Monday, January 25, 2016

Mailout and songs

The highlight of last week was Friday's mailout, which went with amazing smoothness. With a slightly early start, around 9.30, we were finished the stuffing around midday. Jane and I started on to complete the count, and full in the stupid form. Luckily the On Air magazines arrived around 8.45 so there was no sitting around waiting. Having a few new people help energize the room as well.

On Saturday night I went to St Stephen's in Richmond for XL Arts' concert of British song. And very impressive it was, too. Great to hear so many good singers and very promising for the up-coming Dido and Aeneas.

Today I had a nice Korean lunch with Jim, and tonight P&B came for beef, bacon and red wine pie followed by ersatz pêche Melba.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Quick catch-up

On Tuesday I went out to North Balwyn (quite accessible by bus it turns out) for drinks with Grantley McD - it was at his father and step-mother's. Being painfully punctual I was the first to arrive, but that gave me a chance to meet his folks (I think we had met before) and his partner Josef.

Included among the other guests were Vivien H, Michael R and, later, Cookie N. It was a lovely evening.

On Wednesday there was a strategy meeting of the Reflections group at the radio station - just to bring Nicky G and Jane M up to speed on management of the program. As it was over 40 C we thought we might have a drink afterwards, but alas all venues at the Convent were closed.

On Thursday night I joined P & B for dinner at The Commoner. This was arranged as B will be having an operation on his tongue in a week or so, so it was a last chance to have some decent food for a while. It was, not surprisingly, a very enjoyable evening.

Friday morning saw a visit to the dentist - really the first serious appointment with the new woman. She did a couple of fillings, but it turns out that one of them is messing up my bite - the new bit of my lower tooth is bashing against the tooth above it. I'm going in today to see if she can grind it down a fraction. I can't say I'm completely happy with her, but we'll see how things go. Next stop is a crown, to be done in February.

Saturday morning was The Romantics as usual - this week was a program of music by women and I think it went off quite well. Then in the evening the three of us went over to Noel's for dinner: two very tasty curries.

On Sunday night I filled in for Adrian McE on Choral Masterworks and caught up with Adele S which was great.

Now, I'm just catching up with a few things before I head into town to see what the dentist can do with this new filling.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bookings and drinks

Quite a pleasant day today - I spent most of this morning booking accommodation in Brighton and Edinburgh, and a ticket to Der Rosenkavalier in Berlin. I also looked for somewhere to stay in Berlin and thinking I've found a possible.

Lunched at Mavis the Grocer.

Tonight I caught the 302 bus in the opposite direction to normal, out to North Balwyn where Grantley M was having drinks for friends at his father's. It was a very pleasant evening and I met G's partner Jo, who seems very pleasant.

Last thing tonight I sent out the reminder notice for the first mailout for the year, to be held next Friday. With luck there might be someone to take over the coordination among the new ones.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Bach and more

On Friday I went with Chris, Melissa and Jane to Ballarat where we sang Bach's B minor mass with EG and a great baroque orchestra plus some cracking soloists. It was hard work as the acoustic was difficult to deal with, particularly because of the way we were arranged, but overall I think it was quite a good performance.

We stayed for a few nibbles before setting off home. Saturday morning was The Romantics as usual, this week an all Schubert program.

Yesterday and today the temperature went up so this morning I thought I'd go and see the new Star Wars film. Unfortunately doing a Google search for screening times doesn't produce correct results for Hoyts Victoria Gardens so instead I went into the Warhol/Ai Wei Wei exhibition at the NGV. It was well worth it.

Ai Wei Wei

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

A Bach surprise

Yesterday I got a call from the radio station around 5pm asking if I could present that night's Concerto program. I didn't need to think long before accepting. I also had a call from Niki E asking if I was available to sing with Ensemble Gombert in Bach's B minor mass in Ballarat on Friday. I of course said yes.

Because of my radio commitment I couldn't attend last night's rehearsal, but went along tonight, singing tenor 2 with Stuart and Michael S. The orchestra sounds amazing - I think it's going to be an exceptional performance. Another rehearsal tomorrow night.

Also had a nice lunch with Margaret today.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Bach in the swing of things

After my program on Saturday I caught the bus up to Lygon St, and then a team up to the Great Northern Hotel where I met up with B&P, Nick and K and their four children, and Julie and Ian - a true Sims get-together. We were in the beer garden out the back and the food was acceptable; much talking was done by all present.

Then in the morning it was up early and into St John's for the first cantata of the year, Ehre sei dir Gott, my favorite from the Xmas Oratorio. It all went off very well and was great fun except for the unusually boring sermon from the locum pastor.

Not much worth mentioning since then. Watched the third episodes of The Leftovers tonight: it's getting weirder by the episode, although I can see that it will be a self-contained weirdness each time (tonight's being that of Christopher Eccleston's priest) all fitting in to the long-arching concept. A bit like a set of linked Twilight Zone episodes.

Friday, January 01, 2016

A new year

The last two days of the year were hot - I still don't have air conditioning nor even a fan so it was pretty uncomfortable. We did our weekly shopping on Thursday and I spent the evening chez Bruce & Peter. P had cooked chicken with preserved lemons and olives, reminding me that I should resurrect it.

On Wednesday I had lunch with MG at Dench's, and then dinner with Mariese at Dr Morse. After dinner we watched the wonderful video of Imelda Staunton in Gypsy, broadcast on the BBC just last Sunday. Good to have seen it as it may not last on YouTube. Staunton's performance is extraordinary.

A change came through quietly yesterday evening and today was much more bearable, though very humid. I gather it will be like this for another couple of days.

I left P&B's around 9.30 last night and watched some of the ABC's Pub Quiz, which was amusing. Though on watching the British Great Big Fat Quiz tonight on YouTube I realised how much actual content the Australian version had used.

In bed before midnight, though the noise, which began at midnight, persisted for some time.

Not much done today.

Happy new year! Let's hope 2016 is a better year for the world, alas, the omens are not good.