School Holiday Bludge.
One of my favourite things to do with Inky and Scout is to fire up Youtube and watch music videos.
But it’s virtually impossible to find kid friendly music videos—they’re either too sexually provocative, or violent or creepy for Inky who’s nearly 2. Scout loves the video to “Wide Awake” (Katy Perry) but it’s too freaky for Inky who cowers on the chair complaining “Too scary! Too scary!” She actually doesn’t know what “Too Scary” means given she alternates between “Too Scary” and “Too Spicy” for the same thing, but whatevs. One thing for sure is I don’t want to be watching freaking Wiggles videos for the rest of my life.
So when compiling this list of songs from 2010 onwards, they had to meet the following criteria;
- A catchy song that I would happily sing ad nauseum for 3 days afterwards (so no Delta basically);
- A video that has a positive (or at worst, non-existent) message for a bit of fun;
- A video that’s not scary, confronting or too melancholy (so no Birdy for you!); and
- A song that has no swearing (Eminem, I’m looking at you) or sexual content. A little kiss is OK though, my kids are not robots!
- Say You Like Me (We The Kings, 2011) – this video totally satisfies the nerdy teenage boy in me dying to get out. A narrative involving the band in Super Mario Bros, Guitar Hero and Street Fighter type-scenarios (but in a fun, not violent, way – maybe be careful with the under-5s). Oh, and the lead singer’s a bit scrumptious, too. If you like that sort of thing.
- What makes you Beautiful (One Direction, 2011) – What’s a kid’s list without 1D. Seriously. Song has a “nice” message and the boys are so happily inoffensive I just want to do a little anti-vomit in my mouth every time I see them.
- Cameo Lover (Kimbra, 2011) – We love Kimbra, an alternative retro-esque role model for kick-arse kids. Bright colours, inoffensive boys, hip song.
- Call me, maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen, 2012) – Cute message that it’s OK for boys to like boys and not to take it all too personally.
- Somebody that I used to know (Gotye/Kimbra, 2011) – Introduce the kiddies to body painting and University theatre “art” angst. Who said you couldn’t get them early?
- One Thing (One Direction, 2012) – 1D have turned vanilla into an art. Think of this video as a cheap, frothy tour of London.
- We’ll be a Dream (We The Kings, 2010) – Pillow fights, Demi Lovato and cute shaggy-haired boys. What’s not to love?
- Heartbeat (Marco, 2012) A sweet tune by a young urban funkster.
- I Love It (Hilltop Hoods feat. Sia, 2011) – A bit of an ambiguous video (“But what are they burying, Mum?” “Oh, I don’t know, kid – Treasure?”), but brilliant hip-hop song and a softer introduction to rap/hip-hop than Eminem!
- Don’t you Worry, Child (Swedish House Mafia, 2012) – I can’t tell you how much Inky loves this song. That kid is my House Hound. The video is basically footage from their final british concert, but I prefer watching Ink body-slamming the desk anyway.
I’d forgotten about ye Old Fashioned until Dad Down Under popped it back into my head. I’m a BIG fan of Whiskey. Big. Huge. So is Inky apparently. I asked Melbourne Dad the other day if he wanted a Wild Turkey and little Inky popped her head into the conversation and asked, “Wild Turkey please, Mummy”. Little Mimic. Cough.
Here is one of the finest of the Whiskey classics and it’s so simple it will make you cry.
40 ml Scotch or Whiskey
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Put sugar cube in a glass and drench it with the bitters. Muddle until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey/scotch. Garnish with orange slice or a maraschino cherry if you’re super-dooper fancy.
* All reviews are the opinion of Melbourne Mum, and are not sponsored.
Grafete is located in an unlikely pocket of Northcote, on Gladstone Street, opposite the Foodworks near St. George’s Road. Sounds romantic, right? The cafe itself is in a converted printing shop and the walls look like a psychadelic rainbow has vomited all over it. I guess it’s what they call regurgitate industrial. Whatever it is, it works.
If you are looking for a kid-friendly spot, this is IT. They have a kids menu. They have highchairs. They bring out crayons and colouring-in books to entertain the children WITHOUT EVEN BEING ASKED while you scoff crispy bacon and achieve Brainiac status on The Age Quiz. Um yeah, it’s good.
The food won’t set any creativity or adventure hearts on fire, but it’s damn tasty and the serves are generous. There are standard bistro-type dishes for lunch (Beef Burger, Chicken Parma, a variety of Foccacias and Calamari Salad to name a few) and a decent breakfast menu with regulars including Eggs Benedict. Their hand-cut hot chips are EXCELLENT. Coffee is good but I don’t think it’s possible to open a breakfast/brunch place in Northcote/Brunswick and NOT have good coffee. I think there may be local by-laws against it.
The wait staff bend over backwards to help you out. They genuinely seem to love having kids eat there. AND there is a little covered al fresco area at the side of the place for lingering Summer lunches. I’ve never seen it occupied as it’s been colder than a nun’s tittie here on the north side, but bring it Summer. Bring that shit right on.
It’s not the most obvious place for a relaxed breakfast or lunch but Melbourne Mum and the Hungry Ferrets love it! And hell, there’s a bike on the WALL. It doesn’t get much better, or more Northcote, than that.
- What was the bill? Lunch for 4 + coffee for 2 (and mainlined babycinos for Inky) – $60, pretty standard for this area.
- Where is it? Grafete, 126 Gladstone Ave, Northcote (it’s super new, so no website yet, but they do have a Facebook page)
- How kid-friendly is it? 9.5/10. Kids menu, highchairs, amusements, lots of space to spread out. Credit cards accepted. It almost got a 10/10 for kid-friendliness but I think to get a perfect 10, you’d need a mini-golf course or something out back. This place is pretty close.
I may be a social media junkie, but I love me a good book. I adore the smell of an old library, it’s books yellowing at the edges, the perfume of age, well-worn with thumb and fingerprints and dreams. Here are 10 of my favourites.
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood. Just. Handmaid’s Tale. That is all.
- The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath. Tortuous but remarkable. Mental illness has always fascinated me. Does that sound wrong?
- Wild Swans – Jung Chang. Not purely fiction, it’s the most amazing journey of a chinese woman through China’s Cultural Revolution. This book moved me so much, I sobbed when I finished it. I was on a #3 tram at the time. Embarassment.
- Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte. Fuelled my romantic notions of chasing the love of my life across abandoned moors. Shame we don’t have many abandoned moors in Australia. Do deserts count? Dream aborted.
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee. I read this at school and STILL that fact hasn’t put me off the book.
- The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini. Hell and inspiration wrapped up in one little book.
- The Shining – Stephen King. I could have included all Stephen’s books in this list, but it wouldn’t be very varied now, would it? This is probably my favourite.
- No Reason for Murder – Ayako Sono. A crazy story by a female Japanese author that illustrates the hotbed of Japanese society so wonderfully and dangerously.
- Seven Little Australians – Ethel Turner. Is there a book more quintessentially Australian than this one? I’ve read this book so many times, I think it’s probably falling apart.
- The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty. When I was 13, I gave my original copy of this book to a friend I met at Guide Camp. Her mother found it and BURNT IT. Clearly, this was a book that was meant to be read.
I’m a sucker for a citrus bevvy at the best of times and every day is no exception. You will NOT regret trying this number. It’s SMASHING. I make it a little sweeter than the usual. If you like a dryer cocktail, add some more brandy (do NOT reduce the Cointreau/Curacao, it’s always better to add the brandy). This recipe will give you a couple of serves. Unless, of course, you’re really shithouse at balancing the dryness/sweetness, in which case, it may be more like 3 or 4 serves.
Shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and pour into a martini glass with a lemon wedgie.
And of course, drink in moderation, please! Or not. Your choice.
Scout was very proud to show off her published “work” at the Writer’s Festival at school. What I want to know is, to which “S Word” is she referring?
And while I’m at it, it’s looking more and more like this “jail” of which she speaks is, in fact, our kitchen when Husband is interstate on a conference tour. Sucks to have your handsome busboy/dishwasher on leave.