I’ve been pretty absent from writing of late and every time I receive notification of new followers I get a little pang of wordpress guilt. Things have been sailing along pretty smoothly in life, as I mentioned a few blogs ago I bought a motorbike and have spent quite a few afternoons navigating Melbourne traffic and slowly extending my field of confidence beyond the bright lights of the city. I’m in two minds about which of the traffic options, inner city, urban, suburban or country, is more dangerous when you’re on two wheels. I’m yet to stray past urban but would recommend for any novice rider to spend a few afternoons riding around the city and developing confidence in their style – I mean, if you can handle traffic lights, pedestrians, hook-turns, impatient idiots and all of the things that go with city traffic, you should be fine in urban and suburban settings. Country traffic? Not so sure about this one. I’ll get back to you.

Pros and Cons of riding a motorbike?

Pros –

– It’s ridiculously fun and a seriously zippy way to get around.
-Petrol is cheap! You could almost say it’s free. I filled up on premium unleaded when I first bought the bike, $10 and 180 kms later I still haven’t had to refill.
-Bikes are cheap! I got my brand new Honda CB125E for just under $2,700 ride away (12 month rego included)
-Nice weather becomes even better when you’re on two wheels (hellooo 80’s advertising slogan)
-Just like Cody Chestnutt said – ‘I can do anything I want, ‘cos I look good in leather’. Admittedly, I didn’t buy leathers because they tend to be hot in summer and cold in winter but hey, I’ve seen a few people getting around in it and they look mighty fine. The impractical side of me is jealous but the practical side just tut-tuts and gets all high and mighty about the fact that I made the smart decision and bought Kevlar threads.
-You develop insanely good reflexes and become much more attuned to defensive driving. I’ve basically been riding around with possum eyes and am constantly ready to quickly brake, turn or swerve to avoid drivers.

Cons –

-I could probably walk toward my bike with my eyes closed and know exactly where to press for the horn. People are idiots on the road and therefore high beam lights and a noisy horn are a motorbike riders best friends.
-Occupying a smaller space on the road means other drivers tend to treat you with disrespect. I’ve already had two cars pull out in front of me and someone overtake me on the left. I guess the idea of a small vehicle plowing into them isn’t nearly as terrifying as the thought of a whole car smashing into you.
-Weather is seriously restrictive to what you can do.
-It makes you uber lazy, I have another two wheeled get-about but it doesn’t have a motor…enough said.

Aside from motorbiking, I recently moved house and am now living in North Melbourne with two friends. Seeing as I work in North Melbourne I am already quite familiar with the neighbourhood but was pretty excited to find out a friend basically lives over the back fence. North Melbourne is a weird cross section of Melbourne culture, you can definitely find the odd 20-something wandering around in skinny leg jeans and oversized glasses, and just down the road are some exceedingly rich folk but there is also a massive block of commission flats that tower over everything that command your attention and if you walk ten minutes down the road you’ll come across Melbourne City Council Depot where the smell of tar heavy upon the air.
Walking down the local shopping strip you’ll find a random assortment of food shops, a chemist, IGA and a bakery that sells the cheapest and most delicious rolls (four bucks will get you a freshly baked roll stuffed with capsicum, cheese and spinach leaves). You’ll also come across the same people EVERY SINGLE DAY. There is the guy who asks me for money EVERY SINGLE DAY, the old woman who sits in the bakery and talks about eclairs and biscuits EVERY SINGLE DAY and the lady who sits out the front of the bakery sipping coffee just watching the day go by.
It feels like a suburb that thrives in summer and I can’t wait for those blistering hot days to make a reappearance.

Last night I went and saw the Preatures perform at the Northcote Social Club. They had a great support act called Chela, if you’re even mildly interested in 80s pop, indie, electronic beats I’d suggest checking her out –

I was surprised that the audience wasn’t really that into the music and felt like one of those ‘older’ people who go to gigs, dance like a fool and just don’t give a damn.

The Preatures were pretty amazing, I have to admit I didn’t actually know any of their music before I went to the gig but figured I’d go along for the hell of it. They have a really great energy and you can tell they’ve practised the hell out of their songs, but still manage to keep it feeling alive and a little spontaneous. Aside from the singers jacket being thrown too close to a light and subsequently melting it was an extremely tight set and everything just flowed. The crowd wasn’t that hungry for an encore, but then again it didn’t really feel like they were going to offer one and I was a little surprised when they jumped back on stage.

Now that I’m not doing the sub-let thing I finally feel like I have a place to settle and am looking forward to making a house a home and exploring. This weekend is going to involve doing the weekly shop at Footscray market, motorbike riding with friends, a house party in Fitzroy (possibly), helping my singing teacher with her accreditation, maybe a gallery visit and fully embracing my weekend.

Last weekend I spent a day/night in Thornton visiting old friends. It was so nice to just chill, completely step away from my mobile phone and the internets and enjoy good company, flipping delicious food and the odd beverage. I’ll have to do that again sometime soon.

Hope y’all have a good weekend!

x Lu

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