Get shit done; February 2016

This tiny platform of the Rooftop Bar on Swanston Street might offer one of the best Melbourne views I’ve seen. So perfectly framed, interesting building on top of interesting building, light and shadows. I’ve become really fond of the Melbourne city skyline; contrary to a year ago when I told Toby it was kind of ugly. I like its diversity mostly; the contrast of old and new and typical and atypical whichever way you look. It makes for lovely pictures.

Visiting the Rooftop bar wasn’t on the get shit done list, but documenting views like this are. We came here before we saw Beach House play in the city, a surprise ticketed treat from Oliver; very pretty pictures below.

The band was so good. They’re long time favourites of ours and they sounded fantastic, the lighting was beautiful.

We saw Beach House for the second time in a week at Laneway Festival, along with Diiv and Churches and some others. This was also a surprise ticketed treat, but I knew about this one for a while. It was a beautiful sunny day, we bumped into friends and enjoyed sitting on the grass all evening like the 28 and 30 year olds we are.

This may also be on the list of best views. It ticks major boxes… city skyline, train lines. 

On our to do list for a while was a trip to the Mornington Peninsula. This reminds me of a post from a year ago (or so) which listed things I wanted to do in Melbourne. I’ll seek it out and update it… I have a feeling I may not have crossed much off that list but hopefully it’s evolved into something more crossable.

We rented a car and drove down to the Peninsula, passing Mount Martha, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea, maybe not in that order. We stopped and had a dip in Rye, we had a walk to a paradise looking beach in the National Park and we visited some very beautiful rock pools at the back of Blairgowrie. Oliver had pulled a muscle in his back, so he was a trooper for even getting out of bed, let alone driving us all that way and walking around with me. He couldn’t swim in the rock pools, so I guess that’s a reason for another visit.

There were some very brave souls jumping from rocks into the pools. Not I. I took a leisurely dip from ground level.

Oliver’s third tickets surprise of the month was Sufjan Stevens. Another great show. I’ll freely admit my favourite album is his Christmas Album, but I knew far more of the music than I expected to. There was an awesome light show that felt like meditation, or something. And Hamer Hall is such a treat to be in again. We saw Amy Schumer here the first time, and it was really nice to watch a band here too. It’s a clear distinction of age; sitting watching a band in Hamer Hall, drinking a glass of wine. Woah. Times have changed.

These may be the worst pictures you’ve seen of a gig. Apologies.

I took a mini trip with Maree to the State Library. It was just a way to pass the time before a movie, but it was such a treat. It’s a beautiful old building that made me nostalgic for the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and days when I would write essays in the Manchester Metropolitan University library till late. Made me wish I had a 3000 word essay and a stack of books to pore over. If only my 22 year old self could imagine that.


Some more pictures from our weekend in Daylesford..

There are still plenty of sights in Australia that astound me! The weekend we recently spent in country Victoria had a few of those; for example these wild cockatoos just flying around near a Seven Eleven. I’ve only seen birds like this in a zoo or an aviary, they’re huge a very white and very loud!   

We hired a car for the weekend so Sunday was spent seeking out the natural sparkling springs. The water contains natural gases which make it sparkling from the spring, so we pumped a bottle or two and drank plenty. It was certainly interesting, but after a few sips the eggy overtones got to me.

We got up to see Trentham Falls and saw the lightest dusting of snow! I’m not that keen on snow, except when it’s outside and I’m in bed, but this was pretty nice because it was so unexpected.

The waterfalls were very impressive and a reminder of how much there is to see in Victoria and Australia.  

On our return to the city it gets a little patriotic. Soon after this Oliver had a nightmare with the rental car people, which in hindsight was kind of funny but definitely not at the time!

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!













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 day of Aussie firsts, part two: surfing

Some pictures from the rest of the day. We did a little tour of the coast thanks to Adam, who showed us not just kangaroos but the lighthouse made famous by kids’ TV show ‘Round the Twist’, remember that? And we saw dozens of surfers in the water at 8am. The beach below is famous as the setting of the end of Point Break. That’s some Aussie culture there.




Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of Oliver and I attempting to surf. After days of considering just staying in Adam’s car as him and Oliver braved the water, I decided to do it. It was a cold, Victoria winter’s day and I put on a bikini and a wet suit and got in an icy sea under a grey sky. I had a great time. I couldn’t feel my feet for hours afterwards. I panicked and swore and moaned as I was in the sea, but after Adam convinced me to give it a go, I actually did. I rode a few waves, got up onto my knees and even my feet. I’ll definitely go back and do it again, but in the summer.





After our surf, we got a cosy coffee and waited for Liz to finish her marathon. She came 4th, which is incredibly impressive. I took pictures of some interesting little houses and enjoyed the beautiful view of the water and a rainbow. Facing my fears always pays off. Getting up at 5.30am, swimming in the winter ocean and facing huge waves that would chuck me about. I didn’t want to do any of those things, but I did them and had a wonderful day. And I feel quite proud.

The coast in Victoria, along the Great Ocean Road, is famous and I can see why. It’s stunningly beautiful. I had to stop myself from more taking pictures of the water, that was a deep green even when the sky was grey, and when the sun came out was an azure blue. I can’t wait to return in the summer.






This lovely city!

My journey to work is now slightly longer and more arduous. Since we moved to Fitzroy, just north of the city centre, I take a tram and a train to get to the office. It takes about 50 minutes including a 4 block walk through Melbourne city centre between train and tram. These 4 blocks are so busy, full of life and beautiful skyscrapers, wafts of donuts, coffee, garlic, things frying. It’s the best part of my day.

I love cities and while in Manchester I spent my time dreaming about the next city I’d see. And since then I’ve seen Salvador, Rio, São Paulo, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Sucre, La Paz, Cusco, Lima, Bogota, San Francisco, Sydney and now Melbourne. I think this is one is one of my favourites. I took some pictures of my lovely new city during my journey home today.