Get shit done; March 2016

March is long gone! I am so on the ball with this. I think I got Oliver a surprise Autumn gift, a Nigel Slater Kitchen Diaries cookbook. I definitely already posted this. Maybe that was February? We cooked up some later summer, early autumn dishes like lamb chops with avocado and coriander and, further below, a bucket of veg for baked eggs and tomatoes. Below that, what must be the best bread in this city, a sourdough from Faraday’s Cage. It’s my favourite bread ever. I’ll just say it. And butter and black coffee and a cookbook for a weekend breakfast. That’s a joyful combo.

This month seems to be less groundbreaking than January and February… I took some city walks?

Ah okay, here’s the good stuff. Oliver and I visited the Dandenong Ranges and walked the 1000 steps on Saturday morning. It’s a tough but short set of steps, completed in about 12 minutes or so, but it certainly gets your heart racing. We took an hour long train out, walked for a good few hours, racked up 21km and took the train back, exhausted. I remember we picked up some fancy drawers from a neighbour who was shifting them. Then perhaps we had a glass wine and some hearty dinner. A good day.

Then we visited Sydney, on the same trip where we walked from Coogee to Bondi, to see our friends and enjoy Sydney in the autumn. Our friends have an incredible rooftoop terrace with this beautiful view of the city. We watched the sun go down and caught up on gossip. Then we walked, and we ate. We ate and ate and ate, played some board games, laughed.


A birthday walk…

So you already know that I ate $70 of cheese on my birthday, but that cheese gorging had to be earned. And so it was by a lovely wander through Melbourne with Oliver. We had plans to go further afield, but we so rarely walk around the CBD together, it was a lovely thing to do. I took some pictures of the beautiful buildings, all different, stacked up next to one another.





I really like the photography of Michael Wolf, if you look at his website here you can see that he loves dense architecture and city streets. Well me too! What is it about cities? Almost everything about them is exhilarating. The skyscrapers, the foot traffic, the lights and even, yes I’m a nerd, the transport. I love the buses, trams and trains at every corner and all of their complicated intricacy.



This one picture, below, makes me think of Brazil! It’s that Niemeyer-esque building and the palm tree.


We started out in Fitzory, which is ten minutes on a tram from the CBD and has a totally different, distinct look. It’s charmingly rough, with graffiti everywhere. It’s like a cross between Berlin and small town USA. Lots of lovely old houses and mismatched building facades, with huge graffitied art works on every corner.






There you have it, a pretty perfect birthday for me, in a city we are still discovering being nerdy about buildings.

This lovely city!

My journey to work is now slightly longer and more arduous. Since we moved to Fitzroy, just north of the city centre, I take a tram and a train to get to the office. It takes about 50 minutes including a 4 block walk through Melbourne city centre between train and tram. These 4 blocks are so busy, full of life and beautiful skyscrapers, wafts of donuts, coffee, garlic, things frying. It’s the best part of my day.

I love cities and while in Manchester I spent my time dreaming about the next city I’d see. And since then I’ve seen Salvador, Rio, São Paulo, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Sucre, La Paz, Cusco, Lima, Bogota, San Francisco, Sydney and now Melbourne. I think this is one is one of my favourites. I took some pictures of my lovely new city during my journey home today.





Stuff to remember…

I have been neglecting my blog, because living in a hostel makes everything tiresome. Not staying, but living in a hostel while you work Monday to Friday, sharing a room, bathroom, kitchen and breathing space with so many people is exhausting. Cooking is a pain and not a pleasure, laundry is a tedious 75 minute affair, standing by the dryer opening and closing the door (I still love cleaning the lint filter), and most days leave me thinking ‘not much longer’ until we have somewhere real. Not our own flat, just a modest room in a house with 2 or 3 people, instead of 70.

I feel bad for neglecting this space because the space is for me and my memories. And when I’m 50 I’d like to remember my first few weeks at work in Armadale, staying in St. Kilda, our first payday, and then finding somewhere to live.

I have pictures to share, from here and there, of the little adventures we’ve had. The most important thing I’d like to remember is that I feel very happy.

Here’s a little picture of my my miserable processed breakfast each morning, peanut butter and jam toasted sandwiches that leave me slumped, exhausted at 11am.


A picture from a Sandringham commute when we were still staying with Alice.


Some very good tsukemen ramen from Mensousai Mugen in the CBD, this was our celebratory payday dinner. It was utterly delicious. The noodles and seaweed come separately from the thick broth and you add them in as you go. When you’re done, the waitress brings you a little pot of tasty dashi stock to add to the thick broth, giving you a soup to finish with. I do like theatre with my dinner.




We were accidentally brought some chips, which is a terrible dilemma, whether to say something or wolf them down. We both ate one, sneakily, and let the waitress take them away when she noticed. That’s perfect, I’d love a spoonful of everything on the menu, that’s my ideal dinner.


On Sunday just gone we sat in a little St. Kilda cafe, and I figured out how to do a Japanese number puzzle other than sudoku. Had this tasty little soy cappuccino.


We spent the weekend shopping, since I was in desperate need of a coat that wasn’t a North Face knock off from Cusco. It’s incredible how much better you feel with a new coat, a new dress. I feel like a real person again.
I bought dumplings from Chinatown and on the tram home realised the hostel has no freezer. So I cooked them that night, but half defrosted they all clung together and pork and prawn kind of fell out everywhere. Then I sat opposite all my most hated hostel people and actively disliked them as I ate.


That’s me trying to charm a possum.

We watched Godzilla in the IMAX at the Melbourne Museum. It’s the 3rd biggest IMAX in the world, it was pretty big. And the film wasn’t great. But it was great for the IMAX. I loved every second. I have always been a fan of the end of the world film. And Bryan Cranston caked in make up on the big screen. Although his screen time found me nervous, in case Breaking Bad was mentioned, even in that environment. I think that means I just have to finish it. As soon as we get a real place to live.

One more thing to remember… on the tram home from our flat viewings tonight we listened to 3 teenagers swearing for 20 minutes. It was almost like Jonah from Tonga, and I couldn’t help but laugh.

Also, I squeezed a lime into my drink tonight and hit a man at the next table in the eye. Priceless.