Teo Degas Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Observing and perceiving are two very different things - to me. 

Observing puts the observer in a direct relation with an object or subject. That is, observing is  a straight way of looking at things. What differentiates observing from looking at or watching is the intention you put behind it. 

Perception goes a step further. You internalize what you observe and interpret it according to your Believe System, your fears, liking, mood, culture, gender, country of origin, psychological biases, and so on, and you make a story that you then believe, which, at its turn, affects how you relate to the world. 

Observation it is the step before the mind starts constructing. Perception is a construction of the mind.

Of course the way you perceive the world can perfectly affect the way you observe it , but that it is another discussion. 

Teo Degas Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Do you have a soul? How do you feel your soul? What is it? Are you religious? Do you believe in any religious heaven? Is there life after death? And if Yes, what is it?

The soul to me, is life energy, something very particular about our energy and who we are as human beings, not as much as women/men of a certain nationality, age and era in History. It is not just energy, it is the particularly way our energy expresses itself to the world. It is also a connective feeling that integrates all what we are, our thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations, and potential, everything that is us but you cannot see directly.  It is also the connector between mind and heart, psyche and body, something undefinable that, personally, I feel I have despite me being an Agnostic.

I think Heaven is a big construction of Humanity to satisfy our longing for meaning and importance. Still, I have questioned myself on this point in the last year, for events that are very personal, which made me think that perhaps there is a ghost-like after-life station, or perhaps, just something out there.

I don't like most heavens out there, though. They are so very last millennium, pardon me. They are so for 1st class, 2nd Class and 3rd class souls, so much like the imperfect world we live in but magnified and made eternal. Angels, Archangels, Ascended Masters, Saints, blessed people, prophets, holy men, somebody else's soul, heaven and hell, gods and goddesses with a hierarchic lineage, and what is not. Then, there is little room for us, poor sinners, unremarkable souls of the world, those who just strive to be. There is no soulfulness in the heavens I know. I don't like my soul to be categorized, mind you, no matter how tiny it is. If you like your Heaven to be something designed by somebody else a few millennia ago, well, you have it easy, pick one from the vast panoply of models available.

Agnostics and Atheists with a soul find themselves swimming through a sea of uncertainty, not knowing what we don't know, knowing that we do know we don't know, and wanting to know. What the heck. Moreover, we are a walking oxymoron, soulful beings without any handle to stuck to or grab.

Lay spirituality is a need to me. My soul is precious, even if tiny, not remarkable, and most religions think it is worthless. I wonder what will happen to it when my body perishes. I know I won't be an Ascended Master or even an Ascended Mistress, and I am far from being angelical or Angelina Jolie. However, personally, I need a lay spirituality, one that is not not religious or dogmatic, one that makes us better persons and allows us to become something good before we pass away, a spirituality that is more in tune with the energy of the Universe we are part of. A spirituality that is free of vengeance, that is inclusive. A spirituality that does not distinguishes male or female, animal or human. A spirituality whose only rites are the ones you decide to practice and are meaningful to you.  A spirituality that is syncretic and à la carte. A spirituality without God or where God is not cruel or vengeful. A spirituality that helps us living better and polishing our souls. A spirituality that does not preach and does not lead any human being to kill or abuse another human being in the name of X. It sounds too good to be true. Let it be good and true.

Gaian Philosophy and its theory of the Gaian Mind, Paganism, Animism, The Collective Unconscious, Zen and its philosophy of the void, nothingness and the beauty of the unremarkable "daily-ity" and "itness" of things, Christian Asceticism, Muslim Sufism, Jew Kabbala, Druid spirituality, New Age's Spiritual Laws of the Universe, The New Thought Church, Philosophers of all times, nationalities and cultural and religious backgrounds and their ways of exploring the psyche, the outer and inner worlds of human kind - There are so many Sacred Texts full of wisdom that one wonders, why choosing just one instead of picking the best berries of them all? It might sound sacrilegious to you -my excuses in advance- but it sounds wonderful to me. After all, most religions have good things in them, especially if you dig down and remove all the dogmatism, integrism, fanaticism, archaism, and other isms that they suffer from. Let's distill them into something not only good, but remarkable, that has an effect on our daily lives. Most religious texts have pearls of wisdom regarding ethic behaviour, regarding the way we should treat other people and treat ourselves and how to improve ourselves and Human Kind, and even the animal kingdom. Just forget about Morality and focus more on Ethics. Also, we reinterpret all religious myths and teachings in lay ways, that can be acceptable to most sane humans out there.  


I do not believe in reincarnation in the way that Eastern (Hindu) Philosophy explains it. Still, we can accept reincarnation in a lay way, as the Universe's renewal functioning. The story goes like this - There is soil that feeds the plant, the plant feeds the worm, the worm feeds the bird, the bird feeds the human, the human lives and dies, turns to earth, becomes dust and worms and here we go again. Sounds to unremarkable to you to be "reincarnated" as a piece of soil that feeds the cow that gives milk that feeds the humans that feed some sharks in the sea, that feed the fishers, that provides the fishmonger with the shark you use in your soup? In a way, this is the way I see reincarnation, and it is not less important or magnificent than the one coming from Heaven(s). Just expressed in an unremarkable way. Many religious dogmas and beliefs can be worked out this way - ways that are respectful (to me), meaningful to me, and beautifully simple. No preaching involved. If you don't like it, create your own theory.

God is the Universe in its full splendour. That sounds fantastic to me and that is what I want to belief from my lack of belief. You don't like it? Then, define what is God to you.

Heaven, the one I envision, "My Heaven", is an ocean of  "oneness" where all souls gather in a sort of megasphere of intelligent loving, highlight loving, energy that feeds the Universe we live in. Perhaps the Collective Unconscious is infusing the Gaian Mind with the consciousness and heart that the Universe needs to evolve from "biological" to "supernatural". Still, there is a void, the Zen void, that includes everything, everybody, every "it". I like the idea of Limbo, too. It sounds peaceful, like floating in a pool when the temperature is just perfect and drops of water get stuck into your eyelashes and the world is seen like through a prism. A place with no time or space, just pure energy, a place not subject to categories of any type. That is the good (after)life to me. A heaven of "nothingness". Then there is ghost territory for those who do not know how to be nothing, or who don't know they are nothing, or want to be something once they die. I leave that to you. Being a ghost sounds fun to me and I am open to that adventure as well.

I want to live my life fully and delay "oneness" (the void, nothingness or ghostiness) as much as I can. But oneness might be an interesting, long-lasting, ethereal, and fat free Heaven, even if it is a bit tasteless by definition. A friend of mine says that she does not want oneness or nothingness, just eternal love. To me, being one with every soul out there is love - pure love.

Teo Degas Friday, 7 February 2014

Website
Online shop
Facebook

Do you use perfume regularly? Do you travel? Do you go away for long weekends? Are you on the move and want to carry your favourite scent/s without having to carry the whole bottle/s?


Travalo - a Scottish Company- came up with the perfect solution: small refillable spray and rollerball containers that can be filled and refilled directly from the perfume bottle. They are very small and light, leak-free, aircraft-approved, easy to carry, stylish and colourful. 

To fill in the container, you first remove the nozzle of the perfume, plug the stem into the bottom hole of the Travalo container, and pump it until it is full. The different models of Travalo can load 4-5ml of product, giving you about 50-65 sprays. 



Although the product can be found in some local and international perfumeries, I found that the variety of colours and models is just Spartan in Perth, so I have been ordering mine from the Travalo's online store directly.

They have different types an colours suitable for women and men. Pricing goes from the 25 bucks for the Rollerball models to the 20 bucks for the Classic models. They have a gorgeous variety of colours, which come handy when you have more than one perfume and want to identify them easily. 


Shopping from their website is very easy, and you will receive a confirmation email when you place your order, and another one when the order is fulfilled.
You can use PayPal or your preferred credit card for payment, and the site is SSL secured. Good thing for Australians - an Australian company settled in Queensland (Brandpoint) fulfils the orders, so you will get yours in about onr week. They deliver to your door, but if you aren't at home, they will take your parcel to your nearest Post Office, from where you can collect it. 

Customer service has been very friendly and prompt to any enquiry. They do not provide (or at least me) with a tracking link, but they diligently reply to any enquiry about your order. 


KUDOS
Easy to order and shop.

Fast delivery.
Very informative website and great customer service.
No need of registration for online shopping, although you might want that.
Gift packs available.
Pricing can be set in USA, AU and Canadian Dollars and Euro.

DOWNSIDES
The products are pricey. 

The website lacks a bit of information on International shipping costs and timing.
The online shop is a bit temperamental at times.

TIP
If you get the register/login page when accessing the online shop, refresh the page and the products page will show.

Teo Degas Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Shop 110, 166-170 Murray Stret Mall
Perth Western Australia 6000
(08) 9218 8074
Hours:
   Mon- Thu: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Fri: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Sat 9:00- 5:00 PM
    Sun: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

This Dick Smith retailer is one of my favourite stops in the CBD to cater for my tech and gadget needs and replacements, which are quite needy. This small shop is located above the Woollies Supermarket and by the Red Dot Store, metres away form Myers and David Jones, a killer location that makes it a must stop is you work in Northbridge or happen to pass by.  

This shop is really small, with little space between aisles. Certainly, you won't find the variety of products and brands you find in the big store in the William St store. You don't come to this shop for fancy stuff, that is for sure. However, the shop caters for everything that is advertised in their catalogues, which is what attracts me to Dick Smith 99% of the times. They also have a good part of the shop devoted to those areas with  boring thingies that we all need: cables, switch boards, batteries, USBs, adaptors, gadgets sleeves, and other ugly trifle for your everyday needs. I find their selection of TV, laptops and phones decent for such a small shop.

I visit this shop more often that I would like to recognise. My experience has always been that it is  easier to find items from the catalogue here than in other shops, where a larger affluence of customers exhausts their stocks faster. It has happened to me several times going to the big store on William St, and being redirected here to find the last items of "whatever" available.

The staff have been hit and miss. I have found terrific guys,  who have advised me greatly when trying to purchase things, helping me to save a lot of money by just giving me the right advice. Other staff members, on the contrary, have ignored me, patronised me, being rude to me and misinformed me. The good thing is the staff changes a lot, so most of the time the people you find behind the counter are friendly and professional. Still, how much costs saying good morning or smiling to a customer? Am I from another planet?

The shop is usually quiet, but quite hectic at lunch time, with little staff to attend to so many people.

Teo Degas Friday, 10 January 2014


Shop 387, Corner Fitzgerald St. & Alma St.
North Perth Western Australia 6006

Phone: (08) 9228 4662
Website

Hours 
     Mon - Fri     9:00am - 5:00pm
     Sat     9:00am - 4:00pm
     Sun     11:00am - 5:00pm


Godfreys North Perth has a decent selection of personal and commercial vacuums (bagful, bagless, suction, steam, washers) from good vacuum brands, and vacuum  spare parts and cleaning products.  


I entered this place on a Sunday morning, just because it was open, it is in the North Perth Plaza area and, most importantly, my old vacuum had broken in the middle of my vacuuming! The building and shop are not appealing, ugly looking, and run down. However, after my visit, I really recommend this place.
 

I wasn't looking for a good looking dreamy Dyson (sigh), but for an affordable and good quality small vacuum. A lady called Yolanda made my visit fast and good. She was very matter of fact, she asked me about my budget, size of apartment, use of the vacuum, and what I wanted it for. Then, she pointed to three items that would fit my criteria. I tried two on a carpet there. It took me 10 minutes to buy my new rocket-pocket affordable good-branded vacuum, perfect for me and my apartment. Yolanda also went out her way to help me with the delivery of the vacuum as it was a bit bulky for me to carry. 

GOOD
Good selection of vacuum brands and spare parts
Good prices, sales and discounts
Open every day of the week
Knowledgeable caring  staff

They sell spare parts
They do repairs!

SO-SO
The shop is run down and ugly looking
The selection of budget bagless vacuums was small for a place that specialises in vacuums!

Teo Degas


Fiji Airways Sydney
Level 5 280 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000     
Phone: 1800 230150
Mon - Fri: 09:00AM to 05:00PM
Email 

Photo courtesy of  Desktop

I have used Fiji Airways twice in my last holiday from/to Australia and my experience has been very positive. Fiji Airways might not be the best airline in the world, but they are not OK for such a small country! 

The outbound flight was overnight, and the plane was one of those older ones with ceiling drop TVs and small seats. Nothing to complain, as this happens often with many overnight flights from humble international airlines.

My return flight took place during the day, and the plane was a modern one, with more spacious seats, individual TVs, and a good entertainment program - as good as any good airline.

The crew were lovely, smiley and helpful, although a bit distracted at times.

The food was dreadful both ways, with most things over-sugared, over-fatty, far from healthy.

The departure from Nadi was delayed for more than half an hour due to administrative paperwork! It was during the Christmas period, I guess many staff at the airport were on holidays, so that might be the reason. However, now that I think about it, and the only thing that comes to my mind is "Fiji Time" :D. It might not put it on your face if you have time-tight connecting flights on arrival and you have to change terminals.

They wanted customers to provide feedback before leaving the last flight, and the crew passed offering feedback forms. This puts a lot of pressure on customers, who might not be happy with the flight and/or the crew. Also, filling a form is the last thing you want to do on a flight when you are on holidays!

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
= They need to reinvent their menu. That is a necessity. Also, it says a lot about an airline.

= They could easily offer electronic feedback forms. Include them in the entertainment menu, in flight information section. This system would collect more feedback, and more honest, from customers than the one now offered.

= Oh, just feeling a bit fanciful today, but the uniforms need of a revamp, too! Fiji is such a colourful exuberant beautiful country, that the uniforms somewhat do not reflect that to me :O.

I would not hesitate flying with Fiji Airways again.
"Fiji Time" got under mi skin, and even over it. Bulla Vinaka!

Teo Degas Friday, 3 January 2014

In no particular order. For both men and women. I might expand it.
1.    Have a facial or a barber’s professional shave.
2.    Have a pedicure and/or a manicure.
3.    Have a relaxing massage if you are stressed.
4.    Have a remedial massage if your body aches.
5.    Spend a day in a spa.
6.    Go to the hairdresser and have your hair washed and trimmed.
7.    Buy an outfit that flatters your body shape.
8.    Have a makeover.
9.    Go on a shopping spree.
10.    Buy shoes, plenty of shoes (this is for the ladies, mostly).
11.    Eat your fav food.
12.    Drink you fav drink.
13.    Try some food and drinks you haven't ever tried.
14.    Learn about a culture that is not yours.
15.    Do something that scares you and you don't want to do.
16.    Do something that excites you and you rarely do.
17.    Do something fun that you always wanted to do.
18.    Write your bucket list. Start with 100 things to do before I die. You can always expand from there.
19.    Read a new book and genre. If you don’t read, start right now!
20.    Re-read your all-time fav book.
21.    Re-watch your all-time fav movie
22.    Spend a day in total silence.
23.    Spend a day speaking to everybody you meet. Start by greeting strangers.
24.    Travel to a place you always wanted to go.
25.    Give money and/or time to your favourite charity.
26.    Give a donation anonymously.
27.   Look at yourself in your childhood photos and see and think what is left of that little boy/girl in you physically and psychologically.
28.    Look at yourself in the mirror and say something good about yourself that you truly believe.
29.    Look at yourself in the mirror before leaving home and tell yourself, “have a great day, dear”.
30.    Smile every time you look at yourself in the mirror.
31.    Dare to watch yourself in the mirror when you are sad and crying.
32.    Surround yourself with beautiful things.
33.    Dump your "frienemies" and people who don’t care about you.
34.    Surround yourself with people who resonate with you.
35.    Do a pyjama day or pyjama party.
36.    Take a detour in your daily routes/routines to discover and enjoy a new street or corner in your own city.
37.    Look, smell and touch a beautiful flower.
38.    Imagine your ideal man/woman beside your side. If you have it, be grateful and show you appreciation.
39.    Enjoy the sunshine on a cold day, those days when the sun rays really warms your face up.
40.    Enjoy the freezing morning cold on your face. It is a free face-lift!
41.    Be grateful for the things you have in your life.
42.    Learn not take for granted anything you have. Water. Gas. Power. Food. Public transport. Freedom. Peace. Sanity. Health.
43.    Read things that lift you up and help you expand your awareness.
44.    Accept the good and bad parts of yourself.
45.    Study a foreign exotic language for the sake of it.
46.    Explore and use any hidden talent you have.
47.    Spend time doing your fav hobby.
48.    Spend a day alone doing things that you usually do with other people and notice how it feels.
49.    Talk to a small child and ask him to describe you.
50.    Ask yourself, what makes me different from my mother, my father, my siblings, your best friends, your colleagues. Refine and distill what is left, and what it comes is just YOU.
51.    Join a gym or do an exercise plan that is easy to start with and easy to follow.
52.    Treat your body as the only container you have in life. Watch what you put in it, how you treat it and how you care for it.
53.    Take a bubble bath, especially if that is not your thing.
54.    Have a mid-afternoon nap.
55.    Put TV on a channel whose language you don’t understand and listen.
56.    Develop your intellect.
57.    Develop your empathy.
58.    Respect anybody and everybody by default not just because you are interested in them or want something from them. Disrespecting people is disrespecting yourself.
59.    Preach by example,
60.    Project and show your heart.
61.    Treat everybody the same way you want to be treated.
62.    Avoid lying. You are lying just to yourself.
63.    Be genuine. Otherwise, sooner or later you are going to be exposed by yourself.
64.    Live in another country whose culture and language are different from yours.
65.    Have a cup of tea, coffee or chocolate the way you like, the size you like. Or two, or three.
66.    Make walking part of your week routine.
67.    Respect your sleeping hours.
68.    Make an intention of remembering your dreams before you go to sleep.
69.    Record your dreams and learn how to interpret them.
70.    Have a mobile phone free day.
71.    Have an Internet free day.
72.    Use beauty/hair/deodorant products that are low in chemicals.
73.    Get a pet. If you can’t, caress somebody else's pet.
74.    Have a swim.
75.   When you get stressed at work remind yourself that you aren’t a doctor and that you aren’t rescuing anybody else life at the emergency room. If you are a doctor, well, stress!
76.    Do not smoke. Quit if you smoke. Start with a smoke-free day.
77.    Do not take drugs. Quit if you do. Start with a drugs-free day.
78.    Learn to be wrong and fine with that.
79.    Make a date with the Ocean.
80.    Make a date with the Full Moon.
81.    Make a date with a Sunset.
82.    Make eye contact with the people you talk to.
83.    Be present in your conversations.
84.    Take compliments with grace and a thank you.
85.    Compliment sincerely whomever/whatever without expecting a compliment back.
86.    Devote each day of the week to one of your senses and focus on experiencing the day mostly from that sense. Have a full senses party on Sunday.
87.    Have an ice cream, cupcake or cake day.
88.    Don’t brag. If you do, have a brag-free day.
89.    If you do swear, have a swear-free day. If you don't swear, swear just to try it when you need it.
90.    Don’t burp in public. If you do, have a burp-free in public.
91.    Hug somebody you care for and usually don’t hug.
92.    Kiss somebody you love and you don’t usually kiss.
93.   Imagine your ideal life in detail, closed eyes, as it was a movie, and write it down. See how much you’ve achieved and which things you’d need to get there.
94.    Write three easy achievable things you want to achieve in your life and make a purpose to achieve them this year!
95.    Think about your life purpose and come up with one.
96.    Kill your negative thoughts as soon as they appear. Like a weed! Fast!
97.   When somebody asks your thoughts about something, be brave enough to say exactly what you think. They asked in the first place, right?
98.    Learn to have fun without alcohol or drugs. If you need these, you don’t know how to have fun!
99.    Meditate. Use whatever meditation style resonates with you (and there are many).
100.    Ponder oftener.
101.    Love more.
102.    Laugh more.
103.    Cry your guts out when you need it. Even if it is in public.
104.    Make "living to the fullest" a priority in your life.
105.    Learn to tell bothersome people to bugger off.
106.    Remember, “better alone that in bad company”.
107.   Decide how you want to live your life, and disregard what other people think you should do.
108.    Don’t use your family or genes to justify who you are not or you can’t do. You are what you decide to become.
109     Catch up with a friend you haven't seen for a while.
110.    Honour your anger, sadness, moodiness, and any upset in your life. They are part of life, too. The sooner you honour them, the sooner you'll move away from them.
111.    Tell yourself what you really want in life, exactly, and why.
112.    Buy yourself a bunch of flowers and/or buy them for somebody you know appreciates them.
113.     Learn to say NO to things you don't want, and YES to things you want.
114.    Don't waste other people's time or let other people waste yours. We have just one life and we better live it fully.
115.     Make a purpose of distancing yourself from people who live to gossip and say one thing but do another.
116.   Make Integrity the virtue you want to achieve this year and start by practising it yourself.
117.    Make yourself a favour by getting rid of people who have dangerous biases (misogyny, racism, violent, severe addictions, pathological liars, etc.) as they affect your life for the worst.
118.    Ask for help when you need it. Cry for help when  you need it.
119.    Spend your energy with people who deserve it.
120.    Listen to your body. It has a wise language if you want to hear it. 
121.    Put your compasionmeter on high, for people out there, and for yourself, too. We all need giving and receiving compassion any day, every day. 
121.    Go back to number one and re-read this list.

Teo Degas Friday, 22 November 2013

Photo courtesy of Carillon Website

Carillon City
Shop M13B
207 Murray St

Perth Western Australia 6000

(08) 9486 1777

Opening Hours:
    Mon - Thur 9:00am - 5:30pm;
    Fri 9:00am - 9:00pm,
    Sat 9:00am - 5:00pm;
    Sun 12:00pm - 5:00pm


Darling Nail Salon is located just by Llama Espresso, on the ground level in the Carillon City. The salon is quite large, with 7 awesome looking massage-chairs for pedicure, very comfortable, and six tables for manicures, all of them double, plus the dry-off stand. The salon is always clean and well kept, tastefully decorate, and it has an air of brand new that I really like. 

I have been several times to this salon, every time without appointment, just walked in, and I have always been attended to extremely well and got a great service. Unlike other places around, they have never skipped steps in my pedicure, and I have left with my feet looking splendid, better than after visiting more reputed salons that have the "de-luxe" attached to the treatment. They use OPI polishes, which are my favourite brand.

The main downsides of the places are: 1/ They don't focus much on the massage. This is never a problem to me, as I prefer them to invest their time in my feet that in providing a mediocre or bad massage to my legs. 2/ Like most salons in Perth, you can find the selection of colours a bit limited, and some of them a bit dry and thick. 3/ I have seen some mani-pedi done at the same time, which looks greats in the movies, but is a bit too much for the person having it done. Perhaps they were in a hurry and asked for that? 

Their pricing is standard for nail treatments in Perth. 

Service is matter of fact, still courteous. If they aren't flooded with visitors, they really spend a lot of time with your feet and do things with care.

Teo Degas

Photo courtesy of Crystal Eyes Website

430 Fitzgerald St
North Perth Western Australia 6006
(08) 9328 2944
Website


Formerly located on Beaufort St, Crystal Eyes is a family owned and operated optometry currently located on Fitzgerald St, just in front of North Perth Plaza, and beside the Red Cross Op Shop. 

There is nothing flashy about this business: small entry, corner location, no window display, small shop, but this is a lovely welcoming business that treats customers with attention and friendliness, and does what it supposed to do without pushing you into buying or ignoring you while you are inside.

The young guys who run the shop do a terrific job at getting your eyes tested, your glasses done, fitted and adjusted, and at fixing and repairing anything that your old glasses might need. Usually, repairs are done on the spot, fast, and at terrific prices.

Pricing of the frames are usually high, with a mix of Australian and European brands, available. They have a stylish mix of colours and styles, but, to be fair, I have found nothing funky here.The edgy shape of the shop might trick your eyes as it looks like the frames on display are very few, but there are many more in the drawers and around the corner. 


Most glasses are ready in a day. However, some transition and special lenses are made interstate and you might have to wait for 10 working days to get them back. They will SMS when you have them ready, though.

I think they do not  sell sunnies, unless they are prescription's, but I am not completely sure!

Service has always been terrific.

They have Hycaps payments available, and they deal with most private health insurance providers.


They need to improve their website and include their opening hours in it. 

Teo Degas Monday, 11 November 2013


Cockburn Central Train Station is a two-platform  train station in Jandakot served by the Mandurah Train Line. The station is sandwiched between the Kwinana Freeway on the left side, and the Success Park 'n' Ride bus Station on the right side.

The Station is well designed and organized, practical, clean, and comfortable for commuters: There is a spacious seating area on the ground and a lift and an escalator to access the exit on the upper floor. You can use your legs, if you want, because there is a normal staircase, as well.

The Cockburn Train Station has almost anything that you would like to have or you might need to use in a small train station: electronic information panels, written timetable, written info about ticket prices, multi-rider recharge machines, ticket machines, money exchange machine (one of those to you put a banknote and you get that amount in coins), a public telephone (yes, they still exist!), and, at the end of the covered passage, there is an EFPTOS machine and a coffee machine, as well as the public toilets. There is a security booth on the upper floor (hurrah!) and another one, on the ground level.

The covered passage on the right side, while exiting, leads to the Bus Station's two platforms, as well as to a small shopping area across the road. The Cockburn Gateway Shopping Centre is a few hundred metres further down; you can take bus 527, which takes you right there.


The toilets are the only downside of the place - small, ugly-looking, run down and kept just OK. They need an overhaul.
  
The Buses connect the station with Hammond Park, Murdoch Station, Fremantle Station, and other areas in the Success-Jandakot area. 

MIND -  Cockburn, is pronounced "Cohbarn".

Teo Degas Wednesday, 30 October 2013

300 Walcott Street
Menora Western Australia 6050
(08) 9272 5787
Hours:

      Mon - Fri: 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
      Sat: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
      Sun: 8:30 am - 1:30 pm

BROTHER on Urbanspoon  
Under new management, BROTHER is a decent unpretentious well-priced café away from the buzz of Beaufort street.

There is nothing flashy or new vogue about BROTHER. The place is small, with comfortable indoor and alfresco areas.
The ambience is a bit mismatched and uninspired, still welcoming, the main decoration being the photos for sale on the walls; the woody corner on the right upon entrance is, on the contrary, truly charming, and it is a pity that the whole place is not like that. 

Brother's coffee is very good. I am not a fan of Toby State beans in general, but they do a great job with them here, and the coffee is well-prepared, smooth and creamy.  Mugs available!

Their food is a mix of Australian favourites with a emphasis on Mediterranean dishes for lunch. I love their specials, which are the ones that bring me back to Brother. I loved their White Wine Seafood Linguine, which were not only tasty, but full of chunky pieces of seafood. Their old-style home-made bowl pies were absolutely tasty and filling, although a bit soggy. Their Feta and Spinach Ravioli were also lovely. On the contrary, I found their Peas & Scallop Risotto bland. Serving sizes vary depending on the dishes.  

They have also have a nice selection of cookies, cake slices and muffins baked on the house, sometimes still warm when you order, like the strawberry friand in the photo.

The service has always been terrific regarding friendliness, speed, modifications and adjustments of the menu. All the staff and the young couple of owners are truly welcoming, humble, honest and hard-working.

The place attracts a varied group of people from all ages, families included, but mostly quiet people looking for a place where you can eat and talk at the same time without having to yell. They have several copies of the daily newspaper available for customers, which is always a big tick in my list.

One of the main downsides of the place is their limited opening hours during the weekend, days that usually bring more customers to any restaurant. I have gone on a Saturday and the kitchen was closed at 2.30pm, and 1pm on a Sunday, so I went and spent my money elsewhere. They open the whole week, and it is understandable, but perhaps closing another day of the week and having extended hours during the weekends might pay off.
MIND - They are starting to open in the evenings for dinners some days of the weekend.

BONUS - Free WIFI.

FIX IT - Last time I was there, the knob lock of the toilet self-opened. My bottom is sacred. Yelp!  

ACTIVATE IT - The former website is no longer operational. Their Facebook account has been untouched or very quiet for months. They could easily post here the specials of the week or extra info about events, change in opening times, hours when the kitchen closes and so on. 

Teo Degas


Beside North Perth Plaza
391 Fitzgerald St
North Perth Western Australia 6006
(08) 9227 8020
Website
Hours:
    Mon-Thu 11:00 - 20:00

Ecco Pizza on Urbanspoon


Located on the left side of the main entrance to the North Perth Plaza, Ecco! is a very small unpretentious restaurant with a lovely alfresco area that is very popular and sought after when the weather is good.

Ecco! is one of those underrated unpretentious real Italian restaurants that specialises in wood-fired pizzas (oil and tomato sauce based) and classics of the Italian Cuisine like tomato-based gnocchi, pasta, lasagna, cannelloni, arancini, and meat dishes, and a few antipasti prepared in the house. This is not a sophisticated new-vogue Italian cuisine, there is no fancy stuff here, just traditional Italian recipes. As the old man told me, "I have no studies, I am no chef, but I can cook Italian food as in the old days". That is a big thumbs up for me. The place is quiet during the day, but it is a regular spot for first and second generation Italians, a fact that always shows that the food served there is authentic.



The Pasta alle Vongole is the best dish I have eaten there, and one the best PALV that I have eaten in Perth in the last years. Pasta al dente, flavoursome, with the right amount of everything. Perfect. And the serving was huge.


On the contrary, the Pappardelle al Ragu were average, not al dente, and lacked a bit in flavour. Very much the so-so thing I prepare at home myself.

Their pizzas I have tried here are very nice and flavoursome, with a thin crisp base, and traditional simple ingredients, and no added sauces. Wood-fired ovens really give the pizza an unique flavour and texture that makes of any pizza a good pizza.
They serve breakfast from Friday to Sunday, and they have a mix of traditional Australian favourites with more Italianized bites. 

The servings of most dishes are really generous, man-sized, and you won't leave hungry. You will probably leave with a doggy bag.  Pizzas are on the medium size, not too big, not to small.
The staff are friendly and attentive. It seems to be a family operated business, with some extra hands at the kitchen. 
 
The place has three main downsides, which, in a way explains why they don't have a larger clientele. The first one is that the place it is a bit Spartan and lacks a bit in character; people love old traditional trattorie, just because of their charm, so they could just give their place the feeling of one of those. Just saying.
The second one is that the place is just a BYO. The third one is that the price of some of the pasta dishes is a bit expensive taking into account that the ingredients used in some recipes don't cost much.

Ecco! is not a fancy place, but it is perfect for quiet munchers looking for simple traditional Italian recipes and pizza. 

MIND - They do take-away - Hurrah.

FIX IT - Their website is very minimal and needs a bit of update. There is not reference whatsoever to opening hours. Also, the takeaway menu link corresponds to the fixed menu link, and vice versa. 

Teo Degas Monday, 28 October 2013


The Savage Planet, also called The Fantastic Planet, is an allegorical science-fiction animated movie about morality and the established social order. 

The story is set in the dystopian planet of Ygam, where the Draggs, a species of giant blue humans, rule. There is another human species, the Oms, tiny in size, whom the Draags consider a pest and exterminate regularly, keeping some some of them as pets. Terr, one of those pets, is found and kept in captivity by a girl called Tiva. He grows with her master, learns all the secrets of the Draags, and then...


The universe and atmosphere created by Laloux are superb. Mix Salvador Dalí surreal landscapes and imagery, Bosch architectural fanciness and oniric creatures, add a hint of 19th century botanical drawings, slowly pour some psychedelic music by Alain Goraguer, and whisk all energetically with an allegorical story adapted from Stephan Wul's by Laloux and Roland Topor, and you get something unique. The 2-D animation has all the limitations that the genre had in the 1970s, but the creativity and artistry of the drawings and story will make you forget the deficiencies of the animation (especially clear in the poor mobility and reduced facial expression of the characters). Some of the scenes are memorable, and I especially liked the Draag's mating and meditation practices, and some of Tiva's learning trances.  

The movie is not apt for children because it has violence, sex, nudity, and elements that are difficult to explain to children. The movie, indeed, touches many adult serious themes: slavery, class domination, racial extermination, relationship between Theology and Science, relationship between Humans and Nature,  cohabitation/conflict between different social systems, colonial and imperialistic attitudes. The movie is complex enough to offer many elements of reflection without being dogmatic, and the viewer will be surprised at finding oneself understanding the good and bad points in both societies and ways of acting and living.

The main problem with the movie is its slow pace, and the emotional frigidity of the characters that don't allow the viewer to empathize with them beyond a pure intellectual or visual level. Furthermore, there is not enough action or thrill, so one gets easily bored after the initial fanciness of the imagery sinks in. 
 

The Fantastic Planet is weird, artistic, psychedelic (even hallucinogenic), naive and delightful, but not always engaging - one of those movies that you want to watch because it is like no other, and sounds too cool not to have in your watched-movies list.   

The movie wan Cannes Jury's award in 1974.

Teo Degas Sunday, 27 October 2013

207 Murray Street
Carillon City
Murray St Level 
Perth 6000 Western Australia
Ph: 08 9321 0110
Website
Facebook

Opening Hours
     Mon-Fri: 9:00am - 5:30pm
     Sat: 9:00am - 5:00pm
     Sun: 11:00am - 5:00pm

Dusk is an Australian franchise selling candles, melts, aromatic essential oils and burners, room perfumers, and anything related to the world of candles and aromatherapy, like oil burners, vaporisers, ethanol fireplaces, and mood reeds. They also have a few gift items, silicone flowers and glass vases. Their candle products are produced in their factory in Western Australia.


This Dusk shop is very small, but packed to the rafters. They always have colourful catchy displays at the entrance, and the inner shop is, despite being crowded, aesthetically pleasant, well organised and the products are beautifully displayed.

I especially love their essential oils blends, which are fragrant but without being overpowering, and cheaper than other brands. I also like some of their individual candle holders, or packs of three, which can be truly cute, pretty and sometimes even artistic, and are usually well priced. Although they have tons of things, I find the style of their oil burners a bit limited. 


The girls at the shop are lovely every time I have visited, and attend to you with great diligence, affability and friendliness. They leave you browse around, if that is what you want. They are very knowledgeable about what they sell and about the world of candles in general. They always give customers two free leaflets: "Aromatherapy. A guide to use, care and safety", and "Your guide to use, care and product safety".  

Pricing of most products is mid range, not cheap but not expensive either. The only thing I found pricey were the normal tea candles, which can be found at a fraction of the price at your local IGA. 

Dusk Carillon is perfect for a quick visit for your refills during your lunch break if you happen to work in the CBD, and one of those places where you can find a nice gift for a female friend or relative for not much money. 

MIND - The aisle space is very reduced, so mind your arms and handbags or you break something!