Get shit done; February 2016

This tiny platform of the Rooftop Bar on Swanston Street might offer one of the best Melbourne views I’ve seen. So perfectly framed, interesting building on top of interesting building, light and shadows. I’ve become really fond of the Melbourne city skyline; contrary to a year ago when I told Toby it was kind of ugly. I like its diversity mostly; the contrast of old and new and typical and atypical whichever way you look. It makes for lovely pictures.

Visiting the Rooftop bar wasn’t on the get shit done list, but documenting views like this are. We came here before we saw Beach House play in the city, a surprise ticketed treat from Oliver; very pretty pictures below.

The band was so good. They’re long time favourites of ours and they sounded fantastic, the lighting was beautiful.

We saw Beach House for the second time in a week at Laneway Festival, along with Diiv and Churches and some others. This was also a surprise ticketed treat, but I knew about this one for a while. It was a beautiful sunny day, we bumped into friends and enjoyed sitting on the grass all evening like the 28 and 30 year olds we are.

This may also be on the list of best views. It ticks major boxes… city skyline, train lines. 

On our to do list for a while was a trip to the Mornington Peninsula. This reminds me of a post from a year ago (or so) which listed things I wanted to do in Melbourne. I’ll seek it out and update it… I have a feeling I may not have crossed much off that list but hopefully it’s evolved into something more crossable.

We rented a car and drove down to the Peninsula, passing Mount Martha, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea, maybe not in that order. We stopped and had a dip in Rye, we had a walk to a paradise looking beach in the National Park and we visited some very beautiful rock pools at the back of Blairgowrie. Oliver had pulled a muscle in his back, so he was a trooper for even getting out of bed, let alone driving us all that way and walking around with me. He couldn’t swim in the rock pools, so I guess that’s a reason for another visit.

There were some very brave souls jumping from rocks into the pools. Not I. I took a leisurely dip from ground level.

Oliver’s third tickets surprise of the month was Sufjan Stevens. Another great show. I’ll freely admit my favourite album is his Christmas Album, but I knew far more of the music than I expected to. There was an awesome light show that felt like meditation, or something. And Hamer Hall is such a treat to be in again. We saw Amy Schumer here the first time, and it was really nice to watch a band here too. It’s a clear distinction of age; sitting watching a band in Hamer Hall, drinking a glass of wine. Woah. Times have changed.

These may be the worst pictures you’ve seen of a gig. Apologies.

I took a mini trip with Maree to the State Library. It was just a way to pass the time before a movie, but it was such a treat. It’s a beautiful old building that made me nostalgic for the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and days when I would write essays in the Manchester Metropolitan University library till late. Made me wish I had a 3000 word essay and a stack of books to pore over. If only my 22 year old self could imagine that.


The year so far, in food…

A selection of cooked and bought, delicious meals that I’d like to keep track of. As a belated Valentine’s gift I bought Oliver a ridiculous Nigel Slater tome that we are already in love with. It’s an indulgent half diary, half cookbook stepping gradually through the seasons. I feel guilty to say that I am craving Autumn and Winter, for a chill in the air and big warm layers. In the UK I wasted so much time longing for sunshine and long days, pretty ironic.

Hopefully to come will be far more elegant home cooked meals, but for now…

 Homemade French Toast, peaches and sausage… half kind of adapted from the Guardian’s ‘how to make the perfect’ series here.
 Oliver made plum cobbler on a Monday evening in the middle of summer. I told you we are craving the cold.

 I made this Rick Stein fish madras but it wasn’t oily or salty enough for me. I suppose that speaks volumes about my takeaway curry habits in England.

 This was such a winner! Delicious first time attempt at chicken cacciatore, thanks to Oliver. I was so impressed at how tasty this was.

 Aubergine and prawn thai green curry with noodles.
 … and we ate the curry with a huge platter of grilled prawns!

 We finally went to one of the dozens of Japanese restaurants on Smith Street to find that it was precisely as expected… minimal, delicious and expensive.
 Another cookbook was added to our small collection; The Kinfolk Table. My Mum bought it for me when I was in England, and I carried it back to Melbourne all delicately wrapped in brown paper. I love cookbooks. We’ve made this cabbage salad a couple of times, very tasty.

 I came across this tikka masala soup at The Modern Proper and it sounded like the perfect way to get my curry fix without telling Oliver, yet again; “we’re having curry”.  It was pretty delicious, I’ll admit. We added roasted sweet potato and yoghurt and ate it with sub par naan bread.