Hippy Miss hangs with kids

Miss Marmalade
126 Union Street Brunswick

This wasn’t the first time my friends and I had ventured down Union Street. No, we had attempted to eat at Miss’ many many months earlier. Then, my friend had been told on the phone that we could come down and just be seated on that Sunday morning mid-Winter – however upon arrival the staff discovered there weren’t only 5 girls in tow, but 3 babies and 3 prams too. We learnt that there was going to be no space for us that day.

They were all very nice about it, and very apologetic. The wires had gotten crossed over the phone, something to do with renovations, and not realising how big of a group it was. We ventured down the street and ordered at a café where you pay at the front and then some greasy eggs get plonked on your plate in front of you while you and your friends scavenge for chairs and make the place your own. We were hungry so we were satisfied, and we were happy, as all friends in good company always are. You don’t need a special venue. You just want the people around you to make you smile.

However it is human nature to always want it ALL.

I’m a bit of an elephant. I don’t forget. I didn’t forget that Miss Marmalade was rated decently on the Urbanspoon brekkie list, I didn’t forget how lovely the staff were in their apologies, and I didn’t forget that they surely would have renovated by now.

8 months later, and the same group of girls were due to catch up again, once again with 3 prams, but this time requiring high chairs, and hopefully some kind of play area to keep these cheeky toddlers busy. I’d read about something for kids at Miss Marmalade’s, and unfinished business had me calling up and booking a table for us on a late Saturday morning in mid-March.

I was very happy to hear they took bookings. 5 girls and 3 prams and 3 kiddies needing 3 highchairs can’t just rock up anywhere. Establishments that take no bookings frustrate me. I realise they may have unreliable clientele, but really, if that is the case…. piss them off, or something. Lucky for me, on the several occasions I called Missy (1st to find ascertain if they did take bookings; 2nd time to actually book; and then 3rd to add high chairs) I had really lovely, welcoming, accommodating people on the other line. It was all too easy. I was secretly apprehensive that somehow, something would fall through and we’d be left stranded again heading for the greasy eggs, but fortunately for us that didn’t happen.

We had a nice venue this time. I don’t know how it looked like before its renovation, but it was cosy inside, a typical upmarket-hipster Brunswick café. We were seated in the back room via the long corridor running alongside the kitchen. There were a few tables in there allowing for more seating away from the front room, with a little play nook in one corner for the kids to (sit and) play. This room was not as done-up as the front room, looking a bit plainer, but it would have to do for us lot.

We had a great big spacious long table which was positioned at one end of the room, which meant we could take up all the corners surrounding us and the back wall with all our prams and bags and accessories and crap. This was good. Every so often a woman would walk by us heading towards a door at the back of this room, and confirm that we were doing well. She was totally loving our kids, and engaging with them and making sure every single one of them was getting her attention. She wasn’t fake either, she was totally into them, and very obviously loves kids, as well as her job. She was really lovely.

The other woman tending to us, our more regular waitress, wasn’t so smiley. She was ok, she just seemed very serious, maybe overwhelmed by us lot? Don’t know. I much preferred happy-baby lady.

To the damn food, you say. From the kid’s menu, with the omission of the bacon, I got egg on toast for baby girl

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Two problems with the above. The camera on my phone was playing up and the flash above kept going off so that by the time I got a half decent photo I was in the midst of buttering her bread. Many shit photos of late, I know, I’m sorry. Have an impatient and hungry toddler at your side and see how you go.

Second. First I had asked for the egg to be fried, then I changed my mind and said “give me scrambled.” I got a poached egg. That’s fine, but yeah. Okay. I realise I may have confused the waitress by changing my order and all, and our table and all the commotion may have been freaking her out, but at the end of the day, that’s what I wanted.

I think baby girl’s brekkie was fine, nothing amaze-balls, it was just egg on toast after all. It was a fairly large plate for such a small kids meal, it would have looked so much better on a smaller plate. Just sayin.’ It was my rad camera skills that made the above look so huge.

To my meal! This really was brunch for me, and the thought of doing a sweet dish felt really naughty especially since it was lunchtime, but when I saw the special of

Sweet brioche French toast with vanilla bean, mascarpone, caramelised banana and praline crumbs

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I just had to go there.

It looked great. I was pleased that it was sweet, but didn’t leave me with that sickly sweet feeling I get from many sweet brekkie options. And of course, as suspected I did wonder whether I should have just stuck to my regular savoury route and gone the green fritters, but I was still really happy with the meal. I didn’t get any caramelisation from the bananas, but I loved the crunch of the praline crumbs, and the vanilla bean and mascarpone… well, you can imagine. Specials don’t often hang around. I can always go back for the fritters. This dish left me feeling happy.

The cappuccino I’d ordered looked great.

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I love coffee art. It’s just rad. I would say that a chocolate-sprinkled image floating on your cup of caffeinated beverage makes the beverage taste better, and this coffee did taste nice and smooth, but I’ve had better. Maybe my expectations of having this much-ado’d-about 5 senses coffee made me expect too much, I don’t know. Much like the whole brunch. I’d been happy with certain aspects, but I left feeling like ‘just another Brunswick café,’ rather than ‘Wow, Miss Marmalade’s was awesome!’

Food: 7.5/10. Presentation of my food was great, baby girl’s not so much. Loved the flavours and contrasting textures in my brioche too.

Coffee: 7.5/10. Smooth, just maybe not my style to taste.

Ambience: Just think Brunswick café. Busy on a Saturday morning.

Staff: Baby waitress was great, the other one a tad serious. I think the majority are really lovely though, as the guy at the register putting through my bill said to me “have a lovely day” with sincerity, and I left thinking ‘that was really nice.’ You can separate the real ones from the fake ones, always.

People: Younger crowd, 20-ish dominated our room, groups of these ones were everywhere. A few older family-oriented groups were in the front room, but all-in-all, there were no people goo-ing at babies here. They kind of just stared and watched, not really knowing how to react. LOL. Baby waitress was the exception.

Price: I paid upwards of mid-$20s for my meal. On par for that side of town.

Advice: Book if you’re going on the weekend, most definitely if you have a bit of a group going with you. It is kid-friendly with the play area in the back room, which I was very happy with as it kept baby girl slightly occupied (note, slightly).

In a nutshell: Despite feeling the very smallest amount of dismay due to over-expectancy, I do want to try this place again to understand what all the fuss is about. Staff were lovely, food presentation was great, and their fancy cupcakes up against the cash register looked appealing. There is no reason why you shouldn’t try this place.

Miss Marmalade on Urbanspoon

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Daisy on the stairs

Jack & Daisy
152b Cumberland Road Pascoe Vale

It was a grey day, unlike the glimmers of beautiful Spring we’d recently been privy to experiencing. I was running late, and was VERY hungry when I got to Jack & Daisy one Thursday LATE morning in September.

Melbourne weather can really put a dampener on your mood.

I waited outside the café for maybe five minutes, pulling silly faces at baby girl in pram, thinking my friend had not yet arrived, when in fact she was waiting in the back room the whole time. I hadn’t gone to venture inside because of the ‘step.’

You see, when one arrives with a pram, and sees a decent step up into an establishment, one does not feel confident. Back when I had gone into the bustling The Red Corner Store, even that place had been confronting, and that was due to the busy-ness of the Saturday morning rather than its front step, which was so minor compared to this one.

Upon learning of her already being in there (“how the hell did she get her pram in there?”) I backed into the store, and thank God a kind soul of a man sitting near the entrance with his kids held the door open for me as I hoisted baby girl in.

When I saw where the back room was, I had to brace myself: accessible, but only via more stairs. After manoeuvring amongst tables, more prams and high chairs, I pulled the pram up with some difficulty, quietly willing the little girl taking her time on the stairs to move the hell out of my way.

Then another little girl appeared, and I smiled sweetly at her, pretending patience, as the waitress coaxed her away and I wondered where in the hell her Mother was.

By the time I got to my friend and her baby girl, I was kind of puffed. The back room we were in was as expected, at the back of the restaurant, and I think the sole purpose of this room is for Mums and their Bubs, as there were plenty of high chairs about. Two long tables spanned the room, and my friend and I with our prams in one corner, easily took up the whole table with our gamut of baby food, accessories and bags. On the other table behind us there were also two women with their kids.

You can take it in one of two ways: either the room is designed to give Mums and Bubs their own space, and a little privacy away from the rest of the diners; or they’re keeping the demanding and space-clustering customers away, and I don’t mean the ones without kids.

Having said that, the Mums and their Bubs were everywhere. As I mentioned, I was practically climbing over prams and high chairs (and annoying kids that wouldn’t move) to get to the back room. If I didn’t know better I would have thought the café catered specially for this breed I’m now part of. Which is great. Kind of. I can kind of only handle my own, plus only three more, maximum, at any one time. So conflicted thoughts there.

I was pretty hungry by the time the food came. I haven’t been out to eat brekkie with baby girl in tow for a while, so I hadn’t realised how HARD it was going to be, with her now super-mobile and all. She was in the high chair, and I tried to entertain her by my giving her my mobile phone to chew on, as I tried to eat:

Daisy’s favourite poached free range eggs, smoked salmon, herbed fetta, avocado salsa & toasted multigrain

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Now that’s the description taken from a photo someone posted on urbanspoon, but my meal came a little different. Firstly I had replaced the avocado salsa with mushrooms, because the last time I had avocado I actually thought I was going to vomit all my insides out (true story). I used to love avocado, but alas, avocado does no longer love me. Going by my photo, everything seemed to match the urbanspoon description bar the addition of the relish, which had a tangy sweet flavour to it. And weirdly, I still had green on my plate, so I’m assuming it WAS the avocado that they just forgot to omit. I didn’t try it, because of that whole fear of vomiting my insides. Hmmm. Chef probably should keep to the orders given, wouldn’t you say?

Even though I ate my brekkie over a 45 minute interval (or at least that’s how long it felt), the time taken to eat isn’t a determining factor in my review: what I’m trying to say is, if it’s yum, it’s yum, lukewarm or not. And if it’s weird, well it’s weird… fresh from the kitchen or siting at the table for 45 minutes.

It was like an ‘everything-on-a-plate’ thing. The poached eggs were perfect, and the bread they were on was amazing, but trying to cut it with my knife was almost impossible, despite the crunchy homely-style flavour they possessed. But then there was that green part of the bread I was unsure about that I had to cut out, which I’m just hoping against hope it was some fresh seedy bit that wasn’t toasted in the bread-baking process. I’m not sure. The mushrooms were good, the relish was nice, and the fetta was VERY citrusy – a bit too much for my liking, for cheese. I prefer my cheese creamy. I know that I ordered mushrooms, but even without them, I don’t know how citrusy fetta, avocado salsa and sweet relish goes together. I considered mashing the relish and fetta together, but decided against it because on their own the flavours were SOOO strong.

The smoked salmon was as expected, and perfect with the bread and eggs. Individually everything was good, some things were great; but together, I don’t think it worked.

Coffee came just after my meal. Again I had it a bit too late (the story of my life) but I still enjoyed it. It had a lot of lovely chocolate sprinkling on the froth which I love, and the way freaking cappuccinos should be you tight-arsed barristas elsewhere. My friend’s takeaway coffee came with the number ‘1’ on her cup when she asked for no sugar, and they happily replaced it with another. I know that may be easy to say and kind of expected (uh, pleasing the customer?) but seriously if I told you about my ‘glasshouse’ experience in Docklands when I felt I had to apologise for ordering a weak cappuccino – “is that ok?” – trust me, customer service isn’t HIGH on everyone’s list, as much as it seems a given to the person forking out the $.

Food: 6.5/10. Components were great individually… maybe I should have ordered something of a specific nature, rather than an ‘everything on your plate’ dish that the Daisy’s favourite meal suggests at.

Coffee: 8/10. Choc sprinkles to my liking, thank you.

Ambience: Cosy, relaxed, yet very constant for a grey Spring morning mid-week.

Staff: Attentive and friendly. They were all over us in the back room when we were getting the prams up, and then helping us bring them down over the stairs when we were all done. Which is what you’d expect since they seem to designate Mums in the back room, a back room albeit with stairs… you kind of expect that help, but still it’s very much appreciated when it comes and you don’t have to face the stairs alone.
Hey, here’s an idea… turn the stairs into a ramp. Back room is still accessible, and Mums don’t break into a sweat wondering how in the hell they’ll get in there if no staff are present to help.

Although it took a little while for our menus to arrive, once they were there our lovely waitress was all over it. Sugar wasn’t on our table when the coffee arrived, but fortunately our on-the-mark waitress was and promptly brought some over to me. And it was raw sugar, so I was extra pleased.

People: Mums and Bubs, Mums and Bubs….. um, Mums and Bubs. No, seriously, there was also Mums and Bubs there. And toddlers. Ok enough kidding, when we left I actually noticed there were less Ms & Bs, and quite a few groups of the non-young parent variety (shock horror!), as well as some business-looking folk. The unofficial Mums and Bubs session must have been ending… we were on our way out after all 😉

Price: Mine was $23, I think fair and reasonable for the locality, restaurant reputation and for what I got.

Advice: If you’re a Mum, with a Bub, going with a pram – book ahead, and by God make sure you’re not going into the back room. You don’t need that worry, please, trust me!

Just generally it might be worth booking, seeing as it was fairly busy when I went and it wasn’t even a peak time of day/week.

And get a meal that’s like, just eggs, or just pancakes, or just toast. Don’t get all complicated with your decision.

In a nutshell: I would like to try their other dishes, and try their cappuccino hot next time (my bad not theirs)… but only if it’s a sunny day.

Why you ask? So I don’t have to ‘step’ inside and deal with any stairs.

Jack & Daisy on Urbanspoon

Orange a ‘Top

Stovetop
100 Leicester Street Carlton

Oh sweet, sweet Carlton.

Hubbie and I have had a looonnngggg love affair with this inner-city suburb. Back before our married days, when we weren’t at my place, or at his place, we were in Carlton. Lygon street to be exact. The “little Italy” tree-lined street was our constant go to place, when we wanted a bite to eat, a drink to wind down with, or a dessert to indulge in. Though we came to Carlton again and again, we seemed to frequent the same restaurants, until we somehow happened upon another one, usually out of boredom from the old place or sheer accident, so that despite our constant visits we haven’t visited them all (I’d like to meet someone who has) but we have a fairly good feel of what side of the street you need to venture out to if you want a crowd of pre-nightclub owls, the posh family friendly side, or if you have no preferences and don’t mind being haggled into a venue with promise of basic herb bread and the first two drinks free.

Still, I love it.

I didn’t find myself on Lygon street on this such day in July; rather, it was a few streets over near Melbourne Uni, in a kinda industrial looking street with orange uniformed men getting busy on a building worksite nearby, that I made my way to.

I was meeting two work friends at Stovetop, and was pleased once locating them to find there was ample room for the pram in the corridor section of the café. It was a bit drafty with some entrance doors up ahead, and Winter threatening outside, but for room, it would have to do.

From the little time I spent walking by the main café area, it seemed to be decked out nicely, definitely more of an industrial décor thing happening. It was cool. For a Saturday late morning they were busy, but not swept off their feet busy kind of thing. We placed our orders and I asked for my cappuccino to come with my meal – waitress said she would do her best. It came a couple of minutes before the food arrived – so she passed.

I ordered:

The Cinnamon Waffles with pomegranate molasses, vanilla bean custard, agave and house almond dukkah

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Upon arrival it seemed rather brown, and whenever I see an all-brown or all-gold plate I can’t help but think ‘fried chicken, hot chips, all bad, bad food.’ Colour is best, and I was starting to wonder if I’d gotten too excited at the thought of custard and whether I should have gone the interesting-Dr-Seuss-sounding green eggs on toast, when I lifted the top of the waffle sandwiched down onto the other, to find:

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Colour. Some yummy pieces of orange placed strategically upon the custard. Custard. Custard is so good in the morning.

My meal was great, after all. Very cinnamon-y, very citrus-y. The custard was a great balance, and the dukkah I found very, very subtle, but still a great compliment. It did leave me with a little of that ‘oh I should have gone the savoury route’ over-sweet feeling, but that’s no fault of the waffles, more my preferring-eggs stomach.

My friends were rapt with the appearance of their meals, as the presentation was pretty spesh. And they seemed pretty happy with the taste too.

The cappuccino was good, but nothing overly fantastic that made me go ‘wow’; likewise, it wasn’t bad either, just in the middle. Stovetop’s website does mention its few coffee varieties, so maybe it’s just their standard cup that didn’t tickle my tastebuds. I still drank it, and it helped me dip baby girl upside down and go “weeee!” umpteen times, so it did the trick.

I did have to ask for sugar, so I don’t know whether our little dish just got lost somewhere between set up and brekkie. And being in the corridor, we did get a tad forgotten at the end (though one waitress was all eagle-eye and replenishing us coffee drinkers with water jugs) when I had to go ask for the bill. But friendly nonetheless. I think one waitress caught on to my blogger vibe when she saw me take a photo of my food, appearing extra friendly when delivering the bill. Damn, I must be more discreet.

Food: 7/10. Yum, the custard and orange was a lovely combo.

Coffee: 6/10.

Ambience: Easy going and chilled, apart from when baby girl started up her rehearsals of vocal acrobatics.

Staff: Friendly, however I think they’ve had to serve a few too many yuppies.

People: Generally a student crowd, though a family were sitting near us at one stage. Think laptops.

Price: Good, my tally was $17 ish all up, which is great for inner city.

Advice: Good place to hide out in from the rain, check your emails, do your assignments, and have room to move around in.

In a nutshell: Because I actually think I was Italian in a past life, I think I’ll keep sticking to ‘my side’ of Carlton, the tree-lined, pizza-themed end. If I’m ever on Leicester street, I wouldn’t mind trying their lunch, and maybe their specialty coffee. Will be a bit nicer when the construction a few doors down stops.

Stovetop on Urbanspoon

Things that shit me… #1

First in the line of a LONG series.

You know what happened today? There I was, sitting down for a coffee at my local shopping centre with baby girl and my parents. I positioned the pram fairly close to our table, making sure I wasn’t encroaching on any mini passageways around the several tables and chairs around us.

And these two women arrived, squeezing past the space between my pram and another table, and they look over, expecting me to move the pram over some more.

Firstly ladies:

– move it to where, my lap?
– there is sufficient room where you’re walking
– one of you is on the elderly side, and the other is on the heavy side, so wouldn’t it be smarter to walk on the other side of our table, where the pram isn’t?
– and lastly, the path you chose was in no way more advantageous over any others, as all you were doing was selecting a table. Seriously. You just tortured yourself and pissed me off en route.

You can say what you will, but honestly, if it is going to be difficult for you in any reason to move around, why do you already choose a path half-inhabitated by a pram?! This has been happening so often lately, people will just gravitate towards my parked pram, and then want to squeeze by.

Why are there so many stupid people? Why don’t they think?

Argh!!!

Custard at the Corner Store

Red Door Corner Store
70 Mitchell Street Northcote

Our fair yet weather-unpredictable city allowed Autumn to put on its finest show as I ventured along to the tucked away Northcote café, off the busy High street one Saturday in late May.

The weather was mild as it had uncharacteristically been the last few weeks, yet the season was evident, in the picturesque leaves lying scattered around each tree lined up on all sides of the street surrounding the corner café, with hues of green, yellow and orange colouring the ground.

Although not far from the busy High street, there was a strong neighbourhood and tucked-away vibe as I happily discovered parking not too far from the corner store, and realised with even more relief that there were no parking meters. What? I had even bought my stash of loose change just for the occasion. That would go back into my coffee change tin thanks.

The woman passing me with her milk as I set off with baby girl in pram, saying a friendly “hello,” only added to the lovely everybody-knows-your-name feel. And how true it is, don’t you wanna go. Tick and tick.

Arriving as I do everywhere with pram, I was happy to see there was only the slightest step leading into the café where my friend was waiting for me. However backing into the busy and crowded place was another story, and it was only after a polite woman waiting for her coffee held the door open for me that I was able to actually get both me and my girl in.

I’d happily read a review before going there that seating and parking were plentiful. Parking, yes. Seating? Not with pram. Maybe the reviewer meant the amount of seating, rather than the space surrounding the seating. I’d wondered if perhaps, on a lovely Saturday Autumnal morning, we should have phoned ahead. Inside it was tight with my pram, and only after shifting spots after a more abundant amount of space became available, did I become more at ease. There was seating out the front of the cafe, which would have been good, and my friend visited the loo which was out the back, where there was also more seating – apparently that was packed.

Get to the damn food, you say! Well I had the lovely
Brioche French toast, baked quince, rosewater custard, pistachio praline.

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To no fault of their own, I ate my meal lukewarm because I tended to baby girl’s own food of apple and pear puree for a good while, after she stopped with her “mmm!”s. (Means more). Even so, it was slightly warm, the custard rosewater with quince, all melting together in the middle of the brioche. Not too sweet for brekkie, so it didn’t leave me with that sick feeling making me feel like I should have gone the savoury brunch route. It had praline that almost immediately reminded me of the praline atop the never-forget blueberry pancakes I had at Dukes sometime in the year 2012. Yes, I still remember. And the pistachio was sharp and crunchy, sweet, candied even? Yummo indeed.

My cappuccino was ok, it was only warm once I got to it (again, no fault of theirs) and as any Mum would attest to, the experience of drinking a fresh hot coffee while in a busy café entertaining your little one is akin to keeping your brand spankin’ new white heels clean on a rainy day. However my friend did tell me her first coffee before my arrival was cold, so her second was ordered ‘extra hot,’ and was happily, so she reported. I’ll forgive them for the lukewarm coffee, if only for the fact that the beans are Proud Mary’s.

I did love how virtually everything on the menu was using ingredients sourced from around our beautiful state. Massive bonus points in my book. Little pegs held descriptions of sandwiches and tarts in one display case, while another row of cute peg-descriptors (we’ll go with that) were in a cute row in front of the cash register, tempting you to cheekily go “oh, I’ll have one of those too please!” regarding the delicious cupcakes on offer. I resisted, my brekkie was sweet. And they were presented in a lovely looks-like-it-came-from-a-second-hand-shop chic jewellery display case. Kewl.

The only slightly annoying thing was when it came time to pay up front, the guy putting through our order took just a tad long, especially when he went away and came back with a whole bag of cash to put into his till. Fair enough mate, busy Saturday and all. However he took sooo long doing it, almost like there wasn’t a 6 person line behind me (and that took up half the space in the café). Maybe they’re going for the ‘look how busy we are look’ and want a line like that… but it was like that pretty much the whole time we were there.

Food: 8/10

Coffee: 7/10 (Points removed because food/coffee was lukewarm – not their fault I know – but it did remove from the experience, and I can’t give points for what could have been).

Ambience: Noisy, which suited me just fine with my girl doing a few rounds of vocal acrobatics.

Staff: Friendly and accommodating, especially with helping us move seats, answering our ingredient queries politely and offering ‘side’ options (when I wasn’t sure on going the ‘savoury’ route and was considering removing avocado from a meal – I like it, it just doesn’t like me), and of course anyone who comments on how cute my girl is gets extra ticks.

People: Mix of uni students, lovely people who moved out of my way with my pram (it’s all about the pram don’t you know), couples, and quite a few with little-ies, but those that were already walking. There was an older couple there, who fortunately left and gave us the fantastic seating when we moved. Cyclists came in too, and went straight for the paper hanging over the ladder near me. Checking if Autumn will keep up? Who knows.

Price: All up my meal was $19.60. Under 20 and it’s a great feed especially with the quality of the food on offer.

Advice: If going at a busy time of day (or just a busy day, like a weekend) maybe phone ahead. I saw a table with a reserved sign, so fairly sure that means they take bookings. Also, if you have a pram (or a posse, you may be P. Diddy) it’d be good for them to give you a spacious spot. We got lucky. If you’re a coffee snob (and let’s face it all the best people are) order your coffee extra hot. And lastly, ask for them to bring the bill to the table, and then let them pick up your tab so you don’t have to wait in a line up the front – unless you want to be tempted by the cupcakes. You do, don’t you?

In a nutshell, will I go back?: The café has character, sources local ingredients, has great parking close by, and I wouldn’t mind relocating to one of the many beautiful Edwardian houses nearby. Looking forward to going back with Hubbie.

Red Door Corner Store on Urbanspoon

My whole life I’ve been living a Season’d Lie

A few weeks ago while taking a leisurely Autumn walk around my neighbourhood, paper cup harbouring warm coffee firmly in my hand as I pushed the pram with the other, it suddenly hit me:
It was all a lie.

I don’t think I fall into the unusual category when I say that the weather impacts majorly on my moods. I live for warm days spent outside in the sunshine, doing absolutely anything at all, as long as it leads to sun blindness to the point that re-entering any interior results in having green vision for about 30 seconds. And on the flipside, I once worked with a guy who expressed that his hatred for Winter led to him wanting to hibernate throughout the entire season. I could certainly feel for him. In my opinion the only time cold weather is good, is when you don’t have to leave the house, with your only job to stay cuddled on the couch drinking warm teas. In that world where time stands still and your life waits for you to get ready – yeah right.

So I was there, walking with coffee as I often do, when I realised just how much I was loving Autumn. It had started out as the kind of sunny day that still made you reach for your jacket with the freshness of a Winter’s chill soon approaching, however as the midday sun beat down on me I was able to remove my jacket, and really enjoy the sensations, sights and sounds that this season had to offer.

Yes, we were having an unseasonably warm Autumn. Weather reports constantly declared new records being broken, and the fact that Winter was so near and yet the weather was pretty damn acceptable, was further proof of that.

But no, it wasn’t just that this Autumn was better than previous ones. I thought of Spring, and then ‘Summer,’ and thought ‘lies, lies, lies.’

Look, this is how it goes: (in case this is the first thing you’ve ever read and you have no idea about climate)

Winter: June, July, August
Spring: September, October, November
Summer: December, January, February
Autumn: March, April, May

Right? Wrong.

I guess this June it’s a bit of an exception, with El Nino or whatever warm spell it is that’s going to be passing over Melbourne making it a warmer than normal Winter, but then again I think ‘ever year it’s a freaking exception!’ With Melbourne weather, biggest joke ever. We’ve had a warm Autumn, and now we’re expecting a warm-er than normal Winter.

This is how it should really go:

Winter: the very end of June, July, first half of August
Little Winter (aka Winter but with more sun): second half of August, September, October, start of November
Spring: end of November, December up to Christmas time
Summer: New Years (it’s always 30 degrees+ at clock striking twelve point), January
Big Summer (aka mother-f!*king scorching Summer): February, start of March
Autumn: end of March, April, May
Win-tumn (aka false pretences Winter that makes you think ‘this Winter won’t be so bad, it’s so sunny…’ then BAM!): start of June

I’m just hoping that this El Nino dude sticks around for a while so this Winter is much more bearable than others. Having said that, being on maternity leave and all, and not having to get up for work like poor Hubbie, I can’t whinge too much. Winter is so freaking bad when you’re getting up five in the morning, and shivering in the car waiting for it to warm up 20 minutes later in the darkness, then walking to work, in the cold, and darkness…

How I miss that, NOT.

I look forward to the warmer months so much, I find I end up starting to dread Winter as early as January, while we’re still in the midst of actual Summer (according to my new climate guide) to the point where sometimes, I can’t even enjoy Summer. Horrific I know. And then at other times, I’m often so peaking in fantastic stinking heat, I have to think hard to remember how it feels like to be cold, and shivering, and even ask myself the stupid, stupid question: “is Winter really that cold?”

Fast forward to today and putting on the heater 6 times during the day. Yes, yes it is.

I hate knowing Winter is just around the corner, knowing it’s ‘coming for me;’ yet when it’s here, there’s almost a sense of relief, like ‘ok, let’s get this over with.’

I’ve survived the first 9 days of Winter, so I should be ok. Sorry, I mean Win-tumn.