Sunday, 24 July 2011

A busy weekend

We have had considerable frustrations with mobile wifi.  We started off with a Vivifi device, produced I think for Optus.  However, the sales assistant did not tell us there are pockets of non-reception for this device in Perth.  On consultation with other people, these are not pockets, they are huge black holes of non-reception in the Perth area.  So having messed around with it for a week, we took it back to the supplier, and were advised to buy a Telstra mobile wifi, "which has much greater coverage as it's been around for much longer".  I wish they had said this in the first place.

So we bought this, spent ages charging it, struggled to access the Customer Service (!) number to get it registered, (I became considerably grumpy), Jim maintained good humour and persistence, and eventually Jim succeeded in getting everything to connect.  I'm so glad he's here.  So we have internet access at home, and I can update my blog in the evenings, when I'm reflecting on my day and planning the next.

Yesterday I started my drawing homework - knots on A1 paper.  Because of the size of the paper, it takes a considerable amount of time to do each one, and I'm meant to do 4(!) by tomorrow.  I think I can get the 3rd one completed tomorrow morning,  before I go to class.  However I've been a good student today and looked at the Textile DVDs as well as drawing.  I'm using my student diary extensively because I'm sure that if I don't plan when to do which homework, I'm going to end up falling behind.

On Saturday, Jim and I went to a 60th birthday party.  I am a distant cousin of Ian James, related via my Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Doreen.  It was a 60th party with an asian theme.  It was the first time Jim and I have been to Australian style entertaining.  The invitation said "bring a dish of asian food".  We debated this for some time - hot or cold, what does "asian" mean here?  (indian or chinese?), how to transport suitable food on public transport?  In the end we decided to ignore the instructions and keep to what I knew I could do - make a cake!  Our friends in England know this is within my comfort zone.  So then I had to trial the oven part of the Baby Belling tabletop stove, and buy a new cake tin - two things that can be a disaster to any cakemaker.  But worries were allayed.  I made a Victoria sandwich, which looked ok when finished, and could be transported in the loaf tin in which it was cooked, could be served cold, and had no sauce to spill while travelling by public transport.

The party was lovely.  Ian had a chinese outfit and stunning false moustache and beard.  Susie and his daughters looked absolutely amazing in close fitting chinese dresses with mandarin collar.  Lovely bright colours, beautifully woven, accentuating just how slim and fit they were.  Lots of people were there, a variety of friends, family and colleagues.  The food brought by all sorts of people was wonderful.  We tried all sorts of spring rolls, rice, bread, dahl, duck pancakes, and various forms of chicken and beef.  It all made my usual savoury cooking look very pedestrian!  Once we had eaten our fill, Susie did a speech for Ian - centred around his name - I for Ingenity, A (I've forgotton) and N for Non-conformist.  He is obviously held in great affection by his family, and I agreed that the characteristics described are admirable.  Then his daughters and a couple of guitarists entertained us by live singing.  They were great - and have a lot more nerve than me.  Just before the end of the singing, the people who had offered us a lift home, said they were ready to make a move, so Jim and I stood up to make tracks which upset the flow of the songs, which was unfortunate and I hope we did not offend.  It was a lovely celebration.

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