I have lived up here in the sun for close on thirteen years now, but I still think of myself as a Southerner. Footy is still Aussie Rules. Carlton Draught is still the best tap beer of the modern age. Black is still the best colour for all of your clothes. You should still keep your shoes on when you go to someone’s house (lest your outfit be ruined by not having the right footwear). Sundried tomatoes should only be made on someone’s Nonna’s tin roof. The best place to go for a run is still a lap around the Tan.
Some days I have to pinch myself when I realise that I really do live here. Until the end, if I like. And I pinch the hardest when I go to Hastings Street (which is every week, so that’s quite a few pinches).
Perhaps I’m feeling particularly nostalgic, because I’m going to Sydney this weekend, and although I still think of myself as a Southerner, I know I don’t look like one anymore. I own more fluro than any self-respecting 43 year old should, and I have blonde streaks and a tan. (Please don’t say the word ‘Mutton’ within earshot- I’m quite sensitive you know.) So when I venture south of Byron, I start feeling a bit out of water.
So with the trip looming, Hastings Street was beckoned with her pretty fairy-lit trees, and wide footpaths: a local shopping jaunt to Sydneyfy this spiky little pineapple.
These are the things that were amazing about my shopping experience:
- I got a “Member’s Park” directly out the front of the shop that was my first stop. I came over all George Costanza, and almost took a photo of it.
- My first shop Parallel Culture was the best. They have recently changed their name from Youth Culture, and although the clothing hasn’t really changed, the attitude of the staff has. The twentysomething who served me was perfect. She listened to what I said, chose pieces, and helped me get the whole outfit together, even suggesting another shop for the ‘right’ shoes. What a happy, pretty, little thing. And when I asked “Does my bum look big in this?” She gave me a careful and considered answer, not just the usual “Oh no, you’re tiny, BS” that is so often on offer. Let’s face it, if we’re asking, we want to be heard and scrutinised. A platitude won’t cut it. This lovely spoke to me like one of my true friends would (even though she did say yes to a jumpsuit and boyfriend jeans. Sorry Nic- I defied your advice). So I got this… It looks better on than off, I promise. (I’m cringing slightly- remember I’m old…)
- My second stop was Kookai, and again, the PYTs listened well, and got me trying on things befitting my age and stature. They wanted me to get a skin-tight number that apparently looked “hot” and that Layne Beachley bought last week. Problem is, Layne and I are probably a bit of a different body type, and, I felt like I was wearing a wetsuit. So yeah, I was hot. A hot seal. Or whale. Despite that, I loved the way they attended to me, and I appreciated their efforts.
- My last stop was Witchery, the old faithful, old ladies’ fall-back. The store in Hastings Street really is well done. It’s tiny, and of course doesn’t have all of the stock you can get in Briso, but it goes all right. And again, the staff were just great. They knew their stock and they could tell your size just by looking. I like that, because as good as my Olympic-standard park was, it was only a two hour-ey.
So now I’m game ready. Look out Sydney. The adult Ashers are on their way, and they’re bringing their A-Game.
What do you love about Hastings Street (or Hazos as like to call it)?
Any Sydney hints for me?
…. From The Ashers xx
***This is not a sponsored post (worse luck) but of course, I’m always up for it if you want to send me free stuff.. I’m looking at you Witchery and Parallel Culture…***
PS I just found out I was helped in Witchery by Bev from Iris May Style.. Small world!