Category Archives: Australia

Australia, Sydney – a week of catch ups, food and cruise ships viewings

A sunny day in Sydney (and it is not always sunny contrary to the myth) is hard to beat for jaw dropping views of two icons – the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House set amongst the twinkling waters of Sydney Harbour. And at this time of year it is a different cruise ship every day. I also revisited the Botanical Gardens – one of my favorites and discovered Barangaroo Reserve (thanks for the recommendation Trish) which is a piece of land preserve with indigenous plants slap bang in the middle to an area of Sydney which is being very built up – so great a bit of green is being retained.

Night time is always special too.

I visited my friends Vidya and Gana and was treated to home cooking at “Gana’s Kitchen” – just a few samples below of the many dishes we got to taste. Wonderful meal. Great company too which included my old mate from long ago – Doug.

Talking of friends it was marvelous to catch up with more friends and get some more home cooking (thanks Jane and John and Nigel) – some of them are below. Lovely to see you Mark and Liza, Trish, Christina, Catriona, Nigel, Joel, Lana and Christopher.

Australia, Wilson’s Promontory, Victoria

My very last Australian road trip before I leave had me and my regular visitor from Canada Marjory taking a long awaited visit to Wilson’s Prom – at the helpful suggestion of one of my former colleagues Jo S (Thanks). What a gorgeous part of the world and only a couple of hours away – why did I wait so long to visit? Possibly was waiting for someone to drive me there – I have driving myself!

We stayed at lovely Bear Gully Cottages in Walkerville about 30 minutes from the park and relaxed on beaches, hiked a bit (one day was 41 degrees so a smidgen warm but obviously a good time for pesky flys) and got close to some koalas in the wild (and they are not bears in case you were wondering?). Stopped off at some lovely little towns along the way – I particularly liked Loch for the best salted caramel slice ever at Olive’s and Fish Creek because the have a mullet on the top of their tiny hotel. Squeaky beach is not just lovely but the sand really does squeak when you walk on it – sounds like You stepped on a mouse.

I will miss this place:(

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.

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 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

Australia, Melbourne- Not a surprise that everyone is adoring Dior at the NGV

It’s Friday so I’m indulging myself with this blog on my recent visit to the Dior Exhibit at Melbourne’s NGV. If you live here, you must go if you have even the slightest interest in works of art that you can wear and if you don’t, please get on a plane and see his if you possibly can.

Welcome to a world of fantasy and do feel free to wallow and zoom in to your heart’s content.

A Dress for every Occasion

It’s all about the detail darling

The magnificent designs of John Galliano

Fantasy ball gowns – although who are the people who get invited to places where you could wear something like these???

And finally my personal favourites