Saturday, July 4, 2009

Unexpectedly gleeful and expectedly cakeful

Bustling Centre Place

I had an ace day on Saturday, which wasn't what I expected when I left home in the morning. Not that I anticipated a bad day, but I ended up doing stuff I hadn't planned, which was fun.

I should have known it was going to be good when I got off my train from Richmond at Parliament Station and walked straight onto the train to where I had to go. That's a good omen.

Actually the good omens started Friday night when I bought myself a fat, furry-hooded parka - apparently the last one in store and in my size and on sale. Wheee! I think I've built up some shopping karma after not buying clothes for over a month.

I wore the parka yesterday and today. It was like being swaddled in my doona* out in public. I was toastiness on legs. I love it.

Anyhoo, I had an appointment over the other side of town on Saturday and then came back into the city, where I found myself with a few hours to kill. Rather than testing my shopping karma, I decided to go check out
The Independent Type exhibition at the State Library.

Union Lane

I wandered there through the laneways and arcades - Degraves Street, Centre Place, the Block Arcade, Block Place and Union Lane. I also wandered down Drewery Lane for the first time (that I remember) and discovered the fabulous statue over the door of the Baroq House bar and lounge.

To the library...

The Independent Type is an exhibition on the evolution of books and writing in Victoria. As well as displaying Henry Handel Richardson's typewriter, Marcus Clarke's cabbage tree hat and the laptop on which Peter Carey wrote the True History of the Kelly Gang (among many other things), they had the little pocket diary from 1985 in which Paul Kelly jotted down lyrics for one of his best known songs, Leaps and Bounds. The words are actually a little different to those that ended up in the song, but they still refer to the the Punt Road hill, the MCG and the Nylex Clock, which are all spitting distance from my house. I love it when the clock on the silo says 11 degrees, just like in the song (not that it's been working for most of this year).

OK, it's a bit small to read...

After that, I went upstairs to feast my eyes (yet again) on the airy awesomeness of the domed La Trobe reading room (below) and then I had a hot chocolate and a teeny tiny flourless orange cake with zesty icing at Mr Tulk (the cafe at the library named after its first head librarian).

I had to get to my other appointment then but when that was over, I walked home via the Royal Arcade and Lingham Place, which is home to City Dream,
the first of 2009 Laneway Commissions art installations. It's pretty cool - at first I couldn't see anything and then suddenly the "electric graffiti" appeared on the dark stone wall. I'm sure people walking past were wondering what I was doing lurking about in a gloomy laneway.

Nearly home...


After dinner I had a chat to a friend on the phone (while looking out my window at the occasional bursts of fireworks to celebrate Melbourne Storm scoring in their game at Olympic Park), then I had a long soak in the bath before settling in to watch a bunch of Scrubs episodes from season 8 on DVD. God, I love that show.


I'm just about falling asleep due to a sugar-induced stupor as I write this. I ate many, many sweet things today.

I had afternoon tea at the very posh Windsor Hotel, which is the first event in the week-long Festival of Jayne's Birthday. I prepared myself for afternoon tea by eating nothing all day except two slices of toast for breakfast at 10.00 am and I was still full as a goog (gee, I love that expression) when I left.

There were dainty ribbon sandwiches (some with cucumber, naturally), savoury pastries and scones with jam and cream served to our table on a three-tiered silver platter. Then there was a buffet laden with sweet treats - I had pavlova (not as good as my mum makes), mango cheesecake, a tiny chocolate cake, choc dipped strawberries, pear and almond tart and a tiny lemon meringue pie. I also had two glasses of pink champagne (which went straight to my head). There were crisp linen tablecloths and serviettes, proper silverware and chandeliers overhead.

So, now I can cross "Have afternoon tea at The Windsor Hotel" off my 101/40 list. Yay.

If all wasn't enough sugar (and fat), I went out to a birthday dinner with friends tonight (someone else's birthday) and ate a piece of lemon tart. I'm going to be so caked out by the end of the week...

The rest of the fest

My birthday festival continues on Wednesday when I'm going to Circus Oz. On Thursday (my actual birthday), I'm having lunch with a friend and then dinner with another friend at which I'm going to feast once again on corned beef and mashed spuds (I've been fantasizing about last weekend's meal all week!). And then on Saturday, the Wagons West Birthday Extravaganza Road Trip Down Memory Lane is go! I'm so excited.


PS Something odd has happened to my formatting again but hopefully it will fix itself like it did last time.


dam buster said...

Wow What a Weekend!
Certainly a bit of a cake-fest!
Circus Oz are great. We had a work thing a year ago and some of them came out to teach everyone how to juggle, make human pyramids etc. Was an interesting experience.

a work in progress said...

a birthday week is a great idea - and it sounds like you have it packed with Gleeful goings-on :)

looking forward to hearing more about your birthday adventures


Christine said...

Thats a beautiful exhibition, i went and saw it not long ago. I want to see the dome soon too! Happy Birthday!!

Jayne said...

Hope you have a great birthday, sounds like a wonderful weekend :)
Now I'm tempted to have afternoon tea at the Windsor!

The Infamous Mrs. BlueBalls said...

A birthday filled with glee!! This is a very fitting birthday indeed!