Whilst in Sydney, I popped into one of my new stockists, Paper2 in Crown Street, Surry Hills. It is a lovely shop and I went beserk buying bits and pieces. Owned by Margaret Rockliff, it is a boutique paper shop that stocks paper products from around the world as well as Margaret's own inhouse designs.
I was surprised that all of that Surry Hills area has been transformed into a great bohemian quarter with famous people having coffees on the pavement and wonderful little boutique shops.
A little segue...we were married around the corner in St Peters church in the late 80's and the area was definately grungier then. (A friend played the songs of The Big Chill on the organ...I walked up the isle to 'our song', You Can't Always Get What You Want. I had a peek inside the church (it was all locked up) and if looked as if it had been renovated. (With Orson & Blake oppposite them, it had to happen) I always remember Father Phil saying he would never lock the church up, that it was for everyone, and he would rather just lock away what was left of the good silver. (Man of the people, was Father Phil!)
Another segue, years ago I read Ruth Park's autobiography, and she and D'Arcy Niland lived in Devonshire Street in the thirties. I always thought she had long gone, but was surprised and saddened to hear that she died this week. Her books are amongst my all time favourites, and as Surry Hills was my old stomping ground in early 80's (bands and the Rag Trade) I often used to walk and drive around imagining ye olde othertimes. I don't know why, maybe she painted a wonderfully vivid picture or maybe I was just some weird slum obsessive.
Like Oprah, (and Father Phil) she has left an impression on me. I am still reflecting on all of the memories that this trip to Sydney has given me, and I must admit, the stongest was the Oprah's little speech at the end of the show, though the pretty food at Otto's and the cucumber gin are coming a close second, depending on the time of day, when they jump to number one.