Get shit done; May 2016

May started to feel cold, so we cooked a lot and prepared for our holiday to Bali, half way through the month. I’ll post separately about that holiday, because I took a lot of pictures!

Oliver cooked up some delicious Indian curry a we fried a stack of poppadoms. The best ever.

We had dinner at a friend’s house one Friday night and she cooked incredibly hearty, Italian fare in her effortlessly cool house. Bare bricks, big open spaces and precisely selected furniture. We listened to Paul Simon through the back door.

My cousin is moving from Brisbane to Melbourne in August and he came down to suss out the suburbs for a weekend. We had brunch in Fitzroy and Oliver and I tried to sell the North to him. Can’t wait to have some family around full time.

This colourful dish was a nice change from the grey exterior.

On the other hand… pork chops and baked apples, sage and roasted beetroot screams Autumn and Winter. We made this two days in a row and I didn’t feel hungry for days.

We celebrated our friend Adam’s birthday at a bar in town and ate huge gyros at a Greek place afterwards.

Healesville/Coldstream/Yarra Valley

Back in January & February of this year when my parents came to visit, we took a day trip to the Yarra Valley to see vineyards and taste wine. None of us know much about wine but it’s undeniably enjoyable to try glass after glass and pretend that you do. I got some lovely picture of my parents together, though a few are ruined by the ever present cigarette. Oh well, it’s true to life.


We visited the Domaine Chandon winery, where they offer a free self guided tour of their warehouse. You can read about the grapes, the processing, bottling and understand a lot of what you observe about wine but never really understood. It’s great for a newbie!

      

They offer a great deal in their restaurant area; a taste of six of their bottles for $5. Incredible value. We shared two of these tasters between the three of us and it was plenty. The sommelier gave us a bit of background on the different conditions required for each wine. I think we tried a sparkling Shiraz, which I’ve never tried before but was delicious, a couple of champagnes and sparkling white among others.

           

We also visited the Dominique Porter winery where they generously allowed us to try nearly all of their wines. I settled on a fancy Chardonnay that my parents bought me as a gift and I’ve only just tucked into it, last weekend in fact. I was worried that my tastebuds were less than sharp when I picked it out, because I was a little tipsy and everything tasted good at that point. Happily though, it was very good.

We sat outside at Dominique Portet and the sun made it’s first appearance of the day. I was so pleased, because my parents are sun worshippers and the Melbourne summer wasn’t working too hard for us. But when it appears, the sun is intense and incredible in the Yarra Valley. We ate some cheese and fussed a dog who sat with us and took some lovely pictures of my parents that will dominate birthday cards and gifts for years to come.

  
 

Afterwards, we stopped by the White Rabbit Brewery in Healsville to fill up the Growler that Oliver bought last time we were there. I’ve just looked the Brewery up and found that it’s sadly now closed! They’re moving to Geelong, which is makes it’s trickier to refill that beer bottle, but I’m sure we’ll manage. We then drove along the Black Spur Drive to Narbethong. It’s a 30 minute drive through an incredible stretch of Mountain Ash trees. We headed back to Melbourne through a C road that turned into dirt track on a couple of occasions. Every time I delve into the Victorian countryside I am overwhelmed. There is so much beautiful landscape to see here, I feel very lucky to be among it all.

           

Kennett River, Great Ocean Road

Last week my Mum and Dad flew home to England after a three week holiday with us in Melbourne. We made a lot of new memories and we ended our holiday together with a trip on the Great Ocean Road of Victoria. It’s a spectacular journey. We spent 2 days driving and stopping at random points but could have easily spent another 2 days for all there was to see.

We stopped at Kennett River, about 30 minutes from Apollo Bay, to see Koalas in wild. We saw some, but they were overshadowed by some really friendly birds, and we took plenty of pictures!

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homesick

We’re in La Paz, Bolivia now for a few days after a nonstop tour of Bolivia. We’ve seen so much; the Uyuni Salt Flats, a national park, Potosi silver mines and all in around 2 weeks. Now we need some recovery time, just to do nothing and actually unpack our bags.

I’ve been a bit homesick today and managed to miss my mother’s FaceTime calls and poorly time my own. So it’s comforting to be in an Irish themed hostel, The Wild Rover, and eat some Irish stew (seen below, very tasty) and prepare for a relaxed Superbowl evening. I have much to post, pictures and stories, so the next few days I’ll try and focus on that! Promise!

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mum & dad’s final Manc weekender

The weeks recently gone by have been lovely. They have been busy and full of change. I’m due to leave the country in less than a month, that means I’m doing a lot of things for the final time. My final week at work this week. My parents’ final visit to Manchester. Staying at Alanna’s for the final time.

That all sounds very… final. I’m not dying. And I’ll most likely be returning to Manchester, so I’ll encounter all those things again. It’s just that I’ve been here for so long, it’s very odd to be leaving for somewhere new.

And these things that I do most weeks, but am now doing for the final time become defined because they are the last time. It makes them clear and instantly memorable. I would never before have considered them mundane or routine, but now they’re moments to hold onto.

Why is it that as soon as something stops taking place, it becomes nostalgic and romantic? Is it because things that you aren’t doing always seem more enticing? Or because you remember the golden memories more than the black ones?

A conversation for an afternoon at Jill’s.

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