mockturle06: (Lewis)

So, Melbourne. It was just a week away, me trying to cheer myself up, a consolation prize to myself, because I can’t afford overseas holidays any more.

Also, tiny bit inconvenient, with the family situation and all. You know, that line in Hamlet, ‘When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions’, I always thought it was over-egging the plot a touch by having misery upon misery, but as my family has taken a turn for the gothic, it really does go like that, I’ve discovered.

Anyway, much like my anglophile trip to NYC (saw James Corden and Andrew Garfield on stage, and an exhibition on Mary Shelley, and I went to the cloisters to see the Lewis chessmen, etc.) I decided to do a faux-euro trip to Melbourne, seeing European art in galleries and sitting in French, Italian and Greek cafes. Catching trams. Stuff I can’t do here.  It sounds stupid and pathetic, and it is, but my Italian colleague gave my valiant attempt the thumbs up for trying, so there’s that.

So I went and saw the Van Gogh exhibition at the NGV. I wanted to see some VVG in Europe, so this would have to do. Maybe that’s why I was disappointed. I mean, I know they usually only send us the stuff they don’t care if it drops into the Indian Ocean, and quite right, too, (irreplaceable plant specimens from France destroyed in Australian quarantine blunder) but this was stuff they didn’t care if it fell down a volcano. Early juvenilia sketches and depressing scenes from when he was locked up in the loony bin. Exciting if you were a scholar, but it really wasn’t…there wasn’t anything to show you why people make a fuss about the man. So I was angry, because it’s crap shows like this that made me take a lifetime to understand why Vincent is considered a big deal. Because these muddy sketches in no way demonstrate it.

Also, it was far too crowded to properly look or consider, as each painting was surrounded by a deep scrum of tourists. Which was also annoying as I’ve had rooms full of Van Gogh to myself overseas (and I have the photos to prove it). Why should I have to pay a mighty fee to be jostled like I’m on my peak-hour bus, all to see a work nowhere near as luminous as the ones I’ve had all to myself to admire overseas?

Ah, well, if it was the bliss of solitary contemplation of great art I was after, I was right in my choice of the Hellenic Museum. The ticket price was off-putting to the same noisy tourists, so I had a room of ancient masterpieces all to myself to swoon over. And swoon I did. It was just a tiny room, with only a handful of statues, cups and the odd bit of bling to consider, but I prefer that, just one piece, one on one, to look, to study, to contemplate. To imagine if this was something the artist laboured over in tears, or something he knocked off before lunch? Ah, there was a lovely old pot I saw once at the Ian Potter museum that had clearly been started before lunch, but finished afterwards, because the careful lines became noticeably wobbly and skewed after a bit. So, that was me, chillin’ with Aphrodite, Paris and Hercules. Loved that.

And I loved the Love exhibition at the NGV. This one was free, uncrowded and full of treasures and delights from the NGV’s Europhile collection. The only time I grew cranky here was my outrage on the part of Aphrodite, whose statue was broken apart and stuck back together with plaster by so-called Edwardian gentlemen to better emulate their fashionable ideas of beauty. Yep, being a goddess wasn’t good enough. So they hacked her to bits and glued her back together like rough-handling Pygmalions. Because blokes.

The other one was my favourite print of Regency era dancers, arms upright and curved, no sharp-angled elbows akimbo like you see so often in period bonnet-pieces. I used to be (still am, a bit) an extreme nerd for that period and it annoys me when they don’t get the details right when it’s so easy to just look at the print and there it is, you can see how they danced, no need to guess.

Yes, you might have noticed that I don’t like huge liberties taken with history. Mainly because it’s just lazy and sloppy, but also because it’s unfair (as I don’t have access to see the real deal, be it costumes, mode or location), and it’s also bloody dangerous (to put misinformation out there).

Especially when folks take most of their history from the screen these days. Not just dangerous, but rude and insulting, too. Like, because America erases Australian forces from every single war film, despite having served alongside American troops for a hundred years, I get ignorant comments from so-called friends like ‘oh, were you guys in WWII?’ and if we hadn’t been on the freeway right then I’d have told her to pull over so I could get out. Harumph.

But enough about that. Back to love, and this exhibition covered it, from the sublime and the pious to the darn silly, filthy, dirty and dangerous, from Pamela (ah, to think I’ll never see the full set of Pamelas) to the cards pointing out the lewd imagery within symbols to cads and trollops and sweet pics of people and their pets. Love in all its forms and guises, good and bad, love gone bad and outright misogyny and yet also innocence and sacrifice. Fashions, flirting and faith. 

It was a small and eclectic collection and I loved it. Again, because it was small and uncrowded I had time to pause and consider, admire and appreciate.

Pausing even more (I’m old, and my knees are gone) in a café crawl across Melbourne, but they have so many, and they’re so nice, and kitted out to an almost but not quite Euro-Disney way, like super concentrated Euro café vibes, but that’s exactly what I wanted and needed. Unfortunately, one is paying for the vibe, because the food was awful, but, as I reminded myself, that was authentic, too (I did break down and go the nasi lemak at the Malaysian café round the corner, on my last day).  Still, I got to curl into various corners with my increasingly battered Rebus book, and order a coffee or three.

Trawling around Fitzroy was a bust. I thought it was because I was doing it sober and in daylight, but the problem was I was doing it years too late. All the cool ugly-beanie people have been priced out (they’re even being shifted/shafted out of Reservoir, so I hear now) and it was all ladies-who-lunch.

Who alas spoiled what had been shaping up to be a good time in a heartfelt parody of a French café, with their reeking perfume and painted faces and they went on and on like the real housewives of Melbourne over whose husband was cheating and/or beating. It was so horrifying it made me happy to be ugly and alone and forget my shameful tears earlier in the week. Good lesson. 

Theatre was ripe, but I’d seen most of the shows already in Sydney, so I saw The Book of Mormon, because it’s supposed to be a big deal. I didn’t mind it. I was just there mainly because I love Melbourne’s old theatres, though I loved it slightly less when the queue for the loo stretched out into the road (male-designed architecture vs women’s anatomy and fashion – discuss).

I had a wildly overpriced cocktail and spotted friends of my happy-clappy rellos sitting in the row in front of me – mutually busted, but oddly I get on better with them than the rellos so it wasn’t as awkward a meeting as it might have been.

That wasn’t the night I ended up in Little Bourke Street, though. Meant to, but decided on a burger and a night in front of the box watching Jude Law instead. Because Jude (and as I was missing him live on stage, watching the SBS screening of Young Pope would have to suffice).

Between Young Pope and Book of Mormon there was a lot of faith-based viewing going on, but there’s no escaping it these days, even if I take it no more seriously than a statue of Hercules. Besides, both kind of offered insights into the psychology of believers, scary and unsound as it appears to me. Sorry, I’m a rational humanist and will be until the day I die.

But anyway, yes, Little Bourke Street, in the rain, with all the neon dragons flickering in the puddles and bike couriers flashing up and down. Yep, totally a Blade Runner vibe there, damn shame I didn’t have my camera on me. The gongbao chicken was pretty great, too, though I had to settle for Tsing Tao to wash it down with.

Ah yes, my great White Rabbit crawl across Melbourne. I just cannot get dark ale in Sydney. They sell me these funky pale ales that always taste like possum pee. I lurve White Rabbit. They had it at Jackson and Young, in Chloe’s bar, where the famous/infamous painting of Chloe resides. It’s a landmark. It’s a lovely pub, too. Shabby genteel.

I also popped into the Melbourne Museum to see the WWI: Love & Sorrow exhibition. This was so distressing, and I was still fuming over Patty Jenkins’ comments about no-one knowing about WWI.  She meant Americans, though, as Mechad explained at the con, they don’t do remembrances there (he’d seen an ANZAC day service and was still affected). We do two a year, once on ANZAC day (25 April) when we wear rosemary for remembrance, lest we forget, and once on Armistice Day (11 November) when we wear poppies. We will remember them.

So I get there and there’s a packet of tiny souvenir playing cards like my Great Uncle had. I just reeled on from that, past the photos, drawings and casts of men without limbs and faces missing, past the letter from a child to her daddy, and the telegram that arrived instead, past the story of the soldier who came home, drank and beat his wife, then drowned himself. Past the wife who sent baby shoes to her husband from their newborn son, only to have them returned, unopened. Past the mother who waited two years to find out what happened to her son who was MIA, and when finally told he’d been blown to bits, drowned herself in the dam on the family farm. Past the mower that belonged to a blind soldier, who tended his garden by way of guide lines.

We remember them. I don’t know what the Americans do. Make cute adventure films sans ANZACs, I should guess.

So then I rambled about through the anatomy wing, where there were cases upon cases of 18th and 19th century bone saws, which is why most people (unless you make American movies) know that’s where the slang term ‘sawbones’ comes from.

Also hit the dinosaurs (just casts, but they’re always visually so cool) and the geology section (I’m from a family of geologists so I still know my igneous from my metamorphic). Zipped through the ocean and wilderness sections, because it was too much like work (my brain started pulling up work files, so no).

Café trawl was ok, I found a few nooks to hide in, and most made an effort with atmosphere. Weirdly, almost entirely staffed by French waiters, to add to the authenticity of the experience. I don’t know what France is doing for waiters. Maybe they’re all Australian? I never did get back to the café that had the absinthe, though, damn.

The con was more fun than I was expecting. Caught the 57 tram out to the showgrounds every day, past delightful but soon to be demolished heritage buildings, and Jude Law glaring at me from various posters, just to remind me I didn’t go see him in London. It wasn’t at all as bad as the set up in Sydney or that awful one at the Gold Coast, so I zipped from building to building, using and abusing the priority pass I’d bought (just because I thought I’d be way more concussed than I was) so I didn’t have to queue quite so much. There was still queueing though.

Ok, highlights: Me, making Tom Hopper nearly cry by questioning Billy’s actions in the last couple of seasons of Black Sails. Billy’s been hurt and betrayed by those he trusted most, poor wee orphan, and I ought to know that. Consider myself told. Pretty young Mr Hopper also seemed confused why his costumes never included sleeves. I didn’t burst his bubble on that one.

Natalie Dormer revealed herself to be a hardcore history nerd and passionate advocate for Anne Boleyn (all those uncharacteristic talky bits in the Tudors were her idea). So I kind of love her now.

Mehcad Brooks was a total sweetie, talking to all his fans at eye-level, and being very gentle with the tweenie Supergirl fans. It sounds creepy but it was really just him being a really nice guy. Cory Michael Smith from Gotham just about ran off with my passport, because he wouldn’t, couldn’t believe it. And the pic I got with Lee Majors was as awful as always, but the squee going on there could power my laptop for several hours (childhood hero). Besides, he’s pretty much the last of the TV cowboys (Big Valley) and, you know, living history. I honestly didn’t mind him letting a little light onto the magic of my childhood shows. As always, the never meet your heroes edict applied to Buffy more than any other show I’ve ever been a fan of (besides Trek in its many incarnations) but there always has to be one.

Oh and the swishy dress with the huge petticoats I bought on a whim was worth it for the smile it evoked from young Mr Mitchell. Well, that and he was desperate for a signing. That, too, but, oh, such a smile. I shall remember that smile.

That was Melbourne: food, coffee, history and squee.

My pics: https://www.instagram.com/mockturtle06/

My links: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Just back from Melbourne. My first trip anywhere in a year, so that was special. Less special was the state I was in (food poisoning with virulent rash, worst camps ever, coming down with flu) but somehow I made it through the working day, made it onto the train to the airport, made it onto the plane, made it onto the bus, and the other bus, and finally the very lovely hotel with the soft fluffy robe, squishy bed and stacks of T2 tea. Oh yes, it did very nicely.

So I was right to pay up for a nice hotel room. This is how one survives travelling while unwell – a little bit of comfort.

Saturday it was up…just a few minutes more…up…just a few minutes more…well, I eventually wrenched myself out of bed and soft fluffy robe and staggered out into the bracing winter air of Flinders Street to wobble my way down Collins to spencer St, where I found the charming 1932 Café open, as Art Deco as. Here I feasted (made a pig of myself) on the veggie breakfast (I’d have taken a photo but I was too busy eating, due to an ick factor I’d not eaten/kept anything down in days). Delish.

Ok, yeah, there was an ick factor later but that was the evil hormones (still giving me grief). Kicking in so hard I had to give up my planned round of the shops and race back to soft bed and soft rob and lie down and go urgh for a couple of hours until I braved the world again.

I’d not been idle though – I’d picked up a What’s On mag and had identified the likely location of the poster of Greek pots I’d seen while circling the city multiple times on the hotel transfer bus. Turns out it was Gods, Myths and Mortals at the Hellenic Museum , and it, I think was my favourite. They should have called it Bad Boys, because we started with some stunning statues of Herakles and Paris, and ended up with a painting of Byron, no less. Troublesome lads, to a man. It was very small, only a few rooms, but each piece was a cracker, and I had the place to myself, so I could study every piece in quiet, meditative detail, without being jostled by a busload of tourists like at a large European gallery. Lovely.

Next up it was a walk down the street to Inspiration by Design: Word and Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum at the State Library Victoria which I’d been looking forward to, but I think I was a bit tired, and upset over losing my glasses, so it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also crowded.

The glasses, oh yes, on my way back to the hotel I’d lost my reading and sun glasses, expensive prescriptions all, so I was very upset with myself and buying a new bag, while blaming the old one and it’s lack of zips, didn’t help, nor did the chai tea.

Anyway, tram up the hill to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (as opposed to the other Ian Potter art gallery) and more old pots (what I will put myself through for a peek at an old pot, eh?). Anyways, some really nice pieces, again, all to myself, again. Very much a gentlemen’s collection of ephemera, but I liked it.

Then it was a quick stop in the nearby garden and I finally contact my friend who says they’ll be picking me up in an hour so it’s on a tram! And another tram! Which stops, turns, and goes back so off the tram! And run! And change! And Phew!

We ended up, eventually, after a car ride that felt like three hours but must have been minutes as we were only going as far as Fitzroy, in this Asian Fusion joint with many lanterns called Rice Queen. After more back and forth the banquet was finally decided upon, which I enjoyed immensely, the parade of mystery dishes, all delicious, including Korean fried chicken (the best) and the Earl Grey infused gin cocktails, which I kept lining up. I’m sure they think I’m a lush but I needed some nerves deadened and it worked a treat (I have also discovered a Hogarthian Darwinian inheritance which means I can put away buckets of gin with no ill effects whatsoever. Yay).

After dinner we walked the wild crazy, colourful streets of Fitzroy at night, I bought the most outlandish shirt of primary coloured parasol print ever, and ended up in an ice cream shop with one of the guys from Real Life. Melbourne enough for ya? The ice-cream was delish too, an Argentinian caramel.  

The next day, ok, yes I sleep in a bit long but I had the blast curtains closed, and anyway, I could see the NGV from my hotel. Off I trotted to see the main attractions: Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600s–1900s which had enough sprigged muslin to fetch Mr Tilney all a quiver. Then Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhoodmy boys, my boys, my beautiful boys. The PRB, the original bad boys punks, givers of gloriously twee paintings and lurid wallpaper, but I love them so. It was mainly prints and studies, but I saw a few new pieces, and I’m always happy to see my beloved, actual red flag waving socialist, William Morris so enshrined.  

Funnily enough, later, at dinner, they plated Roxy Music’s Avalon, because I hadn’t had enough Arthurian themes for the day – grin.

Last, and sadly possibly least and they didn’t have all the cool stuff out that they used to, was Nordic Cool: Modernist Design: From the NGV Collection but it was still pretty cool and I love me some mid fab 20thC gear (especially as I was still all a jingle jangle from seeing the very promising Man From UNCLE trailer).

Then it was a quick trot back to the hotel to change into the exquisite Art Deco-esque cloak I’d bought (more than pushed into the purchase by watching Phryne on IView and the Art Deco gowns in the V&A exhibition at the NGV) and up Spring Street (huff huff huff) to sip luridly pink cocktails in the bar at the Princess Theatre to see Anything Goes.

Well, original book by Wodehouse, songs by Cole Porter, you knew I would. I must. I did. Aside from the couple we were all hoping would go home and finish their domestic, it was brilliant. Very, very silly (pure Wodehouse, even though it’s been so re-written) and, well, I never knew how much I’d wanted to see a tap-dancing chorus line of sailors, but apparently I did, and I’m so very pleased I have now done so. Tick.

So that was great. (Later I was describing how they finished with the Chinese version of Anything Goes, like from Temple of Doom, which Himself dismissed with a withering, shrugging critique of ‘Short Black, Flat White, whatever he was called’). Snort.

Then dinner, not at my favourite Chinese (still roiling from my other favourite Chinese) so I went to this Thai fusion place, where they played Roxy Music, ordered the specials (char-grilled king prawns in red curry, mandarin sorbet), rolled back down Spring St.

Last day and breakfast in my favourite café, then six and a half hours to get home, only one of them on the plane. Grrr. I tell ya, I was bearing up on every challenge thrown at me, until I got back to Sydney. I’d even found my glasses, hooked to the back of my jumper, of all places (but phew). But then Sydney. Defeated, again, ground down and smeared like paste. That’s Sydney.

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Just back from Melbourne. My first trip anywhere in a year, so that was special. Less special was the state I was in (food poisoning with virulent rash, worst camps ever, coming down with flu) but somehow I made it through the working day, made it onto the train to the airport, made it onto the plane, made it onto the bus, and the other bus, and finally the very lovely hotel with the soft fluffy robe, squishy bed and stacks of T2 tea. Oh yes, it did very nicely.

So I was right to pay up for a nice hotel room. This is how one survives travelling while unwell – a little bit of comfort.

Saturday it was up…just a few minutes more…up…just a few minutes more…well, I eventually wrenched myself out of bed and soft fluffy robe and staggered out into the bracing winter air of Flinders Street to wobble my way down Collins to spencer St, where I found the charming 1932 Café open, as Art Deco as. Here I feasted (made a pig of myself) on the veggie breakfast (I’d have taken a photo but I was too busy eating, due to an ick factor I’d not eaten/kept anything down in days). Delish.

Ok, yeah, there was an ick factor later but that was the evil hormones (still giving me grief). Kicking in so hard I had to give up my planned round of the shops and race back to soft bed and soft rob and lie down and go urgh for a couple of hours until I braved the world again.

I’d not been idle though – I’d picked up a What’s On mag and had identified the likely location of the poster of Greek pots I’d seen while circling the city multiple times on the hotel transfer bus. Turns out it was Gods, Myths and Mortals at the Hellenic Museum , and it, I think was my favourite. They should have called it Bad Boys, because we started with some stunning statues of Herakles and Paris, and ended up with a painting of Byron, no less. Troublesome lads, to a man. It was very small, only a few rooms, but each piece was a cracker, and I had the place to myself, so I could study every piece in quiet, meditative detail, without being jostled by a busload of tourists like at a large European gallery. Lovely.

Next up it was a walk down the street to Inspiration by Design: Word and Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum at the State Library Victoria which I’d been looking forward to, but I think I was a bit tired, and upset over losing my glasses, so it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also crowded.

The glasses, oh yes, on my way back to the hotel I’d lost my reading and sun glasses, expensive prescriptions all, so I was very upset with myself and buying a new bag, while blaming the old one and it’s lack of zips, didn’t help, nor did the chai tea.

Anyway, tram up the hill to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (as opposed to the other Ian Potter art gallery) and more old pots (what I will put myself through for a peek at an old pot, eh?). Anyways, some really nice pieces, again, all to myself, again. Very much a gentlemen’s collection of ephemera, but I liked it.

Then it was a quick stop in the nearby garden and I finally contact my friend who says they’ll be picking me up in an hour so it’s on a tram! And another tram! Which stops, turns, and goes back so off the tram! And run! And change! And Phew!

We ended up, eventually, after a car ride that felt like three hours but must have been minutes as we were only going as far as Fitzroy, in this Asian Fusion joint with many lanterns called Rice Queen. After more back and forth the banquet was finally decided upon, which I enjoyed immensely, the parade of mystery dishes, all delicious, including Korean fried chicken (the best) and the Earl Grey infused gin cocktails, which I kept lining up. I’m sure they think I’m a lush but I needed some nerves deadened and it worked a treat (I have also discovered a Hogarthian Darwinian inheritance which means I can put away buckets of gin with no ill effects whatsoever. Yay).

After dinner we walked the wild crazy, colourful streets of Fitzroy at night, I bought the most outlandish shirt of primary coloured parasol print ever, and ended up in an ice cream shop with one of the guys from Real Life. Melbourne enough for ya? The ice-cream was delish too, an Argentinian caramel.

The next day, ok, yes I sleep in a bit long but I had the blast curtains closed, and anyway, I could see the NGV from my hotel. Off I trotted to see the main attractions: Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600s–1900s which had enough sprigged muslin to fetch Mr Tilney all a quiver. Then Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhoodmy boys, my boys, my beautiful boys. The PRB, the original bad boys punks, givers of gloriously twee paintings and lurid wallpaper, but I love them so. It was mainly prints and studies, but I saw a few new pieces, and I’m always happy to see my beloved, actual red flag waving socialist, William Morris so enshrined.

Funnily enough, later, at dinner, they played Roxy Music’s Avalon, because I hadn’t had enough Arthurian themes for the day – grin.

Last, and sadly possibly least and they didn’t have all the cool stuff out that they used to, was Nordic Cool: Modernist Design: From the NGV Collection but it was still pretty cool and I love me some mid fab 20thC gear (especially as I was still all a jingle jangle from seeing the very promising Man From UNCLE trailer).

Then it was a quick trot back to the hotel to change into the exquisite Art Deco-esque cloak I’d bought (more than pushed into the purchase by watching Phryne on IView and the Art Deco gowns in the V&A exhibition at the NGV) and up Spring Street (huff huff huff) to sip luridly pink cocktails in the bar at the Princess Theatre to see Anything Goes.

Well, original book by Wodehouse, songs by Cole Porter, you knew I would. I must. I did. Aside from the couple we were all hoping would go home and finish their domestic, it was brilliant. Very, very silly (pure Wodehouse, even though it’s been so re-written) and, well, I never knew how much I’d wanted to see a tap-dancing chorus line of sailors, but apparently I did, and I’m so very pleased I have now done so. Tick.

So that was great. (Later I was describing how they finished with the Chinese version of Anything Goes, like from Temple of Doom, which Himself dismissed with a withering, shrugging critique of ‘Short Black, Flat White, whatever he was called’). Snort.

Then dinner, not at my favourite Chinese (still roiling from my other favourite Chinese) so I went to this Thai fusion place, where they played Roxy Music and Bowie, ordered the specials (char-grilled king prawns in red curry, mandarin sorbet), rolled back down Spring St, past the Burns statue.

Man, Melburnians are no respecter of the little green man, as I nearly had my arse taken off again crossing the road, on the lights. Sheesh. To drive far more aggressively than your average Sydneysider is a sure sign you’ve got problems, buddy. Deep, deep problems.

That was the only thing that bothered me about Melbourne. Well, that and the feeling that the whole trip was a test of some kind. I lost my glasses case, with my very expensive glasses inside, only to find them a day and a half later (In the place I’d looked, half a dozen times). Then the lock on my luggage jammed up completely and after jiggling, twisting, begging and pleading with it to no avail I’d made a hot cup of tea and rehearsed how I was going to call down to the desk and ask if, by any chance, they had the tools to break into luggage. Before that I went to the loo and gave the bag a kick as I went past, just ‘cause. Well, you can all guess what happened, can’t you. Pop, open, all innocence, like, was there a problem? Hmmm, such moments are sent to try me.

Last day and breakfast in my favourite café, (because I felt like I’d been cheating on it, seeing other cafes, all weekend) then six and a half hours to get home, only one of them on the plane. Grrr. I tell ya, I was bearing up on every challenge thrown at me, until I got back to Sydney. I’d even found my glasses, hooked to the back of my jumper, of all places (but phew). But then Sydney. Defeated, again, ground down and smeared like paste. That’s Sydney.

Anyways, that was a lot of fuss and bother to see a few old pots. That’s me, completely mad.


more...photos )
mockturle06: (boyfriends)

Just back from Melbourne. My first trip anywhere in a year, so that was special. Less special was the state I was in (food poisoning with virulent rash, worst camps ever, coming down with flu) but somehow I made it through the working day, made it onto the train to the airport, made it onto the plane, made it onto the bus, and the other bus, and finally the very lovely hotel with the soft fluffy robe, squishy bed and stacks of T2 tea. Oh yes, it did very nicely.

So I was right to pay up for a nice hotel room. This is how one survives travelling while unwell – a little bit of comfort.

Saturday it was up…just a few minutes more…up…just a few minutes more…well, I eventually wrenched myself out of bed and soft fluffy robe and staggered out into the bracing winter air of Flinders Street to wobble my way down Collins to spencer St, where I found the charming 1932 Café open, as Art Deco as. Here I feasted (made a pig of myself) on the veggie breakfast (I’d have taken a photo but I was too busy eating, due to an ick factor I’d not eaten/kept anything down in days). Delish.

Ok, yeah, there was an ick factor later but that was the evil hormones (still giving me grief). Kicking in so hard I had to give up my planned round of the shops and race back to soft bed and soft rob and lie down and go urgh for a couple of hours until I braved the world again.

I’d not been idle though – I’d picked up a What’s On mag and had identified the likely location of the poster of Greek pots I’d seen while circling the city multiple times on the hotel transfer bus. Turns out it was Gods, Myths and Mortals at the Hellenic Museum , and it, I think was my favourite. They should have called it Bad Boys, because we started with some stunning statues of Herakles and Paris, and ended up with a painting of Byron, no less. Troublesome lads, to a man. It was very small, only a few rooms, but each piece was a cracker, and I had the place to myself, so I could study every piece in quiet, meditative detail, without being jostled by a busload of tourists like at a large European gallery. Lovely.

Next up it was a walk down the street to Inspiration by Design: Word and Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum at the State Library Victoria which I’d been looking forward to, but I think I was a bit tired, and upset over losing my glasses, so it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also crowded.

The glasses, oh yes, on my way back to the hotel I’d lost my reading and sun glasses, expensive prescriptions all, so I was very upset with myself and buying a new bag, while blaming the old one and it’s lack of zips, didn’t help, nor did the chai tea.

Anyway, tram up the hill to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (as opposed to the other Ian Potter art gallery) and more old pots (what I will put myself through for a peek at an old pot, eh?). Anyways, some really nice pieces, again, all to myself, again. Very much a gentlemen’s collection of ephemera, but I liked it.

Then it was a quick stop in the nearby garden and I finally contact my friend who says they’ll be picking me up in an hour so it’s on a tram! And another tram! Which stops, turns, and goes back so off the tram! And run! And change! And Phew!

We ended up, eventually, after a car ride that felt like three hours but must have been minutes as we were only going as far as Fitzroy, in this Asian Fusion joint with many lanterns called Rice Queen. After more back and forth the banquet was finally decided upon, which I enjoyed immensely, the parade of mystery dishes, all delicious, including Korean fried chicken (the best) and the Earl Grey infused gin cocktails, which I kept lining up. I’m sure they think I’m a lush but I needed some nerves deadened and it worked a treat (I have also discovered a Hogarthian Darwinian inheritance which means I can put away buckets of gin with no ill effects whatsoever. Yay).

After dinner we walked the wild crazy, colourful streets of Fitzroy at night, I bought the most outlandish shirt of primary coloured parasol print ever, and ended up in an ice cream shop with one of the guys from Real Life. Melbourne enough for ya? The ice-cream was delish too, an Argentinian caramel.  

The next day, ok, yes I sleep in a bit long but I had the blast curtains closed, and anyway, I could see the NGV from my hotel. Off I trotted to see the main attractions: Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600s–1900s which had enough sprigged muslin to fetch Mr Tilney all a quiver. Then Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhoodmy boys, my boys, my beautiful boys. The PRB, the original bad boys punks, givers of gloriously twee paintings and lurid wallpaper, but I love them so. It was mainly prints and studies, but I saw a few new pieces, and I’m always happy to see my beloved, actual red flag waving socialist, William Morris so enshrined.  

Funnily enough, later, at dinner, they played Roxy Music’s Avalon, because I hadn’t had enough Arthurian themes for the day – grin.

Last, and sadly possibly least and they didn’t have all the cool stuff out that they used to, was Nordic Cool: Modernist Design: From the NGV Collection but it was still pretty cool and I love me some mid fab 20thC gear (especially as I was still all a jingle jangle from seeing the very promising Man From UNCLE trailer).

Then it was a quick trot back to the hotel to change into the exquisite Art Deco-esque cloak I’d bought (more than pushed into the purchase by watching Phryne on IView and the Art Deco gowns in the V&A exhibition at the NGV) and up Spring Street (huff huff huff) to sip luridly pink cocktails in the bar at the Princess Theatre to see Anything Goes.

Well, original book by Wodehouse, songs by Cole Porter, you knew I would. I must. I did. Aside from the couple we were all hoping would go home and finish their domestic, it was brilliant. Very, very silly (pure Wodehouse, even though it’s been so re-written) and, well, I never knew how much I’d wanted to see a tap-dancing chorus line of sailors, but apparently I did, and I’m so very pleased I have now done so. Tick.

So that was great. (Later I was describing how they finished with the Chinese version of Anything Goes, like from Temple of Doom, which Himself dismissed with a withering, shrugging critique of ‘Short Black, Flat White, whatever he was called’). Snort.

Then dinner, not at my favourite Chinese (still roiling from my other favourite Chinese) so I went to this Thai fusion place, where they played Roxy Music and Bowie, ordered the specials (char-grilled king prawns in red curry, mandarin sorbet), rolled back down Spring St, past the Burns statue.

Man, Melburnians are no respecter of the little green man, as I nearly had my arse taken off again crossing the road, on the lights. Sheesh. To drive far more aggressively than your average Sydneysider is a sure sign you’ve got problems, buddy. Deep, deep problems.

That was the only thing that bothered me about Melbourne. Well, that and the feeling that the whole trip was a test of some kind. I lost my glasses case, with my very expensive glasses inside, only to find them a day and a half later (In the place I’d looked, half a dozen times). Then the lock on my luggage jammed up completely and after jiggling, twisting, begging and pleading with it to no avail  I’d made a hot cup of tea and rehearsed how I was going to call down to the desk and ask if, by any chance, they had the tools to break into luggage. Before that I went to the loo and gave the bag a kick as I went past, just ‘cause. Well, you can all guess what happened, can’t you. Pop, open, all innocence, like, was there a problem? Hmmm, such moments are sent to try me.

Last day and breakfast in my favourite café, (because I felt like I’d been cheating on it, seeing other cafes, all weekend) then six and a half hours to get home, only one of them on the plane. Grrr. I tell ya, I was bearing up on every challenge thrown at me, until I got back to Sydney. I’d even found my glasses, hooked to the back of my jumper, of all places (but phew). But then Sydney. Defeated, again, ground down and smeared like paste. That’s Sydney.

Anyways, that was a lot of fuss and bother to see a few old pots. That’s me, completely mad.

mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)

So I did finally get to see a bit of Vivid. Of course, as nothing is ever easy in my life, the very, the one night I’d put aside for my own entertainments, for once, was suddenly mightily impinged upon by work demands again. Oh well, I had until dawn, right?

So it was a late start to the evening a rushed tea, but oh so nice and spicy in the Thai café around the corner (I had the larb, of significant spiciness compared to what the local place, long since burnt down in suspicious circumstances, one fatality, used to offer).

Anyway, we caught the train to Circular Quay, which solved half the problems from last year (me being knackered by the time I’d walked there) but not the fact that the Olympus, which, to be honest, had never really worked properly had chosen today, of all days, to not work at all or ever again. No, off to the festival of lights, with no camera.

Fortunately it’s the 21st Century and even my humble phone offered a camera of sorts and I think I managed a couple of not too wobbly shots. I was also saved by this year’s Vivid, if one was only wandering about the installations and not attending a ticketed event, was somewhat meh. When the light installations are less inventive than the window of a convenience store, I think you’re in trouble.

So no giant glowing bunnies or anything of that ilk. I did get to see the Customs House illuminations from the train platform, which was the perfect viewing platform, upon exiting the train, and that, I think was the highlight.

The Opera House was lit up with hand dawn illuminations, giving it a very Tom Tom Club or Machinations feel.

Nothing else really did it for me (oh, how jaded) except the weird late 70s/early 80s jaggy looking animations on Cadman’s Cottage, that looked exactly like something from a Baker or Davis era episode of Doctor Who, the ghostly dresses down in The Rocks, and in Martin Place, which was mostly dead and dull, there were some weird plant looking things that made bubbly electronica sounds, so they looked and sounded like they should have been in a Hartnell or Troughton era Doctor Who story.

Ok, yes, you can see what I like, and why isn’t Doctor Who like that anymore, I wail. Still, wasn’t it nice to see the Skaro regeneration project coming along so nicely.


More...photos )
mockturle06: (Avengers)

So I did finally get to see a bit of Vivid. Of course, as nothing is ever easy in my life, the very, the one night I’d put aside for my own entertainments, for once, was suddenly mightily impinged upon by work demands again. Oh well, I had until dawn, right?

So it was a late start to the evening a rushed tea, but oh so nice and spicy in the Thai café around the corner (I had the larb, of significant spiciness compared to what the local place, long since burnt down in suspicious circumstances, one fatality, used to offer).

Anyway, we caught the train to Circular Quay, which solved half the problems from last year (me being knackered by the time I’d walked there) but not the fact that the Olympus, which, to be honest, had never really worked properly had chosen today, of all days, to not work at all or ever again.  No, off to the festival of lights, with no camera.

Fortunately it’s the 21st Century and even my humble phone offered a camera of sorts and I think I managed a couple of not too wobbly shots. I was also saved by this year’s Vivid, if one was only wandering about the installations and not attending a ticketed event, was somewhat meh. When the light installations are less inventive than the window of a convenience store, I think you’re in trouble.

So no giant glowing bunnies or anything of that ilk. I did get to see the Customs House illuminations from the train platform, which was the perfect viewing platform, upon exiting the train, and that, I think was the highlight.

The Opera House was lit up with hand dawn illuminations, giving it a very Tom Tom Club or Machinations feel.

Nothing else really did it for me (oh, how jaded) except the weird late 70s/early 80s jaggy looking animations on Cadman’s Cottage, that looked exactly like something from a Baker or Davis era episode of Doctor Who, the ghostly dresses down in The Rocks, and in Martin Place, which was mostly dead and dull, there were some weird plant looking things that made bubbly electronica sounds, so they looked and sounded like they should have been in a Hartnell or Troughton era Doctor Who story.

Ok, yes, you can see what I like, and why isn’t Doctor Who like that anymore, I wail. Still, wasn’t it nice to see the Skaro regeneration project coming along so nicely.

mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)
Parity no more alas. Please let me have paid off my romp at the Sorrento hotel in Seattle. And it was a romp. Oh my, was it a romp, but I wouldn't change a single second or scrimp a cent. I've never had so much fun, and, should I not again, the memories of the Hunt Bar will keep me warm for a while.
more: dissembling )
mockturle06: (mr flibble)
A surfeit of Ponds. A plague of Ponds. Still, it was rather funny. Walked in the door to find Matt Smith Doctor Who on the telly. Sadly, I'd missed the whole fish custard scene (which I still can't get over it being almost completely cut in the BBC America version, especially as it's an important scene, as in constantly referred back to, so nice one, BBC editors) but I did get my bum on the couch in time for the great 'I'm the Doctor' line.

So that was Pond #1.

Pond #2 was on Supernatural, of all places, with Jewel Staite from Firefly no less, using the alias Amy Pond. Coincidence? Homage? Severe drought in available character names?
more: noodles )

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