"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas again

Didn't want to let the old year pass without a final blog. Haven't been here for a while, beavering away at my PhD, finally submitted just before Christmas. Now I can have my life back. Just scratching my head about what that life will look like!
When I started this study, I was still working. That's kind of over, at least in terms of Speech Pathology. It was interesting and rewarding while it lasted, but now I just want a day or two a week for pocket money. I guess we all move on.
I shall relax and enjoy the Christmas holidays, and then slowly start getting the house in shape again; lots to do! And I'm going to sort my 'stash'. I can see the top of my sewing table any more, there are layers upon layers of accumulated projects and fabrics! There are quite a number of UFOs awaiting completion, and all sorts of new projects flitting about in my mind.
I also want to create at least one photobook; first of all, one about our last trip to the USA and Canada. That'll take a while, there are hundreds of photographs to sort out. We never do albums any more, so I also wanted a small softbound photobook of 2013.
Once all that's done, I really want to paint again; might have to go back to Helen and get some refresher lessons. I am definitely going to get myself a studio. Not sure when and how, but it's on my list!
If I don't find a job, I might volunteer a bit, I'd like to help with 'Computers for Seniors', might be fun.
We're also planning a few things for the new year, two friends are coming from overseas for a visit, we're thinking of a cruise later in the year, and we'll probably have a few days in the Flinders Ranges, which I haven't seen yet. So, I don't think I'll get bored....
Have a wonderful Christmas everybody and be safe and happy!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Vale Claude!

Well, it's been two months since our old boy went over the Rainbow Bridge, and we miss him every day! So a little blogging about him is in order.
Claude was 6 years old when I met him. He was one of several Goldens at a rescue volunteer's house in Williamstown. Claude, formerly 'Jed', had lost his owner through illness, so he needed a furever home. He was a big goof, very sweet, and happily came home, sitting in the back of the car and very well mannered. The idea was to have a pal for Bonnie, our German Shepherd girl, who was pining a little after losing her Samoyed friend, Raff.
Bonnie and Claude quickly became the best of friends, and spent another six years together, until Bonnie died. Claude was also very nice to our cats. He never chased or bothered them, even accepting new cats whenever they appeared.He was very good at keeping the peace between the cats, too. Claude was different from our other dogs, more 'in your face', very much an extrovert! He eventually settled a little, but he was always interested in what we were doing, and wanting to be with us. And we were happy to have him with us. He was a big sook in storms, would have happily sat on me, quivering, all 40kg of him! He loved people, sliding onto the floor, belly up, hoping for a tummyrub or ten. His focus was firmly on food, so he loved his doggie treats, and shared my popcorn and grapes and crackers and was a very good hoover where leftovers were concerned! He loved his 'perimeter patrol' of our garden, checking out all the different smells, and adored rolling in the grass, making contented snuffling noises. As he aged, his vision and hearing weren't too good, and he could walk straight past a rabbit and not see it. Claude was always a healthy dog, but he got cancer late in 2012, and survived another 6 months. He passed away at home, surrounded by his family, in his favourite sleeping spot, after one last, slow perimeter patrol. RIP Claude!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Two old men of music

My ears are still ringing from last night's concert at Rod Laver Arena! Steve Miller Band and Santana gave it their all, and what a great evening of entertainment they served up! Steve Miller Band started the night off, belting out long forgotten numbers such as 'Abracadabra', 'Wild Mountain Honey', 'Jet Airliner', and many more. We had great seats, about 10 rows from the stage, and had a close-up view of Steve and his crew. The backdrop was a swirl of guitars, with fairy lights changing colour and strobes flicking everywhere. All around me, other baby boomers were reliving their youth, singing and swaying along to the beat of the late 60s. One hippie chick was swaying away in her own little world a row in front of us, and I was powerfully reminded of the concerts I attended way back when. Steve is a master of guitar, and like other 'elders' of the music business, (Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, and of course, Santana), has kept his amazing guitar skills - and also his voice. His band are all skilled musicians, and a fairly recent addition to the group, Sonny Charles, has a brilliant blues voice, and hey! some cool moves for an old dude! They played solidly for just over an hour, and left with a standing ovation and cheers of enthusiasm from the sell-out audience.

Next up was Santana, and during the break one could see already that a different calibre of band was going to perform. Three sets of drum kits, for a start! The stage took half an hour to set up, and expectations were running high! Then the lights went out, and the band launched into a loud, funky beat, with Mr. Santana in cool white from hat to toe, torturing his guitar and our ears! Only in a good way! Carlos proceeded to "re-arrange our molecular structure (sic)", which he managed to to with a bass set to dissolving bones and jiggling stomachs! The decibel range was off the chart. Everybody was out of their seats pretty quick smart and gyrating away to "Black Magic Woman", "Oye como va", "Maria Maria", "Evil Ways", "Samba pa ti" and so on. Santana is arguably the best guitar player alive (I dare you to argue with me!), and just a joy to watch and listen to. Each of his band members is an accomplished musician in their own right. Santana doesn't sing much any more, these days he has two energetic young singers for the vocals, and they do a great job, while the Master can concentrate on his guitar. Steve Miller came out again and played some cool tunes, soon joined by Santana, and what a treat it was to see the two Masters giving it their all! There's absolutely no way anybody can stay off their toes while all this is going on, and even my ears got used to the racket, that is, until I stepped out into the balmy Melbourne night and felt my head was wrapped in cotton wool! Thanks for a wonderful evening, Steve and Carlos! I'll be hearing "oye como va" for a while longer in my dreams....

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A little Emerson to inspire

The day, immeasurably long, sleeps over the broad hills and warm wide fields. To have lived through all its sunny hours, seems longevity enough. The solitary places do not seem quite lonely. At the gates of the forest, the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish. The knapsack of custom falls off his back with the first step he makes into these precincts. Here is sanctity which shames our religions, and reality which discredits our heroes. Here we find nature to be the circumstance which dwarfs every other circumstance, and judges like a god all men that come to her. We have crept out of our close and crowded houses into the night and morning, and we see what majestic beauties daily wrap us in their bosom.

(From: Emerson for the day [blog])

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Good News!

Ok,so I looked up 'The Age', and the one bit of good news was that some Australian researchers have found a 'switch' molecule that could be manipulated to enhance the effectiveness of breast cancer medications. Now that has to be good news! Read about it here -

It took a while to find good news in all the information, so much was bad news or trivial, but I shall persist with this and try to blog about good news when  find it.
Happy New Year!