Saturday, 30 August 2014

Wonderful weekend weather for the garden

If you are visiting Melbourne today
you'd be impressed with our Aussie winter.
It is the most perfect spring-like day out there  
with summer about to burst forth!

We have been enjoying the sunshine and brunch at Acorn Nursery
 admiring the garden and plants for sale.
Here are some of my favourites:

Protea
This protea is called Possum Magic
Proteas do well in Melbourne
being a hardy, dry tolerant plant requiring little food 
or water once established.

Camellia
I liked this camellia because it was called "Volunteer."
Since having kids I have spent the past twenty years volunteering.
I thought it was a clever name and would be a perfect gift 
for one of my volunteers!

Magnolia
I have chosen this Magnolia Vulcan because
it shows the earlier hail damage and a reminder 
that not long ago we thought our Melbourne winter would never end!
I like the way the lavender is just peeping 
through the missing petal.

Cyclamen
When I think of winter I think of cyclamen's in Australia
They just love the cold!
They do well indoors or even outdoors in our climate
and flower for months on end!

Primula
How pretty are these Fairy Primulas?
They looked like they too coped a lashing from our last hail storm
Hopefully all that is behind us now...

Although Melbourne weather can be fickle,
just when you think Spring has well and truly arrived
Winter comes back!


Hope you are having a bright and sunny weekend 
where ever you are reading this!

Linking with Alphabe Thursday P is for Pink Flowers


Joining the fun at Pink Saturday!


Linking with Today's Flowers thank you Denise!


Linking with Floral Friday Fotos



Monday, 25 August 2014

The Big Bash

How do you celebrate a friend's big birthday?
With French champagne of course!
One for every decade...


Mix with some of the best weather that Victoria 
has been able to muster in the last few weeks...
Woo Hoo hello sunshine.


Which had us reaching for our sunnies, 
and sun block - yippee!

And created some lovely sunsets...



Add in some great company,
with the sort of really good friends 
that you can dredge up those embarrassing memories 
from times long gone.
Remember when ....


Enjoy some wonderful over indulgence 
on the fine dining front 
with many good meals together...
A birthday cake with sparklers and ice cream...


An exotic location out of Melbourne
Where even the flowers
look happy and relaxed...

Where the famous Aussie Eucalyptus gumnuts 
are the best I've ever seen...

Gumnuts for Today's Flowers

Wow - what a great time we had.
Thanks for a brilliant weekend!

Here's to the next 50 years.

Image enhanced for Mandarin Orange Monday

Do you think we can manage ten bottles of champagne 
when we are 100 years old?

Thanks Lori!

Linking with Today's Flowers
Thank you Denise!


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

For all the tea in China

 Mum’s Youth Hostel is open again

Never a dull moment!

This week we've had two teachers from China 
move in for a couple of weeks.
They arrive bearing a wonderful gift of Chinese tea.
I can already tell we’re going to have a great time…


For a start they are fluent English speakers 
which always makes things easier for a good natter.
I love exchanging information about our lives.
With our previous students I often have to resort to 
my not-so-fine acting skills...

Secondly these ladies are here with 
sixteen of their hospitality students,
not staying in our house, in case you were wondering.
There is a limit to my hospitality!

But before we know it 
they are offering to help left, right and centre.
This is a massive bingo moment, 
I do not expect our Home Stay guests to help in any way,
but I sure appreciate the offer.


They tell me they teach hotel management 
Holy Moly
Do you think they will notice 
that I didn’t iron the bottom sheet on the beds?

Answer: If they did, they won't say anything.
They are waaaay too polite.

They are an absolute delight to have in the house...
Could they have a mop 
as they have a little water from the shower on the bathroom floor?
Can they do the washing up?
I love them already!


They are impressed with my husband who before dinner
emerges with a humungous pile of shirts from the laundry
to do his weekly ironing.
'He’s just showing off' I say. 
I'm wondering why we need to have the entire
contents of the laundry scattered all over the family room.
The very same room 
that I have spent the entire week tidying up?!
Men!

We have a good laugh as I ask them 
whether they iron for their husbands?
Apparently the answer is Yes!
I have never ironed for any man’
I say proudly 
That’s a man’s job’!

In Australia all men do their own ironing?’ 
they ask incredulously.
I can tell they are already impressed with Aussie life...

Now how to answer this one? 
DH replies he would like me to do his ironing 
but I am really bad at ironing shirts!
Talk about having our dirty washing out in public…

I tell them years ago 
I perfected the technique of being really bad at ironing, 
it’s a great skill to have!
They smile politely...


On the first day they return home with profiteroles 
their students have made at school that day.
I’m impressed and worried. 
Do you remember the Japanese Food blogger 
I had staying with me last year? 
The pressure to serve up every meal 
ready to be showcased to the world 
on a food blog nearly killed me! 
We lived off baked beans for weeks after they left…

'Do you teach cooking?' I ask
Thankfully the answer is No!
Although anyone who has Chinese Facebook friends 
will know 98% of their Facebook posts are food photos. 
I can’t entirely relax!



I’m rather pleased that I have chosen to serve up 
a three bird roast in honour of their arrival.
After the first course our delightful guests offer to do the washing up!
'No need' I say 'we have a machine'
At the same time DH
 reaches forward to collect their plates...

They smile, incredibly impressed. 
First ironing, now washing up... 
He has gone from ironing hero, 
to mega dishwashing machine hero.

'In Australia all men are washing up machines?' they ask
If you're lucky I reply!

Tea anyone?

Linking with Alphabe Thursday
Thanks to Jenny Matlock!


Linking with Our World Tuesday
Thanks to all the hosts!









Saturday, 16 August 2014

My Melbourne

I have loved living in many places, but for the moment we call Melbourne home! 
Somewhere along the journey of life
 I morphed from a country lass 
growing up in the UK,
into an Aussie city girl.

I imagined that moving to Australia 
would involve spacious living with huge gardens.
Wrong! 
Well maybe for some people, but not for us...

A typical house in our neighbourhood
Instead I live squashed in, 
in prime real estate in the leafy suburbs.
Our area is one of weatherboard houses and cottage gardens.
I'm not complaining.

Melbourne's reputation as one of the 
world's most liveable city is well deserved.

I love the convenience of city living.
Most things I need are within a ten minute drive
school - kids sports - yoga - writing class


My son's school sports fields
Somethings are on my doorstep
shops - post office - parks. 

A decent coffee 
is always just around the corner.
Melbourne's cafe culture 
is part of the fabric of life here.
'Let's meet for a coffee'

City trains run every 10-20 minutes
I can walk five minutes to two train stations
and the tram is a ten minute walk.
Trams are part of the fabric of Melbourne's transport system
If I walk one way out of my front gate I get to a park
If I walk the other way I get to another park 
and a bike track into the city.
(there are 670 Km's of bike tracks in Melbourne)

In fact walk in any direction 
and you will generally find a park in Melbourne
with kids playgrounds, sports fields and tennis courts!


Melbourne is renown for it's parks
We are a twenty minute drive into Melbourne's CDB
It's easy if we want a foodie's night in town.
Melbourne is so multi-cultural you are spoiled for culinary choice.

Or a visit to the theatre, 
or perhaps have a laugh at the Melbourne Comedy Festival
or even attend a concert, all the big Pop stars come here.


Grace Min in action at the Aussie Open January 2014
If sports your thing, as it is for us, then it's non stop action
 when it comes to big sporting events.
Melbourne is home of the Australian Open Tennis in January
we can hear the dim roar of the Formula One racing cars 
racing around Albert Park 
for the Australian Grand Prix in March,
and so the year goes on...

We can support Australia and sometimes England
 playing cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Boxing Day test match is a Melbourne must do.
The MCG can fit a cheering crowd of over 100,000 people 


Cheering Australia on at the MCG January 2014
Of course the first thing you need is a footy team to barrack for
We cheer on our favourite AFL Footy Team, Hawthorn.
They don't call Melbourne the Sporting capital of Australia for nothing!

We've got - Rugby - Soccer
 Basketball - Swimming - Hockey - Golf etc etc
Or if horse racing takes your fancy,
then the Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup Festival is a must.


A day at the races for Spring Racing Carnival is a not-to-be-missed event
There are so many festivals:
Moomba, Food and Wine
You need never be bored in Melbourne.

And don't get us started on the shopping...

Melbourne Central shopping
If its art and architecture that you love 
you'll find plenty to admire here.
Our street art is on every corner and all around.


If you fancy beach life we have that covered too!

The palm-lined bay beaches of trendy St Kilda
We have the choice of city beaches and
coastal beaches all within an hours drive
of home.


Rye ocean beach on the Mornington Peninsula
We don't perhaps have the WOW factor of Sydney 
with the Opera house and beautiful harbour
but boy is it an easy city to live in
with plenty to see and do.

Voted the friendliest and classiest place on earth
in the 2014 Conde Nast Traveler readers awards
They say 
'When you don't have a harbour 
you need to rely on personality!'

My Melbourne has plenty of personality.
Come visit and see!
Linking with Blue Monday
Thank you Sally!


Linking with Alphabe Thursday
Thanks to Jenny Matlock
M is for My Melbourne