Last week…

These are a few pictures from Saturday 19th to Thursday 24th September! It’s truly Spring now in Melbourne, with bright warm weekends and slightly longer days. Getting up at 6am means it’s light outside now and when we return from work we can still spend 30 minutes in the garden.   

Oliver and Toby spent last Saturday afternoon building the bbq we bought from Bunnings. It’s by far our favourite garden feature! We plan to eat by bbq all summer!
  

Last Sunday we spent our first day in the park this Spring. The trees are still bare, so it doesn’t look like the seasons are changing but in Melbourne there are golden leaves on the ground for about 9 months of the year. You never know what the day will look like till it happens.  
  

This monster is living on the side of the house. It could be harmless, it could be a killer. Any ideas?  

We finally visited Pelligrini’s on Bourke Street last week. It’s a lovely, cosy old school style Italian serving home cooked comfort food and big servings of familiar desserts. It’s the perfect late night spot after a chaotic evening. 
  Lasagne!

 Oliver picked the blueberry pie, but I couldn’t resist the chocolate plum tart. I wish I did because the blueberry pie was so fantastic! I’ve recommended it to every North American I know, since they’re always hankering for cherry pies and blueberry pies.
  

This was a steak night that unexpectedly included so many lovely people like Pierce and Shamah! And loads of wine. And tequila. On a Wednesday.  
  

And then I finally granted my mother’s wish by letting a professional colour my hair. Forgive my sullen expression; I’m not really the selfie taker.  
    Woah! Cringe! Returned to my ginger roots, but still, selfies are not my natural state. Aside from these I want to remember that this week was sunny and Spring like, I finally got paid and I let go of routine a little to drink too much and have a lovely time.

Advertisements

    First few weeks in our new house…

 We’ve really settled in to our new house, and feeling comfortable and happy in this space. We’ve become very good at making meatballs as a team; Oliver makes the meatballs, I make the sauce and together we figure out the spaghetti and wine…. It usually ends quite well.  

This is our lovely cosy room. It was icy cold for a few weeks, we could see breath hanging in the air, but a heater and an electric blanket later we feel older and more British than ever. But spectacularly comfortable.  

Our friends came over for dinner and Settlers of Catan and a lack of seating. Very understanding they are.   

Actually, we didn’t even get around to Catan that night, but Oliver, Toby and I have made time.  

     

Keeping in touch with Alan, the only way we know how, with silly pictures…  

Just like in Manchester I have favourite mugs. We got them in a charity shot and they symbolise Saturdays and coffee and this new house.  

A really good dinner, thanks Toby. Spicy chicken wings and blue cheese sauce. This was the shameful result, along with that familiar feeling of “what I am doing with myself?” 

Things to Remember

Today we woke up a little hungover to the sound of a house auction happening next door. I’d never seen one before, in England things are always more subdued. There was a huge crowd of people, a slick auctioneer and a house that sold for $1.2 million. What the fuck. It’s time to realise that renting will see me in the best houses I’ll ever live in. When I actually buy a house I think I’ll have to accept a significant step down in living standards. $1.2 million!

Then we went to leave and found this little creep on our doorstep…   


Ugh. Turns out it’s a Saunders’ Case Moth, in caterpillar stage. 

We had a tasty brunch at Breakfast Thieves, of morcilla and polenta, very fancy. I finished sanding the top of a coffee table we’ve been working on. Now I’m lazing around contemplating dinner.   

Last night we had work drinks, our first in Hawthorn at the new office. I shared a cab home with Tim, Pierce and Oliver who were all smashed and uncontrollable. It was hilarious and ridiculous.  

Last week I made this tasty dinner, and I may be leaning towards it right now!  

Tomorrow holds nothing of significance! I really enjoy doing not too much with my weekends. I’ve committed to a Diploma of Business through my work, so I have some of that stuff to do. Otherwise just hanging out with this handsome one…

    

Moving house, fresh start

Our empty, beautiful house is now filled with second hand furniture and refurbished white goods. Here’s how it was…

  
         

The timing of this move has been potentially awkward. We had to leave our old house, Oliver, Toby and I, because we found out some unsavoury things about the ratio of rent we paid to what our then housemates paid. I guess it happens all over the place, but it still doesn’t sit well and we all felt it was time for something a little nicer and a little more ours.

It feels like we got very lucky with this place, a beautiful old one storey place in Fitzroy. It can’t negate that we have recently put forward our application for a long term visa to the Australian government and we’re waiting, anxiously, to hear about it. If it so happens that were not granted this visa we’ll have to make quick preparations for moving along, getting rid of our growing collection of belongings, saying goodbye to people and places and leaving the country.

It’s miserable to think about it. Because we have become really fond of Melbourne, and Australia and all the people that call it home. We have made a plan B in case that happens but we hope it won’t. It’s a strange time to move house. If our visa is granted we can splash out on … A bed frame! Brilliant.

Changes!

We’re moving house! After almost a year in our current house share we made the leap, for various reasons,  to a beautiful place for us and Toby and maybe somebody else. We’re all smitten. We’re waiting for electricity and things to be turned on but in the meantime we have the keys and visit every day, like you’d do for somebody in hospital or a friend with a new puppy. It is just a house, but I’ve never liked one so much.

Oliver has found his calling in local op shops (opportunity shops, quite a cute name) picking out tables and paintings and mugs. We’re slowly filling our new place with particularly special bits of crap. We found a bargain sofa on gumtree at 8am this morning and by noon we were sat on it, in our new living room. The power of the Internet. We’ve been to IKEA three times in a week and my credit card is strained.

Still, I’m very excited for coming weeks of actually living there; cooking, decorating, settling in. But mostly cooking, let’s be honest.

A very good Saturday…

DSC_0467.JPG

DSC_0466.JPG

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.

DSC_0468.JPG

DSC_0473.JPG

DSC_0476.JPG

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?

DSC_0481.JPG

DSC_0486.JPG

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.
DSC_0502.JPG
DSC_0482.JPG

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?
DSC_0504.JPG

DSC_0516.JPG

DSC_0522.JPG

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.

A little ‘yes we live in Australia’ moment. Weekend BBQ…

Let’s bring this little space smack bang up to date. This weekend we cleaned the huge gas BBQ we’ve been blessed with in our garden and got cooking! The sun was out and we spent a small fortune on beer, burgers and BBQ sauce. Also, prawns, kangaroo and corn!

Any hint of sunshine gets Toby in his Daisy Dukes, so called because he made them himself with unintentional levels of thigh. It’s a lot of thigh. He and Oliver did the grimy cleaning grill work while I did the making green salad work. Emma and Ville joined in with the beer drinking work, definitely the best job.

IMG_2014.JPG

IMG_2011.JPG

IMG_2009.JPG

IMG_2012.JPG

Delicious prawns on the BBQ. Preconceived idea about living in Australia now realised!

IMG_2003.JPG

IMG_2006.JPG

IMG_2005.JPG

Pretty intense prawn peeling above, paid off below.

IMG_2004.JPG

IMG_2002.JPG

IMG_2008.JPG

IMG_2010.JPG

Peri peri kangaroo, round two. A clear success over the last attempt because of the fresh air and lack of chilli burn. It’s very lean so you have to cook it as little as you can handle, nice and pink is ideal.

IMG_2001.JPG

IMG_2013.JPG

IMG_1996.JPG

IMG_1998.JPG

IMG_1997.JPG

IMG_1995.JPG

Being English, all of us, we took our loutish presence to the park bench for the last glimpses of sunshine.

IMG_1994.JPG

Emma made this lemon meringue pie later on, slightly tipsy, and it was magnificent! We were eating it all weekend. And the last picture is the beautiful view from our back garden, kind of hideous concrete meets brilliant blue sky.

IMG_1999.JPG