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Away from the Desk - September 2016

31 Aug 2016

Spring has sprung

By Susie Williamson

Which means happy anniversary to me.

The date was Friday, August 5. The time? Around 7.05am. I’d hopped off the train at Southern Cross Station and made my usual way along Collins St towards work. Engrossed in whatever it was I was listening to, it wasn’t until I reached Harbour Esplanade that I noticed it.

After weeks and weeks of trudging to work in the bleary winter darkness, I actually noticed that it was light outside. I mean, I wasn’t pulling out the sunnies or anything, but the sky was definitively lighter than it had been for months. WOOHOO! Clearly this meant that spring was just around the corner.

This year, aside from the usual hay fever (damn you, pollen!), spring takes on a new meaning for me. It marks my one-year anniversary of being a Docklands worker. So I took some time out to think about all the things I’ve learnt in one year of working in Docklands. Here they are:

Things I’ve learnt in one year of working in Docklands

I can’t breathe in the wind.

Maybe I just have unusually narrow nasal passages, but when the wind gets in my face I find it impossible to breathe. Is it just me?

Metro could do with some “quiet carriages”.

Every afternoon as I wait on my platform at Southern Cross Station, I gaze enviously at the line of passengers waiting to board the “quiet carriage” of their V-Line train a few platforms over. How long have these been around? GENIUS. If Metro offered these carriages, I’d arm myself with a cattle prod so I could be the first one on board.

A library can be cool.

The Library at the Dock is so cool (there are ping pong tables), even the Fonz would dig it.

Never buy full-priced chocolate at Woolies.

Chances are they’ll be yellow-tag specials a few days later.

Brad Sewell looks like he could still play footy.

The thing about working near Etihad Stadium is that you never know when you’re going to spot a footy personality. I once saw my hero, Robert “Banger” Harvey, at the Harbour Esplanade/Bourke St intersection (and no, I didn’t approach him, are you kidding me?). And a few weeks ago I walked past former Hawk Brad Sewell. It was zero degrees outside but the dude was walking around in a tight T-shirt like he was Tommy Hafey. Clearly he’s still a tough nut.

The coffee at Kenny’s is still great value.

When the lovely peeps at Kenny’s informed me that they had to raise the price of their coffee, they did so with heavy hearts. They didn’t want to raise the price, but they couldn’t afford not to. The thing is, though, that I still only pay $3.50 for a medium-sized coffee. And it still comes with a friendly smile.

It’s easy to get fit during lunchtime.

Unlike the CBD where “fitness” is a word kept indoors (unless you make the trek to the Tan, but who can be stuffed?), it’s pretty easy to enjoy a lunchtime workout in Docklands, particularly if you want to be outdoors. There are lots of grassy spots to hold boot camps or strange rugby/Aussie Rules hybrid games, and plenty of places to walk along the water. I know, because I see these fit people running past me as I’m heading to Kenny’s* for my coffee and custard puff.

You don’t have to feel like you’re conquering Everest every time you climb the stairs from Bourke St to Southern Cross Station.

Did you know there’s a lift? It took me two months to realise this**. It’s there, like a mirage. You just have to go through the glass doors next to the base of Everest. If you’re a Docklands newbie and you haven’t figured this out yet, you’re very welcome.

*This column is not sponsored by Kenny’s.

**I still take the stairs, though. I have to work off those custard puffs somehow.

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