Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Notes from Down Under

I haven't been posting much, but here are some notes I made last year.

Easter 2019 -  I am making a flying visit to Ballarat for a family reunion on Easter Saturday and staying overnight.  Sunday I will catch up with Leigh Edmonds, then return to Melbourne late Sunday.  I will be staying at the Victoria Hotel in the CBD and will be available for lunch or coffee etc before catching the 7.50pm plane back to Hobart.  

Wednesday I was still tired from my travels, though most nights this week I've been in bed by 10:15pm which is not usual for me.  To my surprise this didn't seem to harm my game at the Croquet Club -- in fact a couple of people told me how well I was playing on Tuesday.  Go figure.
A very windy night.  When I got up this morning I saw the lid had blown off the 44 gallon drum at the back door.  Never saw that happen before.  Went out to get some food for the poultry.  Let me tell you, the man who coined the term chickenfeed meaning a negligible amount of money never had much to do with caring for hens.
In the evening we competed in the weekly pub quiz and managed to finish in second place.  We only lost by a single point, so I reckon we would have won if we had done better in the puzzle question ("What year did NATO celebrate its 40th birthday?").

Thursday was quiet.  Anzac Day is a public holiday.  I played croquet in the morning and we shared a cake I provided  --  the club has a tradition that you have to bring a cake when it's your birthday that week.  Went home and took a nap.  After dinner I watched some stuff from the Sid & Marty Krofft boxed set I bought last week.  I was unaware that the State Cinema was having a special screening of one of my favourite films THE DAMBUSTERS due to it being Anzac Day!  Oh well, maybe another year. 

Friday got off to a sad start.   I gave Keith Curtis and his cat a lift to the Vet, but only two of us were coming back if you know what I mean.  :(   After it was all over, Keith and I talked for a while over coffee before I drove him home.
Lunch time, Adrian drove me down to eat with Mick, Helena and Zyta to celebrate my birthday.  Chicken and champagne, and since I wasn't driving I felt free to have an extra glass or two.  Zyta had come across one of the conical moulds used for making cream horns and served up a plate of them for dessert.  This was the first time I'd seen those in a long, long time.  Quite nice but you wouldn't want to be eating them every week.

AVENGERS ENDGAME  I enjoyed this a lot more than INFINITY WARS.  The movie hits the ground running and never stops, and though you'd need a PhD in Marvel to identify every character, it works.  The movie looks amazing and it has heart.  I'd put it in my Top Five list of Marvel movies.

10:50 PM 9/05/2019
Last night I felt a little unsettled, and today I felt sad and melancholy for the first half of the day.  A game of croquet took my mind off it for a while, but afterwards I drove past my sister's old house  --  it looked so lonely sitting there behind a chain-link fence studded with warning notices.  The whole property seemed like a wasteland, enlivened only by the donkey from next door grazing in the paddock. (Good old Rosie, I thought.)
Drove in to Moonah and felt a little better after a bowl of hot soup at the Magnolia coffee shop.  I kept thinking about the photo album Julie had put together for my 60th birthday, which I had been looking through recently.  Even after a couple of years, grief can sneak up on you at unexpected moments.

Thursday night, out to the Playhouse to see the Tasmanian premiere season of the musical LADIES IN BLACK.  Who knew that Tim Finn could write the music and lyrics for a good old fashioned big musical?  This is based on the Maderleine St John novel, but not the movie which was made at the same time the musical was about to come out. (Imagine the legal minefield for the lawyers dividing up the rights!)   The cast includes such stalwarts of the Hobart stage as John X and Chelle Burt, but the star is Cecilia Hutchinson who shines as the bookish suburban girl who finds a way out of the conformist 1950s when she takes a summer job at Sydney's leading department store.  This is that rare play that I would recommend unreservedly to everyone I meet.

11:46 PM 14/06/2019
Friday night and I may not get to sleep easily tonight, because I was drinking a lot of coffee at the Alliance Francais quiz tonight.  The Amnesiacs were defending the trophy we won at their last quiz (which was back in 2016).  The questions were in French, so they had to be translated into English for us, then our answers had to be translated back into French.  Fortunately I was able to answer several of the science & technology questions without waiting for the translation.
We came in second, partly I suspect because of the round where they showed us pictures of statues in France.  We not only had to say who the statues commemorated, but where they were located.   A big ask for a team in which only one had actually been to France.  (I did mis-identify the status of Jacques Brel as Charles Tranet, but nobody's perfect.)

12:03 PM 2/07/2019
For most of my life, buying art has meant picking up odds and ends at local shops or church fetes -- I don't think I ever bought anything priced at more than $25.  But I am now proud to announce that I am the owner of  a "real" painting, the sort that they sell in art galleries.
Liz Barsham's latest exhibition at the Nolan gallery finally convinced me to take the leap.  I am happy to say that her picture "Seeking shiny things" is now mine (and wouldn't it make a great subtitle for my autobiography?).

Over oceans deep
Homeward fly the travellers.
Devils watch the sky.

--- haiku for Julie 2016

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