Monday 19 August 2013

Off to Melbourne

I have been awfully missing my home city, Melbourne of late.

Oh, the pretentious music scene! How I miss thee..... 

What am I excited about? The pretentious music scene, old buildings that aren't being targeted for demolition so they can build a glass-filled shopping centre or casino, the cultural vibrancy, streets where people actually walk around and do things instead of charging past in a 4WD with a roo-bar and a southern cross sticker... Oh, the list could go on and on.

That little music video above is filled with comic references and twists that takes the piss out of much of Melbourne's contemporary music culture. Just for reference 'the 86' is the tram route number, and 'going down to JB-HIFI, Flick through Indie', is an insult in the Melbourne music scene.

You know, I probably wont even have time to hang out somewhere and listen to some music. Instead, I'll be gorging myself on some of the best food in Australia. The tourists hang out in Lygon Street these days, and you know what... I'm a tourist these days. Lygon street is packed wall to wall with beautiful restaurants and cafes. It is well known for its Lygon Street Italian Fiesta, a huge celebration of Melbourne's Italian migrants and their families.

We're in Melbourne on and off for about a week and a bit. But we've rented a car, and we're heading out of the city to the towns of Ballarat and Bendigo - probably via Castlemaine.  These towns are located in the middle of the goldfields that made Melbourne explode from a southern backwater town, to the massive sprawling metropolis it is today that was once Australia's capital.

We're going down for a two day conference, but I'm also going to be catching up with family. We're at first staying in a Beautiful Art Deco hotel in the city that has been named after a similar Deco hotel in the UK: The Savoy (not under my name). It has been a bit of a crappy year, and I've been sick of late - along with some work/life stress going on. So it is going to be really good to get out of Brisbane.

As there's a few people from Melbourne that read this blog, so drop me a line if you want to catch up for a a type-out/in or just a drink.

Speaking of typewriters, there's an important decision to make. Which typewriter will I take with me to Journal my time in Melbourne? Naturally I have limited my selection to Traveller typewriters, but it turns out I have more of those than any other. So here's a selection which will be the most appropriate.

The Candidates:
Let's drop a few of these guys on the floor next to my luggage and have a look...

The Venerable Hermes Baby in De Luxe case.
Usabilty 3/5
Size 3/4
Weight 5KG Approx.
(lighter 330 gram non-deluxe option available)
Operational condition: 4.5/5
Value risk 3/5

Empire Aristocrat 'Office in a case'
Usabilty 3/5
Size 4/4
Weight 4.6kg
Operational condition: 5/5
Value risk: 4/5

Groma Kolibri 'super sassy'
Usability 4.5/5
Size 4/5 (5/5 out of the case)
Weight 5kg (lighter out of the case)
Operational condition: 4.5/5
Value risk 2/5

Hermes Baby 'Featherlite' DE keyboard.
Usability 3/5
Size 3.5/5
Weight 4kg
Operational condition: 3/5
Value risk 4/5

Gossen Tippa now in QWERTY. Thanks John!
Usability 4.5/5
Size 5/5
Weight 4.4kg
Operational condition 4.5/5
Value risk 3/5

Olivetti DL 'tap-monster'
Usability 4/5
Size 2/5
Weight 5.6kg
Operational condition 5/5
Value risk 4/5

Triumph Tippa 'Jumpy roo' in De Luxe case
Usability 4/5
Size 3/5
Weight 5.2kg
Operational condition 1/5 (can be fixed though)
Value risk 5/5

Alternative option: while checking out the local second hand and antique shops (which I will invariably do) buy one.

The Usability gives a subjective assessment of which is the better typewriter to type on.
Size, is a generalised assesment as to how much suitacase space it will take up.
Weight is important due to limited luggage weight capacity - although I can take it on the plane.
Operational condition indicates what level of operational wear there is to this machine, and how immediate are the problems I'm having with them.
While Value risk rates how which is the better machine to take depending on replacement value.


  1. Nice typewriters. The Kolibri is fantastic. First one of that color I've seen.

  2. I bet you'll end up taking the Gossen Tippa. It's car travel so value risk is controllable.

  3. It matters whether or not you'll be typing publicly. Groma for style, or tap-monster if plans are for longer uninterrupted sessions.
    That's a nice selection from which to choose.

  4. Thank you for that video.
    I don't know if my experience was isolated and fortunately, but I'm very fond of the touch of the later Hermes Babys.

  5. Go big or stay home. I'm with Ton - take the Gossen Tippa.

    Really, they are all good, but I am not in love with the Aristocrat variant of the Baby.

  6. Of that delightful group I share just the Hermes Baby and Triumph Tippa. Of those two I prefer the overall feel of the Baby. But for style points, that Groma Kolibri is the overall winner. Just don't leave it unattended in one of those restaurants. Enjoy your week - a getaway is always a good thing.

  7. I'll make sure this city is on it's best behavior, Scott. I'll give you a buzz after you touch down and maybe we can grab a latte at a place in Lygon where I used to work.
    Take a Hermes.

  8. Omg. The end of that video, the hipster trying to ride off on the fixie, made me homesick. Must go put on skinny jeans.
    That Groma is super sexy. But it'd be a shame to have it injured. Take a skyriter. :)

  9. I can vouch for traveling with a Kolibri, though a Gossen Tippa would be cool too.

    Never heard a Strine hipster accent before.