Tuesday September 4th 12.10pm Butter & Scotch Bar and Bakery.

Tuesday September 4th

12.10pm Butter & Scotch Bar and Bakery.

Bar AND bakery, I hear you say. Yes, bar and bakery. Why does this concept not happen more? They open at 9am and offer brunch options until mid-afternoon. Think sandwiches in the American sense ie hot fillings sometimes toasted and often in a bun not bread, biscuits/savoury scones, sweet pies, cake, ice cream – cause, you know, America.

This morning I tried to go to the Museum of Women’s Resistance but, alas, it appears to be no more. Damn internet! Promising a vibrant experience that in reality is a nondescript townhouse with a for sale sign hanging out front. Of course, it was bound to happen at least once this trip. Occasionally, the internet doesn’t always tell the truth. Who knew.

So that’s how I made it to this oasis earlier than planned. On this trip, I’m trying not to consume alcohol before noon although the crossing of time zones can mess with one’s sense of whose noon it really is. It’s quiet in here; there are a couple of guys sitting at the bar drinking coffee plus me. The air conditioning is strong and welcome. My 4000 steps this morning were hard work in the relentless sunshine.

‘How you doing this warm day?’ The barman stands behind the bar polishing glasses in the way that barmen all over the world do.

‘Better now,’ is my response.

‘Yeah, it’s getting warm out there.’

I slide along the wall, edging past the two guys perched on the chrome and vinyl bar stools. Black and white chequered tiles on the floor, painted, colour-blocked walls and a feature wall of red lips by the bathrooms signal the fun, casual vibe of the place. The mirrored wall behind the display of extensive spirits indicates it’s a bar in more than just name only. I grab a table near the bar for ease of service as much as conversation.

Traveling by myself has its pros and its cons. I don’t have to please anyone else but at times I crave human interaction beyond the cursory. In the mornings, as I’m having my mandatory two cups of tea, I listen to podcasts. It helps prepare me to interact with the big wide world outside my bedroom door. This trip is an ideal mix of time alone, time with family and time with friends old and new.

The obligatory glass of water is delivered with the menu. I opt to begin with a coffee with the encouragement of the barman despite my reticence for American coffee. He promises to attempt a piccolo latte for me. I’ve coached him through it and I reckon I’ll get something close. I do, in fact, receive a passable piccolo latte. The espresso shot has enough oomph for my liking and it’s not been watered down with too much milk. In reality, it is a flat white presented in a glass mug with a handle. Some sugar helps balance the dominant bitterness.

I scour the menu for a smaller-sized breakfast dish and I want to leave room for something sweet afterwards. Steve would be disappointed if I didn’t. I settle on the chicken, chilli and cheddar hand pie with salad. A hand pie is a filled pastry triangle by another name. The buttery pastry is flaky and tasty all on its own. The diced filling is good value on the chicken front with enough heat not to warrant any extra use of hot sauce or chilli-infused honey that sits on the table. A little light on the cheddar for my liking, it’s a small, insignificant criticism on my behalf. The mixed salad greens are perfectly dressed in a country where I often find dressings overwhelming the salad they’re supposed to complement.

Coffee downed and I decide to step things up a notch with a michelada. A tall glass is rimmed with spicy salt, then half-filled with ice, doused with hot sauce, and finished off with a crisp lager and a wedge of lime. I need to embrace these more in my summer life. It’s thirst quenching and substantial at the same time. I take photos, all the time thinking Steve would love it here.

The menu which is currently discarded on the table next to me promises desserts in a variety of styles: key lime pie, s’mores pie, daily special pie, unicorn cake, salted chocolate cookies, six flavours of ice cream. All these are made in the bakery section next door which I can see into through a doorway behind the bar. I finish up my breakfast grateful for the small serving and embark upon an in-depth consultation with my friendly barman. Between us we concoct a boozy milkshake based upon the key lime pie with coconut ice cream and added rum.

When it arrives, I’m not disappointed. It’s thick and creamy with generous amounts lime zest sprinkled on top. The rum comes through immediately and I give it a thorough stir in case I’m drinking all the rum first. I slurp again and it’s just as good. I don’t often order sweet things and I think I’ve only done it this time in honour of my absent partner. I’m delighted that I did and even more grateful that he’s not here because I don’t have to share it. It’s mine, all mine I tell you!

My darling Clementine

‘Look at her, what a slut.’

‘You sicken me you vile scum’

‘Whore, fat bitch – you should kill herself’

‘Feminazi. Man-hater.’ ‘It’s really a shame that a man wasted sperm on a low life cunt like you! Should’ve masturbated into the toilet’

In the face of these and worse insults, Clementine Ford doesn’t back down. Whether online or in person, she defends herself and others, speaking out against rape culture, mental health issues, gender inequality and many more issues. Tackling those who attempt to shame and silence her, has exposed her to accusations of trolling herself. Manipulating social media, she publicly names and shames even if it means she may be banned.

‘Raise voices, raise courage, raise the flag’ demands the front cover of her 2016 book, Fight Like A Girl. This feminist manifesto has not been designed to soothe and provide answers but to anger and inspire. It’s bright orange title reigniting the fire of feminists many generations past. “It’s not about being fearless but forging onwards despite the fear. It is fear that keeps women quiet and controlled,” she explains. Whether preaching from a YouTube TED talk or posting to her Tumblr account, Feminist Killjoy to the Stars, Clementine attacks her subjects with intelligence and common sense, dosed liberally with humour.

Born in Adelaide in 1981, it was not until Clementine undertook a gender studies course that she found her driving direction. In a world where one third of women experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime, Clementine stands as a beacon, pointing out the obvious, yet oft-ignored, problem of entrenched male entitlement.

Like so many other creatives in this age, she combines writing with other money-making activities such as working the kitchens of her local café. Smashed avocado with a side order of feminist treatise anyone? Leaning back against the range between breakfast orders, her open smile darkens as she explains the prospect of changes to America’s healthcare system that will designate rape as a pre-existing condition for which state sponsored healthcare will not be available. Looking down milk clings to the edge of the latte glass in her hand, as she takes a pause. Is it the weight of the topic I wonder. She raises the glass to her lips, tests the temperature of the coffee and drinks it anyway.

As a new mother, she is no doubt used to cold beverages.