Friday, 4 November 2011


First Up: 
... a specialist coffee and teahouse tucked away down a laneway off Carlisle Street in Balaclava. The address is 202, but that's a have to go around the back and it is behind 202. It's like knowing about a secret club. And it was a little like a secret club on the inside too, all deconstructed brick and hanging bulbs. Cool. 
 Their 'thing' is 'healing and sustainable food from scratch'. I am all for that, but really, the time it took for 2 coffees and 2 mueslis to come out, they may well have been growing, harvesting and roasting the beans, not to mention stewing the rhubarb and selecting each rolled oat according to its personal characteristics. It was all excellent, so who can complain, really and I am imagining the zen origins of the place mean that time is irrelevant and it is all about enjoying and savouring the moment and being content to sit and absorb.

The name comes from Bodhidarma, a 5th century monk who may have introduced Zen Buddhism to China and Japan. During a silent nine-year cave meditation retreat, he fell asleep and being so frustrated on his failure to stay awake, he cut off his eyelids to ward off sleep. According to legend, the world's first tea plants sprouted from the place his eyelids fell. I'm just not going to think too hard about that.

 Next stop: Rooftop Bar, Swanston Street. Artificial grass and young people galore. Once up there, the cloud disappeared and the sky became a brilliant blue.

 Aboriginal art at the NGV. Rich beautiful colours and amazing patterns. (below)

 Yarra River, big city.
 Melbourne Central Station. The shot tower and the Melbourne Central Cone.  Shot Tower...the brick you see in the photo was  completed in 1888 and is 50 metres high. It was saved from demolition in 1973 and was incorporated into the Melbourne Central complex in 1993. The tower produced six tonnes of shot weekly until 1961 when the demand for lead shot dwindled because of new firearm regulations.  

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