Sunday, February 28, 2010

Film and Fireworks

Back again from a couple of nights in Adelaide where I spent one evening with friends, one of whom, Rosemary, spoke about her fascinating life (so far) which has involved many things from architecture admin work (with her father's firm) in the early days, librarianship qualifications and professional work, a wee spell of six years in England and various studies in archaeology, and significant research assistant posts at a university well-known to most of our little group. This year we expect to get together only half a dozen times with an agenda whereby individuals will share edited highlights of their careers, and some of the telling may even be factual. Who knows. In April it will be Anton's turn.
I saw two movies: James Cameron's Avatar (3D at the Piccadilly) and the well-told tale A Single Man (at Palace Cinema) for his performance in which Colin Firth has won a Best Actor Oscar. I took in one live performance as part of the Fringe Festival, in the Spiegel Tent (The Garden of Unearthly Delights) which was the one-hour two-hander  by soprano "Lilli La Scala" and her accompanist Daniel Brewster. The show was called War Notes, songs of the two World Wars interspersed with recorded reading of extracts from letters home by soldiers in more recent conflicts, notably from Iraq and Afghanistan. The performance space resembled, very effectively, a  fin de siecle music hall.

Bill and Robert, over from Tassie, invited me to join them for the Festival Opening fireworks display in Victoria Park. We walked across the parklands from Unley to get there. Big crowd. The display was showy if fairly meaningless, and spoiled at the start by Premier Rann's bombastic intro speech of self-promo. Maybe I was just feeling grumpy. Nothing new there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Eyes Have It

Expedition yesterday there and back to Adelaide, round trip 472 km because I came back by the longer route via Arthurton and Maitland for the sake of the more winding scenic road in the evening light. Dark by the time I got  home, in time to see something of the winter Olympics - women's moguls, scary.

The visit to the state capital was my six monthly check up with the eye specialist at the Wakefield Clinic. Darn. He wants to do four laser surgery procedures next month, hopefully to better manage my glaucoma: the pressures within both eyes are double what they were at the last check, and I have not defaulted at all on the daily eye drops. So now I have a stronger medication, starting in about ten minutes from now, then morning and evening. But the laser - five minutes each time: OK to drive again from about one hour afterwards - is intended to do some judicial damage which prompts the body to go into repair mode and create new cells in the eye which (we hope) improves the interior fluid drainage. Therefore reduced pressure. Therefore reduced risk of later damage to the optic nerve.

Not exactly what I had planned for March.

While in town I saw the Guy Ritchie (dir.) movie Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr was a very different Holmes from the classic Basil Rathbone portrayals. I was the only person in the audience (Eastend Palace screen 6) and truth to tell I have not decided if I quite like the film, stylish though it is. I should disqualify myself from any critical opinion of the film because I dropped off for a short but stimulating nap after my early rise, and as good prep for another longish drive home. I only missed the trailers and opening credits!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordniks and Silver Surfers

We discovered which is useful and fun. Not a dictionary only but a resource for finding and displaying words and phrases in actual use - especially culled from online sites - even if they do not appear already in published dictionaries.  It's free, always a great recommendation.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...

I did a smallish editing job (1,150 words) for a French client. It was accepted and rated 100% satisfactory, but there were glitches with delivery on line, so it was late being delivered. The client was understanding, and had received the text more or less on time by another means (a docx attachment) while the problem was sorted; something to do with an incompatibility  and my Firefox 3.6 version browser  not being recognized.

The last couple of days we're back to over 30 degree temperatures, not such a bad thing, but I like the cooler wearther. Soon enough it will be cool enough to call COLD and I will grizzle about THAT. However, we are blooming lucky not to be experiencing the nasty stuff in the northern hemisphere winter - snowstorms and killer chill conditions.

Our local Telecentre runs Wednesday arvo "Silver Surfer" sessions for us oldies, sharing and comparing computer needs and skills (zero to hero). I'd never gone along before, but the word is that the social synergy is worth a lot, quite apart from the learning (and/or teaching). Great concept.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A party and more music

Yep, another month already. We can stop saying Happy New Year when encountering someone for the first time since Christmas. Happy Mid-Year?  Too soon.

I have had my head down for some online editing work. It keeps me off the streets and out of mischief.

Wednesday this week we're back to our monthly schedule of concerts in nursing homes in this part of the planet; OK, a circle of 60km diameter will contain all of our audiences. This time I get to sing a duet in Spanish with A.E., the mysterious Spanish lady, known only to, umm, everybody in the group.

The combined Burns' Day and Australia Day Poetry Reading Party was reckoned a success, and we squashed 21 people into my front room. So it turned out a party ... I'd been pretending it was a sedate afternoon tea. Somebody listened to a few Johnny Cash & June Carter songs - and Jacqui has since donated a box of 50+ (different) song sheets with music scores. They were collected by her late husband Mel who was a keen musician. Now these gems will likely be added to the inventory curated by the indefatigable Elsie, and, of course, put to good use.