Friday, August 31, 2012

Triple treat, new tunes, giantess

Tis the eve of spring...and Gleeful's fourth birthday...and Luke's homecoming! I'm triply excited! 

Continuing the trio theme, I saw a pair of ducks with their three ducklings foraging for insects on the bank of the Yarra this morning. I hope it's not the same pair of ducks I saw a few weeks ago because that would mean their brood is rather depleted. 

I've bought two new albums this week. One is the new Gabby Young and The Other Animals CD, The Band Called Out For More, which is theatrical and almost operatic. The other is Underneath this Big Striped Tent, the debut album of the quirky American duo Channing & Quinn. A big thank you to my friend Margaret for sending me a link to their album because she thought it would be to my liking. Yes, indeedy. I'd never heard of them, but after a few bars of the first song, I had goosebumps. Channing Lee and Gabby Young both have fantastic voices. 

I wore a pair of my new boots at work today. They have pretty high (but solid) heels and a hidden platform, so I felt like a giantess (I'm usually 163cm). They're pretty comfy too, as high heels go anyway. 

I had drinks with the girls from my old work last night. One friend who left the firm a few months before me was also there. We haven't seen her for ages so there were hugs and smiles all round. There's was no tasty lamb dish this time, but the $10 cocktails made that easy to overlook. Delicious fruity cocktails. Yum.  

More Mali!

Here's a few more Mali sculptures. I think this weekend is their last weekend at large in the city before being auctioned off, so I probably won't get to see them all. 

Bourke Street Mall 

 Southbank, the Clarendon Street end

 I think I posted a pic of this one before, but I only 
realised last night this is the Mali self-portrait

I wonder if those blue circular marks 
are from elephant kisses?

The sunset tonight from near Seafarers Bridge

Monday, August 27, 2012

Above and beyond, mind over matter, homecoming

I bought two pairs of boots online last week (oops!) and they both arrived today, even though one came from New Zealand and the other from the US. The pair from New Zealand were from a store called Mischief Shoes. As well as my boots (which I love), the package contained a gift of a notebook, and a handwritten card telling me that they had already waterproofed my boots! I was very impressed. That's excellent customer service. 

I'm still going to the gym even though it's been a struggle of mind-over-matter the last few weeks (well, more of a struggle than usual). I've managed a couple of pretty good workouts despite my lack of energy. I'm getting much better at the hardest exercise in my program - three sets of 10 reverse lunges while holding a 14kg aquabag (a big, water-filled sausage).  It's still hard and I really dislike it, but I'll keep at it. 

Did I mention Luke is away? He's a bit over a week into a two-week visiting to England. I'm  quite happy being home alone, but I'm also looking forward to his return on Saturday night. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

More Mali, more old signs

I saw more Mali sculptures in my travels this weekend. I'm not sure how many I've seen now, but still I'm well off 50. 

 Gordon Reserve, corner Spring and Macarthur Streets in the city

All that glitters is Mali, near the Old Treasury Building, Spring Street

 In front of the Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street

Also in front of the Town Hall

The glass mosaic Mali directly above is my favourite so far. It must be the work of Deborah Halpern - it doesn't look the same as the illustration in the list but as soon as I saw it, I thought, "I know that face from somewhere...."

This is Angel, Halpern's best known work, which
 stands in Birrarung Marr, beside the river

I saw some old signs in Fitzroy and Abbotsford. I'm particularly pleased with the Commit No Nuisance sign because it was literally a case of 'blink and you'll miss it' as I walked past.

Off Rose Street in Fitzroy

Another Commit No Nuisance sign, well hidden in 
a narrow alley just off Brunswick Street

 Bates' Cocoa Mills, Bond Street in Abbotsford 

This sign is on the side of an old building. The sign on the front is shown in the photo below.    Thanks to Google, I can tell you the building started off as a school, and when the Bates cocoa company took over the building, they kept the sign on the front. Nice. 

Click here and scroll down to see an old picture of the building. (Brace yourself if you dislike the Collingwood Football Club).

Foster's Lager, on the side of the Terminus Hotel on
 Victoria Street, Abbotsford

The Terminus is on the edge of what is now a construction site. I think the demolition of existing buildings revealed this sign and I expect the new development will hide it again.

The sun shining through a gap in the clouds as I crossed the river

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beautiful Melbourne, stormy, distracted

Here's some beautiful videos that have been posted by a couple of my Twitter friends. 

The first is a timelapse video of inner Melbourne. 

The second is a timelapse of storms shot near Melbourne. Awesome cloudage! 
Speaking of storms, we had a very brief storm this afternoon. There was rain, hail and a few thunderclaps. It only lasted about five minutes and then the clouds cleared and the sun came out again.  Actually, the rain lasted a bit longer. I was in the boardroom at work and out one window there was sunshine and rain, but out the other window it didn't appear to be raining at all! It was weird. 

During the meeting I was distracted by a small segment of rainbow that I could just see out the window and also a little slice of the sun-sparkly Yarra reflecting off a glassy building on the south bank of the river. Fortunately the meeting didn't require much input from me. 

Another find via Twitter - what Dr Seuss books would be called if they were titled according to their subtexts. 

NB For those of you who read Gleeful via email, I noticed the other day the videos don't appear. If you want to see the videos, click on the title of the blog post, which is a link to the blog itself. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Exciting news, monkeys and donkeys

I'm practically* dancing a gleeful jig around my loungeroom as I type this (I'm a woman; multitasking is what we do). Why, you ask? I just this minute found out via Facebook that Mark Forsyth, the author of The Etymologicon, has a new book coming out on 1 November. I got goosebumps when I read that. Really! 

The book is called The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through The Lost Words of the English Language. Forsyth describes it thusly on his blog, Inky Fool:

horoscope is a look (scope) at the hour (horo) that you were born. It's related tohorology, which is the study of clocks, and to a horologicon, which is a book of hours, and, much more importantly, the title of my new book which comes out on November the first.
The Horologicon will not, I confess, address all, or even any, or the burning questions of horology. Instead, it is a book of strange and wonderful words that I've found cavorting at the back of the dictionary. However, unlike most books of strange and wonderful words, these are arranged in a useful manner. They are arranged by the hour of the day when you're most likely to need them.
So if, for example, you have ever woken up before dawn and lain abed worrying, The Horologicon tells you in chapter one (6am-7) that you are suffering from what the Old English called uhtceare, or anxiety experienced just before dawn.
Needless to say, I'm counting down the days.

* I left out one of the Cs in 'practically' when I first typed it, and Blogger's spellcheck suggested 'piratically' as the top alternative. That works too. Yarrrrrr! 

Monkeh magic

A couple of months ago Luke brought home an amigurumi toy version of the PG Tips monkey from work. I'd never heard of PG Tips tea or their spokesmonkey, but after seeing this ad on YouTube, I'm a fan (of the ads, not the tea).

The monkey and Johnny Vegas appear in other ads for PG Tips in which Johnny addresses his little sidekick in his English accent simply as "monkeh" . It makes me laugh when Luke  imitates him. 

Me: Say "monkeh"!
Luke: Monkeh
Me: Say "donkeh"! 
Luke: Donkeh
Me: Say "the monkeh is riding a donkeh"!

And so on. 

Speaking of donkeys (not a segue that will get much use), look at this video of an adorable baby donkey called Primrose. She was born prematurely with bowed front legs, so vets put her legs in bright pink plaster casts. So cute. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Shellacking, footy, shiny, tiny, stripey

I had my nails done again today, but this time I got shellac polish in a deep, subtly iridescent purple. Shellac is a new type of nail varnish that dries very quickly and lasts much longer without chipping. It's weird not having to be careful to avoid smudging or chipping it. Weird, but good. (I guess I can no longer describe myself as a not very girly girl.)


My (Aussie Rules) football team, North Melbourne, had a convincing and unexpected win over Collingwood, one of the top team in the competition, last night. I think this is the first time I've ever blogged about a football game (apart from the Grand Final). I'm not a particularly enthusiastic fan, but I've followed North Melbourne since I was a kid (despite the rest of my family barracking for Essendon) and it's gratifying to see them doing well after many years of mediocrity.  I think there's some Collingwood fans in my team at work. *digs out North Melbourne scarf*


As well as watching the game last night, I shined some of my shoes. (Shone my shoes?) I polished a few pairs of work shoes that were scuffed and dull, as well as my biker boots, and then conditioned them with beeswax "leather balsam" (as it's described on the tub). Not the most exciting way to spend one's Saturday night, but also quite gratifying. Shiny, shiny shoes for me. 

Let there be light

Some of the light fittings in my flat are the screw-in kind and others are bayonet cap style. I never remember which ones are which, and I always forget to check first before going to buy a new globe. Today, in defiance of the order of the universe, I managed to buy the right kind for my kitchen light fitting. 


When I was walking home with my light globe and groceries, I spied a teeny weeny little mushroom in the garden that runs the length of the footbridge over the freeway. I reached for my camera, but I'd left it at home. Dang. Luckily it's close to home, so I went back later and took photos of it. 

I should have put something in the shot to show how small it is. It's less than 2cm tall. Eyes like an eagle, me. 

Spring is ready to...spring. 

 Hydrangea bud

Here's one it prepared earlier


I put my new bed linen on the bed this afternoon. It makes me go a bit cross-eyed, but I like it. The heart cushion usually lives on the couch, but I've moved it to the bed. I love black and white with red accents. 

I think Grover likes it too

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The many faces of Mali

Here are some more elephants for you (especially you, Wendy). The sculptures are life-sized fibreglass likenesses of Melbourne Zoo's elephant calf, Mali. 

 Look at his elephant slippers! Melbourne Central, near the Shot Tower

 Beside St Paul's Cathedral

 Also at St Paul's

 Federation Square 

While I was taking a photo of this one, a woman asked me to take a photo of her and her two grandsons with the elephant. Of course I obliged. Then I saw them at every other Mali afterwards, and took a photo of them at each one! 

They had seen 23 of the 50 sculptures today. You can see a list of all of them and the artists who've decorated them here. One has even been painted by Mali himself! It's titled 'self portrait'. Teehee.  

 Wooly Mali by Mini Goss, also at Fed Square 

Yes, it's a knitted full-body elephant suit!

 Fed Square again 

 He looks happy 

Birrarung Marr, near Art Play.  This one was painted 
by one of Melbourne living treasures, Mirka Mora

 Also near Art Play

Birrarung Marr again 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday night

Seafarers Bridge

I went to DFO at South Wharf after work tonight. I bought some red shoes. When I left, it was raining lightly. I walked up to St Kilda Road to catch the tram home. 

The Polly Woodside was casting a pleasing reflection on the inky water. 

The bare trees along the river are festooned with fairy lights. It's quite magical. 

There was also a painted elephant. 

This is one of 50 elephant sculptures decorated by artists and placed around the city as part of Melbourne Zoo's 150th anniversary celebrations. I've seen several of the others in Birrarung Marr, Federation Square and the mall. I'm a big fan of Melbourne's penchant for whimsical sculpture. 

I walked past the revamped Hamer Hall for the first time since it reopened a few weeks ago. It used to have its back turned to the river, but now it opens out on to the Yarra. That dark, dismal underpass thing is history. It looks great. 

 Looking towards Princes Bridge

 Back in the other direction

The St Kilda Road frontage

I love the reflections made by rain. 

I was really glad to get home, especially as I wasn't paying attention, missed my tram stop and had to walk much further than I would have liked on my already sore feet. I don't know how I managed not to notice that we'd turned the corner into Park Street. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lie in, lost and found, obsessed

I had a very pleasant lie in this morning. I wasn't asleep, but it was nice to just lie there all cosy under the doona (duvet, for non-Aussies).

I went to Eckersley's art and craft shop to buy supplies for a project I will tell you about if it turns out any good! I love moodling about in art and craft shops (and using the word moodling). So much stuff to look at and inspire crafty ideas. So much colour.

I got a teeny bit lost on my way to Eckersley's - I couldn't remember if it was north or south of Prahran station, where I got off the train. I walked in the wrong direction to start with, but if I hadn't, I wouldn't have found this old sign and the cool old lantern on Charles Street:

I guess it says DAIRY. There's some other letters there, but they're too faint to read.

After Eckersley's, I visited Handworks on Chapel Street. I especially liked this silver filigree Paperblanks journal, which has a rustic metal closure. I didn't buy it because I can't think what I'd write inside that would do justice to the loveliness of the outside. 

Later, I bought myself a new doona cover in black and white stripes, with polka dot pillow cases. I never got around to buying myself a birthday present, so the new bed linen is it. It's a good brand (Sheridan) massively discounted. Gotta love a bargain, eh? 

I can't recall if I've mentioned my obsession with black and white stripes before? I have black and white striped tops, tanks tops, underwear, shoes, socks, leggings and a skirt. I could put together an entire black and white striped outfit. But I won't. 

I love these old post boxes. This one's on Greville Street, Prahran. I like that they have kept them even though they aren't used anymore, as a guy discovered as I was taking the photo when he tried to stuff an envelope in it, but couldn't find a slot. 

On closer inspection, I noticed the little hand-shaped handle (or whatever it is/was).  

It caught my eye because I'd seen a similar one at the old Windsor post office a few weeks back (below) and thought it was quite whimsical. Hand-shaped handles must have been a thing once. Makes sense, I suppose. 

Have I ever posted a photo of this old Rosella sign? This is the view from the street behind my black of flats, with the Dandenong Ranges in the background. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cockatoos and chrysanthemums

I saw a trio of black cockatoos on my way home this afternoon. It's the second time I've seen them in a week, but they aren't a common sight so close to the city. I heard them before I saw them, and I knew what they were because when mum lived in Port Macquarie, a group of black cockatoos would fly by her house at dusk every night. After I got home, one flew past my kitchen window.  

I bought a bunch of pink chrysanthemums to brighten up my loungeroom. I love the white tinges on the ends of the petals.