Hello hello – new Kathmandu store in Chapel St, Prahran (that’s “Pran” to you non-locals)!!
There I am at 6am standing in front of the highly reflective windows at 285A Chapel St, watching the sky get lighter and wondering how bad the traffic’s gonna get and also I need new socks. And a fleece jumper.
But first one must do the work. Then (and only then), can the restocking begin. I hate shopping *sigh* so I avoid it as much as possible. I just restock stuff I already have that's wearing out. This is why I have fourteen interchangeable socks.
Been doing a lot of properties in the city lately so here's some twilight shots for no reason whatsoever.
Ok, the last one isn't in the city, but it's of the city...which is close enough!
Sometimes in the first week of spring in Melbourne, a cracker of a day rears its head and demands a ramble out in nature. I couldn’t be bothered travelling too far away so I picked Woodlands Historic Park in Greenvale near Melbourne Airport for a post lunch wander. I’ve been here loads of times and I enjoy the peace of the place. If it weren’t for the sight of jets passing overhead, the hum of freeway traffic, and the noise of road construction, you’d think you were a million miles from civilisation with only kangaroos for company.
I'd never heard of the Glow Winter Arts Festival until a week or so before I went (it had only been in existence for 5 years), and unless Flashie had alerted me to its existence, I would probably remain blissfully unaware of its existence.
And that, my friends, is how you use the word 'existence' three times in one sentence.
Flash and I had been hanging out all day doing Things, and as we hadn't finished trading insults yet, we decided to go. That makes sense, doesn't it?
Given the deep blue colour of the sky, you’d hardly think it was the depths of winter the day we decided to go to Toorongo Falls and Noojee Trestle Bridge. Except for the fact that it was cold of course. Because that's how winter rolls, muthatruckers!
Flash and I had been having a conversation about ‘doing something’ on Saturday if the weather was reasonable and with a forecast top of a whole 14 degrees, some sun and no rain, that was good enough for us. So off we did trek. And by trek, I mean drive. And by drive, I mean Flash drove and I amused her with my dazzling repertoire of rapier wit and angelic singing voice.
An unseasonably warm and sunny winter's day was perfect for a catch up lunch with friends and an afternoon meander around the fabulous gardens in Cranbourne. I quite possibly took my jacket off at some point, but some of the kids were wearing shorts and playing in the water features - and that's just Madness! Actually, you know what the first sign of Madness is? Suggs walking up your driveway!! Boom boom!
What is the deal with these newer cars that have friggin military grade 50000 lumen searchlights for headlights? Are the drivers bloody blind? I’m all for lighting up the road but it’s really not necessary to light up the next suburb as well. One of them sat behind me as I recently journeyed down the M1 towards the southern coast of Victoria, hell bent on sending me into complete visual impairment, from Point Cook to Little River. That’s 20 odd kilometres of me changing lanes so the car wasn’t directly behind me, only to have it follow me into the same lane. The first time was annoying. The second time was a bit spooky. The third time had me resolve to go to the Geelong cop shop but the plonker turned off at Little River so we were both spared the disruption.
Lucky. I had a place to be.
Oh yeah, actually we did go to a mine. But not down one. We just hung out on the surface, which is a pretty good museum piece on its own. There are original buildings and gear that was essential to the mine's operation, including various pieces of equipment and machinery from the other Deborah mines (aha! You didn't know there were others, did you!?!? Me neither. I should get out more).
Suitably tattooed and bandaged against dirt and infection (honestly, you'd think we were going down a mine or something ), we wandered off to the lovely Yi Yuan Gardens for a quick dose of culture.
It's a serene little place made up of Chinese architecture, sculpture, colourful murals and a lotus/fish pond based on some gardens in the Beijing Imperial Palace. You might think "that's very nice but what's it got to do with tattoos and/or Bendigo". And the answer is: tattoos? Nothing. Bendigo? Lots.
Bendigo has had a large Chinese population going back as far as the 1850's when lots of Chinese came to Australia to try their luck on the gold fields. Many came to central Victoria and have stayed through the generations, contributing to the city, country and way of life.
Bellies full of scrummy breakfast delights washed down with coffee, and new air mattress firmly in hand, we ventured in to see Jake Hicks at the Black Wren Tattoo Parlour in Bendigo for a cheeky tattoo.
Sure, it all looks like smiles and sunshine now, but one of us did not sleep well during the night when it was colder than a very cold thing!
Flashie and I have blow up single mattresses for camping for two reasons: 1) we like to be somewhat comfortable and 2) we're princesses. There seems to be two schools of thought for the blow up mattress: those in favour and those against, including the naysayers who claim their mattresses get "full of cold air from the ground, so I'm just sleeping on cold air" to which I say "You're not doing it right, you nufty".
Who decides to go camping when it’s predicted to be 1°C overnight? Three idiots, that’s who. Me, Balders and Flashie finally co-ordinated a long weekend to go camping together and it turned out to be the coldest Autumn weekend in living history (well, ours). The Anzac Day long weekend (it wasn’t one, but we made it one by taking the Friday off work) saw us pack a tonne of stuff into two cars and fang off to Mount Alexander Regional Park near Castlemaine.
This is too cool for school! ArtVo is an immersive gallery in Docklands that uses the techniques of tromp l'oeil painting to create realistic 3D works on walls and floors. This place is a cracker - it has everything from gardens and tunnels to dragons and witches, and I'm sure I could've spent another couple of hours with my inner child playing about in there.
We're pretty bad at going straight home. This time, we were no different. We made an unscheduled stop in Ovens to admire the sunflowers and take a break from the traffic jam that we found ourselves in.
The following day found us wandering along The Diggings Walk in the old gold mining town of Wandiligong. It was here I discovered that I might have a bit of a bridge fetish.
Flashie and I went camping for four days and this time we had a lovely big tent to live in!
We had initially planned to go to East Gippsland and stay in the Snowy River National Park, where we’d be close enough for day trips to Buchan Caves and the Bullant Brewery, but also laze away an afternoon or two next to the river should we feel that way inclined. And if there was beer. What am I talking about? Of course, there would be beer!
So, how the hell did we end up in Smoko???
Sometimes a picture needs a little helping hand.
This housing project was still in construction mode when I photographed it, so it was partially fenced off. There were bright orange fence feet and bollards everywhere, and the curbing and nature strip were yet to be repaired. The burny bastard was high in the sky too, so it was all a bit glary and horrible.
So, how did it get to this?
Well, here’s a thing. When I was young, I loved summer but I wasn’t into hanging around the beach baking in the sun because that way madness (and melanoma) lies. Did you know that melanoma kills a lot of Aussies? The sun out-does venomous spiders, snakes and bugs in the killing department. Basically, it’s an extermination machine disguised as a necessity to life. Water’s the same. A little is good for you; too much and it can kill you.
But some of it is mighty purty!
As you get older, Christmas just doesn’t have the same appeal as when you were a child.
Q. What do you want as a Christmas gift?
A. Oh....I dunno. How about financial security? No? What about a great career? Too hard? Oh! I know – a sense of purpose! Can’t do that either? Perhaps a nap would be nice….
May you get lots of naps over the holiday period.
I’ve been pretty busy lately and I totally forgot to tell you about the time I decided to climb this:
Sure it doesn't look THAT tall, but the sun was out and it was quite warm so you know...it seemed much taller than it actually was. But never fear - your faithful scribe didn't pass out mid-climb so now I'm here to tell the tale. Let's go back a bit, shall we?
Gosh, this being busy thing is becoming a habit isn’t it? A month since my last post?? It’s almost like I HAVE been able to shut up! That’s rarer than an Australian Prime Minister putting in a full term so make the most of it – it probably won’t last.
Actually, it definitely won’t last because I’m here now.
Forgive me dear reader for I have sinned. It’s been over a month since my last confession. I’ve been a bit busy this past month and after fulfilling the time quotas I have for being annoying to my better half, taking naps, inhaling popcorn and generally being lazy, there’s often no time for writing.
But here I am, back to tell you about the time I went to Metcalfe and discovered The Cascades. I say “discovered”, but I don’t mean in the sense that a great explorer might have discovered an uninhabited island. Oh no....it was very clear someone had been here before me. Picnic tables!
If you've been living under a rock, you might not know that Cranbourne East, a residential suburb about 50kms south east of Melbourne, is the fastest growing suburb in terms of people, in Australia. The flood of residents has given rise to an influx of bogans (normal in any housing estate), an upswing of crime (new houses are often full of shiny things) and endless cries for public transport infrastructure to cope with the area's growth (trains, anyone??).
But it also has something very different. A mere stone's throw across the South Gippy Highway is the very excellent 'Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria at Cranbourne' where one can easily spend the best part of a day exploring the different gardens, structures and waterways and generally forgetting the rest of the world exists.
I thought it was about time I stopped lurking about on Twitter and actually used my brain for a bit, so here it is. A blog post containing some pictures featuring impossibly blue skies that may or may not cheer you up if your Seasonal Pissed Off Disorder (SPOD) is in full swing, and some fantastic artworks that have brought a different aspect of life to rural Victoria. I had to do actual research about these works, so you better start appreciating. I don't do this for the good of my health you know!
Right...so....six grain silo sites in the Mallee/Wimmera region of Victoria now have massive portraits painted on them, and it’s a thing and the thing is called the Silo Art Trail and if you can, you should go look at them because they’re really super.
Wanna learn something about history and be the envy of your friends at your next pool party? Get a cuppa then.
Lake Mungo is a lake bed that dried up about 15,000 years ago. Aboriginal people inhabited this area at least 50,000 years ago and it’s where Mungo Lady and Mungo Man were discovered (in 1968 and 1974 respectively). It's one of the oldest places outside of Africa to have been occupied by human beings, and Aboriginal people believe that before the Dreaming, there was a ‘land before time’ that was flat and lifeless. A bit like this:
It’s in New South Wales, about an hour and a bit’s drive north of Mildura if you don’t use Google Maps. Imagine my surprise when Google wanted to take me on a 4 hour drive to get there from Mildura. I mean, I know there’s dirt roads and you have to be somewhat careful, but suggesting I go 50km out of my way or that I drive at 20kph? WTF Google??