I’m starting to really love this town.. I was wandering around the city this morning and stumbled upon these creatures! Just awesome 🙂

Just had to share these little(!) babies!

The Boy and I did something pretty fun and high up on our to do list since moving to Melbourne this year.. Cycling a rail trail!

Rail trails have been set up for hikers, cyclists and horseriders around the state of Victoria along parts of the old railways that are no longer in use. Through undulating tracks across the landscape of the Bellarine Penninsula is where we found ourselves cycling in the last few days! We packed our bikes with all our trusty camping gear and headed off on the 80km roundtrip with an overnight stay at Queenscliff on the Bass Strait.

We caught a V-line train to the start of the trail in South Geelong, and after that we left the hustle and bustle of the city behind and it was just beautiful, beautiful country-side.

It was such a lovely ride. Lots of birds, sunny skies and wildflowers everywhere. When we arrived in Queenscliff we pitched our tent and enjoyed the sleepy seaside town, glass of wine in a lovely old pub, tasted Australia’s best – award winning –  meat pie (debatable – but definatley not bad!) and generally relaxed..

Never having been on a bike trip like this before I was a little nervous about the return trip – ie – sore bum! But I shouldn’t have been, the trip back was just as enjoyable, if not more, than the trip in! Back in South Geelong we celebrated and planned which trial we’ll be riding next!

I headed out this morning to quiet Sunday streets. No cars, just bike riders and birds. And the smells of spring in the air. The weather can only be described as glorious!

I spent the day at the Wattle Festival with Susannah, Noddy and the girls. Or the Wewfee Pewfee Festival according to Eloise who has re-named Wattle, Wewfee Pewfee blossoms! When you’re six you can do these things.. Dandelions are known as Wish Poms around these parts too, just so you know!

The highlight of the day was the steam train ride at the end! So much fun waving to the trainspotters who where along the tracks as we chugged past! It felt like we had stepped back in time as we sat in the gorgeous compartment that we had all to ourselves for half the trip! (think Hogwarts Express!)

I had memories of riding the steam train in Glenbrook with my Nanna when I was little. I remember her giving me a hankie to wave out the window to the people we passed by. I brought my hankie today and saw an elderly gentleman waving his back from the balcony of his retirement village. It made me smile.

Starting to only now feel like we have settled into this strange, yet comfortable town! Getting used to a new job (which didn’t take long to master and I am now already needing a new challenge!), new home (though we really like it, odd neighbours are making us think that we won’t be here for as long as we thought! More on that in another blog.. it needs its own..), new life (The Boy and my adventures as non-travelers).

Our little flat in a trendy little suburb of Melbourne is very cosy, a lovely little nest for the bower bird that I am.

And Every 2 weeks this appears to keep me company in my little haven….

It took us a bit of getting used to having The Boy away for 2 weeks out of every month but we are getting into the rhythm of this also! No that we are feeling like we have achieved what we wanted to for 2011, its time to really think about what is next in the chronicles of the adventures of us… So much choice, it’s exciting but a bit daunting as well.  Life is good and we’ve found ourselves at a bit of a new junction.. now which path to tread?

Well, Today heralds my first day as a true Melbournite! I have moved down here and am currently jobless and homeless.. hopefully not for long!

It is both exciting and daunting with a little added sadness of missing The Boy, who is in Perth beginning his job hunt, too!

I have a job interview tomorrow and the support of friends and family to keep me happy and with a roof over my head! So all going well!

I spent this morning browsing  job sites and sending off my resume to things that held some interest.. Much to my niece’s disappointment who wanted me to pretend to be a cat. She abandoned her game and came over to help me with my  job search..

“Why don’t you set up a stall out the front and sell juice? Or do you like to clean? You could be a house cleaner and get some practice cleaning this house!”

Hmmm nice try kiddo hehe

For as long as I’ve been with The Boy, I’ve heard of the famous Chocolate  and Port Tort that is a part of his Christmas traditions. Having spent two glorious White Christmas’ together I have been unable to experience this joy as the particular biscuit needed is uniquely Australian.

Scalliwags as they are now known. The new PC name for those who remember them as something else!

So today, I was taught how to make the decadent Chocolate and Port Tort!

The Boy insisted on 2 packets of biscuits. This is not necessary but he ate half of the first packet before the Tort was finished!

Firstly, drown a little scalliwag in a bowl of Port.. not for too long or he completely falls apart (Don’t we all after too much Port??)

Then a layer of strawberry jam and a lick of whipped cream to stick him to the next little scalliwag! Repeat.

Finally, lashings of whipped cream all over the top!

Cover this with crumbled up Flake chocolate (again, 2 were bought, 1 was used in the making of the Tort, 0 remained at the end of cooking!) Port is then tipped around the base and the whole thing refrigerated. Port is added to the base as it is absorbed!! A lot of Port gets sucked up in this thing!!!

SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!!

It will be on the table again next year!!

I was dreaming of a White Christmas!

I had such a beautiful birthday! Thanks to my lovely parents and of course, My Boy 🙂

My first birthday back in Australia!  Away from the Frontier where I have celebrated my birthday, watching the snow fall, for the last 2 years.  The Boy was worried that we had come home earlier than planned and therefore not having the ‘exotic’ birthday away like we have celebrated for him the last 3 (2008 – Las Vegas, 2009 – Montreal,2010 – Disney World) But I have to say, my birthday was just perfectly Australian. And I loved it.

The Boy and I headed up into the Blue Mountains on a wonderfully misty morning and wandered through the antique and collectible stores lining the main street of Katoomba. Lunch was had sitting in the Gearins, a lovely old pub that hasn’t been spoilt by the changing world around it. We enjoyed couple of beers and a chicken parmy while watching the rain fall in the street outside. Love a good Summer downpour!

Later that night, the four of us headed to the local Chinese Restaurant that has been there since I was about 3 years old and again, hasn’t been re-done since opening day.

Though I have welcomed change into my life over the last few years, I certainly do love things that never change.

I have been enjoying time at my parents home, the same home where I spent my childhood. The boy is spending the weekend with us and I am having fun showing him the places where my sister and I used to play when we were young.

One of my favourites is a cave deep in the backyard that is accessed from above via a hole in the rock. We creatively referred to this place as ‘the hole in the cave’. A few New Year’s Eves have been spent down there in the days prior to us turning a legal drinking age, the cave a glow with tealight candles (37 to be exact if my diary from age 14 is factual – and I am sure it is!)

It is lovely to share stories from my past with him and his getting to know my parents in these past couple of weeks have given him a further understanding of who I am and how I came to be me 🙂

Though we have known each other for many many years, it is nice to know how much more there is to learn about one another.

Look at what my lovely Mother rescued from one of her friends! Can’t you just picture it in my future kitchen! It will look lovely with the colour scheme I have chosen – Red, Turquoise, Purple and Chocolate.

It is a Traditional Mongolian Hotpot and is designed for stews, soups and noodle dishes. It can also sit in the middle of the table for a fondue-like atmosphere where all diners get to cook their own meats and vegetables then dip them into various sauces.

I think it has loads of potential and I am already mentally cooking chilli wonton noodle soup in it! I might give it a go this weekend! I’ll let you know how  it goes!!

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