One of the things I find different about Melbourne, after having lived in Perth and Sydney for a number of years, is that I always struggle to instinctively locate North. Sydney CBD is laid out in a clear box shape which makes it easy to sense direction, and Perth is bordered by hills and ocean on either side which serve as observable markers. Melbourne CBD is also in a box-shape, but a box that's tilted on a 45 degree angle, and there is no obvious topographic logic to Port Phillip Bay or the variety of ranges that skirt the capital city. I was forced to think about this because we both seem to be getting better sleep at the new house, and quite possibly it relates to the fact that we're sleeping almost North-South instead of East-West previously.
We are now four days into our new residence in Fairfield and things are going very well. We have unpacked all but one of our boxes, all electronic equipment is setup (including the grindpad), and everything works smoothly except for the internet. I am running on a USB stick modem which is good enough for net surfing but probably not good enough for a proper grind session (at least I am reluctant to put it to the test).
There is definitely more of a suburban feel to Fairfield than our old North Fitzroy pad, but the local amenities are very good. We are 100 metres from the train station and a similar distance to Fairfield Village, the local shopping strip. I am really big on fully immersing yourself into a suburb (I used to proudly wear "I heart Fitzroy" t-shirts around the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and raved about the Plumer Road shops in Bellevue Hill/Rose Bay when I moved back here). So far we are already signed up at the local video store (we watched American Psycho, the Bill Maher comedy-doco Religulous and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo over the weekend), have tested out the local gelato shop, Thai and Japanese restaurants. There are also scores of continental delis which appeals to a semi-Euro (I am half-Yugoslav) like me..I love buying sliced meats, stuffed olives and continental rolls on the weekend. We're also just as close to my main running track at Yarra Bend Park and I've managed to squeeze in one run already which I'm pretty happy about. Mell has played a ton more piano than usual (pretty sure I can whistle Bach's Praeludium now) which is a fair indicator of how comfortable she is feeling in the new place too.
As you can probably tell poker has not been on my mind at all, which is great for a change. I've spent my evenings on the beanbag finishing off my books. I like to have one non-fiction and one fiction book on the go, mainly because too often I get stuck in this cerebral state and fiction gives my brain some downtime. I finally finished Rose Tremain's The Road Home, which was a slow but very enjoyable book about the plight of an immigrant who leaves Eastern Europe for London in the search of a better life for himself and the family he has left back home. I also took a good chunk out of Christopher Hitchen's God is not Great, which is a brilliantly argued piece from an established left-wing journalist/columnist. As a staunch antitheist it is refreshing to read a book that wasn't mired by someone having a bad experience with religion to influence their viewpoint.
This post is getting long and I want to tell you about the first week of the Lee Strasberg class and why three grown men cried (!) within the first twenty minutes of it, but I'll have to leave it for the next entry.