Stepping into the threshold of a bookstore is always the same. Regardless of whether the store lies on home turf or is in some lane way in Bulgaria stocked with literature stamped in Cyrillic, the experience is always the same.
In any given store, I will manage to locate an item of my fancy. Desirous of a slippery embossed hard cover, wooed by the inner parchment, I’ll be ensnared by the merchandise. Always.
Some bookstores give me rustic worn leather to sit myself. There I muse and flick, flick and muse, through pages.
But I’m a fickle mistress. I adhere to no genre or classification. Instead, I swan between photos of Chinese street food, philosophy, entrepreneurship or art. On a given day, I may be noting down a recipe to choux puffs, on another, puzzling over grammar exercises checking my score in the final pages religiously. Novels are flicked to the end. Jokes are laughed over too raucously for the other clientele with my companion. Sometimes, I go to the language section and just ogle. I just stand there and imagine under what circumstances I’d be possessed to study Hebrew. Or Urdu? Anyway, what do their orthographic scribbles look like? Before I know it, I’m skimming to the third chapter and have found a few novel Tagalog idioms.
Bookstores provide one with the chance to sift through a wealth of New Year’s resolutions. The thing is, they are not just open for one day of the year. Tonight, I’ll roam one. Maybe I’ll learn Urdu after all.
-Sorry, I thought you were awake as I saw you had seen my message on facebook at 8am….Oh, right. Yeah, me too. Actually I wake up at 8 and go to the toilet then have a coffee and cigarette, then back to sleep for a few hours. Yeah… It’s amazing that the coffee doesn’t keep me awake.
The platinum bobbed lady in her white linen flicks the pages of her Vogue. The tips of her smile lengthen and she winks elegantly at me.
The young guy on his phone continues
-Yeah, I’m just like so stressed about this t-shirt. Like, when can I get it from you? … I know, I was going to speak to her but she’s really bipolar sometimes, you know?
The bob jiggles as the elderly lady giggles, this time aloud.
-What a stressful and fascinating life he leads,
she muses to me.
I grin back, sheepishly observing the lines of her face – creases of life long vivacity, I suspect.
I slip my phone back into my bag and we start to chat. About Vogue, about travel, about Brighton and the leafy streets of Surrey Hills all the way to Flinders Street. Her sapphire eyes glint with wisdom and humor. Is it loneliness I see too?
Yesterday, I attended the latest offering from the National Gallery of Victoria- Melbourne Now. I entered a curtained exhibit coined “The Gallery of Air”. In a small space, assembled like a thrift shop, the artist, Patrick Pound, draws the the viewer into a semantic game. Contained behind the curtain are objects collated from NGV’s permanent collection that allude to the idea of air- a quirky print from Goya (nothing unusual for Goya) titled, “Blow”, a whoopee cushion, a barometer, a pipe; even the finest porcelain urns depicting winged celestial beings silhouetted in relief against duck-egg blue. This morning I was wondering, what would I assemble if I were to create my own “Gallery of Air”. I’d be at a loss to create it however, for I’d need to place this moment on the train in there and no curtained room can contain the dynamic exchange of heartfelt conversation, that flows un-stifled like a current, from an elderly lady, unhampered by the trappings of technology.
I have in my possession a little tin jar whose contents, once opened, storm the senses whilst weaving and dancing through my cuisine with the stamp of smoky feet. It burns the floor red and bites the tongue. This little tin receptacle contains pimentón dulce (sweet, spicy paprika) first sourced from a Spanish Vendor in Borough Markets London. I’d spotted it while meandering past the dry and fleshy jamones as they slid and fell into hefty mounds, trophies of the cheeky butchers that carved them in constant secession.
I’ve learnt that where your pimentón dulce hails from is important. In fact there are even Denominations of Origin for paprika the most esteemed being the southeastern Spanish coastal province of Murcia.
My little tin is old worldly labelled Bolero and boasts a dancing couple posturing with the whisper of ruffling crimson and petticoats. It sits beside me as I write. Admiring its label, I pick it up and with clumsy fingers, drop the tin with a clunk to the floor. Cursing my fate and tendency to drop and break whatever dainty article comes my way, I instead look to my lap and below and there it lies, like vermillion ochre, coating my seat and painting the floor like in ceremonious ritual. I can’t help but breathe deeper, inhaling through my nose as the air grows in dimension- sweet and smoky. I am reminded of paellas and the sizzle of chorizo that claims my husband’s breath after huevos rancheros. There allover the hard wood floor of our little art deco apartment here in Melbourne, lies the earth of Murcia, the ochre of Murcia.
- Sarah & Fabian diva bombing as Rosina and Lindoro from The Barber of Seville
What is Diva Bombing ©???
Imagine a party or corporate event. Not just any party. The guests are chatting and milling about, tapas going down smoothly with Champagne. Then, all of a sudden, an actor arrives and transports you to another city- Seville, Paris, Rome… And you are surrounded in a few moments by comic repartee, theatre and the golden tones of opera all within a comic sketch.
Hijacked by theatre, the room erupts in music, laughter and intrigue. Despite the French, Italian, German or Spanish that is sung, you will definitely understand the story behind the melody as two characters in complete costume play out the events with zest, humour and panache!
We will bring operas most sensational and romantic love stories right to your event!
Featured opera excerpts include-
Madame Butterfly, Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, La Boheme, Rigoletto, The Magic Flute, The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro and many more!!! We even do some Musical Theatre, Operetta & Cabaret, including hit scenes from the Sound of Music, Candide, Oklahoma, South Pacific and West Side Story.
For an impromptu preview into Diva Bombing© at work, please click on the link below!
To book Diva Bombing© for your events or celebrations in Melbourne please contact the artists via the contact form below or call direct to +61 402 001 420
- Diva Bombing: Ripponlea Laundromat (msdivageiger.wordpress.com)
I’m positively enthralled by the charm of the little leather jewel toned stained glass clutch bag from Alexander McQueen’s Fall & Winter Collection, 2014. Its spectrum creates a vivid flash back to my visit to Sainte Chapelle, Paris: a golden moment in May of 2009, a fast trip by rail from the grey east Germany with it’s still naked deciduous trees to sunny Paris and her chestnut trees blossoming abundantly.
Perhaps chief designer Sarah Burton wants to remind us of our moments under the archways and flying buttresses of old euro churches, of wedding days and christenings, or perhaps we simply need to recall the summer of misdemeanors on the beach under stark sun and crave instead the shade of sacred buttresses, enveloped by cashmere, and in so doing give our sun loaded skin a little penance.
I take a sip, followed by a gulp. This mocha is good, in fact, it’s superb. I first became giddy about mocha through my near others’ vices. Both my husband and a very close friend swoon over mochas and before I knew it, auditory bombardment of the request, “Give me a mocha please”, soon saw me ordering it. Call me easily influenced, if you so please. But I never realised the implications of becoming a mocha drinker in the big wide world that is the Melbourne cafe scene. Melbournites pride themselves on the state of their coffee and baristas are lauded as the darlings of urban Melbourne.
That aside, ordering a mocha here in an unfamiliar cafe is like Russian Roulette.
Even some of the best cafes in Melbourne have served me the shoddiest of mochas. On entry, I skim the counter quickly to determine the fate of ordering a mocha. If I sight syrup, the show is over and a cappuccino it shall be. I’m skeptical about powder, unless it’s a boutique one from a few establishments. Invariably powder leaves me tetchy and unfulfilled- clumped and sickly sweet it sits at the base of my cup testament more to it’s sugar lineage than any cocoa bean genealogy.
At this point in my epistle it should come as no surprise that I’m overjoyed to have sipped the best mocha in a long time. Right on my window seat at home. We purchased some old school Colombian block of cocoa mass goodness, unsweetened and sourced from Melbourne’s little Spanish supermarket Casa Iberica. Snapping the block into pieces, I plopped a few into our little red saucepan and topped it with milk while the stovetop espresso steamed and erupted it’s aromatic gold crema topped brew. Once the milk bubbled at the edges, it moved from a white tint to a light mahogany, I poured it over the coffee shot and commenced my trip to utopia. The cocoa wraps around the black coffee, caressing it yet not overpowering it. We drink it slowly, contentedly. The aroma of chocolate lingers in our little apartment for the whole morning. Loca for mocha.