Canning Street.

Canning Street evening

 

My cycle rides  into and home from work are two of my favourite times of day. Melbourne’s grid layout makes it ideal for biking, with generous cycle paths sweeping right through the suburbs. Morning is good time to clear the cobwebs, as I speed downhill into the city towards my first coffee of the day, often amongst a peloton of other two-wheeled commuters; one morning last week I counted 35 of us. Naturally I make it my mission to overtake anyone outrageous enough to wear lycra.

At the end of the day it’s a lazy cycle home towards the park and remaining evening sun, or a tipsy twilight peddle after a drink or two in the town. Sometimes I catch myself making ‘racing’ noises, swooshes as I turn corners – and that’s when I have words with myself. It’s made me realise I could never live in a place where I couldn’t safely cycle every day.  A bike, to me, is absolute freedom, and heck if you have more than that drink or two, you just leave it where it is – who’s going to steal a 27 year old Malvern Star?

Steps.

Studio steps

The cure to writer’s block? Typing. So here I type.

Once the morning haze had shifted, the light in Melbourne was so pretty today. Every day I take my lunch out to the fire escape in my studio and feast my eyes on this private view of the city, nine stories up.

Today it was courgette fritters and leaves. Except they call them zucchinis here. I’ve given it some deep thought (on these steps) and actually I prefer this; making them sound more exotic than the bitter little bastards they really are. I joke, no need to pull that face courgette.

Anyway, I suppose you’ll notice the bird netting surrounding my little oasis of calm, a ghostly barrier. I think it’s a rather touching metaphor for life.

Let the pigeons in and they will shit everywhere.

XXX

IMG_0499

 

Open House Melbourne.

At the weekend Melbourne’s most interesting buildings opened their doors to be trampled through by voyeurs and nosy neighbours. I love a bit of through-the-keyhole so couldn’t resist heading to check a couple of them out. This is Hive Graffiti apartments in Carlton which was designed by architect Zvi Belling, whose flat we got to nose around. The integrated graffiti on the building’s exterior spells out ‘hive’ – Belling collaborated with Melbourne artist Prowla.

It’s great to see a building incorporating the street art that covers so many of Melbourne’s buildings. It also created some pretty cool window shapes. We sadly weren’t allowed to take pics inside the house, but think Bond on a bit of a budget: sleek, white, bachelor-ish. The other building I went to see (in the University campus) was way-boring so I shan’t bother sharing.

Open House Melbourne runs yearly.

Civil Civic.

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

I went to see the excellent Civil Civic last night at the Sebright Arms. Hailing from Melbourne, these are some seriously cool dudes. At first I wasn’t sure about seeing a non-vocal band. But three songs in and finding myself at the front dancing my face off and sweating it out with the best of them, it dawned on me maybe I was fine with it…

Cockettes.

 A couple of weeks ago some pals and I ventured down Test magazine‘s screening of The Cockettes at Bethnal Green Town Hall. Test are doing a series of screenings chosen by designers, who pick films that inspire them and chat about it before. The Cockettes was picked by Fred Butler, who lo and behold turned out to be a lady and also turns out to have a very nice website.

The second astute observation of the evening was what a bloody lovely building the Bethnal Green Town Hall is. Perfectly restored in its Art Deco glory and with a couple of fancy restaurants and a very nice hotel inside, I want to go back. The free bar probs helped too.

The third findings were that The Cockettes documentary needs to be seen by every living creature. It’s bonkers and brilliant and ballsy and loads of other b-words. Following a drag commune in 70s San Francisco, there’s costumes, glitter, nudity and hallucinogenics. Dreamy. Do yourself a favour and watch it.

Batty England.

Whoever dreamed up Morris Dancers needs a head check/medal. As seen in a tiny park in central London yesterday…

Broken.

I visited the much publicised Museum of Broken Relationships exhibition at the weekend. It’s on at the Tristian Bates Theatre in Seven Dials until the 4th September, check it out if you’re in town. Having started in Zagreb, the exhibition has gathered pace as it tours the world and shows a collection of donated artifacts that have been left in the wake of a finished relationship.

Morbid though it sounds, it is also bittersweet, witty, tragic and essentially very human. Each item is accompanied by a note of explanation; some are epic and others are simple such as a Mercedes Benz badge joined with ‘No time to explain’.

One of the most touching in its simplicity was a nasal spray, with the note: ‘He bought this to stop his snoring. I could not go to sleep because of his snoring. Now I can’t go to sleep because of the pain of heartbreak.’

In the wise words of the Dude. It’s like losing the family dog. It’s very sad, and you have to bury that dog. Then you have to go to the pet shop and you have to get yourself a puppy.

To the shops!

Must.

Last week I went to see the E.O. Hoppé exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. It runs until the 30th of May, and if you’re in London, I implore you to go. It’s totally breathtaking. Hoppé’s portraits of people from the literary, arts and political worlds sit alongside images of people in the streets, arguably making him the first street-style photographer. (I’m sure his blog would have been amazing…). The intensity and the light in the photos can only be truly appreciated in person, and you get this enormous sense of the interest and intrigue Hoppé had for his subjects. Go!

The Beautiful and the Damned.

Taken this morning outside the tents at Somerset House whilst freezing both buttocks off,

 but not nearly as cold as my friend Jo who’s dedication to fashion I admire from inside my thermals.

It’s Automatic, Systematic, Hipstamatic.

 

 

I popped along to the Hipstamatic exhibition at the tiny Orange Dot gallery over the weekend. Some really cute and atmospheric snaps to be seen – some I could hardly believe were taken with an iPhone app. It reminded me that I must use mine a bit more…so watch this space, I’ll try and post an attempt in the next few days! Below are some close ups of pics on display, if you’re nearby drop in for ten minutes, its near the Curzon Renoir Cinema.