Sunday, April 15, 2007

Playing catch-up

Well, it's Saturday night, or more precisely, early Sunday morning, and where am I? Yep. At work. Oh the exciting life I lead, sometimes its almost to much to bare. Ah well. It was my choice to pick up this overnighter, and tomorrow nights as well. A comprehensive falling-in-heap is scheduled for monday. Joyous celebrations are scheduled for next pay day. Until then I reserve the right to grumble about lack of sleep and achey bits. After payday the topic of grumblation (well it's a word now, deal with it) shall be Mr Taxman.

Anywho, its about time I posted on the events of the Easter weekend. After work on Good Friday, Nat and I headed up to Castlemaine for the weekend. Some other friends were going to come too, but had to cancel at the last minute. This was the first time Nat had made it up to see mum's place, since for the last 2 years she hasn't had a break at the same time as me. So it was rather fortunet that this visit happended to coincide with the Castlemaine State Festival, which only occurs once every two years. During this festival all the artists in central Victoria, and a good many from much further afeild, come out of the woodwork. It doesnt matter where your interest lies. Theatre, music, and visual arts of every description. Classics, new age and everything inbetween. It was all very much in evidence. Every venue in town had something on, right down to the old mine shafts and goldrush era buildings.

Nat and I arrived at mum's at 6pm on Friday night, and after settling in, giving Nat the grand tour and introduing her to the goaty girls, we headed off to the chinese resturant for dinner, where we spend most of the meal trying to figure out what the artistic statement next to our table was about. After we got back to mum's I started idly flicking throught the program guide, thinking there wouldn't be anything on that late, only to find something that sounded interesting that started in half an hour. So off we went again into town to see a performance at one of the old pubs. The group was a trio called Vardos, and if you ever get the chance to see them I strongly encourage you to do so. They were comprised of a very animated violinist, who also introduced each number and was an absolute crack up, double bass and accordian players. They played Romanian and Bulgarian gypsy music, which was quite lively with occasional sad parts, and were captivating from start to finish. It was also good just to be doing something so far from the norm, and the cocktails didn't go down to badly either! After an intermission, a jazz group came on, which was good but not as engaging as Vardos. As it was getting late and we felt we'd definetly gotten our moneys worth, Nat and I sat out in the beer garden for a bit then called it a night.

On Saturday, after much um-ing and uh-ing over what to see that night - adult puppet theatre or an opera-jazz fusion thriller (we settled on the adult puppet theatre), we went into town with mum and Dave to get our tix only to discover that our first choice was sold out and the other had been cancelled! Ah well. After a wander around town (it was a beautiful day for it) we headed down to Victory Park to see Erth, the group that did the Ned Kelly sequence from the 2000 Olympics opening ceremony. The production, which was on every day of the festival, was set in an ancient Australian garden, with giant inflateable plants, a sinister red back spider, who spent half the time hanging upside down on aerial rigging, and stilt walking insects. It was fasinating to watch as the inflatables gradually unfolded, and David found it hilarlious when the spider came down from his rigging to grab someone, only to be eaten by a carniverous plant (complete with a very satisfied sounding burp).

At the end of the show, the performers came out to talk to the audience and invite them to have a look at the garden. The insects had changed into gardeners outfits, but the spider came out carrying his costume, so that the younger audience members could see it was a person under all of that. We got chatting with the spider, and told him about how much David had loved it when he attacked people, as he has a very visual sence of humour due to his autism. The actors response was to turn to Dave and ask him if he would like to try on the costume and be a spider! Definite brownie points for that!
So Dave posed for the camera, holding his arms out in scary spider pose, while a little boy who was probably all of about 5 announced that he wanted to be next, only to be told that 'they don't have any small enough'.

After a pleasent late lunch we went for another wander around, pointing out some of the more historical sites, such as where they used to keep the gold before sending it to Melbourne, which is now a private residence but was open to the public for the duration of the festival, and the tree that miscreants used to be chained to before the town had a lock-up, and of course the hotel where they filmed the exterior shots for Blue Heelers (what tour would be complete without that?!). We then started to head home, but got sidetracked and went to Guildford to see the Big Tree instead. The Big Tree (yep, thats its official title) is about 30m high, 35m across the canopy and has a 10m trunk circumfrence. Its estimated to be between 500 and 1000 years old so its got some pretty funky hollows and branch formationtions where multiple branches have fused together. The town has actually re-routed the roads around it because the roots were getting cramped, and moved the powerlines to avoid pruning. Anyway. Its a cool tree. We then went back to mums to relax for the evening.

Sunday we had every intention of going to the last day of festival celebrations at the Botanical gardens, but got sidetracked by the neighbors goats and ran out of time. Just as well. Mum went there after we left and ended up coming straight home because there were that many people there that cars were parked for over a kilometre in every direction. On the way home we stopped off at Malmsbury and Taradale to take photos of the bridges there for Nats dad, who is going to be involved in work on them. Pretty funky old bridges with that beautiful old stonework, especially the one at Malmsbury, which had heaps of character.

After all the excitment of looking at old stuff, it was off home to relax for a couple of hours before Easter dinner at Nonna's, where young master Riley, now 3 1/2 months old, was the centre of attention, as he should be.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I'm back!

Well, here I am on my all-night shift. Its been ages since I've posted, not counting the one from 5 minutes ago so it's time for a bit of a catch up. The reason that I havn't posted is, quite simply, that I haven't had the time. In fact I've barely turned my computer on or checked my email in the last 3 weeks.

Highlights of the last month included Chris and my 6 month annaversary, which fell on Saint Patricks day. Had we realised sooner that it was St. Pats day, we probably would have made a booking, since we were thinking of going to a pub for dinner. We ended up going to one of the resturants at Knox Ozone for a lovely dinner and a couple of drinks, then to the coffee club to relax and give the booze time to wear off a bit before driving home.

Friday before last was Ross's production, his first outside of uni. It was BRILLIENT! made up of 7 adult short plays, those before the intermission, which all included ross, were light and cheeky, and my favourite included Ross as the devil in the smallest hotpants you have ever seen. I loved his interpretation of the devil, if I believed in hell, I'd want to go there. The plays after the intermission were much darker and intense, and also brillient, even though Ross was only in one of them.

After the play we went out for Fi's birthday, to the Elephant and Wheelbarrow in Saint Kilda. We got a booth to start off with, then once we were nicely drunk, hit the dance floor. Ross and some other guys from the play joined us later on in the night. All in all it was a really fun night, It was great to hang out with the guys, including some people I hadnt met before but I'm sure I'll see again. I don't hang out in pubs that often anymore so it was great to get back to it.

Apart from my annaversary, the last few Saturdays have been games night with Cass, Dave, Nat and occasionally Chris, depending on what time he's working sunday. They're generally at Cass and Daves place but last week was at mine. We play a variety of card and board games, with different games every week. Always a good time!

Sunday before last mum and David came down from Castlemaine and we had lunch at Nonnas with Stephen and my nephew Riley, now 3 months old. Since the last time I'd seen him his eyes have turned pale blue and his hair is going red. He is growing nicely, a really beautiful boy. Mum came back to my place afterward and once Chris got home from work we decided to go back to Castlemaine with mum for a couple of days until we had to come back for work. Our time up there was fairly quiet and uneventful, apart from me going to a tap dance class with mum on monday night. It was good to just relax for a couple of days, then on wednesday morning we caught the train back to Melbourne, had lunch at Spencer (sorry, *ahem* Southern Cross) station, then back home before work.

Anyway, that pretty much brings you up to date, I won't bore you with little things like staff parties, meetings and chiro. Got a big weekend coming up so check back next week sometime.

til next time, xo

the book MEME

I know I havn't posted in a while, but before I get into the long and involved post of whats been happening, a bit of fun stolen from mum's blog.

If you'd like to join in, just copy the list as is. Don't add any other books to it. Bold the one's that you've read, italicise the ones you'd like to read.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables ( L.M. Montgomery)

9.Outlander [ Crosstitch in Australia and the UK ] Diana Galbadon
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien )
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible [Only the parts they made us read in primary school]
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
.50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)

77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)