This week the Melbourne Food Festival and associated events get under way. These include the Slow Food Festival (I could nominate a few eateries for the time it takes to order, cook and serve a minute steak) and the Asian Food Festival. Details in the mainstream media and at Food & Wine Events.
During the colder months there are fewer festivals and outdoor events in Melbourne except for watching 36 men in coloured jumpers running around in the rain. It is worth checking out what is on offer at Artplay (near Fed Square). Most of our galleries and museums are free or cheap for children and many have lots of hands-on activities for kids (and some have increasingly little for grown-ups of any age). Details at Museums in Melbourne and Galleries in Melbourne.
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of how you sell it. If you want to go shopping at the factory outlets in Richmond and Collingwood, just tell the kids you’re taking them to a Kath’n’Kim themepark. The following weekend is the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival with steam trains running between Hurstbridge and Eltham throughout the day. It’s on a Sunday so it will cost you very little to get there by public transport. Details at Community Festivals in Melbourne.
“Dear Mr. Hat,
Your quiz question (and answer) about how we know when state Parliament is sitting made me think that your readers might like to know about tours of Parliament House & gardens -- one of the most magnificent buildings in this country. Whenever Parliament sits, members of the public can take free guided tours of PH, including both chambers where the pollies are doing their appointed work. The tours are led by some of the funniest people in Melbourne, the PH attendants, all of whom will happily call you "mate" for a small fee. Tony is especially good at giving tours. Visitors who come at 2 pm on Wednesday or Thursdays will see Parliament at its liveliest, during question time. I hope they remember to smile at the Hansard reporters struggling to record it all. And one day, Mr. Hat will show us the secret tunnels...
“Hello White Hat Just to help "Martin" out he needs to get a better map of Victoria as Clyde lies Just South of Berwick, on the appropriately named Berwick- Clyde Road
"I love receiving your newsletter, because it reminds me IT'S FRIDAY!!!
“Dear Mr White Rabbit I have to admit, your newsletter is a bit weird, but it is pretty bloody funny too!
This week a dance show called Ballroom opens at the Maj. Details at Dance in Melbourne.
August 30th celebrates the day in 1835 when John Fawkner’s party brought their boat The Enterprize up the Yarra and anchored it below the rapids in the basin (next to the now Queen Street bridge). Enterprize Day has been variously celebrated over the years as marking the foundation of the European settlement of the place which became Melbourne, although supporters of Batman would point out that Fawkner was a little (five foot two) Johnny-come-lately usurping the exploration already done by Batman.
In the end that become slightly academic as Batman died within a couple of years and little Johnny’s multi-faceted personality became intertwined with the development of Melbourne. Part upstart, part social reformer, part crook, a teetotal wowser who owned a number of pubs, successful a number of times, broke a number of times, prisoner, pillar of society, entrepreneur, busybody, capable of changing long-held views if faced with convincing evidence or argument (still a rare quality in public life), capable of rewriting history (unfortunately no longer a rare quality), and a great believer in education and self-education. Perhaps more than any single individual Fawkner personifies Melbourne and its development.
Although there is a replica of the Enterprize which regularly sails around the bay and beyond it can no longer sail that far up the Yarra because of the low bridges. Check the mainstream media for details of Enterprize Day celebrations – most likely as a backdrop to the television weather presenter.
The fashion bazaar is on again this Sunday (28th) at Fed Square. Details at Fashion in Melbourne.
The Friday Farmer’s Market at Fed Square has ceased to operate. One of the stall holders (after his second glass of organic elderberry wine) described his dilemma to me. “They teach them at school that unless it’s organic it’s bad, but they don’t teach them how to cook. I reckon I could make more money hiring them out a cane basket with a display of vegetables for a few hours and then they could bring them back when enough people had seen them.”
Starting this weekend is the Maltese Festival. Details at Ethnic Festivals in Melbourne.
The following week is an International Comedy Improvisation Festival. Details soon at Comedy in Melbourne.
This weekend is the Sunbury District Wine Festival, and during the week is the Ouyen Vanilla Slice Festival. If you can’t make it to Ouyen, just search out your nearest CWA event and you won’t be disappointed. Meanwhile Beaufort and Kyneton are battling it out with rival daffodil festivals. If there are any mysterious deaths in these towns you can be sure that a forensic palynologist will be called in to detect the regional origins of the mysterious yellow powder. Details at Country Victoria.
How well do you know Melbourne?
First a reminder of last week's quiz. Melbourne has numbers of institutions hidden off the main streets and tucked up back alleys. Where would you find:
- A bar that is an old science lab?
- A club for Scots and Engineers?
- A bar named after an hirsute songbird?
- A long-established jazz club?
- The Buffalo’s Lodge?
- A Korean restaurant?
“I don't know the answers to any of the questions but I applaud your research techniques and would like to order a copy of "Interesting, unyoosual and noyce little bars and restaurants of Melbourne" when it is finally published.
Thank you Lizzie”
“Dear White Hat, I got bored counting triangles at Federation Square after our yum cha in Chinatown today, so attempted the quiz once again. By the way, we have discovered some great little known restaurants in Little Bourke Street and decided it's not necessary to part with "Flower Drum" prices to get a good feed.
We had plenty of entries for this one (you seem to know your bars to well). Dave the Skip did point out the ant-social after-effects of eating kimchi and added “Don’t forget Robot in Bligh Place either. Good Japanese grub with MANGA!” So here is a quick summary of the answers:
Please note: This section of the newsletter has been removed as it forms part of a forthcoming publication.
Obviously we have no Scots or engineers as subscribers who knew the answer to number two.
Now to this week’s quiz.
In keeping with the food festival, here are some culinary questions.
- Name two dishes named after a Melbourne opera singer.
- What is a dog’s eye with dead horse?
- Where would you go this weekend to have a vanilla slice (have you been paying attention)?
- Where in Melbourne would you go for Malaysian food and jazz?
- What is a pie floater and which city invented this culinary delicacy?
We had a number of responses regarding the existence of Clyde, but I think we should leave the last word to Lizzie.
“I have been silent too long (my friends would find that is an unlikely state for me to be in!) and instead of just chuckling to the newsletter I must now respond.
I am usually an active participant in nonsense but your quizzes have intimidated me thus far, and nothing has stirred me into action - until NOW! I must respond to Martin who seems to doubt the existence of Clyde. In fact Clyde holds bitter/sweet memories for me. It is a charming little...um....(what do you call a town without a town) um ... place... which does in fact grow the best celery among other things. It has level crossing, a footy oval and a sweet little hall where, on a tragic night [some time ago] at a 21st birthday party, I had a nasty disagreement with my fiancée (nothing unusual there - I was a feisty young thing and difficult to get along with at the best of times) and tossed my engagement ring at him! We eventually parted, I don't remember the details - did he dump me that night? how did I get home? I only know that I never saw the ring again! I had designed it myself and to this day I still look in pawn shop windows hoping it may come into my life again. Oh - yes I miss him too...... Ah, the foolish things we do in our youth, given the same circumstances again, I would of course hang on to the ring and throw away the fiancée. Seriously though, I am a better person for the "Clyde incident" and now with maturity, not as volatile, and I often think of him and wonder could it have been different? I did try to contact him through his parents, but they weren't very co-operative.....I guess they don't know I've changed, discovered Buddhism, become calm and rational. Anyway, I digress, Clyde is alive and well and for at least one night many years ago, it was a hot bed of passion, conflict and turmoil. So I say to Martin, "TAKE A HIKE" well a drive at least - about an hour from CBD on a good day, head south-east, open your windows, and follow the smell of the celery. Yes, Virginia, there is a Clyde, it is real and it does have celery. But there is a Clyde in everyone's life Virginia...errr sorry... Martin, and just because some cartographer didn't see fit to put my Clyde, Lisa's Clyde, on some piece of paper doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Take a look at the 'Clyde' in your own life Martin, and know that it is real for you, and doesn't have to be acknowledged by a map to confirm it's existence. There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Martin, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. And to Lisa, my deepest respect to you for standing up for your little corner of the world. I understand your pride and loyalty. I once lived in Bunyip - the blowiest place on earth. The wind was so bad and so constant your washing would dry even in the rain! I'm proud of that little town and the people in it and its wind and wherever I roam it will always seem like home to me. (I believe it is also not mentioned on maps!) I rest my case. Apologies to Shakespeare (Hamlet) and The New York Sun 1897 (Letter to Virginia) PS Perhaps there needs to be a Society For People Who Live In Unmarked Towns (SPLUT). We could bring our plight to the attention of the world and confirm our existence. There could be meetings in Mechanics Institutes across the nation and our voice could be heard! Oops sorry getting a little carried away now...
(you're probably pleased now that I haven't written more often!)
Regards (*tongue firmly in cheek*) Lizzie”