Cold weather blues

Cold weather blues
Adelaide, Australia

Adelaide, Australia


Us, when planning the holiday: “Let’s go in winter. Then there won’t be too many people around.” Enter the worst storms in the region for 30 years. An excellent plan indeed.

We could hear the wind whistling down the corridor of the hotel last night, and the wild weather continued this morning. We hadn’t planned on driving anywhere after we arrived yesterday until it was time to go to the airport, but the weather was so bad we couldn’t face walking around all day. We drove out to Glenelg to have a look at the beach, and I wasn’t even prepared to get out of the car for a photo. If you know me, you will know this was hardcore weather.

Having very little idea of what might keep a nine year old amused (museums and art galleries were out), we took a trip to one of the visitor centres (after having recaffeinated), where the staff gave us a few ideas.

We had a wander through the Rundle Mall and I was quite taken with the four pigs. Apparently they’ve been there since 1999, and were the winning entry in a national sculpture competition when the mall was being upgraded. They are the work of South African-born and Sydney-based sculptor Marguerite Derricourt. The title of the work is “A Day Out”.

The weather had improved, so we took the car back to the hotel and grabbed beanies and rain coats before heading back out. The receptionist asked us if we were sure we wanted to go out. “Pfft,” we said, “We’re from Tasmania. This is nothing!” She was probably crossing Tasmania off her travel wish list as we bravely went outside, Kramstable in shorts as usual.

The Adelaide Central Market is in between Grote and Gouger Streets (I just wanted to write “Grote Street” somewhere. That is the best street name ever.) It was our first stop. I love the story of its first day: “On 23 January 1869 at 3.15am, a small but noisy procession of market gardeners found their way from the East End Market to the site between Gouger and Grote Streets. In only a few hours about 500 purchasers quickly bought out the entire stock of goods for sale, so that for those hurrying to the scene of activity after 6.00am, there was nothing left to buy. . . . Today the Adelaide Central Market is home to 80 stalls and is visited by more than 8 million people a year.”

We wandered round there for a while taking in the sights and smells, before heading back out onto the street. Gouger Street is home to Chinatown, but in a block full of Asian restaurants, who else but Kramstable would choose to have pizza for lunch in an Italian restaurant.

After lunch we made our way back to the Victoria Square/Tarntanyannga tram stop to catch the free tram a couple of stops closer to town. This is Adelaide’s only tram service and it runs out to Glenelg, with the main zone in the city being free to travel in. We’d seen some information about the Alpine Winter Village that was set up on the Torrens Parade Ground. The man at the visitor centre hadn’t known a lot about it, other than there was ice skating, so we thought we’d have a look. Really all that was missing was snow. And, you know, Alps. But it looked like it would be a fun little precinct to hang around in and imbibe winter beverages and eat winter food. A bit like Winterfeast. We wandered through the little market, which featured local craftspeople, and stopped for a drink in the Après Ski Lounge.

There were piles of woodchips being shovelled in all the time to try and keep the ground as dry as possible. None of us was game to try ice skating! On the way back to the city we stopped to have a look at the Boer War memorial.

Dinner tonight was at Nola, which is (among other things) “a New Orleans inspired dining bar with a focus on Creole and Cajun soul food, a curated selection of Independent and Craft Beer on our 16 taps”. We’d googled craft beer bars and this came up. It’s in a slightly hidden section of laneways off Rundle Street, so it was a bit of a walk from our hotel and ended up being a bit harder to find than we’d thought (but on the plus side, this made it one of only two days on the whole holiday I met my step target). But it was totally worth it!

Who would have thought Brussels Sprouts could be (a) a main dish and (b) edible? Everything about this place was fantastic and now I want to come back and spend a week in these laneways.

I’m looking forward to going home tomorrow. If we get there. Winds permitting. And I think I’m done with driving holidays for a while. I’d like to take some time to explore a place or two instead of rushing from town to town. I’ve loved everything we’ve seen – and I’ve really enjoyed it all – but I think next time I want a slow ride.

Kensington Road runs straight for a while

Kensington Road runs straight for a while
Adelaide, Australia

Adelaide, Australia


The weather was no better this morning than it had been yesterday. In fact, it was probably worse. The wind is horrible and we’ve seen reports of some severe damage having been done across the state. I’m beginning to think this is a consequence of us being here, because there were huge storms across central South New Zealand when we were there last year.

We left Victor Harbor (the lack of a “u” is apparently a spelling error by an early surveyor that was never corrected), a bit disappointed to have missed the activities that we’d gone there for.

Never mind. There was wine just up the road, and we set our minds to finding some wineries in McLaren Vale. Not that this is especially difficult to do. Tempting as it would have been to visit lots, we had picked out just two (I know). First up was Maxwell Wines, the attraction of which was their maze. They make the Maxwell Mead that I’ve seen in bottle shops at home, as well as a decent selection of reds and a few whites. As usual, Slabs went for the reds and I tried the whites. All of them.

We didn’t get lost in the maze, so that was a bonus!

We thought we’d call in to Goodieson Brewery on the way to Fox Creek, but they weren’t open, so that was a no go. Slabs had chosen Fox Creek because he’d had one of their wines in Hobart, and I really enjoyed their Vermentino, which is an Italian grape variety I’ve never had before. They only sell that one through their cellar door.

Once wine had been tasted and procured, it was time for the last leg of our toad trip. On to Adelaide. With visions of Paul Kelly singing “All the king’s horses, all the king’s men . . .” we set out in search of Kensington Road where, according to the song, Mr Kelly was raised and fed. On the bend.

It’s a long long road, and it does run straight for a long while before turning. There’s a roundabout there, at the bend. We drove all the way to the end of the road, which ends on top of a hill. The view of the city would have been good except for all the trees in the way!

There were no sightings of wisteria on any back verandahs, or great aunts, either insane or dead, so we said farewell to Kensington Road and went to look for our hotel. The numbering on South Terrace is interesting, to say the least, with odd and even numbers on the same time of the road. This is right up there with the 30 minute time difference and schooners actually being middies for “things that are different in SA”. Also 25 km/h roadwork and school zone speed limits, which are probably a very good idea.

We checked into the hotel. Its restaurant is being renovated so we had to go to the restaurant at the Chifley down the road, Hanuman, which was amazing. I want to stay here for a week so I can try everything on the menu.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls

Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Apollo Bay, Australia

Apollo Bay, Australia


Today the road trip began. We said goodbye to the in-laws after breakfast and hit the road for the start of the Great Ocean Road: Torquay, surfer town. We stopped at Soul Fuel Cafe for coffee and, after a quick stop at the tourist centre, drove to Bells Beach, which we felt we had to go to because it’s, like, famous.

Did I mention it was raining? Sideways? Well it was, so it was perfect beach weather.

It rained all day as we made our way along the road. We went through Anglesea and stopped in Aireys Inlet to have a look at the Split Point Lighthouse. We decided not to do the tour and didn’t get out of the car in the end. What we saw of it looked nice. The plan is to have a look at Cape Otway Lighthouse tomorrow.

We went to the Aireys Pub, home of Rogue Wave Brewery, to sample some of their products. Decided not to stay there for lunch and drove through to Lorne, where we had lunch at the Lorne Hotel.

The brochures said that Lorne had heaps of waterfalls, so we went looking for Erskine Falls after lunch. On the way we stopped at Teddy’s Lookout, which has amazing views. Zoe and I were the only ones to get out of the car, and we braved the 100 metre walk to the lower platform in gusty winds and serious rain just to get a photo.

The rain got heavier the further up the hill we got, and we all decided that no one was going to get out of the car to find a waterfall in that, so we abandoned the waterfall chase and headed back to the highway to find our accommodation, just out of Apollo Bay.

The road was very windy and it was a slow trip in the rain, but the scenery was spectacular. We went through areas where the bushfires had obviously been earlier in the year, and several roadworks.

Our accommodation is beautiful. The views out to the coast are stunning and we had the best meal tonight. I have to admit defeat in the hummous world. Mine is good, but this one was sensational, and I need to know what they put in it! If I had more time (and a lot more money) I’d love to stay here for a week. This is our extravagant night for the trip and it’s glorious!

12 of 12 August 2015

Wednesday 12 August was a work day that wasn’t 100% normal. The forecast for Hobart was 4-15, with a chance of a late shower.

1 of 12 – It was cold when I got up. It’s the time of year when afternoon me hates morning me for rugging up so warmly, because I either swelter in all my layers walking to school to pick up Juniordwarf, or I have to take so much off that my bag is stuffed full of clothing and heavy, so I get hot just by carrying it. No glamorous school mum here, just a bedraggled, frazzled, flustered, melting mess.

1 of 12

1 of 12

2 of 12 – If you read my post about our recent lunch at Peppermint Bay, you might remember that Juniordwarf loves the movie Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and wanted to try sardines at the restaurant. Once he’d had sardines, he decided he loved them so much he needed to have them again. They’re now a staple on our weekly shopping list, and he has them a couple of times a week for breakfast.

2 of 12

2 of 12

3 of 12 – Juniordwarf is a big fan of the author Andy Griffiths. He has heaps of his books, including the “Treehouse” series. The latest book in the series, The 65-Storey Treehouse, was released today. Juniordwarf is a frequent visitor to one of the local bookshops to flick through the Andy Griffiths books, so much so that the staff have been enlisting his help to cross off the days on the countdown poster to the release. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to get into the store to get the book today, but it’s on the agenda for tomorrow.

3 of 12

3 of 12

4 of 12 – This time of year has some lovely sunrises. I haven’t taken a lot of sunrise photos this year. This is the post-sunrise sun over Bridgewater.

4 of 12

4 of 12

5 of 12 – Lil Sis, my Mum and I went to the cemetery to pick out a spot for my Dad’s ashes to be interred. He passed away in 2009 and was a donor to the Utas Body Bequest Program, so it’s been several years until we’ve been able to find a place to lay him to rest.

The cemetery is in a lovely quiet spot. We passed by this view of the Mountain, still dusted with snow after last week’s cold snap.

5 of 12

5 of 12

6 of 12 – One of the areas we had a look at.

6 of 12

6 of 12

7 of 12 – The Daphne in St Davids Park is smelling divine.

7 of12

7 of12

8 of 12 – We had to pick Juniordwarf up early today so he could go to the dentist. He had his teeth scraped and cleaned for the first time. He was a bit uncomfortable, but he was a real trooper and didn’t complain at all. I did have a photo of him in the chair but I can’t post it because the dentist is in it, and you know how you can’t show dentists’ faces on television . . .

9 of 12 – Juniordwarf is a big fan of The Princess Bride. We’ve watched it together several times and he likes to act it out. When I found out that Cary Elwes, who plays Westley in the movie, had written a book about the making of the movie, I wanted to read it. The library didn’t have it, but they did have the audio book, so we’ve been listening to that. It’s a really interesting. I’m glad I’m a lot more familiar with the movie now, after repeated viewings, because I know exactly what he’s referring to most of the time.

9 of 12

9 of 12

10 of 12 – I used to not like grape hyacinths. Now I love them in early spring. They look fantastic planted en masse. If only I had somewhere I could do a mass planting.

10 of 12

10 of 12

11 of 12 – Once upon a time, another lifetime ago, I studied French. After I left uni I forgot about it. Lately I’ve felt like I wanted to take it up again. I got onto the Duolingo app a couple of weeks ago and started to see how much I could remember. More than I thought. The Duolingo website tells me I’m 52% efficient in French (whatever that means), which I’m pretty happy with after two weeks of revision.

11 of 12

11 of 12

12 of 12 – We’ve been planning our NZ trip since 2000. Every time we’ve started to get serious about it, something’s happened to put the trip on the backburner. Now in 2015 it’s really going to happen. Next month! And I’m going back on my TravelPod to blog about it.

12 of 12

12 of 12

12 of 12 May 2015

Better late than never . . .

Today was forecast to be a day of wild weather, with severe weather warnings left right and centre.

I was home today, which meant I had to make sure the fire stayed alight, that the buckets were under the right place in the laundry to catch the drips and that the chickens didn’t get eaten by feral cats. Actually I don’t think the feral cats were out today. They’re all in cavity between the dining room floor and my study ceiling. At least that’s what it sounds like. That or an actual person is in there. Maybe an escapee cannibal convict. Just my luck.

1 of 12 – I imagine that 59 k/h gust of wind is what woke me up at stupid o’clock, after a night it took me hours to actually get to sleep.

Wind gust. Thanks.

Wind gust. Thanks.

2 of 12 – All the warnings.

20150512-02 Current weather3 of 12 – The main street reflected in Flywheel’s window. I wish they were open on Tuesdays!

20150512-03 Flywheel4 of 12 – This is the former Woolworths supermarket. Something is going on in here. I’ve heard rumours, but I don’t know.

20150512-04 Old Woolies5 of 12 – It was replaced by this.

20150512-05 New Woolies6 of 12 – The old timber yard and dry cleaner and café have been demolished to make way for a hardware store, garden centre and 52 car car park.

20150512-06B Timber Yard7 of 12 – The other side. A big puddle and some diggers.

20150512-07A Timber Yard8 of 12 – You know how you go into second-hand and antique shops and you see stuff you used to have in your house when you were a kid? I present this example.

20150512-08 Antique Shop9 of 12 – This was The Spud Hut for a couple of months, with local veggies. It’s been closed since Anzac Day when their front window was smashed, and they’ve decided not to re-open their retail outlet.

20150512-09 Closed10 of 12 – The old site of Banjo’s, the lolly shop and Sintonic, which burnt down in 2012 and has sat unused since. They are now making it into a small park until the owners decide what to do with it. The work started last week and it’s meant to be open by the end of the month.

20150512-10 Lees Corner11 of 12 – I’m trialling a new notebook setup before I commit to buying another Midori-style book.

20150512-11 Notebook12 of 12 – I bought this very funky purple screw-on desk lamp a couple of weeks ago so that I can see what I’m doing when I’m cultbooking.

20150512-12 Desk Light

12 of 12 July 2014

We stayed in Hobart last night with family after a lovely dinner out with Lil Sis and Mr Tall, child-free, which we decided was a belated birthday celebration for Slabs. Six months belated, give or take a few days, but who’s counting?

A recovery breakfast was in order.

1 of 12 – We parked near the doomed building, 10 Murray Street. The deconstruction site over the back has been vacant for quite a few weeks now. It still looks strange to be able to see through to Salamanca Place from Murray Street.

20140712-01B 10 Murray

2 of 12 – I switched to long blacks a few months ago and haven’t gone back to milky coffee.

20140712-03 Harbour Lights

3 of 12 – Juniordwarf wanted to take a picture of his drink as well.

20140712-04A Harbour Lights

4 of 12 – When we go out for breakfast, Juniordwarf’s usual order is the “Big Breakfast” or equivalent. He usually eats all of it, because he’s a “growing boy”. (More than once, we’ve had the wait staff bring me the Big Breakfast and been surprised that it’s for him. Less so now he’s older, and not today.)

20140712-05A Harbour Lights

5 of 12 – The Big Breakfast is never for me.

20140712-06 Harbour Lights

6 of 12 – We went for a wander around Salamanca Market and picked up some vegetables while we were there. (Note snow on the Mountain.)

20140712-07B Salamanca

7 of 12 – We were running low on firewood, and saw a ute load on the side of the road on our way home, so we stopped to call the guy. He was actually in the ute at the time, followed us home and we now have wood.

20140712-08B Wood

8 of 12 – Um. Hair of the dog? Not recommended.

20140712-09 Lemon Aid

9 of 12 – Flywheel is my favourite shop in our town. It’s full of vintage stationery products and an old letterpress that they use to produce a great range of printed products. I recently bought a new refillable notebook from there (I’m sure you’ll hear more about this a bit later on) and I want to find some little bits to personalise it, so I spent an hour or so this afternoon browsing some of our antique shops. Of course I ended up in Flywheel. As I so often do.

20140712-10B Flywheel

(Bonus picture: they have put together these beautiful gift wrap packs and I might have bought one and I might need to remember their ideas for putting gift wrap together.)

20140712-10A Flywheel

10 of 12 – Juniordwarf no longer re-enacts Ben and Holly with the teddies. He now does the Faraway Tree series of books. The entire book, chapter by chapter. The teddies are spread around the house in their various locations, including Mr Watzisname and Saucepan Man on two chairs. The three teddies in the picture are Jo, Bessie and Fanny. But he insists on using the “modernised” names Joe, Beth and Frannie, because these are the names that they use in the You Tube videos he found . . . even though he’s reading out of the books with the original names. I have a headache.

20140712-11A The Enchanted Wood

11 of 12 – To steal a phrase from one of my Twitter friends, Lasagnapalooza!

20140712-12 Lasagne

12 of 12 – Juniordwarf and I bought some armwarmers from Mongrel Socks at the market yesterday. He wore his to bed “like socks” last night.

20140712-13 Arm Warmers