Renovation City

Cossies Cafe in Surry Hills, Sydney
Cossies Cafe in Surry Hills, Sydney

My two favourite foods in the world are tomato and cucumber. Combined in a salad with some cheese, and I’m in heaven. Any variation of meat from a pig comes a very close second, including pork and bacon. Even more so, when it’s my first time in the newly re-opened Cossie’s Cafe in Surry Hills. To welcome them back I had the bacon, baked beans and sour dough toast this morning, along with a mango frappe and a latte.

Cossie’s has been around in Surry Hills for as long as I’ve been living here (and probably long before that). As other, more “fashionable” cafes have come and gone, Cossie’s has been there with good reliable coffee and a good reliable breakfast. It’s never been as “fashionable” as the Bourke Street Bakery or Cafe Mint. The furnishings have always been a little daggy. And the clintele has never consisted of the younger, more fashionable crowd who would prefer to sit outside on a milk-crate looking gorgeous drinking a tiny coffee than inside at a table eating a big breakfast. But even so, I’ve loved going there for many years, because they’re friendly and their version of a Club Sandwich is particularly good.

“It’s nice to have you back” I said to the dread-locked bloke behind the counter. “It’s nice to be back”, he replied. As I read the papers, I enjoyed the food and the new surroundings. Gone are the older, scratched furnishings and faded walls, and in their place something familiar, but also a little more modern. You just know the next renovation won’t be for some time, but in the meantime, as a resident of Surry Hills, I welcome the upgrade.

Aside from that it’s been a day of doing little. It’s been warm. Really warm. Unseasonably warm. It was one of those days where you’re forced to choose between the cool of the indoors vs the breeze of the outdoors. At one point during the day I checked and it was 31 degrees. Even now, at night, it’s still up in the 20s. So after moaning that it was too cold and too wet for too long, summer has properly arrived.

Centrepoint Tower in Sydney
Centrepoint Tower in Sydney

I did venture out for a while though, as I headed back into the city to resume my shopping trip from the other night. On my way I noticed there were still lots of people looking skywards at the newly renovated Centrepoint/Westfield. I swear, though, someone’s gonna get hit by a car as there were loads of people looking skywards in a daze, not really paying attention to life on terra-firma. Inside, it looks pretty good, though many shops remain un-opened. I don’t care much for fashion – obviously – though I hope there’ll be an H and M eventually. The only thing that took a while to find were the toilets. Thanks to my friends on Twitter I was eventually able to find them. Very posh!

I also noticed, as I wandered around the city many of the “works in progress” buildings seem to have come to completion. Suddenly, today, Sydney looked like less of a city under construction. Combined with the warm weather, it was a lovely sight.

That over, I went in search of the much desired USB tuner for digital radio and digital television for my computer/netbook. Although I’ve seen them online, finding them in real life is a little harder. In the end, I compromised and bought a TV-only tuner, one from Kaiser Baas (picked it up from Dick Smith) which I’m really happy with. On the box it says you need Windows, but it also indicates you can get Linux drivers from their website which I found. But best of all, a bit of research indicated I didn’t need them, as I found the USB worked straight out of the box with Kaffeine. I didn’t need the drivers and I didn’t need to run the Windows software with Wine. I am such a Linux evangelist these days!

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