Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Angels & Demons

The Angels Demons statues were outside the Art Centre as well as the town hall for the Melbourne Festival
Displaying bat wings, reptilian tales and innocent charming faces reticent of Botticelli cherubs, the works evoke mixed feelings of warmth, affection and disgust. It’s up to the viewer I think to decide on whether these works classify as cute or something a bit more sinister.

Angels-Demons. Parade is the handiwork of subversive Russian art collective AES+F, an outfit known for their irreverent hybrid works incorporating a broad spectrum of imagery. 
They are sexless and innocent or not depending on your view. The shiny black, works as a reflective surface so you see yourself in them. That may affect your  perception!

From AES+F website
First Rider (2007)
Angels-Demons. Parade* (2009)
3D Modeling – Roman Ivanyuchenko
Alain de Lille was a mystic and a commentator on the Apocalypse. Here is our version of Apocalypse.
We present an apocalyptic parade, which does not constitute the end of the old world. It's the beginning of a new one. The Angels-Demons are infants.
They are all new born and, like embryos, all have tails – long or short, sometimes just pushing through their nappies. All have wings, also of varying sizes. The clear difference between angels and demons, which is common to all cultures, does not exist here. Evil may look like good and vice versa.
They resemble twins – every angel has an identical brother. Or sister. We can't tell which gender as they're at the age when human infants have a strong outward resemblance to each other and are impossible to tell apart. They have the faces of peoples who never settled in Europe but towards whom Europe strived.
Both works (The First Rider and Angels-Demons) are parts of one idea. The First Rider is our vision of Virgin on the Beast. The premiere of The First Rider took place in the State Russian Museum, St-Petersburg in 2007, and then it was shown in MACRO, Rome, Ruzicska Gallery, Salzburg (2008), and Lille, France (2009). The premiere of Angels-Demons was in Lille, France during festival «lille3000» in 2009.

Royal Visit

It was a weird feeling day at work today with the Queen arriving to open the New Hospital (not actually open until Nov 30th) with staff all dressed up and absent!
our view over the front entrance
The medical staff in Mike's Dept who were not invited had a sweep as to what colour she would be wearing! Michale Marks won with his choice of hot pink.
The female RMOs all wore small tiaras and looked suitable impressive to all the patients!
Her black car arriving ! My view of the Queen!
I went up at 1120 after I had seen a patient, to the Care by Parent unit that overlooks the front entrance and we had front row seats, with one of my patients and his mother who are in the Unit.
But all I saw was the car arrive and her in pink dimly seen!! and then went to a meeting with the aforesaid RMO's.
Her pink dress. The white haired woman is Dame Elizabeth Murdoch (101 and in a wheelchair now)
The crowds at Fed Square
School kids out in force! Many dressed as Princesses!
Today Mike also showed me where I will have my workstation (goodbye office, hello company!) in a group of 4 with Lionel Lubitz, Tom Connell and  Nigel Crawford, all of whom I work with regularly. It will be interesting to see how we work in the 'public' eye.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lights, Action

I was going to contact the local business Loveluvo to get a handyman to do the last minute carpentry of the kitchen, when Michelle mentioned that her brother Liam ( a final year carpenter's apprentice) had not been paid for the last 4weeks as his boss had got into a legal wrangle with a building he was doing and the owners were not paying.
So I emailed Fran to ask if perhaps he would like some work. The boss has signed off on his apprenticeship so that is good and he has a job interview next week. He has been relying on money from the riding education he does. He leaped at the chance and came down last night to work today.
I am also getting him to renail the back deck as the boards are all loose. He said the wood is fine it just needs new decking screws (they have a twist in them ...pays to watch / read Better Homes & Gardens!) He will also fix the latch on the gate.
He has a show jumping tomorrow so will be back next week to do these extras.
But I asked him to take out the exhaust fan, replace the ceiling boards where the fan was, and do the window architrave.
He looked at the variety of architraves around the house (5 different sorts!) but I said I just wanted it simple like the doors of the hall and our rooms.
And could he put in two down lights using the power from the fan. His mate Tad is an electrician, but Liam had done it before but if he came across a problem he would be able to check with Tad.
He returned the boards I had bought (I got 3 pieces 1.2 mt instead of 2.1 mts in my illness daze!)  and I gave him cash for the lights etc
I left for my private practice about 930 but didn't get home till 6pm, and was blown away! It is GREAT!
The Fan gone, boards replaced  and a new downlight
Note the upper board!! and well lit sink
And light when we eat!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I have started using public transport for any trips into the city in the evening of late, and find I can be in or home in 15-20  minutes often far quicker than peak hour traffic.
I know there are lots of complaints for peak hour commuters, but I drive to North Melbourne, (more train lines change there, so more frequent choices) and can park at the door.
The longest I have had to wait is 8 minutes Av. 1-4mins, and on return max was 9 minutes av 4-5. Trip city to North Melbourne is 10 minutes
Last night I was part of the VicFEAT at the Royal Australasian College of Paediatricians in st Kilda Rd.
The topic was feeding problems and they had 72 sites logged in to the teleconference from around the country. It went over very well and was really great.
It is just past Toorak Rd so I caught the tram.
Flinders St Station ; about to have an upgrade
On the trip back I had to wait for 6 minutes for a tram (well under the 9 minute maximum!) and I sat in the tram shelter to read my Kobo. I'm reading  "The Address Book" by Jane Clifton and was having a laugh as she described how she stayed awake a lot at the house in Cardiff as she had read a Conan Doyle story of a woman being killed by the villain letting a spider into the room via an air vent and it pierced her eyeball, the venom making her go mad and hang herself and the villain inherited her money! (Jane did question how one lies there asleep with one's eyes open. Jane was 11 at the time!)
Anyway the tram arrived and I walked out on to the tram stop and got on a mod filled tram. Sat down opposite a man, who was staring into space, opposite were 3 girls all texting and behind me 4 women talking about work.
Here is how to initiate interaction with tram passengers!
I settled to read the KOBO again and felt something on my hand, looked down and there was a mod size huntsman!
I may have squawked but I flicked my hand and flicked the spider onto the man opposite, who seemed to sense something and looked down to where it had landed on his shirt's short sleeve.
I said "Sorry, a huntsman!' ALL the women heard! He flicked it off and it landed on the empty seat beside him, and he looked a bit helpless with nothing in his hand.
I said "Do you want a shoe?" so I took off my shoe (summer weather, so slip ons) and ignoring all thoughts of Karma hit it 3-4 times and flicked it to the floor.
The women were all up and saying "Did you get it, is it gone?"
The guys said "Yes , She saved my life!"
Applause all round and we settled back!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The slave

I am sure someone must have said that he who starts a garden is a slave for life! 
The garden looks good but looks can be deceptive. 

The intruder of past years was the wandering jew (Tradescantia albiflora Why the Tradescants gave their name to this pest!) that I have managed to eradicate over the years. Then a few years ago this new weed that I call @#X*@. 
I think it is something called Chenopodiaceae and is a  herb called Fat Hen!   
The Fat Hen
It is spread by seed and unfortunately while I have been laid up it has been raining and everything is thriving including this little Fat Hen. Combined with Spencer traveling underneath he spreads the seeds on his coat.
It grows along the side path as well coming under fence from next door. I heard him say yesterday that he'd sprayed that so why was it still there? Maybe because I throw the ones I pull up over the fence sometimes!! Bodes ill for my spray plans!!
The lush look of the garden is deceptive as most of it is this blasted weed. So feeling a bit more active I attacked the garden.
Had a short break when it rained but stopped when the green bin was full of weed!
Amazing what appeared with the removal of the wall of weed
View to fence and Borage struggling in the forest.
Dainty Bess was there with some blooms
The same bit of fence and Dainty Bess
Dainty Bess (bought for memory of Maddy's Aunty Bess)

The choked rose and Sage
Room to breathe and the path visible
The mass of plant over the path was mint, and more Pineapple sage became apparent Bottom L of above pic.)
Also planted the Fuschia (a pink one not a Fuschia one Celia! ) next to the nectarine

The pole apples are in bloom as well and look great 


Extra views

Celia and I had a rather interrupted Skype call last night. 
My lap top keeps going off line, so I now know the log on by heart! 
But she pointed out a few views of the kitchen she has not seen so here they are.

The sink and cabinets. Off centre to fit the dishwasher. But they are lined up with centre of cupboards!
The sink with new mixer tap and tiles at back, not rotting board!
View to the table (Spencer's mat back in situ in corner)

The dishes drawer. I tried out the mat to stop them all sliding to the back
All the cutlery in one place, and a place of its own!
The new clock.(Balwyn Op Shop)I don't need two anymore as I can quickly calculate NY time. New roses.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A good decision

I have been feeling a little better the last few days.  Not so tired after exertion, so was keen to try to go sailing again today. The weather looked mild so I was optimistic.
I went to the Post office to send off an order of my booklets (40!) and joined  a big queue at the Seddon Post office (open Saturday!) then went down to Port Melbourne.
Ursula, next door neighbour asked me if I was going to the shops, so after some painful interpretation I realized she wanted a new fitting for her front tap and hose. It was very stiff getting it on and off the tap.
So I stopped at Bunnings in Port and got that for her, and arrived at the club feeling a bit tired, So sat and had a coffee and chatted to those coming and going.
Then I went down to help Cliff finish off rigging the boat and the wind was coming up, and after half an hour with the boat I went back in to get lunch. By then I had the shakes and feeling decidedly less than fit! 
So as it was getting stronger wind rather than a gentle sail around I decided not to go sailing , and after the briefing I went home. But not before the breeze evened out a bit!! I toyed with going out but stuck to my decision.
I am not sure if they made it to the start line as the boats usually leave the beach at 130 and the race starts at 2pm and finishes about 430.
This is the graph of the wind during the day. 

It certainly was the calm before the storm!!

The Magic Flute: Melbourne Festival

The description of thirty South African performers performing an explosion of choral song, marimbas, drums and township-style percussion celebrating the spirit of contemporary Africa sounded too good to miss though I have never seen The Magic Flute (though it is in the coming season An interesting comparison!)
But I read up on the plot (or is there a term for an opera story, maybe libretto?) so I knew what was happening. They kept to the original work but singing in English with some free interpretation,
The flute with the trumpet in the background
When Papageno was telling Tamino how he rescued him from the serpent. "First I was afraid, I was petrified" he says
The Magic flute sound was a jazzy trumpet that was really  stirring !
The three spirits were in short skirt lilac suits with handbags on their arm and white wings.
Infusing this joyous opera with the distinctive sound and beat of South African instrumentation, the world-famous Isango Ensemble have breathed new life into Mozart’s timeless opera.
It was  really enjoyable with superb voices in the lead roles as well as great chorus voices and dancing
The priest
The stage was canted forward with the musician on the sides,and using percussion,marimba (wooden xylophone) all at the edge of the stage played at times with great enthusiasm.
All the woman were, as Precious Ramotswe would say, of traditional build!

Friday, October 14, 2011


The wonderful thing about seeing other gardens is how it inspires you to get down and dirty.
It was when Celia and I visited somewhere in the bush that we saw a big herb garden and we realised how great they can look. Which led to digging up part of the back garden and relaying a herb garden.

Similarly when Maddy and I went to see the Australian Native Garden down at Cranbourne I saw the effect of mass planting. Not just a plant that was nice but lots of the same one!
 Native Garden's Banksia
Japanese gardens also follow this principle esp with Cherry blossom!!

My garden is not so massed but 'running wild' is a good principle I think, with places to relax and admire the views

But what inspired this day's blog was the bottle brush out in bloom along the foot path to South Kensington station, I could see it coming out over the last few weeks but today it was MAGNIFICENT.
It is the length of the whole road!
View toward station
Other direction
The gorgeous blossoms

All done but painting

Celia reminded me I had not put in a photo of our new appliance!
New also in the sense that I have never had one before!!!
Always been a hands on activity for me and shared around among the siblings as we grew up, with clear division of labour!
I do believe they still lead to arguments about whose area of responsibility.

The dishwasher A Fischer & Paykel 2 drawer model      New tiles all grouted look great eh?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Tiling

An early call with the door bell going at 745 (yes it now works!) and it was Chris from Direct Kitchens to finish the kick board of the dishwasher. He also noted that the stove was set below the level of the bench (the closed  lid was level) but it would mean that heat/flame would be on edge of the bench, so he fixed that, also fixed a drawer that was slightly sticking and gave me the accurate measurements for the window architrave.

the little tgs go when the grouting goes in!
Quinton then got the tiling going and did a good job to balance the tiles, as the detail tile is smaller than the other. But I am very happy with the result. As glass tiles absorb moisture more slowly he will leave the grouting till they have adhered and will be back Friday for a last hour's work.
All the stuff is now back in the kitchen and we no longer look like a garage sale.
Last thing the painting!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Foley- Melbourne festival

Last night I went to see FOLEY at the Fairfax. Basically a history lesson on Black activism in Australia.
For more than forty years, Gary Foley has been involved in the continuing struggle against foreign invasion. As activist, academic and actor, he's been one of the key figures in ensuring that the Aboriginal experience is not written out of this land's history.
Having spent decades spinning the yarns of black Australia, both past and present, he now uses his well-honed skills as troublemaker, teacher and teller of tales to bring his experiences to the stage/.
It was a very entertaining 2 hours with video clips esp of the Aboriginal embassy rise and fall, politicians promises that were watered down,voices and faces in the activism area, as well as just funny stories.
Especially clips of ABC episodes of the stage show Basically Black from the 70's
His final message was that
Native Title is NOT land rights
and Reconciliation is NOT Justice.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Melbourne Festival: The Manganiyar Seduction

I bought tickets for the Melbourne Festival that will run over October
The first one was Saturday night and I was unsure whether I would go but after resting for  a few hours I headed out, driving to North Melbourne station at 7pm got a train in 3 minutes and arrived with 5 mins to spare Very relaxing trip!
The picture of this was what made me decide to try it.
The bottom left flute was AMAZING
Some of the drummers
A darkened stage comes slowly to life; a conductor gestures and lights flare, as curtain-lined boxes stacked upon the stage are illuminated, revealing white robed musicians who begin a hypnotic Eastern melody. The languid refrain slowly builds, as more boxes blaze to life, and more musicians - dozens more, 42 in all, singing and playing lutes, percussion and reed instruments - join an increasingly frenzied symphony.
It started slowly with the lute wailing for at least 5-10minutes, but then it started to build and was absolutely stirring and fantastic!!
The conductor played castanet type things and was dancing around
At the end everyone was on their feet roaring and clapping, that went on and on!
The leader Roysten Abel spoke briefly reading a letter from a patron the previous night (very witty and funny) from Geoffrey Rush!
The Manganiyars in bygone days performed for the Rhajasthani kings of India. A centuries old musical tradition runs in the veins of these Muslim minstrels and Roysten then talked about getting Visas for the 41 musicians nearly all of whom have the surname Khan! (not sure how that occurs as they are not all family)

Yacht Club Open Day

Sailing actually started 4 weeks ago but they have had no racing due to the strong winds. I am sailing with Cliff this season, having sold my boat, but crew Steve was away one week, Cliff another, me sick another so we hoped to get together Saturday for official Open Day.
Boats on the beach and corner of new change rooms
Hobies were out in force
The forecast was for light wind so seemed a good day for me to start, but Steve was only flying back today. However by the time 1pm came around I was already tired, so Cliff said he would sail with Bernard in what was  a very slow day. It was not cold but very grey.
The sign on board with magnetic scanner cards
Arriving in for the Race briefing. Michale Broise Past Commodore
A bit light on for staff in the Race Tower
The crowd for briefing with Commodore John(r) in red and blue
Due to the lack of sailing over the last month there was a good roll up for the first day, but I stayed around for the sail past and had long catch up chats with people before briefing then went back to rest.

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