Friday, August 27, 2004


... is sprung. I swear all Melbourne's Pittosporum trees all flowered together on Wednesday evening; the scent on the air is amazing. The tree on the edge of Flinders St station is covered in blossom and the smell wafts through the station -- a nice change from overcooked chips.

Last night Tat and I handed out Gloriana flyers after the MSO concert; most people accepted them with a smile, although a small few looked at me as if the handouts were covered in poison. I hope it wasn't me they were reacting to.

Tonight B&P come for dinner and to watch Shaolin soccer, which has been kindly lent to me by Jayj.

There is a strong feeling that tomorrow Howard will announce the election (at last) -- if it's early October as tipped I will have to vote in London. It will also mean that I'll miss most of the hype of the lead-up; how awful!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I've been rather neglectful of this blog over the last couple of weeks.

I short, nothing momentous has happened lately. I've been continuing preparations for the trip; buying rail passes and trying to get my brain around an itinerary. I'm now meeting up with L&MMcC in Berlin; M's got a conference and L's going along too. I'll go there after Amsterdam and then go on to Hamburg. As well, I'm now going to St Andrew's to see second-cousin-once-removed A.

Rehearsals for Dixit are going well -- it looks as if it will be a great concert. Tat & I leafletted after the Tudors' concert last week (not very good) and will do the same again after the MSO's concert tomorrow. We need two good houses for this concert to succeed. If you're in Melbourne on 10 or 12 September please come; the details are to be found here.

The tickets for the Adelaide Ring cycle arrived last week and arrangements for our trip are slowly coming together. I'm certainly having a rich few months in terms of opera.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Picked up the ticket and the rail-passes yesterday afternoon, which makes the whole travel thing start to become more of a reality than a dream. I've also stopped worrying about silly things and started to think seriously about when I'll be where.

In other words I must draw up a proper itinerary -- it's been a while since I've done a trip like this, as opposed to my last one which was a month in London without much travelling around.

Everything is falling into place and it is shaping up to be a fun trip.

Last night was a welcome night at home watching the last episodes of Absolutely fabulous and Dead Ringers. Tonight it's off to a trivia night after a quick meal at the Moroccan Soup Bar (if we can get in).

I've started a new compost heap after DT removed all the nasty remains of the previous heap. I'm going to try and make sure it works properly and intend using all kitchen scraps (except meat) thus cutting down even further on my out-going garbage.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

What next?

Still lots to do -- I had a moment of panic in the middle of the night a while back about what I had to get done before I can go. But I've calmed down now and realise that all the essentials are basically in place. All I need to do now is petty things like buying clothes.

Last night was the launch of reflections, The Age's 150th anniversary book. It was at the Edge at Federation Square, and was great fun. Steve Foley gave a great speech in which he thanked all the important people like Marian and Paul R.

Later, at home, there was a knock at the door. It was my neighbour's brother (it's complicated) telling me that the house next door had been burgled yesterday. A window round the side had been broken, but I think only DVDs and money had been taken, a laptop being left untouched. I hope we're not in for a spate of break-ins.

Mum got her hearing aids last week, but is finding everything uncomfortably loud at the moment. I keep telling her that eventually everything will settle down -- I hope I'm right. She only wears them for four hours a day and sees the specialist again next week. It was a bit disconcerting on Sunday for the radio and TV volumes to be set so low; perhaps I need hearing aids too.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Dr Pangloss was right

Well, the weekend was so glorious I forgot all the hassles of Friday and spent Saturday afternoon gardening. I pulled out all those weeds (well, some of them) and the self-seeded scabious which I have more than enough of. Peter came for dinner in the evening and we watched Act II of Guglielmo Tell.

Then up early on Sunday for Bach at St John's. This went well, although PR, who had promised to come, didn't make it. After the service I took a train to Mum's for lunch, as usual. (I am such a creature of habit.) After we ate I even did a bit of gardening for her, pruning and feeding her roses.

This morning DT came and pruned the climbing roses, pulled out all the crap in the front corner (including most of the arum lilies -- don't worry, like Arnie, they'll be back) and took away all the rubbish. So everything is looking a bit sparse, but at least there's room now for some lovely spring flowers.

I'm waiting to hear from TvN about collecting my ticket -- I leave on Monday September 13, for those who are interested, and return a month and a day later. England, Scotland, the Netherlands and Germany are currently the destinations, but I still have to work out the details.

Monday, August 02, 2004


Last Friday I got a phone call around 11.30 from Collingwood police -- yes, that's right, I'd been burgled. Again.

I raced home (though getting cab through the traffic was hardly racing) to meet a very nice young crime scene investigator called Will. He proceeded to attempt collecting fingerprints off the handle of my faithful old shopping jeep; unfortunately to no avail.

It turns out that one of my back neighbours saw a woman climbing over my fence and managing to jemmy one of my windows, using a shovel from my back shed. He raced upstairs and called the police who, despite his not knowing the street number of my house, managed to get there. But not before the intruder had fled. She had filled the shopping jeep with the CPU from my computer, my scanner, my portable CD player and a pile of DVDs. My backpack was also full to the brim with DVDs (mostly operas, which may have disappointed the thief).

Unfortunately for her, my house is completely deadlocked so there was no way she could get any of this loot out so she must have just cut her losses and left before the boys in blue arrived and clapped her in chains.

I waited around all afternoon for AH (my handy person) who came and managed to secure the window with two very large nails. He will return in a week or so to fit steel bolt locks to all the windows, as it seems the brass catches are next to useless.

That night when I went to bed I noticed that there was one thing missing: the watch I received for 25 years service at The Age. As I don't wear a watch it's no real loss, though there is an element of sentimental attachment. As it's inscribed with my name it's probably the most identifiable thing anyone could take.