Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

Well, the relaxation from the Easter weekend didn't last long. Work has stayed fairly frantic, to say nothing of the odd extra bits I've been doing for the Intranet re-design.

The highlights of the last 10 days have been:

The return of the errant P&B, who have had a great trip through Spain and Malta and arrived back last Saturday. They came for dinner in the evening and we had a good catchup. They brought me a bottle of gin, which is very nice (but, judging by my current abstemious habits, may well last for some time) and a wonderful recording of Lortzing's Der Waffenschmied. This fits in precisely with my current exploration of German singspiele of the early nineteenth century. And the cherry on the cake was that it's a recording I was previously unaware of. Great.

Sunday morning saw, or rather heard, Tat and me singing again in a Bach cantata (don't ask me which one, I can never remember) at St John's Southgate.

Last night, as I had a holiday from German class, I went for a lovely meal (roast lamb) at B&P's; LE was also there. P had made the most amazing espresso gelati which I ate with great gusto, and a bit of whipped cream.

Later I walked LE home through the wilds of Abbotsford and Collingwood.

This morning was glorious and I made the most of it by getting out into the garden (which I really should do a lot more often), digging, planting, mulching and trimming. I'm determined that the garden is presentable by springtime.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A weekend in the country

DG and I planned on going up to Newstead on Thursday night, but because the previous visitors decided they were enjoying themselves too much we didn't actually get there until Friday morning.

The weather wasn't brilliant but when we're up there it really doesn't matter. On Saturday morning we went into Castlemaine to shop then spent most of the afternoon reading and basically relaxing. In the evening J&TM came over from Vaughan for dinner - D cooked a wonderful meal (as usual) and we all had a great time.

Today I went for a nice walk before lunch and this afternoon D drove me into Castlemaine where I caught the train back to Melbourne. It was a wonderful break.


Chairs on the verandah


Sunday, April 09, 2006

All sung out

Last night's Gombert concert went off well; despite being hard work it felt very satisfying. The Lassus Lamentations seemed to go nicely and, despite dropping a bit, the Gesualdo held together. It is extraordinary music and it was great to have another chance to sing these unique settings. It's a shame there weren't a few more people in the audience to appreciate it. We finished with a Miserere attributed to Palestrina which I thought a trifle boring, but which I'm reliably informed was very effective.

Then this morning it was Palm Sunday at St John's Southgate and we sang a little gem of a cantata, Himmelskönig, sie wilkommen with a tiny band of two violins (though the second only played for a couple of movements), recorder and continuo. CM from Gloriana sang a beautiful alto aria while JK provided effortless bottom Es in his aria. The tenor replacing Ben (who got a gig doing the Evangelist in NZ) was a late ring in and acquitted himself well.

From there it was off to Mum's; I don't think my torpid self was very engaging today, though she is much too polite to say so.

P&B seem to be wallowing in the culinary delights of la belle France, Vaucluse to be precise. Goodness, will they be able to fit into their plane seats to come home? I am, of course, jealous; but not with any justification as I have an equally interesting(?) trip looming later in the year.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

ADSL2 ... nearly

Last month I was offered a free upgrade to ADSL2 from my ISP. It seemed too good to refuse so I said yes. Last week I got an email saying I would be migrated early this week; on Wednesday morning I got a phone call from a guy from the ISP saying that they'd noticed that since the migration I hadn't connected.

It turned out that while my modem/router is compatible it needed a firmware upgrade (Ooo-er!). So tonight I took a deep breath and jumped in head first. It didn't go quite as smoothly as it could have, but to be honest I didn't expect it to. Luckily young JW was available at the end of a phone to provide moral support and advice and eventually, despite the modem/router interface being a bit bloody minded, I finally got the whole shebang working again... and re-established the encrypted wireless network.

All I need to do now is call the ISP back and get them to switch me over to the faster network.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Another weekend over

It's been a busy week: rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and a wedding to sing for on Saturday afternoon. Then to top it off, a fabulous Gloriana concert this afternoon - we did Tallis' wonderful 40-part motet, Spem in alium. The concert went well finishing with a very satisfying performance of the Howell's Requiem. The Howells was also on the program for my very first concert with Gloriana in 2001.

Having the wedding to sing at made me realise that I didn't have much in the way of clothes that were even minimally presentable, so after work on Wednesday I went into town and searched for some shirts and a jacket. I was ideally looking for a leather jacket as my current one is very old and shabby. I didn't find a leather one (that will happen eventually) but did find quite a nice casual jacket as well as three shirts which will come in very handy.

Work was fairly frantic as well culminating with MC's departure (after 28 years). The festivities were spread over two days with lunch on Thursday and the presentations on Friday. The response from staff all over the building was very moving and deserved.

B&P continue to enjoy their trip, having made it to Barcelona (see here for details).

Reading: Untold stories by Alan Bennett. I gave this to DG for Xmas planning to borrow it to read. Another case of giving as a present something I would like myself. It was a good choice.