Monday, January 25, 2010

Roll playing

Saturday before last LE asked me to make some bread rolls for a dinner party and I surprised myself by producing a dozen of the best rolls I have ever made, so tonight I thought I would see if I it was just a fluke or whether I could repeat it. And it worked. 

I bought some new flour a few weeks ago, a brand I haven't used before, so I think that might have something to do with it. Now I can't wait to make pizza.


(Very) Pleasant Sunday ... and Monday

On Sunday B&P and LE picked me up in Roz the Yaris and we set off for the Mornington Peninsula. First stop was the McClelland Gallery to check out the sculpture.

Then we headed down to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery to see an excellent exhibition of landscapes of the region - paintings ranged from the early 19th century to the late 20th century.

Today I went into town to the bank to check if I will be liable for extra fees when I pay off my mortgage later in the week; it turns out there won't be any extra to pay. After this good news I wandered down to Media House where I met up with Andre, Johan and Roger for coffee.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not again ... yes, I'm afraid so

On Monday morning I caught the train to visit DG in Castlemaine. I had a lovely visit and cooked him the lamb tagine-ish dish I had made for P&B on Sunday. It was very tasty.

He had finally located the remote for his TV and it was a simple matter to retune the TV. He hasn't had access to broadcast TV for a couple of years - he was so excited that he sat up late last night watching the tennis.

He drove me back to Melbourne this morning with B - he dropped me near Jewell station and I caught the train home. I didn't realise it immediately I got inside, but while I was away my house had been broken into yet again. One of the back windows was jemmied open but oddly nothing seems to be missing. The only sign of the intruder was some dirt in my shower recess; no real sign that the shower had been used, just some dirt. Weird.

Thanks to the helpful people at my new insurance company (my previous one had declined to continue my coverage) I had a visit this afternoon from a handyman who managed to make the house secure by fixing the window.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another trip? Yes please

Off into town this morning to visit the lovely Brihony who has been organising a trip to New Zealand for me. I'm going to stay for a few days with AC and TM in Dunedin with a couple of days in Christchurch on the way home. Not for a few weeks, though.

Also in communication with the solicitor about Mum's estate - everything is almost tied up now, my brother, sister and I should get our shares over the next few days. While I was in a financial mind-set I started sorting through all the receipts, bills, statements, etc to get ready to get my tax done. It's a job I dislike intensely, not helped by the fact that my records are always in such a mess. I've done the first bit, but still need to lay my hands on a few more bits and bobs before I can make an appointment with the accountant.

The weather continues to be glorious, just how I like it, though I think there is some rain ahead. Good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cooler again

It has been a beautiful day today, the weather very pleasant. For my walk this morning I went up to Smith Street, my destination Cavallero for coffee before walking home the long way.

I had a call from the solicitors this afternoon letting me know that the settlement on Mum's unit had gone through successfully. Later I received an email from her with all the details for me to check. This marks the end of my job as executor - not what I would call an onerous task, but I'm glad it's all over.

Also had a conversation with AR this afternoon - he verified that Gloriana will be doing the Poulenc Figure humaine again in the first concert for the year. I am very much looking forward to singing this extraordinary work again and can't wait to start rehearsals.

BN's flight gets in tonight so I'm going out to her place to help K and L surprise her - I didn't mention this on my previous posting so as not to spoil the surprise.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


It's been stinking hot: 43 yesterday, only down to 32 overnight. With no air conditioning this place gets pretty hot; I have a fan in the lounge and a ceiling fan in the bedroom, but they just move the hot air around without much cooling effect as far as I can tell. With luck we should get a cool change some time this afternoon.

I'm currently trying to arrange flights to Dunedin to visit AC and TM - I'll probably spend three or four days with them and perhaps a couple of days in Christchurch, as I've never been there and most flights to Dunedin go through there.

BN gets back from Oxford tomorrow evening - as far as she knows the flight is still on schedule. It will be good to see her again and I'm looking forward to catching up with all her news.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dinner at MoVida Aqui

Yesterday was LE's birthday, so she, P&B and I went to MoVida Aqui, the latest in the MoVida franchise, for a celebratory dinner.

The food was delicious: we started with a range of tapas which we followed with four different larger courses including pork belly and bacalao dishes. We considered a serving of patatas bravas, but instead moved on to dessert, B and I having the Spanish version of trifle while P and L opted for the special which involved pineapple. I topped things off with a glass of a most delectable quince liqueur.

The restaurant is well laid out, with tables not too close together, and the service was exemplary, as compared with the unfortunate experience we had at lunchtime at Madam Sou Sou's.

Today is quite pleasant, top temperature around 33, but for tomorrow 41 is still forecast, so I think I'll spend the day in hibernation.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2010 - A new year

I'm very relieved 2009 is over, it was fairly turbulent - I had two trips overseas, retirement and, in the middle of the year, the loss of my dear mother.

In May, I spent time in France and Spain with P&B before heading for Britain, visiting my cousins in St Andrews and Derby and spending some time with AC & DP in Brighton.

When I got home I found that Mum's condition had deteriorated while I was away; she died just over a week after my return. I miss her.

Back at work I discovered that my request for a redundancy had been accepted and I finished up for good at the end of July.

In mid-October I flew back to Britain with BN; she had rented a flat in Oxford so I had a base, from where I visited Dublin, Derby, London and Brighton catching up with friends and family.

I got back to Melbourne mid-November. Xmas was spent with DG in Castlemaine and New Year at home on my own.

The second trip away meant that I missed out on singing in the last Gloriana concert for the year, but I did go and hear it; a slightly odd experience, being on the other side of the action, but enjoyable.

The second half of the year has also been busy getting Mum's affairs in order - cleaning, tidying and preparing her unit for sale and dealing with bills and solicitors and such like.

My life now is very different from what it was at the start of 2009 - I wonder how much more it will change over the next year.

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