Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The results are in ...

... and they're good. I went to the clinic this morning to get the results from all the tests run on the blood taken last week. The doctor was pleased with all of them, cholesterol, kidneys, liver function, blood count and blood sugar. Though she did say that the blood sugar level was slightly higher than it should be - we'll just have to keep an eye on things.

So that's that for six months.

Those readers in Melbourne who are planning on coming to hear Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem might like to come on Friday night; bookings for Sunday's performance are quite heavy. Oh, and don't sit too close to the front - we make quite a noise.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Catching up

On Monday night I went back to Gloriana after missing last week with the cold - it's sounding really good. Unfortunately GMcD wasn't up to singing so we were denied that pleasure, but SS sang her solos and very nicely too. Those local readers who aren't busy on Friday night or Sunday afternoon might like to come and listen. Details on the Gloriana website.

Thursday was Christi Himmelfahrt at St John's and it went off quite well. Tat and I didn't meet up beforehand te eat beforehand as we were called for 6pm, and they fed us at St John's anyway.

Work continues to be fairly busy, but at least it keeps me out of mischief. The cold is just about gone, but unfortunately I'm at the tickly cough stage; just when I go to bed it starts to get worse.

This morning P rang to say that B had got tickets for The Gondoliers so we wouldn't be shopping. They picked me up and we drove in with B's parents. The production was great, close to perfect; musically it was also very good. Livermore and Connelli made a wonderful Duke and Duchess.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Greetings ...

... to my occasional visitor from Sunnyvale, California. I'm just disappointed it's not Sunnydale, the home of Buffy and her friends. I do hope Sunnyvale isn't built over a hell-mouth.

Feeling much better

The cold has virtually gone, and was not really very bad; I was able to sing at the St John's rehearsal on Friday and certainly gave more last night at the Gloriana rehearsal. But I still have an annoying cough (I nearly wrote "annoying couch" - my couch is less comfortable than it used to be, but I'd hardly call it annoying).

On Saturday P and DG and I went to see Terence Malick's latest film, The new world, a too-long retelling of the John Smith/Pocahontas story (thought she was never called that in the film). While beautiful to look at, showing the full devastation of the almost-failed settlement, it tried to make too much of a very slight plot indulging in meditative voice-overs giving the main characters a chance to express their doubts and misgivings. It made good use of the prelude to Das Rheingold in the opening sequence, but spoilt the effect by reusing the music later in the film.

On Sunday evening P&B came for dinner which was Stephanie's beef casserole and was delicious. I made some delicious quince paste which we enjoyed after dinner.

In German tonight we touched on the subjunctive - the tensions from last week's class (which I was told about by M) seemed (almost) non-existent.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Evil puss

... and mellow fruitfulness

Quinces, some of which were soon to become delicious paste.

Season of mists ...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I have a cold

Today I spent at home nursing a bad throat and feeling generally under the weather. I started yesterday with a scratchy in my throat and it just got worse during the day. When I got up this morning I didn't have much voice left and felt very plain, so I spent the morning in bed. In the afternoon I got up but slobbed around in the tracky-daks. I hope the day off has broken the back of it and should be back at work tomorrow.

According to this blog it's a year since my last cold.

Monday, May 15, 2006

At the farmers' market

Last Thursday I spent an enjoyable evening having dinner with some work friends. Two recently departed co-workers were there and it was great to catch up with them.

Saturday was market day so I went to B&P's where we met up with A&T and we all set off for the market. We were a bit later than usual and there were plenty of people there. I bought some honey, potatoes and some lovely quinces (my favourites).

Afterwards we all went back to P&B's for a delicious lunch of soto ayam and a good chat before B&P and I went to Vic Gardens to finish off our shopping. In the afternoon I puddled about in the garden planting some of the things I bought at the market and later made a goulash for Sunday.

On Saturday night Tat and I went to the Gombert concert (Media vita) which we had almost forgotten about. It was an interesting concert; probably the most enjoyable piece was an extraordinary extended setting by Sheppard.

At Mum's on Sunday as usual; brother IP turned up after lunch. We hear about each other through Mum, but don't often coincide so it was good to see him. Haven't seen my sister for a while, but I hear she's not bad, although she's been having a bit of a problem with arthritis in her hands. This is a real shame as she is an amazingly practical person, always making things, stitching, cutting, assembling, creating - always winning this prize or that at the CWA and other places.

In the evening B&P and I met DG at the Chunky Move studio at ACCA to see Chamber Made's latest offering Corruption. It was a pretty opaque scenario though well performed (danced/moved/sung) with a less-than-gripping score of samples (often very loud) and some adolescent sexual shenanigans (although I'm afraid I missed the defecation mentioned in The Australian's review). Afterwards they all came back and we consumed the goulash (with lashings of sour cream) followed by the remains of DG's wonderful pecan pie (with caramel sauce and cream).

After they left I staggered off to bed.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Stuck in traffic

This morning P&B and I had an adventure in South Melbourne: as we were going to the Mietta Song Recital competition at the Australian National Academy of Music, we decided to drive to Clarendon Street and do our shopping at the supermarket there before heading to the Town Hall.

The supermarket was rather oppressive, with shelving close together and the ceilings at the back of the shop very low (like shopping in a cave). After shopping we moved the car before grabbing a quick, if putrid, cup of coffee.

The contest was very enjoyable (the first half of it anyway) with AC singing second after quite a good baritone. She sang well, doing a song by Clara Schumann, Der Zwerg of Schubert and songs by Debussy and Ned Rorem. It's the first time for ages I've listened to her from a position other that sitting beside her and her voice works well in a large space. The standard was very high - I wouldn't want to be deciding who to advance to the finals.

We left at the lunch break and made the mistake of driving back the way we had come - straight up Clarendon Street to Spencer Street. Unfortunately Spencer Street was closed off between Bourke and Lonsdale Streets with all traffic being diverted up Bourke Street. With no changes to the traffic lights sequence or police directing traffic, the end result was that Spencer Street was clogged back to the Casino. It took us nearly an hour to get home. Next time we'll go by tram.

This afternoon I spent cooking braised lamb shanks from Jill Dupleix's Old food, and baked some quince slices. Dinner was delicious.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Not a good day

It started when I slept in, or rather when I woke up at the usual time but was convinced it was Saturday morning, rather than Friday. I got up and put the cat out then returned to bed and thought about when I should be getting up as we are planning to shop a bit earlier this week.

Lying there I drifted in and out of sleep with my mind wandering around; suddenly I had the awful realisation that I had forgotten to buy a cake (for work) "yesterday". Now I was wide awake - today was Friday and I should have already been at work half an hour ago.

I threw myself in the shower and dressed; I tried calling work but there was no answer. Three more times on the station and in the train I tried with no success. Finally,when I came out of Flagstaff Station I managed to get through. I finally got to work at 8:55. I'm usually there at 8:05.

It turns out that there had been someone there for some time but that they "hadn't heard the phone"(!) Needless to say I was less than please at that.

The day did improve but I felt as if I was half an hour behind all the time. Spending over an hour in a briefing that was only supposed to last 45 minutes did nothing to change that.

Then a software update to Outlook succeeded in messing up my installation of FrontPage which required another 45 minutes or so to fix. A few things were left undone today.

Things improved a bit when we had black forest cake to celebrate a co-worker's birthday.

Tonight I'm spending a quiet night in front of the telly watching Rebus.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Quick catch-up

The highlight of the past weekend was JD's 50th birthday party on Saturday night - everyone was supposed to be/wear something starting with J. DV was an amazing if temporarily vision-impaired jellyfish (the tentacles hung down to her waist); there were several Jack-and-Jills, and ST was an unforeseen junky. As I'd forgotten completely about the requirements I was (as usual) in jeans and a jacket.

Monday was Gloriana and more Brahms Requiem; the tenor line has ST as special guest which is very nice. It's a big sing, but very enjoyable. Not sure what RoboBear thinks about it though.

Tuesday as usual was a long day because of German class. When I arrived at CAE I checked the class listing and discovered that we were supposed to be in a room on the 4th floor. When I got there it was very small and empty, but there was a laptop and a datashow set up. When no-one else turned up I went down to our normal room which was of course where the others were. No-one else had checked the notice downstairs, or for that matter the notice outside the second floor room they were in.

BM, our teacher, remembered that she had asked to be able to show us some websites so we all trekked upstairs only to discover that the laptop was locked (of course) and that BM, who hadn't expected such a fast response to her request, did not know the password. So that was that.

During the course of the class we all passed two assessments, though BM was very sly and didn't tell us we were being assessed until it was all over. It was actually quite fun as it involved performing dialogues in pairs; M and I did quite well, I think.