Sunday, June 27, 2010


This afternoon I've been playing with my mother's button tin.
I guess I haven't done this for a few decades but there's still something irresistible about sorting through the different shapes, colours and sizes and remembering the stories that go with them.

This particular button tin is at least 56 years old. My mother and her friends used to cut buttons off garments when they had finished with them, rather than throw them away.

This black button was from the coat my mother wore when she left Newcastle as a young bride to travel to Hobart. It was a coat with a single feature button - I suspect it would be very trendy today if she still had it.
The gold one is from another overcoat - I think I remember this one as a mustardy gold colour, and hairy! It's one of four.

These buttons were from my mother's wedding dress. She removed them before dyeing the dress pale green to use as a party dress - money was tight. When she wore her wedding dress in 1953 it caused a sensation, being made of the new fabric polyester!

Here are some other buttons that I particularly like:

I don't keep my buttons in a tin. They're in dozens of small plastic packets that have been attached to garments I've bought recently. I keep them in a plastic box, and on the bedside table, and in the bathroom cupboard - depending on where I happen to be when I remove the spare button.
I know that if I ever do need one of them it probably won't be in any of those places. 

And buttons in plastic packets are no substitute for rummaging through an old tin of buttons, history and memories.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Supermarket sorrows

So here's the scenario:
Friday night. No food left in the house. Boys home glued to the TV watching World Cup replays, so I decide to treat us to take away Bento boxes from the new Japanese place next to the supermarket.

I place the order but it's going to take 20 minutes, so I think I'll just pop into the supermarket and grab a few items since there's going to be precious little time to shop tomorrow with three games of soccer in a variety of locations.

But then - disaster! The first sign of something wrong is when I find the deodorant where the baked beans should be. Maybe an isolated incident? I'm in denial but when confronted with a further three aisles of goods that are IN THE WRONG PLACE, I am forced to face the cruel truth:
The supermarket is having another reshuffle.

A young female employee asks me if I'm looking for something. "Everything", I say. She offers to help me find things, but I have completely lost heart.

Luckily the freezer compartments are too securely installed to be involved in whimsical reorganisations.
I locate the milk and butter. And then I leave.

If I had time I would go to the other supermarket where things remain steadfastly in the safe and familiar locations. But the Bento boxes are nearly ready.

Dear Supermarket Manager, when you move things around, perhaps with the intention of surprising me with items I may never have otherwise noticed (and therefore would have saved money by not buying) you do nothing but alienate me and your other time-poor customers.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

When too much is not enough...

Further to the Chocolate Crawl, thanks to Linda for drawing my attention to the Chocoholic Tours in Melbourne.

And here are the birthday spoils:
from Essenze Chocolate in Caringbah, NSW
The one in the top left hand corner was superb. White chocolate over strong strawberry filling.

And these from Norman and Dann in Salamanca, Hobart.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Iconic stationery

Further to my post about posting (!), I've just discovered this fun stationery which once again manages to combine the things I most enjoy with technology.
It's an envelope that looks like the letter icon which looks like an envelope....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Please Mr Postman, look and see...

I like letters. I particularly like receiving them but I also like writing them.

When I lived in the UK for nearly four years I used to write 10 pages home every week, as my mother did for over 37 years after moving from Newcastle to Hobart. It's actually easier to write every week than to write once every year when it seems necessary to only write about the important stuff. In a weekly letter, it's just like continuing a conversation and it's ok to include trivia.

Sadly, now I only seem to write proper letters when someone dies and email doesn't seem appropriate.
I do write frequent letters to the paper, but I think that comes under the category of Grumpy Old Woman Having a Rant.

Given how much I enjoy receiving letters, a couple of years ago I made a resolution to write more. I bought nice stationary (for my printer) and tracked down a font that looked like handwriting (only better and easier to read).

I think I've written two letters in the two years since.

But today I've been re-inspired by reading Love your letter box, or see it die. I can't be without my letterbox - where would my catalogues go? I must do my bit to keep Australia Post in business.

Also, thx to Leah Dieterich who makes it her business to write a thank you note every day.
I like this one:

And my mother's friend Mary who writes such beautiful letters and helped raise my mother's spirits when she was in hospital three years ago after a serious accident.

Finally, I have all those postage stamps in my wallet which I need to use before the price of stamps goes up in just a few weeks.

So look out for a real old-fashioned letter coming to a letter box near you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chocolate crawl

I couldn't let the opportunity pass to write about my recent Chocolate Crawl around Melbourne.
What better way to spend a significant birthday?

First stop was the Lindt Cafe in Collins Street. Just looking.

A little later, Haigh's in the Block Arcade, reliving the memories of my visit to the Home of Haigh's in Adelaide, back in March. Again, just looking.

Finally, my destination: Koko Black in the Royal Arcade, to linger over a glass of hot chocolate affogato, to watch the chocolate being made, and to purchase a little something for the homeward journey.