How did it happen? With a morning start at the Mediterranean Wholesalers (coffee and canolis), we explored north to the A1 Lebanese Bakery, which was our landmark as we hunted for a shop that would stock fenugreek leaves and dried limes. We've been inspired to try some Persian cooking, and tonight's dinner of lamb with quormeh sabzi is quietly simmering away as I type this, sending interesting and delicious smells throughout the house. Sure enough: a very kind shopkeeper helped me to find both fenugreek and dried limes. This is why I love Sydney Road.
Meet me at Mikes, where a special stash-tastic suitcase of 1970s ladybird books was the pick-up for this secret agent. (Two old guys stopped later on and said it was a cool suitcase. "1950s!" said one guy, "And it's even been overseas...")
Off next to meet a lovely friend for lunch, I hopped the tram and - ding!ding! - down to Federation Square, where a flashmob of swing dancers were cutting up the concrete, swing jazz style, to the sounds of big band in a beatbox strapped to the back of a bike. Swing Patrol, kids! Do we love it? We love it!
Can't you hear those grooves? This is not Melbourne, but it's the same gorgeous style. The Swing Patrol site is down, so this is a photo from the Calgary swing dancers.
(Just lookit all that water. Can you believe that's where I grew up??)But I couldn't find my friend.... Hmm, she said she'd be at Fed Square. Up the steps, down the steps - hmm, one of the dancers is waving at me between twirls - it's her! Turning a neat toe in keds and gingham, having a blast. We settled in until the beats moved on up to Town Hall. I'm not a dancer, despite some two-left-footed attempts, but I enjoyed watching the action and spying the tourists whose open-mouthed delight made my day. There's nothing better than a mob of people spontaneously breaking into dance! (and me without my camera)
Journal Cafe at the City Library refreshed us with Portuguese Custard Tarts (Go there. Have one. I never liked custard tarts before meeting these beauties.) "Let's go handbag shopping!" said my friend - so it was up to Catherine Manuell to try on all of the bags. She didn't tell me she'd been haunting the place and that I was to provide final colour call between two favourites (see pages 4-5). We left with her new bag proudly on-shoulder.
Could it get better? A stop at an Asian stationery shop was pretty divine and only cost a dollar ten (that stuff is addictive) -- and then it was time to race home, pack a picnic, and head out for a free concert under the stars at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
We're a little tired today. But happy, oh so happy.