Extreme Sunday


Sunday was a perfect way to end a fairly quiet weekend. It started off with breakfast at the very civilised hour of 10am at Pandemonium Café in the very trendy suburb of Paddington. I was joined by Paul, Ging and Bronathon and, after a quiet start and a couple of excellent coffees we were off to the races – moving our tables into the sun and no doubt leaving tables within conversational earshot shaking their heads.

After breakfast we walked a half block up the street to Always Habit, a men’s clothing store run by Vanessa Hoe. She owns another store in the Valley and will soon be opening another in the city. Ging had recently been there with Paul to assist him in parting with a fair chunk of change for a new suit and related apparel. Ging and Vanessa had bonded during the two hour experience and so it was really the only logical place to go when I expressed my need to buy my very first suit.

As we arrived, a gentleman and his partner were standing over a pile of clothes on the counter worth $2700. Paul said he noticed a vein pumping furiously on the side of the man’s head and I’m not sure if it was the quality of the clothes, his partner’s reassurance that they all looked excellent on him, or male pride in front of an audience that finally tipped him over the edge and brought out the credit card. (This is what you might call ‘foreshadowing’)

With a big sale under her belt, Vanessa was able to turn her considerable fashion experience towards me (with able assistance from Bronathon and Ging, and occasional comments chipped in by Paul). After determining what I needed a suit for, and any preferences I might have had, she very quickly had three jackets off hangers and on my shoulders. The first, a black one, got the thumbs down. The second a dark chocolate with irregular pinstriping was good, but not great. The third, another dark chocolate with blue pinstriping, was perfect.

With the outer taken care of, I needed to try a combination of shirts and ties to complete the outfit. Near misses, possibles and probables, and definite no’s followed but eventually we settled on a combination that seems to work well. But let’s not forget shoes! Vanessa aims to complete an outfit from top to bottom and offers a range of stylish Italian leather shoes.

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Then it was my turn to be standing at the counter over a (much smaller) pile of clothes. The price was much higher than I was expecting, but Always Habit sells quality stuff and makes no apologies for that. Vanessa sweetened the deal with a Ging discount and a few bonus extras thrown in, and after a few minutes umm’ing and ahh’ing I said, “oh fuggit,” and whipped out the plastic.

No doubt using the benefit of his own experience, Paul swiftly took me down the street to the Paddo Tavern for a couple beers to ease the shock. It was a beautiful day to be out in the sun, especially after spending an obscene amount of money on myself.

Back home for a couple of hours to check email, grab some food and catch up on the NRL footy final games, then it was into the city for the Muse concert. Originally they were due to play in the much smaller (more intimate) venue of the Brisbane Arena. But selling out so quickly enticed them to move the concert back a day and have it in the much larger, open-air Brisbane Riverstage.

It was a breezy, clear night and we were not the only ones underdressed for the evening. But it was a cracking show and well worth the odd numb toe or ten. Muse ripped out most of the songs from their new album, Absolution, and several from the back catalogue. The lights and AV components were excellent and during the encore they sent out huge balloons filled with big confetti into the crowd.

Being a school night, it was all over by 10-ish and there weren’t really many places for people to kick on to. But that’s Brisbane on a Sunday night for you and I for one was happy to be in bed by 11pm after a huge day.