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Warning
Comedy Festival
New musical
Reader Feedback
A drive in the country
Markets
Children's activities
Pedants' Dating Service
Short film makers competitions
Melbourne’s Hidden Gems
Eucalyptus Festival
Last week’s quiz
Classical music
7 Engineering Marvels of Melbourne
Street Art Tour
The White Hat Recipe
Koori(e) art
From the White Hat Inbox
Country Victoria
Completing The Circuit
The White Hat Quiz

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Warning

This newsletter contains lengthy sections designed for Easter reading. If they are of no interest simply skip to the next section – but you do that anyway.

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Comedy Festival

The Comedy Festival continues with performances virtually every night. At larger multi-space venues such as the Town Hall you will often find there are short shows starting at various times throughout the night in much the same way as a multiplex cinema and you can just rock up, listen to what the exiting crowds are saying about the shows in the foyer, and make your choice then. Details at The White Hat Guide to Comedy in Melbourne.

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New Musical

This week is the launch of Call Girl – The Musical at Chapel Off Chapel. Regardless of your gender we suggest you refrain from making comments at interval about whether it seemed true-to-life. People might be curious as to how you know.

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Reader Feedback

Regarding our April Fools’ Day prank:

“OK, you got me. I had the family doing the stand on one leg bit before breakfast believing I was doing my bit for the environment and the kids would have something impressive to say at show & tell. When I arrived to pick them up from school, all their friends hopped up and down on one leg. Pete”

“We were having supper at a club when I received your newsletter on the Blackberry. I’d had a few drinks but spotted the ruse. However it didn’t take long to have 7 of my friends hopping on one leg. Thanks for a great laugh.
Morgan”

"What does it profit a woman if she has a PhD in Literary Criticism but she falleth for a cheap April Fools’ joke? White Hat helps keep me grounded. Love your newsletters.
Natalie (I used to be called Nat but I now insist on being called Natalie)”

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A Drive in the Country - Kinglake

Nearly all the outings suggested by White Hat are public transport or bicycle accessible, but for this one there is no option. You will need a car or motorcycle.

We recommend this drive if you have visitors form interstate or overseas or if you want the children to get a feeling for the impact of the bushfires. Needless to say there are common courtesies to be observed. Although the community is again welcoming visitors, only go if you plan to spend some money in the community. Many are still traumatised by the worst experience of their lives so only discuss the fires with locals if they broach it first. And be sensitive to the implications of ostentatiously taking photographs of burnt-out properties which represent someone’s personal tragedy.

We suggest you get an early start and maybe plan to lunch in Kinglake. Find your way to Hurstbridge, possibly via the Metropolitan Ring Road. By the way Hurstbridge now has a framers’ market with a wonderful community atmosphere on the first Sunday of the month and this is accessible by train. If you are travelling on a Sunday you might want to stop of at the Greensborough Market on the way to Hurstbridge at La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus for breakfast. If you are travelling on a Saturday we strongly recommend you visit St Andrews Market. It is worth remembering that there were several fatalities in St Andrews during the bushfires. At any of these markets you are likely to come across members of the CFA. Ordinary blokes and women of all shapes and sizes that you wouldn’t particularly notice in the street. Who knows what deeds they did when called upon. You can find details of these and other markets at: http://www.whitehat.com.au/Victoria/Markets/MarketsV.asp

Follow the signs to Kinglake. The road through the hills is still dangerous and the speed limit is low. As you get to the most effected areas not how all the ground cover has been burnt leaving just bare earth. The cruel irony is that heavy rains now would create major erosion problems and you can see the streaks running down the hills created by recent rains. Heavy rains would also push ash into the creeks and encourage weeds before farmers can re-establish crops. While negotiating the winding road you can only start to imagine the terror of attempting to flee along this route at the height of the inferno. Even eight weeks later the drive to Kinglake is not a pleasant experience, but those of us who choose to live in Victoria should occasionally remind ourselves of ‘its beauty and its terror’ at first hand rather than filtered through the media.

After lunch at a café or the pub in Kinglake we suggest that you continue in the direction of Whittlesea. Just outside Kinglake you may to choose to stop and pick your own strawberries or raspberries (are raspberries in season?) The road still has plenty of evidence of the bushfire but it is easy see why those who chose this escape route had much more chance than heading in the opposite direction. Once at Whittlesea you are at the major staging post used by authorities in this area to co-ordinate the fire fighting and the relief.

You are now in the Plenty Valley which is home to the Plenty River and the road from Melbourne in this direction is obviously called Plenty Road. While heading back to Melbourne we suggest you take a short detour to the Yan Yean Reservoir – a place of great historical significance for Melbourne and maybe follow the route we have suggested in ‘Completing the Circuit’ below.

If you are travelling on a Monday you may choose to do the journey in reverse so that you can visit Mernda Market which we wrote about several newsletters ago. Whichever direction you go we suggest you find yourself a piece of bush before you re-enter Melbourne and pay tribute in whatever best suits you to those who and also those ordinary people who, cometh the hour, did extraordinary things.

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Markets

There is a new community market at Maldon in country Victoria. Also a craft market in Yarraville. This one may have been running for some time, but we were unaware of it. This weekend is also the last market at the Botanic Gardens before it goes into its winter recess. On Easter Monday there is a special extra market at the Mornington Racecourse as well as one at Ocean Grove. Details of markets at The White Hat Guide to Markets in Victoria.

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Children's activities

There are tons of kid’s activities out there but people are so used to the newsletter coming out on Friday afternoon they are still pouring in. We’ll process them and get them up on our Children’s & Family Activities page as soon as we can.

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Pedants' Dating Service

Sarah and Damien were out for tea with two of Damien’s friends. Sarah explained that she refused to have the spaghetti bolognaise or the chicken parmigiana at this pub because they were on the menu in lower case but references to Parma and Bologna should start with a capital. Paul seemed intrigued. Sarah went on to explain how she tried to be vegetarian for some time but found it too stressful shopping at greengrocers. “Have you ever seen the spelling and punctuation used by Melbourne greengrocers? I was forced to go back to eating meat.” Sarah went on to explain about her OPAS (Obsessive Possessive Apostrophe Syndrome).

“What’s this?” asked Paul. He picked up a printed set of papers covered in corrections. He immediately spotted that the document had been printed double spaced and the corrections were not in red pen but blue pencil. His admiration grew knowing he was in the presence of a professional pedant. “It’s the White Hat Newsletter” explained Sarah. “It’s always full of spelling and punctuation mistakes and correcting them helps me relax.”

“That’s wonderful,” said Paul, “but look – you’ve missed something. Here it says ‘Take the stairs down and you will find a remarkably large Chinese grocer’. I’m sure if you proceeded down the stairs you would find a fairly small Chinese grocer sitting in a large grocery store.” Sarah was impressed. “You must be . .” she gasped . . “Yes,” said Paul, “I’m a literalist!”

Does Damien have a rival for Sarah’s affections? Can a pedant and a literalist ever find true love? Will White Hat make such a literal mistake again? Find out next week . .

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Short Film Makers' Competitions

There are currently two competitions for short film makers. The ABC show Q&A is looking for short films and mashups to run at the end of the show. You could submit your film, go through all the hoops and eventually, if you are selected, be seen by thousands of people on national television. Then again you could just put it straight on YouTube and be seen by millions of people. Details at: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/mashups.htm.

Then there is a $50,000 Short Film Prize at FILMFEST@FALLS Festival but entries close on the 16th April. If you would like us to forward you the details send us an email to shortfilms@whitehat.com.au

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Melbourne's Hidden Gems

Smith Street in Collingwood/Fitzroy (each side of the street lies in a different suburb and was thus the scene for taunting between rival fans after the football when their respective teams had their home grounds in their respective suburbs) used to fall into two sections. The section between Gertrude and Johnston Streets was full of cafes, strange places of entertainment, vegetarian fare, carefully grunged retail premises, pawnbrokers and curious transactions taking place. For many it epitomised the tapestry of inner suburban Melbourne. Then there was a second region north of Johnston Street. This was full of buses doing the seconds outlets and was full of mothers teaching their daughters the art of the short-arm jab that disables your opponent and allows you to get to the bargain first.

Both these sections still exist and continue to thrive. However in the last year or so they have been joined by a third section between Victoria & Gertrude Streets. These newer establishments are of the post-grunge era and offer interesting mix of more up-market gift stores, design establishments, cafes and other places of interest. The Lost and Found market which used to be further along the street has now moved into larger premises and has is now has enough stock to rival the Chapel Street Bazaar and the Mills Markets in Geelong. If you are interested in vintage clothing we can recommend a visit. For those interested in beads and stones for craft work you can find one of the best up-market selections further along Smith Street (between Gertrude & Johnston Streets on the east side). There you will find stones suitable for necklaces and bodices that are difficult to find elsewhere. But getting back to the emerging new section of Smith Street, if you haven’t been there for a year or two, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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Eucalyptus Festival

The Eucalyptus Festival continues at the Australian Garden in Cranbourne.

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Last week's quiz

The first answers for our quiz on Chinese-Australians came from Jon.

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

This weekend there is Easter Music at Albert Park called Via Cucis and the Consort of Melbourne perform Easter music at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Later in the week the Benaud Trio is performing and the MSO play Beethoven, Mendelssohn & Stravinsky. . The following weekend the MSO is performing in Geelong. Details at The White Hat Guide to Classical Music in Melbourne & Victoria.

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Seven Engineering Marvels of Melbourne

No.1 - Yan Yean Reservoir

(Warning – very lengthy)

This article can now be Found at The White Hat Guide to Yan Yean Reservoir,

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Street Art Tour

There is a new Street Art Tour run by street artists who the flyer says have “local knowledge on just about everything”. The cost is $69 per head. Bookings can be made on 9328 5556 or 0416 971 707.

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The White Hat Recipe

San Choy Bow (lettuce cups with filling)

Last week we told you about some hidden Chinese grocers (sorry Malcolm – hidden Chinese grocery stores) in Melbourne. So here’s a simple recipe using some ingredients you can purchase from such a store. If you or the family like tacos, this is a lighter, brighter healthier option.

This recipe can now be found at The White Hat Recipe for San Choy Bow.

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Koori(e) Art

This Easter is the last chance to visit the Koorie Art exhibition at Herring Island. During Easter there is open day for Koori art in Dunkeld at the foot of the Grampians. (Yes, I know they’re spelt differently and I figure we will respect whichever way Aboriginal people choose to spell their unwritten language in whitefella speak.)

Advance notice – The following weekend is the Affordable Art Show at The Exhibition Building.

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From the White Hat Inbox

We had the following personal message:

“hi from portc, im sooo looking forward 2 easter cos the old gang from school is getting 2gether at portc & crystal & me have 2 do the food & they all used to say ‘yaaay nat do your pasta bake’ & so i texted them all asking what they wanted to eat cos i wanted 2 hear them say ‘yaaay nat do your pasta bake’ but craig sez he only eats wholefoods and jodie counts food miles even tho she never had any concept of distance & karl wont eat anything that exploits child labour even tho he was happy enough 2 drink juice from the juice bar where they exploited me by not letting me use my mobile while working even tho i learnt 2 do everything 1 hand & megan will only eat lentils provided theyve been soaked on the north side of a mountain under a full moon & josh is intolerant of flour & wong lim is lactose intolerant & i don’t understand cos at school we were all so tolerant & now eveyones intolerant so im going 2 do my pasta bake anyway cos i never learnt 2 cook anything else cos cookings soooo irrelevant & when i bring it in theyll all shout ‘yaaay nats done her pasta bake’ & if they don’t like it they can go down 2 the beach & eat cweed & im sooo looking forward 2 easter cos its going 2b just like old times.
luv nat”

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Country Victoria

This Easter is the annual Easter Festival in Bendigo, the Red Hill Show on the Mornington Peninsula, the PAVE Festival in Emerald and the Boogie Festival in Tallarook. I don’t know whether they’ll be singing the Jack O’Hagan song Things is crook in Tallarook at this festival, but you never know.

There is also the Easter Festival in Loch Sport. Loch Sport is an unusual name and it actually comes from the Aboriginal word “lugsboort” which roughly translated means “bxgger, we can’t go any further and will have to turn back and go around the long way”. Still today you will find tourists consulting their maps and muttering “bxgger, we can’t go any further and will have to turn back and go around the long way”. The locals simply say “Welcome to lugsboort.” At least we think that’s how it got its name. Details of all these at The White Hat Guide to Country Victoria.

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Completing the Circuit

This article can now be found at The White Hat Guide to Yan Yean Reservoir.

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The White Hat Quiz

This week the government has announced its broadband plans, so here is a little communications quiz.

  1. In what year was the internet created? In what year was the world wide web created?
  2. How would the ships in the First Fleet have communicated with each other?
  3. A young man working in the family music store in Ballarat invented an important precursor to television. What was the name of the music store?
  4. Some lighthouses don’t have a continuous beacon but a series of flashes. What is the purpose of this flash sequence?
  5. No matter what Melbourne suburb you are in it is always easy to find the direction of Mount Dandenong. How?
  6. What has the Burke & Wills expedition got to do with telecommunications?
  7. When an AFL footballer holds the ball above his head, what does that communicate?
  8. Signing using your hands is used by hearing impaired people to communicate. Can signing have an Australian accent?
  9. Why are foghorns of a low pitch?
  10. Some families or friends use signs as a secret form of communication. Do you have a favourite?

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.