Archive for November, 2017

Enhance your experience

November 28, 2017

I am going to an SSO concert which includes Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle on Friday and Saturday.  I love the music (a performance in Perth in 2000  by the WASO conducted by Janos Fürst was memorable even if by now largely abstractly so) though I cannot for the life of me get my head around the story.  How can we be trusted to take it in without some white-ribbonish editorialising?

Obviously I have missed that it is all a metaphor.  David Robertson says:

The final moment epitomises the passion and the tragedy of a union that can never transcend the fatal flaws contained within it at the outset.

Which seems like a massive understatement.  Sure, in this version of the story Bb hasn’t actually killed all of his former wives, but they all end up locked behind the seventh door together.  If this is love…

I’m also looking forward to the Brahms Alto Rhapsody – the third of his works of this kind to which we have been treated this year – only Nanie has been missed.

A mite tardily, the SSO also sent an email announcing that Andrew Foster-Williams (who didn’t come for Belshazzar) is also not coming to sing the Bach solo cantata Ich habe genug.  This will be a big step-up for David Greco in his place.

Meanwhile, I received another email from the SSO about how I could enhance my concertgoing experience.  It included nothing new.  On the contrary, the header included this picture, which made me quite nostalgic.

Concert information





November 27, 2017


A couple of weeks ago, as an extension to one of my regular trips to Canberra, D and I made it to the Snowy Mountains.

It was a great time to be there, even if the Alpine Way was swarming with a mass motor-bike ride.  There is something mystical about mountains, and, even more for temperate climers such as D and I, snow.  This would have been more plentiful had we managed to get there 2 or 3 weeks earlier.  The trick must be to get there as early as possible after you no longer need snow chains.

Not that there isn’t also much to be enjoyed if one goes later, when the alpine flowers are out, provided you can cope with the fierce horse-flies/march flies.

Unfortunately owing to my chronic under-organisation, it was just a day trip.  Next year D and I hope to manage a longer stay.

This is a view from Charlotte’s Pass.


November 19, 2017


An unanticipated difficulty

November 17, 2017

Today in an email, seemingly in passing, X asked if D and I were “planning any special events in February.”  X and his partner Y are very well organized and at first I thought he was asking about the Mardi Gras Film Festival.  Has next year’s program already come out?

Turns out that some films are already on sale, but I realised after a moment that he must have meant something more special than that.

I had already thought about X and Y since the postal survey result came through.  If anyone I knew might be planning a “special event,”  I thought it might be them.

“What about youse two?”  I asked back.

X’s reply took me by surprise.  This is a snippet:

The sight of two queens dressed in white suits solemnly kissing and throwing confetti is to me comical, and betrays such an insensitivity to the words and connotations of the conventional marriage service that it can fairly be characterised, in any case where it is done in earnest and not as a deliberately camp parody, as a manifestation of philistinism or bumpkinry or both.

X doesn’t want marriage for himself.  He voted “Yes” though he claims he only really made up his mind about that when the Church started throwing its weight around.  A Roman Catholic upbringing can have that effect.

I can just imagine the dinner party (Y is an excellent cook; they have a beautiful home) where (X tells me) X expressed these views forcefully, as is his wont.

It turns out Y has a different view.  It’s now a delicate subject.








November 16, 2017

This was the Daily Telegraph‘s front page today.


There were complaints that it was graceless, especially compared to the other front page (if you are a sports lover) – ie, the back page:


Chris Dorey, editor of the Daily Telegraph, was miffed. The front page is of the lead character in “Married with children.” Can’t you see the joke?

Oh, well now I see the joke, but I can’t say I find it terribly funny and it is still pretty graceless, even if playing well to the Tele’s demographic.

But maybe Dorey does have a point, or would have had if the paper had come out with the back page which the Tele originally announced on Twitter:



At the Sydney Opera House

November 11, 2017



(1)   Everyone’s ticket must be scanned;

(2)  If you cloak your bag, you have to line up to have it searched before deposit; and

(3)  If your bag is small enough for you to be allowed to take it in, you still have to open it for inspection.

There are pnly three lines (one at the right goes to the escalator).  The line backs up well down the stairs out of sight in this shot. It takes 5-10 minutes.  It is far from festive or welcoming.  I doubt if the bag checks would deter a serious conspirator.

You wonder is it necessary. Why can’t a visual check of the tickets suffice?  (Of course you could make up a reason: so that in the event of an incident they can check off who came, or rather, which tickets were used.)

I didn’t notice the chap with the raised finger when I took this quick snap from further up the stairs.  Is he expressing his feelings (and mine) about this rigmarole?



November 11, 2017


This cheered me up whenever I went past on Wardell Road in Dulwich Hill, despite the defacement (note touch-ups) and more serious damage inflicted on the fence.