Thursday, June 21, 2012

Earthquakes, real proper mountains, and how we rocked those shops (shopping in a cold climate part 3)

Maintaining my gonged and zen-like calm, the grand tour moved north to Victoria.  Still crisply chilled, but the frantic pace meant we kept warm, or at least didn't have time to feel the cold. I did invest in some (fake)fur scarves and I must admit I toyed with some vintage fur coats. 

We saw Grace Kelly's dresses, jewellery, handbags, sunglasses, et al, in a splendid exhibition in Bendigo. Fabulous, just fabulous. Loving Daylesford and Bendigo, could return any time and highly recommended, even in winter.

Just love Geelong. 

I checked out their tip shop and unsurprisingly found it leaps and bounds ahead of the local one in Albany. Good opshops, too. My shopping guide found an Escada coat, and Ungaro jacket, Country Road patent boots, and a vintage 1940's pure wool tailored overcoat.  All mint condition and all genuine. 

We saw Napoleon in Melbourne, just brilliant.  We saw great independent shops with interesting, clever, innovative stuff (and bought some).  We went to Dorcas Street in South Melbourne. (say no more!) 

We ate great - and I mean really great - Schezuan food.  We ate lunch in a conservatory in Sassafras. (Book the table next to the Rosella parrots - wow.) There was an earthquake. 
The earth did not move for me, unfortunately.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

For Sale : Fridge, freezer, gym, chainsaw, baby. 9-1pm. (shopping in a cold climate - contd.)

I wonder which sold first, the chainsaw or the baby?  Since I needed none of these items, I looked elsewhere.

I didn't buy a deckchair.

Or a taxidermied deer.....

Damn handluggage restrictions.

Still nose-runningly brisk in the mornings and evenings but sunny, sunny, sunny and NO WIND - which is just delightful.  Yesterday, we sat outside in the sun and read for a while and it was lovely.

But I did find the coolest homeware shop in Devonport, (unfortunately bereft of cool homeware shops, on the whole) Mr Wolf.  Full to the brim of new and vintage and upcycled, beautifully displayed and coffee right next door.  A tiny pocket of aesthetic fabulousness in a desert of the mediocre and some who actually aspire to be mediocre. 

I write this is a spirit of zen-like calm, even 3 days after being gonged at the Quiet Cone in Latrobe. I went with a friend for an hour of absolute relaxation.  I sat on the mat wondering what was about to happen but I am now a complete convert and will be returning at every given opportunity. It's high on a hill with the most stunning views and I cannot rave enough.  Go, gong, it's brilliant.

Today we went to the Makers' Market in Burnie, a town where artists and crafters are truly appreciated.  Like Albany, Burnie's main street goes down to the ocean, and they are developing their foreshore alongside the working port.  Hopefully one day Albany will have the same mix of public buildings and boardwalks with public and private art, cafes, views, and  old and stunning modern buildings. From the papermakers, I gathered some handmade paper and some wombat-poo paper envelopes.  I kid you not.

We spent yesterday in Ulverstone, which is developing a real personality of it's own.  A great antiquarian bookshop and several excellent antique and collectible shops and markets, with some really good stuff at reasonable prices.  They too are developing their waterfront ( in this case the river bank) and it will look great.

 I picked up what was described as a candlelit film projector - primarily because I just liked it as an object.  Also, a glass negative frame which I believe will look great with a drawing mounted in it.  I seem to be running on a cine theme, as earlier in the week I picked up two great old cameras, with original cases.  Why two?  I couldn't choose.


And I went to visit some relatives.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Shopping in a cold climate - day 1

I've learned a lot this week, starting with that I'm too old to stay awake for 36 hours at a time and still be expected to think.  Damn you, midnight horror flights.  I'd planned to sleep but unfortunately Qantas was showing Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in the delicious Sherlock Holmes II and that took up the majority of the flight.  Sleep is for the weak, I thought.

The second thing I learned is that the sleep deprived have little resistance to retail spending at 5.45 am in the airport, when you have 3 hours to wait for connecting flight #3.  I found myself seriously thinking about buying Pandora beads, because it was that or eat Hungry Jacks for breakfast.  I wasn't hungry but luckily, neither was I cashed up.  I've done this sort of thing before and I'm well aware of certain...character flaws.  Some would say why bother opening at that ridiculous hour, but I can assure you I was not the only one wandering around stretching my legs and browsing.  I napped on flight #3 over Bass Strait.

After a nice cup of tea with the Sister, we adjourned to the local tip shop for a quick browse.  I intend to make more visits because you can, to a tip shop. We located not one but two new op shops - well, new to me, here. I got some knitting needles (can't really take them on the plane, and I'm on holidays in a cold place - emergency knitting may be necessary) - and a Jo Nesbo book for holiday reading.

After 12 hours reasonable sleep - for me - we mooched to Latrobe, where there were some interesting little shops open.  We spent quite a bit of time in Reliqueware - partly because its possible to just go round and round and keep finding more interesting things.  The dolls and repros aren't really my thing but as sheer display they are fantastic. The handmade things were great. The free fudge on entry was a bonus. 

The pop-up shop of my dreams is vacant, in the main street.

Bolstered by the sugar hit, we surged onward to one of the perennial favourites -the Antique Emporium.  Again, the imports and repros don't do it for me but there are always bargains to be had and the owner, like me, is a fan of the rusty and dusty.   The first thing which jumped into my hand was an Australian Monthly magazine - a kind of girly magazine from 1951 - but how can you not buy a mag with an article entitled 'Scientists explode bomb in woman's brain'?  It did not disappoint.

Two bags of steampunk pocketwatch bits, pocketwatch faces, an antique frame,  - oh the excitement.  On the way out I saw some brilliant cameras and illustrations - I shall return with expendable cash.  The Sister bought a lovely old tin car and a vintage Australiana tin - very nice. 

The bonafide antiques were lovely, of course, and the prices are generally pretty reasonable but unlike some I know I don't want to have to ship furniture from one side of the country to the other. But then I've only been here two days.