Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dribs and Drabs Again

  • Every second dog in Australia seems to be a Jack Russell terrier. I like Jacks, but this is overkill!

  • It’s COLD in Montreal this week. That hasn’t happened since we got back from vacation.

  • Despite the cold, the magnolias are blooming. I love magnolias

  • The i-Phone has made it to Canada. People are lining up. It’s a PHONE people, get over it. It won’t do your laundry.

  • There's also a new phone service called Koodo. Their selling point? “Just phone and text”. No frills service that does what a phone should do – call people. No camera, no internet, no bells and whistles. That’s what I’d get if I finally joined the 21st century. Can’t help but wonder if it’ll catch on though, seeing as people love their gadgets so damn much.

  • A guy in Dallas was released from prison after 27 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit. Damn! Here's to DNA testing.

  • I noticed in Melbourne that lots of people wander around barefoot. In the middle of the city. How extremely bizarre…

  • I’m bored. The dry shrivelled husk of my brain is rattling around in my skull and the noise is very annoying.

  • I am perfectly sane.

  • Despite a recently overheard comment that "bloggers are nutjobs, 'cause who has the time to maintain one of those things".

  • I'm obviously at a point where I shouldn't be blogging if I can't find anything even remotely interesting to say. The muse, she has fled. Le sigh.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Dear City of Montreal,

You spent a year tearing up St. Laurent street (aka the Main, the street that separates Montreal into east and west). You were "upgrading" it, widening the sidewalks, spiffing it up, creating traffic havoc and a subatantial drop in revenues for the street merchants.

Now, it's done. Finally. Honestly, I don't see that much of a difference, but there you go.

So, this week what do you do? Tear up the sidewalks on St. Laurent to upgrade the gas mains. They must have already needed upgrading last year. Why not do it then?

You are idiots. Expensive idiots, since you're using my tax dollars to do the same work twice.

You've lost my vote.


Dear Wannabe Goth Girl,

If you want to be goth, you gotta be goth. A handbag shaped like a coffin and skull earrings do not a goth make.

You need the clothes, you need the makeup, you need the hair, you need the footware.

Otherwise you just look ridiculous. I'm sure even your parents don't take you seriously. Who are you kidding you're not a goth, you're totally preppy. Deal with it.

Just sayin'


Dear lady at the cash register.

Once the cashier is ringing up your purchases is NOT the moment to start runnning around the store looking for items you forgot. If you've only got half a brain, please make a list of what you need. The rest of us don't have time for your stupidity.

Irritatedly and with a list,


Dear Cashier,

You can, you know, cancel her purchases at the touch of a button and tell her to move to the back of the line when she returns. It's not that hard. Remember, it's the electronic age. Beep, and it's gone. I gotta get my ass back to work - as do most other people in line.



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And now, the visuals

Here's a start to the pics, I'll try and post more when I get a minute...

Funky Melbourne buildings in Federation Square:

And something much more staid, but ever so cool...

There are lots of these old houses in Melbourne with the lacy ironwork (I'll have to post a close up of that stuff...)

Melbourne Street art:

Shopping at one of the galleries - you'd swear you're in Paris or Brussels. Melbourne is oh-so- European. wich is oh-so-nice.

The mosaic at the gallery entrance (of couse the pic doesn't do it justice):

Meanwhile, in (on??) the Mornington Peninsula:

Mr. Jazz and I at the beach

At the Ashcombe Maze, I had difficulty making it through the rose maze, maybe because I had just discovered the macro function on my camera...

More ocean:

Some of the beach shacks in Dromana. People store their beach gear in these, and they're always all dolled up. Apparently they sell for anywhere between $60,000 and $100,000 bucks. For a 10x15 shack. Ouch. But they look good!

This is the type of sunset we had on the bay every evening (damn, I love my idiot proof camera):

In Rosebud (a town not far from Dromana) this statue commemorates what used to be the local cinema - now a shop of some sort.

Whereas this one commemorates the local dairy:

Sandstone formations at St-Paul's beach (one of the back beaches)

Waves at the Blowhole - another of the back beaches

Me... and my shaaaaaadow!!!

A tidal pool. The middle there is completely under water. The pic doesn't do it justice. They were absolutey spectacular.

The Melbourne skyline from across the bay

And a poor sunken rowboat - still tethered to the dock. It had probably been swamped during a windstorm that happened while we were there. I love that the sea can be so wonderfully clear 12 feet down...

And now I must proceed to work my little (or so the expression goes) tush off..

More Oz

I love the Mornington Peninsula south-east of Melbourne. We spent about a week in Dromana in a cottage loaned by our friends Furry and the Purple Goddess (no those aren’t the names their parents gave them, but these names suit them ever so much better).

It’s a great place. On one side of the peninsula you have a string of towns on the bay (the front beaches), and on the other side – about 15-20 minutes away by car – you have the back beaches, the real beaches with rolling surf and crashing waves (that’s sort of repetitive isn’t it?). God, the smell of the ocean! There’s nothing like it. It’s depressing to think that it’ll probably be a year at least before I manage to get anywhere near the ocean again.

In the middle of the peninsula you have vineyards, galleries, even an English style tree maze. And of course, as it's quite agricultural numerous animals producing quality manure for sale… There were tons of signs announcing manure for sale – except they call it poo.

“Poo for sale. $1 a bag”

Or better yet: “Free Poo”

It’s bizarre it is.

So we spent a week pretty much zig zagging all over the peninsula in our zippy little Hyundai Excel (le sigh), tagged with Queensland plates (Queenslanders are the Newfies of Australia, their Belgians, their Danes).

As an aside, why do people think Sarah Jessica Parker is so hot? I’m watching Sex in the City as I type (I finally had a moment of enlightenment and realized that just because I’m not online at home doesn’t mean I can’t type up a post, copy it to a stick and post it the next morning thus freeing up my lunch hours – who says severe jet lag addles the brain? – but I digress). I find her highly overrated lookswise, but then who cares what I think – plus she has nothing to do with Australia.

Once we got back to Melbourne we spent the rest of our time (except for an excursion back to the sea on the other side of he bay) wandering around the city for hours at a time. East Melbourne and its beautiful houses. Saint Kilda beach and its really really weird Japanese tourists, and this place and that place and no place in particular. As far as I’m concerned it’s the best way to discover a city.

Our travel style has changed in the past years. Whereas before Mr. Jazz and I would leave for a month with a backpack and pretty much wander across a country, now we both prefer to basically crash somewhere and get to know the area well. So cool to discover the places tourists usually don’t go. That little restaurant hidden around the corner, the park just off that office building… and it’s nice to get back from vacation actually rested rather than more exhausted than when I left. Of course, we don't know Australia other than the state of Victoria and parts of Queensland but that's all good, I'd rather know one area well than a whole continent hardly at all. Damn, I’m getting old.

(Oh, and for the record, I'm getting the pics ready, they'll follow soon)

Monday, April 14, 2008


Dear Bloggers,

I have really limited access right now, so I'll do the whole "rest of my trip" thing when I'm back next week - if work permits, which, with the CFH I doubt. I'll probably need a week just to patch up the damage. (Damn, I'm a bitch).

Anyway, more to come soon. A week in Dromana, wine tasting, the purchase of multiple bottles of Australian olive oil which is great, a cypress maze, more Vic market, aimless wandering around Melbourne (damn, I love this city). And hopefully pics if I can actually download the damn things...

Luvya all, and looking forward to catching up when I get back.



Thursday, April 03, 2008

Things to love about Melbourne

- Free exhibitions at the State Library of Victoria. You like books? This one's for you. It's an exhibition of illuminated medieval books from the 8th to the 15th centuries. Have you any idea how impressive it is to see these books and the amazing art that went into copying them? Take my word for it. They are spectacular, and in some cases over 500 years old. The mind boggles. Truly. I still have no words for it. You haven't been impressed until you see one of these books
- Rosellas. Those brilliantly coloured parrots that sit in the trees and screech. Noisy little buggers, but damn, they're cool. Melbourne (or at least the suburb where we are is so full of these birds, it's almost disconcerting.

- The Victoria Market . It's a huge market, with meat, fish, deli, fruit and veggie sections as well as everything from kitshy souvenirs to clothes to parakeets. Pretty much everything can be found there.

- The Melbourne bay.
- Melbournites. I mean, c'mon, where else do people hear you speaking a foreign language in front of a bus stop and ask if you need help before giving you all the information you need. Before you even ask them. Not in Montreal at any rate.
Tomorrow we're off to another friend's cottage by the sea in Dromana, and thus will probably be out of commisison blogwise for a week or so. But that's all good. At least I sure as hell think so.