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Karen and I had a lovely night yesterday, which she has blogged about at the bottom of this post.

Hope St Markets
“are independent design and art markets for emerging new talent.” They’re held in a converted warehouse-type building in Campbell St, Surry Hills – not sure of the frequency, but they are sort of one-offs, as the artists and stallholders change each time. It wasn’t quite as big as we were expecting, but there was a nice vibe about it, stalls all set up in a couple of big rooms, with funky chandeliers and music. Everyone was friendly and relaxed and a guy wandered around with delicious free canapes from the kitchen.

We each bought a couple of things, gifts for people and things for ourselves, and had a drink in the bar area upstairs. It is exactly the kind of chill out space I’m going to have in my big warehouse/creative hang out/drop in place I’m going to have one day when I’m rich. Remind me to tell you about it sometime. These terrible cameraphone photos don’t do it justice:

It was great actually; it felt like you were just hanging out in someone’s lounge room. Big, overstuffed couches, mismatched armchairs, black chandelier hanging low over the room and a white piano.

We had dinner at Betty’s Soup Kitchen, which is exactly as cheap and cheerful as I remember it, and then went back to the Beilharz abode after attempting (and failing) to go for hot chocolate in Glebe. The Bs live in part of a huge old house in Stanmore with other Moore College people. Their flat is around the back and up a steep flight of stairs. We had to come in from the Trafalgar St side because there were roadworks happening around the front, and it was quite interesting actually. Atmospheric. We parked beside the railway line and walked to a pair of crooked, rusty gates, overhung by rambling trees. Karen unlocked the gates and we made our way up the cracked and overgrown path to the melancholy house that looked deserted and gothic in the moonlight.

All cosy and lovely once we were inside. Karen made us spicy chai and sang me a funny song from Assassins, then we settled down to watch hilarious snippets featuring Ian McKellen and Orlando Bloom from Extras season 2 and then Howl’s Moving Castle. It was so delightful! I laughed and smiled with delight throughout; at the fat dog who couldn’t climb up the stairs, at Marco’s dwarf disguise, at Howl’s melodrama (“what’s the point of living if you can’t be beautiful?”), at Turniphead hopping around after Sophie, at old Sophie’s wry asides. It was just a lovely film. And a lovely night, with a lovely friend.

To finish, here are the things I bought at the market. A hat! A hat that fits me! (when I said to the woman “I probably can’t fit any of these, I have a very big head,” she smiled and said, “I have some very big hats.”) Three little badges with a red shoe-d girl on them, who reminds me of Milly Molly Mandy and kind of me as a kid too (I probably won’t wear them on the hat, but it was the easiest way to photograph them). A bib that I bought for Sarah Whittingham with red and black koi on it (but I’ve given it to her already so haven’t got a pic of it). And the red perspex ‘hope’ sign that I’m going to take to work (the proceeds from this go to help homeless people, which is what the whole Hope St thing is about).