Category Archives: about Melbourne

How Murders Happen—My Story (nb: did not get murdered, or murder anyone)


I was on a train destined for Thornbury. What happened in the first five minutes of finding my seat can best be illustrated by the three texts below that I sent to George in quick succession, in response to his text asking where I was:

I’m on the stupid train waiting for it to leave the station at flinders! And trying to avoid eye contact with the creepy man sitting opposite me!



Then this happened:

Omg omg omg he just came over!!! Ew ew ew he’s talking to meeeee!!! Epping train wants to kill me!!! He’s asking me if I’m texting my friend and wants to pass on a message. I don’t know what it is yet.

At that point, two young guys, maybe late teens, got on the train. They took in my desperate situation at a glance and promptly started smirking. This set off the worst case of giggling hysteria I’ve ever had.

I will never know what message Crazy Man wanted to pass on to George because at that point I was shaking with laughter with tears streaming down my face and gasping, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I. Can’t. Talk!’ while he looked at me with crazy eyes asking for the forth time where I’m heading to. Then he says:

Don’t laugh at me.

O.M.G. I’m dead. I’M DEAD. My youthful protectors vanish at Clifton Hill. I start mumbling apologies interspersed with hiccups.

Then he offered to drive me to Thornbury if I alighted with him at the next station.


This is how dead bodies in ditches happen my friends.

A Guest Contribution from the Infamous Helen: A Photo Essay

In a previous post, we discussed The Rape Alleys of Melbourne, in which my friend Helen and myself went Adventuring across the city to Discover.

What we didn’t tell you (or really, what I didn’t tell you as this is the first time Helen has contributed to Sophie. In fact, she doesn’t know she’s contributing yet but I’m sure she’ll be okay with it. I hope she’ll be okay with it. If she isn’t, then this post will be Deleted Forever, so get all over it while you can) yeah, so what we didn’t tell you was that during our Adventures we had—

A Horrid Experience.

This is our story…


Stay tuned for The Rape Alleys of Melbourne Part III: The Measuring of the Tiny Alley.

*I’m much prettier then this in real life.

Never Trust a Boy on a Bike

The other day I was being totally chic on Acland St with a friend of mine, lamenting the lack of gorgeous men in our lives, when all of a sudden, just to prove us wrong, a Gorgeous Man rides past us on his bike.

The utter honey-ness of this guy was such that whatever conversation we were having at that point was completely abandoned mid sentence as we stared at him with our jaws dropping, going so far as to turn our heads in sync to follow his path as he rode around the corner. We must have looked pretty damn stupid, but evidently noticeable, because before he disappeared he flashed a beautiful and brilliant smile before vanishing from our lives forever.

That’s right. Vanishing From Our Lives Forever.

We didn’t understand. We had smiled. He was all responsive and smiley back. So the next step for him was to obviously park his bike, buy us drinks, tell us about his work as a fireman, and then introduce us to his identical twin brother we knew he must have stashed somewhere.

WHY HADN’T HE DONE THIS? Was he stupid? We were so obvious we may as well have had a flashing neon sign that played a jaunty tune and declared in twinkling lights like a Christmas Tree, ‘Yes! We WILL sleep with you!’ while we danced naked on either side of it.

Then we realised. He wasn’t smiling at us. He was laughing at us.


Bitch please, you’re from Ohio.

George and I went out to dinner last night and were served by an American waitress from Ohio.

When asked if she liked living in Australia she said, ‘yeeeeah, but fashion in Melbourne is totally weird. I can’t shop.’ And so I start getting all diplomatic about it, and start saying shit like, yes, well, Melbourne is quite proud of their fashion you know, we don’t really do the whole chain store thing.’ and she’s all ‘I know, I can see that, I can’t handle not having a GAP around and you guys wear the weirdest things, it’s like, omg.’ And I could see that as she said ‘oh my god’, she actually spelled it in her head as ‘omg.’

So she starts rattling off the weird aspects of Melbourne fashion, like boots and layers and broaches and accessories and pretty much describing exactly what I was wearing down to the two different earrings in each ear.

And I was almost offended.

But just in time I realised: You shop at GAP, and you’re from Ohio.

It’s very hard to take offence from someone you feel so sorry for.

The Rape Alleys of Melbourne

A little while ago, myself and my friend Helen from Scream Under Streetlights fame, went on an Adventure to explore the alleyways of Melbourne. Our Adventures were called ‘The Rape Alleys of Melbourne’, because as everyone who is from Melbourne knows, most of the alleyways that haven’t been invaded by chic cafes look like the perfect place to go if you want to be raped and murdered.

I should explain that you won’t get raped and murdered in the Rape Alleys—at least I really hope not—but you will discover awesome bars and crazy graffiti.

This is what we found: (pictures by the lovely Helen)

Turn to the right (you can turn to the right, it doesn’t look like it but you can) and you’ll find The Croft Institute, another post for another day.

WHERE DOES THIS DOOR LEAD!? I don’t know. I am excited about it though.

There are many more photos but then this will just go for a really long time.

Helen and I walked all over the city to find these alleyways, but somehow, SOMEHOW, we missed The Best One.

On Friday night I was walking up Lonsdale Street and I passed an alleyway that was about the width of my head. Okay, slight exaggeration. But it was pretty tiny. I was pretty spacey at the time, not for any fun reason but mostly because I have been suffering from a mysterious illness* for the past two weeks that comes and goes like something that comes and goes a lot. See, even my analogies are suffering. So I’m all la la la, spacey sickness land, and I pass this alleyway and I have enough presence of mind to text Helen about twenty minutes later going oooooh woooow, rape alley extravaganza! but not enough to actually remember where it is or what it’s called except it’s somewhere on Lonsdale Street, which let’s face it, is a pretty long street.

So Helen and I plan to pack our Exploration Bag and go Looking and Report Our Findings. Our Exploration Bag will contain:

1 tape measure

1 camera

It’s a pretty small bag. But then I will Report Our Findings and Post Photos.

* I have Googled my illness to the point that I think I am suffering from a tumour of some kind and will probably die soon. I have to stop trying to self diagnose. It does not help me and I should have learned my lesson ever since the internet told me I was going to have a heart attack. I didn’t. I had a pulled muscle.

Something Wicked This Way Comes at Borsch Vodka & Tears

No matter how many times I go there (a lot) and I’m busting out a texty to a buddy to come and meet me, I always, always manage to misspell ‘Borsch.’ Even then I had to look it up a lot. I say ‘Bortch’, ‘Borcht’, ‘Bortsch’… in fact that damn ‘t’ gets me every time and it doesn’t even HAVE a ‘t’! I just put it there! For fun! For no reason!

Anyway. Borsch (had to look again) Vodka & Tears is a Polish cafe/restaurant/bar that boasts The Best Cocktail List Ever, and Some Of The Nicest Tapas In The World. That’s a pretty combo. Team it with pretty plates that don’t match (I love things that don’t match), knowlegeable and friendly bar staff, and outdoor seating on the awesome end of Chapel Street*, you have yourselves a winner.

Let’s take a moment to look at this cocktail list. Srsly. I am quite a fan of the Words, and the Sentences, and any place that has cocktails with names like this deserves a look in, even if the cocktails are shit. And they’re not. Let’s have some name examples:

Something Wicked This Way Comes; Angel With a Broken Arm; Little Red Riding Hood; Keith Richards; Ninja Love; Furious Hippo; Wanted: Hor Hare – Reward £1000; The Boss’s Daughter; and, my personal favourite: You’re Turning Violet, Violet!

I did not make these names up. These are also just examples. There are more. MORE. And so tasty you can convince yourself that your parents don’t really need the money back that you borrowed to go overseas, so there’s really no point saving it is there? and then you can hand over your credit card with a clear conscience and knock back as many Polish Bitches as you can in one sitting.

I should probably point out that Borsch does boast an impressive beer and wine list also, but when I have the choice between that and ordering something that rolls off the tongue like My Fair Marmalady, I find I don’t really care about beer and wine.

The staff rock. Once upon a time, I was with a friend who ordered a cocktail that had quite a bit of chilli in it. When they made this drink for her, they served it, then proceeded to wait for her to taste it to make sure the chilli element was to her satisfaction. If it wasn’t, they would make it again. Beautiful. They are also just really nice.

And lastly, the fooooood. Oh em gee. So good. My personal favourite are the Potato Blintzes, panfried potato pancakes served with sour cream. Have that with a Little Red Riding Hood if you like creamy things, or a Compendium if you like apple. I like cream and apple so I usually have one of each.

Which brings me to my Consumer Warning. While Borsch is very reasonably priced, you can blow your entire pay packet in one evening. This is entirely their fault, and not yours. If they insist on having such a more-ish menu, then they have to accept the pointed fingers. I like to keep ordering cocktails because I like the names. And then you have to order more food to go with your cocktails. And then those damned friendly bartenders make professional recommendations. So what started off as a drink after work turns into a rollicking evening of Eastern European amazingness. By the end of it you think you’re Polish.

So next time you’re in Prahran and slash or Windsor (I thought they were in Prahran but the website says Windsor. Corner of Chapel and High Streets anyway so you can make your own geographical call on that) pop in for a taster. I reccomend checking it out with a couple of friends, or as a spot for an impressive first date. What’s more, with a couple of Diminished Responsibility’s under your belt, a first date at Borsch Vodka & Tears could be all you need. Wins had by all.

173 Chapel St, Windsor, Melbourne, Australia

9530 2694

*Everyone knows the awesome end is the Windsor end.

Windsor Quote of the Day

“I always thought Fitzroy boys were for me, but on the way here… I don’t know. I think I’m really liking what Windsor is putting out there.”

“Well boys from Windsor are like boys from Fitzroy… but they’re cleaner. They’re all like, ‘Yes, I have the tatts, yes I have the glasses and the hair… but I have MORE tatts! And I’m RICH!'”

The wisdom of two sisters.

Meet Me at Mikes: total radness

Meet Me at Mikes is a beautiful little shop in Brunswick St that used to be on Bridge Rd and is awesome no matter where it is.

I started visiting Meet Me at Mikes (it’s the type of shop you ‘visit’ not just ‘go to’), when it was in Bridge Rd a number of years ago. There  I met the Very Amazing Lovely Pip, who is Mrs Meet Me at Mikes and one of those people you want to put in your pocket and take out again at parties. She is that fun and awesome.

So Pip’s shop is full to the brim with pretty things and homemade badges and jewellery and Little Golden Books and vintage clothing and crafty wonders and until my collection got embarrassingly large and I actually owned them all, it’s where I went to stock up on my Sweet Valley High books circa 1987.

Pip and the rest of the staff greet every person who walks in like they are the very person they wanted to see all day long. So not only is Meet Me at Mikes a treasure trove of radness, it’s also a beautiful massage to your self esteem. What’s not to love!

Check out the Meet Me at Mikes blog here:

And go visit here:

63 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Tuesday to Friday 11-6

Saturday 11-5

closed Sunday and Monday

It is hard for me to write something that isn’t saturated in a lot of snark, but it’s physically impossible to snark on Meet Me at Mikes. It’s your childhood wrapped up in one awesome little shop! Perfect!

Fitzroy Quote of the Day

“I get so much fucking attitude when I venture to the streets of Fitzroy.


My little sister. AWESOME.

Stuff White People Like – The Melbourne Version

If you live in Fitzroy and think you’re cool, and let’s face it, if you live in Fitzroy you think you’re cool, you must read this blog:

Hilarious. It’s premise* is to make fun of us. By ‘us’, I mean the white people in Melbourne who drink lattes and hate Chapel St and have blogs and go and see bands that no one has heard of. It’s pretty fucking awesome.

For the record, I don’t know if I’m on the threshold of being the right kind of white person for Melbourne, or I have surpassed it completely with my coolness for the following reasons:

1. I live in Collingwood, not Fitzroy. But I do live in a tiny single fronted terrace that I do tend to boast about re: it’s tinyness.

2. I have never been to South America, or backpacked around Asia, but I have road tripped across the midwestern states of America and am saving up to do the Deep South.

3. I don’t like coffee.

4. I study creative writing, not film.

I think I need to ask Ben, author of said blog. Do the above points make me inferior to the average North-side-of-the-river-dweller, or I have I taken it to a new dimension? I probably should add point 5:

5. I am moving to East St Kilda. The Windsor end.

* The word ‘premise’ is another wanky word that I suspect the white people Ben is talking about in this blog like to use.