Tuesday 7 August 2018


If any video won’t open, click the link below it. Photos are copyright Runningonempty.

Soup Plus- where Acerules had her first solid food.

I was told about Soup Plus jazz club by my friend Terry , probably when he visited us in Sydney in the 1990s after we first moved there. He was twice my age, knew everything about everything (a very gifted man) , he knew what music I would like, what I could eat (not spicy food) and I’d learned to trust his recommendations. 

I don’t remember that first visit except for the cheap homestyle soup with bread, and other food such as Italian that cost more if you wanted it, and the great live music. Jazz, of course.  I don’t remember if we went back much at all. Disease , ADHD and deaths intervened, and life got even more complicated than my life normally is. (Mum once said to me, can’t you simplify your life? Not my generation, Mum. )

I remember the last time I went, in 2002, baby girl “Acerules” on my hip. That wasn’t her nickname then, her high school friends chose that one. She was called “pretty”, “beautiful”, “princess”, “trouble”, and her brother had a bunch of insults for her. One of his own nicknames was “double trouble”. I was always tired.

She had been breast fed, was a clingy, social, loving , smiling little doll of a child, always a lap sitter, that one. When I put her in the high chair she often screamed, because it wasn’t a person. She liked walks in the pram or stroller, though. She’d sleep only about 5 mins during the day, she was afraid of missing something, I think. 

Mum always said you should be introducing the first solid foods at 4 months. Well, Ace’s Christening rolled around. Two old school friends came up to Sydney from Melbourne for the occasion, and we decided to go out to Soup Plus, with the kids.

We had a lovely time. They were fun friends. The venue was as I remembered it: darkish, intimate, venerable, European style, smelling delicious, sounding wonderful. I don’t remember the name of the jazz band that was playing, but they were musically proficient and the singer was suitably sultry. 

I do remember they played “Stardust”, that night. That song and it’s gorgeous melody had become one of my favourite pieces of music, when an organ student of mine requested to learn it, in the early ‘90s. In those days in Melbourne I taught piano, keyboards, organ, theory and music history from my home. She was a lovely lady. She was of Dutch birth and had lived through World War Two in Indonesia. She was locked up in a Japanese concentration camp for part of the war. It was so traumatic, she found it hard to talk about it. One day she did though. I remember also she owned a beloved parrot.


At Soup Plus there was a stage up the front, tables in front of it, nearest the door was a bar, furthest away was the servery. I don’t remember what everyone else had to eat, but that is where Acerules had her first solid food, sitting on my lap - homestyle, really chunky, fragrant pumpkin soup, with a side of Jazz. She liked it.

Unfortunately, the next time we wanted to go there we found out it was closed down. A great loss to Sydney.

In the link below about the history, and closing, of Soup Plus, James Morrison is mentioned as playing there in earlier years. To those unfamiliar with him, he is an Australian consummate performer, of many different instruments. (There is a story he told while being interviewed. It’s about where he proposed to his wife. If you know that, then you know where my hubby proposed to me. This a G rated post ;) so I can’t tell you. 

He can play virtuoso with the world’s great, or play funny tricks to entertain, like playing piano and trumpet at the same time. So out of all the tracks I could have chosen Baby, You’re the Best.

Stardust lyrics:

Female internees in WW2 concentration camps:

About James Morrison:


Rina said...

Swoon music.

Pam Richardson said...

Oh how much I loved this. Pumpkin soup sounds wonderful. I didn’t know you were a music teacher. I haven’t ever taught, but I play organ, piano, and keyboard. I also sing. My hubby and son are both wonderfully talented musicians, singers, and songwriters. We have much in common, my friend. I enjoyed the music this morning, fabulous!

Jeanie said...

Oh, what a thoughtful look back and so many wonderful memories. Music is sort of magic, isn't it? It's a haven and one can choose their haven -- classical or pop or rock or from a period. I love it.

Running on empty said...

Thanks very much guys!