more Melbourne

Well, we had a good time, you should expect photos :p

this episode – details

Melbourne has plenty of nice things to take photos of – I wasn’t really there for that reason as it was supposed to be our honeymoon – but I did manage to get some snapshots of some the little details which give it some of its charm.

Melbourne trip (part 3)

The last day we checked out of the hotel and with luggage safely stashed in the complimentary secure storage (thanks Swanston Hotel) we mooched back to Degraves St for some breakfast.

We pulled in at a really cool little oak-panelled cafe and had a gorgeous cooked breakfast and coffee’s, even though it was disgustingly expensive. But hey, its a holiday, and you have to do these things.

With full bellies, we walked off over St Kilda Rd bridge to the Botanical Gardens. They’re lovely, well maintained and almost deserted. A lovely mooch though the grounds later, we headed to the cafe for some much needed refreshment before heading back to the hotel for our bags and a cab back to the airport.

The airport managed to supply a rather nommy vegan lunch and we were on our way home. Getting back to 42 degrees was a bit much as it had barely topped 20 in Melbourne the whole time were there. Thats Perth for you :))

Had a lovely time, so much more to see for another time, which is exactly how you want to leave a place.

See you again soon, Melbourne.

Melbourne trip (part 2)

We had takeaway and a bottle of wine on Saturday night (well we were both tired and wanted to rest our weary backs), but ended up having a late night anyway.

We were slugs on Sunday morning as it was Jay’s birthday and only made it out in time for an early lunch at The Organic Food and Wine Company

Delicious coffees and vegan pies (dhal for Jay, Mexican bean for me) later we walked off to the National Gallery of Victoria for some culture. It’s a big modern place with a pretty cool collection of art and treasures, from Ming dynasty vases, 4000BC Egyptian tablets and pottery, a smattering of Rembrandts, Picassos, Hockneys, Constables and Turners. We were a bit over the endless rooms of 19th and 20th century European art by the end of it so scooted off back to Degraves St for a coffee and cupcake from the tiny and gorgeous ‘Little Cupcake’ before going back to the hotel for a rest.

We got a late dinner in Nandos (who have a few vegan-able options) then dodged the rain showers back to the hotel for a night of tv and wine 🙂

More in part 3….

down south, part 3

3rd verse, same as the first.

Or so sang the Violent Femmes (one of my all time favourite bands of all time)

anyways, its a fib, this isn’t the same as part one at all (except that we took the same roads home)

The drive back was unremarkable except for the fact that the sun was going down and we were treated to an amazing sunset.  If Jay hadn’t been suffering with her back and keen to get home I would have headed for the beach and set up the camera.  As it was, I made do with my shotgun position to capture a few of the moments on the way back.

Then, I decided to do some long exposure shots with the camera on the dash – was really funny to see the crazy shots that came out 🙂

So there you go – that was the day trip to Dunsborough.

down south, part 2

Continuing from part 1, we had a quick drink in the very posh cafe at Bunker Bay and then went round the corner to Eagle Bay, which is a very small little neighbourhood full of lovely expensive summer houses, Range Rovers, a brand new Porsche Panamera and million dollar for sale hoardings.

Eagle Bay itsself was beautiful with a white sand and even bluer sea than in Warnbro where I live or Bunker Bay that we’d just come from.

Am so going there again, it was quiet and unspoiled, even on a weekend in the height of summer with Australia day just 3 days away.   There were lots of other little bays and places that would be worth exploring later in the day when the light was golden – particularly on the other side of the peninsular – Canal Rocks and Sugarloaf Rock being two very popular places for photographers.   Save those for another time when we have somewhere to stay for the night 🙂

We mooched back to Dunsborough for some coffee, but even at 4:30pm on a busy Saturday, most places had already shut or were shutting.  WTF, Australia? I see this so much and I really don’t get it.  After a day on the beach or out exploring, who wouldn’t want to come back for a snack/coffee/cake/etc before dinner later.  Apparently that message was only heeded by The Dome, so we headed there for a drink before we went home.

We drove through Busselton, which quite frankly was nothing much at all – the highlight is the huge mile long jetty, but that closed last year, leaving a fenced off eyesore and basically sod-all else.  Some naked girls/young women skinny dipping and wrestling in the sand was pretty much the highlight (much to the delight of some passing teenage boys who were busy picking their jaws up off the floor..).  Even the beachside water park/theme park thing was closed and neglected.. Took a few piccies with the Holga Pinhole Wide angle camera, forgot to take the damn lens cap off though – meh!  thats 2 shots out of 12 that will be black..  *sob*

By this time Jay was feeling tired having done all the driving (she always wants to drive, so I get to be shotgun with the cameras) and wanted to go home and as she was driving and we had a long way to go, we headed off..

And that bit will be in part 3..

Back in the real world

Got back to Perth on the 3rd of Jan and it was bloody hot coming out of the airport, especially as I’d been in either air conditioned comfort or the freezing UK air for 3 days.

Was nice to get back home though and one of the first things I did was to skype the kids.

Poor Henry, being small, burst into tears when I spoke to him and wanted me to cuddle him (we’d being doing lots of that and I miss it too).  They’d had the remainder of their presents and were pretty happy.

The next day, Monday 4th I had to prep for an interview (sorry if any work people read this – its true, its not that I’m really unhappy with my job or company, it just pays to explore the market every now and again – if I get the new job, I’ll be over the moon as its a good opportunity, if I don’t, its a shame but I’ll carry on and continue to focus 100% on my current job – does that cover my arse enough?) which was a pain – it was a presentation on stuff that I don’t know anything about, so I had to put in 1/2 days work to get to grips with what I had to do.

The interview the next day went well I think, although I haven’t heard yet – its always hard to gauge what an interview panel really think –  I’ll let you all know what happens as soon as I know anything.

So, we’re almost upto date – back to work this week already although very little is happening at the moment as a lot of people are still away.  I have a big project to take part in this month, although I’m not sure what my active involvement as technical architect will actually be as this is going to be a hands on exercise, I’ll find out on Monday.

Well, thats a load of text without any pretty, to remedy’s some I took the other night 🙂

Its another beautiful day today, so I may pop out to get some photos this afternoon 🙂

New Years Eve

NYE was the last day in Oz for my kids – the flight out wasn’t until 2am (yeah, I know..) so we had a full day to have fun.

We drove off to Mandurah for a walk, a play in the park, an explore and a coffee – its only a 30 min drive and its quite pretty on the board-walk.

The kids had loads of fun exploring, looking for fish in the harbour, cleaning up litter (yeah, we have a bunch of conscientious environmentalists on the books) and playing in the park. We went for a longer walk over to the marina which was nice – its looking like its going to be a much nicer version of Hillary’s Boat Harbour (which I hate with a passion) – somewhere I might actually want to hang out. Hopefully they don’t spoil it.

It was a lovely afternoon, really relaxed and a good finish for the kids.

We scooted back to Rockingham to get fish and chips and scoffed them on the foreshore and listened to the NYE entertainment starting up. After a good feed, we had a little play and then headed home to pack 😦

Here are some pics from the day 🙂

Some tearful farewells later, I drove off with Ella and Henry to get the plane back to Singapore and then onto Heathrow.  Its a shame we live so far apart as we had such a lovely time all together.   I get to see them much more often as I’ll fly back to the UK a few times a year, but we simply can’t afford the AU$10k+ it costs to get them all here to Perth or for us to go to the UK en-masse very often.  Ah well..lottery win, where are you?

The trip back was uneventful – its a bloody long way – the kids were shattered by the time we took off and were asleep for a good chunk of the trip.  They were good as gold really given how tired they were and how much they just wanted to either stay or get back depending on how they were feeling.

We picked up the hire car and drove to my mum and dad’s place on New Years Day where their mum and her parents (my ex-wife and ex-inlaws) came to collect them, saving me a 4 hour+ drive there and back.  It felt a bit odd, but we all get on ok and I like my ex-inlaws.

Was sad to see them off cos it was so lovely having Ella and Henry here for 10 days, but I know we’ll manage to do this again sooner rather than later.

After an very short sleep, I was off back to the airport and despite having to change terminals for Malaysian Airlines, I was uneventfully back off to Perth via Kuala Lumpur only 15 hours after I arrived.

Jet lag, what jet lag?

And so ended 2009 and began 2010.