Catching up: Gold Coast, Symphony at the Movies,...

That damned cold knocked me out of action for two weeks. I'm still not feeling 100% yet after three weeks.

Gold Coast

I'm not sure whether the trip up to the Gold Coast helped or hindered my health. The Jetstar flight up was very smooth and comfortable. I like the interior decor. The Vibe Hotel at Surfers Paradise was also nice. We were moved from level 7 to level 18 when we discovered that they had originally given us two separate single beds. The canal views westwards from the balcony was spectacular. The only downside was that renovations were ongoing, so sometimes the hotel room sounded like my office at work.

Our first stop was Sea World. I was too chicken to join B on the roller coaster, not that it would have done my sinuses any good. However, we both enjoyed the dugong, seal, polar bear, shark and, most of all, the dolphin displays. The next day was Wet'n'Wild, a water theme park. It really was a bit too cold to fully enjoy the water, despite it being heated. I was also disappointed by the lack of individual tube water slides. We enjoyed the Black Hole slides the best, while I stayed a long while in the wave pool.

The Gold Coast was as kitschy as ever, filled with far too many sleazy real estate agents. Surprising numbers of muslims as well. The best bits were the Japanese restaurants, which served up meals as good as anything we ate in Japan.

Another pleasant flight back with Jetstar and ... back to bed.

Symphony at the Movies

A week after arriving back in Sydney I finally felt well enough to do something. I had been planning to attend the Sydney Symphony's film music concert but never got around to buying the ticket. The website said "sold out - standing room only". I called up and purchased the last standing room ticket.

The concert, at the Opera House, was compered by Clive James. He was as amusing as ever, but I had enjoyed listening to the conductor, Rumon Gamba's, commentary when he was conducting the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on a previous tour. Unlike that wonderful performance at Melbourne's Town Hall, I found Symphony at the Movies somewat disappointing. The program felt classically elitist, almost claiming that modern film music is simply derivative of more classical composers. There was Prokofiev, Copeland, Jupiter from Holst's Planets. I was bored silly by Corigliano's Red Violin, technically interesting, but lacking in melodic components. I did enjoy Morricone's Gabriel's Oboe and John William's Imperial March and Star Wars Titles, though I wish they would play some of his other works as I've heard these pieces played live a few times now. There was a special encore treat, with Jerry Goldsmith's end titles from Star Trek: First Contact, one of my favourites from his works. Overall though, too much old, too little new is my summary of the program. I wish the Sydney Symphony could appreciate modern film music in itself rather than try to connect it with classical music.

Life goes on

This weekend has been busy. Our bloody neighbour from down the road has parked his car on our lawn all week. I believe he's been busted for dealing drugs and threatening his baby with a knife. They have maybe 6 cars and not enough car parks, so they decide that our garden is suitable. We intend to plant trees there as soon as he moves. Another neighbour warned us not to raise the issue with Mr Drug Dealer. He sounds very violent to me. Hope he gets busted again soon.

Finished assembling our new entertainment unit. Looks good, though I wonder how long it will take to fill up.

Wish tomorrow was still the weekend. Lucky B gets a bank holiday.