Sunday, 27 November 2011

Whyte Yarcowie Vaudeville Troupe

What can I say? These dames - not at all at sea - and dudes are really really good, and to think I'd never seen 'em before last night. At Port Victoria, where they played a gig  in the pleasant Town Hall to reprise their first visit of two years ago. The usual tour of these talented amateur performers is in and around the Mid North of the state, but the maxim "Go west" brought the company this far.

Best is to visit their good-looking website

See what I mean? Many thanks to Gwenda, Yvette and Ian for transport and tea; also Ann and Michael, musicians who not only are members of our less-touring bunch but have Port Victoria associations; plus June B. - so together we have a strong lobby for advocating that we take a tip from the WY vaudevilleans and incorporate tap dancing forthwith. Is there time to learn by this Tuesday,  our last Stansbury concert of 2011?  Other suggestions by me have been cruelly rejected this year... to put our show on ice; introduce aerial acts. No, they said... we have enough hip and knee replacements as it is.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Yay! The piano got its keys back with flash new tops. Farewell old warped celluloid. Thanks to Robin S., Mr Piano-man from far-off Port Pirie, here for three hours, armed with screwdriver, glue for the re-felted name rail, I-Pad and beta-test program for tuning the instrument to concert pitch (Is that like a soccer pitch?). We are talking here about a venerable 1920s upright from the New York Waldorf company. And here's to its next 80+ years. Thanks again, Lois.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

End of Year Important Parties

The world is its usual happy self... oops, just hit a key accidentally with my suddenly longer nose. Anyway, we are lucky in this little part of it. The farmers who often wish for rain have got it in recent days, and now want it to stay away until they bring in the crops. Blooming fussy lot. The rest of us are getting intense about REALLY big stuff such as Christmas parties, concerts, next-year programs, visiting rellies, keeping visiting rellies away, more parties, staying well, annoying selected people, and garden chores delegated to others if at all possible.

I have been slightly immersed in edit jobs and enquiries from the usual suspects; Bangladesh, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia over the past weekend. Canada and the Netherlands have gone quiet. Nothing as exotic as Kazakhstan from earlier this year, when I edited contracts with a German engineering firm for new plant for that country's electrification grid. Any faults they run into will be blamed on me, I guess. Yeah, right. Ha Ha, I used a false name... Never mind, Kevin, they might not know where Mount Gambier is.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Poland, Port Pirie and sheep herding

Life is getting back to its normally abnormal. The past week or so has certainly had both small and large challenges in the lives of those I know. My friend Erica's death, although expected after her long battle with cancer, was sad for everyone who knew her. Erica was 83 and still young at heart. Vale.

Nina came back from Poland to the UAE and has taken time off work, from today, to finish her thesis which I am editing. Better get it done, Nina... the deadline's the 28th for final submission! A voicemail last night, which I only read this morning, asks about a different PhD thesis proofreading job. Maybe I need to sit in front of the computer screen 24/7. But this is not going to happen - not while the weather is as good as it is right now.

On Monday we expeditioned to Port Pirie taking my piano keys and keyframe to Robin the Pianoman who will refurbish the keys with new one-piece tops and fronts. They will replace the celluloid originals which are warped. The instrument is otherwise in good shape, a late 1920s New York-built genuine Waldorf. Robin let slip an insider secret that a certain Adelaide music retailer was known back in the day to keep a supply of Waldorf labels, and at times stick 'em on the odd anonymous piano. Last night I translated the lyrics of two French songs for a member of our singing group. Not sure what the link is, but both are about flirty shepherdesses. Must ask why. I don't think I've ever actually met a shepherdess. Bit of social history there.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Mr Bean - My Part in His Fame

Not really. Anyway, the title's a parody of the late great Spike Milligan's book Hitler - My Part in his Downfall. (Milligan served as a private in WWII in the Italian campaign.)  And Mr Bean? I know you love him, Maureen. My 1961 Leyland mini pre-dated the famously padlocked mini owned by Mr B. and featured in many an episode on TV. I owned or co-owned three mini-minors over the years. Today's Advertiser (page 33) pays tribute to the fiftieth anniversary of that iconic British Motor Corporation car's first coming to Australia. The brand is now owned by Germany's BMW, and the new models are somewhat larger. The predecessor was of course the rather rotund Morris Minor which was itself considered small until the Mini Minor arrived, thanks to BMC designer Alec (later Sir Alec) Issigonis.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Remembrance Day

The eleventh day the eleventh month. It's a memorable combination of day and month, originally marking the cessation of hostilities in the Great War which sadly came to called later the FIRST World War.

I wrestled with some modest success today and have removed from my piano its keyframe and its 88 keys. The whole assembly will sit on the back seat of the car on Monday, to be taken to Robin the Piano Man in Port Pirie. He will replace the key-tops which have warped and when it's done he will bring the thing home, reinstall the bits and pieces, and tune the instrument.

The male voices of our little group have been augmented from one back all the way to three, with Denis returned from hospital and Don returned from the Silver City of Broken Hill.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Get Well Wishes

Everyone in our happy singers' group today wishes a speedy recovery to Denis who was taken ill during yesterday's rehearsal. Thanks go to our local ambos who showed up quickly - actually they hang out just a couple of streets from where we were rehearsing, and were contacted directly, when the 000 phone call produced bureaucratic rubbish from the supposed ambulance emergency people located somewhere remote. Helluva system, people.

See ya soon, Denis (he's famous for absconding from the RAH in just his PJs).

Monday, 7 November 2011

Of Bedposts and Chewing Gum

This is a Lonnie Donegan classic I'd (almost) forgotten about. DOUBLE CLICK on the image here to get full screen. Then get a cuppa and enjoy Lonnie.

Friday, 4 November 2011


Whoops. Another week has flown by. More edit-work coming in from Abu Dhabi... but the thesis-author has just flown off to Poland for a rellie's 90th birthday party and says I'll get the rest of the material a.s.a.p. Everybody I know seems to be going to exotic places. Me, a meal at Stansbury's Dalrymple Hotel is an exotic outing, last Saturday  night, a full 20 minute drive from here. Little did I know it, but from Sunday I was to be without an internet connection for several days - something about a power surge wiping out devices which then took time for extra stocks to be delivered from Sydney, delayed by fallout from the Qantas dispute.
We performed a concert in Minlaton on Wednesday, the monthly visit, always well-received. Thanks guys.
Oh, and as from this morning it appears that I am a certified NLP Practitioner. Yay. However, I am doing the next level in this kind of training, with a goal of completing it by the end of January. Watch this space.