Monthly Archives: January 2013

One Day in January

Robert & The Audreys (7 of 35)No one can do everything.  I cannot sing, not in tune at any rate, but for few reasons, decided that I wanted to record some of my songs anyway.  And one day in January, some musicians who can both sing and play brilliantly came to my house in Adelaide, and we recorded four songs.  A couple of them are songs I wrote a while ago; a couple are more recent.

The musicians were extraordinarily indulgent. It was a great day. Continue reading


Filed under Culture, News from at home

Sad, sadder, saddest

freecellA number of people have remarked that FreeCell is a complete waste of time.  And of course it is, save for the sanity of those sleepless souls desperate to find a convergent sequence amid a sea of divergent anarchy.

I believe there is just one game in the Microsoft version which is unsolvable Continue reading


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Home Alone VI

old handleI went out to a concert with my younger daughter last night, and when we got back we found Perdita in the road. The only explanation is that she had jumped up, grabbed the handle in her paw, pulled the handle down, and then pulled the whole door towards her.  She can do something similar with doors inside the house, pushing the door away from her, but it was the first time she had done it like this.  She was not trying to run away; she just wanted to be with her people.  When I got her back in the house, she spend quite a while standing in my lap and licking my face. Which was a nice gesture, I suppose, if a bit intrusive. Continue reading


Filed under News from at home

The Audreys Near Home

Audreys 13th Jan 2013Just got back from another Audreys concert – this one in a totally packed church just walking in distance from my house in Adelaide. I think it likely that these guys will be international superstars within two shakes of a duck’s arse – they are just brilliant. I was listening to some old songs on my iPod on the way back from the South coast this afternoon – but Taasha Coates is an even better singer than Annie Lennox and Tristan Goodall is an even better guitarist than Al Kooper or Mark Knopfler. In the meantime, Continue reading


Filed under Culture, News from at home

Home Alone V

Now, let me say straight away that I quite like IKEA.  Of course there have been some unpalatable revelations, and in particular that its founder Ingvar Kamprad was an active member of the Swedish Nazi party during WWII, and later that it used the forced labour of political prisoners in pre-unification East Germany.  But every family has its little ways, and when I needed some storage boxes for the contents of furniture that was about to be wheeled out of the door, I thought of their local store.  And sure enough, they had boxes that were just right. Except for one thing.

boxOn lids of the boxes, there is a huge sticker warning of the suffocation hazard that would associated with putting a baby in the box and shutting the lid.

Now, there are a number of reasons why I do not need to be told this: Continue reading


Filed under News from at home

Home Alone IV

What I hugely miss since my wife left is my wife. But I do not miss the ghastly Thermomix – see

The breadmaker that used to live behind the Panzerkampfwagen broke. It had done 10 years service, and that is fair enough: I then happily used the KitchenAid (which had a perfectly good dough hook) to make dough.  But that was Jeanie’s, and has now gone.

DoughThe main trouble with making dough by hand is that the telephone always rings half way through.  Continue reading


Filed under Food, News from at home

Mushrooms on Toast

I will try for while to write up what I cook.  So:Mushrooms on toast

Mushrooms on Toast

For this you need

  • Mushrooms
  • Bread, to make toast
  • Salt
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Coriander

The mushrooms have to be fresh, obviously.  Continue reading

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Home Alone III

I have resumed work on my cook book.  Here is what I have to say about soup in general and vichyssoise in particular:


Soup is underrated and undeservedly unfashionable.  Few people choose it, perhaps because it seems a little boring, but most people enjoy it if it is served to them.

The easiest way to get decent soup is to buy it.  Go for the most expensive carton in the refrigerator in the supermarket, or if none, the most expensive tin on the shelf.  In the summer, a cold vichyssoise or gazpacho is hard to beat.  In the winter, soups with cream or potato are particularly warming.  Lobster bisque is good any time. Do not heat soup you buy in the microwave, but in a saucepan; that way, the smell of the soup will proceed it, which is important.

There are two tricks to serving soup.  Continue reading

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Home Alone II

med_Jan at home 2013 014Jeanie was obviously entitled to half of our pictures and furniture, and she was sensitive to try to avoid taking things that have been in my family for a while.  But that inevitably meant that I have been watching most of the stuff that we bought together over the last 20 years being packed into boxes and wheeled out the door.  By the time they had finished, the house looked desperately sad and empty.  A complete mess.

I had not slept well yesterday; at 4.30 am I gave up on the idea of trying to get any more sleep, and started work on putting the day room and the drawing room back together. For 14 hours, I cleaned, polished, shifted furniture around Continue reading


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Home Alone I

My wife, who I have loved every day for the last 20 years, has decided that she would be happier apart.  She has rented a house and taken the children. So tonight is my first night home alone. Apart from, Perdita, the English Setter, who I get to keep.

I am trying to think of an upside. Jeanie was a bit untidy in the kitchen. Apart from that, it is hard to think of anything.


Filed under News from at home