Saturday, November 20, 2004

To Adelaide

THE LAST few days have been uneventful. I realised that a few more things have gone: my canvas bag, my new water-proof jacket, a packet of batteries. I'm sure there'll be more that I won't know about until I need them. Rats.

Off this morning with P&B to Adelaide. We're going the long way and hope to be in Warrnambool tonight, then on to Mount Gambier (perhaps) and to spend some time in the Coorong.

I don't expect to be posting for a while now (but you never know). I'll report on the Ring later.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Back to normal

I'VE FINALLY settled down after the weekend's upheaval. Today was a glorious day, but unfortunately because of a system meltdown yesterday, I had to come in to work fairly early to pick up the pieces.

In the end, there weren't nearly as many pieces as I'd expected, but I've ended up working until very late anyway. And missed the lovely day. Heigh-ho, as AC would say.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Burgled... again!

WHEN I GOT back from rehearsal (and shopping) on Saturday afternoon I walked in the door and immediately realised that something was wrong. Same window, different damage. This time they managed to get away with some electronic equipment and some DVDs. All will be missed.

My immediate response was to express a string of expletives full voice (I was well warmed up after all the top As in the Beethoven); then I jumped on the phone to the police, and also my wonderful handyman, AH. They both managed to arrive promptly meaning that I could still go to the St Michael's Gloriana gig without leaving the house unsecured.

Now starts the tedious business of talking to the insurance company and all the paperwork that will entail. Of course it will all be interrupted by my trip to Adelaide, so goodness knows when I'll be able to watch DVDs again.

Tat stayed for a some risotto on Saturday night and P&B came last night for roast chook -- I needed some human companionship on both nights. I'm feeling a bit more relaxed today; still cross, but less stressed about it all. I think the most disturbing aspect is the fact that it's only just over three months since the last intrusion.

Vale Spencer

I MUST note the passing of dear Spencer, Peter's puss, who had his last visit to the vet's on Saturday after some time of not eating. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Thursday evening

LAST NIGHT I had a wonderful meal at P&B's -- soto ayam followed by delicious lamb kebabs on cous cous and salad. Yum. Kath and Kim provided the entertainment.

Poor Spencer is not looking very well; he's not eating much (at all?) and is very bony. He sat on my lap for a while -- he's lost a huge amount of weight.

The plants are looking good after all the rain, though I hope we've got a bit of drier weather so I can get back to the mulching. The roses are very fine. The downside to the rain has been the enormous number of snails that are storming the garden; I opened the front door the other day and there was a large one halfway up the door. It didn't last very long.

Tonight I finally get to hear one of the MSO concerts I booked with M&D -- Petrushka. It will be one of Markus Stenz's last concerts in Melbourne as Chief Conductor. P&B really enjoyed last week's Strauss concert which was in the Town Hall. Unfortunately, I'll also miss Markus's last concert, Mahler's second symphony, as we will be on our way home from Adelaide. I'm sure M&D can find another companion.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Border defences are working (NOT)*

LAST NIGHT'S rehearsal was at the Iwaki auditorium at the ABC so Tat drove to my place and we took the train into Flinders St and grabbed a quick meal at Southgate. She brought me two bales of pea straw (nicely starting to rot and smelling wonderful) which I managed to trundle around the back on the wheelbarrow before we left for town.

Rehearsal went off well, even if the bass soloist was more than a bit woofy ("pick a note"); the others were good and the orchestra sounded fine. Tat had pride of place behind the double-bassoon (though, less fortunately, beside the bass soloist) while I was in the back row.

This morning I was up early(-ish) and leapt into the garden. I dismantled the compost heap and reassembled it using some of the lovely pea straw. Then I proceeded to mulch the beans and the garden bed outside the window by the piano. I hope to mulch all the major beds before we set off for Adelaide so Kate is not faced with the responsibility of vigilant watering when the weather warms up (as it will no doubt do).

When I showered I discovered the hard way that Albertine (a rose currently rampant along the back fence) had viciously slashed my right forearm -- at least I have some proof that I have actually been working in the garden.

* See entry for 15 November, alas.

Monday, November 08, 2004


LAST NIGHT saw another rehearsal for the Beethoven, though this time we had the pleasure of being conducted by Brett Kelly. He seemed very pleased with the group, which to my mind is still a bit small. We had five tenors last night and there are at least two more (perhaps more) to come.

I left early (Stuart having arrived back from his trip on Saturday meant that I was superfluous) as JOD was continuing on to rehearse the rest of the "let's speed-read a concert" -- the Brahms offering.

I've been making a spectacle of myself lately, giggling on public transport while listening to Saturday night Fry, a very silly six-part radio show Stephen Fry did for the BBC in the late '80s. JW kindly gave me a set of mp3 files which I dumped onto the Not-an-iPod. I must look out some more in a similar vein.

Side by side

ON SUNDAY night we all went to dinner at Cicciolina in St Kilda (delicious) followed by Hats off for Sondheim, this year's Equity Aids fund-raising concert at the National Theatre.

And what a wonderful evening it was - a showcase for some extraordinary Melbourne talent. It climaxed in a series of songs for leading ladies: Robyn Arthur's Ladies who lunch, Nancye Hayes in Leave you, Helen Morse's half-spoken Send in the clowns, Amanda Muggleton's fabulous Broadway baby, and finishing with Anne Phelan's amazing performance of I'm still here. Breathtaking.

In between were performances of the familiar and the less well-known including an original spin on Hello, little girl by Eddie Perfect and a clever double-bass player.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Cup Day...

... will have very little effect on me; I'm at work and thought it's fairly quiet there's still plenty to keep me occupied.

On Saturday afternoon (after rehearsing Beethoven 9) P, B, Tat and I went to ACCA to see (and hear) the installation of Tallis' Spem in alium. It features a 40-track recording of the work by Salisbury Cathedral choir playing through 40 speakers. You can hear each singer by standing by their speaker, or move away and hear the whole. There's a fascinating three-minutes before the performance starts in which the choir members talk among themselves. There is some information at the Tate Liverpool site.

Sunday's gig at St John's (Ein feste Burg) went off well despite Tom S thinking we needed more tenors. Gloriana rehearsal last night for the de Rore and Gombert tonight for Saturday's concert of Tallis and Byrd; we should get the last of the music tonight!

To Mum's after St John's; a very tasty meal of corned beef and carrots ("that's the stuff for parrots"). Mum was in good form but a bit disappointed to hear that her yoga group (to which she hasn't been for a few weeks) had organised an outing without asking her if she wanted to go. I think it's a bit poor, especially considering she's the oldest (and the longest standing) member of the group. We've decided we won't book for the MTC season next year; we can go on a one-off basis if something interesting turns up.