Author Archives: whatsusiebdidnext

About whatsusiebdidnext

Career girl who has been lucky to live and work in 6 countries fulfilling my love of new places and cultures, seeing the real benefits of diverse thinking and inclusion while earning a living at the same time. Now taking a year of "time out" to decide what comes next and to help me along with that I will be travelling all over the place.This blog is my way of recording what I'm seeing, thinking and doing (and probably also eating!). Twitter@susiebabani. Linked-In Power Profile. https://www.linkedin.com/in/susiebabani/

Australia, Melbourne

How lucky am I to live in Melbourne. Visited the NGV triennial for the second time yesterday and saw a few things I missed the first time. It’s all free so I’m sure I’ll be back again. But in the meantime here are some of my favourite exhibits from the artists from all round the world who have contributed. Don’t miss it – you”ll have to wait another three years for the next one.

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Australia, Sydney

Great last weekend in Sydney which is rocking with great art everywhere you turn. First stop was the Art Gallery of NSW which had two great exhibits – photos by Robert Mapplethorpe (whose muse was everyone but especially Patti Smith – if you like rick biographies her first one called When we were Kids is a favourite of mine).

Then on another floor – Dutch Masters including a bunch of Rembrandts on loan from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

A walk in the Royal Botanical Gardens revealed the quite new Calyx and the largest vertical garden in Australia – possibly the Southern Hemisphere. Thanks to Shane for sending me a photo of how it looked a few months ago – they change it every once in a while so worth going to check it out even if you’ve been before.

And finally a very cool exhibit from Pippilotti Rist at the MCA – I thought this was the best of the lot. It is all visual art so better to experience than see on pictures – if you are in Sydney – GO.

And then I topped it off by scoring a ticket to the wonderful new musical of Muriel’s Wedding – always been a favourite movie of mine and the show is excellent too with some up to date scripting and a very clever take on the whole ABBA connection.

Thank you for the music!

Australia, Central Tablelands New South Wales

Just enjoyed a mini road trip to the Central Tablelands of NSW – the are west of the Blue Mountains which included Bathurst – famous for it car racing apparently.

My friend Kaye kindly did the driving and we spent two days at Buddens, a B and B in Rockley owned by her lovely friends Deirdre and Tony. We explored the local area including Bathurst, Blayney, Lucknow and Millthorpe. As my pal Tania said “you do get around”. If you haven’t been to this part of the world it is worth the visit for the scenery and historic country towns that seem to be on every corner.Here is the area in Rockley where we stayed.

On the final day we visited Mayfield Gardens – a massive place in Oberon – built by a very rich ex investment banker! It was lovely and we had perfect weather for the visit – although flies were a little annoying. Mayfield also has a very nice cafe inside so well worth a stop if you are in the region.

Everyone told me I was bound to see loads of kangaroos around this part of the country – not to mention wallabies and maybe even duck billed platypus. They were WRONG. Not one Roo or anything else bar sheep and cows did I see!

Australia, Melbourne- NGV triumphs again with its new Triennial – who needs Venice?

whatsusiebdidnext

So lucky to get a sneak peak at the brand new NGV Triennial . It is superb. All the fashion designs of Guo Pei are breathtaking – and it is the first time she has shown all her work in one place.

And I loved the interactive Yayoi Kusama- the dot artist that some of you will know I’m somewhat obsessed with. The display is a complete apartment with flower stickers that each visitor can stick wherever they like (mine’s on the kettle as I couldn’t find a champagne bottle!). By the end of the exhibit in a few months’ time,it will be covered in flowers so everyone will have completed their own Kusama experience. Brilliant idea.

Then there is the room of human giant skulls – confronting when you come across it unexpectedly upstairs.

Can’t wait to go back and see it again — and it’s free!

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Australia, Melbourne- NGV triumphs again with its new Triennial – who needs Venice?

So lucky to get a sneak peak at the brand new NGV Triennial . It is superb. All the fashion designs of Guo Pei are breathtaking – and it is the first time she has shown all her work in one place.

And I loved the interactive Yayoi Kusama- the dot artist that some of you will know I’m somewhat obsessed with. The display is a complete apartment with flower stickers that each visitor can stick wherever they like (mine’s on the kettle as I couldn’t find a champagne bottle!). By the end of the exhibit in a few months’ time,it will be covered in flowers so everyone will have completed their own Kusama experience. Brilliant idea.

Then there is the room of human giant skulls – confronting when you come across it unexpectedly upstairs.

Can’t wait to go back and see it again — and it’s free!

My one year of living La Dolce Vita – a reflection

Thanks to many friends and colleagues who have been following my blog since December 2016 – it has been great to know how many of you look at it and I know it might make you envious but I hope it has also given you ideas for where you might holiday in future and that it also inspires you to do the things that really matter to you when you can. I worked for many years (38) without a break and for me one of the reasons to do that was to be able to do other things afterwards that I love – travel, art, museums, eating! So that’s exactly what I did.

Living La Dolce Vita (the sweet life) is an Italian phrase meaning living life to the fullest (usually in luxury!). I have been so lucky to spend the last year on some wonderful travels – both alone and with some fabulous friends and of course I have also been able to spend more time seeing Australia and New Zealand too which has been special too as they are amazing countries and I will miss this part of the world when I leave – although I will be back for visits for sure.

So some of you out there like data – well I visited the following countries in the last 12months – Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala, Japan, Vietnam, Morocco, Malta, Spain, Italy, Vatican City (!), UAE and Oman. And no, there was no particular logic about why those places – just things I wanted to see and do and people I wanted to meet up with.

While I enjoy traveling solo it is also fantastic to share places with friends so thanks to those who either traveled with me or put me up when I was traveling – Marjory and Karen (who did both), Tania, Emma, Beth, Sue, Sylvie, Andrew, Lisa, Daphne, Mark, Trudy, Alan, Sabrina and Lorna.

Some of you will want to know my favourite place – agh , I hate being asked that question but maybe I can pick my “wow” highlights instead. They would be Japan, Rome, Morocco and Venice – and I expect I chose those because I had either never been or only briefly been to those locations before.

And for those who know I want to join the 100 Club – I am up to 89 of the countries they list (seems I had to abandon Scotland, Ireland and Wales!) – although I am counting it as 90 asI include places I visited in the past that don’t exist in the same way anymore – my addition is Yugoslavia.

And have I finished traveling for a while. Get out of here. Of course not. Will enjoy last couple of months in Melbourne being a tourist. And then I am going to travel some more (including some new countries) with just my belongings – staying with friends in Asia and the US first and renting apartments in various locations in Europe after that so I can explore with more time. I will keep up the blog and continue to post on Twitter (@susiebabani) which is probably the best way to follow me in the long term as well as LinkedIn and of course on this blog if you want to access direct.

For my reading buddies, I will be updating the “Books I’ve read” post in the next few days.

Some last memories below and thanks for watching. Keep the likes coming – they are always appreciated.

Susie

Arriving in Venice

Australia, Melbourne and Hobart

Great to be back in my own bed after a few weeks away. Also fab to have my old school friend Lorna over from the U.K. As not only is it good to see her but I get a chance to be a tourist again. Over the last few days we visited the Shrine of Remembrance (I’m ashamed to say it is the first time I’ve been inside and it is very good), a long walk to all corners of the Botanical Gardens and another quick trip to Hobart that included Port Arthur, MONA (always visit there), Salamanca Market and two excellent restaurants – Franklin and FICO?

The lovely Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. Wonderful to have all this right on the city doorstep.
Sights around Hobart, Port Arthur and MONA