South Yarra

All posts tagged South Yarra


Published May 31, 2019 by helentastic67



Now, I think you all know me by now and you know I don’t often use people’s actual names. I don’t mention companies; I deal with good or bad or otherwise.

Unless, I mention Apple products, because I use them and only have my laptop, iPad and iphone because about five years ago I had one-off funding that helped pay for those things and maybe one day before I have to do a Go-Fund-Me page they might sponsor me for these things. Hint! Hint!

So, Sally the overlocker, it’s not actually about either of those things, but once upon a time back in the 90’s when a few people would gather at 5am in my lounge for raisin toast and cups of tea after the clubs, at my home in South Yarra.

A few of the guys were discussing some ‘guy’ topic. The other two ladies that were there and myself got a wisp of their blokie conversation.

To not be left out, we created a fictitious lady-friendly topic and we name dropped, you guessed it. Sally the Overlocker.

Clearly, a fictitious personality we dropped her into conversations at random intervals, even to the point where one of the two guys looked over rather curiously.

FYI, South Yarra is a rather exclusive suburb to live in and I was ‘crawling’ distance to the Jam Factory on Chapel Street and the house I was in, while not at all amazing, was the cheapest rent I’ve ever had in Melbourne. $262.15 per calendar month in 1993. Those were the days.




Published December 21, 2018 by helentastic67

Melbourne 1


Well, I think it’s about time I mentioned how much I love Melbourne and why. A little bit about the layout of our fair city.

I love Melbourne

I think I knew from my teenage years I would move to Melbourne. I grew up in North East of Victoria and it seemed the town (cough/ choke) they consider it a rural city, just didn’t evolve or progress. So, Melbourne here I come.

Moving to Melbourne

We always did day trips to Melbourne (3.5 hours by car) to go to Art Supply stores for my older sister, to check out the National Gallery (now known as the NGV. Because we have to ACRONYM THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYTHING, right) and to University Open Days. I got to tag along when my older sister was getting ready to go to Uni, she ended up being a poor art student in an actual rural University, country town (not in Melbourne).

National Gallery Victoria

However, I moved to Melbourne when I was nineteen, I transferred my supermarket job to the city and was a poor art student for two years.

I first lived in Brunswick in a shared household scenario. That is a harsh rude awakening to life, but you make it work. My parents paid my rent while I was studying and I paid everything else. I was a student for only two years. The course was a second choice for me and while I didn’t continue in that career, I discovered the Alternative Club Scene, which became my social life and where I discovered a different style of music culture and such.

Alternative club scene


Yet, to cover the club stuff, but not today. Maybe in this series, when I first moved to Melbourne, it was 1992. Rent was cheap, so cheap, only $50.00 per week (and my parents paid it) and I lived in Brunswick, which was not cool then. I lived in that area for a year or so, then relocated to South Yarra.

South Yarra

Here’s the fun part.

Melbourne breaks down like this – There is a river that goes through the centre, called the Yarra (pronounced Yarrah) don’t get excited, it’s not a river to go swimming in, unless it’s an era of concrete boots. (Mafia, crime etc) and that’s not swimming, that’s drowning.

Yarra River

Anyway, it’s considered everything North of the Yarra is North-side, South of the Yarra is the South side. Then there’s the Western suburbs, which we like to dis (disrespect) and the East, my take on the Eastern suburbs is ‘old-money’ and I don’t know anyone who can afford to live there. There are pockets all over the inner city, Sunshine, Prahran, Brunswick, Northcote (all over Melbourne) where the wog’s settled when they immigrated here, which was around 1940’s.

Western Suburbs

There is still a sense of presence in all of those areas of that generation of Europeans. I think the Western suburbs even more so and they kept the factories and car industries alive.


Anyway, it seemed once I move to the southern side of the city, that’s where I thrived. My club career took off (if you can call it that) and that’s where I stayed.

For some years, I lived in several places a stones throw from Chapel Street, first in South Yarra, then Prahran, then in Windsor. Now back in the 90’s, Chapel Street was the place to be, designer label shops, café’s, street culture people.

Chapel St

The place I lived in South Yarra, (to this day, the cheapest rent I ever paid. $262.15 per month) there was a Porsche mechanic three doors down, so they would work late and you could hear them ‘Fanging it’ in the back streets at 3am.

But anyway, I digress.

I only recently realized I wasn’t even in Melbourne that time for ten years, I guess it felt longer because I kept myself so busy seven days and nights a week. But alas, sooner later all good things must come to an end and I was short changed by one of my club bosses and I quit and they retaliated by firing me from my bread and butter club job. (more on that topic another time) That and a crappy apartment with a terrible smell ended my first adventure in Melbourne. I moved back to the country for two whole tortuous years.

Back to the country

I went to live with my mum and my younger sister. Allow me to paint a picture. Hormonally, my mum was sliding into the Pause (Menopause) and my younger sister was at the beginning. It was like Michael Jackson’s Black and White album ear and I had to sit her down and explain Michael Jackson was really black. Can you imagine how that conversation went?

Hormonally Challenged

So, I was living way out in the country, wood fires for heat, dirt roads, didn’t drive, had to go for a twenty-minute car ride to get to town where twice a day (once at 6am so that doesn’t count) there is a V-Line bus that takes you to other towns and the train to Melbourne.


This was (I refer to it as) mosaic phase. I got active again, did some market stalls (didn’t make money/didn’t break even) and because seemingly music was still the same in my country town, I grew up in had not changed at all.

I proceeded to attempt to start an Under-Age Music Club. I registered it, I got a bit of a group together to do all the things and promoted it to the High Schools through my old contacts and network.


There was a music shop in town that had been there from when I had been a teenager and the owner would be visited by anyone returning from wherever it was they had escaped to.

I had hoped to get some space to run said club from and while I had some contacts and I made some noise. It never got up and running.

It didn’t close away an opposition music store coming to town (which made the music shop owner very happy) but didn’t change the music culture of well anything. After two years of trying to make stuff work living in the country.

Music culture

(if you don’t drive, don’t go to the pub to drink to socialize and don’t drive a ute) or work there is nothing more there for you and every few months I’d train back to Melbourne to visit all my people, go clubbing and stay each night at a different person’s house (just friends).

Run away

It was time to get back to life in Melbourne, I was effectively made to feel I’d overstayed my welcome at my mum’s and I found a way to go back to the city, which I’ve always felt was my true home.


I rented a tiny room in Hawthorn (the east) with a male friend of the family (through my older sister) and only had a few things for a while, where I did a business course to start my own business. I got back into the club scene however, not as a job. After six months of attempting to rent on the south side and starting my own business, ‘to take over the world’ (splutter, cough) I moved to the north side.

Take over the world

I’ve been here ever since. I think my south side era is over. It’s not like Chapel Street Prahran stayed super awesome anyway.

Last time I visited that neighbourhood, I recognised a familiar face while standing waiting for some traffic lights. He must have thought I looked familiar too, although in a different way, because he asked ‘Did we have sex?’ Um, call me crazy (dare you) however I subscribe to the ‘if we have sex I would remember’ and you would remember my name.

Familiar faces

I, of course said no, but not rudely. Kept walking and about two minutes later, I remembered his name, that he worked bar on the second floor at one of the clubs I worked for and that I made a special effort when distributing Brunswick Street, Fitzroy on a Wednesday to time my run to get to the café he worked at, as his day job so he could have a coffee with me.

Remember his name

To be clear, he was mouthy to stoned to turn up to work on time, but I’m just saying my brain injury has not affected my memory.

If you have been in Melbourne long enough you will recognise the banter and throwing shade (need a different term, gentle teasing) about which side of the Yarra people chose to live on.

Melbourne Banter

I was recently on the phone to someone and I indicated to him, while I’ve moved further north (into an unnamed suburb I won’t mention) and I’m on the border of a street I always said I would not live beyond. He responded on the phone that he had told his wife he couldn’t live north of the Yarra because he had nothing to go with a bullet proof vest.

Bulletproof Vest

I laughed but hey SLAP.

In Australia, we thankfully don’t have gun violence like in America (I do have a few American regular followers) and sadly, one happened on Hoddle Street on the north side of town.

I remember when it was on the news. I was (how old was Helen?) again, I’m sure to circle back to this topic, stay tuned.

Today’s Lunch – 29th August 2018

Published August 29, 2018 by helentastic67

Todays Lunch

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

First, I must share my adventures of yesterday. That being Tuesday. I went on a trip down memory lane! I went “South-aside!” That will mean much more when I get around to writing my post on basic 101 of Melbourne and many, many months before my posts catch up on the backlog I’ve already written. However, in short, I went to a part of Melbourne where I thrived back in my 20’s in Prahran and South Yarra! (Pronounced Prah-Ran! And South-Yarrah) Good times for sure! Chapel street once a thriving cultural shopping hub is now rather lacking and my friend Susanne and I went on a mission to A) Relive my memories. B) find me a new streetwear bag and without meaning to. C) unravel the mystery of why Chapel Street has died? (Many shops are vacant)


Let me say, tick, tick and tick! Mission accomplished.

A. So many shops no longer exist! Sad face. One shop does still exist and when I walked in I was greeted by a very familiar face, bearded now and rather grey, he said he had only recently been thinking of me. It was Jeremy from Shag! (Not kidding!) the Windsor end of Chapel street became cool around the time Grant and Jeremy opened their pilot ship store back in the mid-90’s and I lived very close so often just after closing I would return and go upstairs where they lived at the time and Grant previously a hairdresser would do my plaits in the style I often wore in clubs and on one occasion a serious bee-hive! Also, around this time I decided only gay hairdressers should do my hair! Going to return to this methodology later this year. Attempted with Jeremy to give him the cliff-notes (short version) of what’s happened to Helen’s arm? Sorry, there is no short version.

Beehive do

B. Got my new bag in the last shop we went into and only $20. Done! (False alarm, the shoulder strap is not nearly long enough! Crap!)

New bag

C. We decided with the gentrification of the area and the obvious older population dying off, or selling up and moving on, a new generation has moved in. Apartments have gone up everywhere! I found the 90’s living in that area, the clubs, the street culture, the music scenes and perhaps the lack of the blond Kardashians, also the era where you would go out to dinner at one location and go to a club elsewhere, even a recovery somewhere else. Not even in the same area. Imagine being trapped in the one venue with the same people all night! This is the reality now with lock-out laws. Choose your own adventure gone to hell. In short, the yuppies moved in. Then complained when in the morning they would find someone had vomited in their doorstep and defecated! They would bitch/whinge and moan about it and the things that made the neighbourhood cool would disappear when rent would price the cool people out of the market! Hello, I’ve got my hand up! Lesson Number 1! If an area is really cool don’t live there! Go socialise there, party there. Then fuck off back to the suburbs whence you came.! Problem solved!


Anyway, eventually settled on a location for lunch and had great gnocchi with something-something beef and mushroom ragout, with shaved Parmesan. I know, I forgot, so no picture, instead here’s a beautiful picture of my fur-baby Mika!


D. (There is now a D) I did 8,000+ steps! Just to remind you a normal person should do 10,000 steps a day. So, having a disability and mostly I don’t get anywhere near that. Smashed it! And back in the 90’s I would have done more than that every Tuesday as it was the day I did my rounds on Chapel Street and Grenville Street, back in the day.

8000 steps

Tell me if you liked this extra little bit about what I like to call, Original Helen? Life from a lifetime ago. Before what life is like now.

So, while this has not even my normal offering on a Wednesday, it was a bit more into the life and times of Hellonwheels and definitely good for my mental health!

So, Today’s offering, a nice Moroccan chicken salad with turmeric and a little sweet treat called the Montague and Capulet plus my medicine!

Morrocan Chicken

Montague and Capulet











Hump day


Published September 29, 2017 by helentastic67



My Mum once called me a gypsy, I’ve moved so many times since moving out of home. When I was a poor art student, my parents covered my rent while I paid for everything else. I also worked a casual job and at Christmas time when I went home to take a break, I transferred my supermarket job back to the country and also did a seasonal job. Not much of a break, I know, but still a change of scenery.


Before I moved out of home, I saw a comedian on a show who must have lived in St Kilda back in the 80’s. He made a joke, to never sit down and work out what you have spent on rent, because you will want to kill yourself.

Good advice, so I never have.

I have often wished my parents had been able to afford a deposit on “something” way back then, but I guess all the area’s I’ve lived in over the years would not have happened. When I first moved to Melbourne, I moved to Brunswick.

Brunswick St 1

It wasn’t hipster cool back then, but it was cheap. Before long, there I was living in South Yarra, just off Chapel Street.

Chapel St

It was the cheapest rent I’ve ever paid in Melbourne. It was not the nicest place I’ve rented, but in many ways living there signifies the beginning of many great things.

I still remember what I paid for the room in a share house with 1 other. $262.15 per calendar month.

Hell, I wish I paid that per week these days.

Meanwhile, I’ve just been informed of another rent increase and a new lease to sign in December. It will have happened already by the time you read this. I will be going into my 5th year living here by myself.

Rent increase

And it’s such a hassle to look at relocating, I’m likely to just suffer the increase.


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