Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Just looking, Thanks!"

Thought for the day. Behind it are more of those bizarre band names
 Urban bush walking yesterday. I went to that slightly seedy end of town where there are very expensive outdoor shops, bicycle shops and an eclectic mix of retro clothing, antiques and specialty shops that pop up like mushrooms after rain, only to disappear as suddenly as they came. But, like spring flowers, they do provide a dazzling, if brief,  and ever -changing display that keeps the place interesting.
In between are venerable establishments such as the No appointment needed dental prothesetist, the Christian Science Reading  Room and the Map Shop. The Map Shop smells like old parchment and feels as if it's been around since Abel Tasman was a boy. The leatherwear shop is another olfactory delight.

Outdoor shops, Cafes and Antique establishments dominate the lower end of Elizabeth St





New Cafe. Looks like we are getting a bit of courtyard culture too
Don't know about the food, but the table decorations look interesting

The Map Shop. Enduring and pleasantly anachronistic in these days of GPS and Google Earth
My main mission in this area was to find shoes that I can actually walk in (fashion shoes being a complete waste of time in my case), but didn't cost the equivalent of a small sovereign nation's GDP. No luck there, but in the little shop whose blackboard I have shown above, there were two book titles that really spoke to me.

You read my mind!
This shop had any number of  other interesting items such as sardine shaped paper clips in a sardine tin, Messiah Mints and Jesus Action Figures and erasers packaged in foil to look like condoms. My personal preference would be for the other way round - i.e. condoms packaged as erasers. That way I could still pretend to be a respectable English teacher while being prepared for nights of lust and debauchery. They could also have application in deeply religious communities. On the other hand, perhaps I should get some of each. There are some people whom I want to think that I am having an outrageous sex life, when in fact all I am doing is scribbling on pieces of paper.



There were other intriguing book titles as well, such as One Hundred Cats who Changed Civilization, but I managed to resist the urge to buy here, and even The Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian at the secondhand book and record shop next door. I did at last succumb to a secondhand copy of Bill Bryson's Down Under, after it fell open at the chapter on Canberra. I love this kind of random mix and thoroughly dislike genre marketing. I mean, who goes into a book shop or library thinking, yes, today I really want biography or romance or a cookbook. You miss all the joy of discovery!

Now there's a notebook I could love, though possibly a bit small for my purposes

This suitcase of secondhand books is more my style.
A lovely innovation
 My last stop was at the Flower Room. This is a charity shop where the good women of Hobart bring their excess produce and especially their flowers. It used to be in a poky little room at the top of the stairs in an obscure building and the stock would consist of towering delphiniums, flower show -worthy irises and the most extravagant lilies.  Now that it has moved to bright new street -level premises and almost keeps business hours,  there is much less on the shelves and I was lucky to get a few lemons and some free range eggs.I hope it means that they are doing good business.


 I also noticed that we had a new collection of signal boxes which put the not inconsiderable talents of our graffiti artists to better use. Very cheerful and a much better look than the original ones.

Our colourful new signal boxes


Much better than the old ones

Meanwhile the search goes on.


Cheers all!


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