Friday, 31 January 2014

Bachelor of 'give a damn'

I have a new subject  to add to the standard Pharmacy degree. It's called 'Defending the Profession' and it is something every budding Pharmacist needs to master.

I am always surprised by the surveys (like this one) that name Pharmacists as one of the most trusted professions. In practice it feels very different, with patients/customers becoming defensive and even aggressive when we ask them basic duty-of-care questions. I gotta tell you, it's pretty tough to deal with when I am just looking out for them. When I reveal to an acquaintance that I have a Pharmacy degree their response is usually along the lines of: "Is that really boring?" and "Do you have to go to uni to be a Pharmacist?" followed closely by "Why do I have to show my license to buy pain-killers?". I guess these aren't the people surveyed. For the record, the answers to those questions are: No, not boring, stressful and busy usually but not boring; Yes, it is a four year degree plus an additional year of supervision and well, I'm going to talk about question 3.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Diner Daze {Review of Misty's Diner, Reservoir}

I love American Diners. What can I say? I'm a sucker for novelty food/atmosphere/artery-clogging  nosh. So when a friend wanted to try the new(ish) Misty's Diner in Reservoir I was up for it.

The Reservoir diner is the second one for Misty (yep, she's a real person) and she certainly did her research; the night I went, a Tuesday night, the place was packed. It has taken Reservoir by storm.
Previously a Red Rooster, a lot of time and energy has gone into transforming the store even down (up) to the ceiling tiles. Waitresses in super-cute 50s style uniforms and a soundtrack of jukebox favourites complete the picture.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Strangeloves or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Neighbourhood {Strangeloves Wine Bar Review}

My biggest concern when I moved away from Fitzroy was the loss of wine bars within strolling distance. How could I live without  Hell of the North and Carlton Wine Room? I love my local Irish Pub as much as the next red-headed lass but sometimes life calls for more than a New Zealand Sauv Blanc or a Barossa Shiraz.

Strangeloves to the rescue.

Friday, 17 January 2014

100 Happy Days

I was sceptical at first, but also intrigued by the loveliness of the idea- every day for 100 days take a picture of something that made you happy. On the website they suggest cake is a viable picture option; OK, I can do this, I have permission to take pictures of my food in the strive towards happiness. BRING IT ON!
The concept is delightfully simple, by recognising moments of happiness you are moving towards living in the moment and becoming happier and more satisfied with your life.

I started on Thursday, one of Melbourne's hotter days with the mercury set to reach 44C. I had a 10 hour shift in The Wine Shop With No Wine and also no air-conditioning- this was going to be tougher than I thought.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Astonishing Little Locals

I love shopping locally. There is something special about the relationships you can build with your local butcher/baker/wine shop lady. Quite a few of Melbourne's (inner) suburbs have quite a villagy feel and are set up so that you can often do a good chunk of your buying locally. Oddly the internet can also help us shop locally; with websites like Etsy and the free marketing powers of social media there are opportunities for talented people to sell their wares without all the costs associated with a shopfront.

Shopping for gifts online is a wonderful thing. It saves so much time and energy and stress caused by traipsing around heaps of stores hoping for inspiration (I missed out on the shopping gene). I have already talked about my love for Hard to Find (here), especially when Christmas shopping. I had to wait until after Christmas to write this post about some little local Melbourne companies/people making truly beautiful things because some of my readers were on my Christmas gift list.

One Two Carabou 

The exquisitely talented and lovely Lou is a friend of mine. We met a few years ago working on a short play festival when we were both trying to pursue theatre. Since then she had an amazing overseas adventure during which she rediscovered herself and her passion for design, quit her full-time teaching job, enrolled in a design course and discovered an amazing talent for illustrations (all in about 18 months- that is one inspirational lady!). She has recently launched her Etsy Shop with some prints of her beautiful illustrations. All the little people in my life got one of these for Christmas and I had to get one for me too.

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Booby Monster

Our earliest experiences shape so much of who we become and how we deal with things. I can't help thinking that sometimes, in trying to protect children from the horrors of the world, that we make it harder for them when something does go wrong. Just before Christmas I discovered a breast lump. In my family we do all the recommended screenings and self-checks on a regular basis because unfortunately there is a reasonable waft of cancer and heart disease floating around in the family history. In those few days between when I found the lump and was able to have an ultrasound I couldn't stop my mind from delving into the what-ifs. I became a bit of a google-addict, well I am one anyway, but my addiction is amplified when I am worried about something. I practice what I preach so I avoided Dr Google (he is the most general of all GPs and in medicine we want specifics right?) but I did read lots of stories from breast cancer survivors.

It was interesting to me, and I found it a little odd, that there were so many stories of people feeling disfigured and lacking confidence after a mastectomy.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

These are a few of my fa-vour-ite things {Melbourne}

When I work in the the Queen Vic markets I often end up becoming the tourist information centre as well. This is in due to the corner location of the wine shop and the fact that we are actively offering wine tasting and so are pretty approachable. I love it when people ask for suggestions of what they should eat/drink/see in Melbourne so I thought I'd share some of my favourites here (warning that it is fairly North-centric)

Carlton Gardens
I used to walk through these gardens almost everyday. It is a beautiful oasis right on the edge of the city. Filled to the brim with possums it can be quite freaky at night as they all stop and watch you as you walk past. There is a fabulous water fountain on the edge of the gardens in front of the old exhibition building. A lovely park for a picnic.

 A close-up reveals that this little fella doesn't enjoy having water spat on his willy by a turtle.