Monday, 31 October 2011

It's the careful art of making coffee

We Melbourne residents are lucky to live in a city thriving on good coffee. I've lived in a few different places, and Melbourne wins on the coffee front. Hands down, there's just no contest.

But, even in Coffee Capital, it is still (vaguely) possible to come across a bad coffee every now and again. I do try to avoid it, but there you go.

This morning I came painfully close to drinking a Bad Coffee. I ordered a latte-to-go. She made it and off I went. The first sip burnt the hell out of my tongue and the roof of my mouth. I'd taken a good swig, just not expecting it to be so hot. Latte: pretty certain it's not supposed to be scalding.

Once the remaining three taste buds in mouth recovered I was pleasantly surprised to find my coffee wasn't burnt, but close enough to delicious that I was able to enjoy it all the way to work.

I do love a good coffee.

Where to get a good coffee in Melbourne (a ridiculously good coffee, that is, there's good coffee everywhere):

For those of you south of the river, head to Babble, 4 Izett Street Prahran

Otherwise, stick to the awesome side, or to the city
Make Madame Sousou your local haunt @ 231 Brunswick Street Fitzroy
Or head to Provenance @ 288 Smith Street Collingwood - and ask Dave to make your coffee (sorry mate but you do rock at it)

If you're in the city, Espresso @ 23 Degraves Street Melbourne
Or The Mess Hall @ 51 Bourke Street Melbourne

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A positive move into a beautiful home

I recently moved into a new place with a good friend of mine, C. We moved into a lovely old brick terraced house in Fitzroy, aka The Dream Suburb.

During the house hunting process (*shudder*) we looked at a few places. Although each place seemed more exciting than the last, I expended a lot of energy on searching for signs that after moving to the new place I would Be Okay (the people closest to me will know my last move was a bit of a disaster). We used yellow paper (for good luck) for covering letters to each of our prospective landlords. We were organised and neatly filled out our applications before we went to each inspection. We had folders and plastic sleeves containing copies of all our documents. I was pumped, and determined to find The Right Place. I paid attention to The Signs, I checked-in with my body, I watched out for omens, and I searched through my thoughts.

We had 2 inspections to go to. The first, on Greeves Street, looked divine in the pictures but was on the expensive side. It had been raining earlier and so we were the only ones at the inspection. Was that the omen? Nope, the place was teeny-tiny and by the time we left I was feeling anxious.

The second, on Napier Street, from the pictures looked scruffy or something ('rambly', we had dubbed it) but was on the cheaper side. We weren't that excited about it and almost didn't bother, except that it was right after the first inspection and only 50 metres around the corner. It was drizzly as we waited across the street on a park bench. A rainbow came out - a full one, the type that go right across the sky. The end of the rainbow was behind the Napier Street house. I got a little bit excited. Maybe this is the sign...but then I packed in the whole notion of looking for omens.

When walked into the Napier Street place all rational thought flew out the window. We didn't check for power points, or inside the drawers. We didn't look to see what sort of showerhead there was, or see whether
there was enough storage.

We didn't have a yellow covering letter and we hadn't even filled out an application. We did a quick lap of the place, getting more and more excited at the perfectness of it all. It wasn't particularly grand, or funky. But it was lovely, and it felt like home. We didn't have all our documents with us, nor a tidily filled out application, but we handed in what we did have, babbling out promises to look after the place with solemn grins on our faces (well, it was mostly me doing the babbling).

The next morning there was a message on my message-bank. It was a pocket call C had made to my work number after the second inspection. You could hear us in the background chatting excitedly about the
Napier Street house, and there weren't many nice things said about that teeny-tiny place on Greeves.

It was the sign I had been waiting for. And in a round-a-bout way it came from me. Hearing myself talking about the rambly Napier Street house was enough to give me confidence we were doing the right thing.

And then of course, The Necessary Sign, our application was approved.

The move was extremely stressful, as all moves are. But once we were in, we were in love, and all the people holding their breath until it was fairly evident I was Okay could exhale and sigh with relief. (Although slightly mortifying, it is very nice having people look out for you.)

Though I loved my apartment dearly, and it was hard to say goodbye (see previous post) it has been just wonderful moving forward and into such a lovely house.

This one's for you, C.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Brave new venture

There is absolutely a time and a place for things that come unopened in shrink wrap, all shiny new and unused. But there is something undeniably lovely about something old that comes wrapped in brown paper and tied with string. It's the story that comes with it, the character.

There is also something lovely about not discarding these things, but rather passing them around somehow, for others to enjoy. In any event new things all come from somewhere, the overall mass of our world can't be increasing (it's science!), and we can't make things from nothing.

A good friend of mine got a new set of saucepans, but she couldn't bear to throw away her smallest copper-bottomed saucepan. It had been her Nan's, when she'd been alive, and she didn't feel right about throwing it away. So I’m taking care of it for her. Now, whenever I boil water for a cup of tea in that copper-bottomed saucepan I think of my friend's Nan, and it's lovely (and they really don't make saucepans the way they used to!).

I have recently started my own business, Beautiful Life by Design. I hand pick vintage pieces, and I also hand make hanging artwork.

My pieces are simple, aesthetically appealing and easy on the eye. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

If you would like to know more check out the Beautiful Life by Design website, or the Beautiful Life by Design online store.