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Showing posts from 2016

Flies, Floods and Festivities

I'm rather pleased with our Christmas this year! Thanks to our friends Down Under and the warm weather. I salute you all!
Of course that's an "Aussie salute" to also shoo the flies away. Melbourne is experiencing a weird summer with a fly plague. We've just had the warmest Christmas in eighteen years followed by flash flooding in Melbourne.
Here are a few of my favourite pictures from our Christmas 
at the beach on the Mornington Peninsula: We do have the nicest friends, who knowing we were overseas until just before Christmas, fill up our fridge with all sorts of wonderful goodies, make a girdle buster ice cream pudding, and arrive bringing with them the turducken; turkey, with duck and chicken, cooked to perfection on their barbecue. 
On account of it being bleedin' hot, I instigated a 
TOB - Total Oven Ban. 
So salads were mostly the order of the day. 
Which caused a few problems with the must-have roast potatoes and parsnips. 
Cooked, or should I say incinerated, on th…

I'll be home for Christmas (or not)

Well here we have it the Final Countdown Don't you find it funny the way you think in songs at this time of year?  I think it's all that surreptitious brainwashing of Christmas background music!

The one song that I keep have going round in my head is:

'I'll be home for Christmas You can plan on me'
Which is a bit of a joke in our family. In fact last week  all five of us were in different countries, on four different continents!
It's not the first time we need a spreadsheet to work out where everyone is!


'Please have snow and mistletoe 
And presents on the tree' 

Well snow is a big ask for the Australian crowd as it's going to be a hot one.  A top of 35 degrees celsius (95°F) in Melbourne, Adelaide will be the hottest city in the world!
It's similar to last year when summer rules apply If it can't be cooked on the barbecue forget it,  it's turkey and some posh salads. Here's what happened to the chocolates!


We don't really do presents, so that'…

Christmas Card Exchange

Can you imagine what a nightmare it must be when your blog is called Fairy Bluebells Craft Adventure and your drawn  with Little Wandering Wren for Amy's annual Christmas Card swap? 
Well fortunately we ended up being beautifully matched because there is nothing I like better  than a traditional English snowy Christmas card. Here is Debbie's card below. Thank you Debbie it has been lovely to meet you here.

They say past behaviour predicts future behaviour  so poor Debbie drew the short, and rather long distance expensive straw,  when she was allocated an Australian blogger with as much crafting talent as a rock.
We're not talking an Uluru, Ayers Rock sort of a rock, and yep I reckon you could count on one hand the amount of craft posts I have done...

I'm not exactly sure what I was thinking to add in Christmas card making into the mix  of packing up and leaving Australia. Except that it seemed like a lovely idea! Zen Wren here I come.
When, I couldn't believe my l…

Oh Christmas Tree!

Christmas trees I've seen a few,  but rarely has a Christmas tree stopped me in my tracks  quite like the one at the Sofitel, Bangkok Sukhumvit. Wow, it is delightful.

 It's hard to get a decent photo amidst the busy foyer entrance but I don't remember a Christmas tree that has me drawn me in, wandering round and around, like this one!

Every where you look there is something interesting. From the choice of books 'Beautiful Youth' to the rich luxurious cushions, candles and gifts just waiting to be unwrapped...

Just look at the detail, can you spot the reading glasses? They've used hundreds of books through out the hotel.

Of course on top there is something special Not a tired old fairy, or a wobbly star, but a whole black chandelier. So tall, it almost reaches the foyer ceiling lights. Oh the fun they must have had designing this tree! 

The book theme is central to the Sofitel's Christmas decorations and the staff are all happy to tell you the story of a young boy William, wh…

Dogs N Grog

Tis the season to be jolly!
We're looking forward to another ocean beach Christmas.
It's casual, relaxed affair. Just us, our friends and four dogs!


There is a wonderful 'Dogs N Grog' Christmas tradition in our Melbourne park. 
All the dog owners are invited for festive drinks in the park with their pooches. 
The beauty of a summer Christmas.

It's a casual chaotic affair by all accounts - bring a bottle and a dog or two.
It pretty much sums up how our Christmas will be.



And the really good news is that I've found the gin,  goodness knows where the brandy's gone and sherry forget it.
So proud was I of my gin find, I decided to make a feature of it. What do you think? I'm not doing much (read anything) in the way of Christmas decorations...
So I was rather proud of this effort - hic! Well, I'm just about to fly to Bangkok for a weeks house hunting,
and we're not having Christmas here in Melbourne anyway.
I know, excuses, excuses!

By the time we eventu…

No music, no dancing, no alcohol!

1. Welcome to our Aussie Summer!

Yep we're officially in Summer and it feels good.
The house is quiet. With University over, the kids are away,
and this empty nester is free as a bird!



2. Daughter Number Two has been in Cuba this week celebrating the end of Uni life. This is her latest text:"Cuba is amazing, but has become a strange place as they are mourning the death of Fidel Castro. No music, no dancing, no alcohol'
How many of you are like me, worry wart parents, when your kids are travelling? Well, doesn't this just sound perfect to you? It did to me!
3. I would love to travel to Cuba, if we can get there quickly! She writes: "You must come to Cuba, it is fascinating and I keep thinking you would all enjoy it. It is safe and everyone is friendly and until Fidel's death there was a fun Caribbean vibe. Lots of history, pretty and an interesting way of life."

Of course we wrote back "no music, no dancing, no alcohol, no way!"





4. We're not doing t…

A extraordinary education… the greatest gift

It's been a big week in our house as University is out, roll on Summer! Our kids have had a privileged, global education. For this we will be forever grateful. It is put in context through my work with refugees and people seeking asylum with no work or study rights. Education is truly a gift.

We weren't sure Daughter Number Two would ever make it through school, let alone graduate with two degrees. You see she was expelled from her first school after only ten days. This week she graduates from the University of Melbourne with a Masters degree.


She's been to a few schools, way more than you can count on two hands, her education has been conducted on six continents. In her first twenty years of life, she had the opportunity to learn French at schools in Belgium and France, pick up Chinese in Hong Kong and to even get a smattering of Spanish in South America.

She chose the International Baccalaureate at school in Australia and went to Tanzania with World Challenge. At University…

Meanwhile out on the Bay!

I'd like to say I've had a lifetime messing about in boats, but I haven't. So it sure was nice having Steve Ross, of Riptide Charters to design our perfect boating escape on the Mornington Peninsula. 


We weren't asking for much. I have international visitors staying, so the brief was to take us out for a few hours, show us some sights, a bit of wildlife and a few dolphins! 
What we got, was an unforgettable morning cruising on the stunning Port Phillip Bay. We loved the history, the birds and seals galore, with the opportunity to take some great photos!

The Blairgowrie Marina is a great place to start and play that game "when I'm rich and famous I'll buy that yacht there", and oh, how the other half live, as our own private chartered boat is ready and waiting. We clamber aboard and off we sail. 
First stop is the picturesque octagonal South Channel Pile Light. Originally built in the 1870's as a lighthouse, with the original drop toilet - a hole in th…

We have to talk!

So what would you do when your husband comes home from work with a question? 
"Singapore or Bangkok, do you have a preference?!"



a. Respond with an empathic "not on your Nelly, I love living in Melbourne!"



b. Ask for a look-see to make an informed decision.



c. Whoop, whoop around the kitchen dancing to the tunes of
"Happy' and/or "I will survive"




So here I am living in the world's most liveable city, Melbourne, with the most amazing (and part-time work) in the rewarding not-for-profit sector being asked to make a life changing decision...


What would you say?