Old folk at lunch

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A big change


Anne has found someone who suits her better than I do.  After an 11 year relationship that was a bit of a surprise but it shows what a juicy lady Anne is -- to get herself a new bloke whilst in her 70s.  There were some things important to Anne that I just could not give her. We still have warm feelings for one-another but will no longer be seeing one another regularly for the foreseeable future.  It is best for both of us to put our energies into our new relationships.

My new lady, D., is not an academic type but is bright nonetheless.  She owns and manages her own small shopping centre.  You have got to be both bright and tough to do that.  I also, of course, have real estate interests so that is helpful.

She is a widow so that is rather good.  Divorcees tend to be  always keeping an eye out for a better offer whereas widows just want committment, usually.  I have twice given unwavering committment -- to Jenny and to Anne -- so I am capable of it, even though it has not been reciprocated so far.

Unwavering committment means intending to stay together until parted by death.



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Some surgery with a difference


I rarely remark on my plastic surgeries to remove skin cancers.  There are so many of them.  But one I have just been through had me pretty anxious about it.  It was in the aftermath of an excision that was unsuccessful.  There was originally this tiny lump near my right nostril that I realized from long experience was probably a "bad 'un".  The surgeon cut it out but the pathology report came back to say "incompletely excised".  The report suggested that the tumor was aggressive and had spread both widely and deeply.  So to get it all, a rather nasty hole in my face seemed needed.

I hate having my face sliced up and I hate anything affecting my nose so I was pretty tense as soon as I knew what was ahead.  What was ahead was a Moh's procedure -- where the surgeon cuts out what he thinks is needed and then promptly puts the specimen under the microscope to see if the cut had got it all.  If not, there is a second cut.

Mohs can be done as an in-office procedure at a suitably equipped surgery but this looked like being a pesky one so I arranged for it to be done in a private hospital.  And last Tuesday was the day.  I was first on the list at 1:30pm and did not get out until 7:30 pm.  During that time I was on the operating table four times -- 3 to get all the bad bits and a 4th time to put my face back together.  There was a hole in my lower face about the size of a 10c piece to be patched up.  I don't know how the surgeon did it but he somehow did get it all covered up.  He is quite brilliant.  So my face will be back to normal as soon as the stitches come out.

The drama was not over, however.  Next day I had a lot of facial swelling, which indicated that a bacterial infection had got into the wound.  On some past occasions like that I have had to be admitted to hospital and be put onto a Vancomycin drip to deal with it.  With the benefit of experience, however, I promptly put myself on a high dose of clindamycin  -- two capsules every 6 hours.  And it worked!  By next morning the swelling had reduced.

So I have come out the end of all that completely fixed up without too much trauma and am once again feeling on top of the world!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The best Pergolesi yet?


I came across a new video of a great favourite -- Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater" just recently.  It is the best rendition I have heard and I have heard many.   See and hear below:



The way the soprano threw herself into it was truly impressive. Never has "pertansivit gladius" been sung with greater passion. Sadly, whoever put the video up gave no information about it. So I had to do a bit of digging to find out all about it.  But I did in the end find this:

"Accompanied by the French musical ensemble Les Talens Lyriques, Spanish soprano Sabina PuĂ©rtolas and American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux perform Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. It is composed in 1736, in the final weeks of Pergolesi’s short life (4 January 1710 – 16 March 1736), and scored for soprano and alto soloists, violin I and II, viola and basso continuo (cello and organ). Conductor: Christophe Rousset"

The performance seems to have been in April this year.  In Spain, Ms PuĂ©rtolas is not Spanish.  She is Aragonese (from Aragon, ancient Aragon).  There is an artistic history of her here, which shows her as a very busy singer -- so she is obviously widely appreciated. I tried to find out some personal history, even trawling through the notices in Italian, but could not find a thing.

I may have to take more notice of Spanish singers.  I was greatly impressed by the performance of Evelyn Ramirez Munoz as the divine voice in the premiere version of Falvetti's "Il Diluvio universale".  Munoz is a Spanish surname so I assume Ms Munoz is Spanish but you can never be sure these days.  Argentinian? See below:



I note that there is another rendering of the Falvetti just out and she seems to have grabbed her old role in the latest version as well.  See below.  She is the lady in black.



I guess that by Northern European standards she over-acts but in singing a work from Sicily, what the hell?

Friday, August 12, 2016

A very pleasant lunch


I had a rather bad week with a heavy cold but by Friday morning I was just about right again.  And that was just in time for a visitor up from Melbourne.  He is a psychologist like me who also takes an interest in politics. He and I have corresponded about the psychology of Leftist politics in a rather desultory manner for some time now.  And I was very impressed by the depth of his insights.  And he finds my analyses pretty spot-on too.  So he finally decided to come up and see me.  We arranged to have lunch together.

Because I am a bit deaf, I don't normally go in much for such meetings but his thinking seemed well worth an effort to communicate in person.

And he actually told me some things about myself that I had been aware of but which I had tended to ignore.  One thing was that in my blogging I tended to speak quite harshly of people I disagree with and that I could therefore come across an an angry person.  He was of course quite right.  Joe once told me the same.  Since I am in fact a very cheerful person who virtually NEVER gets angry and who laughs his way through the day, that impression is a bit unfortunate.  I will have to see what I can do to correct the misimpression.

He had some comfort for me, however.  He said that although my writing is harsh, he could always see a kind heart behind it and meeting me in person had confirmed the kind heart.  So the psychologist was  psychologized!  I actually put a lot of little jokes in my writings but they may be a bit on the subtle side.  I do wonder at times if anybody gets them.

So that was an unexpected lunch topic.  I thought we would be talking mainly about politics -- global warming and all that sort of thing.  And we did have a few laughs about the poor old Warmists and their inability to debate.  But mostly we talked about personal things. And one of them was a most unusual thing.

I am a great fan of Yuja Wang as a classical pianist.  I think she is the world's best. And G., my visitor, shared that feeling. He was even familiar with her interpretations of Schubert Lieder, which I particularly love.  So a quite unexpected meeting of minds there.  We are both filled with wonder at the emotional rightness of her interpretations.

That a Chinese lady from Beijing would have such depth of perception of a rather arcane Western artform seems incredible on the face it of but Yuja Wang IS incredible.  G. and I even had in mind a couple of  Lied interpretations that we both particularly liked:  "Gretchen am Spinnrade" and "Der Erlkoenig".


Yuja Wang

There were other meetings of minds over lunch but those were the two big ones, I think.  It was certainly a very rare sort of meeting in my experience.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Proof that I ignore food correctness


Below is what I had for my supper tonight.  It said on the packet to bake them for 10-20 minutes -- which was a bit vague.  So I cooked them for 15 minutes.  They were however not very puffy so I should have cooked them for 20 minutes.

I had them with sliced pickled cucumbers and green tomato relish



Monday, August 1, 2016

Nanna's birthday


It was her 92nd but she was still mentally all there and could even get up and down a long flight of steps.  An example to us all!

We had the celebration yesterday -- a Sunday buffet lunch in the BBQ area at the back of Jenny's place. I gave Nanna a handbag!  Jenny selected it so Nanna might like it.

Jenny put on a wealth of sandwiches and such things and I really bogged into the ham sandwiches.  Yet there were still sandwiches left at the end!  Suz and family were there as were Joe and Kate, plus Anne and me.  Joe didn't say a lot, which is usual for him at family occasions.  He talks up a storm with his friend Brenton, however, so it obviously depends on the degree of common interests.  Anne had a big chat with Russ. Anne is good at chats.  I contented myself with making jocular remarks from time to time.  Mostly I talked to Jenny.

An odd thing I did stemmed from the fact that I had a big cleanout of my kitchen cupboards the night before -- with Anne's enthusiastic assistance.  The result was a big bag of pots and pans on the way to Vinnies.  But I took the bagful to the party in case someone fancied some of it.  Suz enthusiastically grabbed three big pizza dishes that Joe had originally bought and various other bits went off too.  The bag was much lighter when I handed it in next morning, which was good.

I had a small but amusing conversation with Russ as I left.  He had been giving Sahara a lot of attention and help with Pokemon matters.  So I said as I went past:

Me:  You are being a good father Russ.  Is Sahara a Daddy's girl or a Mummy's girl?

Russ: She's definitely a Daddy's girl, which is good.  Not so good is the fact that Dusty is a Mummy's boy.

Me:  Oh Dear!

Russ: But don't worry.  I'll knock it out of him.

Russ has a very good sense of humor.  I think we all do in the family, as a matter of fact