Two weeks ago, we threw our first dinner party in Melbourne. Well, if you can call it a dinner party when there’s just one guest. But despite the small guest list, I was a bit apprehensive about hosting.
That’s not to say I’m afraid to host in general. I’ve organised plenty of get-togethers – Christmas parties, pumpkin carving parties, Cards Against Humanity parties (I like a good theme). Food was always an integral part of these gatherings, but the focus was on whipping up theme-appropriate finger foods (like pigs in a blanket that resemble mummies for Halloween or vegemite scrolls for Australia Day) rather than main course dishes. And since I pretty much plan my life around what I’m eating next, most of these parties had enough finger food to fill up on in lieu of a meal.
A few months ago, I bought a pair of black canvas shoes from a discount department store called Big W. They were $3. I had sticker shock when I saw the price – is it even possible to cover the cost of materials with three measly dollars? My next thought was about the workers who made these shoes – there’s no way they were earning a living wage. I felt extreme guilt about supporting what must be an extremely unethical enterprise. But then I bought them anyway. After all, how could I pass up a deal like that?
The ethics of how I live and shop has been weighing on my mind recently. It’s just getting harder to ignore all the facts. I used to think I shopped ethically and had environmentally responsible habits. I recycle. I try not to create unnecessary waste. But the truth is, I tend to only make ethical choices when it’s easy. Read More »
My significant other was the first to make this observation, and now I see it all the time – there are a lot of people walking around Melbourne wearing Toronto gear. Raptors hats. Blue Jays jerseys. We spot those familiar hometown logos everywhere.
The first time I remember this happening was when we saw The Book of Mormon last year. As we left the Princess Theatre, some of the cast had already started to leave from a nondescript door next to the main entrance, so we decided to hang around. After a few minutes, the actor who played Elder Price walked out – in a Toronto Blue Jays hat! While I always shirk away from saying hi or introducing myself to people I recognise, my significant other is the exact opposite. Somehow, he got Elder Price’s attention and they started chatting. Turns out he’s a Toronto native and big Jays fan (it’s even in his Book of Mormon bio).
A friend recently shared his strategy for ensuring a good time when he’s on vacation in a new city – he finds a record store and asks staff for recommendations on places he should check out. It has apparently worked well for him in the past. While this strategy is premised on the assumption that anyone who would work at a record store has good taste, I suppose the idea is, pick something you’re into, find a store that sells it, and you’ll probably find like-minded people who enjoy the same things as you. Read More »
It’s been a little while since I’ve updated the blog. Sorry, all! Somehow the months just flew by while I was busy freelancing for a pretty great company and making major life decisions. Suffice to say, life has changed a bit in the last seven months. For starters, and as many of you know, we decided to stay in Australia. It certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make. As you may have notice with my last post about Canada Day, I’m a proud Canadian, through and through. But I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of moving and having to start over, yet again. For nearly three years our home, career and possessions were all temporary; it’s nice to finally have some stability.
The older I get, the more patriotic I seem to get. Sure, Canada isn’t without its problems (as many have chosen to highlight for #Canada150), but I truly believe it’s one of the best countries in the world. Living abroad has only reaffirmed that. So it make sense that Canada Day is a big deal to me. Usually spent at the Skydome watching the Blue Jays play, followed by a patio somewhere to watch the evening fireworks, I was determined to find some sort of substitute celebration in Melbourne.
I need to dispel a popular rumour – contrary to popular belief, it gets cold in Australia. Like see your breath, frost on the car window cold. Sure, it might warm up to 14 or 15 degrees Celsius by afternoon, but mornings and evening are downright frigid. It seems even Australians want to belief this rumour however, with most opting for jean jackets and thick sweaters rather than proper winter jackets on chilly days.
Just like at home though, I’ve never let a cold day keep me indoors, so my significant other and I have been choosing to spend our weekends outdoors exploring. This June, our destination of choice has been Mount Macedon. About a 30-minute drive from our home, Mount Macedon is a popular destination for its parks, reserves and outdoor BBQs.Read More »