Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another milestone

My mother turned 95 on Monday. She's spending a couple of weeks in the country with my sister as my bro has had to pop into hospital for a minor procedure and won't be able to do her shopping or otherwise help out for a little while. I called today (after missing his call) and, while he's still in a some discomfort, everything seems to be going as expected.

I spoke to Mum on Monday and she sounds as if she's enjoying her little holiday; though she will certainly be glad to get back to her unit before too long.

Sunday was a bit weird as I didn't go to visit her. As it was very hot I went for a walk in Studley Park early before retiring to my cave for most of the day. B came round for pizza in the evening and we drank a quite reasonable cleanskin sparkling shiraz I had found at Coles on Saturday.

Rehearsals continue for concert one; and tomorrow, for those readers who read this blog at strange hours, there is a free lunchtime concert at Scots church in the city. We start at 1pm - don't be late.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

It's official - I'm a geek

While I was in Newstead with DG I installed Ubuntu (a Linux distro) on my laptop. It's certainly much faster in starting up and shutting down than Vista (which took about five minutes to close down the other day!) but so far I haven't been able to activate the wireless, or even a LAN connection to the ADSL modem-router. Oh well, it gives me a new project.

Apart from geekish activities, I had a lovely few days with DG - we looked at a possible house for him in Chewton, a very cute little place with tons of charm and, while it needs a little bit of work, it is certainly immediately liveable. He has a few doubts about its size (there's not much in the way of storage space inside) but is hoping to make a decision soon.

As usual on Sunday I went to Mum's today - she's well and is going to stay with my sister G in Kyneton on Wednesday for a couple of weeks. Bro is going into hospital for a minor procedure and won't be able to drive for a couple of weeks so it will be easier for us all (and her) if she goes to stay with G. She doesn't want to leave her home but I think is looking forward to it. The only drawback is that the lunch M has organised for her 95th birthday (on March 17) will have to be postponed for a fortnight.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Yet another Melbourne opera company

Last Saturday P&B and I had a tasty dinner at Birdman Eating before heading off the the newly refurbished hall at Australian Catholic University in Brunswick Street. There we were treated to a performance of Erwin und Elmire, an opera by Anna Amalia to a text by Goethe; this production, by IOpera, was the first since its first one in 1776.

A minimalist, or perhaps minuscule, plot (girl loses boy, girl regains boy) was accompanied by a pleasant, though hardly memorable score. The whole was very well performed by an talented young cast accompanied by an excellent orchestra. Unfortunately, the whole thing was presented in an updated production; no great problem with sets and costumes but the linking text didn't seem to know quite what mood to strike - the expressions "piss off" and "popinjay" surely don't sit well together in a libretto. And as for the use of the mobile phone interruptions ...

But the whole performance was a reminder of what an amazing group of talented young musicians we have in Melbourne. Suzanne Shakespeare and Christopher Busietta I've performed with, but Lee Abrahmsen and the calisthenic Nick Jones were a pleasant surprise.

Some pictures from the garden

Carabella -
an Australian-bred rose.

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Local produce

Despite the drought I still have a few quinces on my tree.
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