Saturday, April 30, 2011

The joys of autumn and cheese

Leaves, leaves, leaves! Look at this pile of leaves! Luke and I came upon it on Caroline Street in South Yarra today and we had to kick them up and jump in them. We tried not to spread them around too much because it looks like a resident has spent some time sweeping (or more likely leaf-blowering) them into a pile. Childishlly gleeful, but considerate, we are.

It was an absolutely stunning autumn day today. Just bee-yootiful.  Luke and I walked up to the Arts Centre to see the musical Next to Normal (the one I got excited about a month or so ago) and the green grass of the King's Domain was glowing in the sunshine. So pretty.

Next to Normal was very good. Not as emotionally affecting as I was expecting, but the cast was talented and the music was enjoyable. 

I made a delicious gluten-free Mexican meal on Thursday night - chicken enchiladas with avocado salsa. Simple, quick, tasty. But then it's hard to go wrong with cheese, eh? Mmmm, cheese.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


It's mushroom season. I saw these beside the river on my way to work this morning. It was a beautiful sunny morning and the mushrooms were sparkling with dew. I didn't have time to take any close-ups, dangit! I love photographing fungus (I won't eat it though).

This reminds me of when I was a kid growing up on a farm. One autumn my brother and I went mushrooming and there were HUNDREDS of mushrooms growing by a stream, each one bigger than the last until we were picking mushies as big as dinner plates! We were in paroxysms of delight. We took home as many as we could carry.

Mum cooked them and the whole house stank of mushrooms. Dad was the only one who ate them was a little unwell afterwards. Oops.

Tomorrow is Friday already! Yay! Gotta love a three-day working week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter fun: part 2

The pier at Altona

What an ace Easter break I've had.  Sunshine! The beach! Cuddles with nephews! Friends! Sleep-ins! Shopping! More comedy!

It turns out that Easter Sunday is quite a good day to go to Ikea. It wasn't too crowded. I bought a new rug for my lounge room, which was carried most of the way home by my friend/rug mule, Si. It looks good.

This made me laugh. There's something about the exclamation mark that suggests the signs were put there after an unfortunate incident. No, you can't pee here!

Sunday night Si and I went to see Daniel Kitson's show The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church, which seems to be about death, but it's really about living. It was fantastic. Kitson has an amazing gift for a delightful turn of phrase. He can amuse you and move you at the same time (if you can keep up - he talks very fast).

On Monday I visited my friend Deliea and her two sons (my quasi-nephews, who are now 4 and about 18 months). They are such beautiful little boys - blue eyes, long dark lashes and blond hair - and so funny.  The little one got all shy when I arrived, tucking his chin into his shoulder and looking up at me through his lashes. So cute.

Deliea and her sister made a yummy lunch (mmm....corned beef) and then Master 4 asked me to stay for dinner as well, so I did. He asked so nicely I couldn't say no.

Today was the first anniversary of my father's death and I visited my stepmother for lunch at Altona Beach. It's hard to believe a year has gone by. We let go some balloons in the colours of Dad's footy team and watched them until they were out of sight. We walked out on the pier and I saw tiny little fish in the shallows.

I stopped off at Newport and Yarraville on the way home to take photos of old things.


The old St George's Theatre at Yarraville
(now being turned into apartments)

An old house on Ballarat Street in Yarraville

Old milk bar in Yarraville

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter fun: part 1

I am having a delightful Easter break so far. Comedy, countryside, cuddles, chocolate. C is for awesome.

Thursday night Luke and I went to yet another comedy show - this time Ava Vidal, a UK comic, who was funny, often in a 'that's a bit wrong, but hahahaha' way. I liked her.

On Friday we headed for the Mornington Peninsula for the day. It was breezy and cool, but sunny. Luke pointed out landmarks from his youth and the tiny, ghostly silhouette of the city in the distance.

We stopped at Mornington for lunch...well, breakfast for me and second breakfast for Luke (mmmm...bacon).  

Then we kept going all the way to Cape Schank, stopping for a little meander along the picturesque beach at Sullivan Bay, near Sorrento. Did you know Sullivan Bay was the site of the first attempt by Europeans to settle what is now Victoria in 1803? I didn't. The 467 settlers included 299 convicts, including an 11-year-old John Pascoe Fawkner, who in 1835 became one of the founders of Melbourne, and convict John Buckley, who escaped from the settlement and lived with Aborigines near Geelong for 33 years.  All that remains now are four settlers' graves.

Cape Schank

We stopped again at Gunnamatta Beach where the wind was blowing a gale and whipping up the surf, then headed on to Cape Schank. We walked all the way to the bottom of the boardwalk onto the rocky beach.  The rocks are dark grey and black when wet. Basalt?

The waves were so strong that when the water receded, it dragged rocks - and not only small ones - back into the water. The sound of rocks tumbling over each other was quite loud. Luke skimmed stones on the sea and then found me a nice, perfectly symmetrical rock to keep as a souvenir (I've got into the habit of doing that).


We drove back through the countryside, which is hilly and very pretty. We listened to old cassette tapes in the car - Billy Idol, Eric Clapton, The Muppet Movie soundtrack and Transvision Vamp. Remember cassettes? We're so retro. Luke sang along but I couldn't remember the words (except to Rainbow Connection).

Speaking of music, Luke made me a two-CD 'mix tape'. It's good. I've been listening to it all day.

Last night I went to another comedy show with friends - Mark Butler's Grammar Don't Matter on a First Date, an hour of very funny stand up about pedantry and dating. It was great...kind of like a meeting of the Fellowship of Pedants (only funny).  We got to decide which grammar errors justified breaking up with someone and to pick out the grammatical errors in popular songs. I was the first to point out that Devo should sing 'Whip it well", instead of "Whip it good". *smug face*. He had us sing the grammatically correct version too.

I went with my friend Paul and the mother-to-be of his first child (they are no longer together, but remain friends). I'd never met her before. We got along really well. We worked at the same suburban law firm and have similar musical tastes (and she's a pedant too).

Today I'm having a lazy morning before heading to Ikea. Tonight I'm off to see my final show of the Comedy Festival - Daniel Kitson. Tomorrow I'm heading out to the sticks to visit my adorable nephews and eat corned beef for lunch. Wooh!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy, squelchy, choccy

Bad phone pic of the rain.

I had my annual performance review at work (even though I haven't been there a year) and my boss is very happy with me. Yay. I'm very happy too.

I got caught in a heavy downpour coming home. It started just as I got off the tram and I was soon saturated from the knees down and squelching in my sneakers. But you know what? I kinda liked it. I also liked getting home, changing into my pyjamas and putting dry socks on. Aaaah.

A thing I almost bought a couple of weeks back was today on sale for $50 off. It's now mine. Glad I held off.

One of the solicitors I work for gave me some Haigh's chocolate for Easter. What a sweetie.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Small blog world, pop, busy

I posted this photo of a cool old van  parked off Smith Street, Collingwood on my photo blog on the weekend and today the owner of the van commented on it! How 'bout that!

I went to the gym tonight, When I do some exercises, a couple of vertebra in my upper back pop. I know this is a bit odd, but I like it. I like it when the osteopath cracks my bones, even my neck. He always says, "Is it OK if I try to adjust your neck?" and I always want to say, "Dude, I'm not leaving here UNTIL you crack my neck!". I like it because of the release of tension that often accompanies it.

My Easter break is shaping up to be fairly busy. Seeing another comedy show with Luke on Thursday night, down to the Mornington Peninsula on Friday, another comedy show with friends Saturday night and possibly lunch with my step-mother on Tuesday. I wanted to visit my nephews and go to IKEA too. Fun!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Slack plovers, perfect brows, more Seuss

I saw Mr and Mrs Plover on my walk again this morning. When I first spotted them they were grooming themselves, but as soon as I stopped to take a photo, they started hunting for food again. It was like I'd caught them slacking off at work!

I got my eyebrows waxed again. The waxer told me I had perfect eyebrows (but obviously not so perfect they couldn't use a little tidy). I'll add that to my list of less common compliments, although it's not as uncommon as being told you're a good bleeder. That's what the Blood Bank lady said. Great brows, fast-flowing blood. *smug face*

I know I'm not meant to be buying more books until I finish the pile on my bedside table, but how could I resist Dr Seuss and Philosophy: Oh, the Thinks You Can think!? I read about it in an email from and had paid for it less than 10 minutes later. I already broke the no-new-books rule by buying the Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch anyway. It's funny and whimsical and lovely.

Remember the rabbit that was a cushion with a face? Here's a feline equivalent:

Flying angry kitty cushion

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Old friend, squee-fest, day trippin'. And balls.

My weekend of fun and frivolity continues. I met a friend from my uni days whom I haven't seen for months on Victoria Street in Richmond. We had lunch* and a good catch up - she's one of those precious friends you can go ages without seeing, but you slip effortlessly back into the friendship like it's a pair of comfy slippers.

After lunch Carly and I went over the road to Daiso, the Japanese $2.80 shop (that's inflation for ya). I've never been there before, but Carly - who's still a big kid like me, only she has small kids - is a veteran and loves it. It was a hoot and a squee-fest. We alternated between giggling at the hilariously translated directions on stuff and exclaiming, "OH MY GOD! That's SO cute!".

My frivolously awesome purchases:

* a set of animal erasers that are not only cute, but scented.
* a set of wee pencil topper erasers shaped like animals.
* a microfibre cloth in the shape of an apple. I might be more inclined to clean the dust off my laptop now.
* a scouring pad with strawberries on it.
* a watering can shaped liked an elephant.
* a set of brightly coloured sticky tabs.
* three correction tape shaped like a penguin, one like a rabbit and one like a chicken. I couldn't decide.
* a tin of little coloured pencils. OK, so I've gone a bit overboard on pencils.
* a photo frame. Just plain black. Not sure how that slipped through their quality control.

After that, I walked up to Smith Street and poked about a second-hand shop, took photos of old signs (more! More old signs!) and I finally spotted the building that housed the famous MacRobertson confectionery factory! I've read a little bit about it and founder Macpherson Robertson in books about Melbourne and have wondered where it was and today I spotted it! It's up the Alexandra Parade end.

Guess what I just found out? I googled MacRobertson and discovered that Douglas Mawson named part of Antarctica MacRobertson Land after him! (He funded the expedition) How ace is that?! I don't know why, but this pleases me immensely. Macrob was an eccentric and fascinating man - one of the most notable characters in Melbourne history. I must find out more about him. 

Anyway, after that I wandered up to Brunswick Street and bought bagels. I passed a girl sitting outside a cafe in the sunshine, bent low over a notebook, writing furiously. As I waited for the tram outside a nursery, a girl pressed her nose to a honeysuckle flower, closed her eyes and inhaled its perfume. Sometimes I wish I could take photos of people without them seeing. I'm too shy to ask. I know! I need a spy camera! That wouldn't be creepy at ALL, would it? 

I headed into the city to meet a friend. We met on the steps of the State Library. He indulged me by letting me show him all my silly purchases. He liked the bagels best. Boys, eh?

Speaking of boys...

The guy I like^ is taking me on a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula on Good Friday. (He lives down that way.)  I can't wait. I haven't been down that way for years, although that's not really the reason I can't wait.  

* I ordered the beef ball soup thinking it was balls made of beef but after biting into the first one, I wasn't so sure. Very rubbery. Squeaked against my teeth a tiny bit. Carly said, "You've seen testicles before, haven't you?" Me: "Yes, but only inside a scrotum; not...on the loose." Carly: "Didn't you grow up on a farm?" Me: Yes, but I've still only seen bull testicles attached to a bull." They weren't unpleasant. The ones in my soup, I mean.

^ If you haven't already guessed, that guy is Luke.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Gleeful Omnibus. Vrooooom!

Artwork atop the Sportsgirl building in Richmond.
At last the interwebz have told me what this is!

Tsk tsk. I haven't blogged in nearly a week, but it's not because there's been a lack of glee in my life. Not at all. There's been loads of glee. LOADS of it. I'll start with today.

I went shopping on Chapel Street with the intention of buying some quirky homewares for my flat. I ended up buying three original My Little Ponies (one wears a tiara! Another has little pink glasses! Just like real ponies!), a giant bubble blowing wand, rainbow gel pens, the cutest notebook, a beautiful postcard by an artist called Art and Ghosts, a gorgeous colouring book and coloured pencils. Yes, ALL for me!

The colouring book is called Lolo isn't Lonely Anymore - "When Lolo's house is sold, she must move far away from her beloved city to the country. Everything is different, and at first she is very lonely, but soon she learns to listen and look, and finally starts to notice all the great things that were there all along".  The story speaks to me (it's a little bit like this blog really) and the illustrations are lovely. I hope I don't mess it up when I colour it in!

A trio of cats sunning themselves in a bookshop window

I walked home from Chapel Street along the river. I don't often walk along that stretch of the Yarra, but it offers some great views of the city, including this lovely vista. I just happened along at the perfect time of day.

And then I noticed a fairly well-concealed rough path heading down to a jetty on the water so I went down there and it was beautiful - the view of the city at sunset and the almost-full moon and Our Magic Hour sign reflecting on the water. I love you with all my heart, Melbourne.

Secret spill

I have been wearing new ankle boots all week. They're very comfy and I love them...although I did fall over in them at work BUT NO ONE SAW ME! How 'bout that, eh?! 30-odd people in my department and I fell over out of sight. Go, me! (If Frisky falls in the office and nobody sees her and nobody hears her, the bruise on her kneecap shall be proof that it did happen!)

Speaking of work, there's been a re-shuffle in my group and after Easter I will start working for one of my favourite people in the department. She's awesome - very funny and so lovely. I'm very happy about being her minion. Our first task shall be to work out how to buy gin on her corporate Amex.

The not-very-early birds 

For the last week or so on the way to work, I have passed Mr and Mrs Plover hunting for their breakfast on the same stretch of riverbank. I like seeing them every day. They're another addition to my free- range menagerie of birdy pets. I've seen them catch a few worms too. This proves that the saying about the early bird is wrong. You heard it here first.

I've also seen possums, two scampering rats, and a native water rat (rakali) swimming in the river (at night, not on my way to work).

We've had some very damp weather this week, but I find it hard to be glum about it when I can look out my office window and see a huge blanket of dark grey cloud suspended over the city, waiting to dump its load. It looked quite apocalyptic, but fantastic (sorry, no photo).

MORE comedy!

Luke and I went to see comedian Mark Watson last night (at the Forum again). I loved it. There wasn't a lot of discernible structure to his stand-up, but he's face-hurtingly funny, the crowd interaction was great and, like David O'Doherty, he has such a likeable stage presence. And five minutes before the show was due to start he was sitting on a couch in the foyer chatting to punters and having his photo taken!

Cute Satan

I saw Satan in the city last night when I was waiting for Luke. Two Satans in fact. A man-sized devil and his mini-me devil sidekick. MIDGET SATAN! (yes, I know midget isn't PC, but it's funnier than LITTLE PERSON SATAN!). Midget Satan was tiny and adorable. He chased a girl with his pitchfork and she ran away squealing. What a sook. (I think they were promoting a Comedy Festival show.)

The leaves are starting to turn colour and fall. Yay, autumn!

Tomorrow I'm having brunch with a friend I haven't seen in ages and then we're going to Daiso, which I'm told is like a Japanse $2 shop. Can't wait!

Sneaky important bit hidden at the bottom

There's a boy that I like and he likes me too!

River reflection of Our Magic Hour

Sunday, April 10, 2011

More comedy, young, warm ears

My friend Luke and I saw Irish comedy-rock group Dead Cat Bounce on Friday night at the Spiegeltent. (My third visit!) It was a spontaneous choice, but a good one. They sing funny songs in the style of an 80s cock rock group. We both liked it. I think the first song  - about the impact of Reagonomics told using the characters from Wind in The Willows - was my favourite.

I had a friend visit this weekend and she showed me some photos from our 20th high school reunion in November (which I obviously didn't attend). I couldn't believe how old some of them look! Old! I admit I felt quite smug about not looking my age.

I bought some furry ear muffs yesterday. My ears get very chilly when I'm walking to work on cold winter mornings, so they should fix that problem. I almost hope we have some frosty mornings this week so I can wear them. (I will post a photo of me wearing them another time.)

You know what's ace? Kissing. Kissing is ace.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Two suns, lots of fun, and a memory for numbers

This is the sun setting from my boss's office. Not the most spectacular sunset, but still quite pretty and a great view of it. More spectacular were the dual reflections of the sun bouncing off Eureka Tower and converging so that they looked like a second sun. Waaaait a minute. the sun was over there before. What's it doing over there now? it was pretty cool, but I didn't get a photo of that.

I have lots of fun stuff happening this month - lots to look forward to. I'm going to a comedy gig tomorrow night (taking potluck on what tickets are available), I've got a girlie shopping weekend with a friend this weekend, I'm seeing Mark Watson next Friday, then in the two weeks after that I'm seeing Daniel Kitson and the musical Next to Normal. I'd like to fit in a few more comedy gigs too.

I have been in my job long enough now that I can remember many of our eight-digit file numbers off the top of my head. This delights me disproportionately.

At the gym tonight there were program cards near mine for people called Zayne and Jay. I re-arranged them so they went: Jay, Jayne, Zayne. That just seemed right.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Balloons, sore face, goats and rabbits

Hot air beerloon (haw haw) floating past my flat

I was pleasantly startled by the sight of a hot air balloon looming large in my toilet window when I got up yesterday (the red one below). It was much closer and larger than it seems in the photo (which I took from my bedroom window. I know I say I take my camera everywhere, but that doesn't extend to the WC). I saw the beer-glass-shaped one above when I got back to my room to get my camera. I love where I live.

The other one

The sun has been rising close to the same time as me lately, so my flat was drenched with golden light when I got up yesterday. It's a lovely way to start the day.

I went to see David O'Doherty last night. He's the Irish comic who sings amusing ditties while playing a toy-sized keyboard on his knee in between bouts of straight stand-up. I loved it. My face hurt from laughing (that's happening a lot lately. Yay!). It was funny and quirky, smart and silly, and he has such an appealing stage persona - he's very natural, self-deprecating and obviously loves what he does. He didn't want to leave the stage! He went off and came back on twice, completely ad libbing stuff before finally leaving.

All that and it was at the fabulous Forum Theatre!

My friend and I went for dinner afterwards and I dunno how we got on the topic, but we were talking about mohair and where it comes from (yes, really) and to confirm it comes from goats, I googled it and...LOOK AT THIS GOAT! Hahaha. Crazy goat! It's an Angora goat...but wait...doesn't Angora come from rabbits? So I googled that and LOOK AT THIS RABBIT! IT'S A FLUFFY CUSHION WITH A FACE! (Speaking of fluffiness, I now know some knitting terminology - knitters call the fluffiness of these wools the 'halo'. Don't say my blog is not educational, orrite?).