Sunday, February 26, 2006

Would you vote for this cat?

The nephews

S and R, who came for dinner on Thursday.

Pleasant Sunday afternoon

This afternoon I played in a Gombert fund-raising concert at St Francis' church hall with KP, AR and LC. The program was Mozart for the first half and songs from musicals in the second half. I played duet with K for two pieces. There was a good house (B&P, Tat and BN were there) and a tasty afternoon tea. I think everyone enjoyed themselves - I know I did.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pushka for PM?

It has been suggested (you know who you are) that Pushka run for PM. While this is a sterling idea, particularly when you look at the current incumbent, I'm not sure that Pushka is even interested. In fact, I think she's an (ssshh, now) anarchist and doesn't subscribe to the ideas of democracy, let alone our supposed Westminister system.

She prefers the Axminster system - great for scratching one's claws on. Unfortunately I have to put up with her using the western red cedar door jambs - ouch.

Let's talk about the weather...

The weather has been hot again, though I suspect after today's change that will be it for summer. Poor Albertine has been so confused she's put out some more flowers.

On Thursday night my two nephews came around for dinner. It was a very pleasant evening with much talking and laughing.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Random image

Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building

Bad mother

When I got to work this morning the laptop had arrived from Sydney. There was a note enclosed saying that they found a "bad m/b" which was replaced. All seems to be running as expected.

Cat nap?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Return to class

Last night was the first German class for this year. Unfortunately DrD can't make it this year. From last year's class there are just Margie, Kevin and me remaining. But others bring the numbers up to 11. Our teacher this year is Birgit who has an unpronounceable (and unspellable) surname, so I won't even try.

I was happy to discover that I wasn't the only person not to have done any revision over the break. We spent some time introducing ourselves before getting down to business. I think it will be a good group.

After class I made a dash for the train and managed to get home to grab a bottle to take to P&B's for dinner. P had made a delicious meal of pork with prunes and redcurrant jelly followed by B's very tasty passionfruit icecream (but most of you probably already know that from B's blog) .

This morning I caught up with Monday's Desperate Housewives and made my way into work after picking up more Lipitor from the Health Centre. It has been a very pleasant day - sunny, but not too hot.

With luck I should get the laptop back tomorrow - I got an email saying that it was despatched today. Unfortunately it has been sent by the same company that lost the first one back in July. Keep your fingers crossed...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Music and food

On Saturday Tat and I went to Trinity chapel to hear the Danish choir, Camerata, who are touring Australia. In Melbourne they were billeted with members of Ensemble Gombert, most of whom were at Saturday's concert.

They grabbed me with their first piece, a popular Danish hymn setting of words by Hans Christian Andersen, and continued to impress with their beauty of tone, reliable pitch and musical variety. Outanding was a piece by Sven-David Sandström, a contemporary Swedish composer, which takes Purcell's Hear my prayer, O lord and elaborates the desolation and despair in that work. It was one of the most amazing and moving pieces I have heard. And I want to sing it.

This extraordinary concert was followed by supper supplied by the Gomberts.

Then yesterday morning it was off to Mum's for lunch, something I had missed for the last two weeks. I took her B's copy of Bypass, by Michael McGirr which I'm sure she'll enjoy - I certainly did.

Last night P&B came for dinner, joined by DG, fresh back from his business trip to Frankfurt. He seemed pleased with the trip and is off next week to Sydney, so his frequent-flyer points will be adding up. I cooked Tashreeb Dijaj, chicken pot-roast from Iraq and served it with spinach and rice. A pleasant end to the weekend.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

New toys

For ages I've been battling with my desktop computer - it's had hardward conflicts which mean that restarting usually means a minimum of three or four shutdowns and restarts. To get around this I took myself off to Officeworks this afternoon and bought myself a spanking new wireless keyboard and mouse.

The setup was simplicity itself and the difference is amazing. The keyboard also has a range of extra keys and functions which allow me to control sound and other things without having to use the mouse. I love keyboard shortcuts. And I can use the wireless mouse anywhere, even on the wall if I want to, though I think that might be just a bit silly.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I'm back

I know, I'm slack; I'm sorry. The laptop is still at the doctor's so I'm blaming that for my absence. In the meantime I've been doing much of the same thing - working, eating, and generally being merry.

Gloriana went back a couple of weeks ago and I'm enjoying singing again; and German goes back next week so my weeks are filling up.

The highlight of the past few weeks is a trip P&B, LE, Tat and I made to Bendigo to see the Cecil Beaton and Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibitions - we met AdeH there.

The Beaton was an interesting collection of pictures; I think I prefer the earlier photos, but they were all good. Was there anyone of note in the twentieth century he didn't photograph?

The Mackintosh exhibiton was small but gave Tat and me many ideas for exploration on our coming trip to Glasgow.

KP has just left after an evening of duetting which was, as usual, great fun.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Broke(back) laptop

Last night I met P&B after work in Carlton and, after a meal of fish and chips, we saw Brokeback Mountain. While I enjoyed it I didn't find it the trancendent experience I'd been led to expect*. Lovely scenery (in all senses) and a conventional unconventional love story. And as for the warnings of "projectile sobbing" I'd read... I got vaguely moist only in the last scene. Still, a nicely put together film and a nice controlled performance from Ledger; I swear I saw his lips move at one stage.

Today I sent the ailing laptop back to its maker; they had responded promptly with permission for me to return it after my email explaining the problem. Let's hope it doesn't take forever to come home again.

Before work today I popped over to see BN and to deliver some CDs I had bought for her. She's well and we had a nice lunch and a good chat - we never seem to run out of things to discuss.

*Note to self: Don't read too many reviews of films you are definitely planning to see.