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mid-Summer issue

shopworthy January 2003


NYE 2002

At the stroke of midnight to begin 2002 I had squinted at the fireworks over Flemington Racecourse, rolled over and gone back to sleep. I knew that my three-week old would be waking in an hour for her next feed. At that moment in time, sleep mattered greatly.

This year I went to a party. I got dressed up, left the now one-year old safely tucked up in bed with a watchful Grandma and Grandpa and set out to bump into two freeing but deadly cocktails - one named "paralyzer" and the other "doctor". Thinking about my choices of cocktails from the extensive list our hosts had printed on laminated cards on the bench of their kitchen come quasi bar, the paralyzer was chosen to thrust me into youthful, smooth, party mode from "mmm ... do I really want to go out tonight? ... I am rather tired" but upon finding that the paralyzer does paralyse and it's the appendage you least want numb and lifeless at a party that is affected first ( Yes, your tongue ... for talking of course! ) I called quickly for the doctor. The bitter lemon mixed with gin and fruit punch woke that appendage and I set off again to answer the "so what do you do?" question for the guests I didn't know and the "so what's the latest?" with my mates.

For both questions I readily talked about shopworthy. I talked about the evolution of ideas about shopworthy as the site is continuing to develop. Promotional plans like requesting the reviewed shops to place stickers in their front windows to promote the site and themselves, also of my dreams of helping save small business and the consumer from the predictability of big commercial shopping centres. The excitement of discovering that community is not dead, it is visible . I told some stories of shops that once existed that illustrate the building of Melbourne's unique culture. My principle of working autonomously from the shops so that the reviews are not cash for comments and the shops are making extra money not less. My plans for making survival money by offering e-commerce opportunities for reviewed shops. And I asked a lot of advice.

I got wide-eyed responses from people saying, "That's a great idea!", "Good luck with it!", "I've never heard of anything like it ..." and "Have you considered this?" I love being injected with fresh amounts of enthusiasm for the project but honestly, I'm always passionate about my plans for shopworthy. What better job for me than to get the chance to talk with new people every week about what motivates them; a Dutch supermarket that links old friends, fellow immigrants who meet again after 50 long years, a wonderfully talented sculptor who enables his clients rough sketches transform into art. These make the personality of a city called Melbourne.

This coming year 2003 - I can't wait to get into it!

After kissing my husband at the stroke of midnight, I agree to be pulled into the huddle of friends as we dance to Sophie Ellis Bextor, Violent Femmes, Prince ...


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