Monday, January 30, 2006

Too darn hot*

It's been too hot to blog. Well, that's my excuse. For more detail on what I've been up to you should consult Bruce's blog - the details are over there on the right.

On Friday night Tat and I went to the first St John's rehearsal for the year. It was good to be back singing -- it's going to be a busy year. Then on Saturday morning B&P whisked me away to Brunswick for shopping; we tried out the Barkly Square shopping mall for the supermarket shopping, but I don't think we'll go back in a hurry.

In the afternoon I did very little as it was so hot and sticky but P&B and I set off in the evening for Victoria Street where we had a meal at Tho Tho before heading in to Federation Square. There we saw Dr Strangelove at ACMI; it was years since I'd seen it (and I mis-remembered large slabs of it) but it stands up well.

On Sunday I made my usual trip to Mum's, made even more enjoyable by her convenient cooling apparatus. She's much the same; her leg is getting better but she still hasn't driven for some months.

In the evening P&B came for dinner - I made a couple of pizzas (it's cheating really, as they're so easy to assemble) and we had fresh fruit and yoghurt for dessert.

Meanwhile the Rat (Rodent, Weasel, whatever...) continues to deny any knowledge of the AWB involvement with Iraq. "It wasn't me... I wasn't there..." I almost expect him to say, "Check the roster," as one of my colleagues of long ago used to when accused of anything.

The bad news is that my laptop has decided it wants to close down when I'm not looking, and sometimes when I am. Or when I touch it in a particular way. Sometimes it doesn't respondbut mostly it does. I've sent off a message to the people I bought it from (remember that debacle? - thought to be fair it was the delivery people that time) -- we'll see what response they make.

*Sorry about the corny heading, but it's just been, you know, too darn hot to think.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Change (good as a holiday)

After two more stinking days we finally got a cool change tonight. I've not done much for the last couple of days - a quick dash to Smith Street yesterday morning to do the shopping then locked inside until evening when DG came round and we went to Victoria Street for dinner.

Then another trip in the heat to Mum's this morning. At least her place has a cooling unit; she wouldn't survive without it. And now the wind is whipping the trees around and the lovely cool air is spreading through the house.

P&B went to Mildura for the weekend - I hope they didn't melt away.

Friday, January 20, 2006


It's hot. Too hot. And I don't very much like it. It's OK when I'm at work; but after work, that's another story.

Last night I went for a delicious dinner at P&B's. B had made szechuan chicken (courtesy of Herbie) and P had topped the meal off brilliantly with pĂȘche melba and ice-cream so it was a very satisfying evening.

Then I went home and tried to sleep which was a silly idea. Because I'd left the back door open while I watched some rubbish on the telly I had to spray the whole living area before I retired to my bedroom. A room which, although I'd left the ceiling fan on, was still very warm. I read for a while (re-reading The chronicles of Narnia that Tat lent me) and then tried to sleep.

Alas, no sleep came. I lay there, trying to get comfortable, to get cool. But to no avail.

Then the room was invaded by a manic blowfly which zoomed around dementedly, banging into the walls, bashing the light fitting, dive-bombing the bed. It think it was cross that I'd left it in a living area full of flyspray.

This all went on much too long. I think I must have finally lost the will to fight around 2am and succumbed to sleep.

This morning I feel ghastly but at least work is cool. (Not cool, just cool.) Now I just have to keep my eyes open and concentarte.

What fun, 41 is forecast for Sunday...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Food and travel

Things have been fairly quiet over the last few weeks - work is quiet, there are no rehearsals or German classes and so I have lots of time to myself. That will all change in a week or so, so I'm enjoying my quiet time.

On Monday Tat and B&P came for dinner. I cooked a couple of curries: lamb rogan josh and a vegetable one using a new spice mix I found at the supermarket. I also made a mango salsa to go with everything which was rather tasty. We finished with a fruit salad of pineapple (fresh), rock melon, passionfruit and raspberries (I love this time of year) with icecream. All very healthy.

We all had a good chat about travel; P&B are off in March to Spain and Malta. Our trip seems so far away but it's still fun talking about it. In between we watched the last episode of the Jared Diamond program at the end of which I thought I'd scream if he or the portentous voice-over said "guns, germs and steel" one more time.

Yesterday was uneventful, apart from a minor skirmish at work (details on application) and today, being Wednesday, I'm working the evening shift after having almost completely wasted a beautiful sunny day. Oh well, I'm sure there's at least one more on the way before we get to Sunday for which 41(!) is forecast.

On other matters this bloody government has ruled that Australian embassies and consulates must not provide certificates of singlehood (who knew they even existed) without first determining that they won't be used in a single-sex marriage overseas. I was always ambivalent on the gay marriage issue but the last couple of months of Howard and Ruddock (et al) is beginning to change my mind.

Friday, January 13, 2006


The wonderful Wagner soprano Birgit Nilsson has died at the age of 87. I was lucky enough to see her sing Isolde in Vienna in 1976 and, before that, in two concerts in Melbourne when she visited Australia for the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973.

Blessed with an extraordinary voice which could soar over the heaviest orchestration she also brought intelligence and humour to the often stuffy world of Wagner and Strauss opera. Truly a great voice of the twentieth century.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I just discovered that someone from Mauritius spent about half an hour today reading my blog after having found it by searching for my name.

This has me very curious as I'm not aware of knowing anyone who either lives in Mauritius or was planning a visit recently.

If by some chance you return and see this please feel free to leave a comment.

Of course that invitiation goes to all my visitors, be they local or from Betelgeuse Minor.

PS No word from RoboBear lately; I do hope he's still visiting.

Two months away... but not yet

I don't think I've mentioned that I'm planning a trip overseas this year. Tat and I are spending seven weeks in Europe: a fortnight driving around Britain, followed by some time in eastern Europe before returning to London and then home.

We've been planning for a while now and it's all falling into place; quite a lot of it is already booked thanks to the wonders of the internet. Really, I don't know how we coped before. The down side of all this is that we don't leave until September. Oh well, that leaves us plenty of time to work out exactly where we want to go and what we want to do.

Last night P and Tat and I took ourselves down to Vic Gardens (our shopping mall of choice) to see The lion, the witch and the wardrobe, which I enjoyed much more than I was expecting. Tilda Swinton was magnificent. It's many years since I read the books (I may look them out again soon) but much of the story came back during the film. Though when I saw the field of battle I half expected to see Aragorn and Legolas in the middle of the throng. So much of the scenery was strangely familiar.

This morning I caught up with LE (with whom we had a birthday dinner on Monday) and we set off for the Museum to see the William Morris and marine creatures exhibitions. The Morris is amazing stuff, but I really don't think I could live with any of it; a little goes a long way. The marine creatures exibit was a bit too overcrowded with little people but we had an interesting time nonetheless.

Then, as it's Wednesday again, it was off to the city for a bite to eat and on to work.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year

My best wishes for 2006 to all who visit.

Saturday, New Year's Eve, was a scorcher. After spending most of the day inside I set out for B&P's around 6.30. I opened the door and walked out into what felt like a fan-forced oven! Ghastly. Then I spent a lovely evening with P&B - we watched the celebratory fireworks from the upstairs window before I left for home.

Tonight B and I met P and DG in St Kilda where we had a quick meal before heading off to The George to see Good night, and good luck, George Clooney's film about Edward R. Murrow's investigations of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his House Un-American Activities committee. I found it fascinating; an effective reconstruction of an interesting period in American history, with many resonances for today. McCarthy spoke for himself through the use of documentary film.

Returned home to discover that the young people over the back are having a (very loud) party - the same lot I turned the hose on last year. Let's hope I don't have to repeat the spraying.

Good night, and wish me luck.