Saturday, July 28, 2007

Flat profit

Rehearsals last night and this afternoon - last night with Graham and today with Marco and the orchestra (pity the poor tympanist). Overall everything seems to be going well; I suppose we'll find out in the morning.

But between both singing engagements I went to the Farmers Market with B (where I bought some yoghurt and feta) before catching the bus down to Elwood to act as moral support for the auction of D's flat. S&G were there as well as LH and DK (who I hadn't seen for ages) - in fact it was old home week really. We all stood around being the backdrop to the auction which went off very successfully - the flat brought $451,000!

Not surprisingly D is very happy (over the moon would be a better description). He had laid on a very tasty spread for lunch and others had brought French champagne, so it was a proper celebration.

Tonight D came around for dinner; I had made a vegetable soup/stew using up the rest of the chicken stock I made last weekend. We finished up with a slice each of some yummy chocolate cake D had brought to which I added the remaining slices of poached quince from last weekend.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Double blind (well, triple actually)

Busy, busy - singing and working. Gloriana went back on Monday night; a really interesting program which I'll talk more about closer to the concert. Because of the rehearsal I missed the call at St John's but as we've got a rehearsal on Saturday afternoon I figure I'll be OK for Sunday morning.

The Gombert rehearsals continue with nearly enough people, though attendance was much better on Tuesday. We'll probably have an extra rehearsal next week, just to be sure.

Yesterday I took a day's leave. First up was a visit to the doctor's to get the results of my blood tests; the cholesterol is OK but she was a bit concerned about my blood sugar levels so has arranged for another test to check if it was just a temporary glitch. Considering both my brother and sister have developed diabetes I was expecting this, though perhaps not quite yet. Let's just wait and see.

DG was originally coming for lunch but had called to defer - he came around later for coffee. The blind man came soon after and fitted my lovely new blinds. After he left (he only took about 15 minutes to do the job) DG and I moved the sofas back to their proper positions and continued our catch-up.

Then later GH came for dinner. It was great to catch up and hear all his news; he's looking well and his work seems to have calmed down a bit. He's off to the snow soon so our next meeting will probably have to wait for a few weeks.

Work today was very busy, not helped by there only being a skeleton staff -because of a combination of rostering and sick leave. But the upside was that the day passed very quickly.

Tonight I'm off to B's for dinner and to watch Inspector Rex and The Eagle.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More good food

Saturday morning was the Farmers' Market at the Abbotsford Children's Farm - after that we went to Vic Gardens as usual to finish the shopping. That was followed by a tasty meal at B&P's after which I went home to lie on my new sofas.

That night P&B, DG and I went to the Terminus Hotel for their Bastille Day dinner. A fabulous 8 10-course dinner of delicious food, beautifully presented. A good time was had by all. NE (of Esurientes) and BW from Gombert were there, as well as PN (who I hadn't seen for ages). They seemed to enjoy it as well.

On Sunday it was back to the old routine of lunch at Mum's; she seems pretty good, and possibly a little more mobile thanks to the cortisone.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Back on the air at last

The comms guys at work had a good look at my pesky modem-router earlier in the week and came to the conclusion that it was definitely dead, so yesterday I popped up to CPL in Dudley St and bought myself a brand new one. Last night after German class I set it up - it was a breeze to do and now I have my web access back.

It's been a fairly busy week: Gombert on Tuesday, work on Wednesday, German on Thursday and out to an exhibition opening with B&P tonight.

The bad news is that the person I was hoping would be taking my sofas tomorrow rang today to say that she had decided against it. So it's back to the drawing-board (or rather, to the charity-shops) with them.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Vale Régine Crespin

Régine Crespin, one of my most favourite sopranos, has died at the age of 80. She was truly a glorious singer and to my mind one of the greatest French singers of the twentieth century.

Not only did she excel in the French repertoire, including that of Poulenc, Ravel, Offenbach and Berlioz, she could knock your socks off in Wagner. She is a memorable Sieglinde on the landmark Solti Ring; the duet with James King at the end of act one of Die Walküre is breathtaking.

I will dig out my wonderful 3 CD EMI retrospective and remind myself of her gorgeous voice.

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Couch up

I'm still grumpy about the loss of web access but one of the comms guys at work has kindly offered to have a look at the offending piece of shit equipment on Monday. We'll see what happens.

There is some good news, however. Mum went home on Thursday and seems to have settled back quite nicely, thank you very much. Unfortunately I can't go for lunch tomorrow as I have an appointment with a pile of rubbish, a vacuum cleaner and four sofas. Well, two of them are on their way out, while the other two will be delivered some time in the afternoon.

But before they affive I have to rearrange the odds and ends (stop snickering, those who've seen the room) and make sure there's room for the important things.

Remember, if you want two (or one, I'm prepared to split them up) sofas in good condition, just leave a comment. I'll be booking in with the Salvos (or Vinnies or Brotherhood) on Monday so don't wait too long.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Not much to say today; I'm grumpy at the moment, mainly because I've lost my web access at home because of a bloody-minded Modem/Router. I followed all the disaster recovery instructions but to no avail, so will probably have to buy a new one.

I've also left it a bit late to arrange someone to pick up the old sofas (new ones on the way). Will probably have to live with four sofas for a while - perhaps I should throw a party. Anyone interested in two two-seater sofas in reasonably good condition? Leave a comment.

In other news, last night was the first Gombert rehearsal for the next concert. I've landed a place as VMcA is on his honeymoon and doesn't return until the day after the concert. Good program of English choral highlights, Taverner to Tavener.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


I've been told that there's been a problem posting comments on this blog. I've removed the word verification which I hope will make it possible.

Please leave me some comments (I hope that doesn't sound too pathetic).

The trip north

Pictures from the trip are at Picasaweb

June 9

Tat picked me up around 10 and we set off. We stopped at Shepparton for a quick bite around 12.30 and a quick run around the SPC Ardmona shop to buy some odds and ends to eat on the trip.

After Shepparton we crossed the Murray to Tocumwal followed by a short stop at Finley. The weather was glorious - a clear sky and no wind, though it wasn't madly warm out of the car.

We pressed on to Narrandera where we found a camping spot in the caravan park.

June 10

It was a very cold night on the ground in the tent - the first of many. Today we moved on to Dubbo, not going to the Warrambungles as originally planned. The weather continues clear and fine. Through Forbes and Parkes - then on to the radio telescope just outside Parkes where we stopped for a lunch break; the telescope is an amazing sight. We booked into a cabin in the caravan park at Gilgandra. The cabin had a TV so we were able to catch Robin Hood and Life on Mars.

June 11

We set off before 9 and left the Newell Highway for the Castlereagh. Travelled through Gulargambone (a place I'd heard about as a child, but never believed actually existed) with its umpteen corrugated iron sculptures of galahs and on to Coonamble and beyond.

We made a short stop at Lightning Ridge for lunch (a rather weird place mainly populated by people digging for opals, though there's not much left) before crossing the border into Queensland at Hebel. After a short stop at Hebel we moved on to St George. Here we stopped while Tat worked out what we should do. We decided to press on to Surat which would get us 120km closer to Carnarvon Gorge, thus shortening our drive tomorrow. Cold night in tent at Surat.

June 12

We hit the road after 9, stopping in Roma to pick up some food and drink at the local Safeway (sorry, Woolworths).

We set up camp in Carnarvon Gorge and met up with P&ML who had been there for a couple of days on their way home from an extended trip north. We all had dinner in the shelter-shed (sounds worse than it was) before retiring.

June 13

After breakfast we set off to climb to the Bluff lookout. It was a hard climb, but well worth the view from the top. After this walk we set off to walk up the Gorge to the Art Gallery, but I was too pooped to continue and wandered slowly back to the car. Tat continued on and did the whole walk.

June 14 (Happy birthday to me)

We set off early, filling up with fuel at Emerald and stopping for a birthday lunch of rather nice pies at Clermont. We had a short rest stop in the afternoon at Belyando Crossing before pressing on through driving rain for Charters Towers.

June 15

After a quick look around Charters Towers went drove to Ayr (with a side trip to Home Hill where the family was living when I was born). The weather by this time was overcast and cool. In Townsville it was still wet but we spent an enjoyable hour or so at the Museum of Tropical Queensland. It has an excellent exhibition about the wreck of the Pandora, which was sent to take the Bounty mutineers back to England.

We stayed the night in a room in a donger (sp?) at the YHA in Cardwell. A group of Rebels motorcyclists arrived with much rumbling late and left early the next morning. The hostel kitchen was a total mess with only one (damp) tea-towel which had disappeared by the morning.

June 16

Drove through South Mission Beach (still overcast and raining) and on to Innisfail. We stopped at a "fisho" by the road and bought some fish and prawns for dinner(s). We arrived at Port Douglas and booked into the unit. Then out to the supermarket to shop for provisions.

June 17

We had a rest day: shopping in the morning and Tat went for a walk in the afternoon while I relaxed a bit.

June 18

We had quite heavy rain all day. Went for a drive to Cape Tribulation. We took the ferry across the Daintree River and drove along the windy road towards Cape Trib but unfortunately we were turned back by a river in flood across the road. On the way back we stopped and had a very enjoyable, if damp, walk through a rain-forest area with well laid out boardwalks. Unfortunately we didn't see any cassowaries.

When we got back to Port Douglas we bought a few more things for dinner. I made a Thai-style curry to use up more of the prawns.

June 19

Drove to the Atherton Tableland: through Talgo, Atherton and to the Dinner Falls on the Bowen River. As well as Millstream Falls we saw three more near Milaa Milaa. All the falls were in full flood because of all the rain. Then we saw the Curtain and Cathedral Figs, amazing examples of tropical figs with extraordinary adventitious roots.

June 20

Tat went off to walk the Bump track and I wandered around amusing myself. That night we had the tasting menu at Nautilus restaurant - it was seven courses of excellent food and came with six accompanying wines. Delicious!

June 21-22

On June 21 Tat spent the day out on the reef; for our last night we had a tasty meal of fish and chips at the restaurant opposite the unit.

June 23

We had an early start - Tat drove me to Cairns to catch the plane back home. The flight was unremarkable apart from the St Kilda footballer sitting two rows ahead. SP came around for a meal and de-breifing on Sunday - he had a good time looking after the house.

It was a great trip and despite the overcast and rain it was at least warm most of the time (except the nights in central NSW).