Neenish tarts and happy hearts

We don’t mind the word tart here at home. We use it regularly, fondly and loosely.
Hearing the word makes my pregnancy hormones zing, almost making me burst into tears through emotional giggles.
So during the week when Johnny Kettle mentioned my new two favourite words Neenish Tarts, I squealed, ran out to the building site and screamed WHERE?
Mr Kettle and Todd explained that ‘back in the day’ they used to get a Neenish Tart as a treat from Heather Dell bakery in Yarraville. What made these tarts different to any other tart of the Neenish kind was a small layer of jam below the cream that acted as a little  surprise following the first bite. 
I had never heard tradies speak so fondly of a tart in my whole life. 
As an expecting woman, I listened carefully to the boys description, nodded than ran up the street to purchase said tart. The marshmallow lady behind the counter at Heather Dell wearing the frilly powder blue apron and smelling of talc knew exactly what I had come for and offered me four of the finest.
Thanks to ConsiderTheSauce blog for the image. I was too focused on the tarts to take a photo.
I could have smashed them then and there, but I held back and carefully carried them home to share with the boys over smoko. Heaven in a pastry case. 
What is also looking like a slice of heaven is our magnificent salvaged lead light window. We are still waiting on our garage sale lead light to come back from being repaired. I’m hoping they will look like a married couple when we put them up on the same wall.
The lead light in place

As I am totally at ease with these renovations – who would have thought – I’m now focussing on a little nest to build and in my hunt for baby goods I have discovered some terrific op shops in the local area.
Don’t get me wrong, a stripey Bonds onesie sets me over the edge like a yellow baby duck, but show me a miniature cable knit jumper or tiny denim overalls and I feel like I have just read the latest Sylvanian Family toy catalogue.

Salvos on Koroit Creek Road, Williamstown:
Excellent selection of toys and books for the kiddies. They also have a ‘retro’ section in their furniture part that featured some nice treats from the 1950s and early 1960s. Usually these sections include a lot of vinyl chairs and eighties prom style dresses, so it was a welcome discovery to find something of a more classy age.
I purchased an abacus for Cobb. This kid has to learn to count somehow, god forbid it’s from me. Also miniature overalls and a couple of Golden Books. $7 well spent.
Op shop treats
Lost Ark Restorers Barn, Williamstown:
Oh I could spend hours here. It really bugged me when The Block featured the bric-a-brac store in their show a couple of years back where the Block couples had to purchase an item then ‘contemporise’ it for their display homes. erk.
Great selection of old trikes, church pews, Art Deco light fittings, some tiles, original tin signs, furniture, lava vases, ceramics and other awesome delights.
Why is it that so many bric-a-brac stores like this have a similar looking man working behind the counter. The look is floppy brown hat, aka Bernard from Guess Who, cigarette stained teeth (maybe even smoking in their store), dirty fingernails and long hair. I love it and it’s so comforting when you see a dude like this in a bric-a-brac as you know you’ll find some cool shit.
Didn’t buy anything, but really wanted a lot of stuff.

I bet there’s a tyre swan somewhere here
Newport St Vinnies:
This shop really is the home of opportunity. The volunteers are so cool that they have arranged all the items in the store by colour. Best thing ever. I really like orange, so straight away I know where to go. Somehow I spent two hours in here in some pregnant haze going through books and really amazing 1960s and ’70s frocks.
These guys stock a huge range of books, toys, frocks, ceramics, dominoes and everything else.
I purchased more Golden Books, brand new cot sheets from the ’80s with embroided green rabbits, a fabulous 1970s maternity dress and Nancy Drew hardcover books. While I was purchasing away, the volunteer at the counter passed me a book titled ‘Baby Love’ saying, ‘This will get you through the next part, love.’ Sweet.
Maternity treat

Missionpoint, Yarraville:
I don’t know how I have missed this op shop as it is so close to my docs. I was delighted to discover that this place stocks a huge range of new handmade knits for babies. I don’t know who makes them, perhaps the local retirement village (I love that it is a village) around the corner or the CWA, but these knits are incredible. They come in all sizes from newborn to five and I was super tempted to buy a larger knit with a koala eating a gum leaf on it. Maybe next time.
I purchased even more Golden Books, Disney’s Dumbo book (which I regretted as soon as I turned to the page with the burning building…. dear God), and the sweetest duckling jumper. 

Yesterday afternoon, while doing my laundry and eating the smart selection of mixed lollies from my favourite milk bar, I wandered a couple of doors down and found ANOTHER op shop that I didn’t know existed. It was here that I found The Muffin Muncher. Possibly the worst title for a book in the language of today’s youth, but this tale of a very hungry dragon who just wanted a friend was one of my faves as a kid. Sold.

This might seem like a big week gone by, but wowee, when I was told about the next two weeks I had to high kick and clap under my knee.

This is what is happening in week 6 and 7:
Walls will go up.
Roof will go on.
Floors will go in.
Wiring will go in.
Plaster will go on.
Drain pipes will go up.
Bath will go in.
Neenish Tarts will be consumed.

I love renovating. I love tarts.

With love,

P.s. for updates on foodie wonderlands in the inner west, visit

Todd and Gio sorting out the framework

The final stump. Finally.

Todd & Gio putting in the lead light.

Lead light adjustments

Pre-lead light on the wall

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