Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today's tasks

I'm still slowing working through a lot of material we found in Mum's unit - all sorts of letters to and from her including all the letters I sent back from Europe in 1976. No shattering finds (I don't expect any) but some nice information about her daily routine running the house in Gympie: washing, ironing, shopping and sewing. Eventually I will make all or some of this material available to those who might be interested.

Catch up

Long-term readers of this blog will know that the end of my left index is now permanently numb. Well, now I'm having similar problems with my right little finger. I saw the doctor yesterday: the upshot is that we'll leave it for a week to see if it settles (it is improving slightly) and then perhaps investigate further with a scan and/or a visit to the orthopaedic surgeon.

Anyway, enough of whingeing - I've been busy. On Saturday night I went to the Ensemble Gombert concert: they sang works by 20th and 21st century composers. The latest works were world premieres by Peter Campbell, Vaughan McAlley and Calvin Bowman. It was a wonderful night of fascinating music and great to catch up with all the members of the choir.

This was followed on Sunday afternoon my singing in a most satisfying Gloriana concert in which the major work was Alfred Schnittke's Choir Concerto. It is an extraordinarily complex work - I like to think of the style as a cross between Rachmanninof (of the Vespers) and Sandstrom, the Swedish composer whose Agnus Dei we performed last year. We were all exhausted at the end, but in a good way.

On Monday night it was straight back into rehearsal - for the opening concert of the Melbourne Spring Early Music festival in which the major work will be Brumel's Earthquake Mass, a wonderful, crazy (but in a good way) work. A bonus is that ST is joining us for the concert, as he is not going on the Gombert tour.

On Tuesday, after a nice catch up lunch with MG, I met BN in town where we booked Business class tickets for Britain. Then yesterday I met the agent to arrange the sale of Mum's unit.

My calendar for the next few weeks is filling up.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lunchtime concert

Today I went up to Trinity Chapel to a performance of "An Avian Miscellany: A Parlour Songbook of Birds", a collection of songs about birds, by Peter Campbell. The songs, the texts of most of which were taken from a Mother Goose collection, were beautifully sung by Louisa Hunter-Bradley accompanied by Jonathan Bradley on the piano.

A good-sized audience heard a collection of well-considered songs, many displaying great humour. The thoughtful settings avoided the obvious and reflected the emotions of the texts beautifully. I'm glad I had a program as Hunter-Bradley's diction was variable, although her performances were delightful and displayed much thought.

There were many familiar faces in the audience - I sat with Stuart and MdeC was sitting opposite.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Simon's cat

An oldie, but a goodie

My exciting life

Yesterday I walked up to Clifton Hill for lunch and a visit to Retravision. LE is looking for a new TV so I checked out what they had on offer; only a cursory look as I'm not quite sure exactly what she wants. Just an initial foray.

I got back in time for the dishwasher repairman who came and fixed my dead machine - I was getting a bit sick of washing up in the sink so it was well timed. The last time I had a problem (about six months ago) the repairman then told me that, as the machine was about ten years old, it may not be worth repairing if it broke down again.

But it's working again now, and this repairman said that the model is a good, reliable one, so I'm glad I tried.

Last night I went to P&B's for a dinner of sweet potato and lentil soup followed by boeuf bourguignon; both were delicious. Their new rug and sofa have arrived and look splendid; and the sofa is very comfortable - ideal for afternoon naps. B goes into hospital today for the FESS procedures to fix his sinuses; he's supposed to be in just overnight, but suspects he may be there a little longer.

Today I'm having lunch with nephew S and his girlfriend S (henceforth S&S); he's cleaning out his room in Richmond before moving into their new house in Ascot Vale South.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Telstra efficient - amazing

Today, after spending the morning at Mum's unit helping I, G & D finish cleaning it out, I went into town for my physio appointment. As I had been tasked to cancel Mum's phone account (a job I was expecting to take some time and effort) I dropped into the Telstra shop in Swanston Street. In all honesty I was only going to ask for advice on where I should start.

Surprisingly, I was able to do it on the spot. They didn't even want to sight a copy of the will or death certificate and the whole procedure was completed within ten minutes.

If I've ever said bad things about Telstra (and I think I might have) I take it all back ... well, almost.

And, thanks to the wonderful Bec, my sore neck is less so after her ministrations.