A Better Place to Drink Tea


Mum only has three taste buds left, but she stills loves coming to the café. In fact, we’ve had some lovely times in here ever since it opened. We used to drive all the way to Ethel’s Teashop out on the fringes of town, mostly because Mum and Ethel are old friends, but I’m so glad we can come here now. Ethel is a cranky old bat and her tea just taste like she dropped a few gum leaves in some water.

There’s also the fact that Ethel’s place just never seemed safe. It was basically a shack in the middle of nowhere, and her husband is an arborist for fun, so you could always hear him chopping down trees on the property. I’m not sure if he ever used to do arborist work around Melbourne– as in, as an actual job- but now he’s slightly off his rocker and just chops down trees because he thinks its fun. Mum and I used to go there on Friday mornings and politely listen to Ethel complaining about something or other (mostly the government or her ungrateful children), sipping our leafy water and wondering if our lives would soon be ended by a random act of unlawful tree lopping.

Maybe one day he’ll get too old to pick up a chainsaw, and thus take up tree pruning instead. Until then, I’m quite happy here at Johnny’s. The place is done up like a proper, inner-city café, the coffee is nice, there’s always something soft and jazzy playing…and we don’t fear for our lives. That’s probably the best part. Mum has destroyed her sense of taste from the period of her young life where she ate curries for breakfast lunch and dinner, for a period of sixteen years, but she still just about likes the coffee.

That’s the key to a good café atmosphere in Melbourne. Tree lopping kept to minimum. Also, friendly service.


I Know Trees, Better Than My Kids

tree removalI know plants like I know my own children, except better. As in, I know plants much better. I’d be pretty okay with forgetting my third daughter’s name if it meant that I could just keep that one particular genus in my head…oh, I keep forgetting and it’s infuriating!

So you could say I know trees. Tree planting, tree pruning, tree harvesting, even tree removal. Melbourne is so full of a great number of wonderful species, but I won’t say I’m utterly against the practice of removing those that are no longer serving a purpose. Even those who might not be serving their purpose all that well…a bit like those awful things lining the walkway outside the cafe. Firs have had their hay-day, and they have a certain rustic charm, but I’m sorry, they just need to go. Really, they need to go, right now. Not only are they prone to looking just horrible in the winter, they’re havens for spiders and all kinds of nasty little things. I’m not surprised if people are turned away from the cafe every day by a web to the face. I’m not just being put off by my intense dislike of spiders, either. Firs really are so very low-class in the tree world. I should know; my copy of Tree Monthly gets sent to my door every month, and I pore through its pages with such intense interest that sometimes I forget to make food for my family. One time I even told the youngest one, whatever his name is, that he needs to learn photosynthesis so he can go get his own food. I’d mixed things up in my head, but thinking back to the incident later, there might actually be something in that idea…

Doesn’t matter. What’s at hand are those ugly firs outside my favourite cafe. I’ve left customer suggestion cards in the box, but what i really need to do is leave the number of the best tree lopping company in Melbourne that I can think of. Do it for the trees. That is, the trees, that’ll be planted in the place of those dreary firs.


Just Needs a Bit of Tree Pruning

tree pruning

Is this a place for reviews? I guess Johnny can edit what he likes or whatever, but he said this was like a guestbook, so I guess I’ll just write some stuff. Anyway, brilliant coffee and I really like the design. Like, there’s nothing much like it around here, and it really shows, since the place is nearly always full. Or when I’ve seen it, anyway. Maybe it’s just because I tend to wake up around 11 and I don’t make it out until 2, but anyway…great place.

Could use a bit of a trim outside though. Don’t get me wrong, greenery is nice and all, but I can’t help feeling that you could maybe stand to get into the place without being smacked in the face with a pine branch. Does Johnny know about tree pruning? In Melbourne there are people who can take care of that for you in a flash. You don’t even have to knock the whole thing down, because the tree-lined walkways is actually kind of nice. It’s just that, well…yeah, too many branches. This morning I was walking in, all pumped up for my caffeine fix, and my face got caught in a massive spiderweb. The cafe was busy so I don’t know how everyone else managed to dodge it- maybe they were paying more attention than me, or it’s just a really industrious spider- but the point still stands. I didn’t SEE any spiders laying eggs in my ear when I went home and checked in the mirror, but what if that had really happened? So yeah, a couple of good arborists will clear that right up. Other than that I can’t fault the place, so clearing up the whole ‘spider on your face’ problem should have customers reeling in. And I can sort it, maybe, because this place is becoming a second home. I know people in Ashwood who do tree removal, and pruning and all that. Just ask, I’m there a lot!