When I was a kid, my Mum used to take us into ‘Big Melbourne’ as part of our Christmas tradition. We’d catch the train in, look at the Myer Christmas windows, go to the Myer rooftop (where there were merry-go-rounds and little boats that went around in a pool of water), line-up to have the obligatory photo with Santa (where one of us was inevitably crying), check out the Little Gift room (a secret place for kids to shop with windows for spying parents) and have lunch at Coles cafeteria which featured maroon rimmed white bowls full of chips and jelly in little cups. I loved it!
And so, it was with great joy that I went with the First Tuesday Book Group to check out this year’s Myer Christmas windows.
It was part of our annual Christmas celebration and we had a bumper (yet relaxed) program of Windows, followed by Alice in Wonderland exhibit at the State Library, followed by book shop browse and finishing with lunch.
This year’s Christmas windows are based on the picture book by Corinne Fenton called Little Dog and the Christmas Wish. It is a simple story about a dog that gets lost on Christmas Eve and has to find his way home to his family. Set in 1930s Melbourne, the windows capture gorgeous detail of the era – the fashions, the horses and cart and the wonderful array of cakes in The Block arcade. There is even a figure of Corinne writing at a table in the arcade where she came up with the idea for the book. I think we all felt a tad green but also inspired that a children’s writer in Australia could soar so high.
At the State Library, we saw some of the Alice books that were printed in 1886 (!) as well as some manga versions, an Aboriginal re-telling and a Chinese version. And lunch was a splendiferous affair at The Moat.
I felt blessed to live in such a cultural city and have such beautiful female friends. Thanks Tuesday Book Group – looking forward to another year with you in 2016 🙂