Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Retail Therapy

Ahhh...the delights of shopping in Melbourne. There are so many things to recommend it. Great shops, no attitude and lots of lovely things to look at. After a sumptuous breakfast supplied by our hosts, Fairy and I caught the tram into the city. We got off at exactly the right spot about 50 metres from where we were staying (thanks to my very lovely husband who booked it as a treat for my birthday). We dumped our bags and went in search of good shops and more specifically a shop called Quick, Brown Fox. I had discovered these shops (there's more than one) on a previous visit and was already a fan. Fairy was yet to sample their delights. So we wandered along streets, down laneways and through arcades, sampling chocolate (mmm...Koko Black and Haighs) and playing with finger puppets along the way. I kept telling Fairy that I knew where we were going but have to admit that my memory was hazy but eventually we found it and had great success (though I should've bought those shoes/cardigan/top). We made some purchases and then found a creperie in this groovy little lane and had a late lunch.After our delicious crepes we decided to do some more shopping (our eyes were getting a triple treat). I had bought a great dress, kind of Joan Cleaver meets Brie Van der Kamp but it needs a cardie to complete it. Fairy patiently helped me in my quest for the perfect cardie but it proved to be elusive. It is surprising how many are available and how they are all just not quite right. At one stage we wandered into sportsgirl (where I took this marvellous up the nostril self portrait of us trying on hats. A live DJ was playing and building to a rather alarming climax so we scuttled out as quickly as we could manage without a walking frame. Young people! We looked at a few more shops and I tried on more hats (can't help it, must be a condition but seriously who could resist a red cloche particularly when they are reading a book set in the 1920's?)
We returned to our accommodation and investigated our room (or rooms as was the case). Fairy was delighted to find that we had a mini bar consisting of a bag of radishes, an open bottle of wine and a beer. Well, who wouldn't be?
We workshopped our outfits and got ready. Wendy arrived and we headed out in our glad rags for a cocktail and then Wicked. Wendy led us to Gin Palace for our pre-show refreshments and it was a great choice. It's all mood lighting and chaise lounges and waiters all trained in witty patter. Wendy ordered something with berries and alcohol and I was going to have something with pineapple (and alcohol) which wasn't available so I had a spiced tequila swizzle (I almost wrote swivel then, maybe that's what you do when you have more than one). It was potent and I was glad that we had some very tasty bar snacks. I also knew that we wouldn't eat till after the show (after 11 and I normally eat at nana o'clock). With ten minutes to curtain up we paid, and dashed around the corner and got to our seats with oodles of time. I was intrigued by the green glowing cocktails at the theatre (Ozmopolitans) that people were clutching as we slid past them to our seats.
The show was great. I didn't realise until the night that we could've seen the last performance of Shane Warne the musical and I was disappointed about that. And after all the issues I had with Ticketek it had dampened my enthusiasm slightly, but it was fantastic. Great costumes and funny, I wasn't expecting funny.

I haven't read the book (Wicked by Gregory Maguire) but am planning on doing so at some stage in the next year or so. Actually I'd like to read it sooner than that but I have book group and library books hanging over my head. I was surprised to see not one but two former Idol contestants in the show, Millsy and Anthony Callea, though Anthony wasn't on the night we went. Millsy was and what a revelation. He can act, he can sing, he can do so much more than be famous for schtupping Paris H.

After the show (never did get an Ozmopolitan, though somehow I don't think it would've tasted very nice. It looked like it consisted of creme de menthe and ice) we had dinner in Chinatown. I was keen to go to Supper Inn which is a funny place off the main street in a very innocuous looking building. The first time I found it I saw people disappearing up a laneway and could smell good smells. Then I saw signs for the good food guide and a queue stretching down the stairs and I knew I was onto something. We didn't have to queue for long before we were seated and sipping on our Tsing Tao beers. Wendy had a BBQ pork and dumpling noodle soup which looked so delicious and Fairy and I shared duck pancakes, scallops with ginger and shallots and Salmon with Asian Green. Yes, that's just one green. Then we walked back to our room where once again we chatted late into the night then reluctantly went to bed (especially Wendy who scored the most uncomfortable sofa bed in he world).

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