Sunday, October 31, 2010

Men of Letters, crepes, music binge

Today I went to the inaugural Men of Letters, an event at which a very impressive line up of Australian creative types including Bob Ellis, Paul Kelly, Eddie Perfect and Tim Rogers, read out letters they had penned to women who changed their lives. 

It was a perfect mix of humourous, heartfelt and  poetic letters, and also a few songs. All this as well as yummy mini cupcakes served to our table by co-curator Marieke Hardy in the fabulous Thornbury Theatre.


My friend Luke and I had brunch before the show at a nearby cafe - I had a delicious crepe filled with summer fruit and topped with honey and yogurt. Who knew brunch could be so tasty without any bacon in it?

My music binge continues

I've been downloading heaps of music lately. My latest 'discovery', thanks to the iTunes 'listeners also bought' feature, is Fabienne Delsol, a Frenchwoman  living in England, who sings catchy retro ye-ye style pop songs - some in French, some in English, and several covers of Serge Gainsbourg songs from the 60s like this one: Vilaine fille, Mauvais garçon (Naughty Girls and Bad Boys).  

Coincidentally, Fabienne Desol is signed to the same label as Holly Golightly and Ludella Black whose albums I've also bought in the past few months, but I came across Fabienne when I was downloading a song by Lisa Mitchell. It's like the internet knows me.

I DON'T HAVE TO GO TO WORK TOMORROW!  I haven't really planned anything except going to see Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones with a friend tomorrow night.  I want to finally complete my self-guided Walking Melbourne tour either tomorrow or Tuesday too (what horse race?).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Early, rainy, fruity

 I found another one (and I wasn't even looking
for it).  Rose Street, Fitzroy

I got up at 6.30 this morning. Yes, I know it's the weekend. I've been waking up at almost exactly 6.15 for the past few days and I thought it might do me good to listen to what my body's trying to tell me, rather than giving in to my brain when it screams "ME NEED MOOOOOORE SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!".

I'm still tired, but the day seems so much longer when you get up early, and you can pack so much more in. I've had quite a productive day. I'd like it if I could make a habit of this (especially on work days).

I woke up with a craving for juice which was nicely quenched by a carton of apple and passionfruit juice. Yum. I love passionfruit - the taste and the smell.

It's been raining all afternoon. I  don't mind, especially since it isn't particularly cold. I had a gluten free kebab on Brunswick Street and watched people jumping puddles and running to get out of the rain as droplets coursed down the window in front of me.  

I like almost all the songs on Lisa Mitchell's album Wonder (the tour edition), but I'm really enjoying her cover of Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet and look! Here's the song, if not a proper video.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Last day

I finished my job today. No, I didn't steal the stapler, but I did leave with a lovely bunch of flowers, a couple of new friends and the confidence-boosting knowledge that my abilities are well regarded by others (more so than they are by me most of the time).  Oh, and a skinful of champagne.

I also met the woman whose job I was offered in another department - she just happens to be leaving to join the same firm I'm going to.  

A friend took me out for dinner tonight to Guiseppe Arnaldo & Sons at Crown. It was a beautiful balmy night and the windows were open on to the promenade. I had minestrone and steak with rosemary & garlic potatoes. I ate four whole roasted garlic cloves, which I squeezed out of their skins. I don't know why, but I like squeezing garlic cloves out of their skins. (Lucky I won't be kissing anyone tomorrow.)

To finish I had a blood orange granita with sweet cream - it was just like eating a Splice icecream. Yum.

* I've decided I'm going to do NaBloPoMo again. I've been posting every day for a few weeks and planned to keep going, so why not?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I escaped to the gardens to eat my lunch today. The sun and light breeze were divine. After I finished my sushi, I lay down on the grass, listened to music and watched the dragon flies zipping around against the bright blue sky.

There's something amusing about older men in business attire kicking off their shoes and lying on their stomachs on the grass.

Only one day of my job to go...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another offer and long weekend

What the? Someone's given him shoes but he has no feet...

Today I was offered a job in a different department of the firm I've been temping at for the past three months. When I told the HR adviser I'd accepted a position elsewhere, she was obviously disappointed. She said the solictors in the new department (whom I'd met with yesterday) were "excited" at the prospect of having me join the team. Aw. It feels a bit like when a date wants to see you again, but you don't feel the same. I like you, but...

I declined. The HR people hinted at offering more money to persuade me to stay with the firm. It's a great confidence boost to know they are keen to keep me, but my mind is made up. They said they'd be happy to have me back if my new job doesn't work out and, although I hope it does, I'm glad I'm leaving on such good terms.

I found out today my new job doesn't start until Wednesday because of the Melbourne Cup public holiday on Tuesday. Hurrah! A four day weekend for me!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Big stuff, small stuff

Big news: I have a new job starting Monday at one of the biggest law firms in the country, in the area of law I've always wanted to work in (employment). Go, me!

I was surprised they offered me the role because I thought I performed poorly at the second interview (and the first interview for that matter). I can only assume my *cough* winning personality and ease with the HR people made up for the shortcomings in my answers (I'm not being harsh on myself - some of my responses were pretty lame).

It's another temporary-with-a-view-to-permanent role like I've been doing for the past three months, but hopefully I will want to stay in this one.

Other good bits: it's only a 20 minute walk from home, I'll be working high up in that building (above) that I could see my house from the other day, and I get to start at 10am some days.

From the major to the trivial...

A robust stapler that doesn't quail at fastening together a decent wad of paper is pleasing.  I won't miss too much about my current job, but I'll miss that little black stapler.  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Contrast, sandwich, koala

I love the contrast of new growth and weathered wood in the picture above. I took it near the old Sandridge Bridge walking home beside the Yarra tonight.

I was taken out to lunch at the RACV Club today, which is always nice, but what made it even better was that the restaurant offered gluten free bread. You don't find that very often. I know it doesn't sound like a big deal to most people, but it was great to be able to eat a sandwich for lunch for the first time in ages. (Unfortunately you can only dine there if you're a member or accompanying a member).

It's taken me a long time, but I've finally developed a taste for Caramello Koalas.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My castle

I got hugs and kisses from my adorable 'nephews' today. The three-year-old boy called my apartment building a castle and said it was nice.

My friend (mother of said adorable nephews) and I shopped til we dropped this weekend. I've just had a long soak in the bath and now I'm bed. I feel relaxed and sleepy. Goodnight.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Little bits of perfect

I bought new pyjama pants. They were $10. They fit me perfectly.

My shopping buddy and I arrived at DFO in the drizzle, but emerged into a perfect sunny afternoon.

We ate dinner at a Greek restaurant in the Docklands. Mmmm, lamb. It was cooked to perfection.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The sea, the moon, the music

I saw the sea from a city building again today. The sea and much more besides, since I was on the 42nd floor this time. I could see tiny people kicking a ball around on the grassy flat in Birrarung Marr, lines of cars glinting like mica in the midday sun as they stretched into the distance and a wee yacht on the bay near the St Kilda pier. Oh, and my house. At least I thought I could pick out the tiled roof of my building anyway. I will never tire of saying, "I can see my house from here. No, really!".

A girl serving me in a shop told me she liked my glasses (I was wearing my new purple specs).

When I was walking home in the twilight I looked up and the full moon hit my eye like a big pizza pie. Very light rain started to fall as I walked along the river. I liked it. AAMI Park sparkled like a very large jewel.

I have downloaded two new albums (new to me). The John Steel Singers' LP The Beagle and The Dove, which is great,  and also...Lisa Mitchell's debut Wonder. I hesitated there because, as Aussies reading this might know, Lisa was a contestant on Australian Idol a few years back. I'd not paid her debut album much attention due to music snobbery, but really, there's a reason why she's not being held back by the Idol stigma. Her album of sweet, quirky, catchy folk tunes is truly lovely. It's a nice surprise when you discover your preconceived ideas were ill-founded. Opening your mind rarely ends badly.

It's hard to pick a favourite, but here's one that has whistling in it:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In the gardens...

Tonight on my walk home I saw some people picnicking by the river with...a cat. As you do.

I detoured through the Botanic Gardens. I watched a hungry duck feeding. It looks like it's having a laugh in the photo above, but it's munching on bugs or weeds or whatever it found in the murky lake. 

I saw the cygnets. They've grown!

I found some strange seed pods.

I sat on a park bench dedicated by a man to his late wife. "Dance me to the end of love," the inscription on the brass plate read. Aww.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why I've been posting daily...

You might have noticed that I've been posting every day for over a week now. You might think it's because I'm happy. I'm not really. I started this blog as a form of self-help and that's what my daily posting is about now:  an attempt to drag myself out of the doldrums.

I'm struggling today, but I've been saving this for such a day - Grover's spoof of the Old Spice ad. I love Grover. He's my favourite Muppet.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Street art and the sea

I took this photo on Saturday in Caledonia Lane in the city. It's the first work by this artist I've seen and I  really like it - it's playful, mysterious, but also slightly creepy. Then today - thanks to a link tweeted by Hidden Secret Tours - I found out there are many more works by the same artist in the city and inner suburbs. I'll be on the look out now.

If you're wondering about the words on the bottom of the picture above and the rest of the work, here's another photo and a link:

I see the sea!

I was early for a meeting on the south side of my office building today and while I waited, I looked out the window and I could see the ocean in the distance. I thought "I see the sea!" because that's what I always think at first sight of the ocean - it's what my brother and I used to say when we were kids and the sea came into view as we drove to Warrnambool (I grew up near there).

I could also see a tiny slice of the beautiful old Rialto building on Collins Street from my building.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Butterflies, birds and the John Steel Singers


It started to rain when I left work this evening, but I got to use my purdy new umbrella. I had to buy a new one after Friday's repeated umbrella failure and for once I chose a bright, patterned umbrella instead of one in black or another sombre colour. My new one has a rabble* of  blue  Ulysses butterflies against a green, rainforesty background. It made the rain a little easier to bear.

* The internet tells me the collective noun for butterflies is a rabble or swarm, neither of which seems particularly appropriate, if you ask me. A prefer a whisper or a shimmer of butterflies.

2 + 2 + 2 + a worm

On the walk home I saw two green parrots nibbling on grass seeds beside the path, two ducks napping on the bank, two soccer balls bobbing in the water and a magpie standing on one leg as it pulled a really long worm out of the ground.

New music

I saw the John Steel Singers live on Friday night for the first time and was taken with their catchy, melodic pop tunes. I've been listening to Overpass, the first single from their soon-to-be-released debut album, quite a lot over the weekend. It's just so damned jaunty!  (Odd for a song that starts off "He likes to throw bricks from the overpass".) Here tis for your listening pleasure:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

To the nunnery, the photo exhibition and the movies

Hoddle Street and Collingwood Town Hall from
the overpass

I did indeed go to the Abbotsford Convent today - thanks to the GPS on my mobile phone. I forgot to look up exactly how to get there before I left home. Yay for technology.

Although the convent's numerous buildings have been rescued from ruin, many of them are still in a shabby state. Of course, I didn't mind at all. There was a market on, but I was more interested in the buildings than the wares on offer. (See Girl in Melbourne for photos)

After I left the convent I walked up Johnston Street to visit the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) in Fitzroy...only I turned left when I should have turned right into George Street. But I didn't mind because George Street has so much character  - an appealing mix of lovely old terrace houses and grunge. Sometimes being on the wrong path has its own rewards...

Look at that fabulous brick and bluestone! (Stupid light pole)

The exhibition I saw at the CCP was US photographer Taryn Simon's An Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, a series of photos taken in places in America that most people never get a glimpse into (if they even know they exist). I really enjoyed it - it was fascinating, but also a little disturbing.

Today I learnt that there's a Braille edition of Playboy. I guess the vision impaired are the only ones who can genuinely claim to read it for the articles.

From there I walked to Carlton and decided on a whim to see Boy, an independent New Zealand film I'd heard good things about. It was funny and a little sad, with beautiful cinematography. I loved the shot of the old, ramshackle house overlooking the beach near the end -  it fit the theme of my day quite well.

I walked into the city and then trammed it home, very tuckered out.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Convent, coincidence, compliment

I love that someone's tried to spruce up this
 grimey city alley with hanging plants

How great is the view when you're going up the hill on Studley Park Road? I don't get over that way much, but I've caught a bus to Kew for appointments the past two Saturdays and love to look back towards the modern city towers over the the brooding, medieval bulk of the Abbotsford Convent (anyone who follows my Girl in Melbourne blog will know the contrast of old and new is a photographic fetish of mine. Sorry, no photos from today).

I haven't been to the convent in years. In fact, the one and only time I've been was back when it was disused and on the verge of ruin (my then boyfriend was an extra in a low-budget movie made by a friend of a friend, which was filmed at the convent. My bf was Henchman no 3 or something). Now it's "fast becoming an important arts, learning and education precinct" with regular farmers', art, craft and design markets. There's a couple of markets on tomorrow and since I'm going to be in Fitzroy tomorrow to visit the Centre for Contemporary Photography...well, it's gonna be another big Sunday out and about for me. Ace.


I was reading my book When We Think About Melbourne on the bus today and just after I came down the hill on the way back into the city, I read this passage about award-winning Melbourne writer Helen Garner's classic Australian novel Monkey Grip (which I re-read earlier this year):

"Garner's fiction is famously close to lived experience, but what does it matter where the line [between fiction and non-fiction] is drawn when it produces passages like this from Monkey Grip on cycling down Studley Park Road: '(H)alf a mile of steady, inexorable downhill run. I let go and flew down it in ecstacy, head thrown back, mouth open, feet at a quarter to three...the wind pushed at my front, the mudguards rattled so fiercely I thought the machine would fly apart... on my left the convent low down on its mediaeval banks, ancient trees shadowing its courts...' The writing is so evocative, so grounded in place, that I can just about feel the wind on my face and the ground rushing by beneath me." 

Not quite as exhilarating on a bus, but it's pretty cool to be reading about a place in a book you've literally passed through moments before.

And, yes, it didn't escape my notice that I'm reading a book about Melbourne which has a chapter about books about Melbourne. It's like watching a TV on TV.

"When the writer's subject is their own town, the result is often dismissed as thinly disguised autobiography - not proper fiction...And yet they say: 'Write what you know.' And let's be honest, it can be a lot of fun to read about what you know. If evocative writing is the art of revealing to the reader what they had only dimly felt, evocative writing about Melbourne reveals what makes the city feel like ours..."

The author (Jenny Sinclair) also mentions the pleasure of location-spotting in books set in your own town and the sense of ownership and recognition it produces. Yup.

She likes how books set in Melbourne are written from a place of "deep intimacy with the city". And that's what I'm enjoying about her book.

Anyhoo, enough of that...another little coincidence. Today I was listening to Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs' song Escalator as I went up an escalator at Myer.


The dude at the DVD store complimented me on my choice of movie tonight. Go, me. Yeah, I was a little bit pleased. I probably wouldn't have been if I was a Blockbuster customer, but I go to a tiny independent place on Swan Street and for some reason I'm flattered when they approve of my selection. Probably because you can tell they're movie buffs, not just pimply kids trying to earn some spending money. (I borrowed Cool Hand Luke, if you're wondering. It's my cult movie for the month).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Novelty weather

Footsteps in the hail (mine)

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I got caught in a shower of hail walking home late tonight and I kind of liked it. There had been hail earlier as I waited for the tram too and it still hadn't melted, so I crunched along the footpath listening to the little icy balls ping off my umbrella. It was dark and there was no one around. It was my own private hailstorm. 

It was bloody freezing though (an apparent temperature of -5C). It's been an unseasonally cold, wet and windy spring day and although I didn't enjoy getting wet on my way to work this morning or having my umbrella whip inside out about 20 times, part of me relishes the novelty of unseasonal weather. 

But I was pretty happy to get home, drag out the flannelette pjs again and get into bed with a hot water bottle. Gonna snuggle down now and fall asleep listening the soft patter of rain on the roof.

PS I don't have to set my alarm either. Ace. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Surprise books, surprise seat and surprise motivation

I got a parcel of books from Amazon at work today. Hurrah! I'd taken advantage of the record-breaking exchange rate to buy the Anne of Green Gables box set. Eight books all up. Wheeee! I love, love LOVE Anne of Green Gables. I also got another Dr Seuss book to add to my collection. (My to-be-read pile is reaching towering proportions).  

As usual, I'd forgotten I'd ordered the books (absent-mindedness rocks!) so I got a gleeful surprise when they were dropped off at my desk. I'm still waiting on one more book - a Puff the Magic Dragon pop-up book.

I forgot to mention yesterday how I miraculously got a seat on a crowded train going to work. I moved in further and further to let others on and there, before me, was one empty seat no one else had nabbed. A ray of sunshine beamed down on it and angels sang. I looked questioningly at the man sitting next to it (wondering if there was a reason it was vacant) and he motioned for me to sit. I said, "Don't mind if I do!" and I did. Ace!

I was really pleased with myself for going to the gym tonight even though I really didn't feel like it. It's somehow - sometimes - easier to find the energy and motivation when you know you'll feel better if you go.  I've been feeling worn out, stiff and sore lately, and I know the gym will help. Feeling good...well, it feels great.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New growth and more macarons

The warm weather we've had recently has finally encouraged the elm trees along the river to sprout leaves. Phew. I was worried years of drought had finally done them in.

In other plant-related news, my spathiphyllum has a new flower. I've been surprised by how much it's flowered considering they can be a bit stubborn when it comes to producing flowers. Check out the green thumb on me. *coughs*

I had two Lindt macaro(o)ns on the way home. One coconut, one vanilla. Yummy scrummy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rich, bouncey and dry

Laneway art near my office

On my way to buy my lunch I looked in my wallet expecting to see that I needed a trip to the ATM first, but I had $25 in there. Sweet. This almost never happens.

When I bought chocolate on the way back to my office, I realised I'd had $35, not $25. Even sweeter.

I was stronger than the person before me on the seated row at the gym again tonight. 6.5kgs. Pffft. Weakling.

I wore my new sneakers to the gym for the first time. Bouncey bouncey. Then I walked home in the rain and my socks got soggy, which meant I got to enjoy the pleasure of changing into dry socks.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two hearts

An old advertising sign on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

I took a photo while wandering in the sunshine on my lunch break today and only noticed when I uploaded it to my blog earlier that it was similar to a photo I took yesterday in Collingwood.  You can see both at Girl in Melbourne.

You should know by now how much I enjoy little coincidences like that.

My big day out

Last night I set my alarm for 9.00am and when it sounded, I turned it off before deciding I wanted another half hour's sleep. But I accidentally reset it to 9.30pm and I woke up without an alarm AT EXACTLY 10.10am. On 10/10/10, people!  What are the chances, eh?

Anyway, I was a bit slow to get going, but I did eventually emerge from my flat into an absolutely stunning spring afternoon. I walked to Collingwood and Fitzroy and wandered about the backstreets and the main roads with my camera, enjoying the grunge and the diversity.

I live in a suburb marked with the prettiness of affluence, and while I do like that, it turns out that I love urban decay. My suburb is also very vanilla, and Collingwood and Fitzroy certainly have a lot more flavour.

If I ever have to leave my flat, I'm definitely moving north of the river. Maybe I could find a place to rent on the street in Fitzroy I wandered into today that shares my last name? I never knew it was there!

From Fitzroy I headed into the city via the Carlton Gardens with its fabulous fountain, and then to the NGV's Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square where I visited Stormy Weather, an exhibition of contemporary landscape photography, and a couple of other exhibitions. I liked the landscape photography the best, especially the work of Nici Cumpston

It's been a long time since I've been to the Ian Potter Centre. I really like it as a space - it's so light and airy and geometric, and the recessed windows scattered around are like art works in themselves - you can't help going up to them to see what you can see framed in them.

I caught a tram home (I'd been on my feet for nearly 5 hours), pottered about for a while, then walked back into the city beside the calm, black river for k@osmos  in the Alexandra Gardens, which was pleasant. From where I was sitting, I could see a little smile of a moon hanging between the Arts Centre spire and Eureka Tower.

And now to bed.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Reading, exploring, discovering

I haven't told you how much I've been enjoying the book When We Think About Melbourne: the imagination of a city by Jenny Sinclair, have I? Well, I am rather enjoying it as it happens.

The author's affection for her city is palpable, and it's great when people love the same things you do.

This part resonated with me:

"Loving novelty for novelty's sake is considered a vice, a source of weakness for those who chase it. Isn't there, though, something excusable, even worthwhile, about a turn of mind that lives to learn and be surprised; of synapses clicking together to form inner landscapes like so much Lego; of a mind that can watch a new road - even a humble suburban road or a country-town side street - unfurl with the same avidity as a teenager watches a movie?

"We walk on the same footpaths to the same tram stops, turn off at the same intersections, day after day...we go up and down the same escalators, state out of the same grubby train windows at the same factories turning their backsides to the raile lines. Even so, when something new appears in the landscape, we can find it hard to say what it has replaced or if it's really new at all...

"Going to new places expands the mental map as well. Kew boulevard winds aroung a hill and when I ride there I'm always looking outwards to the city. Off the Boulevard, there are suburban streets which fade into the unknown. After fifteen years of cycling on that road I turned up a service road...the functional brick buildings either side of the road were all closed up. Behind and around them was an almost wild open field, a grassy space I hadn't even known existed."
I know that feeling! When you take a different path and discover something great you never knew was there. This is the spirit in which I do a lot of my wandering - the anticipation of finding new things is almost as fun as the discovery itself.

(On a side note, last night when I was reading the book, I had a major moment of deja vu. I know I've read these sentences (the ones I've italicised) before somewhere: "A teacher [at a Howard Arkley exhibition] standing before a fluorescent image of a triple-fronted brick veneer home told a group of schoolchildren as if he was reading the news - 'Many suburban housewives feel they're trapped and can't get out' - I had to stifle the urge to interject. Many people feel they're trapped and can't get out - not just housewives." Where? WHERE did I read this?!)

Big day out

I'm planning a day out and about in the sunshine tomorrow (it's going to be 25 degrees! Yay for spring!). I'm going wandering over Collingwood/Fitzroy way with my camera because I need fresh fodder for my photo blog, but also just to explore and maybe discover new things.

Then I'm going to check out the numerous free exhibits at the National Gallery of Victoria, which include some photographic works, and at night I'm going to see the closing night performance of k@osmos, which is part of the Melbourne Festival (and no doubt eat poffertjes). 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yay for savings and debt reduction! And stupid rhymes!

I got my tax return back yesterday. It was a tidy sum that I've very sensibly -  but boringly - used to pay off a whack of my credit card and boost my savings. No new shoes or holidays for me. Yeah, I know. Yawn.

Well, actually, I happen to think the satisfaction of seeing my (very modest) debt shrink and my (also very modest) savings grow outweighs the relatively fleeting pleasure I would get from nearly everything I would contemplate buying with my tax windfall. I don't know any shops that sell the kind of peace of mind that comes from having your shit together.

The number of times I have written about the pleasure of sensible and boring things is starting to worry me a little.... perhaps I should stress that the money I'm saving will eventually go towards a holiday. If I'm still employed as a temp at Christmas (and even if I'm permanent), I'm going to get little or no paid leave, so I need to plan ahead. And of course I'm saving for my next overseas adventure, wherever that might be.

(Interestingly if you google images for 'peace of mind', that graphic up above is the fourth image that pops up and it's from Completely tangentially, if you google images for 'cranky' the first two results are pictures or monkeys. Obviously.)

Stinky coinkydinky

You know the Bog of Eternal Stench from the 80s movie Labyrinth? No? Neither do I (I've never seen the whole movie), but I am tickled by the fact that I heard two references to said stinky bog in the past 24 hours - one from a friend and one during a Fringe Festival show.

I'm also rather pleased with that heading up there: stinky coinkydinky. Rhyming is fun, even when the words are made up.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

J and Jayne's long weekend

Me and J at Coles late Saturday night. Do I know how to
 show a foreigner a good time, or what?

My US friend J has been and gone and it was fun. I enjoyed showing off my town to him and since the long weekend was all about packing in fun stuff (and none of the usual boring stuff that has to be done on weekends), it was like a little holiday for me too.  I felt like I'd been away from work longer than three days.

On Saturday we watched half of the AFL Grand Final (Mark I) with the masses at Fed Square and the end of the game at the the Eureka Tower Sky Deck, which was almost deserted. A good time to go! We could see the crowd at the MCG and hear the roar of the crowd at Fed Square from 88 floors up.

Although the drawn game was anti-climactic, at least J can say he was in Melbourne for the historic 2010 drawn Grand Final.

After the game we strolled along Southbank as the sun set. It rained a little, but then there was a rainbow over the city.

Saturday night we ate a quick dinner in North Melbourne before seeing Dave Callan's Fringe Festival show, Woman. Back in the city,  J loaded up on Tim Tams at Coles. He couldn't get enough of the chocolatey Tim Tam goodness.

On Sunday we went to St Kilda and ate breakfast outside at The Espy in perfect spring sunshine. The weather could not have been better. We meandered the length of the Esplanade market where J bought presents for himself and friends, and then along Acland Street, which was thronged with people enjoying the warm weather.

From St Kilda Pier

That evening we went to a threatresports show at Theatreworks on Acland Street, which was the first time I'd seen theatresports live. On Monday we hired a car and travelled the Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell. The weather wasn't as good as the day before, but it was still mostly sunny and we didn't get rained on.

At Sheoak Falls

It was beautiful as always, especially the lush green pastures glowing in the late afternoon sun. I think I almost like the rural parts of the GOR more than the seaside bits.

Another rainbow, near Port Campbell

Us and some of the remaining 12 Apostles

We ate dinner at a pub in Colac and then hit the highway for home.

On Tuesday it was back to work for me, but I met J after work for Philip Escoffey's Six More Impossible Things Before Dinner, which was very entertaining (regardless of whether you think he's a con man or a mind reader).

And then J was gone! Four days really isn't long enough to see Melbourne...

Sunday in the gardens cute

Spring has finally hit town so this afternoon I blew off the domestic duties and went to the gardens to read my book, watch the clouds and take some photos.