Wednesday, March 31, 2004

We've finally had some wonderful rain; I swear I heard my garden sigh with relief the other morning when I raced out the door and across the park to the station IN THE RAIN. Unfortunately it seems to have stopped now, but let's hope we'll get some more soon.

Sunday's St John's cantata (Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen) went off mostly well -- unfortunately the alto soloist tried to come in on the wrong note. Then, at the ca capo, she got it wrong again. But the choir was beautiful.

Monday's dress for Gloriana was a bit shaky in parts, but I think the concert (on Sunday) will be OK; it's a big sing.

This week I've been on Spencer duty while P & B are away (P in Brisbane and B in Katoomba and Sydney). Spencer is a little clingy when I go so I make a point of staying for a little while he eats his dinner. B is back on Friday and P on Sunday.

Lesley seems to be having a wonderful time in Rome; any bet the whole family will be off on a trip before too long.

Friday, March 26, 2004

One of my faithful readers has gone to Italy for a while: Bon voyage Lesley.

Last night was the last class of German 1A so we spent the evening doing revision before having a celebratory feast. It seems most of us will be back for 1B in a few weeks; the good news is that we get to have the same teacher as well.

Not much else to report, except that my mother rang today to let me know that my brother has arrived safely in Indonesia. He has embarked on his first trip outside Australia (and his first plane trip since 1952!) to visit his daughter who now lives and works in Indonesia. I'm sure he'll have a wonderful time; who knows, he may get the travel bug.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

All right, I'm sorry. I was on leave last week and didn't even think of posting. I gather at least two people missed my boring life.

It was a week well spent, catching up with people and going to NGVI to see the (mostly-good) Caravaggio exhibition, but mostly enjoying what Melbourne does best: Autumn. The weather has been glorious: clear blue skies, not too hot and with cool evenings. Just how I like it.

A visit to BN last week has left me with a bag of quinces to play with. I've already baked one (for dinner with BS last night) and plan to turn the rest into quince paste. BN rang me this morning to say that, on my advice, she'd done the paste thing and was wondering what it should be like; "Purple plastic," I said. I suggested she either cube it and store it in a jar of caster sugar or wrap it in foil to eat as a savoury. Yum.

PR (of B&P) flew to Brisbane on the weekend for a couple of weeks and BS is off to the Blue Mountains at the end of this week. So I am on Spencer duty for next week -- it's always a treat to spend a bit of quality time with the S-cat.

Gloriana rehearsals are going well, though there is an extra call tonight which I have to miss as I'm at work. I think the Jackson will turn out fine; it's going to be a good concert.

On Sunday DR took Mum and me to Rupertswood in Sunbury for my nephew Colin's (second) wedding. It was a lovely day, though starting to cool down by the time we started at 4.30. A simple service outside with a celebrant followed by a lovely meal inside. The building is very grand and has been done up well. It has some very spectacular stained glass at the end of the stairwell.

Unfortunately things dragged a little so, as DR had to get back to Frankston, we had to forgo dessert and leave before 10pm. DR dropped me in town to avoid a time-wasting detour through the inner suburbs. She was home by midnight. I think Mum enjoyed herself.

Monday saw me back at work; I hit the ground running as there was quite a bit to catch up on. I will try to post more frequently to keep at least two of you happy.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Had a lovely weekend in the country with P&B -- we set off on Saturday morning for Warburton. Much grumbling from B as we slowly wound our way through his least-favourite suburb, Ringworm; the traffic was dense with SUVs all heading out of town.

Had a walk among the tall trees in the afternoon, then checked in and proceeded to read the papers before heading out to the Polish café for dinner. A slight mix up meant we got more food than any of us wanted; sitting outside enabled us to miss most of the live entertainment.

On Sunday morning we breakfasted in Warburton then set out for the La la falls. After about half an hour's walk surrounded by ferns and tall eucalypts we reached the falls. Not the most spectacular but certainly worth the walk. P spent some time on the walk back looking at birds in the surrounding trees. I'm afraid I have awful trouble seeing tiny birds in large trees; he points, I squint, and say, "where? ... oh, there", by which time he's already seen twelve more fabulous things. Using binoculars doesn't seem to help me a bit.

It was a lovely relaxing weekend and the sort of thing one should do on a regular basis.

Last night was the first episode of State of play on the ABC -- I really enjoyed it; I particularly liked Bill Nighy's newspaper editor.

Friday, March 05, 2004

There's been no fallout from my efforts on Wednesday night, though I did think one person was looking at me strangely on the station yesterday morning. Or is that just the paranoia that Slartibartfast says everyone in the Universe suffers from?

Have still not heard a peep (scrabble, scurry or scuffle) from the unknown rodent; haven't had a chance to check the baits to see if they've been nibbled but will report back when I have.

My cough has been particularly annoying, mostly to other people, and it's reached the tickling stage at night when I'm trying to sleep. Got up and had a spoonful of honey last night, which seemed to help a bit.

Started learning food and drink terms in German last night; our homework is to learn the new vocabulary, not forgetting the gender. As well we were introduced to possessive articles.

Here's an amusing link for all the Gary Larsen fans: Worth1000 are running a contest for people to use Photoshop to make real-life versions of Far Side cartoons.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I am now officially the neighbourhood grouch.

Last night after I got home from work (evening shift) I watched a bit of telly before heading off for bed. After reading a while I turned off the light and lay there waiting for the rat to return, or sleep, whichever came first. However the back-yard party at the house over the back, which I had vaguely registered earlier, was still going strong (doof, doof, doof -- you know the sort of thing).

It was after mid-night by this time so I went out onto the decking and called out in my gruff, pathetic voice (I still have a cold, remember), but there was no reaction. Realising shouting wasn't going to be effective I turned on the hose -- that got their attention. Then I was able to call out and ask (tell?) them to turn down the noise. It worked; they packed up and went inside, though one of them did call me an arsehole. At least the New Year's Eve party next door was at least on a holiday, last night was a school night...

I don't know if the rodent returned as I was so tired by this stage that I went out like a light. Bliss.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Well, singing on Monday night and last night was not such a good idea. The cold has hit my throat with a vengeance. It's not sore - I just sound very butch and can't sing very well. And I keep sniffling, snorting and coughing; it must be wonderful to be working near me. I've got a break from singing now until next Monday.

Last night I was kept awake by scuttling and banging under the floor. It must be a rat. I can't think of anything else it could be; there are no openings large enough for a cat to get under the house and the noises it makes would require a very large mouse to be wearing very large boots. It's not surprising as I'm not that far from the river, and I've seen rats in the palm tree by the station.

I heard it scuttling in the wall space last week, but last night it seemed to be trying to get into my room via the ducted heating outlet (which means it must have got into the ducting - bugger). It was making so much noise I moved out into the lounge room to sleep but unfortunately my sofas are only two-seaters and very uncomfortable for sleeping. DG was right, I do need new sofas.

I got some rat baits at the hardware shop this morning and have slipped them under the house remembering to mark the bricks they are behind so I can check to see if they get nibbled. Let's all hope for a positive result. And let's hope that it goes away to die, otherwise I'm faced with the pervasive smell of rotting rat.

Dropped into the health centre to pick another month's worth of Lipitor and bumped into B's father B -- it was nice to see him as it's been a while. B was in with the nurse having his nose tended to. Hope to catch up with him and P on Friday.

Monday, March 01, 2004

My cold is just about gone, I seem to have avoided any major problems and should be able to sing OK tonight, and tomorrow.

Had dinner with DG at Quan 88 on Friday night -- he seems to have had a good trip. The trade fair hasn't provided them with any orders, but the exposure is great. His Morocco trip was not quite what he was expecting; I don't think he liked the cities much, but he did a three-day car tour which he really enjoyed.

Saturday night was the Gombert trivia night, but alas it was not the best trivia night I've attended. I've been spoilt by the ones organised by Lesley P. She keeps things moving along at a good pace, whereas Saturday was a little slow. Still we all had fun on our table and it was nice to catch up with M, D and L. Unfortuntely the taxi driver on the way there got hopelessly lost, which was not helped by his apparent inability to read the Melways.

This morning's A3 has a piece on a new site which provides information on Australian theatrical events, being run out of Flinders University. I think it will be a great help for us at work. AusStage

Listening to: Bach: St Matthew Passion
Reading: Charles Darwin: Voyaging by Janet Browne; Life on air by David Attenborough