Saturday, January 28, 2006

La Coupole is just her cup of tea

Herself is an out-and-out Francophile and has a couple of trips to Paris under her belt and, of course, visited La Coupole. La Coupole was at its height between the wars when Hemingway and Picasso were habitues just to name two. But the souvenir Limoges cup and saucer were brought back for her by a friend who knew how she loved the place. Posted by Picasa

The pen from Il Papiro


Herself indulged this week and left a goodly sum behind at Il Papiro in Degraves Street. For those who have not discovered Il Papiro, stepping through its door is like stepping into a shop in an arcade in Florence. She purchased a quill pen with nib and some little business cards blanks which she has me putting the details on in my best calligraphy. Anything to do with paper is there in the most wonderful Italian designs. Just the place for the purchase of a special gift!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Journey after Lapbanding - 5

Yesterday was the day of my first adjustment to my lapband. Adjustments happen periodically. This means an injection in the upper part of one's abdoment of water into a "port" that is connected to the lapband. The addition of water tightens the lapband. Conversely, the lapband can be adjusted by the removal of water. Following the operation to insert the lapband, no water was inserted. So this first adjustment was the first insertion of water. I had 4mm of water inserted. The process is a matter of trial and error to ascertain what suits the individual. To ensure that it was not too tight, I was first given a glass of water which went down OK. Then I was given a tiny tub of yoghurt. That went down all right. The whole purpose of the exercise is to ensure that the individual does not get hungry under about four hours. I return two weeks from to-day for a second adjustment. This will be followed by a further assessment six weeks from then to decide if I need a further adjustment. My understanding at this stage is that after that I will probably have to discern for my self when I may need further adjustment.

A couple of aspects of the visit were dismaying. My scales are big dial type scales. They tell me that I have lost approximately 20kg. The scales at the clinic are digital platform scales. They tell me that I have lost approximate 12kg. Now a kilo or two's difference would be understandable - but that much?! I am reminded of what Oprah says: The scales aren't my friend. My measurements were taken and while they had declined slightly it was well, er slight. However, my clothes - which everyone says is the best guide - are getting much looser and I am getting back into clothes that were tight. Even got into a new pair of shoes yesterday. Well - they were new three or four years ago - and have never been worn. In recent times my feet have been swollen. They are no more and, of course, the feet are getting skinnier as the rest of me loses weight. So off I went to the clinic yesterday in a blouse that I had not worn for a while because it was too tight and uncomfortable and in the new shoes - which turned out to be probably the most comfortable pair of new shoes that I had ever been in. Felt really good!

So the story continues. Will let you know what happens after the 9 Feb visit.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Smoke getting in your eyes?

To-day is getting warmer and to-morrow promises to be a hot Australia Day - scorching in some parts. I have been out and about to-day: over to Coburg through Northcote and Thornbury this morning and midday found me in Lilydale heading for the hills through Monbulk and Belgrave and back home to Upper Gully. Now if it's that hot perhaps you dream of waving coconut palms. But coconut palms in Melbourne? Someone in Thornbury (or is it Coburg) has solved this problem. The photo above shows a green palm tree complete with yellowy green coconuts. I think it might be made from moulded plastic - note the "carved" effect on the "bark" and the spiky "palm fronds". The sky looks clear blue. Glad the camera was so sympathetic. The reality is that a smoky, smoggy haze from widespread Victorian bushfires covers the inner city extending even to the outer east and the Dandenongs. Even our view of the Dandenongs National Park from our home in Upper Gully is thick with smoke. It makes us think of the firefighters, those who have lost homes and livelihood, and - above all - of those who have lost their precious lives. Our prayers are with you all! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The challenge of the cheap is on....

Jennifer over at The Felt Mouse has issued a challenge. Apparently, in the US they have 99c shops. I pleaded a special case saying that - perhaps because of the exchange rate - we have $2 shops not 99c ones. The challenge includes a table setting + food. Now I don't know of a $2 shop that sells food in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Does anyone out there know of somewhere? Do any of my blog friends in the eastern suburbs range wish to join in either with your own entry or making a joint effort with me? My mind is running along the following lines. Next Wednesday, February 1, is St Brigid's day - and she's my patron saint. Now, in Ireland she is as big as St Patrick - so I'm thinking this could be the theme. Green and shamrocks. Just recently Herself purchased a green dinner set at a Sallies Op Shop. This could be a good start. I think things could go from there. Advice, views, etc most welcome!

Just too darn hot....

It has been too hot too blog. Focussing on cooler things - and hiding out at the movies. There have been a couple of trips up to the Cameo at Belgrave. I saw Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)and Mrs Henderson Presents.

Joyeux Noel is a true story built into a movie of heart warming schmaltz with a message. Oh that all our current batches of soldier boys would see it and recognize how terribly they can be used - not only by politicians but other powers-that-be in the ruling class. There is no doubt though just how much Germans love Christmas. From the German-speaking culture we get Christmas trees and Silent Night together with all the fun, feasting and spirituality of the season. It is well to note that the Christmas Truce of World War I (and the Americans couldn't be in this one because they hadn't yet joined in) - the fact on which the movie is based - occurred at the first Christmas and didn't happen again. In just a few months, the deaths and the manner of their occurrence in the trenches were horrendous. In the years that followed trench warfare and the hundreds of thousands of lives committeed to it became an obscenity. We try to pretend that all war, any war, that we decide is right is therefore justified - and the movie opened with this and portraying the hateridden propaganda that was let loose in France and Germany and Britain. Humanity across the globe gets itself into all sorts of messes called war - but only occasionally for good reason. But even when the reason is good what happens is not. Joyeux Noel gave an indication of the horrors of war but emphasised the hope of humanity. Our hope is in spirits embedded in ancient traditions - traditions that teach us and help us to remember what it is to be human.
Off to World War II and Mrs Henderson Presents and the Americans did eventually turn up. What can one say about Dame Judi Dench. It seems that the older she gets, the busier she is. These days she seems to be in everything. Her performance as Mrs Henderson is like a mature and well-cellared wine: to be savoured, enjoyed, and dwelt upon. She appears as a cross between The Dowager Queen Mary and the Queen Mother - at one point, complete with tiara. Mrs Henderson is a romantic, a realist, a person of her class with a sensible earthiness which brings her through an extraordinary adventure in The Windmill Theatre. This movie is a tour de force not only for Judi Dench but for Bob Hoskins. Never has he looked so handsome (even in the nude and full frontal), never has he characterized a role so well. Dench and Hoskins are evenly matched - two denizens of British film and theatre. This movie has the fun of comedy, the variety of a musical, and the drama of a wartime movie. The evocation of the Blitz brought back memories of the London bombings of 2005 and reminded me of how well the Poms do stiff-upper-lip in theatre, film, and real life.

These are two wonderful movies to put on your list if you haven't seen them yet. But just ask - wouldn't it be wonderful if we could only look at a world at war in the movies as an historic artifact?

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