Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Volume 7, Issue 10

Greetings from 4 Cremin Close, Kew

Whew – a month has whizzed past since the last Quake. Where did that go? Since then we have invested in the long awaited Apple cinema screen to attach to my laptop, replacing its 13” screen when used in my study. Yippee. I can actually see the images I am editing now. A good thing, on the whole. We’ve also invested in a copy of Toast – software to allow me to convert our vinyl music collection to mp3 files. A task which will be tedious I’m sure but … All that is required now is the time sitting down and doing it. Somehow that hasn’t been a happening thing in the last month.

A highlight of the month has been the 95th birthday of my mother Mary on Friday 17 June. We had a fantastic weekend of celebrations. The children and grandchildren plus their partners took her out for a wonderful dinner at a great restaurant called Charcoal Lane in Fitzroy. We made a group of 14, with a function room to ourselves, which was good. Call me anal, but I developed three seating plans, one for each course, so that every constituent group had time adjacent to the birthday girl as well as opportunity to talk with everyone else. It actually worked really well, with everyone having different neighbours on each side and opposite for every course. On the Saturday we had lunch at Redesdale in regional Victoria with almost all of the Harpers. Then on Sunday the Penrhyn Avenue neighbours came to #7 for afternoon tea. Overall I think she feels thoroughly 95ed. The house is still full of the floral tributes!

We got to the King Tut exhibition recently. It was great, except for the background music. Those pharaohs had it all sussed. Armies of slaves in life and buried with armies of model slaves to do any god’s bidding in the after life. If you haven’t gone and plan to, a tip would be to get tickets for afternoon sessions from 2.30 onwards. There were huge crowds at 12, 12.30 and 1.00 but as we were leaving (it only takes not heaps more than an hour) it was two men and a dog.

The ingenious Dr Crumble rigged up acres of bird netting last weekend, attaching it high to the blind side of the house and across to the side fence to enclose a considerable outside area for the cats. The percussive aftermath of hammering all those staples has not been good for his tennis elbow, however the felines of the family now have a sheltered workshop to ease them into the pussy cat neighbourhood.

We relocated the dynamic duo of Moneypenny and James Bond from Mum’s place on Tuesday of this week and they appear to have settled in quite well. I do think they prefer her gas heater to our central heating. Moneypenny in particular enjoyed sitting in front of the heater at Penrhyn Avenue with her nose just about glued to the glass in front of those lovely flames. However, they have located the ceiling outlets and manage to sit as high as possible underneath them. Although at present they are sprawled in the sun in Crumble’s study as I type this. Moneypenny has been leaving her mark on the carpet of the staircase – an irresistible scratching pole heaven. As usual, the lavish provision we have made for scratching with several devices adjacent to their beds is totally ignored and they make a beeline for the verboten devices instead. Supervision required at all times. The difference between being a tenant and an owner-occupier!

Most of the Quake readership will be absolutely flabbergasted to learn that we have joined the Kew Recreation Centre. Perhaps even more flabbergasting is that we are actually using it. All those years of sedentary work and total indolence, preparation for skiing one Christmas being the skiing of last Christmas, are behind us! At this stage we are aquatic members only. Conjures up images for me of us as seals. But I think they mean we use only the pool and spa. The plan is to build some cardio-vascular fitness first by just swimming, then expand the membership. Meanwhile, I have graduated from Osteopathy for my back to Clinical Pilates. I have done four one-on-one hour long sessions and have another nine to go. I’ll assess how I am at that point – I’m hopeful I’ll be ready to step into classes at the Kew Rec Centre, which will be a much cheaper option. With a stronger core, I’ll then start thinking about my knees. That’s the plan, anyway. As I creak my way through sessions I reflect that while getting older is better than the alternative, it does have its downside!

The seminar phase of the Leadership Victoria Experience Bank program is now over and we have been regrouped to work on our project for the rest of the year. I opted for a corporate governance / organisational structure problem faced by a community service centre/legal service in Melbourne’s north. The intention is that each of us does about 20 hours of work on it – but we’ll see how accurate that is.

I need to get this out before 4.00pm NZ time, so that’s all for now from

Dr Quake (Jill) & Dr Crumble (Neil)