March Madness, Adelaide Style

It’s almost over for me, the March madness. And it’s both a relief and a cause of sadness.  Relief because I need my beauty rest and sadness because the end of the festival season means the long summer evenings are soon to be gone. The Adelaide Fringe and Womadelaide are events I participate in each year. The Fringe finishes today. I attended a nice mix of comedy, music, visual arts and avant-garde performances.  Justin Townes Earl at The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel (The Gov) was a highlight of Adelaide Fringe 2011 for me, oh and getting commandeered into pulling a percussion float at the Fringe Parade…

Yesterday I went to Womadelaide.  I used to go for the whole weekend but it’s expensive and I have become more strategic in my selection of must-see acts.  This year I really wanted to see Martha Wainwright and Asa.  Fortunately they were doing main-stage shows on the same day.  And every year there is at least one act that is new for me and that just blows me away.  This year that act was 17 Hippies, direct from a cold and wet Berlin to one of Adelaide’s brilliant late summer days.

Here are some photos from Womadelaide on this perfect Saturday.

Womadelaide 2011 - 17 Hippies
Womadelaide 2011 - 17 Hippies
Womadelaide 2011 - Asa in a quieter moment
Womadelaide 2011 - Martha Wainwright
A perfect Saturday evening at Womadelaide 2011

See my Flickr site for more photos from Womadelaide and Adelaide Fringe 2011.

The year that was – 2009

Well, 2009 went off without too many personal dramas.  I was fortunate  enough to go with Andrew to South America for 5 and a half weeks. From Late march till the end of May.  We were blessed with great weather everywhere we went which made trekking around very comfortable. I reunited with a travel companion from 30 years ago, Amalia Solari Faerman and met her funny husband Gustavo and their 3 grown children in Buenos Aires.  I really loved South America and long to return to see a bit more…That trip has been heavily chronicled in earlier posts.

My work with the IPED National Editors Conference finished in October when we presented a fantastic conference here in Adelaide. Visit the site.  I wrote most of the ‘News’ section: http://www.editors-sa.org.au/?q=IPEd%20conference

On the work front we both had enough to keep us going and I made a weak attempt at reducing my hours to 9, rather than 10 days a fortnight.  It only lasted a few months and now I am back to full time.  Work is challenging due to the departure of a boss who had the technical skills to take me through this particular project I am working on. We are getting through the work, just more slowly than expected.

In the household we have enjoyed our two ginger tabby brother cats antics, especially the precocious Speedy! He and Jose are so fun to watch and at 2 years old still have heaps of kitten in them.

We are just about finished a minor renovation that opened a few rooms up, re-purposed a few and gave us a new kitchen.  There is still some painting and tiling to do and a tidy-up of the office, but these things take time.

On a literary note I read quite a few books this year including Cloud Atlas, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, The Time Traveler’s Wife,  The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Dear Fatty, the Power of One and probably more…currently just about to finish A Secret History, by Donna Tartt. Not a bad year, but I have other books on the go and stacks on the bedside table and bookshelves waiting to be read.

I attempted NaNoWriMo but was not really successful! See previous posts.

Musically, we saw a few live performances, notably Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe at the Festival Centre here in Adelaide, a Joni Mitchell Tribute at the Sydney Opera House, Leonard Cohen at a winery in McLaren Vale, near Adelaide, and of course Neil Young at the Big Day Out in Adelaide. (Next year we are already looking forward to seeing Ravi Shankar at WOMADELAIDE – http://womadelaide.com.au/.)

The goals for the new year will include those post-reno tasks, more reading and writing and a commitment to getting rid of stuff.  Here’s to more free time in the new year!

Melbourne was Fab

Our 24 hours in Melbourne were heaps fun.  We did the very early flight over which gave us time to drop off bags at hotel in CBD, cruise the shops and lanes of Melbourne, grab a quick lunch and head off to the National Gallery of Victoria for the Salvador Dali exhibition before heading to the Espy for Rockwiz.

Lunch was a fine affair at the Toby Puttock/Jamie Oliver restaurant which trains disadvantaged and at-risk youths for careers in the hospitality industry.  Our $15 lunch at the bar special was fantastic.  An entree of thinly sliced porchetta was dressed with rocket and a simple lemon & oil dressing.  The main course was a pasta dish: a rondelle filled with ricotta, spinach and mushroom and dressed with crisp sage leaves and burned butter.  Just perfect. It was easy to double the price of the meal with a nice glass of red.  We chose Yarra Valley wines, a pinot noir and a malbec (for comparison with our recent Argentina trip). Both were fabulous: the pinot noir a good lunch choice, not too big or too alcoholic; the malbec was leathery, chocolaty and berry-like but not overly so.

www.fifteenfoundation.org.au

http://www.fifteen.net/restaurants/fifteenmelbourne/Pages/default.aspx

Salvador Dali. What can I say? This exhibition was so much more than melting clocks. I was overwhelmed by the depth of the information provided in each room of this huge exhibit.  The technique and styles of Dali’s works were a real surprise for me.  I particularly liked some of the film and photographic collaborations.  This is a ‘must see’ exhibition. Go to Melbourne. See it!

http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/dali/

A short tram ride to St Kilda took us to the Esplanade Hotel where we dined at the Espy Kitchen.  We met the rest of our group there and proceeded to the line up for the Gershwin Room for the recording of the first two episodes of the new season.  I won’t divulge who the guest musos are, but I will say that you are in for a treat when the series airs in October.  We had one of our group ‘try out’ for the panel of Rockwizzers, and she did admirably well, but alas, was not selected for the finals…We thought you were a champ Katrina!   Brian Nankervis (Don Dunstan look-a-like) was on fire and amazed us with his wit and organisation at wrangling the audience. Julia was funny as ever and had a great time with the audience and contestants.  We had a few beers and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.Check out the site if you are not already a fan.

http://www.sbs.com.au/rockwiz/

We had a late night and an early flight back to Adelaide the next morning but I’d do it again!

Cheers for now!

Imagine my excitement

The Tour de France and MasterChef are on TV.  World’s top men in Lycra battling it out in the Pyrenees, six amateur chefs going head to head in the MasterChef kitchen. Things are hotting up in our living room!

Then we are off to Melbourne for an exciting day of Dali at the gallery and RockWiz filming at the Espy. If we’re lucky we may make Degraves for coffee and Movida for lunch.

Will report later!

Call yourself a blogger?

Well, I have not typed a word here for many months, so what is going on?  Well, I think work is getting in the way of life.  Common problem I know…

However, recently I have had the opportunity to go away and spend some time away from the ‘documentation factory’.  Because I spend 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week at the keyboard and monitor, I do not race home to do more keyboarding and monitoring.  The up side of this is that I have read a few more books in 2008.  In a typical year I manage 3 or 4. In 2008 I did closer to about 12.  “Still not a huge amount”, I hear you say.  True, but I do read all day at work.

This year I have read books loaded or recommended by friends.  Some highlights were:

  • The Book Thief
  • The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
  • The Rip
  • The Last Chinese Chef

All for different reasons.

Currently working on Cloud Atlas and 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel.

Having a break from Society of Editors duties until end of January.  So I will see how much ‘a bloggin’ I will achieve until it all kicks in again.

Catherine from our China trip is coming to town soon, so there is a very strong chance that we will be having Peking Duck at Ming’s Palace, the place for duck in Adelaide.

Entertainment horizon ~ Neil Young at the Big Day Out in Adelaide (woo hoo), Leonard Cohen at Leconfield Winery’s Day on the Green with Paul Kelly (mmm, a Canadian theme with Young and Cohen) , then the Fringe, whatever that brings…now I must hang out the laundry.

Hot, Hot, Hot!

That’s what my weekend is gonna be! Not just the searing Adelaide Summer heat — it’ll be in the mid to high 30s Celsius all weekend and through next week — but Womad is on and the music promises to be so cool it will be hot. Looking forward to seeing Cesaria Evora, the barefoot diva from Cape Verde as well as Susana Baca, and the Billy Cobham septet. Monday is a public holiday and I will be taking myself to the beach for some quality time in the water. the only place to be when it’s 38 degrees out! 

A baby boomer’s rock and roll moment

You know how when you start to get a bit older and you think you are still pretty cool, but you can’t read the menu any more, or see the controls on the stove or the TV remote? Well if you don’t know, you are younger than me by a bit.

On Sunday night we went to a gig as part of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival. A glorious evening in Elder Park watching the sun go down behind the stage, listening to the birds doing the evening chatter in the big trees by the river, sprawled on our picnic blanket, just hanging out. Anticipation building cause we were gonna see Ed Kuepper finally, after so many close calls.

He was so very rock and roll, dressed in black shirt and pants, his thinning, fading red hair slicked back, making heaps of noise on his guitar. He was getting the most amazing stuff out of that axe, using all sorts of implements as well as his hands to tease new weirdness out of it. It struck a funny chord with me when he took his reading glasses from where they were tucked inside his shirt collar and put them on his face and got up real close to the control dials on the box he was plugged into. He squinted and fiddled the buttons to create some effect. Then he put the glasses gently back into his collar and put the guitar on its stand, the sound still droning on as a result of the dial twiddling, and he took a stick and bashed at the strings as the last wailing strains of the sound effect wafted into the fading red sunset.

Trinity Sessions: Paul Kelly Tribute

A musical gem in the heart of, well, um, actually, Clarence Park, just south of Goodwood, just out of Adelaide. The Trinity Sessions is a series of concerts organised by a very energetic and enthusiastic fellow called Roger Freeman. The Venue is the Trinity Uniting Church.

The latest Trinity Session offering on 18 Nov 07 was a Tribute To Paul Kelly featuring The Yearlings, John Baker Duo, Billy Rankine (plus Band) Brillig, Vincent’s Chair, Fiddle Chicks, The Joans, Cow, Huckleberry Swedes, Sean Gilbert and Pete Arthur.

The set list of over 30 songs included some old favourites and some not so well known numbers. I have to say one of my faves was the Hucklebury Swedes rendition of Down to my Soul, sung with a heart-rending tenderness. It is my first experience with many of these bands, all from Adelaide. I hope not my last; for I shall be seeking out some of these souls in my newly smoke-free local venues!

There was a virtual cornucopia of instruments on stage. Three accordians, a few mandolins, lots of guitar and fiddle, the Roland keyboard and even, get this, a Hammond organ, if only for three songs.

The bands all donated their time and talent with money raised from ticket sales going to support the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music at the University of Adelaide. Great music and worthy cause