I have indeed been slack in posting of late. Blame the renovations as they distracted me more than I thought possible and made me disinclined to write.
Anyway the renovations are long completed, all the furniture moved back in and the boxes unpacked. The new floor is a 100% on the old one – polished boards vs carpet looks far better and is easier to clean.
Here’s a before and after photo of the living room.
The old fire place is gone and a new flame fire gas heater has replaced it.
A large ornate Art Nouveau dresser used to dominate the right hand wall of the living room, but now it stands in the spare (aka computer)room, along with my sweet little escritoire and an antique oak chair I souvenired from a flat I rented in the 1960s, when the building was about to be demolished. These three items of furniture appear to go together nicely.
Actually, I’d forgotten what the escritoire looked like, as it had been hidden in the bedroom for years, covered with B’s clothes. So it was a surprise to rediscover it and find it a pleasing and pretty piece.
Willy the cat coped well with the renovations, hardly stirring a whisker at the turmoil and noise. These days he’s become more sedate in his habits, spending the bulk of the day asleep on the bed or on my lap (if I let him) pestering me until he gets his way. Today, while eating his breakfast he was monstered by a mob of Indian Mynahs, forced by the birds to abandon his plate and flee, and yesterday he caught sight of the feisty young Piccolo in the back yard and slunk back inside, reluctant to tackle her head on.
Here’s a photo I shot of him yesterday evening.
Despite not writing my usual previews of the Spring racing, I have been following them closely and have attended a few race meetings. First I went to Caulfield on a soggy day in August for the PB Lawrence Stakes and did manage to get a photo of Heart of Dreams, who has since been retired.
In September I attended Dato Chin Nam Stakes day at Moonee Valley and was interested to see that Linton’s coat has lightened considerably. Here are two photos of him, one taken in February 2010 after he won the Alister Clark Stakes, the other taken this September.
|Linton - February 2010||Linton – September 2012|
Most of the horses I planned to follow this spring have resumed quite a few with wins. More Joyous, now 6 years old, has accounted for her opposition easily in two runs back.
Shoot Out started his Spring campaign in the Group One George Main Stakes with a striking win. He will be contesting the Group One Epsom Handicap this coming Saturday and could well be successful again. He’s the last of the High Chaparral boys of 2010, the others, Descarado, Monaco Consul and So You Think all having retired to stud.
Star colt Pierro has had two runs this season and won them both. He raced at Moonee Valley last Friday night in the Bill Stutt Stakes. He handled the track as if he’d been racing there for seasons, and blitzed the rest of the field with his stunning turn of foot, winning by 5 lengths. I contemplated going to the meeting, specifically to see Pierro, but the miserable weather put me off. I might attend Caulfield Guineas day in mid October, which is next on Pierro’s agenda. He has now won all eight of his starts and is yet to be beaten.
All Too Hard has been very disappointing this spring, failing to gain a place in his last two runs. Also Mosheen has failed to fire so far, perhaps not fully recovered from a throat operation she underwent mid year. And Manawanui has been banned from racing for three months after bleeding in his first run back.
The good news is that Black Caviar will return to the racetrack next autumn, all going well.
There are five Group One races scheduled this coming Saturday which will no doubt give some early pointers to likely winners of the BIG three – Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.
And lastly, I’m currently reading (for the second time) Michael Chabon’s new novel Telegraph Avenue, a wonderfully written exuberant novel set in the Berkeley/Oakbank area of California that covers such arcane subjects as 1960s/70s black music, jazz, funk, and blaxploitation movies. The novel is centred around a second hand vinyl record store called Brokebank Records, run by two friends Archy Stalling and Nat Jaffe, which is under threat from a projected giant multimedia development called Dogpile to be built close by.
Telegraph Avenue is replete with dazzling prose and colourful, likeable characters, one of which is a parrot. There is also a cameo appearance by Barack Obama and a 12 page sentence that is quite extraordinary to read. No wonder I felt like reading the book twice in succession.