Mocan & Green Grout

Ethical café and bike maker. Seems an unusual combination, doesn’t it? But it seems to work with Canberra’s Mocan & Green Grout. Admittedly, the only bike, or part thereof, I saw was the one on the wall beside me. We had breakfast here last Sunday morning before we headed back to Sydney. I like quirky places like these. Interesting walls, eh?

2013-06-20 bicydle

Although… I couldn’t help wondering about cleaning (and splinters)…

2013-06-20 cafe

When we arrived, the back part of the cafe was pretty much empty but by the time we left it had completely filled up. Our coffees were good, as were the bacon and egg rolls, so it was hardly surprising that the café seemed popular with the locals.

2013-06-20 coffees

I noticed the herb garden as we were leaving. Too bad our rolls hadn’t called for herbs. There’s just something about freshly picked herbs, isn’t  it? Reminded me of the old days, when the Bestie and I lived together. We had a neighbour who had rosemary growing outside her house. The number of times we used to ‘go for a walk’ and return with fresh rosemary… Ahh, now it just comes from a plastic packaged bunch of whatever from the supermarket. Maybe I should invest in a planter or two for the balcony…

Mocan & Green Grout


You’d be forgiven if you had expected the post following the previous one to be about lunch or something food-related…

I tried, but I couldn’t. I’m always distracted by a gorgeous building.


And while you’re at it, put away all your “Got wood?” jokes, please. (I succumbed at least twice in quick succession over the weekend. Yes, I am  truly that juvenile sometimes.)

wooden wonder

Seriously, though? The NewActon building was at the end of Edinburgh Avenue (which is where our boutique hotel was located) so it was inevitable that I would stumble upon it. From what I could see, it was a commercial and residential building, and home to Palace Cinema‘s Canberra theatre.

NewActon again

 Oddly, the other side of the building precinct was quite different. Besides being curvy and more of glass and steel, it was also unfinished…

Later on Saturday night, as we headed to our dinner venue, the taxi driver mentioned that the builder had gone bankrupt and it was unclear quite how or when the building would be finished. I’m not sure how true that was because I didn’t find anything much when I googled the next day, but it made for a semi-interesting anecdote of sorts nonetheless. (If anyone can confirm or deny the above, I’d love to hear from you!)

NewActon third time lucky

The Bestie deserved an award for letting me do the circle-and-snap on Saturday afternoon, and then again on Sunday morning before we left. I guess he knows me well enough to know that resistance was futile. Especially where something so distinctive was concerned. Even in its unfinished state, I say it still qualifies as ‘archiporn’. I hope it gets finished soon.


Listening: The Love Song by Marilyn Manson <∞>


Our first stop in Canberra was the National Gallery of Australia. I wanted to see the ‘Turner from the Tate‘ exhibition. We spent a good part of the visit wandering around the half dozen or so rooms featuring the art of J.M.W. Turner and the various periods of his career.

I found it quite awe-inspiring to be able to see works of art from a period of time so far removed from today, I could scarcely even begin to imagine what it must have been like to be alive in those days – but to see such well preserved pieces and so many of them! The sketchbook below was used by Turner between 1804-05. Mind-boggling, really! Turner bequeathed his work to Britain when he died. How fortunate we are that he did!

Turner's sketchbook

When we’d had our fill of Turner, we wandered around the NGA’s other collections, including the Dada and Surrealism section which took me back to my high school art classes, as did the Pop Art works, such as the ones below by Andy Warhol.

the King and the Chairman

I really enjoyed the Sidney Nolan Ned Kelly series too, and if we’d arrived earlier in the day, I’ve no doubt I would’ve spent a much longer time at the NGA. But we were famished from our 3.5 hour drive, and it was time to go in search of something tasty…

Ned Kelly by Sidney Nolan_____________________

Listening: Hands by Alpine



Just a quick one for this Monday morning. My Canberra weekend with the Bestie was excellent fun, quite cold and just what the doctor ordered. You know, it’s mid-year, we’re neither here nor there – too far past the beginning of the year and too far away from the end of the year for me to summon any excitement for anything. Besides the fact that it’s winter here in the Southern Hemisphere, my least favourite time of year. It was good to get away from the usual – even only for 24 hours. I sort of feel like a few cobwebs got swept away over the weekend.

lake burley griffin

Maybe it was the stroll by Lake Burley Griffin. Maybe it was the chill, fresh air. Maybe it was the walk across a small overhead bridge which had me squealing in fear all the way across. Twice. I’ve got a fear of walking over bridges. Especially the small ones, with railings through which you can see the road and the cars whizzing by below – in both directions (!). I walked across the small bridge with my hands over my eyes (face) – because I needed blinkers. It didn’t stop me from freaking out though. You may wonder where the Bestie was in all of this. He walked ahead of me laughing the entire time, only stopping once to take the photo.

fear of bridges

Happy Monday!


Segway, my way?

I’m heading to the nation’s capital on the weekend – lovely Canberra! – with the Bestie. I don’t think I’ll have much time to post, but before I go, here’s a pic from when I was last there in May 2011. No, I’m not the person wearing the red/pink protective headgear, just in case you were wondering. I don’t think the trees will be quite so leafy (red or otherwise) this weekend.

If you want to check in on me whilst I’m in Canberra, my Instagram feed will probably be the best ‘portal’. (Or tweet meh! You never know, I might respond!)

Wishing you all superawesomebrilliant weekends!


Listening: Fragments Of Time by Daft Punk