Sunday, September 30, 2012

Footy and figs

Yesterday was one of the major events of the year in Melbourne - the AFL grand final, held at the MCG stadium just a stone's throw from our place. But Luke and I went against the tide of sports fans pouring out of Richmond Station and caught a train out to Moorabbin for a barbecue at my friend Bertie's place. 

It was a fun day out. At half time, a few of us kicked the footy on the oval next door to Bertie's place (the home ground of the St kilda football team).  It's been a long time since I've kicked a football. I used to be pretty good at it when I was a kid. Apparently I've still got it because I kicked a goal yesterday. Go, me...oh, all right. It was a set shot while I was standing right in front of the goals. But still! 

There was a full moon over the oval as Luke and I headed back to the station. 

Are these figs or feijoas? I spotted them hanging over my neighbours' fence yesterday and at first I thought they were figs and got a bit excited. I'll be able to eat freshly picked, locally grown figs! But now I'm not so sure. I'll have to keep an eye on them and hope the birds don't get to them before they're ripe enough to pick. 

Henry Wagons tweeted a link to photos from his album launch on Friday night. I'm in two of the photos and Luke's in one. We're famous!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Something happened to me tonight that could just be the most gleeful thing that's ever happened in the history of glee. OK, maybe that's overstating it somewhat, but it was thrilling. 

Henry Wagons launched his debut solo album this evening at Polyester Records in the city. I went straight from work to make sure I had a good spot. When I arrived, Henry was at the microphone doing a soundcheck. My heart skipped a beat. But then I got all shy and didn't go in. I loitered outside and finished eating my cupcake. 

When I did go in a few minutes later, Henry had gone. I bought a copy of the album, Expecting Company?, then moodled about looking at books and CDs until Luke arrived.

Henry and his new band The Unwelcome Company (a few Wagons guys and two women from the vocal group The Nymphs) played about four songs from the new album, with Henry's usual banter in between. I liked  all the songs. 

Afterwards I headed straight to up the back to have Henry sign my copy of the CD. I waited impatiently as he chatted to the guy ahead of me, then it was my turn. 

We exchanged greetings, I handed over my copy of the CD and he scrawled his name on it. And then he said, "I recognise you." Me (full of charm and wit): "Really?" And then I kinda forget the rest of the conversation because HENRY WAGONS RECOGNISED ME!!!! I kid you not. I actually went a little bit trembly with excitement. My (relatively) long-term musical crush recognised me! 

I have spoken to him on a couple of other occasions (not recently), but he probably saw me at that event a few weeks back at Hamer Hall. There was no harsh stage lighting, I was sitting right in front of him and I do have blue boy hair. 

Would it be too tweenage if I had the signed CD cover framed? 

I've purchased tickets to see Henry and The Unwelcome Company at the lovely Thornbury Theatre in November. 


After the launch, Luke and I headed to the National Mutual building for the fireworks to celebrate the reinstatement of the lights on the building's tower. 

We waited in the cold with a smallish crowd on the corner diagonally opposite for ages and then eventually there was a ka-boom. There was a collective "Oooooh" from the crowd and probably a collective "HOLY SHIT!" from unsuspecting passers-by. 

It was a fairly modest fireworks display, but the guy spent a squillion on buying and renovating the building; you couldn't really expect a pyrotechnics show to rival New Year's Eve celebrations. 

As the last sparks of the fireworks faded, the lights in the tower were turned on.


There was a busker dressed in a rabbit suit playing bass guitar over the road while we waited for the fireworks to start. I can't be sure, but I think he might be the same guy who busks in the city while wearing a dog costume. Funky Bunny (as he calls himself - he has a Facebook page) was pretty good too. His big ears waved up and down as he played. While we were taking photos of him, two guys dressed as pirates stopped to watch. The things you see in a big city... 

We went to a cheap Japanese restaurant on Swanston Street for dinner. Luke had a stubby of Sapporo beer with his meal. We were amused by the blurb on the label. 

The photo's a little blurry. It says, "Discover the perfectly balanced taste that's irresistible to all, as you share rich moments with this masterpiece of the brewer's art." I don't think Luke shared any rich moments, but he did enjoy it. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

From the bridge

I stopped on Morell Bridge tonight to take a photo of the silos basking in the late afternoon sun against a backdrop of dark grey sky. 

Then I turned around to take a photo of the setting sun...

...and when I turned back, I saw this:

Then I turned around again to take a photo of the rowers...

...and when I started to head for home, the rainbow was even brighter. 

I'm expecting a parcel in the mail from a friend. I'll tell you more about it when it arrives. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Around the bay in a day

The weather didn't look promising on our 
way to Sorrento...

That's our ferry on its way back from Queenscliff. 
Still looking rather grey, but it wasn't cold

On the ferry...a cargo ship passing by and rain in the distance.
  I felt a bit seasick inside the ferry, despite the calm water, 
but was OK on the deck at the front

On the other side... An old sign in Queenscliff: Refreshment

The Point Lonsdale Pier

Tiny blue shells in the crevices of rocks on the beach at Point Lonsdale. 
They were smaller than the nail on my little finger.

Point Nepean on the Mornington Peninsula on other side 
of Port Phillip Baynear where we boarded the ferry
 (click here to see map)  

Flowers and stone

At Point Lonsdale 

Unstable blogger 

The lighthouse at Point Lonsdale


The beach at Point Lonsdale

C'mon on in guys. The water's fine 

Ducks and other birdlife on the road to Indented Head

An old thing in the sea at Indented Head

Eastern  Beach in Geelong, on our way back to Melbourne

Eastern Beach marina

Old signs in Geelong 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fake Friday, birds and buttercups

It's (fake) Fridayeeeee for meeeeeee! Got my annual leave day tomorrow. As I mentioned, Luke and I going on a Round-the-Bay in a day jaunt (only we'll be jaunting by car and ferry, not by bike and ferry). I'm really looking forward to it.

There's a new duck couple in town. Or maybe I just forgot they were in town already.

 Acting natural by the boatsheds

"Whaddya lookin' at?"

I also saw a duck family of mum, dad and two ducklings swimming on the river on my way home.  Again, hopefully not the same duck family I saw a few weeks ago

And Mr and Mrs Swan have built another nest.   I think it's the same pair that built a nest right on the river bank last year  - the male has an identifying tag around his neck. It seems swans are not very smart or have short memories because they've built their nest in another spot at risk of being washed away if the river rises after heavy rain. I won't get my hopes up about seeing cygnets. 

The floral displays in front of the Melbourne Town Hall at the moment are gorgeous. So colourful and cheery. 

I especially love these flowers (below). I knew them only as ranunculus, but, thanks to Google, I've learnt that ranunculus is a genus of more than 600 varieties. This particular variety is a Persian Buttercup. That's a much nicer name for such a pretty flower.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dazzling splendour mark II and a day off

 The tower of the Manchester Unity Building

The Manchester Unity Building on the corner of Collins and Swanston Streets is one of Melbourne's architectural gems and it's about to get even more awesome. 

According to a story in The Age today, a dentist bought the first floor of the building in 2003 and has been progressively buying more of it to house his dental practice, and restoring it as he goes - including bringing back the lighting installation on the tower. 

The MU Building was completed (in record time) in 1932 and unveiled in December of that year with a light show, which The Argus newspaper described thusly: 
For the first time, the ornamental turreted tower, and the flag surmounting it, leapt out of the dark in dazzling splendour, illuminated by hidden floodlights from all sides.
Leapt out of the dark! In dazzling splendour!  Haha. There's going to be more leaping and bedazzlement on the eve of the AFL Grand Final on 28 September when the new tower lighting is turned on, accompanied by fireworks. 

I've been inside the MU Building and it's a beautiful space. You can see some of it - including the boardroom and the stairs leading to the top of the tower - in the video accompanying The Age story I've linked to above.  

The ceiling of one of the lifts in the MU Building

The dentist - Dr Kia Pajouhesh  - also appears. His passion for the building is obvious and endearing. What a wonderful thing to do - spending your own money to restore a building that's not only your place of business, but also a building loved by so many. If only some wealthy businessperson would do the same for the Nylex clock...   

I have Friday off work. I'm taking an annual leave day just because. Luke and I are contemplating driving down to Queenscliff and catching  the ferry across to Sorrento. Neither of us has been on the ferry before. This really should be remedied. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Luke made a crustless quiche for dinner last night. It was delicious. I think it's hard for something with bacon and cheese in it to not be delicious, but even so, it was a good 'un. Although it has no crust, there is flour in the mix, which settles at the bottom to form a faux crust. If you cook it long enough, the faux crust goes brown and a little crispy. Yum. 

I've been busy in the kitchen all afternoon. I made up a batch of seed mix for my pre-gym snacks. This one has hemp seeds added. No, they won't make me high. They're food grade, and the manufacturer guarantees they will have no psychotropic effect. This is the first time I've tried them, but they're said to be very nutritious and tasty. I'll let you know.

I dry fried the seeds in a fry pan and then ground them up with my mortar and pestle. It's fun grinding them up - some of the seeds give a tiny little 'pop' when the pestle hits them. 

The artichokes I bought yesterday are cooking. I ended up roasting them with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Luke's also has a clove of garlic in the centre of it. (Alas, I can't eat garlic.) 

I've also stewed some rhubarb, and roasted a heap of root vegetables for tonight's dinner - potato, pumpkin, sweet potato and beetroot - as well as some brussels sprouts.   There's too much beetroot, so we might have a beetroot salad for dinner tomorrow night. 

Small pumpkin from Vic Market

I bought more chrysanthemums from the florist on Swan Street, pale pink ones, and dark pink ones with a yellow centre.

Update: since starting this I've eaten dinner. The artichoke was underwhelming. The heart was nice and soft, but the rest was inedible. From reading the blog post where I got the recipe, I thought some of the inner leaves around the heart would be soft enough to eat too, but they weren't. It seems a waste to cook a vegetable and throw most of it away. Maybe I should have baked it longer? I think I'll just go back to holding an artichoke above my head at the supermarket and pretending to be the Statue of Liberty. 

Next up...the grapefruit. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Luke, Jayne and Mali at the market

Luke and I went to Queen Victoria Market to do our fresh food shop again today. To be honest, I don't really enjoy the experience - mostly because of the crowds and the noise - but the variety of produce and lower prices make it worth tolerating. 

We bought loads of fruit and veg, most of it way cheaper than the supermarket. Our fridge is chockers and I had to get out the big fruit bowl to find room for all the fruit. 

I bought artichokes for the the first time ever. I've eaten them, but never cooked with them. I found a recipe on Pinterest for cooking them in the slow cooker, which I'm going to have a crack at tomorrow. I've also never eaten grapefruit. Really! It wasn't something we had when I was a kid, and I've never had the urge to try them. I bought one today and I have a recipe from Pinterest for that too...if you can call "chop it in half, sprinkle with brown sugar and grill it" a recipe. 

We also saw (but didn't buy) Thai eggplant and jicama. And a big onion. 

After yet another failed attempt at completing that infernal allergy elimination diet, I've decided to just eat well (in the 'normal' sense, as well as avoiding my known trigger foods), exercise more and put up with the symptoms. I've been living with them for so long anyway...  So I'm eating less crap (not that I ate a lot to begin with) and more fruit and veg. 

I  also saw three Mali sculptures at or near Vic Market, although I only photographed two. 

 Eye patch

A close up reveals a trio of birds

Luke ordered something online that came wrapped in bubble wrap. I found the bubble wrap in my handbag, where he'd put it for me to play with. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunshine, Henry again, roasting

Twas a glorious spring day in Melburnia today

Luke and I enjoyed the Henry Wagons show at Hamer Hall yesterday. Henry's an engaging personality and loves a chat when he's on stage with the band, so it wasn't surprising that he was entertaining when doing more talking than rocking.  The Performance Enhancers series features musicians talking about their inspirations and influences, musical and otherwise. 

I had a good spot right in the centre of the third row, with no-one in the seats in front of me. I managed not to swoon.

Henry performed several songs, including one of my Wagons' favourites, Never Been to Spain, a cover of a song written by Hoyt Axton and performed by Elvis. "Fat Elvis" is one of Henry's musical inspirations - he even had fat Elvis as his special topic when he appeared on the music quiz show Rockwiz. 

Here's a stripped back live version with just Henry and his guitar, which is what we saw yesterday.

I've been listening to Wagons all afternoon while pottering around at home, with all the  windows open to let in the fresh spring air. There's couple of large windows in my living area, so I don't feel like I'm missing out by spending a sunny day inside. 

I have a lamb shoulder in the oven, with loads of vegies, garlic and rosemary. My flat smells like roasting garlic. Yummmmm. 

I love these symmetrical photos of underground railway stations. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Henry, dedication, growing up

Luke and I are off to the refurbished Hamer Hall for the first time tomorrow to see Henry Wagons in the first installment of a series called Performance Enhancers. He'll be chatting about his influences and performing. 

Henry also has a new "mini-album" coming out in a few weeks, which is sort of his first solo album (it mostly features duets). And look at the cover! It's Kanes Bridge, the footbridge over the river at Yarra Bend Park, seen here on my other blog. 

I went to the gym tonight. On a Friday. I've only done that once or twice in all the years I've been a gym-goer. It just seems wrong...even if I have nothing planned besides staying home on the couch. I didn't manage to fit in my second workout on Wednesday or Thursday, and I don't want to go on the weekend, or go a full week between gym visits. I did that last week, and was sore for three days afterwards. 

I saw the duck family this morning on the river's edge. The ducklings have doubled in size in the space of a week! *sigh* They grown up so fast. 

There's a story in The Age today on the Little Library at Melbourne Central, which I discovered last weekend. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blogiversary, counting down, Little Library

Happy first day of spring! Happy birthday to Gleeful! Four years old today. It was a beautiful sunny day. I had a massage in the morning (the ouchy type, not a pampering one) and then got my hair and nails done.  I'm still keeping up this girly girl caper (although I think my biker boots balanced it out).

And all day I've been counting down the hours until Luke gets back. His plane is due to land in just over three hours. I wish I could meet him at the airport so I get to see him sooner and because it's lovely to walk off the plane into a big hug.   I'll just have to be patient...

Here's another Mali. This one's in front of Melbourne Central, near the corner of Swanston and Elizabeth Streets.

I entered Melbourne Central by going up an escalator I've never been on before and finding myself in unfamiliar territory, which doesn't happen very often in one's own city. And look what I found!

It's the Melbourne Central Little Library - a small space that could have had a shop in it, but instead it's got shelves of books for people to borrow. What a fantastic idea.