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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

King Tut's Curse?

Twas a damp and misty morning in the valley last Thursday
but the natives were up early for an excursion into the city 
and The Cook to visit a few favourite bookshops and to do some food shopping.

It is rumoured that King Tut's tomb was cursed...
I am thinking there may be some truth to this tale.

The car wouldn't start...
flat battery.

So we two old tarts high-tailed it down the road towards
the bus stop.  There is only one bus each way from this hamlet
to the big smoke each day.  We almost made it the 2 kilometres to
the stop as the bus sailed past...ignoring our flapping arms.

King Tut! 
Oh, how we cursed you!

As we walked dejectedly back home we even had a go
at hitch hiking....putting on our friendliest granny faces...
'Look,' we said, 
'We are just a couple of old girls.'

The Cook said it made her feel nineteen again.
She didn't have any trouble hitching around
the country in those days, but she seems to have 
lost her one slowed down and
I am sure I caught a glimpse of King Tut,
waving to us from the back seat
of one of the cars as it sped by.

As we turned into our street, we heard a car start up.
Could Miss Lovely Young Thing,
 two doors up, be driving into uni today?
Would she give us a lift?
Yes and Yes!

A lovely hour's chat, in a warm car, got us half way there.
Then a Number 86 tram took us the rest of the way.
And just look what I found!
My two princes.

After the Tut Exhibition and a lovely lunch, 
I took my leave from the princes and their mum
and met up with The Cook to fill in several hours
before we could return bus.

Cool eh?

Following on from my Consuming Passions post, I took a few more
retail architecture photos for you.  
This is inside the newly renovated Bourke Street Myer
department store.

See that black oval at the bottom....

 ...this photo is taken from there, looking up.

These lovely guys were photographed for The Cook.  As a little girl she hated Barbie but had a strong attraction to Ken.  She says it was because of his sense of style but I think it had something to do with the his 'indeterminate manly bulge'. 
We had a chat with Rodney from the bedding department in Myer.
He has worked there since 1960....that is 51 years!  
I told him that I worked as a mail girl in Myer 
when I first left school and he said he remembered me.  
I don't think so, but it was sweet of him to say so.  
He is considering retiring next year.

Even the front of the store has been spruced up and is sparkling. 
All the windows all have their eyes open after years of being painted over. 


 Just a quick step over Bourke Street is the wonderful Royal Arcade.  
Look at all those lovely black bay windows 
and the matching iron work in the roof.  
Now that is great 
retail architecture.

There is a shop in Royal Arcade that sells only Babushka dolls.

And at the end you can see Gog and Magog strike the hour.

I was a bit scared that we would suffer 
the curse of Gog because we didn't wait 
to see them do their thing.

 He looked so fierce as I dodged under there ... quickly, 
just in case he dropped his bell or his donger on me.

Then on and into the delightful Block Arcade.  
Lovely masonry.

Mosaics on the floor.

This arcade was built in the mid to late 1800s when 
Melbourne was a boom town because of the Gold Rushes.  
The Block arcade was 'The Place' 
to be seen on a Sunday afteroon.

Can't your just see the 'well to do' strolling over these floors?
The ladies in their best dresses, sweeping along the tiles...
maybe with a lovely wide brimmed hat or a parasol.
The men in their top hats. 

 There have been tearooms in this arcade since 1891 
and the ladies and their beaus  
may have stopped for afternoon tea.

Today we dodged the curse of the Hopetoun Tea Rooms 
whose window display alone, 
is a threat to one's arteries and hips.

Check out all those lovely cake stands.
Can you see the green, white and black flock 
wallpaper in the background?  

 In the shop at the front of the arcade (just a chain store boutique) 
there is a beautiful original painted ceiling too.

We crossed Collins Street and entered, Centreway Arcade. 
This won an award for the architect who oversaw
its refurbishment and is said to be an excellent example
of the industrial style.  

By now the curse of the looking
up at lots of ceilings and atriums 
was beginning to effect my neck.

 Melbourne has some pretty cool graffiti too.
Some people think this is a curse...but I love it.

Another feature of Melbourne are the little laneways with tiny shops
and cafes.  This one is usually buzzing but the weather put
a dampener on that today.

We made it to Southern Cross Station to catch the bus home. 
We left ourselves plenty of time...we didn't want to be left flapping
our arms on the side of the road again.

I purchased something to eat on the trip home.
But apparently hot food isn't allowed
on these coaches and it had to be stowed underneath.
King Tut still hadn't finished with us!

But it was a quiet and relaxing two hour ride home...
well to the bus stop anyway.

Then a 2 kilometre walk 
in the drizzle and pitch dark...
no street lights out here.

As I was undoing my shoes 
I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
I am sure I didn't look like that at the start of the day!

Oh No!  
You bugger, King Tut!

 This little sketch was in an exhibition in a subway to the railway station.

And he hadn't finished with us even then.  
Yesterday when I went to publish this post...Blogger was down!

I think I could hear Tutankhamun 
sniggering beneath his bandages.
I am terribly sorry for any of you other bloggers who were caught up
in the Blogger problems yesterday... they were clearly meant only for me.  
Poor old Tut isn't that technically savvy 
so as to narrow his curse to only my computer.


  1. Wow what a day! I can't wait to go to the King Tut exhibition.

    So I can blame you for blogger locking me out all day yesterday and losing my latest post and all the comments that went with it?!

  2. I agree what a day.. I am slightly jealous of you fellas going to see King Tut I really really want to go but its 3hours just to get to melbourne from here so I would ahve to stay in a motel for the night and none of that would bother me except it make sit all abit expensive..
    Love Love and Love all the cake stands and pastrys YUM! I have a thing for cake plates and stands...

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Love the Rubic Cube!!!! I can make no further comment being an Adelaidian born and bred.
    Blogger was a bugga yesterday and caused all sorts of problems but I was relieved to discover it was general.
    Hope you're recovering quietly at home today with glorious food and plenty of restorative tea.

  5. Well it's good you didn't let King Tut ruin your day! Looks like you had a fabulous time!

    I love working in the city...whenever I get a break I like wandering up and down the alleys. And having a drink after work down some graffiti decorated alley is very melbourne missed a trip into Koko Black for the best iced chocolate! Sort of opposite the babushka doll shop.

    Ya know we melbourne bloggers should get together...

  6. Well, for such a heavily-cursed woman, you managed to have a mostly-fabulous day! I spent 8 days of my trip to Oz in Melbourne, and got to know its arcades and alleyways well; lovely place (apart from the traffic fumes!). Your post took me back very nicely.

  7. Extra fabulous blog today Hazel - perhaps it takes a bit of adversity to bring out that extra creativity and humour. King Tut would be proud of you!
    I love living in Melbourne even in this cold wet and gloomy winter like autumn!

  8. Ah, so it was you who was to blame, just a continuation of the curse!! LOL

    Great post Hazel. Wonderful pics of Melbourne. I have many happy memories of shopping in the city years' ago. It all looks great.
    Royal Arcade is just lovely - you did real justice to it in your photos.

  9. What an adventure! Great post!! You visited some of my most my favourite spots in Melbourne. I am so looking forward to my visit into town tomorrow to wander along all those alleyways, arcades, bookshops and chocolate shops. Well actually help at the market stall....maybe I can sneak off for a few minutes or so.

  10. I'm with you Mrs B!!!

    You know, I grew up in melbourne and have never been through the arcades...

    Sounds like a long but fantastic day! And those Tut masks on the Princes are just too awesome for words!

  11. What a nice trip apart from old Tut curse on the transportation.

  12. Loved your post, Melbourne is such a lovely city It's been a long time since I have been for a visit(pre children)must admit I have never been to the museum though.

  13. Thank you for taking us on your field trip! Lovely!

  14. You need to look down sometimes. In the Degraves street subway there is a display of paintings done with coffee dregs by Assylum Seekers in the Detention Centres. King Tut has a lot to learn.

  15. It looks like it turned out to be a really good day despite the initial glitch! I was ogling at your photos like a tourist poring through a travel guide. I do miss Melbourne (I visited 11 years ago), a gorgeous city and very European in feel. I fancy a city break soon, maybe not to Melbourne but somewhere much nearer (and cheaper to get to!) :)


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