Cafe Musings

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Unfolding Stories and Creativity

13th July 2011



6th July 2011


Closed for Business but Rabbits Welcome


29th June 2011

Revealing Artists and Storytellers


Wednesday 22 June 2011


Reality and Inspiration




Wednesday 15th June 2011


"Life, Death and Tragic Music"





Wednesday 8th June 2011


"A Plate of Courage and Passion"


(please click on the link to go to the official blog page for the Cafe Poet)


Courage and PassionCourage and Passion





Wednesday 1st June 2011 


How can this be winterHow can this be winter


Well a pinch and a punch - first day of Winter is upon us, and in our part of the state, it appeared as if we would get a winter’s day, but no, it was still quite sunny, warm and lovely.    So I will leave thoughts of open fires and hot soup for another day.


Last week, while taking photos of the delicious food created by Brenda and her lovely crew here, I thought that sharing images of mouthwatering dishes on the table before me each Wednesday, might give you the wrong impression ….. why, you might be lead to believe that my day revolved around what I was eating or drinking rather than anything I might write or share!    (Having said that, if you have ever visited the Tearooms, you would understand anyone’s delight and obsession with the food served there – it truly is all made with love)   So I thought a few white lies might be in order (ahem) and that I would share images of dishes that were ordered for a “friend”.


So I sat there pondering the person on the other side of the table to me…. whoever they might be.   And in that space I realized there was potential for the presence of someone quite special, someone who had been in the Café and gallery all along.  This someone had made their presence felt in the past in no uncertain terms, and was most likely sitting there quietly watching me hog the favoured spot on the green couch while consuming cake and coffee and pretending to be writing poetry.


passage to the exercise yardpassage to the exercise yardIf you have not guessed where this is leading, the old historic courthouse and gaol cells have a lingering energy, like most old places from the past, steeped in conflict, unwritten stories and untold secrets.  When alone in the main gallery, you get a sense of hierarchies of humanity, of lives in the balance of the judicial system through time, of self righteousness, and men wielding the law and their own judgments over others.  When you stand in the gaol cells and let the silence bear down on you, there is strong feeling of despair at a loss of power and freedom denied,  a cry at the unfairness of life; you sense if anything that there was also a great deal of injustice felt in this part of the building, with many layers of anger, outrage and rebellion etched into these walls along with that sadness and hopelessness. reflectionsreflections

 There are echoes.  There are whispers, if you allow yourself to listen.   Is it your imagination?  Or just the leaves dancing on the roof?  


If you walk alone through the old rooms, and down the narrow passageway to the gaol cells, you will feel a chill, quite possibly even get goosebumps - a sure sign that you may not be alone at all.  


Cell number fourCell number fourWhat is it about cell number four?  

 Who knocked the teapot off the Café shelf in broad daylight when nobody was anywhere near?  

 Or hurled a small item across the room with no reasonable explanation?  

 Staff at the complex call her “Mary” for want of a better name, and so I will refer to this special guest as Mary unless told otherwise.  


So this morning before leaving home, I spoke with a friend about my intention of having morning tea with an invisible friend and perhaps trying to involve this unseen person in my weekly written musings.    I had a chuckle at how such an “out there” idea would be received, and said something like “I am sure Mary will show her presence to me at some point – there may even be a bit of a crash or bang in the building today, just so I know.”    Then I rushed to get ready and head to town, and caught up in more tangible matters, forgot that conversation.  


Until….. I got to ArtGeo,  walked in the door, and spied Heidi, one of the lovely volunteers at the Courthouse Gallery.    As I said “good morning” to her, there was a crash from across the room and several pieces of the jewellery in a glass display case fell down.   Earrings and necklaces came crashing off their holders and display stands.  

For.  No.  Apparent.  Reason. 

...Nobody there that we could see.  

 Or No Body…

“That has never happened before” said Heidi as we got over the shock and walked over to see.    Several necklaces and earrings were laying on the shelf as if suddenly dropped there.  I realized then, that "someone" was simply letting me know that my arrival and greeting had been noted.  Maybe she was looking for something nice to wear for her morning tea with me!  And so it was, that I smiled and looked forward to what the day would hold.


 The Main CourtroomThe Main Courtroom


There were a bundle of little pages from the table notepads….displaying nothing short of an amusing array of thoughts from the characters who have passed through the Tearooms this week!


Some comments read like fragments of a Visitor’s Book….


“Very nice”   (Kath and Hazel)

“Service also lovely”



“Lovely end to our Busselton holiday.

Love it here!”

(Cec and Sheila)


And from some who savoured the Ploughman’s lunch, the scrumptious passionfruit sponge and Brenda’s delightful stories….


“How refreshing and delightful this is!

Love to all…”

(Heather and George, Melbourne)



Some gems were inspired by what lay on the table before them….


“Chocolate cake,

Chocolate cake,

Smooth and round and luscious,

Sitting gleaming,

Waiting for the boys

To come home.

Boys are home!

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake,

Crumbs all forlorn,

Scattered on the table.

Boys gone out to play!”

(Anne Thomas, May 2011)


(Hah!  I bet most parents can relate to that one!   *smiles*)


While some were inspired by the history beneath their feet …


“In 1892 my ancestor walked these boards as the local Police Sergeant”
Val McDonald  97522552


But what captured my attention was that there were some real funloving visitors in there at some point, as they left behind quite a bit of mischievous evidence in the notepads…. 

Here are a few corkers….


“We are a couple of Brits

Who’ve got big tits,

Who’s having fun

In the sun…

Having a cup of tea

So we can have a wee….” (tee hee?)

“Lots of love”

Di from Windsor, England


“There once was a group of friends

Who came to Busselton for the weekend.

They had a lot to drink

And then kicked up quite a stink”




See?  Everyone's a poet! 

And though I can’t help but wonder “What would Mary think of that!” -   I’ll have what they’re having!


























Wednesday 25th May 2011


The aroma of home made soup drifts across the road to the car park to greet me as I unpack my gear from the car.  It is like a sensory welcome “home” reaching out along the street to call anyone within range.  “Come in out of the cold.”   And while it is still quite balmy weather for this late in Autumn, the hint of chill in the wind reminds us that Winter is almost upon us and the comfort days of soup and hot fires are imminent.  And I have to say, there is no better place to indulge in such comfort than by the fire at the Old Post Office Tearooms.


How like soup, such humble fare, to still have the power to evoke all kinds of memories and feelings from so many corners of our lives, not the least of which  is “home”.    Who can forget the healing warmth of chicken soup, or the rich depth of pea and ham, the stuff that true sustenance is made of!   Can you remember the soup that your Mother used to make?   Or your grandmother?   There is something quite symbolic about placing so many tiny elements together to create something new, something even tastier or grander than the sum of its components…   Today’s offering – sweet potato, carrot and ginger soup with it’s cashew nut cream and coriander topping is a mouthwatering invitation to anyone walking past, to come into the warmth of the Cafe.


And so I do.   But lucky me, I get to be here in this warmth and home-ness for many hours today, to soak it up on all levels and just sit quietly with my thoughts.


The Green CouchThe Green Couch 

I have smugly grabbed the “green couch”, because that is the perfect home away from home.   Lumpy, deep, soft - the kind of couch you really DO have trouble getting out of, not just because it’s set low, but because it is so homely and comforting, your body defies any commands to rise and leave.    This is where I will spend my time with laptop and notepad today, while inhaling the aromas from the kitchen.


The girls are incredibly busy.   Brenda is away, and Caitlin and Heidi are running back and forth, weaving in and out of the tiny kitchen and the throng of customers, with a sense of purpose, yet calm.   I admire people who can remain so serene with the pressure of many waiting for their attention.   If it was me, I would be feeling a little stressed, right about now!   But waiting does not seem to be a problem here…it is a gift.  To me, waiting is part of the joy of just sitting in this lovely old building, taking in the energies of an establishment that produces all of its fare “with love” together with so many pieces of history and art, all brewed together, like soup, if you will, and served up in the warm bowl of the present moment.     I would not wish to be waiting anywhere else!  


There are quite a few little notes laying on the tables today.   People HAVE picked up the pens and notepads I left here last week and shared a few thoughts…. Humorous, whimsical, reflective or otherwise… just little pieces of their stories as they pass through here.    Little folds of someone's truth, if you will....


“Roses are red, violets are blue,

So goes the age old rhyme;

But I know violets are red, and roses are blue –

I’ve seen them hanging on the line.”


“With a bright cheery red pot to keep me company,

My back is warmed by the fire and company.

Baked spud!!!!  




“I know you believe you heard what you thought I’d said,

But I’m not sure if you realise that what you heard is not what I meant”

Work this out!!!

(Edie and Dot)

“Cosy, nice place

With delicious, warm food.

A great start to our holiday”

(Dominic and Yoke May,  KL, Malaysia)


“Sydney I tell of

the bays, the oceans,

Where ideas splash and children laugh;

And tell of the biggest coffee cup

That I drank in the Old Post Office

In Busselton”

(Liz Ryan)



She sits by the fire with her damp hair from the rain,

Gazing  out the French windows,

As her feet warm through her patent leather shoes

By the fire.

She daydreams of her son’s wedding as

Cars hurry by in the rain.

Soup is served,

Music plays the flower duet.

She sighs and thinks ‘this reminds me of England’

And says out loud ‘gee, I miss my Dad.”





Be happy. 






Do I confess what I ate here today?   I am not sure if this will be a good habit to get into, because anyone reading might assume far too much about me.   But the chocolate cake…..sigh….. the chocolate cake………    need I say more?



As I pack up my things to leave, a customer rushes back into the counter to say goodbye to the girls….. “Thank you” she says, “That was the most beautiful soup I have ever had – I was so cold and it has warmed me thoroughly.”  


And so it is.


















Coffee pleaseCoffee please



Wednesday 18th May


Well here we go … got the coffee, got the pen and paper, got a good spot at the window, signs are posted …and….



Darn!  Only ten minutes to school pick up, so I had better not get too comfortable!    Or open up any channels to an inspirational word flow.


Where did the time go!  Must be somewhere in the middle of that having fun thing!  Because today I started something that was indeed "fun" for me.


So, this is it folks, I am officially now the Café Poet for the Old Post Office Tearooms at the Artgeo cultural complex.   Today was more about setting up a plan of action, the conception of great ideas, and … having official photos taken.  Oh yes, this lady who is more recognizable with a Nikon over her face than not, has had the tables turned (bad pun for a coffee shop full of fine china, I know!) and made to endure a photo session at the hands of the local press (thanks Derek!).     


How did this all happen?   I can thank Brenda for this initiative.  It was her desire to have a “poet” for her café, so upon her invitation, we put in a submission to Poetry Australia to take part in the national program that places poets in coffee shops around the country.   I have to confess that when Brenda mentioned it to me, and I went onto the Poetry Australia website to learn more, I did get excited - the whole idea of having some time each week dedicated to writing, and to mingling with those who appreciate the written word, was a most attractive thought.   Add to that, the thought of doing this at one of my favourite cafés, one of my favourite cafés with CAKE…..and you can imagine I did not hold back in saying “yes please”!

Chocolate and rosesChocolate and roses


So what do I have planned?   At present, I intend to be at the café on a Wednesday afternoon each week, from 1 till 3pm so that anyone in the community that wishes to join me, to write, to read, to share poetry, can do so.   I hope to provide a space where all who love poetry and prose, can get together and share their words and thoughts, and be inspired.   Many years ago, I had a small writers’ group in town, and it ran for several years and was enjoyed by a dedicated group of people who wanted to write, and share their stories and thoughts.   I hope to attract similar people again to meet over coffee (and Brenda’s famous cakes) and provide an added dimension to the cultural centre that is ArtGeo, the old courthouse and the Old Post Office Tearooms.


I look forward to the weeks ahead, and to seeing you here soon!


Courthouse Gallery and Old Post Office TearoomsCourthouse Gallery and Old Post Office Tearooms