Archive for October, 2005

Melbourne Cup day

Tommorow (Tuesday) morning there will be people making their way towards the Flemington Racecourse to watch the horseracing. Or are they?

I think a lot of people are heading there for (a) To see if Makybe Diva can win a third Melbourne Cup. And (b) For the fashion. And then, (c) to watch the horses go round, and place a bet or two.

Melbourne Cup is such a big event, why else would they have a public holiday for all Victorians to enjoy the Melbourne Cup?

It should be a nice and hot day tommorow. With a top of 31 degrees celcius.

When I was still studying at University, Melbourne Cup day often meant that I had to sit an exam on that. Over the three years of my degree, I think I had two exams on the Queens Birthday public holiday, and 3 on Melbourne Cup day.

And where was the exam held? Why, at the Caulfield Race Course of course :)
In several of the halls which would have housed various punters only weeks earlier for the Caulfield Cup race, would house several thousand Monash University students sitting their exams.

Goodluck and all the best to all the students out there sitting for their end of year exams!

Its Halloween tonight!

Its Halloween tonight! I already have children and teenagers coming to my front door. Unlike America, the kids were not very dressed up. Some of them were dressed like robbers! Luckily I have some backup candy … I didn’t know Halloween is celebrated here …

Sunday brides

Yesterday was a good day for bride-spotting.

Collins St., between Russel and Swanston: a bride, her groom and a photographer play chicken with the trams to try to take pictures on the tracks while their car partially blocks traffic.

Collins St., between William and King: a veeery long white stretch limo is parked close to the middle of the block, while the bride, the groom, the maids-of-honour and (apparently) a few guests have a late lunch in the tables in front of a McDonald’s. Yes, they’re eating McDonald’s food.

Port Melbourne, by the beach: a bride desperatly tries to hold to all of her accessories against the wind while being pulled by the photographer ever closer to the water.

Yes, it was one of those “I wish I had my camera with me” days.

Daylight Savings

Don’t forget to wind your clock forward an hour for all in Melbourne if you haven’t already done so. I’m aware that those over in some parts of the world have to wind their clocks back an hour. So it’s the reverse.

I’m also aware that those living in Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory don’t need to adjust their clocks.

Anyway, my younger brother started changing all the clocks in my house forward an hour yesterday at about 5pm without telling anybody. My mum went into the kitchen, noticed the time. She had no idea that my brother had already switched the time forward an hour, and she decided it was time to make dinner. He didn’t say anything at all. Whoops.

I’m sure there’s many other daylight savings related stories out there. Anyone?

I’ve heard of people forgetting whether it’s a change forward, or change backwards an hour. And others forgetting to change their clocks altogether and waking up either one hour early, or one hour late :P

Melbourian man on death row in Singapore

This has been on the news almost daily now and I am of two minds.

One, that he has committed a crime of drug trafficking. On the other hand, a death sentence for trafficking less than 500 grams of drugs seems like an overkill. I would have thought the other severe punishment popular in Singapore, caning, would have been more appropriate. A stroke would be sufficient to last a life time.

I know, a crime is a crime is a crime. There is no denying that he has committed a crime. But a death sentence is severe.

His friends are attempting to help him. Taken from the Nine MSN website a quote: “Ms Ng and Ms Lew asked people to send in hands of support to The Reach Out Campaign, c/o Howells, 205 William Street, Melbourne 3000.” I can’t imagine the Singapore government changing their minds but I guess it is worth trying … anything.

the lights off

i went with some friends to see martin creed’s controversial unstallation at acca today, the lights off. controversial and unstallation because really all this turner prize-winning artist has done is turn the lights off.

the space consists of three rooms, each progressively further from the foyer and the street, and so each receiving less light from that source. when we arrived some camp fellow was holding court in the first room and talking clumsily about the artist, but this was mostly a distraction. (it was nice to see a group of people standing closely in a circle in a dim room discussing contemporary art, though.)

as an idea, it’s interesting. it takes to the extreme the minimalism fashionable in contemporary art, while commenting on its commodification. and for me it alludes to the history of religious expression and philosophy, how do we express an absence?

the space in which the idea is implemented made it much more than just the idea. i have visited the gallery before, but i had never seen it like this. i felt as if i were in a cave, a crypt or a church. that we are so used to public buildings being lit made me more conscious of the darkness, transforming it from an absence into a presence. it became a sensuous and emotional experience that reminded me of craft, like the loving way a violin is carved.

to have this combined with the clean lines of a modern gallery was a unique experience which i otherwise would not have had. providing an experience both primal and rich by doing something we all do every day, just switching the lights off, not only makes the lights off witty and whimsical, it makes it great art.

maybe you won’t like it, maybe you will, but i urge you to go and have a look before you make up your mind.

the lights off is at acca, 111 sturt st, southbank, until the 4th of december.

It is strawberry season!

I believe it is the start of the strawberry season. I know for sure, because I have just returned from a farm in Bacchus Marsh where customers pick their strawberries. For around $6 to $7 per kilo, it is fresh, washed by rain, and extremely juicy.

U-pick farms are good fun. One gets to pick and eat fruits at the same time. Fresh off the plant is always good. It is a different experience to eating strawberries from either the market or the shops.

For interested parties, there are at least two farms along the Avenue of Honour in Bacchus Marsh. Payne’s Orchards is on the top end of the road and the other is called the Fruits of Life. The latter has a shopfront where they sell local produce at reasonable prices. Don’t forget to slap on some sunscreen and wear a hat while fruit picking. In my case today, a raincoat is more appropriate.

Now, I am on the lookout for u-pick farms for rasberry, blueberries and cherries. Those in the know, please let me know.

Let’s help the earthquake victims!

It has been more than a week since the earthquake in India and Pakistan. Night after night, we are still seeing a lot of victims without shelter, warmth and food.

Let’s do out little bit by donating to the red cross.


Wow, what a game!

Melbourne Victory defeated Sydney FC 5-0. (Goals to Richard Kitzbichler, 2 to Kevin Muscat, 2 to Archie Thompson)

Was a really interesting experience listening to the match on the radio.

Well, the win puts Melbourne top of the ladder with 4 wins, 3 draws and a loss.

I think what’s exciting is that the game (aside from the goals) was a sellout, with an actual attendance of 18,206 people.

Anyway, i’m definately on the Melbourne bandwagon now, and I hope others around Melbourne are too!

My other discovery of Mornington Peninsula

The other discovery I made while in Mornington Peninsula is the numerous golf courses there. Within a short drive of each other; spread out amongst the suburbs (Can I actually call it suburb?) of Rye, Sorrento through to Postsea, I counted around 18 public golf courses.

What is it about Mornington to entice golf enthusiasts to build so many courses there? Cheap land or just the general geographical topology of the land. I would have thought it would be difficult to maintain a good quality golf course balance with a competitive pricing in an area with a golf course at every other corner. It is the equivalent of a pub every few metres in a street.

Anyway, one of the more famous golf course is the Moonah Links golf course. It is the place where the Australian Open is held annually. I had a ride around the course while my friend played. It was huge and my first time driving a golf cart!:)

With 18 golf courses there, it is going to take quite some time to play all of them!

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