Old folk at lunch

Thursday, August 31, 2017

An amusing visit


I went in to see a vascular surgeon today about my swollen foot.  As soon as I walked in his door, he said, rather abruptly, "What are you doing here?"  I gather that most of his customers are old ladies with varicose veins so I did not look the part at all.  For all their faults these days, my legs are actually rather smooth and shapely.  In my long-gone past it was not unknown for female persons to compliment me on my legs, believe it or not.

Anyway he started taking notes and as soon as he heard that I was a retired university lecturer, his manner became much more relaxed and communicative.  That is always so when I deal with medical people.  They recognize me as a peer and treat me accordingly.  It's academic privilege, I guess.  There is a lot of Leftist grumbling about privilege these days so I think I should note that academic privilege is earned.  With an average of 8 years of study leading to a doctorate it is a big time committment and a lot of work.

Anyway, he didn't think he could do anything for me other than give me diuretics but he sent me for a scan just in case.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A visitor and Portugal



I had a visitor from Sydney yesterday. Because I am a bit deaf, I don't encourage visitors a lot.  I am content to see people I already know. But cartoonist Zeg recommended this young bloke to me as someone who needed help to get started in blogging.  Brodie is of solid Scots ancestry and has the red hair to prove it. So when I picked him up off the Airtrain at Park Rd. I saw that red hair and immediately warmed to him. I am biased in favour of redheads -- but my father was one so I guess I am allowed.

Setting up the blog was quite a performance but we managed it. See here. Brodie could see that we had to be sitting together to do it. The name he chose for his blog was The Sober Scotsman, which was interesting. Finding a name for the URL of your blog is often difficult as all the obvious names have already been taken. But when I submitted "soberscot" as the name it went straight through. The concept of a sober Scotsman was clearly unusual. Scotsmen do like their "wee dram". I do too.

I have just heard from Anne in Portugal, with pic.  Here she is.  Note mobile phone at the ready.


She is at Monsaraz.  Never heard of it?  It is a civil parish (freguesia) of the municipality of the Reguengos de Monsaraz, on the right margin of the Guadiana River in the Portuguese Alentejo region.  Got that?  It still tells you nothing, doesn't it? Here's another description of it:  "Monsaraz is achingly beautiful, occupying a commanding position on a steep hill with commanding views above the Guadiana river".  Here's a picture of it:




Thursday, August 24, 2017

An English curry and a departure



On Friday I made a last attempt to get some goodness out of Keen's curry powder, a type of masala.  Keen's was a fixture in every home in my youth.  It WAS curry. But I have never been able to get much taste out of it in my cookery.  So on Friday I tossed a whole tinfull of it into my crockpot with some diced chicken, tomatoes, carrots, celery and sultanas. And that worked.  What came out was a curry of sorts, quite passable.  Anne even had some kind words about it.  I will use only Indian masalas in future, however.

A small excitement that night however was that Anne announced she had a pesky lump on her cheek.  I suggested that it looked like an SCC, which was displeasing.  So Anne needed to get to Russell Hills about it.  She managed to get a referral from our local Buranda family practice on Sunday and went in on Monday. Russell was not sure what the lump was so took a biopsy.  As Anne was booked to fly out to Portugal on Wednesday night it was a big rush.  The report came in just after lunch on Wednesday: Solar keratosis, so not urgent.

Tuesday was the night for a bon voyage dinner for Anne,  She will be in Portugal and Spain for four weeks. I was feeling a bit bushed that night for unknown reasons but I managed to do something towards a bon voyage dinner. I took her to what I think is the best Indian restaurant in Brisbane -- at Tingalpa -- and brought along a German champagne she particularly likes:  Henkel Trocken.

As it happens she did well with the dinner --  not only finishing up her lamb Rogan Josh but also having some spinach and cheese naan -- and also getting most of the Henkel. So she made it a good dinner.

I have just heard that she is now safely arrived in old Lisboa.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

More free books



Joe has just recently taken a big carton of fiction to Vinnies for me so I am now starting the process of culling my non-fiction.  I am listing my throwouts here in case anybody reading this might be interested in taking some of them off my hands.  More than half of my offerings last time did walk out the door that way. Maybe not this time, though.  They are mostly historic books.

Aeschuylus:  Prometheus; suppliants; persians
A dictionary of Biblical traditions in English literature
Aristophanes: Lysisstrata; Clouds; Acharnians
Aristotle: Politics
Bagehot: English constitution
Boswell: The life of Johnson
Caesar: Conquest of Gaul
Cicero: Selected works
Clausewitz: On war
Early Christian writers
Friedman:  Free to choose
Great books: Montesquieu ; Rousseau
Great books: American State Papers; The Federalist; J.S. Mill
Great books: Machiavelli; Hobbes
Greek rudiments (Attic)
Harvard Classics: Homer (Odyssey)
Harvard Classics: Plato; Epictetus; Marcus Aurelius
Harvard Classics: Dante
Harvard Classics: Edmund Burke
Hebrew grammar
Homer: Odyssey
Homer: Iliad
Hume: Treatise of human nature
Machiavelli: Prince
Merriam Webster dictionary of American English (3 large volumes)
New Testament Greek
Plato - Republic
Plato: Socratic discourses
Plutarch: Makers of Rome
Plutarch: Lives of the noble Romans
Roman Readings
Sophocles: Electra
Sophocvles: Theban plays
Virgil: Aeneid
Xenophon: Persian expedition

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I am a poor thing


During the week, on Wednesday, I underwent plastic surgery to excise a couple of cancerous bits on my neck.  And despite my being in expert hands, surgery is never any fun.

Then I lost a filling from my remaining front tooth for having bitten down too hard on some black chocolate out of the fridge.  So I had to go in next day and get that fixed.  And dentistry is NEVER fun.  I remember a little rhyme from my childhood:

"Some pains are physical and some are mental, but the one that is both is definitely dental"

But a nice Han man put me back right the next day so I have no complaints. Long live the Han!

And then on Friday, Anne somehow dropped a large kitchen knife on my foot!  Which left me bleeding all over the kitchen floor until I could get to the bathroom and run the tap over it.  That did fix it but it did look bad at first.

Anyway, Anne got as much aggravation out of it as I did -- as she had to clean up the blood.  We had a good dinner of chicken Kiev anyway. Washed down with a bottle of (NZ) Oyster Bay Sauvignon blanc.