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Fairs & fetes
Indian food
Reader feedback
Festivals
The first clue
Family activities
Seminars
Theatre
Music
The White Hat Quiz

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Fairs & fetes

This week is the Friends of Romania Book Fair. For the child who has everything you can buy a copy of Harry Potter in Romanian. There is the Donburn Primary School night market on Thursday and in the country is the Bales Country Fair and clearing sale. Details at Fairs & Fetes in Melbourne.

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Indian food

There seems to be a Renaissance of good cheap Indian food in Melbourne. Look out for places with lots of swarthy faces (too many Anglos means the food has to be blanded down), spirited conversation and probably playing the Bollywood equivalent of Kasey Chambers. A new favourite for White Hat is Bismi’s Gold and Fork in Elizabeth Street near Lonsdale Street with its freshly made murtabaks and thali dishes. The Rich Mewah at 723 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn also offers good cheap food in this style from the subcontinent.

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Reader feedback

“Dear Mr/Ms Hat, or can I call you White,
Your most interesting article on your $2.50 train journey to Crib Point Via Bittern made note of the most enjoyable Kransky sausages at the Bittern market the beautiful apples and vegetables and the fun one can have collecting market junk, BUT you failed to mention the very best coffee available at any market is also available at the Bittern Market. Wonderful fresh Genovese Coffee is made right there and is certainly enjoyed by most people who venture to this fantastic Community Market every Sunday. The non profit market has been operating for over 25 years and has raised more than $200,000.00 in this time. I most heartily agree with your article and highly recommend that part of the world. "Not bad for $2.50 per head for the trip.
Regards Paul”

“Dear Wit Hat,
Thanks for the imaginary trip to Stony Point with the family foibles!

There, now you're humoured, let me ask a question about how Melb's history is rumoured: I've heard it said that politicians in the late 19th C sold off the sides of the Parades (Victoria, Royal, etc) where they narrow (Victoria St, Sydney Rd, etc.) for shops, pocketing some of the proceeds. We now suffer from their lack of planning and their self interest in daily traffic jams. Is there any truth in this? Keep up the good work...
Ian”

Ian, I know that Robert Hoddle’s original layout of Fitzroy and Collingwood was later changed by smaller subdivisions but I will need to go away to my resources to check on the narrowing once you get outside Hoddle’s Melbourne which includes the wide streets that still exist in Carlton and North Melbourne.

Thanks to Greg and Gillian who pointed out the current politically correct terms for BC and AD (as determined by those who make the decisions on who we should not offend and those who it is OK to continually offend) are BCE – “Before the Common Era” and CE “Common Era”.

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Festivals

On Monday is the remnant of the Lygon Street Festival as it is absorbed into the end of the Herald-Sun Bike Tour. This weekend there is the Port of Echuca Heritage Steam Festival and the following weekend is the Station Street Festival in Fairfield. Details at Festivals in Melbourne.

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The First Clue

When I had emerged onto Elizabeth Street I was disappointed. The events of that morning had led me to believe that I would be travelling back in time to a Melbourne some point in the nineteenth century. Instead everything was as usual. There were numbers of card tables with petitions outside the market and another one in the triangle of footpath on the opposite side of Elizabeth Street where a young lady was expounding the cause to the passing shoppers. I paused; spoke briefly, signed the petition and moved on.

“Why did you sign that?” I had forgotten I was wearing the newly-acquired white hat. “Because it was a good cause and I want to make a difference” I said. “How do you know it was a good cause?” said the hat. “It’s fairly easy” I said. "You could see from the posters and pamphlets on the stall that she opposes the right things.” “Ah, I see”, said the hat. “Did you read the full text of what you were signing?” “Probably not every word” I said and as I spoke I looked back over my shoulder. She was still there waving her right hand in the air admonishing the shoppers. “That’s probably just as well,” said the hat. “I think you have just signed The Pledge so you now have your first clue.”

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Family activities

This weekend is a special dog walking day at Royal Park called ‘Dog Day Out’. There is also a Boomerang Fun Day – I don’t know anything about it, but if it’s no good then people won’t come back. Details at Family Activities in Melbourne.

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Seminars

This weekend there is a seminar on Tasmanian convicts so all those Tasmanians with the front page ripped out of the family bible may wish to backfill some family history. There is also a lecture at Melbourne Uni on early Renaissance court life. This lecture is entitled Untangling the Mannerist Narrative. Details at Seminars in Melbourne.

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Theatre

There is a spate of smaller theatre performances at the moment – much of it associated with the Fringe Festival. Two which have caught our eye include an unusual take on Pinter’s Dumb Waiter and a performance called Meet Frank McAlister. One of our suburban companies is presenting West Side Story which is a major undertaking. Details at Theatre in Melbourne.

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Music

This week there is a travelling production called Puccini’s Greatest Hits at the Maj with an actor playing the part of Puccini and various divas playing the part of his leading ladies. The following weekend is the heavily publicized Opera in the Vineyards. Details at Classical Music in Melbourne.

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THE WHITE HAT QUIZ

How well do you know Melbourne? What prominent buildings have (or had) the following irreverent nicknames and why: 1. Jeff’s Shed 2. The House that Ross Built 3. Birdshit House 4. The Nash 5. Legoland and the Batcave 6. Battlestar Gallactica 7. The House of Stoush 8. Y&Js

Send your answer to quiz@whitehat.com.au

Now to last week’s quiz.

Some poetry questions connected with in Melbourne.

1. Where in Melbourne would you find the statues of two poets within a block of each other? 2. Where in Melbourne would you find a tree associated with a famous Australian poet? 3. What gardens in the Dandenongs were the solace of a well-known Melbourne poet? 4. CWC are the initials of what well-respected Melbourne poet? 5. Quote a phrase or two from your favourite piece of poetry about Melbourne.

Numbers of people sent in answers to question 5, some including poetry by themselves (which they did not want published but helped express how they felt about Melbourne) and poems by friends and relatives – some with special personal significance. In the nest week or two I will approach those readers to see if permission can be gained to place some of this poetry on a special page on our website together with some background information on the poets.

We had numbers of correct answers, but I think we should leave the answers to Wen:

“My name is Wen and I am in Year 11. We don’t speak English at home, but at school and with my mates I only speak English. I enjoy reading, and in year 8 I found there was another style of English other than school English and television English. This was in the poetry section of our library. Our school library has a large poetry section and there are only two or three of us who ever use it. I have a long train journey to and from school and this is now my special time to read poetry. I look forward to Fridays because then I can read poetry going to school and the White Hat Newsletter coming home from school. Here are the answers to the quiz: 1. There are statues of Adam Lindsay Gordon and Robert Burns in Spring Street. My favourite Adam Lindsay Gordon poem is “How We Beat The Favourite”. My dad likes to bet on the horses. 2. The Henry Lawson Tree is in Footscray Park which I plan to visit. 3. The Singing Gardens in the Dandenongs were the home and inspiration to C.J.Dennis. I am hoping to be able to visit there some time and maybe try writing some poetry in the garden. 4. CWC stands for Christopher Wallace Crab. I find his poetry hard to understand at times but I keep on coming back and I understand more and more each time”

Thank you Wen. If you get a chance, try downloading the MP3s of the series of conversations between two Australian poets, Peter Porter and Clive James, (including their school experiences with poetry) from the ABC website at: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/bwriting/default.htm I suppose for the record we should give the correct spelling of Chris Wallace-Crabbe. However, given the choice between having their name spelled correctly and someone reading and re-reading their poetry, I know which choice any poet is going to make.

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The White Hat Quiz

How well do you know Melbourne?

What prominent buildings have (or had) the following irreverent nicknames and why:

  1. Jeff’s Shed
  2. The House that Ross Built
  3. Birdshit House
  4. The Nash
  5. Legoland and the Batcave
  6. Battlestar Gallactica
  7. The House of Stoush
  8. Y&Js

Now to last week's quiz

Some poetry questions connected with in Melbourne.

  1. Where in Melbourne would you find the statues of two poets within a block of each other?
  2. Where in Melbourne would you find a tree associated with a famous Australian poet?
  3. What gardens in the Dandenongs were the solace of a well-known Melbourne poet?
  4. CWC are the initials of what well-respected Melbourne poet?
  5. Quote a phrase or two from your favourite piece of poetry about Melbourne.

Numbers of people sent in answers to question 5, some including poetry by themselves (which they did not want published but helped express how they felt about Melbourne) and poems by friends and relatives – some with special personal significance. In the nest week or two I will approach those readers to see if permission can be gained to place some of this poetry on a special page on our website together with some background information on the poets.

We had numbers of correct answers, but I think we should leave the answers to Wen:

“My name is Wen and I am in Year 11. We don’t speak English at home, but at school and with my mates I only speak English. I enjoy reading, and in year 8 I found there was another style of English other than school English and television English. This was in the poetry section of our library. Our school library has a large poetry section and there are only two or three of us who ever use it. I have a long train journey to and from school and this is now my special time to read poetry. I look forward to Fridays because then I can read poetry going to school and the White Hat Newsletter coming home from school. Here are the answers to the quiz:

Please note: This section of the newsletter has been removed as it forms part of a forthcoming publication.

 4. CWC stands for [...}. I find his poetry hard to understand at times but I keep on coming back and I understand more and more each time”

Thank you Wen. If you get a chance, try downloading the transcripts of the series of conversations between two Australian poets, Peter Porter and Clive James, (including their school experiences with poetry) from the ABC Book Talk page. I suppose for the record we should give the correct spelling of CWC [...]. However, given the choice between having their name spelled correctly and someone reading and re-reading their poetry, I know which choice any poet is going to make.

  White Hat  
   
You can find a comprehensive guide to markets around Australia at The White Hat Guide to Markets in Australia.