Saturday, February 21, 2009

Goat tree

More things I love about Melbourne:

I can be grumpily walking down the road to catch a train yet find myself entranced by a tree that has been 'decorated' by an unknown someone who knows precisely how to make my day.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Free to good home ...

There are many things I love about Melbourne ... the fact that this can happily sit in a shop window without humour-deficient animal rights activists cracking the shits is just one of them :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Slow! Small (dumb) dog

When visiting Nelson in Noo Zulland at the start of this year (yes, I have some catching up to do on the blog front :-s) we had the good fortune to stay at the house of a friend of a friends (the best sort when it comes to free accommodation in nice places).

The house was perched high on a hill, with gorgeous views over Nelson and the ocean. The hill was so steep, in fact, that when you turned off the road you found yourself going down a driveway with zero visibility at one point, due to the sheerness (is that a word?) of the drop below.

While this feature made for several entertaining automotive moments of the 'oh jesus, we're going to die' variety, it also clearly posed a problem for the owners, whose dog liked hanging around the driveway ... just under the driveway crest that drivers can't see over as it happens.

In true Noo Zulland style, however, any risk to aforementioned dog was averted by this fabulous sign ~ which got right to the point. Perhaps government education campaigns could learn a few things from this approach?

Friday, October 10, 2008

What? No handicrafts?!?

I stopped by Uno the Extortionate Cobbler this afternoon to be reunited with my one and only pair of comfortable work shoes (those with wonky feet will know what I mean when I say that parting from them for any period of time is more than traumatic) and found myself waiting in line behind two members of the Bandidos motorcycle gang (according to their website their first leader was called 'Snotgrass', I shit you not).

As I waited patiently behind them (even though they took a long time I didn't feel the urge to get tetchy or ask them to hurry up for some reason), I watched them spend some time instructing Uno the Extortionate Cobbler on the precise location of the patches that they needed sewn on to their new leather waistcoats. [By way of context, Uno resides in one of the most expensive mall/plaza/thingies in the Melbourne CBD].

Uno, who is normally downright rude to customers, was the most attentive I have ever seen him. I could even see him making a mental 'do NOT fuck it up' note to self as they left his store and wandered over to join their colleagues who were sipping coffee at a nearby cafe. Not only did he not advise them of a cost, he also didn't give them a little 'your name is x, your item # is x and it will be ready by whenever I damn well feel like it' slip ... perhaps hulking great gang members are memorable and worthy of expedited ... dare I say 'free' ... service?

I subsequently learnt that the entire gang was in town for what was (euphemistically?) described by local media as a 'family weekend' ... wonder if it will involve picnics and joint prayer sessions?

So, I consider myself a little wiser for this experience ~ for some reason I had always just imagined that gang members were quite handy with the old needle and thread ... I used to have little daydreams about bikie sewing circles akin to boy scouts ... but it seems even the big boys have learnt the art of outsourcing. Guess you learn something every day.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Revealing my true self

I have often received flack from friends who know me, for my steadfast refusal to publish pictures of myself on this blog ... to reveal my true identity as it were.  

Well, the time has come ... for the curtain to be lifted, the shutters to be drawn, the sun to rise, the [insert shyte metaphor here]. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, please find a clipping from my old university that not only reveals my true identity, but also includes a headshot of me ...

... if, indeed, I am an 18 year old Japanese girl called Shuko Keji.

I was on the 7.42 train to work the other morning when I idly flicked through my old university's Alumni magazine and found this gem. My partner and I pissed ourselves laughing the rest of the way into the city. Within hours I had received an email titled 'mea culpa' from the comms manager at my old university, mortified that she had irretrievably offended me. I responded by thanking her for making my day and asking for another copy as a memento. 

What I think I love most of all, is the fact that Ms Keji is wearing a ginormous name badge in her photo ... perhaps the proof readers thought it was 'mislabel yourself Thursday' or some other such quirky cultural convention?

If only I was that cute and could get away with wearing yellow without looking like a jaundiced marshmallow ...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The weather in Sydney is fine.

So I was flying back from Noo Zulland on Thursday after another full on but fabulous trip home. 

My airline of choice on this occasion was Emirates (home of the sexy airbuses with the cool ceilings that have fake stars on them when they dim the lights). 

I had finished watching Juno (pretty good) and was working my way through dodgeball (complete bollocks but perfect for mind-numbing plane trips) when the intercom crackled into life yet again (I swear Emirates does more gratuitous, interminably long multilingual announcements than any other airline in existence). 

This time it was our swarthy and exotic-sounding captain, he of the masculine and sexy pilot voice (TM), saying:

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are beginning our descent and should arrive at our destination in 45 minutes. The weather in Sydney is fine and we should land in Sydney at 6.30pm local time." 

This announcement shouldn't have raised any eyebrows amongst the passengers, except for the minor fact that we were meant to be flying to Melbourne. The few of us who weren't in a plane-induced stupor looked quizzically at each other, wondering if we had made some sort of monumental cock-up. After a second or so our eyebrows concurred that it was in fact the pilot who had cocked up so we sniggered and settled back down to feeling dopey. 

Less than a minute later, however, our captain came back on the air again, sounding decidedly less swarthy and sexy, saying "Ah ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain again ... we are going to Melbourne, not Sydney", at which point the entire plane pissed itself laughing and the pilot giggled in a distinctly unsexy way before abruptly going off air. 

Contrary to popular perception, it appears that even pilots are human :-)

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I travel in to work by train most mornings (unless I miss it and then the joys of the #19 tram beckon). The line I travel on intersects with quite a few other lines at one point in the journey, at North Melbourne station.

As the train approaches North Melbourne, the nice Connex lady's dulcet pre-recorded tones come wafting across the intercom, telling us that the next station is North Melbourne, and that we should change there for the Sydenham, Williamstown, Werribee and Broadmeadows lines.

Until recently that is.

A few weeks back the Broadmeadows line (otherwise known as 'Broady' to the nasty-abbreviation-obsessed locals) got longer, extending past Broadmeadows to the new identical McMansion suburb of Craigieburn [aka, middle of effing nowhere but cheap as chips and very prestigious in an aspiring nouveau riche kind of way ~ check out for more information about the exciting opportunities offered by Craigieburn].

This is clearly the most exciting thing to have happened to the pre-recorded Connex lady for some time, cos' the amended message now goes: "The next station is North Melbourne, change here for the Sydenham, Williamstown, Werribee and [insert little dance of unmitigated joy and excitement here] CRAIGIEBURN! lines."

It is very exciting.

I am excited.

In addition to my excitement, it also makes me snicker every time I hear it, just another of the many perks of public transport I guess.