Nutritionist & Life Coach
Meeting all requirements to call myself so (i.e. none)
Published September 2nd 2012
What make Melbourne Melbourne?
There seems to be something in our genes that makes us feel attached to our homes. Maybe it's the safety of the familiar or memories that our minds cannot separate from certain locations. Whatever it is despite all of Melbourne's shortcomings (discussed ad nauseum on talkback radio) there is something that as a native makes me love the place. Rather than try to define Melbourne by describing the latest hip laneway bar or uber-cool festival, I have come up with five feelings that are quintessentially Melburnian.
That First Hint of Spring It's been a long, cold winter - colder than all the others before it would seem. Freezing through June nights of 3 degrees when you realised it was warmer inside of the fridge than out of it you've been looking forward to this day. It's late August and it was actually light when you left for work this morning. Now at midday you have left your weary duties for a spell and realised that you don't need your jacket. The breeze is still a little fresh but the sun is delightful. You can smell pollen on the air and hear birds singing. You've made it through the shadow of the valley of death and are coming up the slope again to find a sunlit meadow. Soon you will be in the land of milk and honey. Not quite yet but you know that summer is inexorably on its way. Summer, glorious, glorious summer!
It's been three-and-a-half days of over 35 degree heat. It's barely been below 25 in the evenings and you've spent two nights in a fitful slumber with no bedclothes whatsoever. The hot northerly wind is like a heater, you feel yourself wilting with all the speed of time lapse photography; transforming from a rose to a withered husk in a matter of seconds. Then it hits you. The first hint of the southerly wind embraces you, caresses you, whispering sweet nothings of Antarctic winters into your ear.
The rain comes first at a trickle but quickly becomes a torrent as the lightning kisses the sky. The smell of damp asphalt. The sound of rumbling thunder. You don't run for shelter. The water soothes you like aloe vera on sunburn. You hold your palms out and turn your face to the sky.
You've decided to give a different place a run today and it's paid off. Who knows what it is that makes it your favourite. Maybe it's just one dish on the menu. Maybe they have mastered the art of producing a flat white just the way you like it. Maybe the barista is cute. It could be the ambience. Maybe it's their big breakfast. No, it's definitely the barista. Whatever it is you know that you will be coming back here every Sunday to cover your table with the deconstructed broadsheets and enjoy the freedom of the weekend for as long as you damn-well please. It's like falling in love all over again.
Your Football Side Wins a Big Game The siren sounds and 120 minutes of drama reaches its climax. Nay, not 120 minutes; the whole week has been leading to this moment. The media, your friends and strangers on the train have been talking about this one since Monday. And now your Aussie Rules football side has fought bravely and won the match of the round. 50,000 people stand as one and sing along to their club song. Nowhere else will this many people so enthusiastically greet a trumpet solo as they rev up for another resounding chorus. You will have a spring in your step for the rest of the weekend as you wander forth to spread the word sharing the elation with complete strangers. The win is great and you've enjoyed the game but the real joy lies in knowing that for the next week you will be the victor in the verbal sparring at the water-cooler.
Vicarious Pride when Strolling the Laneways Melbourne's restaurant and café culture is renowned throughout the land. The well planned right angles of the CBD and 'Little' sisters of each main street running east-west add to its charm. The heart of its character though is all those little laneways that have been present from gold rush times. Now they are littered with eateries and watering holes where the lunchtime throng graze at their leisure. You had no hand in the construction of this city, you hold no share in the profits of the flourishing eateries, you don't even know any of the people enjoying the gourmet fare but somehow you feel part of it. You feel some sort of pride that you have the dumb luck to be one of the tithe of humanity to be living here.