Bits and Bobs: An update

Howdy folks, I’ve been away for the last few weeks and I thought I’d give you an update why.

Firstly, I took two weeks off and enjoyed one of them in India with a traditional Indian wedding. Photos and a blog post to come. Needless to say, the trip was more emotional than I expected that I needed some space to get back in my life. Seems like travel always break you out of your routine and shows you what really matters in life. Sometimes even to appreciate it just a little bit more. You should check out the comedian, Gabriel Inglesias – Goes to India on YouTube. He’s got my experience down to a T!

Secondly, the Winter Night Markets are back on in Queen Victoria Markets. When you avoid the rain (ha-ha, who am I kidding, it’s Melbourne. It could rain on a summer’s day) the place is even more magical. I caught the perfect evening recently and they’ve improved on it in numerous ways. Here’s what happened when I went to the summer one recently.

And without a doubt there was a blog post all lined up (I just forgot to hit publish to line up with my schedule – lesson learned the hard way).

And finally, I’ve come to enjoy life so much more yet wonder where I’m going too. For anyone that knows me, knows that I like having plans. But knowing that I can handle anything that life throws at me is reassuring enough.

Melbourne: Kedal Satay

First of all, I’ve never really tried Indonesian and my foray in to it by a good friend of mine (hat tip BT) was more than I could ever hope for.

Location: 186 King street, Melbourne 3000.

You know what I have to just cut to the chase. The food was served so fast that I thought that the quality was going to be compromised. But no. This was by far the most delicious meal that I had. The grilled beef ribs with steam rice, sambal and salad was so so so SO delicious. Even now, I can taste the food coating in the back of my throat and the smells are making me drool.

Nothing can prepare you for it. Seriously.

I thought I would not be full, but by the end of it, I was filled to hilt. And the price? $12.

Do yourself a favour, just go there and you won’t be disappointed.

I’m so excited that I have to give this place a resounding 5/5.

image

Indonesian Food on King Street

And it’s a one man kitchen. The efficiency of a well run operation just swelled my heart with pride. A few places, across multiple industries could learn a thing or two from this restaurant.

Wantirna South: The Coffee Club (Knox)

Coffee Club

I must admit, I avoid any coffee chain place like crazy but a catchup with a good friend and his daughter made sure that this local pit stop was going to be worth it.

And when I saw that they had an all day breakfast, I was hooked.

Location:

Nestled in the leafy suburb of Knox, this is an institution as old as time. Or as long as the Knox shopping centre has been open. It’s a great place to go to if you’re in a bind.

I was torn between their slow cooked pork burger and the big breakfast. And given the big breakfast was only 3 dollars more… I couldn’t say no.

The big breakfast was delicious. Everything was cooked perfectly. The steak was tender and juicy, the sausages cooked to perfection. The button mushrooms retained it’s moisture and the eggs on the sourdough was just delicious.

It was as close to perfection I could ever hope for.

The coffee on the other hand? Oh please. Just make sure you ask for extra hot, because by the time it gets to you, it cools down really quickly. And the service isn’t the best, so if you can work out where things are, all you need to do is find the nearest waiter and order.

The food was this place’s only saving grace. The company made it just that much more sweeter.

TDT: 2/5

Click to add a blog post for The Coffee Club on Zomato

[WP] You’re a custodian cleaning out lockers in a high school. As you clean the lockers one by one, you learn the legacy of a former student.

school

It’s not a glamorous job, but it’s pays the rent. And if that means I get to be free and allowed to be my own person then that can only be a good thing.

The mop squeaked along the floor and the beads of sweat on Rachel’s forehead dripped to the floor. She didn’t know what was more frustrating? The fact that she had moped and clean the most filthiest part of the high school or if the drops of sweat would mean she would have to work even longer in the worst part of the school. High school lockers. The pure stentch of the deodorant made her wretch.

However there were certain areas where she knew the kids came from well off families. Their bays smelled of the latest designer fragrance. Something she could only dream of. One day, Rachel would be able to escape this life and become the movie star she dreamed of. At least in this city, she had a fighting chance.

Rachel?

It was the grounds keeper George. A lovely elderly gentleman that looked after Rachel the moment she got here. He had once mumbled how she reminded him of his daughter who he hasn’t seen in 20 years and so would always pay her a little more attention over the other staff.

Yes George?

Today is your lucky day! You get the clean out duty.

YES!

Clean out duty is when a child has absconded for longer than 3 months and the parents, next of kin, no one can be identified or contacted to come collect their things. Because of the school’s reputation to produce some of the best and brightest minds, the waiting list and associated entrance exam meant there was always someone waiting in the wings to come fill in any gaps. Alternatively, those from well to do families, simply paid the hefty fee to get in and their children were treated all the more strictly, because by the time the teachers were done with them, these privilidged brats would know what kind of opportunity they are receiving. However, when it comes to clean out duty, whatever is left behind is available to the cleaners. Sometimes you get lucky and find something interesting and expensive – iPads, earrings, necklaces etc and other times you find nothing at all. Or nothing of note. Drugs were not tolerated in the school but Rachel would like to think that there were some students rebellious enough…. daring enough…. to fight the authority.

She sighed and went to the locker number that George gave her.

313, 313, 313

She kept muttering the number as she went down the bay and came across it.

In an instant she knew this was something special. Giddy with excitement, she punched in the override combination into the locker bay and it opened. And Rachel was puzzled at what she saw.

There was a big metal silver torch, a bag filled with some empty protein bars and half opened candy wrappers, a beanie, a heat blanket, rock climbing gloves, knee pads and various equipment that looked like it was meant for sneaking around. Further into the locker there was a map with dates and notes – completely unreadable scrawled all over. And then there were lines pointing to each person. Photographs of people. Some old, some new. This looked like it was going on for a long time. There was something else behind the bag and when Rachel went in for it, a book fell out from under the shelf. Clearly it wasn’t meant to be found. Rachel thumbed through it, there were different writings in there. But the style was all the same. It was almost like the same person was writing it but was perhaps in different mental states? Anxious, relaxed, excited? But they all looked the same.

The final entry opened.

“Dated: 7 July 2021″

Huh? It’s 2015.

“It seems like the invasion is imminent. And not a single person is aware. If I could only reach my Dad, he would be able to solve the answers for me. But I know I can’t because he’s running to protect me. Dad. I finally see. I’m coming. Mum is safe. I have placed her in a timeline where none of this will happen. For now. But if I work my way through, I should be able to get to you. And in time, we can be a family again.”

What an imagination.

Rachel flipped a few more back.

“My first memory”

“I don’t know how to say this and I don’t know if you believe me. But if you have found the book, you are looking for the answers too. This is my story and I need you to listen. Just listen.

I only ever knew my Dad for a few years. My Mum was never around. Dad mentioned that she went away to protect us both. But I don’t know who she was running away from. For a long time, my Dad told me I was special and that I would always have protectors around me when I needed it most. As a kid, I wanted to believe. Hell I tried my utmost, but there were times I didn’t.

Of course, that all changed the night I was about to throw my teddy bear out. Ted was a toy given to me by my Mum. Not a toy but rather a guardian. It’s ridiculous to think that I would stay awake so many nights telling him my deepest worries and fears. I told him all about my questions and if I anything when I hugged him as I went to sleep crying trying my hardest to remember my Mum, I could honestly say that it felt like he hugged me back. And to think I was going to throw him away. That night… that night I saw a thing come through my door in a haze of mist and smelly fog and Ted stood his ground and fought it… if I hadn’t open my mouth, Ted would have been alright, but I whispered his name. He was distracted and that thing stuck him. I got so enraged….so angry that I yelled. And this black pit opened behind him and it swallowed the monster whole.

Ted hugged me and promised me that he would be back. He needed to go after the thing to stop it once and for all. He knew… that by the time he made it back, I would not be alive and he gave me one last hug as he jumped through the portal.

And that’s when my Dad showed up.

The next day he told me everything.

Who I am, what i was doing here and my purpose. I couldn’t believe him. I was nearly 10 but that’s when everything started to change. And I needed to. Because of what’s coming.”

Now Rachel was intrigued. She closed the book and read the name. James Parker.

Parker. Parker… why does that name sound familiar.

Then she remembered about that incident. One night she was working late and was going across the school yard to her car. And from the edge she saw a bunch of no-hopers hanging around. They looked like some of the older kids hanging out. Or rather kids that had graduated but realised that they had already peaked. Hence why they come back to their old stomping ground. As she got closer to the car. They left the edge of the parking lot and was walking towards Rachel and her solitary car. Her heart raced as she quickened her pace.

They were at her car before she was.

Hey Miss. What are you doing out here?

It was Rob the worst of the lot. Hanging out with 4 of his other no hopers.

Rob. Go home, I can clearly smell the alchol on your breath and you know you shouldn’t be drinking on school property.

I dun go heere no more

His speech was slurred. Rachel was trying to reach for the mace she carried in her bag.

Well I don’t want trouble. Go home and I won’t breathe a word.

Not before you make sure I am clean too.

He licked his lips and massaged his crotch. The other boys snickered and circled her.

She pulled out the mace and aimed at him.

I’m WARNING YOU. LEAVE ME ALONE.

GET HER BOYS!

She heard the zip as the first burly boy fell and the baseball came to a stop at her feet. She whipped around to see who it was and but it was too dark in the shadows.

Then another ball came and landed smack in the second boy’s face and you could hear the sound of his nose breaking.

Then the third and fourth ball hit. One dislocated knee and the other collapsed backwards as the sternum cracked.

The shlick of the knife made Rachel turn around as Rob lunged towards her with a butterfly knife. She raised her arms to protect herself.

She heard a loud thud and massive crack. Rob had swung and cut her saviour in the face but he had landed a powerful blow to his stomach that he collapsed like a bag of potatoes.

OH MY GOD thank you thank you thank you.

Her saviour turned around, it was James Parker and his face was cut under the left eye.

You’re bleeding. Are you ok?! We need to get you to a hospital.

I’m fine. Are you ok? Why are you out here so late?

Don’t get angry at me. i work here.

I go to school here. And what would have happened if I wasn’t here?

Rachel collapsed to the ground.

You got to get up.

James reached down and picked her up under her arms. That smell. Sunflowers. Why did he smell like sunflowers. Rachel looked at him confused.

Where have you been?

Here in the lab the entire time.

Can’t be.

Come on Rachel. You need to go home. I’ll clean this up.

Rachel. Rachel?

It was George.

Are you ok?

She slipped the book behind her.

Yeah I’m fine.

As George walked away, she looked at the next line.

“Mum doesn’t know. But I will always protect her. I promised Dad. One day we will all be together. One day she will sweep us up and bring us together”

[WP]You Discover you have the power to go back in time through photographs, but can only interact with or see objects in the photograph.

WrightGlidersSideBySide 1906

And on your left is the photo of the first flight of Oliver and Wilbur Wright. Well the subsequent first flight documented.

I looked into the photo and wondered. Did they ever know how far their invention would go? What they were able to accomplish. Thanks to them, we not only flew in the skies but all the way to the stars and now we are looking at how we can go beyond. To new stars, new solar systems, new galaxies in this amazing universe.

I felt a cool breeze. I looked around and couldn’t see a vent or shaft that could be cooling this part of the museum.

Tom if you don’t keep up, we will not wait for you.

Ungh….teachers.
Read More…

The Basin: Oak Tree Tavern

Steak and Red at the Oak Tree Tavern

You know how they say, you never go visiting your own backyard? Well, here’s a gem that I have been overlooking for all the years that I have been living here. And whilst I love a good steak, this place won me over on so many more reasons and here’s why you’ll love it too.
Read More…

Writing Prompt Day 4

clouds

You’re midway into your flight when you, feeling bored, decided to surf the Internet. You read breaking news about another plane disappearance. You’re on that flight.

The view over the Atlantic is beautiful this early in the morning. The wisps of cloud as the plane flies through the air just gives you a sense of calm and wonder. And to think nearly a 100 years ago, man was still wondering whether we would ever be able to fly. And who knows where technology can take us next? I recently read that they were now able to get a coffee machine that makes your drop just the way you like it. Imagine that, after the first 10 or so tries, you’re able to get the machine to create the exact drop. Then using your card, you can go anywhere in the world that has those machines (and they’re thinking of going global) and swipe. Done. Your coffee just the way you like it. One way, same way. The way. Perfect. Just the way you like it.

So what foes that mean for the barista? Does something that is, in my opinion, something that takes the most fundamental of creativity and reduce it to a machine format, what happens to them? Where can we go from there? If anything? What’s next? And how far are we willing to go?
Read More…

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