Tag Archives: flowers

Australia, Melbourne – Nomadic life now VERY challenged – but here’s what I like to do (part 1A) – MY DAILY WALK

And I thought the first four weeks here were a bit weird. But as we all know things took a turn for the worse and we live in this strange dystopian way where we actively walk away from anyone who gets too close to us on the pavement – if you are a big city girl like me that is just the “normal thing” to do anyway!

But – as with all things strange and new you learn about yourself and how you choose to react to external factors you can’t control. Being an only child and someone who has travelled solo very often I am not daunted by my own company and probably do a lot better being on my own than I might be if I lived with more people! In fact I find I agree with almost everything I am thinking and saying to myself (conversations with self are also a plus as long as you remember there really is only one of you in the room:)

So in the absence of being able to post on my travels for a while and rather than repost my previous trips (which you can find easily if you want to visit other parts of the world virtually) – here’s my first post about what I actually like about being “stuck” in Melbourne for however long it will be – after the “likes” (and there are a few) I will confess to what I don’t like as much (that will be part 2)

WHAT I LIKE. (Would be great to hear from others what they enjoy about this situation we all find ourselves in) and to get ideas on how you fill your time.

1. MY DAILY WALK (and I know some locations are not allowed to do that but thankfully we still can as long as we are sensible) – where I try and manage 10000 steps while avoiding other human beings. This has made me do more exercise in isolation than I generally did when I wasn’t! 10 Gold starts for me.

Because it is the only time I can be out and about I move much more slowly and take the time to see things I would normally have charged past. So far this includes flowers (and I get to practise my iphone photo skills too) and enjoying the first signs of Autumn.

Anyone who knows the names of all these flowers – let me know – my knowledge in this space is classic for a Londoner – if it’s not a tulip, a rose or a daffodil I’m stuck.
I know the bird of paradise flower!
Colours of Autumn in Fawkner Park – how fab to be in a place with flowers and Autumnal colours at the same time

The other thing I like about my daily walk is that I can multi-task (some things never change). In this case I am either listening to podcasts or Audible books. Some of my faves have been – PODCASTS (To catch and Kill, The Drop Out, The Thinking Traveller, Blood Territory (an audible podcast). BOOKS (everything by Jessie Burton – The miniaturist, The Muse and The Confession (saving that one) – great new talent. The Pearl Thief by Fiona McIntosh; I’m thinking of downloading all the Harry Potter books narrated by Stephen Fry.

Taking daily walks has also meant I have started to go to places I didn’t even know existed before. My favourites are Fawkner Park and the Yarra trail by the river. I discovered the Federation Bells and saw a kookaburra very close up.

A cheeky kookaburra seems very at home when there are less people around on the Yarra trail
The Federation Bells doing their thing
A perfect tree in Fawkner Park

Of course I am actually writing this post right now because it is bucketing down outside so my walk may be jeopardised today. Unlike many of my fellow Brits I have never understood the desire to walk for hours in the pouring rain – why this should be deemed fun is beyond me but I know there are a lot of ardent walkers back there in Blighty (some are even good friends of mine:) – so there must be something to it I suppose – maybe the pub at the end?

Ooh – rain just stopped – I’m out of here….

Portugal, Guimarães – a day a trip from Porto

On a very rainy day I took the suburban train from Porto Sao Bento to Guimares (the place where Portugal first began to exist – allegedly). If I thought it was rainy in Porto I was about to see a lot more of it in Guimarães.

Like all old towns – at least the ones I grew up with in the UK – this has a proper castle and a palace that used to belong to the Duke of Braganza (one of the most powerful nobles of the town).

Even though it was raining it was quite fun to clamber around ramparts and castellated architecture – kind of like some of the school trips I used to do (including the rain).

It is actually a “real” castle of its time and so I thought I would play around with the photos to show it off in different ways.

The Duke’s Palace was again typical medieval – large halls, heavy furniture and lots of stairs!

There used to be a very old and large chestnut tree by the palace which came down recently in a storm, so the authorities asked a modern sculptor to repurpose it for posterity. I think he did a brilliant job – it was my favourite thing that I saw all day.

The old town was what I was expecting with more rain – yes I am whinging a bit!

Finally I noticed that one of the good things about rain is that flowers look especially lovely afterwards and certainly Spring has sprung here so I discovered a few new tricks with my iPhone camera and took theses which I am quite proud of!

I think Guimarães is a perfect day trip from Porto – just over an hour away and Euros 7 return but because a lot of it is about being outside choose a sunny day!

Next stop my 104th country!