What a disaster; it has been ages since I have written to this site (that's all I seem to say these days), however with two other sites to keep going along with all the other things I am doing, I'm afraid my personal one tends to get left behind. Still, who reads it? I don't know.
The show went very well, and you can check out all the detail if you go to the Little Theatre site. There is the possibilty that we might take the show to the Gold Coast to a theatre called Spotlight, and if this happens it will be in late August.
There was good news on the Visa front, when the latest budget announced that our visa will now only have to be renewed every 10 years, as opposed to every 4 and they have removed all work restrictions. We are very grateful for this, however we are still working towards our main goal, which is to be granted permanent residence. We have lived in Australia for over 15 years now, and it does seem unfair that we are still considered to be temporary!
We have just celebrated our second Scarecrow Festival, here on the mountain, it was supposed to have taken place last month, but the weather was so bad that it was postponed until last weekend. Regretfully, the weather has been so unseasonal, that last weekend was a washout too. Still the scarecrows have remained on show and this morning I took photos of some of them. I have posted one here and the rest can be seen in the gallery.
Next week we are going to busy as Graham and I will be involved with our second season with the local Make a Wish Christmas in July event. It covers three very full days, and I will be filming and Graham will be taken the photos. Hopefully the weather will improve, as more of the events take place outside; the forecast is for fine weather, so, fingers crossed!
Will post more here after I finish the editing of the film for the DVD I shall be making for the families who will be here for the event.
I am have just finished madly working on an Overture for the play I am in. It's a play with a difference, because it is in the style of a silent movie, so I am providing all the music, with a drummer playing along side.
It has been quite a challenge because I have never prepared for anything like this before and it certainly isn't a doddle. I have to provide a theme tune for each of the characters then do the usual fill in music througout the action. This is not easy because I can't really take my eyes away from the stage, however at the same time I have look at the music, because I haven't as yet memorised all the pieces! Still it is quite fun.
You can read more about it on one of my other sites: http://www.tmlt.com.au/next_production
Eric, from the roofing company, arrived this morning, and said he could fix the roof by fitting a gutter guard, so this will probably be done next week or soon after. He reiterated that it isn't possible to change the level of the gutter, putting it down to the original wooden beam being out of true. We talked around it, but there wasn't any way that he was going to budge, so in the end we decided to leave it.
I really don't have the energy for a fight, and at least the gutter guard will stop the leaves from getting into the gutter, even if it won't be possible ever to get access to the gutter itself; so, hopefully it won't be necessary.
Would you believe it? We still have problems with the veranda roof! I was a little concerned because the gutter wasn't straight, and I asked the builders to fix it; however they said it wasn't possible because of the way it was attached. My neighbour, who has been in the building trade got his ladder out and said he would fix it; however when he looked at it he saw the cause of the problem: the new roof sheets did not extend over the gutter by a few centremetres, but the whole way. In other words the roofing sheets completely cover the whole of the gutter. He drew us a picture, but today, I thought I might be able to take a picture and here it is. Although there are gaps, because of the profile of the roofing sheets, you can see that it completely covers the gutter, making it impossible to clean. It doesn't stop there, because where they have joined the gutter, it leaks.
Living as we do, on the mountain, and relying on rainwater for all our needs, this is not a good layout. Strictly speaking, they should have shortened the roofing panels. Needless to say, I have contacted the insurance company to see what can be done. I am expecting to hear from them in the next couple of days.
At last the veranda roof is finished……well, almost! What a saga. After several telephone calls and messages stretching over a period of a couple of weeks with promises made, and broken, regarding the men returning to finish the job. Finally we were informed that two able fellows would be arriving on Monday to finish the job. Sure enough, they did; however they were not men from the firm that started the job, but from a Patio company. It seems work is often given to them when the original company are “too busy”!
Still these chaps seemed to know their business and before long they had finished the job. Because one of the panels had been damaged, due to the previous chaps not really knowing what they were doing, another panel has had to be ordered and we are expecting the men to return to finish it next week (we shall see!).
Below you can see the before and after shots.
Well, I thought I had cracked it. I checked and double checked, but when I embedded the video into my Video Page, it still had a letterbox shape; so, apologies. If you want to look at it without then go to YouTube: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=WK7bZITBhLw
Friday 16 January 2009
On the Video Page I have just uploaded an excerpt from my recent performance of The Messiah - the Hallelujah Chorus. Apologies for the letterbox effect; I can't work out just yet how to get it right, even when it looks OK in YouTube. This is something I must work on. If you want to watch it without, then go to YouTube: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zyjs1BV6pI
I had placed the tripod and camera just inside the entrance to the main part of the church, so that the over all visual effect looked balanced, however, the audience didn't even notice it there and often walked right in front of it, so because everyone stands for the chorus, this had the effect of obscuring some of the view. As I was playing the piano at the time and the camera was unattended, regretfully, there was nothing I could do about it.
In the photo below you can just see my head peeking above Ruth’s music stand – I was playing the top part of the piano and my friend Sue, the bottom.
I will upload another excerpt once I can figure out how to remove the letterbox effect.
Friday 16 January 2009
They started work today - huh! And yes, it all started to go swimmingly: they removed all the old roofing and all the beams, then they started to erect the new roofing. The problem began when they realised the individual segments were not fitting properly. It turned out that the chap who did the measuring of the job hadn't done it accurately and as a result everything was out. As it is just before Christmas and they need a new part to accommodated the segments, this will not happen until next month. Here is a photo of what has happened so far - more in the gallery.
23 December 2008
The front veranda roof was damaged in the recent hail storm when the hail was as large as golf balls. The next day we looked at the veranda to see that it had large holes in it, all the way along. We telephoned the insurers and they arrived within 36 hours and the whole repair authority was agreed in less than a week.
The other day all the fittings arrived and the job will be done on 23 December. How's that for efficiency? (Well I am keeping my fingers crossed that they actually do arrive on the 23rd, otherwise the materials will be all over the front garden until the New Year.)
Yesterday was spent completely ripping out all my flowering Jasmine, which I have grown since just after we moved here, nearly 15 years ago. It used to frame the front veranda, but I thought that in order to make it easier for the roofers, I ought to remove it. I also took the opportunity to cut back on some other plants in front of the veranda and now it looks awful! I don't know what i am going to replace them with; it all looks so bare and unloved.
We have decided not to have the same roof as before, because it was prone to damage from hail, and as we do have quite a lot of hail storms, it wasn't really the right type of roof to have. We are going for an insulated tin roof. The whole front of the house will look so different, so I have taken some before photos to go with the after ones, when the roof is completed.
TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN LITTLE THEATRE CHRISTMAS PARTY
We had our Christmas party on Saturday. It was a great; well over 30 members came to Wick and Lyn Howard's place and we all had a good time. We even had a couple of party games and Santa came along and handed out our naff presents. Jim's "breaking wind" present certainly livened up the fun.
Each year at our Christmas party, Santa gives out the presents. They have to be awful, the naff, the better! In theory they shouldn't cost more than $5, and these days that pretty much guarantees they won't be up to much. We have had some corkers over the years. One year Graham received a model donkey cigarette box, which dispensed the cigarettes through the posterier when the tale was lifted; much mirth all round.
I used my new camera that Graham had given me for my birthday to take the photos. They aren't bad, however, as in all small cameras, the flash is pretty useless unless one is extremely close to the subject. Still, they are fine for what they are.
We had a little disappointment with the caterers; they were supposed to be cooking our dinner on a spit, but they turned out to be pretty awful, with the food having been pre-cooked at a factory! Still, we didn't let it spoil the occasion; we will simply put it down to experience.
The venue was at the home of a couple of our members, and was ideal; roll on the next one!
Have a look at the Mutt amongst the two Geoffs below........
Barbara 15 December 2008
Santa hands out the presents.
Many members of our group and friends gathered together at the Zamia on Sunday 30 November to celebrate the first 85 years of the theatre. It has been "dark" for over two years and we are now looking forward, eagerly, to the refurbishment, so that we can continue in the fine tradition of providing good entertainment in an historic building.
To watch the video go to the Video page for Dial-up or to YouTube for High Definition broadband and widescreen viewing.You will see a choice just under the viewing window which says, watch in normal quality or watch in HD. [That's me, holding the 8; Graham is taking the photo.]
1 December 2008
After all the rehearsing for the Messiah and the performance on Sunday, I actually had a complete break the next day, my birthday when Graham and I joined our friends, Sue and Ken, Brian and Else, and Peter for a very pleasant lunch at George's Seafood Restaurant in Sanctuary Cove. I took my camera with me, but completely forgot to take any photos; too busy eating and chatting! I had Dover Sole, which was enormous.
After we finished and went our separate ways, Graham and I decided to check out a new shopping complex that has recently been opened just off the Motorway, called Homeworld Helensvale, which is on our way home. There was a very large Clive Anthony's and we went in there as we needed a new electric kettle. Whilst we were wondering around we came upon a new musical game which you run through your computer; it consisted of a set of "drums" and "guitar" and you play along with what is on the screen. (It is more complicated than this, but I won't go into details here!).
"How did you spend your 70th birthday, Barbara?" The photos tell it all...........
24 November 2008
I am performing today in a unique performance of The Messiah with the Gold Coast City Choir. The choir's regular pianist had double booked and as a matter of urgency, Ruth Gurner, the director needed a replacement; easier said than done for a marathon such as The Messiah, and also being short of cash to pay anyone.
Sue, my piano playing partner and friend, mentioned that I had some duet music of the The Messiah. To cut a long story short, I was contacted, checked the music against the original vocal score and it all seemed to be there and in the right keys.
The interesting part of the story is a) how I acquired the music and b) who is used to belong to.
There seems to be no record of her birth, although it would appear that she may have been the first born, if the way her name has been listed on the Peerage site is any indication: http://www.thepeerage.com/p5773.htm. As you will see the third born (?) was his eldest son and he was born April 1857. Now, if one assumes that Katharine was born within a year of her father's marriage that would mean she may well have been born around July 1853. [I have since been informed that she was born in 1859, her eldest brother, Edward was born in 1857, her sister Eva Mary in 1861 and her youngest brother in 1863].
She met and married Charles Robert Prideaux-Brune in October 1883, when she would have been 30  years old. She died in March 1926 when she would have been around 67 years old. The records are rather sketchy after she married and we thought she had no children, however, I have found a site which states that she left issue on her death, but presumably the compilers weren't sure of their names or sex, only that they had children: 1b Katharine Cecilia; married 17 Oct 1883 Col Charles Robert Prideaux-Brune, late Rifle Bde, of Prideaux Place, Cornwall (died 11 Dec 1936), and died 21 March 1926, leaving issue.
(Actually, I have become so interested in this, I have dropped the family a line through their website, asking for more information on her. I am hoping they will be curious to know why I am asking and will reply). I really want to know how all the music must have been distributed amongst the family, presumably on her death and who it was that lived on the Isle of Wight.
As far as we can gather, she lived with her husband in the Prideaux Place family home see: http://www.cornwall-calling.co.uk/houses/prideaux_place.htm This is where the current Prideaux-Brune family still reside.
The only other way I can find out about them is to pay to join one of the many Genealogical sites, which I may well do, if I don't get any joy with the family. Even if they don't reply to my brief note to them, I am intending to write to them after the performance and tell them the whole story and sit back and see what happens.
The photo below shows me playing the part of Alison, a wronged widow, in a play that the drama group I belong to produced. As you will read the reporter got the details of the characters and real people muddled up. I played Alison and Pam (the person mentioned below) played the character, Barbara.
We experienced a pretty violant storm here on Sunday 16 November, so I did a little filming of it which you can see on the Video page.
It was pretty bad here, but compared to some of those poor people at The Gap in Brisbane, we got off pretty lightly. We only sustained some damage on the veranda roof, and, as we are covered by insurance it should be OK! We were without electricity for less than 24 hours, which was much better than 10 years ago when we were without it for three days. My veggie patch took a beating, but I haven't actually lost anything there.
A few months ago I decided to try to grow some vegetables and they have grown, and grown! My next door neighbour had some old potatoes that he had been given by a local greengrocer for his chickens, along with some other old veggies, and we planted them. There was a vast difference in breed, including reds, whites and Kipfler, so they have all looked slightly different as they have grown. One of the plants seemed to die off rather soon, so, today, we thought we would have a look and see what the plant was hiding and the picture tells the story: our first crop!
We will wait a while to see how the other plants go, before checking them. I also experimented with growing some in a double hessian bag and another crop was of some special organic seed potatoes which are just now coming into flower, so it will be interesting to see how they all compare.
I have really gone quite mad this year with growing vegetables; it must be over 10 years since I have grown anything other than tomatoes (and they were never successful). I have just planted some sugar-loaf cabbages that another neighbour gave me, and I have two lots of different beans: French and some yellow dwarf been, although I have had to put in some climbing stakes, because they are growing rather tall. I also have carrots, spring onions and silver beet, so we should be well served if they all do well.
2 November 2008
If you want to watch and hear some fantastic piano playing then go to my video page and watch Sviatoslav Richter play Ravel's Jeux d'eau; it was his performance of this piece that inspired me to learn this piece and perform it in a competition back in the '70's.
Herbert Howells was the adjudicator and he awarded me the winning prize telling the audience that he knew Ravel and knew that he would have approved of my interpretation of his composition. You can imagine just how pleased I was at such praise; I was on cloud 9, and I owed it all to Richter.
The weather is beautiful at the moment. Last week we had the rain and now the days are bright, sunny and warm. Of course, the nights are a bit nippy (the temperature went down to 9c last night, but the days are around 24c. Even the daffodils think it is Spring; I took this photo this morning on my back veranda.
We are so lucky living in such a beautiful spot. I have decided to grow some vegetables this year, and to the left of the daffodil, you will see some brown earth peeping through the gap on the railings, and you can possibly just see the green of some English Spinach that I planted last week. The soil is excellent here and almost everything grows.
It is that time of the year again, when the Opera on the Mountain takes place, and usually Grhowever because of our commitment to the Christmas in July even, we decided not to take on this event as well. It went ahead without the Lassiter's being there to film it and a report is below.
Opera Shines Despite the Weather
Despite severe inclement weather, Tamborine Mountain's 'Opera on the Mountain' attracted more than 400 patrons, performers and back-up personnel last Sunday at the Cedar Creek Winery Estate.
Tamborine Mountain Resident's Association Opera Chairman, Ian Shepherd said the four-hour non-stop event has already received rave reviews from the media and guests. “Weather reports about the Mountain experiencing a 'storm bomb' on Sunday afternoon really gave us some concern,” Ian said. “We were prepared to relocate the open air event to the local community centre as part of our contingency plan, but we were encouraged to proceed at the initial site by the performers and many supporters.
“The program was certainly the most entertaining in our short five-year history and was definitely the most challenging. It was a success and that is the main issue.” Ian said the local SES crew that carried out a multitude of background opera tasks on the day had spent the previous night searching for a lost hiker in the Lamington Plateau. (She was found early on Sunday morning).
The Tamborine Mountain crew was able to have a quick breakfast before reporting for duty at the opera venue before 10.00am. “The main beneficiaries of the opera profits were the local SES and Rural Fire Brigade. We are very appreciative of the deep and sincere community spirit that runs high on our Mountain and they need our support,” Ian said.
The President of the Tamborine Mountain Resident's Association, Cr Richard Adams and Opera Chairman, Ian Shepherd welcomed the Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor, Cr John Brent to the 'Opera on the Mountain' last Sunday. It was Cr Brent's first official visit to the Mountain as the Shire Mayor. P. Steinmuller
It has been raining all day and all of last night; very welcome, but very wet. Actually is has been raining on and off since Friday, and today is Monday. Opera on the Mountain was due to happen yesterday, and I heard on the radio that they might cancel. I understand they didn't cancel but relocated to the Vonda Youngman Community Centre, although I am not sure how they would have all fitted in. As I haven't set foot out of the house, except to take the dogs for a very wet walk, I haven't seen anyone to discuss it.
Graham and I were asked to film it again this year, but we decided against it as we will be filming the Christmas in July next month which will be quite a feat, as it will entail three full days of filming. It is put on by the Make a Wish foundation for the little children who may not see the next proper Christmas. What we will be hoping to do is to film the whole process so that we can give a DVD to the parents. We feel this is such a worth while occasion and as the two functions were so close in time we decided to forgo the Opera. As it turned out we certainly made the right decision.
Yesterday Graham and I went to the High School to hand out How to Vote leaflets for the Local Council Elections. There have been many changes recently to the distribution of the councils within Queensland reducing the number of Shires quite considerably. This has been quite devastating in our area leaving Tamborine Mountain supporting an enormous shire with us, the smallest in area, shoring up the rest of the shire which is mainly rural.
When we arrived at the venue it was quite overcast with rain threatening but as the day progressed the sun came out and as a result my arms became rather badly sunburned; I hadn't even thought about putting on sunscreen.
There was a steady arrival of voters throughout the 3 hours we were there, so there wasn't much opportunity to take advantage of the chairs we had taken along.
Personally I think the whole process of How to Vote cards to be an absolute waste of paper; I realise they are for the purpose of persuading voters who to vote for, not only the person they want to win, but also who to vote for with their preferences. I think that the process of Preferences should be banned; it should be first passed the post and nothing more. With Preferences you might end up with the very person you wouldn't vote for in a fit, and that seems grossly unfair to me.
Here is what was reported in the Brisbane Courier Mail:
March 16, 2008 11:30am
ALMOST one-third of Queenslanders did not vote in yesterday's local government elections, according to the Local Government Association of Queensland.
The polls, run for the first time by the Electoral Commission of Queensland, were the first since the State Government's controversial decision to cut the number of councils across the state from 157 to 73.
LGAQ executive director Greg Hallam said today there had been a poor voter turnout."Almost one-third of Queenslanders haven't cast a vote," Mr Hallam told ABC Radio. "Just 70 per cent of Queenslanders actually cast a vote. It might creep up as more come in, but that's down from 85 per cent at the last elections."FOR THE FULL REPORT AND OTHER NEWS ITEMS SEE THE NEWS FEED ON THE OPPOSITE COLUMN.
A good crowd turned up for the wind up of "Dimboola", the play about a country wedding set in the 1960's; the weather was kind and everyone had a good time. Graham and I had put together a couple of CD's of the photos we had taken during rehearsals and the performances and put them in presentation cases. We worked feverishly to finish all the them in time to be handed out to the cast, and I was printing out inserts just minutes before we had to leave the house. Some members of the audience had actually brought presents for the "bride and groom" over the two nights so they were auctioned off adding more money towards the restoration of the Zamia.
President of our group, Warrick, gave a speech and handed out gifts to many of the helpers and we all enjoyed the provided salad lunch.
Following lunch we "went to the movies" in the Howard's converted garage. Warwick Howard used to own the Zamia and he was the first person to show films there, many years ago. He still shows films, however nowadays in his garage, and on this occasion showed a couple of films including a very funny old news reel about life in the Gay '90's followed by a short excerpt from a W. C. Fields film; my word those actors certainly worked hard for their money in those days!
The photo shows one of the actors delighted at receiving her CD presentation pack!
There has been much discussion lately about the 410 visa and much of it, we have been led to believe, has been done by the new Government. At the recent Perth Community Cabinet Meeting where the issue was raised by a lady called Nita Sadler, the Prime Minister and Minister for Immigration said they wanted to know all about it and one of the local Federal MP's certainly set about making herself a champion on our behalf. The next meeting will be held on the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland this Sunday, and 5 of our BERIA members have been granted a 10 minute meeting with the Immigration Minister, Chris Evans to put forward our case for granting us Permanent Residence.
We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the meeting not only goes well, but the Minister will listen favourably to the arguments. John Wittering, the chief scribe amongst us, has produced some excellent documents that have been well constructed. He has looked at the all the pros and cons that had been discussed with the previous Government, who were not at all sympathetic to our cause, nor did they actually acknowledge any of the positives that were put forward, rather they did what politicians are known for and that is ignore what they don't want to discuss and put forward what they do, so it is like having a discussion with someone who speaks a different language.
Regretfully, I am not able to attend, but I am sure the meeting will be in good hands.
I am pleased to report that the indentification of the mystery spider has been solved; here is the reply I received from the Queensland Museum:
That is a male Garden orb-weaver, Eriophora transmarina. This is a common spider and you are likely to be familiar with the female which is just a little larger (especially in the abdomen) and makes very large orb webs mostly at night. She lacks the special patch of spines on the 2nd leg that he has. The males have this strange habit of suspending themselves by a single strand of silk from eaves and other vantage points with their front legs outstretched. I imagine they are smelling for females (but that is just speculation).
Another place to look for males of this species is as the dead husks left by the females in their webs!
The female looks so different that it isn't surprising we couldn't identify it as the books only tend to show the female; as you will see from this photo, it looks nothing like the one we have.
Our friend, Peter Kuttner, who produced the DVD archive entitled The Biodiversity of Tamborine Mountain, arrived at our house yesterday, with a spider that he had not been able to identify. I got an old fish tank out of the shed, cleaned it up the we placed the spider in it. At first we wondered if it might be dead as it was all scrunched up, but after a while it did move around. Peter wanted to film it to add to his archive on his website, however his camera was elsewhere, so we used ours and both Graham and I took some stills. We all found it difficult to focus through the glass however it was impossible to get the tripod positioned so that the camera could bend over the top of the tank. Not knowing what kind of spider it is, we didn't want to take too many chances by with it.
I have sent some photos to the Queensland Museum asking them if they can identify it, however I haven't heard back from them yet.
Here are the photos: