Old folk at lunch

Sunday, April 23, 2017

An interesting Sunday


First order of the day was a lunch for Suz's birthday held at Suz and Russell's place and catered by Jenny.  I was uncomfortable with Jenny bearing the full cost of the catering so I gave her some money in advance to help with that.

Joe was on his way back from a job in China at the time of the lunch so could not attend.  He arrived at the airport at 2pm. So Jenny picked up Kate and me from our place and drove us and Nanna out to Mt. Cotton.

Jenny had catered very well and included some South African sosaties in the lunch, which was much appreciated by me.  She also did a cheese board afterwards.  Russell of course cooked up all the kebabs and sausages on his big BBQ.  He does that well.

I spent most of the time talking to Ken. We of course talked about Mr Trump and I predicted that Mr Trump will mount an all-out conventional attack on all North Korean military facilities.  I also mentioned to Ken that I was intending to do a bit of cruising to please Anne, who is very keen on travel.  So I asked Ken for all his cruise ship hints.  He has done heaps of cruising so gave me a lot of useful hints and really put me in the picture.

Jenny delivered us back to my place at 5 to 3, which was just in time for the arrival of a guest: Graham R. He arrived 5 minutes later.

I had arranged to cook a Sunday dinner that night for Joe and my brother Christopher partly because I felt a bit bad that I rarely see my brother even though he lives only ten minutes drive away.  He is the perfect brother and shares most of my political views.  We both enjoy Mr Trump greatly. And having arranged that, I also saw it as a good opportunity for Joe and Christopher to get to see more of one another.  So a Sunday date that suited both Joe and Christopher was arranged.

Noting that it would be a meeting of three very conservative people, it occurred to me that the other person I know who is in a similar ideological space should join us.  So I emailed Graham down in Victoria that I would shout him the airfare if he could make it to our dinner.  Fortunately he could make it. He flew from Melbourne to Brisbane for a dinner!  So it was he who arrived at 3pm. Joe was still a bit jet-lagged so joined us at 6pm for the dinner but retired early. I cooked savoury mince and noodles for us all.

I made the dinner for men only as women often get together over ladies' lunches etc so I thought a men-only dinner might balance that.  The conversations in mixed sex gatherings tend to be different from those in single sex gatherings so I thought there should be provision for both.  So I proclaimed the dinner to be about "secret men's business", in a nod to Aboriginal customs.

It turned out that Graham actually had more in common with Christopher than he did with me.  Both have been very keen martial arts exponents in their day so had a lot to say about that.  We  agreed that martial arts people are probably mostly conservative.  So the conversation stretched well beyond Mr Trump, though his possible moves in North Korea were of course discussed. Another thing we discussed a lot was the old days. Old people do a lot of that and even though he is a mere youth in his '50s Graham had some interesting things to say about that.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wotta day Tuesday was



At breakfast time around 9:30 I popped into the local medical practice to see if the patholgy report on my ankle that I had asked for last week had arrived.  It had so I arranged for it to be copied to my specialist.

Joe had arrived from Canberra late the night before looking bleary but he must have got a good night's sleep because he didn't pop out until around 10:30am.

I had my appointment with the specialist at 11:30 and he gave me the joyous news that I had defeated the pseudomonas in the wound on my ankle. So gradual healing will now take place.  Pseudomonas does however sometimes come back so I will be watching for that.

My good immune system would have contributed to the eradication of the bacterium.  Some people cannot defeat it and have to have their limbs cut off to stop it spreading.  I was not looking forward to that possibility.  I am rather attached to my left leg, even if it is a bit swollen at the moment.

To celebrate the good news I went to Muzza's pies in Coorparoo and bought myself a tomato & onion pie and a lemon slice -- at around 12 noon.  Both were most enjoyed.

Then at around 12:30 Joe popped in looking very chipper.  He asked if I wanted to join him for lunch at Hungry Jack's.  They must have a bargain going at Hungry Jack's.  But I had already lunched so declined with regret.

His flight to China took off at 4pm.  A work visit only.

Then that night to celebrate a memorable day I went and got Anne and myself fish n chips from her local Greeks.   It is beautifully done there and is one of our favourite meals.  We had it with one of my remaining bottles of Barossa Pearl.  I think I qualify as a real Ocker if I celebrate with meat pies, fish n chips and Barossa Pearl.  Humble food but it is my ethnic food.

Kate and her mother arrived from Canberra about 11:00pm and I told Kate that the cats had been asking after their mother. She took me seriously and said they are probably just hungry -- which was a very motherly response. I shouldn't joke so much.

I eventually conked out after only one and a half gins and even missed my late night snack. Being wound up during the day must have tired me out.  If I had kept awake long enough, I would of course have concluded my celebrations with a late night feast of Vegemite on toast.



Monday, April 17, 2017

A self-indulgent Easter


My Easter did have a touch of holiness but mostly it did not.  I will say something about that anon.

Anne came over on the Thursday afternoon and for dinner we cooked up some skinless sausages I got from Woolworths.  They have little wooden handles on them but that is just a gimmick.  I made a Waldorf salad to go with them and I really enjoyed them.

On Friday morning Anne made me a bowl of porridge, which I always like, and she had some red pawpaw she had brought over.  After that we had hot cross buns.  After breakfast I took us first for a sit by the river at Orleigh Park and then drove us up to Mt Gravatt to take in the view there.  The council have built a nice kiosk there but it was not open.  It rarely is.  It is run by a charity, The Hope Foundation and appears to have unmotivated beneficiaries staffing it.

Coming down Shire Rd from the mountain, there is a Red Rooster shop on the corner of Logan Rd so we stopped there for an early lunch.  I had a quarter chicken and chips, which was very succulent, and Anne had fish n chips, which was quite passable.  Anne is not a Catholic but she was married to one for many years so she has acquired the habit of not eating meat on Friday.  So that night I produced some Moroccan vegieburgers for her. With leftover salad they went down well enough.

That night was our holy observance, though it was not really a church service.  We went to St John's cathedral for a concert performance of Bach's Matthew Passion. There was a big choir and the orchestra included four celli.  Add that to the brilliance of sound given by the soaring stone arches of St John's and we got repeatedly excellent choral music.  The many chorales of the Matthew Passion are its great strength.  There was one disappointment, however.  The young baritone messed up my favourite aria from the work: Mache dich mein Herze rein.  His diction and phrasing were terrible.  He clearly had no idea of the rules of German pronunciation, which is slack if you are into classical music.

Anne's sister June drove us there so we had coffee and Anzac biscuits on my veranda after the show.  The concert took about 3 hours so there was a rush to the toilets when we got home. Elderly bladders.

On Saturday morning Anne and I took ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches up to the rotunda on Highgate Hill.  I made them fairly thick so one sandwich each was enough for us.  From there we visited the Buranda shopping centre to see what was open and found the Phams closed.  So we went over the road to the Cafe Essence for coffee and cakes.  I had a small lemon tart and Anne had a caramel slice.  That night we just had leftovers, with salad, which were pretty good.

On Sunday morning we had Vegemite toast, which I greatly enjoyed.  Vegemite is gourmet food to me. Followed by Easter eggs.  Anne then went off on family visiting.  For dinner I cooked myself up a big lot of bacon n eggs.

I intended to have toast with it but found I was out of butter.  But I had cooked the bacon in a mix of olive oil and peanut oil and the bacon gave off grease too.  So I tipped the juices out of the pan onto my toast.  And that made a very good alternative to butter.  I had read that in the Mediterranean countries they tip oil on their bread so I learned from that.

Then on Monday night I had bought some big pork mid-loin chops.  So Jenny cooked them up for us.  Jenny recommended red cabbage pickles to go with them which did work well.

So that was a very pleasant Easter.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A minceburger?


Is there such a thing as a minceburger?  If not, I must have invented it.  I had some savoury mince (ground beef) that I wanted to use up so, for dinner, I bought two hamburger rolls, put plenty of butter and a cheese slice on each and topped each with a thick coat of mince.   It was delish.  But it depends on the mince of course.  Your mileage may vary.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nola Holland




Is there a Carla Holland out there, daughter of Nola Holland? Jenny and I thought Nola was a really fun person but last we heard she had significant medical problems. So we fear that she may be deceased. Perhaps Carla could enlighten us.

Carla probably goes by a married name these days but maybe not. One effect of the frequent breakups these days is that women often revert to their maiden name. Though Nola did not. She was originally the Boyle girl from Dubbo but when she married John Holland she became a Holland for ever after -- even though that marriage lasted only one year -- if memory serves. Nola did not like the bog-Irish sound of Boyle

There was a barrister named John Gleeson who also knew Nola. Maybe he is still around and communicating

One conversation that I remember with Nola I have never before mentioned to anyone: We agreed that women do not fart! That was Nola for you. She sent Carla to Kambala but she herself remained the Boyle girl from Dubbo.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pathology results


About the only excitement in the lives of people around my age is usually their health problems.  They are nearly all taking buckets of pills.  I take no pills regularly and have what I think is an interesting life outside my occasional health problems.  My blogging is my big interest in life and I have the hope that what I do there is worthwhile.  You can see most of what I write in one place here.

But recurrent skin cancer is a big problem for me and I had four bits cut out of me at the beginning of March.  Two of the wounds got infected however so healing was not straightforward.  There is however only one that is still a problem but it too seems to be under control.

My last lot of pathology results came in last Friday and told me that the wound in my ankle has become infected by soil bacteria such as Pseudomonas.  Those nifty little bacteria can give you necrotizing fasciitis, where your flesh just keeps getting eaten away.  In extreme cases they amputate to stop it.

My infection, however, is a slow-moving one and I am now on two antibiotoics to combat it:  Ciprofloxacin and Metronidazole.  They seem to be working as I am out of pain and healing is therefore indicated.  But it is a bit of a waiting game at the moment.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Two Mondays



On Monday of last week, I shouted Joe, Kate and Jenny a dinner at Nandos: A humble venue but the food was much enjoyed.  Nandos fits in with Joe's diet.  And Jenny found out in advance that Nandos can do their Paella in a way that avoids gluten, which she cannot have. Jenny was in good form with lots of family news and we sat there for quite a while talking.  The translation of Suz and Russ to NZ was much discussed, as was NZ generally.

Then Monday this week Jenny came over to my place for dinner.  I had a couple of good T-bones and had made up a salad but I got Jenny to supervise the frying of the T-bones.  She got them just right and I really enjoyed mine.  I had forgotten how good a T-bone can be.  I suppose I sound like a dog but so be it.