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Fairs & fetes
Market bargains
Lectures & forums
Local tourism expo
Ern Malley - A Remarkable Australian
Get some exercise
Melbourne’s Hidden Gems
Reader Feedback
Fashion
From the White Hat Inbox
Classical music
Country Victoria
The White Hat Quiz

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Fairs & fetes

This weekend there is a tattoo fair in Melbourne. Have yourself tattooed with ‘Mother’ in preparation for that special surprise for Mothers’ Day. Mt Dandenong pre school centre has a Chestnut Festival and Wilmott Park PS has a market. The following weekend is a Mothers’ Day Fair at Como. Since the organisers submitted a photograph with a white hat they have a graphic included with their listing. Details of all these at Fairs & Fetes in Melbourne.

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Market bargains

In previous newsletters we have mentioned when and where the food bargains are to be had at the Vic Market and the Preston Market. Time to mention the Prahran Market. Approaching closing time (around quarter to four) on a Saturday you will find the fishmongers and butchers at the Prahran Market are selling out the remains of certain stock. Unlike the Preston Market where you might be presented with huge trays of mid quality meat, at the Prahran Market you are likely to find smaller trays of better quality produce – ideal buying for DINKS – at typically $5 per tray or $15 for 4 trays. With a bit of planning a couple can buy the basics of the next weeknight’s meals for $20 plus vegetables. You need to be a little careful – beware of deep sea whiting fillets removed from their frozen packaging and masquerading as fresh local whiting – but you can pick up some real bargains well below cost. Similarly the deli section will usually have specials towards the end of the day – just the place to pick up some antipastos for a picnic.

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Lectures & forums

This Wednesday there is a lecture on ancient Turkish art at Melbourne Uni and a talk on ballet in China called Mao’s Last Dancer. Unfortunately they are both on the same day and we know that most of you will be so fraught at having to make a choice that you will probably stay home. Details at Forums in Melbourne.

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Local tourism expo

This Sunday at Fed Square is a mini-expo featuring representatives from the recent bushfire-ravaged Grampians encouraging you to go and see the Grampians in a different light.

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Ern Malley - A remarkable Australian

Several newsletters ago we said we would mention that remarkable Australian – Ern Malley. During the 1940s a group of poets, painters and philosophers calling themselves the Angry Penguins had their spiritual home at Heide in Melbourne. They promoted modernist art and writing. However some saw examples of this sort of art as pretensions and empty. Two such poets set out to create a fictitious character, write some bad pretentious poetry under his name and submit them to the Angry Penguins. The APs, under their leader Max Harris, were sucked in and declared the discovery of a stunning new poet (who had unfortunately died in the war). The real story was later revealed and remains one of the most successful hoaxes of its kind in the literary world.

Such debunking can prove most effective. In 1996, Alan Sokol, a professor of Physics at New York University, submitted a bogus paper to the post-modernist academic publication called Social Text. The paper was full of self-contradictions and nonsense (such as might be found in disreputable publications on April the first) and written in suitably meaningless post-modernist jargon. The eminent professors on the editorial board accepted it with glee because it appeared to support their prejudices, only to find after its publications that they had been hoaxed and shamed.

Around the same time in Australia the writer Helen Demidenko (who represented herself as being Ukranian) won the Miles Franklin Award for her autobiographical novel The Hand That Signed The Paper in 1995 and made much of her 'real life experiences'. She was eventually revealed as Helen Darville from Sydney (to the embarrassment of large sections of the local literary community who had lavishly praised the 'authenticity' of her voice because her revisionist history supported their prejudices). A play called Mrs Petrov’s Shoe which makes reference to the Demidenko affair is currently playing in the city. See Theatre in Melbourne..

Ern Malley’s story, however, has an interesting twist. Many critics feel that, although the hoaxers had attempted to write bad poetry, they inadvertently had written good stuff. In fact their Ern Malley poems are probably their most-read and best remembered poetry. Maybe if Picasso had tried to do a parody of a bad painting he would end up with something that was artistic. Meanwhile the hoaxee – Max Harris – is now well respected as a poet and publisher despite the major quantities of egg still clinging to his face.

We have included Ern Malley on our list of 200 Significant Australians. By some oversight we seem to have overlooked mentioning the fact that he never existed.

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Printmaking

For those of you interested in printmaking there is an exhibition and ‘meet the artists’ this Saturday in Highett. Details at Exhibitions in Melbourne.

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Get some exercise

This Sunday is Bike Path Discovery Day so lever the kids off the couch and shove them on a bike. Then on Wednesday it’s the wrinklies’ turn with a monthly bike ride for seniors. Details at Cycling in Melbourne. Also on Sunday is the annual race against Puffing Billy. Details at Steam Trains in Melbourne. I don’t know why I’m telling you this because Sunday is forecast wet and windy and you’ll just stay home on the couch and watch videos and eat chocolate.

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Melbourne's Hidden Gems

A romantic picnic in artistic surroundings

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

“Hi!
Thanks so much for your service. It's great to have an overview of what's happening in and around Melbourne. I had a thought that might be helpful... have you tried Google's new free Calendar service (calendar.google.com)? One feature is that you can share calendars with other users. I'd love it if you had an event calendar available that I could subscribe to with my calendar. You can "overlay" lots of different public calendars on your own (they get colour-coded). I have subscribed to others, such as movie release dates, etc. and thought it would be great to have a White Hat one! You could even have different ones according to categories perhaps? It would be great to get an overview in that way. The web just keeps getting better. Just a thought.
:-) Dean.”

Thanks Dean – we will investigate.

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Fashion

Next week there is a fashion house opening in Fitzroy. If you would like details and an invitation send us an email to fashion@whitehat.com.au

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From the White Hat Inbox

We received the following personal message:

“hi from portc. joshs mum had this huge fight with her boyfriend so we have to leave portc soon. the whole gang were down at the weekend and helped paint the kombi. crystal painted flowers on it and karl painted peace symbols and it looks really cool. craig made con & ruby replace the tyres cos he sez they weren’t legal and craig is good at the legal talk. if i cant find anywhere to park it in MEL can I park it in your front drive?
love nat.”

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Classical music

This weekend the Opera Australia production of Rakes Progress commences, The Flinders Quartet celebrate Shostakovich’s 100th birthday and Melbourne Chorale present one of Verdi’s most operatic works – his Requiem. Details at Classical Music in Melbourne.

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Country Victoria

This weekend is the Bunninyong Film Festival, the Cockatoo May Fair, the Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally, the Deans March Apple & Cider Festival, the Deans March Pioneer Festival and the ‘Drive Back in Time to Beechworth’ Festival. For details go to our home page and select the appropriate weekend from the drop-down menu of event in country Victoria.

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The White Hat Quiz

How well do you know Melbourne?

First to last week’s quiz.

We had correct responses from Brigid, Barry from Blair(gowrie), Lorraine But the first correct answers came from Bernard.

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

However I think we should let Yvonne answer Question 6.

“Now, back to the 70s/80s… The Flying Dutchman…was Paul Van Der Haar, no. 18 long before that Lloyd boy, started with the Bombers in 1977-the same year as Timmy Watson, and when Ken Fletcher (father of Dustin) was captain - long blond locks, the one the girls batted their eyes at, the first love of my life (from afar)…who was known as much for his beer swilling and cigarette smoking in the locker rooms post-match as for his leaps onto the shoulders of his opponents in order to snatch the oval leather from the air…aaah those long afternoons at Windy Hill, the smell of Dencorub hanging in the air… thank you White Hat for taking me back to a suburban football ground when the days were longer and you could stand on top of empty (steel) beer cans to get a better view of the game…”

Now to this week’s quiz.

Ern Malley is not the only mysterious part of Melbourne and Victoria’s history. Here are a few more.

  1. A Victorian country town is named after a mysterious monster dating back to Aboriginal times. What is the name of this town?
  2. When tourism is slumping around the Warrnambool area, the locals resurrect a story of an ancient ship they say is buried in the sands. What type of wood was this ship made from?
  3. During WWII, Australians who were being held prisoners of war by the Japanese wrote home about the about the conditions in which they lived. They said it was “just like living in Dudley Flats” and this passed the military censorship of the time. Where were these wonderful apartments called Dudley Flats?
  4. In September a mysterious and debilitating disease strikes the sportsmen of a Melbourne inner-city suburb. What is the name of this malady?

No prizes – just glory and a warm inner glow.

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