melbourne: market day

melbourne bikes golden bee
luna park coaster chinatown posse
Even though today has been hideous weather-wise, it's been a reasonable day as far as everything else goes... a little disappointing overall maybe, but not so bad.

And as the four images above illustrate, it's been very much an "all over the place" kind of day today... and because of the horrible weather I've been all about the layers... tee shirt, shirt over the top undone, hoodie over that and a scarf... and I've been taking things off and putting things back on and layering like the dickins all day long.

We started out fairly early this morning after I'd had about 4 hours sleep thanks to a combination of chatting with The Mutant and writing about chatting with The Mutant (amongst other things)... so there was no time for dilly-dallying this morning... although as it turns out there really was plenty of time for the dallying of the dilly.

Our first stop kind of set the tone for the rest of the day actually... we got down to the place we always like to visit on our Melbourne trips, Tropicana, just as it was opening for the day. But sadly the overly excited guy who runs the place wasn't there... and really, the breakfasts are average, the juice and coffee are tasty enough, but we keep going back in no small part because of him.

Plus the fact that as we were sitting outside enjoying our breakfast it started to bucket down... thankfully we were mostly under cover, but it was bloody cold and a bit wet.

And as I said, the whole thing set the tone for the rest of the day... things we've done before but somehow don't turn out as well as they have on previous occasions.

After breakfast we made an ill fated attempt to find a copy of the Adelaide Sunday Mail in Melbourne. Now I know it's not one of the fancy high brow papers, but really, we couldn't find one anywhere! But the adventures of looking for one did give us the opportunity to find a bunch of stuff... Or if not find them, then just photograph them.

The first was the rack of blue Melbourne bikes in Federation Square... and even though I haven't seen anybody actually using one in the last three days I still think they're a brilliant idea and it would be awesome if something like that was introduced in Adelaide (especially around Festival/Fringe time!). They're also highly distinctive, hence the photo.

The other thing we managed to find were the golden bees attached to the Eureka Tower on the other side of the river. We saw them last year from the Melbourne 360° tower but never got a chance to track them down... this time we did... almost by accident as we went in search of a paper.

We were mostly waiting for the Art Centre Sunday Market to open actually, so we wandered down Southbank for a while before heading back just after the market had opened. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors... like the fact that the market has been moved from the undercroft while they make some repairs down there, plus the forecast of rain and hail and thunder and whatever (of which, only the rain eventuated), the number of stalls was greatly depleted *sad face*.

That's not to say that we didn't buy things... we just didn't buy a lot of things. We went back to the Rocky Road stall we visited last year (and who, I think, sell stuff to my local 7 Day Supermarket) and the woman managed to talk me into a version made with dark chocolate and Orange Turkish Delight... which should be very tasty. Or wrong...

I also bought a pendant that I've been semi drooling over for the last three trips from Vince Story who does great Australian animal jewellery... and he had a very art-deco inspired cicada (at least I think that it's a cicada) which I just fell in love with. I need to take some decent photos of it once we're home (along with all the other stuff I bought)...

And due mostly to the walking and the carrying of stuff and just our general tiredness I think, plus how damn cold it was, both Ma and I got sucked into buying those buckwheat bags you heat in the microwave... mine is for my neck and stinks of clove and lavendar... and Ma's is for her feet and is actually filled with broad-beans that feel like pebbles. But I tried mine out earlier and I think it's going to be good especially at home when it's freezing cold, although I'm not sure I heated it up in the hotel room's fancy-ass microwave for long enough or quite right somehow because it didn't stay that warm for that long.

Once we'd finished at the Art Centre we hopped on the tram for St Kilda... which, just like every other time in recent memory, was packed to the gills (the tram that is, not the suburb of St Kilda), so much so that we never got around to validating our very expensive day trip tickets (we forgot there's a cheap Sunday day trip ticket... d'oh) until our return trip.

But for the same reasons of weather (actually more so, because it was colder down by the beach and there was a lot less protection) there were only a handful of stalls at The Esplanade Market, which sadly didn't include the people Ma has bought seahorse stuff from the last couple of times.

There was so little there in fact that the only thing we bought was a brooch from Matt Irwin's stall... there really wasn't much else to even look at, let alone buy from.

So once we were done with our first look and I'd snapped a great number of photos, including the Luna Park rollercoaster, we headed down Acland Street in search for lunch.

We did a full wander of the street, drooled a little in the window of a couple of the bakeries, Ma discovered that the Acland St Bakers Delight sells things we can't get in Adelaide anymore, so she bought up big... but after all the wandering we came back to Grill'd for lunch after enjoying to much last year.

In fact, Grill'd was the only portion of the day that was a repeat of something we'd done on a previous trip that wasn't a disappointment. Mmmm Crispy Bacon and Cheese burger...

We had a vague plan over lunch that since it was still reasonably early we could head back to the hotel, drop off our stuff then head off to Chapel Street. Fortunately that plan only lasted as long as it took us to get back into the CBD... it all just seemed like too much hard work for not very much of a reward... so we threw in that particular towel and decided instead to just wander around the city for a bit after attempting one last time to track down a Sunday Mail before I stopped caring whether or not we could find one.

But because we took the tram several additional stops up the road I did discover the Chinatown Posse street art that rounds out the photos.

However the wander didn't end up being as retail orientated as I first suggested... instead we went down to Federation Square (again) and went to the free Screen Worlds exhibition at ACMI which was okay, but not stellar... some of the interactive stuff was cool though... and I made the most of my very bendy hands and arms to put on an augmented reality shadow puppet show (essentially I made shapes and the computer projecting my shadow added stuff)...

Other than that it was a decent way to kill about an hour.

When we left the ACMI it was starting to bucket down with rain, so we figured we'd show up early for the Animation Shorts show... which was a good plan, because other than the "members" who get to go in first (grrr), we were right at the front of the queue with this nice Asian girl, a slightly crazy old German lady and an Indian couple and we all ended up chatting and having a good old time waiting in line.... Melbourne, hey!

There was also this old guy dressed up as a tram conductor giving people old tram tickets, old money "change" and a card about the documentary playing later in the week... it was very sweet and a great way to advertise their movie, although I did wonder if people would mistake the tickets for real tram tickets... (I got given a ticket very much like one I found in the back of my wardrobe a couple of weeks ago and a half penny from 1922).

After the movie we headed down to the corner and picked up some pasta (which was a bit m'eh) before coming back to the hotel to eat.

I left Ma in her room once again and it seems that other than watching the end of Who Do You Think You Are, all I've done tonight is sit at this little white desk banging away at my laptop. Which is my own fault and my own choice I know, but it will save me a bucket load of time tomorrow afternoon and Tuesday (I'm so glad that I'm taking Tuesday off) and will mean I can just chill out then... I just wish this chair was a little more comfortable.

But I still need to write something about the animation shorts and organise all my shit before tomorrow morning... I really don't want to be running around first thing trying to do it all...

I know, I know... woe is me... *wink*

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