A coffee maker man, a baker, a penny farthing maker


Mr. Dee says many clients working or looking after children at home appreciate the chance to say hello to familiar faces. A customer visited twice in one day. “I think it was just to get out of the house.”

The business is bittersweet because they have friends in the arts who have suffered from the drying up of work. One of Elwood Sourdough’s bakers is a musician who is unable to perform at the moment.

Dan Bolwell, who hand-builds penny farthing bikes under the Penny Farthing Dan brand, expects to make a record 60 bikes this year, having done 50 last year and 30 in 2019.

Doug Suter has ordered a new penny farthing.Credit:Justin mcmanus

“I think people are looking for more interesting ways to exercise,” Bolwell said. Riding a penny was a “brilliant way to interact” – drawing smiles without the riders having to be in close contact with others.


Doug Suter of Brunswick, who is known to ride the CBD daily, ordered his second penny from Mr Bolwell – a lighter racing model to complement his commuter bike.

Vets, too, have seen a spike in activity. The non-profit Lort Smith Animal Hospital in North Melbourne is “at full capacity,” hospital chief David Cunliffe said. In the first six months of this year, its emergency vets treated 7,400 animals, up from 12,023 for all of 2020 and 10,225 in 2019.

Dr Cunliffe said the reasons for the increase may include the closure of the night shift at the University of Melbourne Emergency Center in Werribee and more clients cannot afford expensive private vet fees in other clinics. The repeated closures have also led to an increase in pet adoptions, and the fact that owners are at home perhaps makes them more aware of pet health issues.

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About Jeffery L. Parker

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