Saturday, 19 July 2014

Just a few more days

I will be leaving my lovely boy and his girls on Tuesday, so just a handful of days left to have a scoot round to some favourite haunts before I fly home. 

When I left the house on Thursday morning the sun was shining, but by the time I was standing on the station platform, two minutes later, I could see a big black wedge of rain cloud heading my way.  By the time I reached Armadale station and was walking down High Street on my way towards the legendary Chapel Street, big fat drops of rain were being blown around me.  It wasn't long before the weather became quite impossible and I ducked into a cafe for a peculiar mug of hot soup (grey dishwater and khaki kale) and a piece of sourdough bread.  Well, you get what you pay for, and in Melbourne $5 doesn't buy you much!  Anyway, it was warm in there, and the soup was hot, so it was money and time well spent while the rainstorm blew over.  After that I continued my walk in sunshine until I reached Chapel Street.  I had a wander round The Bazaar, which is a series of bric-a-brac shops, and there I saw something I haven't seen in, ooooh, about forty five years - a little tiny aluminium teapot like the one my grandmother used several times a day!
And there was this strange guy hanging around in there too.  If he is looking for a companion I know just the girl in Mornington!  (See post Two Weeks In, 5 July 2014)
There is the most extraordinary example of Victorian architecture on Chapel Street.  Goodness knows what the building was in its heyday.  It's looking very down-at-heel now, peeling and cavernous, but still beautiful and mysterious.  
Yesterday I went back to the Queen Victoria Market.  It was closed when I tried to visit three or fours week ago, but everything was up and running yesterday and I had a good mooch round all the deli shops in the covered market, 
and then the fruit and vegetable stalls which are housed under a huge expanse of canvas outside.  
Masterchef's (UK) John Torode recently did a television series on the food of his homeland and when in Melbourne he tucked into a doughnut from this original 1950s van!  He said "Now that's what I'm talking about".  I agree, good doughnut, but really excellent jam! 
From the Queen Vic market I walked back down Queen Street to catch the tram on Bourke Street, down to South Melbourne Market.  
Here's how Bourke Street looked a very long time ago.  Some of the trams still look familiar though!
I had a happy time wandering along the thoroughfares of South Melbourne Market.  It's a great place, and then I walked along Coventry Street because I couldn't possibly visit that part of the city without going into the Coventry Bookstore again.  It's my favourite bookshop on the planet.  It's only small but has a wonderful range of books, and great music in the background too.  On Thursday they were playing a Peggy Lee CD.  There's one now winging it's way to me at home, via the magic of Amazon!  When I hear it at home it will remind me of that lovely bookshop.
Today, and another Saturday morning breakfast time.  Little Tommy Tucker's was jumping, as usual.  The baristas are busy making coffee, doing what Melbourne is now so famous for, and the guy with the milk flagon is probably the most polite and helpful waiter in the whole wide world.  
Before I leave on Tuesday I have a plan to walk along to Little Tommy Tucker's and treat myself to a big bowl of creamy porridge (with toasted oats, brown sugar and a compote of rhubarb and apple) which will look like this.  That will keep me going until I get home on Wednesday afternoon!
At lunchtime today we visited the Oasis Bakery.  It is the most amazing place!  See below!
As well as hundreds of Middle Eastern spices and ingredients there was a cafe and takeaway selling all sorts of delicious things.  We had lamb wraps for lunch and they were yummy! 

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