melbourne 2015

xesce of the d'urbervilles

lochxesce 2015


I didn't have the presence of mind to photograph the train I was actually on.

I took the train because I hadn't taken a train before. Also, I thought I might be able to take it without a passport.. but, to get a Discovery Pass, which I did get, they do ask for your passport number, and even aside from that they do warn you that you could be asked for photo ID at any time. (Although you will be issued a refund if they have to ask you to leave, which doesn't help if you absolutely need to get to Melbourne or wherever.) There was no security, though. So I didn't have to be scanned, or to take off a hat, or worry about wigs. Somehow, I think that might change in the future, though.

It was fairly relaxed, though, and even though longer than a flight, I had thought I needed the time, and maybe I was right. I did actually have a conversation with one passenger - although I wasn't quite quick enough to prolong it, and I did overhear a conversation with a possum sympathizer.. a liberal guy in his 30s was trying to explain to an older woman that the pests in her roof were actually in Australia before her ancestors and that she was in a sense trying to impose her values and way of life on them instead of vice versa.

I had a sleeper compartment to myself. The point is partly to socialize on the train, but I probably would have felt disorganized and clumsy. There wasn't a lot of space. But on my own, it was pretty fun. I was given a complementary snackpack with cheese and crackers, a bag of these cute and tasty lattice-pattern chips and a TimTam. I bought a very colourful fruit platter from the buffet car, as well as some sauvignon blanc, and that was all very nice. I drank 4 Barbie sized bottles in total, and had a really good night.

The complimentary breakfast on the sleeper included two thick pieces of raisin toast, some cereal, juice, and a choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.. I chose coffee, but didn't drink it, deciding instead to wait until I got to Melbourne for my first coffee. It was something I had to think about, though, because I thought my first caffeine high in 8 months might go well with the train journey, and help me think.

I think I was the only person making an effort to get drunk on the train that day. Most people were maybe just travelling from point A to point B. Some middle-aged women were allowing themselves certain indulgences, like chocolate bars, but maybe I was a little more excessive with the alcohol, and open to more..

I am very fond of the buffet car. On my trip, I also had a hot chocolate, and a wrap with roasted vegetables and pesto that I found very tasty. The fruit platter I had the first night was not only beautiful and colourful, it was extremely tasty and refreshing, and went very well with the wine and complimentary cheese and crackers.

a modern anna karenina's options

ayn rand on E


The significance of architecture on the train journey as a theme for discussion and analysis.

In Melbourne, so far I have been on one organized tour.. a Hidden Secrets Cafe Culture tour. The guide was very knowledgeable about Melbourne and its history, architecture and coffee. I was looking at the tour as a kind of coffee degustation that would help me to identify what types of coffee I like.

There is this relatively new thing, called a Magic coffee, and I will perhaps look it up later to explain what it is, but I loved it immediately, from the first sip. I had it at a place called Captains of Industry.

I have another Hidden Secrets tour soon. This one is a walking food and wine degustation thing. Perhaps I will report back. Part of what I'm doing is trying to 'force' myself to be a little more 'social'. Did I pass as a 'normal' human being on the first tour? I'm not sure. It was on the tip of my tongue several times to say something like 'I haven't left the house in 7 years, and the last time I went out, I was in Melbourne'. Did I seem normal? A little daft or slow? What is interesting is that in the small tour group I was part of, it seemed like each of the three other women were all very intelligent and knowledgeable in niche areas. Am I included in that? Hmmm. I spoke less and offered less than everyone else, but it might have given pause for thought that I mentioned I would be staying in the Majorca Building for part of my trip, when even the 'Hidden Secrets' tour guide wasn't aware that was an option.

eternal optimist station

I think I can get laid again, like the little engine that could..


Trying to keep an open mind.. reconnect with childlike wonder, etc.

unemployed pedestrian crosswalk

Pronouncing Majorca Building incorrectly is not an unforgiveable sin.. even when I knew better.


On the train journey from Brisbane to Melbourne, I saw a lot of sheep, lamb, and cattle. They did look free range.

Hmm.. what can we do with this situation going on here?

This is my hotel room. I looked at a lot of places online. I knew immediately I wanted to stay in Apartment 401 in the Majorca Building, but couldn't get it as long as I wanted, so I tried really hard to find another place I really liked.. and this was the one that jumped out. It's an Art Series hotel, featuring the artwork of Australian artist Charles Blackman. Each room features different artworks of his, and I think most or all feature his Alice in Wonderland-inspired works.

When it comes to the Majorca Building.. it's located in the area that stands out to me. As soon as I'm in that area, I notice something different, a different vibe, one that works for me. I had to get back there, I had to stay there.

But aside from that area.. I am fond of St Kilda. And I'm also liking Lygon St.


blackman crossroads

What are my options?

blackman dining room

At first during my journey, I was able to identify what I wanted, and to have perfect portions. And then, I lost it. For the first time in years, I binged on food, not just alcohol. I felt ill, and I wasn't enjoying anything. I felt depressed, and scared. There have been 2 purging sessions so far, but as I write this I might have rallied, and figured out how to find my own pace again. We'll see, though, if in reality I'm just on the third day of a seven day (month/year) binge (take that, ms manson).

first meal in melbourne

At The Blackman, there are two restaurants. One is an Italian restaurant called Classico, and a bakery cafe called Fleur. I've tried out both, and ordered room service as well.

On Lygon St, I like the restaurant I Love Istanbul, or something like that, which has a lot of Turkish vegetarian options. I went to the Nova theatre where I saw Ex Machina, which of course sounds a lot like me and the kinds of things I ruminate upon often. I think you can actually bring wine or coffee into the screenings with you, and the chairs are big, with big drink holders and trays.

I have also discovered that the MIFF is currently on, and I hope to get myself organized to check out at least a few films while I'm here.

block arcade ceiling


GK's mother was the one who introduced me to Haigh's truffles. I liked them immediately, and while his mother and I might not have had a lot in common, I think this was one of the things we did have in common. Plus, we were both estranged from our families, walked away from our original Catholic upbringings, and might have been more intelligent than those with official credentials recognized.

I had it in my mind that on my first day in Melbourne I would get some Haigh's truffles, and my first coffee in 8 months, and then walk, and see where my feet took me. And yes, I managed to reach that goal.

hopetoun tea rooms

Is Hope Town a place with pretty desserts that perhaps don't taste quite as good as they look? Are there tastier but less showy options elsewhere? Is hope something that can be updated? The queues of drooling tourists are long here. But.. I still would like to get in, some day, to see what it's like..

This is what I wore on my first day in Melbourne. Not exactly something that emphasizes thinness or my particular best physical features, but I thought it might evoke a mood.

What I have found is that during this trip, I look like crap in all mirrors, everywhere, from the train to my hotel room, to all places throughout Melbourne. The photo here was taken in one of the central shopping locations. The one exception was Roma St Station in Brisbane. I think I might have looked pretty in one of the bathrooms there, but the station itself reeked of piss, and was kind of a hellhole. I also had to get on a coach from Brisbane to Casino before finally getting on a train, and that coach also reeked of piss. It did seem that the Northern Rivers/Byron Bay area has a lot of potential, but I will be there for GK's 50th birthday celebration before long.

Who actually looks good in recessed lighting only? Or environmentally friendly lighting? Well, not me. Mr Blackman's artworks do seem to thrive in this lighting. I find myself looking at the cross-dressing Alice on the frosted bathroom glass and tilting my head at the same angle and finding it amusing that I resemble this figure with the long thin face.

Ok, it's a problem that during this trip I feel self-conscious enough, and 'ugly' enough that I want to keep sunglasses on during all contact with others, and that I don't believe wigs, makeup or Big Eyes contact lenses can help. It could be that part of the problem is that my weight is low enough that I don't have enough fat in my face for it to look appealing, and instead the skin looks loose, such that I look even older than I am. As for the body.. I'm not very busty at present, but, in clothing I don't think I look too bony or unhealthy.

But, a significant issue is that I completely accept plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures as valid options. I can't afford to get the $50,000 to $100,000 that would probably benefit me, personally, but maybe a little Botox would help. The problem with fillers is that I can't realistically see myself going regularly to keep it all topped up, but maybe for special occasions it might get me closer to what I achieve with makeup, lighting and angle choices in photos?

If I can deal with it during my trip, I will try to pop in somewhere for some fillers, and will report back here.

OK, I will post this entry, and then see if I can deal with going on a kind of mission. Drunk, I will try to catch a tram into laneway central, and film down some laneways, and maybe get another drink or so, And report back.

When on the train, I attempted to photograph the sleeper compartment, but my photos weren't so good. I then tried out the videocamera, but am not sure I have the right software installed on my laptop to get it into an entry. I will try to check that out later.

->exile on meme st: a diary