large holes in my brain, which these days prevent my recalling information rapidly (sometimes not at all), would under pressure open completely and I would disappear into my own memory lapse. So, no, I do not want to go on any quiz programs. Ever.

This morning when asked, I again refused, saying that I was busy on Saturday week (which I am, but even if I weren't, I would be); I was polite, but firm.

However, when he rang back later to ask whether next Saturday would be convenient I was forced to drop my nice-guy persona and say, rather loudly, "No, David", and hang up on him.

Now, I don't like being rude to friends (strangers? -- well, that's another matter) so I hope I haven't hurt his feelings too much. But he can't say he wasn't warned.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

This week has been a good one for me. I had yesterday off in lieu of working last Saturday evening to cover someone who was ill. It was a beautiful day so I took myself off to get my hair cut (as you do). This involved a twenty-minute walk in either direction through the park in the sun; at least it wasn't too hot. Then after a quiet lunch I jumped on a bus to Lygon Street where I had a quick turn through Borders (I went to Readings last visit) and then strolled up Grattan Street to the Royal Melbourne to visit B.

I discovered him easily enough, but he was having a snooze, so I took myself off for a short stroll around Parkville for half an hour. When I returned he was sitting up chatting to SS. He is very bright and looking forward to coming home soon (perhaps tomorrow, but more likely Monday). He is getting some entertainment from the activities of other patients on the floor, in particular a woman in the room opposite who keeps trying to slip out for a cigarette. Offers of radios/music systems are politely refused: "Too much responsibility, anyway I've got plenty to read".

Working evening shift today: this morning I tried to bake a plum cake for MS's birthday. Used St Stephanie's recipe (or part of it) but when I came to remove the cake from its tin, its bottom fell off. Quel dommage! Zut alors! It will however make a tasty dessert with yoghurt, but it meant I had to drop in at DJ's to get a proper cake for afternoon tea. I will try it again -- I'm determined to get it right.

Meanwhile a certain blogger of our fraternity/sorority (what is the gender-free term?) hasn't posted anything since January 10. I've been suffering from withdrawal, not knowing what's happening with the rocks...

Dinner last night with DG who leaves on Monday for the trade fair in Birmingham, followed by ten days in Morocco. Lucky thing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Rang P last night to see how B's surgery went. Not very much information so far, but I understand they had to remove his nose. P said that tests showed that they had got all the tumour; more test results are expected on Thursday to verify this. P said that despite being under the after-effects of anaesthetic B was alert; they are keeping him in bed until tonight at least -- visitors should be allowed from tomorrow (Wed). Be aware that the Royal Melbourne applies visiting hours fairly strictly -- P thinks that the afternoon hours are 3pm-8pm.

More as I hear it.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Rode to Mum's for lunch yesterday -- wasn't too hot so was a nice ride. In the evening P&B came round for a bowl of pasta and we caught up with Saturday night's episode of The Bill -- everyone should watch at least one soap, mine is The Bill, though I didn't really mind missing it a few weeks ago. That's the point about soaps I suppose, you can miss episodes and catch up again easily.

Speaking of which I've finally finished watching series three of Homicide: Life on the street. It really is very good and it's a real shame the way Channel Seven treated the last series, not screening it in Melbourne because of the football. Roll on series four on DVD.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Wrong again! DG doesn't go until January 26 -- I knew there was a six in it. Anyway we'll do dinner some night next week.

P&B's for dinner last night -- did the OS upgrade, which worked perfectly, but then discovered that the 98SE Media Player doesn't seem to rip CDs to mp3 or WMA files. So P still can't use his gizmo. Have contacted JW to see if he has any suggestions about easy software.

Working tonight as MS is ill -- not bad as it means I'll get a day off next week. Shopped this morning, then puttered around before coming to work.

Email from Tat with details of St Dorothy's Day service -- unfortunately I've got a couple of clashes with St John's and our first MTC matinee. Will see if I can work around these.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Yesterday was notable in that not very much happened -- I was tentatively expecting to go to P&B's for dinner, but as B was able to get HalfTix for the Flying Fruit Fly Circus it's been postponed until tonight. I will take the chance to do the OS upgrade on B's PC so P can use his new toy properly. So last night was spent between the TV and computer. Oh, except when I was making chocolate and raspberry muffins.

DG flies out today headed for the trade fair in Birmingham, then for what will most likely be a fabulous holiday in Morocco.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The longer you leave it, the harder it is to remember what you've been up to.

It's over a week since my last entry, so there will probably be much omitted; please don't get offended if I've left you out, it's just my bad memory.

Well, dinner and RoTK went off very well -- the film is great, although much too long. Some bits are exactly right such as the final fate of the ring and Gollum, which is just how it was in the book. DG kindly drove us all home and on the trip we celebrated L's birthday, as it was by that stage after midnight.

On Saturday morning I joined this man and some friends (though not P, as he was not feeling well) on a trip to the local farmers' market. Bought a rabbit which I fed BN with that evening; we had a lovely time watching DVDs and listening to music; oh, and eating and drinking.

Sunday was fine and I rode the bike to Mum's -- came home the long way, via the Anniversary Trail which goes from East Malvern, through Hartwell and Canterbury and ends up at Heidelberg Road. A nice ride.

Working afternoon shift today means I won't get home till after 11pm, but at least I had the morning to myself. Actually did a bit of ripping stuff out of the garden. Not enough, more to go.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Up early this morning and off to the clinic for my appointment following up the test results from last week's vampire visit. According to Dr C all's well, even the blood pressure which the Health 2000 people thought was a bit high.

Dr C: "Cardiologists want us all to be stick thin and have very low blood pressure and we'll live forever" -- so he thinks 140/80 is fine. Have got six months more scripts for everything I need. Back again in June: "Just think of your birthday, that'll remind you".

Went to the NGV International later and had a wander around, although because of the falling glass last week, several of the galleries are closed off for "engineering testing" -- still it's looking pretty good. However because so much was closed it all felt a bit small; I'll go back when repairs are done and see what I think then.

Lunch at SouthGate/Bank (I never know what to call it) then a leisurely walk to work (well, to the tram).

Tried to call Anderson Cinemas this afternoon about our (L, D, P and me) proposed visit to see Return of the king on Thursday. Annoyingly all you get when you ring is a recorded service; there is no way to talk to an actual person. Perhaps there are none. The problem is that we want to go on Thursday, when sessions usually change. I don't think it will be a problem, but would hate to organise everyone for dinner and a movie, only to have it all go horribly wrong.

From one of the numerous blogs I read I found this amazing site which everyone must visit:

Monday, January 05, 2004

Yesterday woke to the wonderful sound of rain -- not very heavy, but persistent; I swear I could hear the garden sighing. Went and saw Mum as usual -- she had some photos from the film I removed from her camera last week. Some of them had me wearing my old glasses -- so the film had been there for quite a while!

When I got home I fiddled around with P's mp3 player and managed to upgrade the firmware so that it will now accept .wma files created using the latest Windows Media Player. The next step is to upgrade B's PC to Windows 98/SE. Onward and upward...

Dinner chez P -- lovely Moroccan chicken with cous cous. We watched the remake of The taking of Pelham 123. It's so long since I saw the original, but Maltin and my memory both seem to indicate that it was better than this made-for-TV version. D'Onofrio was good, though.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

P's surprise dinner on Thursday night was a complete success -- he was picked up at the airport by B's father (which was unexpected) and got home to Abbotsford Street just as I was heating the water to cook the pasta. He had a good time away and is looking well.

Yesterday morning Tat picked me up early and we went off to South Melbourne to sing for Claerwen and Tony's wedding. Everything went off well (I've finally got my brain around THAT bar in the first tenor part of Singet, although I didn't work it out until after the performance ). Not long after we got home CW arrived to do the cleaning (very impressed with the Ha-Ra cloths) so after Tat left I got changed and went out on the bike and spent a very pleasant few hours in Yarra Bend Park reading and listening to the radio.

P came for dinner last night bringing a couple of punnets of berries (one each of rasp- and black-berries) and a container of wonderful vanilla ice-cream (EW's recommended brand). I threw together a typical Friday-night bottom-of-the-fridge risotto (including some of the seemingly-infinite Xmas gypsy ham) and we sat down in front of Blade runner. This was P's choice, and I was very glad to see it again. We scoffed all the berries.

P and I shopped this morning as usual -- though our search for good bread left us having to buy from the health-food shop (not that there's anything wrong with that); the two good bread shops, which were closed last week, being still not back from their breaks. The plan was that when we got back to my place I would do the firmware upgrade on his mp3 player so the WMA files I create on my PC would work on it. Unfortunately the player needed to have its batteries recharged which would take some time, so I promised I would do it and have it ready for him when I go round for dinner tomorrow.

Weather today very pleasant: sunny, but not too hot.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

I think last night was the noisiest New Year I've ever experienced. I spent the night in front of the TV (Homicide: Life on the street DVD, as the broadcast programs were crap) and listening to the neighbours enjoy themselves. As I am working today I went to bed around midnight, after watching the Melbourne fireworks on the telly (what a strange notion: fireworks on TV).

I read for a bit and turned the light off around 12:30 -- at 1:30, after no sleep at all, I got up and went in next door where the doof-doof noise was coming from. I had to bang on their wire security door for a while before anyone came to talk to me. Eventually the noise subsided, but I was so hyped up about asking them to be quiet it took me at least until 2am to nod off.

Got up at 7am and managed to catch the 7:42 train and so made it to work before anyone else. The usual problems finding papers, but up and running by 8:20. P gets back tonight; I thought I might go around to his place and prepare some dinner for him.