Tuesday, November 18, 2008

what if they made a movie and everyone laughed?

Tonight was another of those fun, mid week, girlie catch ups. I was running late after work and Delamare was patient!

We dined/snacked on nachos, corn chips & cheddar dip (a precursor of the cheese to follow) while we caught up on all the gossip of a relatively short shared work history and a remarkably long list of shared interests.

Then it was off to the main event - Nights in Rodanthe.

Yes, we had both read the poor reviews but we had also read some positives and besides, Diane Lane is one of those few actors whose name on the movie trailer is enough to get me there.
Yet again she was luminous, and Richard Gere did what he does well.

It didn't deliver the predicted tears from either of us, and I felt just a tad insulted by the obvious plot lines. Just how many meanings can a herd of galloping wild horses have?

As the music swelled, the credits rolled and the theatre lights slowly lifted, it seemed as though he entire theatre (which was only 93% female) giggled and barely suppressed their mirth. Had it been a Richard Gere and Julia Roberts movie laughter would have been appreciated, but I'm not sure that laughter is what was intended here.

Nonetheless, it was a most enjoyable evening of great company and escapism and laughter is, indeed, the best medicine.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bulli Bulli

I attended a lecture as part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival yesterday. While I love my food, and (as previously mentioned) enjoy food shows on Foxtel's Lifestyle or Food & Wine channels (second only to test cricket, perhaps), I had not previously heard of this chef.

Ferran Adria runs the elBulli restaurant in northern Spain. It is a restaurant that opens for only 160 days each year, from April to September, and has 2,000,000 requests each year for the 8,000 possible reservations.

In his own words (or those of his translator Lucy), 'cuisine is a language' and his cuisine is using a new alphabet. His inspiration is drawn from snow, art, or even the earth as he flew from Adelaide to Sydney. OK, back to avocado on toast for Monday night dinner. I'll have to save up the $400 for 30 courses over 3 hours at elBulli sometime in 2015!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hipy Papy Bthuthday

Apparently today is the anniversary of the 'birth' of Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie has always been a favourite of mine, and I love to quote 'Vespers' at every opportunity (whether relevant or not).

..."Little boy kneels at the foot of his bed; droop on his little hands, little gold head ..."

Even the 'bump, bump, bump' down the stairs leads me to smile, despite the thought of the headache.

Today the great corporate master announced yet more significant changes. I can understand the new direction, even though the prospective work causes just a little headache. Tonight it was a glass of Wirra Wirra Churchblock Cab-Sav-Shiraz-Merlot with dinner to ease the dread of the forthcoming workload.

Personally I don't mind if the advised changes lead to the cancellation of the work conference in Mumbai in December, just so long as I can get through almost of the work before my July holiday next year.

Monday, October 13, 2008

no excuses ... no promises

yes, I know that it has been some time since I blogged and apparently it is very poor etiquette to have such extended breaks.

I can't offer any valid reasons other than I've been busy and tired at the end of the day when I would usually blog. I know that one of the purposes for connecting via wireless at my new home was to allow me to blog while parked on the couch (yes that new one from the last blog) while watching TV. Watching TV is a very important part of my relaxation time. I find it very conducive to my mental health to watch re-runs of 'Friends' or new episodes of UK cooking shows.

But now it's cricket season!! To date, while the sun has been shining and the days are longer, I haven't yet smelt freshly cut grass nor heard the sound of willow on leather. Just the thought of experiencing the smells & sounds of summer is enough to make me smile!
The weather on AFL Grand Final day was more like cricket than football ... and in deference to my Geelong supporting friends I'll leave reference to that day there. However, I did wander amongst the crowd in my new neighbourhood, and observed some amazing sights ...

Monday, July 14, 2008

a new way of working

I'm becoming accustomed to my new routine in my new house ... and routine is important!

Lists are in order and not just one but many -

  • grocery shopping

  • other shopping

  • furniture shopping
  • services (including a plumber)

  • clothes shopping

and the lists continue to grow. Not that I'm complaining mind you.

Last week I went in search of new office furniture: a desk and shelves, but to no avail. I did discover a lovely lounge suite, which was delivered last week. Yes, the colour is 'snow' but it has been 'scotch-guarded' and has already proven itself against red wine!

Also new on the list is a new way to exercise. I'm walking to and from the bus/tram, but I do miss my walks around Princes Park after work. To my missing walking partner and therapist, Lurextoga, I hope that you're finding new ways of working/living in the country.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ding, ding - tickets please

Today was my first day back on public transport, and also the first REAL rainfall in Melbourne in months!

I went to bed last night with a sense of excitement, eager to embrace my politically correct and socially responsible move from car travel to public transport. The signs when I awoke, didn't bode well - I could hear the rain on the skylight (so many exciting features in my new home)!

However, by the time I had readied myself for work, the rain had cleared, to be replaced by a brisk westerly wind. Armed against the cold with a coat and colourful scarf, I walked jauntily to the tram stop and joined Melbourne's early starters on my way to work. I even travelled down Melbourne's Punt Road by bus.

It reminds me of my favourite Merv Hughes story so I smiled all the way to work.

During the 1991 Adelaide Test, Javed Miandad commented that Merv Hughes looked like a fat bus conductor. Big Merv dismissed the Pakistani soon after, running passed the batsman yelling, “Tickets please!”.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I have been told that the only thing that stays the same is change, and recent events are backing that up.

As I sit in my new spacious family room, tapping away on my flash new laptop, I'm keeping an eye on the cricket score from the West Indies via wireless broadband.

Yesterday I bade farewell to my psychologist boss, who is off to work in the transport industry.

last night I listened to the further demise of the West Coast Eagles (my second football side)

oh, and today foxtel will be connected, or at least it had better! yippee!!!

but right now it's time for golf. That short 12 minute trip gives me a few extra minutes to blog and surf.

even David Bowie is changing - he is now a character on SpongeBob SquarePants (or so his own blog tells me). No photos of Ziggy Stardust, but a lovely picture of SpongeBob!

Friday, June 20, 2008

all the key numbers

It is 18 days since I took possession of my new home (also known in this street as 'Mary's house')

15 days ago I moved in!

I have unpacked all boxes, except for 14 boxes of books

In 28 days I settle on my old unit (that's also the number of days I have to clean it)

1959 is the year that the neighbour who greeted me on my arrival moved into this street

My colleague lives 3 doors away, and we have only had the $10 Wednesday parma at the local pub once (so far)

Golf is a 12 minute drive away at 6.40am on a Saturday morning

It took me 16 minutes to walk to Punt Rd (and 2,569 steps), and I was in my cushioned seat at 'the G' 25 minutes after leaving my front door.

My internet connection took 14 days (and help from Katrina at Bigpond)

...and I still have to wait 8 more days for my Foxtel connection!

On my first Friday night here, it took me 8 minutes to 'jiggle' the lock at my back door - not a good sign

It took me 2 more days to work out the secret jiggle ... but I still want to change the locks

I picked 23 lemons from the 2 trees in my back yard last Saturday (and there are more to pick tomorrow)

I still have a lo-o-o-o-ng list of things to do, but I have plenty of time ... and now I have my internet to help with the relocation process. Welcome to number 21, it's great!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

doing my best impression of a piece of wool cloth!

Yesterday was meant to be the day after which I could relax, leave stuff lying around my place, and start packing for the big move.

... however ... after a fair bit of interest there were no bidders and therefore no sale. After the auction, 4 parties wanted to be kept informed and still held interest knowing the reserve price. If they haven't expressed their interest (by way of an offer) by now, I reckon they have a plan A that may very well be auctioned next week, and I'm their plan B.

So now I'm on tenterhooks. Which leads me to ask, what is a tenter, and why does it have hooks? Well, a quick trip to Wikipedia and a cross reference to my Latin dictionary tells me that it's from the Latin tendere meaning 'to stretch'. A tenterhook dates back to the the textile industry, and refers to hooks attached to a frame on which woven woollen cloth was secured while it dried. As those of us who have washed a fluffy jumper in warm water know, wool shrinks, so a tenter (with attached hooks) was used to hold newly woven cloth in place while it dried.

Now I'm off to Mater's place for a Mother's Day brunch. Croissants & champagne all around! Today's task is to use a conjugation of the latin verb tendere in conversation ...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

security matters

I think I just moved into the high tech world! I logged on to my blog, using not a password, but a fingerprint!

My new laptop has cajoled me, ever so gently, into the current millennium, and all I have to do to log on is swipe a single finger. How amazing is technology?

In other news, my lovely neighbour, Lady Magpie, expressed just the right level of regret that I am selling my unit and moving. In her caring way, she passed on a recent article in the local rag, highlighting a robbery at a home that was open for inspection. Apparently someone inspected said property and unlocked a window. At a later time, they then accessed the house through that unlocked window, removing valuables.

When I arrived home after a lunchtime open for inspection today, I discovered that while closed, my back door was unlocked. I'm sure that it was an oversight by my agent, but it did activate me into a frenzy of checking in cupboards and drawers before I sat down with a well needed glass of wine.

I'm very pleased to say that you, my fancy new laptop, were still hiding in your secret place and nothing was touched.
Just as well, I would have been out tracking fingerprints faster than Sherlock Holmes!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I'm back!

It certainly has been a while, and so much has happened!
(sorry for sounding like dear diary)

Basically it's like this ...
my computer broke and as the great corporate master has blocked all blogs, I couldn't even log on at home through my work laptop.

see, it's sort of a 'dog ate my homework' story, and with my swift (?) decision making ability, it took me a while to diagnose the terminal illness in my last computer, shop for a new one (and ask BM Roogirl to shop for a new one for me), buy said computer, transfer data from old to new etc etc. Yes it's prevaricating, but it's me and I'm fine with it!

Anyway, after a few days of beautifully fine autumnal weather, it has clouded over and is about to rain ... off to collect the washing.

Stay tuned to see if I record any secrets, secret crushes, dramas or angst - believe me, there's a lot going on!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Urgh, the heat!!!

It is now well into March, and while I subscribe to seasons by the sun rather than seasons by the calendar (ie Autumn starts at the equinox, not March 1), it is still unseasonably warm in Melbourne. Yesterday it topped 37, and it is predicted to be the same again today, with the same trend continued all week. (I hear Adelaide is hotter ... I feel for you!)

I suppose this is a good thing - it reminds the footballers that it still cricket season, so rack off until next month ... or something a bit less aggressive. But forgive me for snapping like that - I'm hot and bothered!!!

As we in Melbourne recognise Labour Day (you know, 8 hours of work, eight hours of play & eight hours of rest), I've just logged off my work computer after a few hours of preparing presentations. Yesterday was the analysis, today was the pretty-ness. Yeah, I know it's analogous on Labour Day, but remember that this is the same corporate master who flew me to London 1st class last year.

I have done little but work, sign forms (the less joyous part of buying a lovely new house), and sleep of late. Hence no blogging.

Today, despite the heat, I've made the commitment.

I have seen a movie and a new DVD of an Austen adaptation (sort of) recently. Back a few weeks when the weather was cooler (when it was definitely summer by any one's calendar) I saw The Jane Austen Book Club. Right up my alley and a definite 'thumbs up'. I also visited My friend Delamare's house and was privileged to view the inaugural screening of her new Sense & Sensibility. But rather than me relive it, just visit her very astute observations on her blog, here.

It is that busy time of the year for me at work. By Easter it should settle back to a steady pattern, with fewer peak workloads. Maybe then I can settle down to regular downtime!

Maybe the heat and heavy workload has also been contributing to Andrew Symonds' apparent anger management issues

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I finally did it!!!

On Saturday, I bought a new house!

This is now mine, or it will be on June 2 if I sign all the right bank forms.

It has 3 bedrooms (yes, I'm taking bookings); is 10 - 15 minutes walk to the MCG (past some lovely cafes & shops!); and has room to park my car off the street.

Now I just have to put the 2 bedroom unit that no longer has a leaking toilet on the market.

So much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Home sweet home ...

... where the floor is messy and the toilet leaks (a new discovery)

Yes, I arrived home late last night after an 11 day sojourn in sunny Adelaide (it really was).

The list of enjoyable events was long and included:
  • the wedding of number 2 nephew
  • watching the surprisingly familiar antics of 23 year olds with great nephew no. 1 (familiar to me, not him)
  • discussions about world domination with nephew no. 3 (just remember to occasionally listen to things other than a singular driving ambition)
  • nervously observing M&D while the the words to Pink's 'Leave me Alone' pass over their heads
  • playing backyard cricket with nephew no. 5, watched by the fish, the birds, the dog, the guinea pig, the frog spawn AND Jonah the statue
  • wineries and back roads of McLaren Vale
  • more (or fewer) fish at Vale Park
  • crosswords, sudokus and target words
  • churchbells at 10am
  • spacious seating!

Watching test cricket in the heat can be tiring, and paradoxically for me it is also relaxing. Listening to ABC radio while watching the play, crowd and surroundings is eminently peaceful.

Now I'm back home, with a couple of lazy days to wash, shop, (get back into) exercise, house hunt, bank, doctor etc, and also apparently find a plumber. Work for February and March will (as usual) be frantic, but at least I have the memories from a tiring, relaxing and invigorating cricket holiday to sustain me.

So long Gilly - I can understand how a realisation can hit you between the ball hitting your gloves, and hitting the ground

Thursday, January 17, 2008

sorry, my fault ... make that 16 going on 14; or even 43 going on 41

Yes, both the Australian team's and my self-belief in discussing the possibility of breaking the record of consecutive test wins BEFORE it happened has lead to the current position ... we fell to 5/61, chasing India's respectable 330. Perhaps it was also the relaxed position of the Australians, not just my words that tested the gods of superstition.

The Australians do look discombobulated (thanks Kirst). Is it the extended time between test matches (10 days); or is it their reaction to the criticism of the aggressive Australian approach; or is it the confidence gained by the Indian performance in the previous test match?

We're now 165 behind, with only 4 wickets in hand. Brett Lee is batting well before he deserves to. Not because of his level of skill, but because his big heart was on display in the big Perth heat, as he took the lead in the Australian pace attack. He deserved at least a day off to rest his tired body.

Perhaps I should focus on my dress/jeans size, or my golf score?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

16, going on 17

I didn't think it was possible to combine a few of my favourite things (hee hee) in this way, but there it is - a link between The Sound of Music ... and the Australian cricket team!

Despite the ridiculous over-reaction in the media in the last week, the Australian test team has notched up 16 consecutive test wins, dating back to the 2nd test v South Africa at the MCG in December 2005. I was there at that match to see Phil Jaques' test debut, and magnificent centuries by Ponting & Hussey. Having learned from South Africa's doggedness to hang on for a draw the week before in Perth, Ponting's declaration in Melbourne was aggressive, and he relied on his bowling attack of McGrath & Warne to dismiss the opposition ... which they did in the first over after lunch on day 5.

Well, for match number 17 in the sequence, some of the names have changed (we will rely on Tait & Johnson in attack this time), but some stay the same (the umpires in Melbourne in 2005 were Bucknor & Rauf).

While I won't be in Perth for what may be number 17 (sorry to all of you superstitious ones), my annual pilgrimage to Adelaide for their test match is nearly upon me. This year, I won't be travelling with Roogirl (sorry mate, it's pot luck with a window seat for you this time), but will meet her in Adelaide after I attend the wedding of no.2 nephew. I'll be travelling to Adelaide by road, sharing the driving with Mum & Dad.

So let the games begin. Books on CD for Mum, cricket on the radio for Dad & I. Actually, I think that the last family holiday WAS when I was 16 going on 17. Hey team, I made it to 17 - good luck to you too!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

ps I love you

Tonight was a lovely evening. One of those opportunities to get away from the pressure of work, the madness of the world (more of that later) and relax with a kindred spirit. I met my friend Delamare at a large 'edgy' book and music store, where I browsed contentedly and purchased a couple of items for my upcoming holiday.

We then shared a quick plate of nachos over a glass of rose, much to the amusement of neighbouring diners and friendly waiters. I don't think it was our menu choices or eating style that amused them, but very likely our incessant chatter: work, home, kids, school, family, mutual friends, tv, Christmas, cooking, Jane Austen, etc etc. Well, that half hour entertained us!

Next we were off to a small theatre to catch a favourably reviewed chick flick. This is our favourite sort of movie, and in the past we have shared the guilty enjoyment of Keanu Reeves in The Lake House, Drew Barrymore in anything, and turned the supposedly sensitive Becoming Jane (aka 'Becoming Lizzie Bennet') into a rollicking comedy.

Tonight it was a Margaret Pomeranz favourite - ps I love you, staring Hillary Swank, Gerard Butler and Harry Connick jnr. We developed a movie rating system with my former housemates, based on the tear jerker factor, and this one is a 'full box a' (tissues). I finished the movie with red rimmed eyes, and a broad smile. It will definitely be added to my dvd collection in due course.

To Grey's Anatomy fans, it also stars Denny Duquette and this time he's eye-catchingly healthy!!

oh, and to the ICC, the BCCI, Cricket Australia and especially the media - take a bex a good lie down! Even chill out in a dark room for a while. I did, and see how much fun I had?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

An epiphany

I discovered the significance of 6th January during a trip to Europe in 1981/82. January 6 was spent travelling from Cologne (Koln) to Innsbruck. It turned out to be a magical day - beginning at Koln cathedral and ending with a bus trip in the dark down the tortuously winding approach to the valley housing Innsbruck, arriving to a fairly land of snow and torchlight.
6th January, aka Epiphany, is the end of the 12 days of Christmas.

I've discovered that despite common mistaken beliefs (including mine), the 12 days of Christmas are not the 12 days leading up to Christmas, but the days between Christmas and Epiphany. Check out this website for more information. Apparently Epiphany is the day in which the Three Magi (3 wise men) arrived to present Jesus with the gifts of gold, frankincense & Myrrh. In fact, the cathedral at Cologne has a shrine to the 3 wise men (hence the elaborate service that I remember 26 years ago).

So who are the three wise men to deliver gifts to me?

Well, I'll nominate Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

On the eighth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me ...

aren't you wondering yet where this is leading?

I'm sure that you know it will be an obtuse or obscure piece of trivia , but what ...

(only 4 days to go)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

On the seventh day of Christmas ...

7 reminders of how I missed Warnie's 700th wicket

Even 12 months later, I've not been allowed to forget ...

this is Darcy & me on the spot outside the Blazer Bar where we experienced the buzz of the crowd on that Boxing Day, 12 months ago. Darcy's shoes are the shiny ones.