You know there is something enigmatic about a suburb when it loses letters from its name as time goes by. Known as Spottiswoode in 1882, by 1903, an e had gone west, and three years later a t and and i were no longer required. You can feel the loss of these lower case characters in the air. The sense that something has happened here.

And there are buildings which accentuate this feeling. The collection of buildings which are the old sewage pumping station exude mystery. No wonder that the location scouts for Mad Max and, strangely enough, Spotswood, rubbed their hands in glee and fell upon this suburb with an ardour far exceeding moderation. It’s a cinematic suburb.


i spoke about wings, you just flew

I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hands
I had flashes
But you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
While you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
You were there in the turnstiles
With the wind at your heels
You stretched for the stars
And you know how it feels
To reach too high
Too far
Too soon
I was grounded
While you filled the skies
I wondered I guessed and I tried
You just knew

get in behind

If you build it, they will come. And if you are Nathan Toleman, Ben Clark and Diamond Rozakeas, they will come in their hordes apparently. Or should that be herds? Top Paddock is the latest jewel in the cafe crown from the Melbourne royalty behind Three Bags Full (now run by new owners) and Two Birds, One Stone.

Catchy café names which reference sayings or nursery rhymes. It’s clearly the recipe for success. Plus great fit-outs, good coffee, baristas who are in the zone and have that frown that develops having stared at the coffee flow all day, and organic food with a smattering of middle-eastern sounding ingredients.

For me, Top Paddock conjures up rural New Zealand. As, perhaps it would, given I come from the country that still boasts the highest number of sheep per member of the population. 7.5 at last count.

According to the Economist. But ego-centric referencing aside, I’m picking Top Paddock has nothing to do with New Zealand. The name also makes me think of the game Squatter, which some kindly Australian visitor bestowed on us when we were children. It’s like the Australian outback version of Monopoly. With sheep and sheep stations. And threats of drought and bush fire. Very realistic. 
There is also an Australian term, ‘kangaroos loose in the top paddock’. If someone says this about you, well, I have to say, it’s not looking good. They’re saying you’re intellectually inadequate. I’m trying to make a link to the new kid on the Richmond block. I’m not sure. 
Anyway. Get in behind. And get away up to the Top Paddock.

Cold coffee

My friend, Vicki, always sagely maintained, ‘you can’t reheat cold coffee’. She was referring to getting back together with someone you had broken up with or an old flame. I had various arguments against her proclamation. What if the coffee didn’t actually get cold. It was sitting on the back burner while you worked out some other stuff…Or what if the coffee was really good quality coffee in the first place. Then I bet it tasted fine once you reheated it….Or, sure, reheated coffee tastes different, but is that necessarily a bad thing?

In this instance, I don’t want to talk about relationships. Clearly, that’s a field way too fraught with peril. What I want to explore is this nostalgic look over our shoulder that we (or those who dictate fashion, entertainment, food trends) do when things are dredged up from the past, the dust is brushed off them, brilliant marketing and rebranding hypnotise us and we forget why that thing has been shelved for the last 20 years and present or receive it as genius or cult or retro/cool/hipster.

Exhibit A: Monopoly. London street names and railway stations…who could ever pronounce Marylebone? Buying property, putting houses on it, charging rent. WHY was this such a great game for kids? Capitalism 101. And the games went on FORever. As does the life of Monopoly, apparently. Hasbro have just conducted a month-long poll, enlisting its social media friends by announcing the poll on YouTube then running it on Facebook. Very street. (Ha! See what I did there? … Monopoly is all about buying streets…what? oh you got that already? Very good, I’ll continue…) The long and the short of it is that the iron has been thrown out the window to be replaced by a cat. The vice president of Hasbro explained in what I believe was one of those condescending slow I’m-explaining-this-to-you-but-I-know-you-have-no-idea voices (which is possibly encapsulated in the ‘condescending slow’ part of the sentence), ‘that monopoly fans are very passionate about their tokens’. Boy howdy. Just as well the iron has gone. We don’t want anyone getting passionate about such a misogynistic representation of female oppression. A cat makes much more sense.

And I’ve heard rumours about Monopoly, the film….Ummmmm. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

And speaking of films. Star Wars. Surely, surely, the intergalactic coffee is well and truly cold here. But no, we’re pouring it from whatever receptacle it’s been in for the last 40 years, purposefully not seeing the mould growing on top of it, pouring it into a Toby jug and nuking it in a 1970s Sanyo microwave.

Star Wars spin-off films. In addition to the three sequels already announced. I think there have been enough spin-offs already. I think a few planets have already spun off their axes in interplanetary collective despair. But sure, the characters of Bobo Fett, Yoda and Hans Solo have not yet fully been explored. Let’s do that. The Skywalkers have had enough airtime. Not to mention the Ewoks.

Sometimes enough is enough. Less is more. Surely.

I’m off for a herbal tea.

welcome to the inner workings of my mind

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. Live music in unique settings. Such was the seed that grew in the heads of Jerome Borazio and Danny Rogers. Leading new music, community, lovers of the fresh, urban collectiveness. It started with great bands in their bar in Melbourne’s CBD. It got bigger than the bar and spilled into the lane. It got bigger than the lane. Fourteen hundred people attended the first laneway festival in 2004. Now the goodness has spread across Australia, into New Zealand and Singapore. The Melbourne festival has moved out of the CBD and into Footscray on the banks of the Maribyrnong. Four stages, thirty artists. The choice was extraordinary.

First up were the lovely Danish duo, The Kings of Convenience. To be honest, if I had only seen them, I’d have been happy. Lovely, lovely vibe. They seemed genuinely happy to be there and playing for Melbourne.

Chet Faker, Schlohmo, Alt J, Ms Mr from New York who seemed overcome that so many people had turned up to listen to them AND knew the lyrics to their songs, Snakadactyl…it was a feast.


When you walk outside and it feels as though you are walking into the fiery inferno of hell, (which I realise is a redundant statement, but I’m doing it anyway because I am hot. And bothered. And I don’t care a jot if, in my need to emphasise how hot it is, I fly in the face of literary style…) you crave anything that will cool you down, if but for a moment. Largely, so that, your temperature lowered, you can deal with people who ask, “Hot enough for you?”, and provide them with an answer which is vaguely more respectful than the biting comment swelling in your brain and threatening to erupt.

Not that I’m complaining, heat is good, sunny hot summers are all good. I am just particularly hot and bothered.