Friday, November 27, 2020

The Bollywood is no more

It was the family favourite Indian restaurant.  But it lives on in the same place under a new name and under new proprietors

Joe and I went to dinner there last night and we didn't notice anything different, though I think the food was a little dearer. Though $37.50 to feed two of us was still very moderate.  I had the Jalfreezi chicken, which was excellent.

As usual, it was very lightly patronized. It is now called the "Spice Avenue".  They are open until 10pm and are on ph. 3847 6755

Sunday, November 22, 2020


I walked out my bedroom door this afternoon to find myself only a couple of feet away from a large and colourful snake. He was black with yellow spots.  Quite attractive.  He was sitting on my desk unmoving so I felt for a moment that it must be a plastic snake. I soon guessed however that it was a python.  I had one here before a few years ago.  He was a couple of metres long.  

Migrants are often nervous of Australia's wildlife so to hear that you can suddenly have a large snake on your desk would freak them.

I called some snake catchers and they came quite promptly -- after about half an hour. They bagged him in minutes with no trouble. Their fee of $120 seemed reasonable for a Sunday callout.  I don't now where they took him.  To a Chinese restaurant maybe

Saturday, November 21, 2020


Yesterday Anne and I went in to Toyota and put a deposit on a Prado.  So that will progress when they get a new shipment of Prados in the New Year.  She will probably garage the Prado at her place most of the time. I really have no use for it.  My Echo is already perfect for me.  But the Prado will be available to both our families if and when they have a use for it

The new arrangements we have entered into reflect the fact that I now spend most evenings with Jenny.  Anne and I no longer have any regular meetings for dinner.  Only our Saturday mornings remain a fixture

But our Saturday morning this morning was extremely good, with lots of laughs and jollity.  We really have a great talent for good times together.  We breakfasted at our usual place. Anne had Rosti. After breakfast we went to Vinnies and Anne came away with a very good pot for use in the caravan kitchen.  After that we went back to my place and watched videos of classical music.  She left about 11:30

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


After 15 years together, it was always likely that Anne and I would not be at odds for long.  And so it has proved to be.  We have just had a big pow-wow and have arrived at conclusions that suit both of us well. We both make one another very happy again. As Jenny is the lady in my life these days, Anne and I will not be attempting to revive our old arrangements but we will be reviving one thing that we have always particularly enjoyed:  We will be having Saturday morning breakfasts together again.

An issue that had arisen between us concerned my idea of buying a Toyota Prado solely to tow the large caravan that Anne and George jointly own. For various reasons I had become unhappy with that idea. So we solved that issue in a matter of minutes by way of a good old British compromise.  The purchase of a Prado will go ahead with Anne and me each paying half.  Anne volunteered the remark that that sounded fairer and I of course agreed

I think I have now completed the transition to a new life pattern after the time early this year when my old life with Anne came to an end. I think we have now arrived at realisic new arrangements that should be stable, unstressful and lasting. We have an amazing capacity to make one-another happy and that has survived.

After our big reconciliation, we went and had lunch together -- at our usual cafe -- which was as jolly and affectionate as ever.

As a memento of our big day and its happy conclusion, I gave Anne a classic silver butter dish (with glass insert).  She was with me when I bought it recently so it really was a memento

Saturday, November 14, 2020

A breakup

Much to my surprise, on Tuesday 10th, Anne sent me an email cancelling our weekly dinners.  Later that day, however we exchanged messages of mutual esteem so the split was peaceful, which I value.

So in recent weeks I have lost 3 lady friends:  JH, JD and Anne, which sounds distinctly careless

As the split with Anne was unexpected, the effect on my mood was potentially adverse so Joe stayed overnight at my place to give me company.  We had a good night together, mainly talking and watching classical music videos, so that immediately lifted my spirits and I have been in good spirits since

So Anne dines most nights with her obliging partner, George Eakins, and I dine most nights with my obliging ex-wife Jenny.  Jenny is, as ever, an excellent cook so I get dinners derived from an international range of cuisines.  George is a Seventh Day Adventist so Anne cooks him vegetarian dinners.

Jenny and I have in recent days been on a couple of outings in her new and well-appointed Hyundai car.  We dropped in on a couple of Op-shops along the way and I found two shirts that suited me well.  Jenny bought more cookbooks for her collection.

On Saturday night she is cooking and bringing over to me some Larb Moo, a Thai dish we both like.  I normally go over to her place for dinner, a 15 minute drive away.

A recent picture of Jenny

A recent picture of Anne

A recent picture of me

Anne is 75, I am 77, Jenny is 68 and George says he is 75, though he looks more like 60 to me

I wish I could say goodbye as gracefully as the pair below do


The Larb moo was excellent!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

My new life

A new pattern of living

When I started out looking for a new girlfriend towards the beginning of this year, I was embarking on an unlikely enterprise. My state of health and fitness is so poor that it would need an exceptionally kind lady to take me on.

And after talking to a lot of ladies I have concluded that I have no chance.  So I am giving up the quest.  Unless I attract the interest of a another near-invalid, I am going to have to be happy with the friendships I already have

Fortunately, I am rather well off in that regard. Anne has never stopped seeing me one evening a week and I dine with Jenny five nights a week.  I also see Joe five mornings a week.

And the occasions for all such meetings have now become routine -- always on the same nights and mornings.  As I like routine that suits me very well.

As I am still in love with Anne, seeing her even for one night and morning is very rewarding. 

Then there is Jenny.  I have known Jenny for around 35 years.  During the first ten of those years we were married. Ending the marriage did not end the friendship, however. We have remained very supportive of one another ever since. One illustration of our continued feelings for one another is that I gave her a car during our marriage but also gave her a car around ten years ago -- long after our marriage and while Anne and I were still an item

Dining most nights together is a revival of something that husbands and wives are accustomed to do so doing that again is something familiar to Jenny and me.  I have asked her how she feels about continuing with that right through to my end in a few years' time.  She said that she is happy with that

In summary,  I have a steady refuge of affection and support in Jenny and a great highpoint in my week of my evening with Anne

So I think my life from now on will be very settled, which I like.  No more adventures.

Friday, November 6, 2020

A young fogey

He is a boy I sponsor to study at a distinguished British public school. 

Preparing for a bike ride -- in school jacket, gloves and bow tie

Note the top hat

At sport. Note the long legs. He will be tall

I too was once a young fogey.  When I was a kid I well remember my mother's friends saying of me "John is very old-fashioned".

Sunday, November 1, 2020

A visit to Shanghai

Gastronomically only, not in person

Last Friday Anne could not join me for dinner. We are transitioning from a Friday to a Tuesday for our weekly dinner -- a transition that suits both of us.

So on Friday I asked Joe if I could share his dinner that night.  He was very obliging and agreed with great civility.  Friday evening is the regular time for him to have dinner with an old university friend. They are both mathematicians and computer games fans. But he was happy to include me and I know his very amiable friend

Joe took us to a Shanghai Chinese restaurant that he knows near where he lives.  He has visited Shanghai twice so knows the cuisine.

When the food arrived I was greatly surprised. I ordered chicken with rice but what I got was nowhere near what I expected.  I will not attempt to describe it but it was certainly a new experience. I did eat (most of) it.  Joe ate what I left.

So if you think you know Chinese food, you don't.  The Chinese food we get here is mainly Cantonese but there are many cuisines in China.  The Shanghainese regard the Cantonese as peasants.

The cook appeared to be a motherly old lady and the very slightly built Chinese waitress wore an amazingly short skirt!  All rather memorable