Some of the year’s best television has blasted into my living room over the past two weeks. After watching often cringeworthy coverage of the London Olympics on Channel Nine, the London Paralympics coverage on ABC that followed was joyful.
I laughed, maybe wept a little (OK, a lot), and was truly inspired by the professional coverage of athletes with sportsmanship (whether winning or not) and spirit worthy of national applause.
Matt Cowdrey was a highlight, becoming Australia’s most successful Paralympian after his world-record 50-metre freestyle swim. He went on to claim two more gold medals and later acknowledged the entire Australian team for its collective efforts, which put Australia into fifth place on the medal count. Bravo!
Not wanting to burst my happiness bubble after the curtain was drawn on another Paralympics, I headed to Queen Victoria Market for a dose of another sort of Australian legend.
Padre coffee has set up shop as part of the new String Bean Alley, made up of multicoloured shipping containers filled with wares at the end of M Shed.
Padre occupies the farthest south-west corner, with a wooden crated vegetable garden separating it from the car park. But the two turquoise Slayer machines perched on the bench inside this converted grey shipping container are beacons enough.
Once inside, coffee lovers’ thirsts are satiated with single origins, blends, and various take-home coffee contraptions.
But the piece de resistance is the Clover brewing machine that Gito, the coffee whiz, so lovingly presides over. It’s filter coffee unlike you’ve ever had. The $11,000 machine is worth a little pat considering Starbucks has bought the Clover Company and has now halted public sales. Thankfully, Padre was all over that.
With dials for temperature, extraction and time, each bean is given the royal treatment. Our Paralympians deserve the same.