Wednesday, July 12, 2006

poultry and prejudice

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If I had the right camera equipment I could have taken a classic photograph of Mount Wellington on Tuesday night.

The temperature peaked about breakfast time, then the rest of the day was dark and drizzly with the mercury stuck on 5ยบ. But around midnight the strong winds blew the rain away and the full moon was shining down unhindered.

Up on the mountain, the moonlight reflected off the snow and the remaining snowclouds hovering around it. It made for an unforgettable sight against the darkness of the clear night sky.

Tuesday afternoon was a quiet day at work. Julie had spent the afternoon over at the home of a fellow poultry-fancier and arrived home with two new hens and a rooster. The new rooster looks like a lively little customer and has a very distinctive crow (so I hope he's not with us for too long).

We just had time for a quick meal before racing off to the Playhouse to see their new production, Helen Jerome's play based on the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice.

Solid performances from all, with John Andrews the calm masculine lynchpin of the Bennet household, Noreen Le Motte as his scatterbrained wife and Jane Russell as their strongwilled daughter Elizabeth.

James Casey is the straitlaced Mr Darcy. If you haven't seen him in other shows you might mistake his starchy manner for poor acting, but I've seen him play a wide range of characters on stage.

Jane Russell [unfortunate name for an actress!] is a recent graduate of the National Theatre Drama School. She's a real find and lights up the place whenever she's on stage.

My mobile phone stopped sending outgoing phone calls or text messages at the end of last week. I think it was the telephone company's not-so-subtle way of reminding me that I hadn't paid this month's bill.

I took care of it and was soon back on the air. It reminded me how easily we get used to things ­– ­­yesterday's luxuries become tomorrow's essentials. Originally I regarded a phone in my pocket as a rather indulgent item, but a couple of days without it was more irritating than I expected.

My sister bought me a little pedometer last month, presumably to encourage me to keep up my much-needed exercise regimen. It clips neatly onto the belt and clicks off the number of steps I take.

The problem is that the reset button is placed on the front of the pedometer. It might not be a problem for athletes jogging around the track, but to wear it in the real world presents some difficulties.

Whenever I wear it for the day, inevitably somewhere along the way I brush against something or bend over the car and *pop!* the numbers reset to zero.

Consequently I still don't know how many steps I take in the course of an ordinary day.

Tony Delroy's Nightlife, my favorite radio programme, is now available as a podcast. Go to the ABC page and see what's available

click here

Meanwhile Tasmanian dignitaries and amateur radio enthusiasts have spent the afternoon toasting one of Tasmania's greatest technological contributions. Tasmanian Governor William Cox transmitted messages to his Victorian counterpart across Bass Strait, to re-enact a ceremony that took place 100 years ago today.

The event in 1906 was the first known Marconi wireless transmission across water in the Southern Hemisphere.

The president of the Devonport Maritime Museum, Bob Vellacott, says the gathering marked the city's special contribution to radio technology. "The event 100 years ago proved indeed that the wireless transmission could go across a large stretch of water" he said.

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