Thursday, May 31, 2012

Running, eating, bird spotting

One of my favourite Melbourne buildings, 
the old Safe Deposit Building on Queen Street

I went to the gym again tonight. Go, me. I didn't feel like running, but I did, and pushed myself hard. I finished off my cardio workout with a sprint. My plan is to run for one minute longer every time I go. (I won't tell you what I'm up to because it's a bit pathetic.) By the time I was done, I had sweat dripping down my face. 

I power-walked home after my workout, showered and put my pyjamas on, then had a yummy dinner cooked by Luke.

I saw a Nankeen Night Heron on the way home after the gym, the first I've seen in a while. It's a cool name for an odd-looking bird.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bag ladies, beanie girl, autumn colour

St Peter's Anglican Church, corner
 Albert & Gisborne Streets 

I've had my Cybertart Grrrrrrr bag for a few years now and I've never seen anyone else with the same bag. But today I met a woman who also owns it - a radiologist, who interrupted her spiel about when my results will be available to say she has the same bag. 

I saw a little girl today wearing a beanie and dark-rimmed nerdy glasses. Very cute. 

I walked home through the Fitzroy Gardens tonight. Although it was almost dark, I could see beautiful autumn colours through the gloom  - deep red foliage on the trees and carpets of russet leaves on the ground. I've made a mental note to go there on the weekend to take photos.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Invitation, working out, carrot peeling

I have been invited to attend my old firm's annual trivia night in a couple of weeks. It might be a little bit weird going back, but it will be nice to catch up with people who are still there (and tell them how much happier I am since I left!). I also love trivia nights, but haven't been to one in ages

I've started back at the gym again and pushed myself pretty hard.  It felt good...afterwards. How many times have I written about starting back at the gym? I used to be a regular gym-goer with an above-average level of fitness, but the past couple of years I've gone for a few weeks at a time and then stopped for months. Even though I walk for at least an hour a day (and I walk fast), I feel so much better physically and emotionally when I work out at the gym (resistance, cardio and stretches). And yet I don't keep going! I need to work on some motivational techniques... 

I enjoy peeling carrots. I liked scraping the peeler quickly down the length of the carrot and watching the strip of peel become momentarily airborne. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Birds, signs, Otter Street

This morning walking to work I saw one white-faced heron, two magpies and three cormorants. The white-faced heron is usually skittish, but it was so focused on catching its breakfast today that it didn't even flinch when I walked past only a metre away. 

The magpies were also hunting for worms near the path, but they're never perturbed about people getting close to them.  

The cormorants were having a rest on a small jetty, each one sitting atop a mooring pole.  One was having a snooze, with its head tucked into its chest.  

I also saw Mr and Mrs Plover on the river's edge looking for worms and bugs. 

Here are the signs I photographed on my visit to Collingwood and Fitzroy yesterday (click to enlarge all). 

 Smith Street, Collingwood.  I've posted 
a photo of this before, but it's a good 'un

 Maybe this one as's on the side of the building above

A two-in-one. Just off Smith Street

 Also off Smith Street

 Smith Street again. I love this one

 A closer view. Picnics supplied!

 Chapel Street (not the South Yarra one). Gordon Slipper 
on the left and John Bechler Shoe Manufacturer on the right

No 40 Chapel Street (the building above)

 Brunswick Street
Forget where this was

A sign of a different kind....

I want to live on Otter Street

Click here for other photos from yesterday.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Northern adventure

I thought it was Monday when I woke up this morning. What a drag...oh, wait! It's not Monday. It's Sunday! Yay! 

I caught the bus over to the inner north today. Since I last wandered Smith Street in Collingwood - not that long ago - there has been an explosion in the number of vintage, collectibles and second hand stores. Several were selling old advertising signs (at prices far out of my reach, unfortunately). 

I love these old ice cream 'signs'. And yes, ice cream 
is health food

Another ice cream. These used to sit above the 
doors of old-style milk bars (in the days before 
every convenience store was a 7 Eleven)

An ice cream in situ, just a few doors up
from the shop in the photo above. 
It's seen better days

The shop that the second photo was taken in is absolutely crammed with cool stuff, including a couple of sideshow clowns. 

This one is modelling an Essendon FC beanie

I dropped into a vintage clothing store and as I was browsing the racks, a shop cat revealed itself and accepted a pat. I love shop cats (and cinema cats such as the Astor cat in St Kilda, which once sat on a friend's lap during a movie a few years ago). As I was heading for the door, the cat was waiting there, looking out at passers-by. 

The little poser

I alerted the shop owner that his moggie appeared to be readying itself for an escape, and he shoo'ed it away from the door. 

I had a yummy toasted sesame seed bagel with cream cheese at Bean & Bagel on Johnston Street. 

I saw a lot of powerline shoes...

And some lovely autumn colour...

And some fantastic old doors... 

I also spotted what looked like an old outdoor dunny in someone's back yard. 

I bought this cute two-in-one brooch. 

And a set of placemats with hot air balloon art by Australian artist Sharon Peterkin

 There are six place mats, all with a different design

As usual with my sojourns over that side of town, I saw plenty of old signs, including this one on Johnston Street. I hope the new tenants keep the old signage. I'll post photos of the other signs later. I need to go to bed now because tomorrow is Monday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Brilliant, fluttering, possum

I did a task at work today that was difficult and I wasn't sure if I did it right. It was an urgent job too, which added to the pressure. After I sent the document through for the lawyer to check, she emailed me and said "brilliant work".  Yay! And phew! People in my new job are very appreciative.

Autumn is in full swing (as it should be a week away from winter). There was a strong breeze blowing yesterday as I walked to work and leaves were falling from the elm trees and fluttering around me. It's like mother nature's confetti. The green grassy banks of the river are carpeted with yellow-brown leaves. Tonight walking home I walked through the leaves, kicking them up with my feet.

I encountered a young possum  on my walk home from the gym tonight. He lingered at the bottom of a tree staring at me. I went to reach into my bag for my camera, but the sound of the velcro sent the possum scarpering up the tree.

I wore red tights to work today. It reminded me of when I wore red tights as a kid and my Dad called me a red-legged earth mite (we lived on a farm...).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Golden, gift, flying solo

I finally got a decent photo of 'the golden hour'
 from my office window

My boss was back in the office today after a week in Hong Kong for business. He brought back a little souvenir for me, which was unexpected, but pleasing. 

The other secretary in my group is on leave all week, so I'm on my own. So far, so good.

I spotted a great white egret hunting in the shallows of the Yarra on my way to work this morning.  It was standing still as a statue and staring into the reeds along the river bank. It's the second time I've seen it in that spot in the past few days. Unfortunately I couldn't stop to take a photo either time because I would have been run down by stream of cyclists (they get very cross when you get in their way).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Library, wonder-chamber, beach

Today was the annual open day at the Supreme Court of Victoria and I finally got to see the impressive interior of the library. Apart from two volunteers on hand to answer visitors' questions, there was no one else in the library when we arrived. It was just Luke and me  standing under the dome with our mouths open, going "Wow". 

Sadly we weren't allowed to take photos but there's one here that shows the lower circumference of the the dome. The library is set out in a radial pattern, with the large inner circle lined with portraits of former Chief Justices and judges - including a portrait of my ancestor Sir Leo Cussen, who was a judge and also a President of the Melbourne Cricket Club and trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria and the State Library of Victoria. 

Beneath Sir Leo's portrait was a glass cabinet containing the handwritten court record of Ned Kelly's death sentence in 1880. 

Branching off from the centre were alcoves lined with shelves of legal books which gave off a faint aroma of old books. 

While we were at the court, we had a look in two of the court rooms, including one that had a very narrow winding staircase to bring the accused from the dungeon (yes, they call it a dungeon, although it's not used these days) up to their seat in the middle of the court room.  Access to the court room was by way of a removable section of floor a bit like a manhole cover. 

After leaving the court we dropped into one of the kookiest shops in Melbourne called Wunderkammer, which is a German word meaning 'wonder-chamber'. It sells 'scientific curiosities, artefacts and ephemera', including an array of stuffed animals, animal skeletons,  fossils, a rug made from the pelt of a mountain lion (with head), mounted butterflies, insects and spiders, and antique scientific and medical instruments. I was quite taken with the murder of crows. The door to the storeroom was open and there was a box of stuffed ravens in the doorway. 


 Say 'aaaaah'

Disapproving elk disapproves 
(you can't blame him)

As we left Wunderkammer, I spotted this quaint old mail box near the shop door. 

We had lunch in the city before heading to South Melbourne. We walked past one of my favourite old signs - or collection of old signs - on an old chemist shop on Cecil Street.  

Luke spotted this large, but difficult to read, sign near the market. 

 'Produce' is about the only word I can discern

And then I saw this one...

Something 'Boot Repairer'

Then we caught the tram to South Melbourne beach to take photos. 

 Out the front of the South Melbourne Surf Lifesaving Club

 A tall ship way off in the distance

 This bird was hanging around near the fishermen on 
Lagoon Pier hoping for a snack

North Pacific Sea Star (a pest in our southern waters). 

 Faces in places - telescope thingie at Princes Pier

Little dark cloud doing its own thing

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Test run, yum, mum

Cute, no?

I took my little sewing machine for a test run today. I was pleased I actually remembered how to thread the cotton and the other basic stuff, so I'm not an absolute beginner. I started off sewing a few lines of straight stitch and zig zag on scrap material, then moved on to the project that prompted me to buy the machine: a corsety-belt using some wide, black trim I found at Clegs fabric store. It's decorated with horizontal rows of fake leather, satin ribbon and fancy stitching. I sewed the raw ends with the machine, then hand-sewed a row of D-rings on each end so the belt can be laced up with ribbon.  I didn't have enough D-rings to complete the belt, so I'll show you when it's done.

I cooked corned beef for dinner tonight. Yum. And there's leftovers for tomorrow night. I cooked dumplings again too. I froze half of the last batch of dough I made last week and tonight I thawed it and cooked them in the pot with the corned beef. 

I had a very domesticated day today. As well as the sewing and cooking, I cleaned, did the grocery shopping and even some ironing (which I do maybe three times a year). It was a good day to stay in.

I called my mum for Mother's Day tonight and had a long chat.  

I took this partial rainbow photo from my 
office during the week

 Brightly decorated cars are the traditional way
 of celebrating Buddha's birthday. 
Spotted on Collins Street yesterday

What remains of the Bill & Ted-inspired sign
 I mentioned last Sunday

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Movie signs, city signs, mini machine

Luke and I went to see the new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie Dark Shadows last night. Depp plays a vampire who is buried alive (and mortal) in the late 18th century and unearthed in 1972.  It was visually stunning (as you would expect for Tim Burton), very silly and quite funny. I also liked it because there's several old signs in it. 

Speaking of old signs, this afternoon Luke and I took our cameras and wandered the laneways of the city. We covered territory I have already traversed but I still found old signs I hadn't noticed before. Here's a selection: 

 Drewery Lane

I think this was Drewery Lane too

 Forget where this was - looks like a two-in-one

 Stuff cutters!

 Two-in-one (albeit the same sign). This is on the old 
CUB malt house on the corner of  Victoria and 
Bouverie Streets, which has 12 or so loading bays 
(or something) with numbers like this


 Elizabeth Street - old sign and old Aussie flag

 Guildford Lane

 Guildford Lane again

 And again

Little Lonsdale, I think 

I also took lots of photos of old windows. You can see them here

My mini sewing machine arrived! I ordered it Monday night and it was delivered Wednesday morning. Speedy! It's very cute, especially the foot pedal which is smaller than my hand. It feels quite sturdy though. I'll post a photo of it tomorrow. I haven't had a chance to play with it yet, but I plan to stay home tomorrow and give it a test drive.