1. Fresh flowers.
2. Driving into the setting sun.
3. "Winning" things on ebay. Even though you are actually paying for them, the knowledge of winning something is sweet. Picking them up can be a logistical challenge but you might be lucky to find yourself on an adventure to an outer suburb watching the sun set in the west! This week, I scored a hall table with a mirror to jazz up our entrance.
4. Discovering new places to eat. It makes you poorer and fatter but what's not to love in trying new places to eat? I've been trying to cut back but it's very difficult when exploring a new area. This week, I tried three decent places that I'd heard a lot about but I'm yet to decide just how much I love two of them. First there was Thai Angels (549 Barkly Street, West Footscray VIC 3012) where everything was good but not great. The critic in me wondered if the prawns were fresh and why there were sizable lumps in the satay sauce that came with the skewers. The company was top notch and they all said good things about Thai Angels. I admit to being a little disappointed with the service and food overall but as it is so close to home I will persevere and try it again. I am trying not to compare to two wonderful Thai places that have opened in my old stomping ground of Moonee Ponds in the last year, Samanee Thai and Khao San Road.
Happy River Cafe: 45 Moreland Street, Footscray VIC 3011. Phone: 03 9689 3244
Next I tried the Happy River Cafe, which is perfectly convenient after a walk along the Maribyrnong River. We entered the cafe at the back of this gorgeous bluestone building so you don't get to appreciate it so much. Had a perfectly nice coffee and chat over the paper but I think I'll need to return to really determine if it's a winner. May also need a child too so I have an excuse to sprawl out on one of the blankets on the lawn!
Seddon Deadly Sins: 148 Victoria Street Seddon VIC 3011 - (03) 9689 3092
The real winner of the week though is Seddon Deadly Sins. It was positively humming on Sunday afternoon and the staff are to be commended for coming across as the consummate professionals while maintaining their wit and good humour. The menu is innovative and enticing, making it hard to choose, but the food is so tasty that you should be happy with your eventual choice. There's a lot to love about this place and I will be back to soak up more of its quirky features.Penheads pals made me realise how important it is to carve off some time to escape into one's creative space of choice. Paint, draw, write, sing, play, sew, cook, build, the choice is yours. Go forth and create.
6. Public festivals. Installations like this Edible Eden Design Garden bring cities alive. Engaging the people and bringing creativity to the streets is genius and makes a walk through a city that much better. It's all been happening in Melbourne for the past week or so with the Fashion Festival and the Food and Wine Festival. Explore your own city and see what delights you uncover.
7. Seeing others succeed. I was so excited last Thursday morning when I opened The Age and saw that the Seymour family of the Mount Zero brand were inducted into Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's hall of fame. I've written about the delicious products they grow and make at their biodynamic farm in the Grampians previously so I guess it felt good to be backing a winner. It's just so nice to see local businesses recognised, and cheering on those on the rise is fun, as any sports fan will tell you. I guess you could now say that Mount Zero has risen!
8. Weekends. Enough said.
9. Getting something back that you thought was lost. One of my brothers once found the stone out of our mother's engagement ring months after she thought it was lost for good. My husband got a text last year from his mum to say that the management team at a big shopping centre had his mobile that he'd left on a bench on a Saturday night. A jogger called my mum to say he had found my mobile on the side of a road. My older brother is said to have spent his toddler years escaping on independent adventures to the town's main -albeit small- street. Locals would return him, much to my parents' delight and embarrassment.
It's heartwarming to know that there are so many people in the world doing nice things for strangers. This week my husband was contacted by the ifoundyourcamera blog site to say that the owner of a memory card he found two years ago had come forward. Her lost photos included snaps from the Movember ball and a holiday to Queensland with the man she is about to marry. The idea of this saintly website is to upload photos from a camera you have found so that the rightful owner can contact you and reclaim their camera and, most importantly, their treasured photos. Finding the owner of an item lost is a reward in itself. I'm busy scanning the website ifoundyourpradasunniesinportdouglas.com to see if my faith in human kind can be further cemented.
10. Remembering that some people will stay with you forever. The people that change you or guide you or love you (or all three) can never really be lost, even when they pass away. This weekend was two years since my father died. I watered his plant, I felt that old ache in my chest, I wished he was here. I carry him in my heart and know that he will always be my Papa. Some things are forever and that makes me happy.
Now tell me, what makes your heart sing?