Thursday, July 30, 2009

Aireys Retreat

After several weeks recovering from a really painful and stiff back, I have a week off to spend with Celia at Aireys Inlet. We love the quiet and slow pace of our stay there. The trip down is a bit shorter with the Geelong Freeway now open to Waurn Ponds and no travel through the city of Geelong. Our trip down may have been shorter but on the road to Anglesea we were behind someone who was not aware of the speed limit and only picked up speed once we left Sweetwater Creek.
This time we didn't stop to shop at Anglesea, and I had grabbed some soup from the freezer; so with the fire lit we were sitting down to lunch 15 minutes after arriving!
The weather has been mild, sunny and light breeze so we went or a walk along the cliff to the beach and the dogs enjoyed the freedom. I got caught out by a wave at the last bit of cliff and ended up wet to my ankles, but not cold so OK on the walk back.
So far we have been reading, playing scrabble, gardening, watching and laughing at Doc Martin, and eating the variety of soups I make each day for lunch; last one was Lamb shank and vegetable, Very good!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Books

The last two years I have missed out on the Aireys Festival of Words, but all the stars have aligned and I have it planned for this year. On browsing the brochure I knew and had read a few authors, but decided I will go through the authors and read the indicated work. Shane Moloney is the star attraction, with his latest book 'Sucked In' He has a neat turn of phrase that I love and his hapless but successful character Murray Whelan has come far in the political arena.
The other book I had read was The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham. After twenty years away, Myrtle Dunnage returns to Dungatar, a small country town, where the towns people's eccentricities are many and varied. Peopled with exotic characters, this is a story of love, hate and haute couture, set in a country town that's disconcerting to visit but a bitingly comedic and heart-breaking place to live. A warm and nasty book, The Dressmaker evokes Drysdale's 'Drover's Wife' dressed in Chanel.
An author unknown to me is Nick Gadd, but I found the book mentioned Ghostlines at the local library and really enjoyed it. Set in local Yarraville Philip Trudeau, a once-respected investigative journalist, has stepped on the wrong toes. With his personal life and health deteriorating around him, he is consigned to a suburban newspaper where he writes 'filler' local news articles to be slotted in among the real-estate and restaurant advertisements. Sent to cover what appears to be a tragic-yet-routine death at a level crossing, Philip is drawn into a multi layered mystery that involves art theft, political intrigue and business corruption...not to mention murder. I have also read Dissection by Jacinta Halloran, but will get The Virtuoso by Sonia Orchard. and What happened at Number 26 by Comedian Denise Scott, and try Bird by Sophie Cunningham.
I have plenty of time to read them by August.

Recent acivity

A month has gone by. Celia is home for a visit and a to renew her US Visa (despite their seeming lack of warming to Visa Applicants; see her blog, seemeinny.blogspot.com) I have had a week off prostrated by back spasms, the worst for ~5 years. It flared to full dysfunction when we were going to Maddy’s to organise the contents of the house. (Significant?) Have been back at work a week and am a bit stiff and weary again today.
Other events over the weeks have been a FABULOUS night to see Simon & Garfunkel at the Rod Laver Arena. We had great seats (they ought to be at the price!) but S & G performed the whole show and sang all the favourites.
Old Friends/Bookends, Hazy Shade of Winter, I Am A Rock, America ,Kathy’s Song, Hey Schoolgirl, BeBop A Lula, Scarborough Fair, Homeward Bound
Some great video clips of them and the world events the, Mrs Robinson/Not Fade Away, Slip Slidin’ Away, El Condor Pasa
Art solo:Bright Eyes, A Heart In New York, Perfect Moment/Now I Lay Me Down
Paul solo:
Me and Julio Down By The School Yard, Boy In The Bubble, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, Only Living Boy In New York, My Little Town, Bridge Over Troubled Water
Encore 1 The Sounds of Silence, The Boxer
Encore 2: Leaves That Are Green, Cecilia
Garfunkel’s voice is still lovely and they harmonise so well. What a songwriter is Paul Simon!
We also saw Collingwood defeat Essendon at the MCG. Their 5th win in a row, had a members’ area seat and dinner in the Members’ dining room so very comfortable! While Collingwood is the best, I am also following St Kilda’s trip to the Flag, to support Andrew.
Nick celebrated his 12th birthday with the favourite Chocolate Ripple birthday cake!
Celia and I had a long weekend down at Aireys, spent most of it holed up around the fire (great wood that burned hot!) reading (The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The coroners Lunch,) watching DVDs (I’ve loved you so long, Lars and the Real Girl, and Miss Pettigrew lives for a day). All fabulous! We also read played endless games of scrabble and wined and dined. The dogs were happy to be with us whatever we were doing.
Friday we are off to Bennets Lane Jazz club to hear Yvette Johansen who I heard at the Chech Club a few weeks ago. We are having dinner before and Celia booked us in to a new Bar called …Trunk, which turns out to be a change of owner from Chinese one that was the Ethel Nilsen Day Care Centre where I was Director 1980-1984.
It was originally built in 1859 by architects Knight and Kerr (Parliament House) as the Mickveh Yisrael Synagogue and Hebrew School, run by the Rev.Moses Rintel. It was used as such until 1877, it then became State School No 2030 until 1892, and subsequently had a number of educational, social welfare and child care uses including the City Free Kindergarten .
The history of the former Synagogue is thus intimately bound up with the provision of social welfare, particularly catering to the needs of impoverished women and children and the unemployed in the formerly deprived north-eastern quarter of the city. As such, it is also a reminder of the character of this part of the city in the late 19th century and early 20th century: the area around Lonsdale, Little Lonsdale and Stephen Street (as Exhibition Street was originally known) was thought of as a slum area, inhabited by the poor and vice-prone. Now much of the small-scale fabric of this area has disappeared, giving the former Synagogue added significance.
Bennett's Lane was a great success everyone loving Yvette's performance. She is such a versatile singer, doing some great Blossom Dearie numbers. The venue was great so I feel comfortable about going there again, even if alone.
Off to see the John Brack's exhibition today then to Williamstown Little Theatre.