silver spoon, chippendale

Silver spoon, Chippendale

Toby’s Estate Coffee. 15 Meagher St, Chippendale. I’ve walked past this place any number of times and in the past I think it’s been a catering-only business. More recently I’d noticed the Toby’s sign, and a small number of seats, and thought I’d have a closer look.

Where the magic happens - Silver spoon, Chippendale

Inside, it’s a great use of space, small footprint tables and chairs to allow for quite a few people to sit inside without disturbing one another.

Coffee – a decaf latte – was really pleasant: unusually, the flavour of the coffee cut through the milk. I’d revisit them.

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the house specialty coffee, chippendale

the house specialty roasters, chippendale

House coffee. 9 Knox St, Chippendale. A friend at work mentioned this blink-and-you’ll-miss it corner cafe, in the streets of Chippendale. Step inside and you’ll find yourself remarkably tall compared to the two staff!

the house specialty roasters, chippendale

This is because of the odd layout of the space: there are a number of steps down from street level to where the coffee machine and tiny kitchen are sitting. The guys working the machine used to roast over at little marionette, but are now running this space, and using their own blend, still roasted over at annandale.

where the magic happens, the house specialty roasters, chippendale

The coffee is really good: I can’t help but have a second freshly ground decaf on my way out the door. Worth a look.

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In my mid twenties I was eating a salad, and then, chewing down on an errant piece of lettuce, one of my teeth broke. My days of being invincible were over. Since then, I’ve been going back to that same dentist every six months. For I while, when I’d go in for this biannual clean-and-scale, I would think to myself that having a filling can’t be all that bad. 

Until the next time I needed a filling. Then I reapplied that a clean-and-scale is a walk in the park compared to having a new filling put in. The inconvenience. The expense. The self-loathing for not taking better care of my teeth.

I never liked going to the dentist when I was a little boy. One of my earliest memories is sitting alone in the dentist chair. The dentist displayed an array of different coloured bottles – they looked like the paint bottles from school. I picked orange, thinking “how bad can orange be?” It was orange flavoured fluoride. And I was never offered the choice again – the orange must have been written on my card.

I didn’t like that flavour the first time – in fact, I think I threw up every time I went to the dentist. Always the fluoride. And they never offered to change flavours. 

The new dentist is much better: he actually has his staff taste-test the fluoride to make sure the taste is as pleasant as possible. Despite all this, the childhood memory is really strong. But it seems I’m finally growing up. This visit marked the first time that I didn’t feel nauseous at the dentist.

What I learned from the childhood flashback was to try and make sure my kids have a strong sense of having a choice, wherever possible.


Matthew 6:21 ὅπου γάρ ἐστιν ὁ θησαυρός σου, ἐκεῖ ἔσται καὶ ἡ καρδία σου.

For where your treasure is, there will be your heart.

I’ve been trying to do my regular bible readings in the gospels, and in Greek this year. Partly to improve / not lose my ability to read Greek, and partly to slow down and read carefully. This verse stood out to me this morning. If you’re familiar with the sermon on the mount, you’ll recognise it from its context: Jesus is telling people to store up their treasures in heaven (“ie in Christian/spiritual things), not on earth.

But the simplicity of this one verse: this concept from nearly 2000 years ago, stood out to me and I thought I’d share it. Much easier said than done. We’re in birthday season with the kids at the moment, starting to see the difference in the relationship with presents as the kids grow up: the lure of “stuff”, of treasure, is strong. But none of it will last. If, as Christians believe, people live forever, then investing in them is of much more lasting value than in the latest thing.

And yes, I’m aware of the problem of using any number of pieces of technology to put this post together. Like everything Jesus said, it’s not straightforward to live out.

book: no

A book on negotiation called “no” seemed intriguing so I grabbed it from the library. Professional negotiator Jim Camp has written this as a how-to guide for his own style of negotiation. Rather than wasting time with people-pleasing, but ultimately futile “yes-es” in the early stages of a negotiation, he advocates eliminating neediness and emotion from your negotiating process and giving the other person an invitation to say no at each step of the negotiation.

This “no” is not the end point of the discussion, but a chance to clarify, honestly, what’s acceptable to both parties. As you’d expect, he makes a solid case throughout, and the book is full of practical steps to try out each aspect of his approach. Worth a look.

kindle book: a praying life – connecting to God in a distracting world

I’ve read a lot of books about prayer, but this one takes a different approach. Instead of talking about techniques or tips, recommending formulas or systems, it talks about how a relationship with God is much more of a relationship than we usually aim for. Author Paul E. Miller uses stories from us own life to illustrate what this has been like in his life.

If you’re looking for away to understand how prayer can make you more humble and more dependent on God in day-to-day life, this is a good place to start.