Dear Aunt Varvara…….- 24 August 2011

Esteemed and exalted Aunt Varvara,

Greetings and salutations from the West Islands. With only 17 days to go until the commencement of that big rugby tournament in Kiwiland (we can’t use the words “rugby” together with “world” and “utensil that normally sits on a saucer when drinking tea” in public correspondence lest we are slapped across the cheeks and jowls by trademark attorneys), we should be getting excited, I guess. Much was made about the selection of the AB’s squad yesterday with various calls to feel a bit sympathetic to those who missed out – yes, my heart bleeds for them too but this will be a triviality if the ABs don’t win the blessed trophy and that’s no certainty even though a lot of the Fourth Estate hold the view that it is. Personally, I think it’s a strong team.

The media hype regarding the overpriced adidas jerseys has calmed down to almost nothing. Still, it will be interesting to see whether the ambish marketing that has already begun will manifest itself in other forms – if the beige brigade were successful in resurrecting the old WSC ODI uniforms for cricket, I wonder if the old Canterbury jerseys will be brought out of the closet along with their faded Steinlager- sponsor marks. We’ll see.

I have not yet been to have a look at the new Wynyard Quarter yet. Much has been made of said Quarter ever since the new tram network (something like 1.6 kilometres of track) was opened up and the horrific scaffolding taken down. I must say that I do think that the tram pricing is usurious – $10 a trip, I believe. For that sort of money you can get a day ticket on just about all public transport in Melbourne. Another shocking cock-up from those running (if that is the right word) the Council. Speaking of public transport, the buses have been given another shake-up with the (free) Link being rerouted, an Inner Link (similar to the current Link) and an Outer Link. The new routings make it a bit of a bugger to get to Ponsonby Road and the usual haunts but this might encourage a bit more walking (perversely). Oh, well. I will try and figure it out when the time comes.

“Depot” has opened in Federal Street as has that other place that tv viewers are getting the chance to see being built brick by brick, problem by problem. The menu is rather limited as is the much-hyped raw bar (only two types of oysters and only a few dishes of any interest (at least to me). Which is a pity. Restaurant activity is picking up, I see. More and more of the better establishments are getting fuller which is probably just as well as you will be unlikely to get a table at these places in a fortnight right through to the end of October.
Luckily we have not had any more snow much less rain. Up until yesterday, we had nince days of very pleasing and sunny weather. Howeverm, the sunrises have been a bit disappointing – one is energised by a blazing sunrise still.

I am still working on the Chopin in the laboriously tedious fashion that I do. But am completely distracted by two things – Burgmuller’s Duo for Clarinet & Piano (I have ordered Michael Collins’ “The Lyrical Clarinet”) and Rachmaninoff’s Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos and the Barcarolle therein. Wonderful pieces both and the old habit of trying to sight read them is very hard to break.

All for now – travel well and invest profitably !



About TI

TI is based in Auckland, New Zealand. TI's somewhat eclectic interests include (but are certainly not limited to) legal humour (the law can be funny), good wine, the search for the best possible chocolate, alcoholic beverages, travel, commercial aircraft, photography, weird news stories and classical music.
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