Monday, March 31, 2014


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014 via Jodi

He : kicking back with his new best mate. That little paw poking out just cracks me up.

She: say Cheese Mama. We have progressed beyond plaits to actual real hair accessories. It has only taken five years to become tolerable.

Monday, March 24, 2014


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014 inspired by Jodi

He : give this child a rope, a plank of wood and a tree and he is good for a few hours

She : is devoted/mad enough to test out her brother's crazy stunts - just stand on that platform while I winch you up to the top of the tree............

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Daylesford delight

I have wanted to go to Daylesford for the longest time. I have been to Melbourne many, many times since I was a girl, visiting my dad on school holidays. I also know the Gippsland region east of Melbourne well too from countless visits to Dad's farm. But other than a visit to Hanging Rock as a teenager I have never been  into the Macedon ranges area.

For many years I was longing to visit the Lark shop in central Daylesford ( how devastating to have the shop close 18 months before I made it there and her pop up Melbourne store close up just weeks before we arrived) and then there is the matter of that gorgeous inspirational Kate from the Foxs Lane  blog who lives somewhere near Daylesford. There just seemed to be some magic to be found in that  little town. So, we scootled out of the big city, into a land of clear blue skies, parched yellow fields, gum trees and sheep.

We found a beautiful little studio on Air Bnb, walking distance from the centre of town with a view across a paddock and a hedge of lavender. While the flowers were finished, there was still just a hint of lavender in the air.

Our first morning we awoke to kangaroos grazing near the bedroom window.

We explored the towns around Daylesford by car, venturing into Kyneton, Malmsbury, Hepburn Springs and Ballarat. Sometimes we just turned off onto little dirt roads, just to see where we would end up. This is the view from the top of Mount Franklin.

We stopped often, to soak in a view, ferret in a second hand store or photograph a hedge with a hole for a gate ( I have a weakness for these).

Even the letterboxes were inspired. (I wonder if all these neighbours pop down at 4pm for a beer and a chat while they collect their mail).

We paused for long, slow meals at Cafe Koukla at dusk. Sitting under the grape vines with the golden light all around, dipping Churros in chocolate sauce is a memory that will not fade quickly.

It wasn't until the last day that my back had improved enough that I was able to walk the ten minutes to the centre of town. So many gorgeous details to notice in a place were the climate and seasonal change are so different from home. From the rambling rose gardens,

the hedges,

the murals on garage doors,

the wall of the community garden,

the yards full of feasting sulphur crested cockatoos,

the street art,

the architecture,

and the quaint little shops.

Goodies were found in shops and fossicked from the nearby paddocks.

And quite a few hours were spent with a cup of tea and a book gazing out at this view.

And did you know that Daylesford has one of the largest warehouses of vintage and secondhand eclectic ever seen? Nope, neither did I and goodness what a treat that was to stumble onto, but that is a whole other post. Back soon with the rest of the goodies.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One night in Melbourne

This time last year my mum made me a wonderful offer. As it was one of those milestone birthdays with a zero on the end, she offered to take care of the children for a few days so we could get away for a holiday. The sort of holiday that doesn't involve 5 am starts,  theme parks, waterslides or mini golf.

Unfortunately due to the chaos of last year which included  being robbed, packing and unpacking our entire house twice , a six month renovation, my mother in law breaking both her hips, a melanoma and forty stitches in my leg,  we couldn't really take advantage of this marvellous gesture. Until now.

So, with five days up our sleeves, we planned our escape. One night in Melbourne and the rest in Daylesford. But because this is real life and things don't always go to plan, I hurt my back, three days before we were to leave.

A few years ago, a setback like this would have had me ranting about the unfairness of it all. I have never hurt my back before, so what are the odds that it would happen just before my first proper time away from my kids in eight years. But, these days I am wiser and I know that sometimes sucky times happen, to everyone, and you just have to push through and wait for your luck to turn.

At the airport I saw a five cent piece on the ground. Despite being drugged up on painkillers my back was too sore to even contemplate picking it up for luck. But when I saw another five cent piece on the airport tarmac in Melbourne, I made Legoman stop and pick it up. Find a penny, pick it up and all the day you'll have good luck.

We picked up our budget basement hire car and were about to leave the airport when one of the Europecar staff noticed we had a flat tyre. When I thanked him for saving us from disaster and told him it was our first holiday away from our kids, he came back with an entirely different car. An entirely nicer, upgraded zippy little VW kind of car. Look how you open the boot. Fancy pants.

After we checked into our hotel and discovered we had arrived in Melbourne the same night as White Night festival, I really knew my luck had changed. As we started walking the city streets with half a million other people, I was grateful for good painkillers and lucky five cent pieces.

Aside from just taking in all the amazing shop fronts like this florist,

spectacular shoes ( with spectacular matching price tags),

and shops with stools that look like liquorice all sorts,

there were the most amazing light projections I have ever seen. This is the top end of Flinders St, outside The Forum theatre.

and if you stood quietly and waited while the throngs of people swelled around on all sides, suddenly it would change from this,

to this. For a colour lover like me it was pure magic.

We walked a little further and stumbled across this gorgeous little church. Lit up with magical patterns that changed constantly. I thought it was on some sort of loop and waited patiently for one pattern to come around again.

Every now and then it would reset, back to original sandstone then bit by bit the colours would appear.  We watched for about twenty minutes and then turned to head home.

As we left the courtyard, we noticed a little booth. With a little sign on the side.

Amidst the throng of thousands of people, there was a little booth, with a set of stairs and no queue. It seems that amidst the masses, many people stop to look, but most do not see.

And inside was this.

So as half a million people wandered past, I created my own design.

Bit over the top but I was a tad excited and had to cram every possible option in. Legoman was a little more sedate.

On a colour high, we walked the zillion blocks back to our hotel, stopping everyone who still had children awake with them at 11 pm. We told them about the little booth of pure magic just a few blocks back that half a million people never even noticed.

One night in Melbourne, with a lucky five cent piece and a whole lot of magic.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013 inspired by Jodi

He : is sampling the hideous concoction he whipped up in Potions class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Let me just say that combining gruesome food items is a big hit for eight year old boys at a  birthday party.

She : was Dobbie the house elf, with various outfits and her own foul contribution of flobberworm mucus and ash winder eggs. Note my feeble attempts to contain everything to a black tarp on the lounge room floor.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


a portrait of my children once a week every week inspired by Jodi

He : has finally received the pet of his dreams as an early birthday present. Meet Jet, the guinea pig, and one VERY happy almost eight year old.

She : helping me hang out the hand washing on her little line that we found a few weeks back in our local curb side cleanup.