Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Et ecce terræ motus

As well as singing at St Peter's for Tenebrae on Good Friday night - Gesualdo, Victoria and Allegri - I've also landed a spot with Ensemble Gombert in the "Earthquake" Mass by Brumel. I have sung this work a few times with Gombert and Gloriana, though in quite different editions, and really love the piece. It's not easy and has some quite tricky rhythmic bits although this time I've landed a part with quite a bit of cantus firmus, which is less satisfying. But I do get to sing with some of Melbourne's best young singers - mostly tenors!

Last night was also NE's birthday and she had made a cake the ingredients of which included a whole jar of Nutella. It was delicious!

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Melbourne train lines - Werribee and Williamstown

On March 19, Tat and I set off on our second expedition, this time in a westerly direction. I met Tat on the train at Collingwood and we changed at Flinders Street for the Werribee line. The train we caught was express from Newport to Laverton.

As we expected, we didn't have the verdant views we had on our first foray, rather an industrial landscape, at times quite bleak, and housing estates. On the express leg we passed the oil refineries at Altona. When we pulled in to Werribee both of us decided that we would catch the train at the opposite platform back to Newport thus saving us the cost of a zone 2 ticket.

I'm not enough of a gunzel to know what sort of carriages these are, but they seem light and airy.

The train back to Newport stopped at the stations the previous one had bypassed (on a separate line). At Newport we changed for a train to Williamstown; we didn't have to wait very long.

The end of the line is a bit odd - it just stops, in the middle of not very much at all. However the views are pretty good and there are some interesting old buildings around to look at as you walk around to the main centre of Williamstown.

It was a lovely day ...

... so we decided we would eat at Williamstown, preferably outside. We found some rather nice fish and chips at a place in Nelson Place and crossed over to the reserve where we found a shady spot - but away from the child-filled rotunda.

HMAS Castlemaine with the city behind.

After lunch we wandered through the streets to Williamstown Beach station where we caught a train back to town.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Melbourne train lines - Glen Waverley and Almein

Tat and I have embarked on a project: to travel to the end of each of Melbourne's railway lines. For our first expedition today we knocked over two lines - Glen Waverley and Alamein.

I met Tat on the 11:20am from Collingwood, which we had agreed on, and we travelled into Flinders Street where we changed to the Glen Waverley line. It was a beautiful day and the train was not very full and we had a dream run to the end of the line.

Although I travelled this line regularly when visiting Mum, I had never been past Darling so it was very interesting to travel the whole line. The route, which travels by the freeway for some distance, is quite pretty, with most houses having substantial gardens and trees.

We wandered through The Glen, a shopping centre larger than I was expecting, and as shopping centres go not bad. We had lunch and coffee before making our way back to the station.

There was a train waiting for us which we boarded; we got off at East Malvern where we crossed the Monash Freeway on what looks like quite a new footbridge.

Once on the other side we walked through the golf course to the end of the Anniversary Trail, a shared pedestrian/bike path running along the plantation left when the Outer Circle line was shortened.

The day was perfect and we had a very pleasant walk along a verdant path to Alamein station.

A train pulled in as we reached the station and we were soon on our way back into the city, the train running direct to Flinders Street rather than requiring us to change at Camberwell.

In all, a great start to our project.

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Stormy weather

Last week I visited Land Victoria to get my name on the title for my house - they use computer-produced titles now which, while efficient, have absolutely no charm. Luckily they gave me the old heavy paper title with all the detail of previous owners on the back.

Last night I went for a wonderful meal with Stewart and Susan to Rumi in East Brunswick - good company and wonderful food ... or is that the other way around? This morning after shopping and brunch with P&B, Stew and Suse dropped in so Stew could fix my back door and side gate; reasonably simple jobs he was able to finish quite quickly.

After they had gone I was settling down for the afternoon when I noticed that it had got very dark - then it sounded as if someone was throwing golfballs on the roof. Melbourne had its most extraordinary storm for several decades: lightning, thunder, hail, rain. The city has been flooded in several places, Southern Cross Station was closed for some hours and Moomba was cancelled (gasp!).

There's more predicted for tomorrow.