We’ve reached that time of year again when my colleagues and I strap on our pedometers, spend a week or so calibrating them (does this pedometer work better than that one? Do I get more points with my pedometer attached to my pocket or my waistband? How about my bra?), and then begin our adventures with the Global Corporate Challenge.
For me, these adventures largely consist of the rather depressing need to get up half an hour earlier each day so that I can take a long walk before work – being in a sedentary job, it’ts extremely difficult to rack up the 12,000 steps per day that is my goal most years. But every four weeks or so, the GCC has a challenge weekend, during which teams try to get extra steps in order to earn trophies, and that is where my team comes into its own, because we do Excursions.
I’ve been a sorry excuse for a Team Captain this year, mostly because I’ve been a sorry excuse for a Catherine, with a cold that has been lingering for several weeks, leaving me disinclined to extra effort. So I was a bit alarmed when I saw that a challenge weekend was approaching, as I had absolutely no notion of what to do this time around. Fortunately for me, Facebook intervened, in the form of a post about a little family-owned milk bar in Fawkner – Jimmy’s Place – which has recently risen from obscurity to extreme popularity through the sale of its Italian-style doughnuts.
Now, I find the very idea of this delightful. Milkbars are a dying breed in Australia – the GST knocked out most of the ones in our area – and I miss the local shopping strip of my childhood. And while the Inner Northern Suburbs are these days the habitat of the Greenie Lefty Hipster Yuppy (and I say this with love, because I share a number of these traits myself), Fawkner, being beyond the boundaries of Melbourne’s tram system, is far more working class. Proudly so, in fact – Fawkner and the suburbs around it have been keeping Wills a safe Labor seat for decades, and will probably continue to do so for a good number of years yet.
Fawkner, in short, is not a trendy suburb. It’s not posh. It’s not cool. And yet, people are coming from all over Melbourne for these doughnuts. This fills my Northern Suburbs heart with patriotic pride. Go, Northern suburbs!
Anyway, I looked on the map, and Fawkner really is not all that far from my corner of the Kingdom of Greenie Lefty Hipster Yuppies, which is great news for personal doughnut consumption purposes, but less good news when one actually wants to get a lot of steps on one’s pedometer, and decided that going from home was way too easy, but if we walked up Sydney Rd from Parkville, then went down Harding Street and followed the Merri Creek Bike Path to Fawkner, that would be a comfortable 12km, an easy walk for my group. Continue reading