Monday, November 02, 2009

Sunday bluddy Sunday

Too, too busy, we have been. Planned for a quiet weekend, marred only by a dinner out Saturday night, spoiled by been stuck in the public bar to dine at the Dick Whittington. It won't be so bad, I said. No big sporting events on. Ha, Bledisloe Cup or some such nonsense. Noise level horrendous. All agreed, bad idea. Glad I did not organise.

But last Friday we had a confluence of ideas. See a movie on Sunday. Come Sunday morn, we checked out movies online. We could not agree on a movie and neither of us was passionate about any of them.

Already a half baked idea of getting some single lengths of coaxial cable for television sets to replace joined bits, so a visit to the city.

Even me who watches very little commercial tv had picked up something about a new DFO, Direct Factory Outlet, at South Wharf. Where on earth is South Wharf? Non helpful friends had suggested the DFO was at the So Cross railway station, and another said in South Melbourne.

The internet is my friend and I found it. It is at the end of Lorimer Street on the south bank of the Yarra. Now this is important. I cannot instantly find out about DFO at So Cross Station. Has it closed? DFO website has no mention.

It is quite close to where Neverland will be, the 1500 person nightclub . Looks a bit hard to get to by tram/train. Ok, City Circle or number 70 tram and walk across the river. There seems to be a bridge and we won't have to play jesus.

City Circle tram came first. Rough driver, brought us up to halt very firmly many times. At least the passengers could feel the braking and brace themselves. Before a tram driver jumps down my throat, I have used trams long enough to know when the tram is at fault or driver error.

I only made an educated guess at which stop to get of at, and I was right. R was doubtful. He should trust me to get such matters right.

We crossed the marvellously named (cut and paste) Wurundjeri Way and walked between the Semens Mission and Flinders Wharf apartment building. What is this bridge? I recall a bridge opening being reported on the news not so long ago. I thought it was the kinky, sorry, kinked Web Bridge. Apparently not. There is a newer one.

This is the Semen's Mission, replete with bell and Flinders Wharf, a rather nice apartment block. Note the lovely fish.

Ok, we drove here and parked a long time ago and looked around. The area has changed. Polly Woodside is locked into a wet dock. But looking at the impediments, I think it could go to sail if it was really needed.

Orienting: Jeff's Shed, and Melbourne Convention Centre. Kind of worked out where we are.

Signage was good without being overly commercial and directed us to South Wharf. We spied peoples with plastic bags full of their purchases from a DFO shop. Follow the crowd now. No, R steered me in a different direction. He was right. Those people were leaving. We go this way., smack bang into the food court. Hey, it is half an hour since we left home, we need coffee, and a very good cup was supplied by a Coffee Free Trade stall.

At this point, I realised I could be in any big shopping centre anywhere in Melbourne. We did the full circle, as you do at a DFO. I requested we went outside so that I could orient myself. We did so, and we at a very confusing big intersection with a large open car park. Later we saw an internal carpark. I could never drive here. Too hard.

Never doubt the success of commercial television advertising. Most of the people at this place were not nearby residents or city folk, but people from afar. I don't know why they would bother. But, it was a very busy place.

Here are a couple of shots of the foot bridge we crossed. I liked it.

There was no explanation sign for this, but I gather it is the original bluestone paved wharf under glass, about 1/3 of metre below the glass.

An old building with VR on it, which could stand for Victoria Regina, or Victorian Railways or my father's mate Victor Richards who gave my father some cutlery with his initials on it, VR.

The weather was truly weird this day. City buildings had their peaks in fog but it was not cold.

I bought a shirt and R bought a backpack and we decided we had enough of DFO and so back across the river and onto another city circle tram. Oh my god, this driver was worse. Everytime he started off, half the tram passengers almost ended on the floor. The kids loved it though and set up a cheer everytime. The tram reversed direction at New Harbour, another shopping area. Poor old wheel is broke but there were plenty of shoppers regardless.

An Indian man boarded the tram in the city and stood in front of us and was not holding onto anything. I looked at R and he motioned for me to put my hands up. Sure enough, the tram started off as it had every other time and the guy started falling towards me. He recovered just before I would have had to catch him.

Did what we had to do at QV and home and would you believe it, another rough tram driver who's accelerating and braking technique seemed to be to do so with surges. Back and forth, back and forth we swayed.

Enough of crowds, enough of public transport, enough of people. Home and rest.

I have been to all the DFO stores now and the only one I like is the original one in Moorabbin.

Later Edit: Jahteh requests, I comply.


  1. Yes. the Moorabbin one is cheapest and best. I recommend the Royal Albert shop for Christmas shopping.
    Last year they had fantastic platters at only $5. No comparable bargains at Villeroy & Boch though.

  2. i've been on a few trams, mostly on the swanston st route, where the drivers have been braking so badly i felt sick. Kinda like the reverse of the bunny hop, only with braking. UGH!

  3. Anonymous2:37 am

    re tram drivers: I've been tempted many times to berate the drivers along St Kilda Rd for treating the shunting section outside the NGV (between the VCA and Princes' Bridge)like a motor racing chicane. Most go through smoothly - but some don't seem to care that their passengers are thrown around. This is especially bad with the new Combino trams, while the old Z Class seem to take it more smoothly.


    PS: I'm also sending you an email with pic attachment because I need help with identifying a tramway item, and thought you'd be the right source.

  4. "Poor old wheel is broke..."

    You're not kidding...although it'd certainly add a bit of excitement if you climbed on it in that condition.

  5. Wow..... I love all the bridge photos..... wish I could just pop across for a wee walk there. Love that photo of "the Goods Shed" too- interesting shape. Weather looks like Melbourne = 4 seasons in a day. No wonder my Scettrini family left ;-)

  6. Ok Andrew.

    Attention to detail please.

    Semens (Freudian slip?) Mission as per your post? or

    Seamen's Mission as per your photo label? or

    The Mission to Seafarers in Victoria as per their website. (

  7. Brownie, I think I would prefer the Villeroy shop. Royal Albert is very flowery isn't it? Just because I am gay.....

    Fenz, well described, a reverse bunny hop.

    Walker, I really know what you mean. R fell off his seat there once. Even at a crawl, still Combino trams are very nasty there.
    Sorry could not help with the question, but I will ask.

    Brian, just in case you imagination is going wild, it did not fly apart. It was disassembled.

    KN, the bridge reminds me a little of the Winking Eye in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I did find out about the goods shed once, but I have forgotten now. It was hot last night when I went to bed, now quite cool.

    Gosh Victor, you don't think I would deliberately misspell Seamen do you? Of course you are correct, but locally it is known as the Seamens Mission. Hmm, interesting history.

  8. RA not all flowery at all.
    Everyone I knew got $5 ELVIS cups which were gorgeous with gold n all.

  9. Why didn't you take a better photo of the fish sculpture?
    I always thought the wheel idea was a complete waste of money and I was right.

    I was wondering if the other DFOs would take business away from Moorabbin. My granddaughters would live with me just to go there every day.

  10. A review of DFO near Spencer St Station said it had stuff 2 seasons old compared to newer, cheaper stuff at Moorabbin.
    RA rocks.

  11. Ok, Emstacks, I will look next time I am there.

    A later edit just for you Jahteh. The thing was the fish was down there and I was up here.

    Interesting Jayne. DFO Spencer Street is not on the DFO website.

  12. I really don't know where you get off thinking that you're qualified to pass judgement on the driving skills of professional tram drivers.

  13. Professionals Andy? Ah, they do get paid.

  14. Thank you HawtAndrewwithaCamera.

  15. I managed to catch the tail end of the weird ass fog thing going on after I returned from getting caught in a deluge at Mount Macedon. I can only assume the two are linked?

    I'm sticking to the original DFO too, which reminds me, I'm probably due for my annual shop. Want to come with some time?

  16. Jahteh, I will revisit. There were nice things to see, just not in the DFO.

    Mutant, let me see. One of the most stressful things is buying clothes for myself, secondly telling R if something looks good on him or not, so there won't be a thirdly. Curious with so many nice clothes shops around you, you go to a DFO. But I suppose I do the same.

  17. I seem to recall there was a competition to name that bridge. Any idea what it ended up being called? The City of Melbourne website seems to have forgotten about it.

    Like the Fish. Looks good enough to eat.

    I too was wondering what happens to Spencer Street DFO now the new one has opened.

  18. I wondered why it did not have a name too Ben. Note competition ended in March and they still haven't decided. Waiting for the day when they have some bad news to release and soften it with a new bridge name. Ok, I will investigate So Cross DFO today. Any excuse to see a train or two.

  19. I did not see any Royal Albert or Villeroy & Boch shops at the SoCro DFO though there was a housewares, it was small.
    Hope you have a good day though X X

  20. You are brilliant Altissima. Of course it is. I went back there today and there are three more.

  21. Looks like you got off at the tram stop right outside my apartment.

    I was thinking of going to check out the DFO today. The one at Southern Cross has been transformed into a normal retail centre.

  22. On the north side of the stop AR? We spent some time examining it in detail while we waited for a tram after the visit to DFO. So Cross still has DFO branding, but I guessed something like that as it is not on their website.


Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.