Saturday, August 02, 2008

St Kilda on Sunday

This morning I had to get an MRI scan to work out why my left leg is still hurting a couple of months after some idiot in Hobart knocked me over while daydreaming as I crossed at a green light. After I'd had the snapshots of my knee taken (listening to soothing Rimsky-Korsakov and Chopin), I decided it was too late to go to the Continuum meeting in Carlton, so I took the 16 tram down to the beach.

I'd earned a break, after spending all of yesterday on my computer, fixing up and editing my manuscript for my new book, which I'm doing for Ford Street Publishing. No title so far, because neither of us really knows what to call it. Paul likes: Crime Time: Australians Behaving Badly. I still have eight chapters and the "Did You Know...?" file to finish, plus some more "Did You Know...?" entries because Paul Collins, my publisher, keeps worrying we might have left someone out on the list of Australia's famous criminals and I keep finding amusing snippets, such as the story of the forger who was Australia's first artist and forged cash on the way to Australia to get extras for himself and his friends in chains,and the fact that our Prime Minister has convict ancestors. But it should mostly be over by the end of this week, because the typesetters are on holidays for a month and Paul wants to get it all out of the way before September (though I'll still have to do my index).

The Sunday craft market was in full swing. I saw the Dutch Blue Delft stall and asked the lady there - the artist - if she could bring me a full-sized teapot, which I can buy as part of my wedding gift to my sister's best friend's daughter. They're very beautiful and I have had one for many years, still used for Saturday morning breakfast cuppas.

The gentleman who makes Australian animal stuffed toys was next on my stop list - I have a wombat of his, plus I have bought other toys for children. One of his wombats went to England, for the daughter of my penpal, Joyce Cluett. Tricia is grown now - perhaps she has kept it for her own kids. I hope so. I have also had a recent e-mail from my American "honorary cousin", Walter Bursztynski, who has a second grandchild. I could perhaps send a wombat for the new child, Paige, and a possum puppet for young Chase, her brother - it's great, you put it on your hand and drape it over your arm and it looks as if you're cuddling a possum. He'd love it!

I did consider some painted glassware for Maia, the young woman who is marrying, but the man only had two of everything on the stall, his partner makes them as the mood hits her and two wine glasses are useless for the Shabat table. Pity.

Next were the wonderful wooden chopping boards, but Maia has one - I gave it to her for her engagement.

For myself I bought several pieces of handmade soap and two CDs of soothing harp music, from the lady who recorded it and gave me two for $10. A win-win situation - it would have cost her about $1.00 to burn and most folk selling their music charge a lot more. I look forward to playing them. I do like to support local artists.

Then down to the beach for a walk. Unfortunately, the newly-built walk has taken up a large chunk of what was beach. They have knocked down the small round shelter that has been at the start of the pier for years and had a Mirka Mora mosaic in it - I hope they at least preserved that somewhere! There is nowhere to sit along most of the walk and for the moment, at least, no designated bike path, so cyclists just zoom along wherever they please and walkers have to leap out of their way. I know we're supposed to be all for bikes because they're more environmentally friendly than cars, but I just CAN'T like the things when they're on the footpath. Elderly people have been known to get killed by some idiot cyclist who thinks they own the path.

I shouted myself lunch at the Stoke House restaurant on the beach - barramundi, quite nice, but not as good value for money as the barramundi at the Presse cafe near my home, which comes in a bigger piece and lots of salad/potatoes/whatever, and four dollars dearer.

I remember when the Stoke House was just a pleasant place for afternoon tea instead of a rather upmarket restaurant. You could get huge scones fresh from the oven, lots of cream and jam and a massive pot of tea or coffee. Or Sachertorte or bienenstich... Yum! No more, alas! But it is a nice, if expensive, restaurant.

I am writing this in a local Internet cafe on Sunday afternoon, before going home to clean the house and do some more editing ... Work never ends!

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