Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A voyage to the east

After the wonderful TM had finished tuning the piano*, I set off on a great adventure. About five or six weeks ago Tat took me to Hardly Normal's for me to leave my not-an-iPod to be repaired. I thought at the time it would take a while and so it transpired; I got a call on Monday from the lovely Crystal saying that it was ready to be collected. I asked if it could be sent to their city store (why I didn't go there in the first place is another story) but as they're all franchised they don't have that sort of relationship.

So I caught the bus down to Richmond where I jumped on a train to Nunawading (memories of Cassius Cuckoo shouting Nun-a-wa-DING!**). After taking a wrong turning into the Maroondah highway (strangely Whitehorse Road, Nunawading, produces only White Court on I made it to Hardly Normal where I successfully retrieved my Creative Zen. I checked that all was now working properly and set off for the station.

When I got to the station I tried to validate my monthly ticket but the machine told me that it was for the wrong zone. Oops, I'd totally forgotten that there were any other zones than Zone 1. At Flinders Street I began to tell the man on the exit barrier that I thought my ticket wouldn't work, but he just took it from me and put it into the barrier. Bingo, the doors opened; I was quite prepared to pay an extension, but didn't even get the chance to offer. So much for the system.

I don't think I want to visit Nunawading, Blackburn, Box Hill and other parts east again by train; though it was a pleasant trip there is nothing out there to attract me.

* If anyone reads this blog and wants a recommendation for a piano tuner ask me for details.
** Very old kid's TV reference: Cassius Cuckoo (voiced by Colin McEwan, recently deceased) was Leonardo da Funbird's offsider/nemesis on the Magic Circle Club in the 60s on Channel 0 which was of course in Nunawading. One day my brain will explode.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Last week I decided I need to do a few things around the house so I called my friendly handyman. He needs to replace the cornice in the bathroom and have a look at the leaky shower base. I might ask him about the taps/washing machine hoses in the laundry as well. He hopes to come on Wednesday, my late start, when I will also be entertaining the lovely TM, the piano tuner.

On Friday evening DG came over and we met B&P for dinner at the Park Hotel around the corner. It was a lovely evening withlovely fish and chips for me and a couple of bottles of red between us. We're hoping for a trip to Newstead next weekend; it seems ages since I've been there.

Yesterday we were joined for shopping by N and K, B's children. I hadn't seen N for some time and had forgotten how big he is. It was lovely to see them both. We were joined by B's parents at the Fairfield boathouse for lunch; then P, K, N and walked home through Yarra Bend Park.

Tat is currently on her camping trip ("great scenery") and seems to be having a good time. It's very hard to tell as she has sent me a couple of SMSs using rather gnomic abbreviations; the last one took me ages to work out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I was wrong

Dinner at P&B's on Sunday was delicious - soup from B and lamb shanks from P. Yum.

Last night at Gloriana we had our first look at the Poulenc Figure humaine; it's very, very difficult, but after last night's session I think we probably can pull it off. Just as long as the rest of the program is easy.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The past few days

Because I worked on Sunday I had Wednesday off. I met DG in town for lunch (at the splendid Nudel Bar) then I took myself off to the new cinemas at Melbourne Central and saw Charlie and the chocolate factory which I really enjoyed; Johnny Depp is extraordinary.

I t was a bit of a blow to go back to work on Thursday, but I survived. B&P came for pizzas on Friday night. I was going to make the bases myself, but when I checked the flour on Thursday evening I discovered the bag was full of moth grubs (hardly surprising after the infestation last summer), so I bought some frozen bases at the supermarket along with all the toppings. They turned out OK, though I did discover that Pink Lady apples don't cook up very successfully - edible, but odd.

The weather has been quite wet though it did fine up a bit this afternoon.

Possessed puss?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


On the way home tonight I dropped into JB HiFi and found a new recording of Weber's Oberon - in English. It's conducted by John Eliot Gardiner and from what I've heard so far is terrific. Steve Davislim is Oberon (not actually a large part) and the rest of the cast is great. Accompanied by Gardiner's Orchestre révolutionairre et romantique it all adds up to a wonderful sounding recording.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A grand day out (but a noisy night in)

Yesterday was close to perfect. I went to B&P's and we went to the farmers' market where I bought a few little things. We dropped our packages at their place and returned to the Convent for the Slow Food Festival. We had lunch in the refectory after it started raining - we each had a different meal (mine was a rather nice sausage on polenta with a yummy mushroom sauce) and managed to score a free dessert which we shared.

After a quick trip home to leave my produce P, LE and I set out for Carlton where we saw the latest Wallace and Gromit film, The curse of the were-rabbit which was great fun. I embarrassed myself (and perhaps the others) by laughing loud and long at all the outrageous puns.

Then it was back to P&B's for a delicious dinner of potato and leek soup, vegetable lasagne and exceptionally nice passionfruit icecream before I walked LE home. As I had St John's this morning I was in bed by 10.30.

Only to be woken around 3am by the noise of drumming (DRUMMING! ... at 3am!) in the park. When I peeked through the blinds I could see people juggling flames (or whizzing flaming pots around on strings). I decided they were either stoned hippies, crazed ferals or gay circus folk. Whoever they were, I decided to grasp the nettle and put on my (rather daggy) dressing gown and went into the park.

There I suggested (very politely, I must insist to those who know me well) to one of the women playing with fire that there might well be people in the houses around the park who did not appreciate drumming in the middle of the night, and that some of those people might actually have to work in the morning.

She agreed, a little reluctantly I thought, and said they'd "keep the noise down". I went back home and back to bed. But of course while the drumming stopped, the loud talk and laughter continued for some time and I didn't get back to sleep for some time.

I was up around 7.15 and NT picked me up for the St John's cantata which went off quite well (with the most wonderful noise of four trumpets). Then I headed out to Mum's for lunch; after lunch it was on to work. So the weekend has been mostly good (except for the noises in the night, and the work).

Friday, September 09, 2005

No work

Well, the three days leave were wonderful. It kicked off on Monday night when I went to see GH after work. He fed me a wonderful tofu and pumpkin pie and let me play some of my opera DVDs on his fabulous surround system. Sigh.

Tuesday was glorious - I just bummed around and went for a lovely walk in the afternoon. Later P&B picked me up on the way to the Carringbush where we attended the Collingwood & Abbotsford Residents Association meeting, but not before we each consumed the biggest chicken parmigianas I've see in a long time.

On Wednesday LE came round and we took the tram down to Prahran to visit the Essential Ingredient. After wandering round looking goggle-eyed at all the wonders on offer I finally lashed out on some gold-plated (not literally) chocolate with coffee and walnut and a container of their best cocoa. We had a coffee in South Yarra then I walked her up to Hoddle Street to catch the bus. I continued on foot through the Botanic Gardens to the National Gallery where I met DG. We had a lovely walk around the gallery and lunch before walking into the city for coffee. P came round after work for soup; B joined us later for rhubarb and apple. Another great day.

On Thursday Tat kindly drove me to a nursery where I bought some plants. She's off on Sunday on her wonderful trip through North Western America.

And then it was all back to normal this morning - work was not nearly as bad as I expected it would be. Tonight was rehearsal at St John's - thank goodness there were more tenors tonight.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Gon out - bisy backsun

Don't expect to hear much from me -- the sun is shining and I have three glorious days off work. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I'm sure it'll be fun.

In the meantime here's a picture of my loungeroom with DG's picture over the piano.

Many thanks to the helpers (you know who you are).

Monday, September 05, 2005

Bits and bobs

On Thursday in German class I discovered that one of my fellow students acted in the play presented at the Carlton Courthouse and written by AB, MG's daughter. What a small world.

Friday was St John's rehearsal at which I was the sole tenor. GL asked about other tenors and I suggested BL from Gloriana. As it turned out BJ was at the Gloriana concert on Saturday evening and also expressed interest so we may end up with a quorum after all (though BL, who is interested, is unavailable for this cantata).

On Saturday after lunch B&P helped me hang DG's wonderful painting over the piano. We managed to move the piano out and back without any injury (to us or the piano). I will post a picture of how it looks soon.

Saturday's concert went off well with us all making a cracking noise in the confines of Trinity Chapel. Yesterday's performance at St Mark's felt a little more spacious, though I think the Requiem was probably better on Saturday night. Though for both concerts I was more than a little scratchy, which didn't sound too good at times.

In the evening I took myself down to DG's (after waiting over 30 minutes for a bus) where I had a lovely meal and some relaxing chat. Luckily I only had to wait about five minutes for a bus home.

Unfortunately the bus stops on the 246 line no longer have timetables - if there is anything at the stop it's an indicator of frequency. That's all very well during peak periods, but when there are only two an hour (or fewer) it would be nice to know what part of the hour they're expected.