Saturday, March 30, 2013

Japan Tokyo

I am enjoying  a ten day trip to Japan with my nephew Nicholas, a reward for his Japanese study efforts ( with an expectation that he will speak Japanese while he is here !) And Celia has joined us as well.
We are in Tokyo for 3 days and I have been caught out by the cold weatherNot freezing exactly but I have not packed for 12 degrees with cold winds!!  It was nice today 15, and warmer as we go south but the forecast for Takayama ,in The  Hida mountains is 7!!! But we are only here for these day ,but it is to be 16 the next day Seems a bit like Melbourne.
The weather in the last 2  weeks has been very mild, so there has been a record early Cherry Blossom blooming.so the blossom while there is still plenty is all drifting off so we walk through light rain of blossom.
We went to Ueno Park to see then bloom, but a walk today along eh Castle moat found us n another area that was. A lot of weeping cherry trees that would have been spectacular in the prime ,but still looked good!
Our hotel is handy, comfy and pleasant,and near arrange of food choices so we have been doing well. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Paul Simon

What a great way to start the Easter holiday break.
I organised tickets when I heard it mentioned on the radio and had time to get them.
Wendy Sue Deb and I met up at the Rod Laver Arena after a traffic /tram crawl for all of us. We went to see Rufus Wainwright support act,  but it was a bit disappointing.
But PAUL SIMON!!! FANTASTIC CONCERT
It must be an amazing thing to have 10's of 1000's of people sing along to your songs even if all  we were doing was the lie-la-lie from The Boxer.
He did a huge range of songs, Julio down by the school yard (Mary tells me there is a cafe Julio's opposite a school yard in ? Brunswick) Sounds of Silence (recently heard he wrote it after the death of JFK) Diamonds on the soles of her shoes, Kodachrome, Graceland You can call me AL etc.etc.etc

Pretty amazing being at a concert when you know the words of all the songs! As did everyone else there I think. He sang from 830 to 1015 then 3 encores (planned no doubt but still great)
You realise we are ageing when you know he is 71!
We got out just before 11 and I drove Deb back to Williamstown. Delayed somewhat as there were 3 lanes closed on the West Gate!!!
I have been reliving the concert this morning listening to The Graduate and Graceland. Can't find Rhythm of the Saints
Off to Japan this afternoon!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cubby Houses

We all have a love of small spaces as kids. Something about working out where we fit in the world! Or maybe just a hidey hole!
Our playhouse. Up before any garden!
Checking out my domain!
Dylan on the other hand likes to create a warm dark spot.
He has a great circus tent that he lately calls a fort, and loads it with pillows and invites you in to read a book or just lay back! (feet hanging out) 
But he loves the big Continental cushions Bridie has. One in particular is his comfort 'blanket" Too bulky to travel!! But he loves to pull it up to his chin as he sits and reads or watches TV.
Lately he has been building forts with the cushions and a red blanket to go over the lot. Many a frustrating grunt when it collapses! It is a great skill to balance cushions on their sides to make the walls, and often I have not got it quite right!
This Grand Design incorporates the tent to give a second room!

The tent has a little window in the roof that has to be covered as well
Best of both worlds!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Cleaned up

After weeks of trying to work on days that were too hot to do more than 30minutes work The brief cool spell meant I got the bungalow under control
I employed Liam to put cornice up to stop the dust and leaves coming in, He also stripped the lino out and took away extraneous junk and filled some major cracks
The I started sanding and painting- The latter of a mediocre quality ( definitely a trade skill)
The tasks sounded easily doable, but the lino that had been down for 40 years, had glue in the middle of the room holding the central join. It did not strip off but needed hammer and chisel chipping; (the heat gun just melted it.) Followed by stanley knife scraping. Hard work on the back and in the heat.
The easy part was painting the cement with paving paint.  It went on well with a roller.
But the roller trying to do the ceiling was frustrating I think there must have been a design fault with the roller handle a it kept swivelling around mid push and would fly away to hit the wall (a poor workman blames his tools??)
I had painted some old furniture still cluttering the bungalow, and it looks good but not finished yet.
Had the usual hilarious time moving the futon- They never have anywhere to grip!! But managed it and the bed alone, some stiff back tomorrow I think. May have a recuperative soak in the tub!!
First I had to put it all in one room
The cupboard was the challenge! Neat ceiling and architrave 
The old record cabinet (minus top at that stage)
The lino nightmare!
The strip left right across the middle 
Tools of my trade 
Slowly coming off 
It looks almost done, but those black patches came off with the Stanley knife, and some shaved knuckles ! 
A start of furniture layout 
Detail of the cabinet  
west wall 
Bed and armchair
A new door (still to be painted It has undercoat but was lime green!)
I realise the floor is not really clear so will add a pic!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A change

It was a bit cooler on Saturday, and I had been to an Infant Mental Health Scientific meeting in the morning (excellent presentation of a research project intervention for pregnant teenagers ) and was going out in the afternoon so only had a few hours at the Yacht Club.
Well I needn't have worried, as the cold front came through with a roar just as all the boats were heading out to the start. We could see a black cloud moving across the whole horizon, and then heard reports that it had hit Sorrento, and then Altona was reporting 30knots.
So Geoff called abandon Race and boats headed in and made it to the shallows just as the winds hit.
I took a photo of all the boats in the shallows at the one time (they usually come in in dribs and drabs as they finish) and ended up with a photo of the storm clouds as well.
Seconds before the storm, all calm 
So after a while I headed off to the Como theatre to see Great Expectations (not my favourite Dickens, as Carolyn said Pip is a bit of a pip!) but we all enjoyed it.
I remember when we read "David Copperfield as a boy" a small text in 1st form at School that I said to Maddy that " there is this great writer called Charles Dickens had she read any?"  I also won the English prize that term for my essay on a  character in the book; I did it on Barkis. No wonder I love Dickens!
After the Movie (where I ran into Julie and Brigid off to see Haute Cuisine) we went to a Persian restaurant that was very nice!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Malthouse

View to the City from courtyard
 This year I decided to subscribe to some Malthouse Theatre and a few less MTC. I went to the first one last week on a Thursday night. Had a good run into the city and parked almost at the door.
Tables under the tress
I had decided I would go in a bit earlier as I had to collect my tickets from the Box Office and I thought I would have what has become a rare glass of wine.
And the Bar was closed!! Why, I could not fathom nor did they have any reason to offer . So I sat outside in a balmy evening and watched the crowds go by. 
Walls of the Centre for Contemporary Art 
The Play was Hate by Steven Sewell, a powerful play of family dynamics and an incredibly manipulative and appalling father, business mogul and politician. Young girls next to me kept shaking their heads and sighing with each new manipulation and betrayal.
Sounds grim but was entertaining and William Zappa as John Gleason was brilliant. I recognised his face but had to look up where I knew him. He won the Green room award for The Government Inspector and also Death of a Salesman.
A good start to a new experience!  
William Zappa