Saturday, January 19, 2019
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
I write this at 7:30 am. Fans are whirring, the breadmaker has been transferred to a shelf outside as it generates so much heat and I sit reading that insects are disappearing and wondering at the foolishness of the human race.
|Breadmaker on a shelf outside|
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
|Blueberries taste so sweet when they are from your own garden|
Small bushes planted on poor sandy soil can be surprisingly productive. I planted a loganberry vine 18 months ago. Last summer it bore about 20 fruit but this year it was covered with fruit. I had so many loganberries I made a kilo of them into jam.
Monday, January 07, 2019
Saturday, January 05, 2019
Saturday, December 29, 2018
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
It was a short but violent storm with hail blowing in through the cracks in the door.
|Hail coming through cracks in the door|
I said to my neighbour that I was glad to be inside and not sitting on the plane we could see through the window, unable to dock as our plane was in the way.
'Spare a thought for those in the air circling the airport,' she said opening a radar app and showing me a tight bunch of planes hovering over Melbourne. Turned out she had once worked at the airport. (Her estimate of a 30-35 minutes wait was two minutes short.)
Monday, November 19, 2018
The singers and musicians (under the baton of the magician Pietari Inkinen) did credit to the music and the audience loved the whole thing.
Eva storms off the stage at the end, which I thought decidedly odd but then I remembered this is an English gentleman's club that her Walter had been blackmailed into joining. I would have stormed off too.
(I couldn't help thinking about Brexit and all those Tory fellows in their clubs hankering after their colonial past.)
Thursday, November 15, 2018
I set off down a Melbourne street to find a bookshop, followed some schoolkids into an alley and found myself in 'the southern hemisphere's biggest under-cover shopping precinct'. It is a series of shops with pedestrian bridges across intervening streets. Mercifully no Muzak, so it is relaxing, especially on an early morning week day.
I asked a passer-by where the nearest bookshop was and she scratched her head and said "Well there used to be lots, but the only one I know if now is right at the other end of this street. Just keep on walking and you'll find it."
|So much stuff....|
|Three storey of clothes shops|
Friday, November 02, 2018
Sydney is breaking heat records with 37.5C today. Last night was one of those nights where you toss and turn, then finally at 2am you get up and change your bedding to summer weight.
Today was a scorcher and tonight will still be warm. Will we drop off from exhaustion or will we be still more zombie-like tomorrow?
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Monday, September 24, 2018
|Qantas pilots discuss matters arising|
"Weather looks alright," they said.
"Yes, but it's windy."
A friend said later that comment would have stressed her out, but I was so busy trying to sketch the pilots without being obvious that I didn't really think about what they were saying
It was a bit bumpy in the air, but nothing like the lumps and bumps on the way up two days earlier.
Friday, September 21, 2018
I am staying not far from the cultural centre of the city, the South Bank. To get there I walk over a bridge dodging down an unmarked set of steps at the other side to get away from the roar.
At the QPAC (Queensland Center for Perfoming Arts) last night the comments by two couples about my plan to walk home after the concert were instructive.
The Queenanders who had come from Melbourne 50 years ago said " Oh it's a short walk, you probably wont won't need a taxi. And it very safe too!"
The born and bred Queenslanders said " Oh that's a long walk!"
Those comments say a lot about Brisbane. I did walk home and at a brisk pace it took little more than 15 minutes.
C'mon electric car makers, get a move on. Make our cities livable.
|From the bridge at night. The pink poles are on the neighbouring bridge|
Thursday, September 20, 2018
|Stuart Skelton as Peter Grimes|
Skelton managed the first act, then handed over to a stand-in. Although not well, he very generously acted the rest while his substitute stood at the side and sang from the score. It makes a big difference to have someone who can act the part on stage, even if they don't sing and Skelton is the quintessential Grimes.
Last time I saw a substitute sing in the wings was in Leipzig when a lead singer in Die Frau Ohne Schatten was ill and in that case an assistant marked the singers movements. It helped, but was not nearly as successful. This is when you realise that opera singers really have to be good actors as well as extraordinary singers. It is a very demanding profession.
21 Sept. Addendum: I got an email from Queensland Opera today apologising that Stuart Skelton was unable to sing the full performance. Apparently the doctor diagnosed severe pollen allergies. He'll apparently sing the full concert on Saturday.
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Wednesday, September 05, 2018
Such concerts are difficult to put into words - thus the nearly four week gap between seeing and writing. Do see it if ever the Australian Chamber Orchestra play it in a hall near you.
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Friday, July 27, 2018
Almost 10 years ago a friend in Germany told me she had tried several of the producers of photo-books and had found fotobuch.de the best. I ordered one shortly afterwards. Fotobuch.de has custom software that you download onto your computer. To make the book you open the software then load your photos either automatically or manually.You add captions, or poems or other descriptors, choose the page background, photo frame size and colour etc. I always place photos manually and spend lots of time fiddling to make each page looks as good as I can make it. I have made quite a few over the years and each time I discover new features.
The main problem for me is that they don't ship to Australia so I have to make them when I am in the EU or get others to bring them for me. Two days ago I realised that the photobook I had made of recent photos could be brought home by traveling family members if I ordered it quickly enough and had it sent to Scotland where they are staying. They leave next Friday.
I put the order in on Wednesday evening, Wednesday morning their time. The fotobuch.de website says it takes 3-5 working days to produce books, and because I ordered two somewhat different books (one for me and one for them) I guesstimated five days but hoped for four. If they were sent Monday evening they might just make it to Scotland in time.
An hour ago, Friday evening (Friday morning their time) I received an email saying the books have been delivered to DHL. Production took only two days and now they are on their way. I was sent a shipping number, so I can track them on the DHL website, which currently says they are being delivered to the local distribution center. It looks promising, but I have no idea of shipping times in Great Britain. Surely books that have been produced in two days could be delivered in six? I have my fingers firmly crossed.
[To fotobuch.de if you are reading this: I love your product, but please consider shipping to Australia!]