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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

Oh goodness it’s lovely to be home!

Travelling and seeing new things (and also buying some of them) is lots of fun, but it’s extremely tiring, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with your surrounds, and again if it’s stinking hot which it has been in Melbourne of late.

This trip was designed specifically to be a just-Mini-FP-and-I thing, a spot of mother/son bonding before high school starts. I think we were sufficiently bonded and ready to call it a day on day five of our seven day trip. But despite some hot tired grouching we made it and we’re home in one piece.

The whole point of Melbourne had been that MiniFP was a little jealous of my occasional weekend trips to Melbourne with friends when I’d come back and rave about my favourite place to eat, a tiny Russian bakery called Babka in Brunswick St Fitzroy. So I decided I’d take him there and we’d spend an idyllic week eating gorgeous food, reading in the shade in lovely parks and generally just being the very picture of a healthy happy family. Tee hee. Just as frequently as our ‘happy family’ moments we were sweaty, cranky, lost, with sore feet and overwhelmed by choices or snapping at each other in our attempts to navigate/make choices/sort ourselves out.

So being that we never do this (and we’ve not flown together since I flew to Townsville for a feminist conference when MiniFP was about four) I booked cars to pick take us to Sydney airport and from Melbourne airport to our apartment. I was just happy not to wrestle the luggage on and off trains, but for MiniFP this was very definitely an *event*: his own private car!?? COOL! As a tiny extra treat I hired the Chrysler rather than the generic car and since they were waiting at the airport with a sign I got them to put MiniFP’s name on it rather than my own.

This is his “HOLY CRAP THAT CHRYSLER IS AWESOME!!!” face. You gotta love that kid.

So our first ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore’ moment was reading the signs offering meals plus pot for bargain prices.

The first time I spotted a sign like that (they were everywhere) it took me a moment to work out that they meant a ‘p0t’ of beer. I’m still not sure if that translates as midi/schooner/pint in NSW-ese. But we had some giggles over that.

The second moment of culture shock were the owners of cafes/food places in Lygon Street being outside on the footpath and striking up a conversation with you then offering you perks if you ate there (of the ‘your kid eats free if you eat here’ variety I mean). I wasn’t used to it and it meant we settled on a place quicker than might have been wise – our food was okay, but not stunning. But after a big plate of pasta we were set to browse, and picked up a Lonely Planet Guide to Melbourne, some groceries, went to Coco Black (I thought it was over-rated actually) and holed up at home for a dinner of salad sandwiches and season 7 of Buffy.

Our second day we went to Fitzroy by tram. It was stinking hot, I couldn’t figure out what the heck I was supposed to do about buying tickets on the tram, or where Fitzroy fitted in in terms of their ‘zones’ etc, and our destination (Babka) was closed. This led to a spectacular meltdown from MiniFP. He decided we should go to Mario’s instead (and honestly it’s a cool place to hang, but I don’t think the coffee or the food is ‘all that’) where sadly it was noisy inside and really overwhelmed him, so at our request they moved us outside where we proceeded to burn and I had to hold a brolly over us both. MiniFP was having some very Aspie moments in terms of being unable to regulate the volume at which he was panicking/getting agitated, and being a bit ‘short’ or snappy, and I can’t say enough good words about the staff at Mario’s accomodating the meltdowns/unusual requests/crankiness and umbrella-wielding in small spaces.

I bought two dresses from Dizingoff. I love them and though they’re not great pics, I’ll show you both because I’m excited about the purchases. The first is a short wrap dress made of black stretchy comfy material, kinda cut to be a little assymetric at the hem, and collared with this gorgeous midnight blue shiny material, with another patch at the waist:

Ok so you can only really see the shape there…I’ll find one of the collar:

I love the jaunty angles and the colour. I normally don’t wear blue.

The other is long with a panel of printed silk down the middle. It (as a lot of their dresses are) is designed so it can be worn about five different ways. Here it is (though blurry) worn simply and hanging down:

Mmm…apparently you need to click on the photo or I appear to have been ‘magicked’ out of the shot.

I love it. It’s ankle length and is kind of a wierd dress/pants combo, as in the material is looped from the back to the front through my ankles. Odd, but lovely. Very comfy.

Sigh…I also bought a pair of dark red patent leather Birkenstocks – all my other shoes were painful in comparison and my feet were *very* happy with my purchase – a ‘dendritic quartz’ ring (if you knew what that meant without being told, bully for you…all I knew was it looked lovely, all milky white with whispy black plant-y bits through it – apparently it’s quite rare and it actually is bits of plant fossilized in quartz. If that’s true, that’s pretty awesome [e.t.a it appears that that’s total bollocks. It’s not a bloody plant fossil at all but cracks in the quartz, other minerals and an oxidisation process. Nevertheless it’s very pretty. I just wish the woman had not felt the need to fib about it, I would have bought the darned thing anyway]…if it’s not true, it’s still a lovely ring) and a brolly lined with blue sky and white fluffy clouds. I really shouldn’t look at my credit card balance for a little while.

I met a friend for dinner that night and dessert at Brunetti – lethal desserts!!

The third day I finally felt like we settled in – got the hang of the transport system, relaxed into the trip a little.I won’t crap on too much about that day since I think I did in my last post. Ooh, but at ACMI, miniFP got to make one of those ‘flick books’ you know where you photograph yourself moving, and it’s printed into a little book, so that when you flick it the pictures flick past so fast it looks as though you’re moving? It’s pretty cool.

The fourth day we went to St Kilda to do Luna Park. We started with brunch at Il Fornaio at the beginning of Acland Street and got to tell them they were now in the Lonely Planet guide to Melbourne which they were pretty stoked about. Had a good coffee and good food.

In terms of Luna Park plans, I was just going to read in the shade while MiniFP went on rides, but after much pleading, MiniFP talked me into buying an all day ticket as well and going on the rides with him and we had a ball. We stayed til 10:30 at night and ate dinner at St Kilda markets next door and saw the sun go down at St Kilda beach. I’ve bagged St Kilda before, but I can admit I could see it was pretty spectacular that day in the sun and in the evening. Those two days (3 and 4) were probably our best.

Day five we travelled out to Williamstown to visit an old school friend. Despite not having seen each other for about ten years it went pretty well. Despite the fact that she’s quite a bit more conservative than I am, we still found common ground and were able to talk quite refreshingly honestly for one of those ‘haven’t seen you in forever’ style catchups. MiniFP was adorable with her four and seven year olds, pushing them on the swings, teaching them magic tricks and just being genuinely thoughtful and helpful. It was stinking hot though and I faded before I could accept her offer of dinner, instead aiming for home and Buffy and order-in Yum Cha which so far as I know doesn’t exist here. Sadly for me it was another place that was still closed from the Christmas holidays. Made a mental note to selves to return for a holiday when it was less hot and less places were closed.

We were burning the candle at both ends a bit: up til midnight most nights watching Buffy together then having long days out in hot weather. But I think we really felt like that sort of time away and together, just the two of us was so rare that we needed to take full advantage.

By day six though I think we were starting to feel pretty over it. It was going to be 38 degrees. We went to Lygon Street for breakfast as it was only two blocks away, got some supplies for lunch, and were about to head home when I ran into some relos of mine. I actually like these people quite a bit. He is my maternal grandmother’s nephew. I think. I’m confused now. But anyway…they’re nice people. We used to swim at their house on Boxing Days and they had the best pool I’ve ever seen and a spiral staircase. For kids from working class homes their place seemed palatial. They had a son who was big into Go-Karts and any kind of racing, and who somehow managed to make it into the racing scene. They were such a close family. Then one day he took a corner badly on Philip Island and that was that. Christ that was a sad funeral. I think he was something like 23 at the time? Ugh. Anyway. I saw them – they live in Newcastle…how delightfully random a bumping-into was that?

Then cos it was so hot we ducked into a cool little design store in the hope of airconditioning and I found the lovely brolly with it’s promises of massive UV-blockage so of course I just *had* to buy it!

We saw Avatar that night. Hmm…it *looked* amazing, but in terms of story (and particularly in terms of scripting) it was pretty tedious in large segments. But I’ll crap on about that another time.

On Sunday after finishing season 7 of Buffy we just COULD not get out of bed. We finally woke up at 12:20! After some serious mooching waiting for it to cool down we headed to the Yarra hoping to find a stretch of shaded grass. We were at the wrong stretch of the Yarra for that. Eventually we had coffee to recollect then skipped our other plans for Sherlock Holmes. I think we were just so over being away from home by then!

After the movie we walked all the way to the other side of town and I ate dumplings and pork buns while MiniFP ate Maccas (WHY would anyone choose to do that in Melbourne I ask you??)

So anyway, after waiting forever at the airport (our flight went through the domestic terminal) we are finally, blessedly HOME!!! I don’t quite know what to do first other than rub myself up against my sheets and pat everything! HOME!!!

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