Friday, 5 October 2012

My favourite things - the lemonade stand

1. The "pop up shop" at Seddon train station.  It popped up this morning and was still there four hours later when I returned from the city. The proprietors are two bold, blond-headed eight-year-old boys and they have a cunning entrepreneurial spirit.  This morning as I walked to the station, the one with the curls approached me and offered to sell me some flowers.  They had a tartan rug and all the flowers were beautifully laid out.  I explained about my hayfever and said that I couldn't buy flowers because of it, but I wished them well.  I asked him how it was going and he said "okay" and that they'd had donations from a couple of people.  He looked at me meaningfully with a maturely cocked eyebrow. I decided not to make a donation; these boys looked like they were serious about business.

When I returned in the afternoon, they had diversified.  They were now offering home made lemonade for $1 a cup.  I asked who made it.  Ethan had.  I asked if it was good.

"It's very good," he said solemnly.  There was pulp floating in it so it looked real.  I had a momentary worry about washing up and who else had used the cup, but decided I would be okay.

The boys engaged in entertaining banter while I sipped my lemonade.  An old  man made his way from across the street to enquire about the price of a cup of lemonade.  He decided $1 was a good price but shook his head when a cup was proffered at half mast.  "If I'm paying a dollar, I want a full cup," he said.  These boys showed excellent customer service instincts, apologising immediately and happily rectifying the error.

I noticed some small bunches of lavender were still available.

"How much is your lavender?"

"It's a dollar.  We've got the English or the French.  The French is a smaller bunch 'cos the flowers are bigger, but the English smells better, I reckon," one of them said earnestly.

He displayed the two options and asked me which I would like.

"I'll take one bunch of the English please."

"An excellent choice," he said as he took my dollar.

I asked how business was.  They said it was pretty good and that they had made $60 for the day.

"What are your expansion plans?" I asked.

"Well we're getting ready for peak hour."

"What do you think about your shop location for peak hour?"

"Yeah, we've been thinking about that.  What do you think?"

I made a couple of suggestions, including staying right where they were until they had seen the pattern of foot traffic coming off the first couple of peak hour services.  They thought this was a good idea and advised they would consider it.

I wished them all the best and thanked them for the lemonade and the lavender.

I was going to ask them if I could take a photo of them and their shop, but felt it freak them out.  Here's a picture of the lavender instead.
(c) divacultura 2012

2.  I discovered a precinct in Melbourne Central that I hadn't visited before.  It's a new food court and shopping area which is cleverly decorated and has better than the usual foodcourt suspects.  I enjoyed a Mexican quesadilla from one of the zillion Mexican joints springing up and also had a coffee and cake for afternoon tea after some wandering around with my camera.

Coffee and cake at Cupcake Central
(c) divacultura 2012

This place has a wonderfully coherent and pleasing design theme.  The pale green (shown in the saucer above) shows up in a few places.

The tiles
(c) divacultura 2012
I gazed at this still life arrangement as I enjoyed my afternoon tea.  You can see the same green in the handle of the egg beater.
Still life with cupcakes
(c) divacultura 2012
The chairs were funky too.

(c) divacultura 2012

3.  There's a little library in this part of the world!  A cool idea in the middle of a retail area frequented by students.  Its philosophy is written on the window and I'm inspired to drop of some books when I'm next in the neighbourhood.

Little Library rules
(c) divacultura 2012

4. The shot tower at Melbourne Central.  This has to be one of the cleverest renovations/preservations around.  Who ever is in charge of the centre deserves congratulating.  There are lots of delightful details.

Giant white chandeliers, reimagined
(c) divacultura 2012

Mezzanine chairs
(c) divacultura 2012

Shot tower shadows and living wall
(c) divacultura 2012

Shot tower I
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Shot tower II
(c) divacultura 2012

 5. The prose in Nick Cave's first novel, "And the Ass saw the Angel".  It's incredible: dense, rich and requiring gorging.  I'm very grateful for the built-in dictionary in my e-reader too.  Here are a couple of my favourite passages. Not for the fainthearted:

"Mummy was a swine - a scum-cunted, likkered-up, brain-sick swine.  She was lazy and slothful and dirty and belligerent and altogether evil.  Ma was a soak - a drunk - a piss-eyed hell-bag with a taste for the homebrew." (page 26).

"Finding Toad covered in pig-shit and sucking a trotter, they had chased him out of the Morton's valley to roam the gullies and gulches of the out-hills, a sore Goliath shunned by his own blood, without friend or companion save the league of demons that rubbed and itched amongst the crags and sunless cracks of his bad, mad and unholy brain." (page 34)

"His demented eyes egged in their orbits as if they were being laid." (page 56)

What are your favourite things this week? Have you ever run a lemonade stand?


  1. I absolutely love the shot tower. I first met it about 18 years ago. It's still looking great. I think it is fabulous that it has been made into a feature and preserved rather than knocking it down. The shadows from the dome just add to the interest of the tower.

    1. I love the shadows too. It was a good time and day to be there (about 3pm).