Trees: 6 ways – Black Spur Drive, VIC

A good few weeks ago (when am I on time posting pictures?) Oliver and I took a drive in a friend’s borrowed car to the Yarra Valley, east of Melbourne. Before we even left Fitzroy, picnic and camera packed, we had to contend with a smashed wing mirror on the loaned car. Actually the wing mirror was on the floor by the time we found it. 2 hours, $85 and a little panic later we left Melbourne and took the hour drive out of the city.

Actually, even though it was an unnecessary stress, we dealt with that situation as calmly and quickly as possible. And the wing mirror wasn’t exactly the same colour as the car but Liz didn’t mind. At least she didn’t show that she minded.

We didn’t visit any vineyards that day, but we found a tiny dairy farm, Coldstream Dairy, and ate a bargain $15 cheese plate before we did any sightseeing. It was really good, interesting cheese with a little pot of delicious creamy feta and spicy home made chilli sauce and that made up for the morning’s delay. A variety of cheeses make up for most of the bumps in your day I’ve found. We drove to Healesville and began on the Black Spur Road that Oliver wanted to visit. It was a pretty spectacular 30 minute drive through a national park, the tallest trees and winding roads. Every time an oncoming car came into view I thought I was in a car commercial. If you’re a fan of pictures of trees you’re in luck, just scroll down.

We did take a visit to the White Rabbit Brewery on our way home, but Oliver as the driver had to watch as I enjoyed a really good glass of beer and he drank ginger ale. We plan to return, with somebody else driving, for beer and wine and more cheese.
















A very good Saturday…



Any day that begins with that cheese has to be a good one. And it was surprise cheese. As in Toby’s making breakfast and says “help yourself to bread and cheese”. Ugh, the best.




You may have noticed that this Saturday morning is taking place outside, because we’re just soooo comfortable in our lovely garden now. Toby’s grilling steak on the barbecue for breakfast… how will we ever fit in in England again?



This is Carlton Gardens next to Melbourne’s Exhibition Centre. I think that’s where documents were signed a long time ago to say “this is Australia, and Melbourne is the capital”. I certainly need a history lesson but I think that’s the gist of it. For the record, I know that Canberra is the capital, but I’m sure it was once Melbourne. I’ll get back to you.

It was 27 degrees on Saturday and I know that I’m British because it gets me everytime. “It’s so sunny today, isn’t it so nice?”. Can I really say that every other day for the next 5 months?



We had a drink on the roof bar of a place just behind where we live. It’s a distinctly Fitzroy view from the terrace. Not especially beautiful but interesting, lots of metal roofing and construction. My kind of view anyway.

Birthdays and anniversaries…

Every year Oliver and I have the same fortnight of anniversary, his birthday, my birthday. And I quite like it because we get everything done in one go. Does that sound miserable? It’s just that I don’t like fuss and would rather my birthday didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Good job that my brother and I share a birthday so at least the fuss was easily spread out until I met Oliver. 

This year at the end of July, start of August we celebrated 4 years together, 29 years of Oliver and 27 years of me. Like everyone else I’m sure I dislike birthdays because they make you look at the bigger picture of your life. I did this often with my friend Jill at home, a once a week contemplation of what we’ve done and what’s to come and a little panic about everything we haven’t considered yet.

In the 12 months since my last birthday I’ve done so much more than I could have hoped. Visited 8 countries and countless cities that I’d always wanted to, met wonderful people from all over, eaten exotic and interesting foods and found myself living and working in a different country. Still, there’s always that birthday panic. Like what the fuck am I gonna do with my life!?

We received lovely packages from our parents with birthday gifts and cards, which made me very happy and a little bit homesick. Oliver bought me a beautiful watch and I ate Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations directly from the UK. It’s the little things.




This birthday I bought $70 worth of cheese and gorged with Oliver. It was all I wanted to do. It’s pretty nice coming to the realisation that eating cheese and staying in is a favourite past time. I suppose that’s the 27 year old I’ve grown into! 

I took some pictures of the cheese 🙂 We got it from Spring Street Grocer in Melbourne CBD, and spent a good 15 minutes chatting to the cheese man (cheese monger?) about all his wares. He let us try lots and I felt elated. It’s the only way to describe it. Content, joyful, elated just to eat wonderful cheese and be taught all about it. I totally understand how Alex James ended up where he is. Perhaps cheese making is my future too.









Enough cheese? One more.