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Restless by nature, on a whim I blew off city living and my career, to try my hand at a simpler-slower life in rural Tasmania. It's going to be one heck of a learning curve..join me as I find my feet, fingers crossed!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ballarat & beyond..

This week we visited a friend in Ballarat for 5 nights.
Just quietly, i am wondering just how exciting it is going to be..

Thursday: After catching the skybus from Tullamarine, we sensibly stash our luggage into a locker.
Wicked i zoom up to the DFO above Southern Cross station for a spot of excellent bargain shopping.
With a Myki in hand, we board a packed train bound for Ballarat, it's only 3.30pm, I've done really well.

Friday: Up early with a packed picnic basket its off for a country drive. God it's really dry here after Tassie, but it's great to finally soak up some flat landscape & terrific country roads. By now I'm snoozing in the back seat until we get to Kyneton, OMG what a cool country town! Piper Street is a standout with a vibrant/rustic feel, it's packed with eateries & vintage shops and somehow has attained the perfect blend of new & old. For lunch the beautiful and historic botanic garden's becons.
Kyneton's population is around 6,600 plus, which is reflected in the convenience of having a train straight to Melbourne from here.This would make an excellent base for an extended stay.
After lunch we head back with a short detour thru Trentham, it's another funky rustic town with artisan shops lining the small main street. Definitely worth a stop; Daylesford is our next pit stop. Daylesford is a much smaller town, approx 2,200 with a very groovy eclectic vibe, plenty of fun shops, botanic gardens, local produce AND the amazing Mill markets. Yep it's an undercover market full of retro collectibles and antiques with over 100 quality stalls- Yeeha I'm having a party!! Apparently the weekends buzz here with Melbournians with some pretty high end resorts situated locally plus Hepburn Springs is just up the road. For now it's back to Ballarat for our Ottway free range roast pork dinner..

Saturday: Yah it's hot, well hotter than Tassie, so we chill out for most of the day. Late arvo we buzz out to the Creswick Woollen Mills via another rustic roadside antique shop, with a lovable local character. The mills are a top spot & reasonably priced, amazing what a decent population does for choice! Designing & manufacturing since 1947 the mill has a good mix of Alpaca & Sheep knits, gorgeous..

Sunday: Ballarat Botanic garden's awaits and is gloriously located next to the beautiful Lake Wendoorie. It's great to see so many locals rowing, sailing, riding & walking around the lake- Great landscaping & plantings once again. Back to our gardens walk and the Prime Ministers Avenue featuring bronze busts of every Prime minister since settlement. Julia Gillard's has only recently been added & it's a cracker of a likeness too. Adjacent is the atrium, at this time of year it's brimming with thousands of flowering begonias. This is a seriously stunning display, the walls, floor and ceiling have every type of massive begonia imaginable, mind blowing! After lunch we head to Ballarat's Art Gallery. I am particularly taken with the Norman Lindsay display and had no idea the family resided in nearby Creswick. Half the Lindsay siblings were artists, no mean feat for those times & there is a good cross section of all their work on display. The art gallery is a series of historic & modern rooms with a great cross section of many genres, plus work from local award winning art students-Love it!

Monday: We walk the 1.5 km to the train station to catch a shuttle bus direct to Tullamarine airport. They've really thought of everything here and honestly it's been one of the cheapest holidays I've had in yonks..with the cheap fares on the Spirit I'll definitely be back to this region real soon..because I have just totally loved it!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cheeky monkey

With 4 generations of Pademelon's happily living adjacent & under the house, it's amazing watching the lil ones venture out of mum's pouch to eat grass. I don't feed them, Zuki dog leaves them to it & they're now so tame we trip over them at dusk & dawn. 

Currently there is one lil bubsy that is curious, intrepid & has us in stitches.
This morning I woke to find it in my large cumquat pot trying to jump into the aloe vera next to it. In the process it has discovered aloe vera to be unpalatable, a quick shake of it's head confirming the bitter taste.
Surprisingly a few minutes later it has hopped onto the front deck & is peering through the glass door, looking at us all. Such a brave little one.

It's daily antics are a source of great pleasure, although mummy Pademelon is constantly on the lookout for her adventurous little one!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


..we cruised into Hobart to hang out with some friendly Hobartians, and indulge in festive drinks.
Sensibly a hotel was booked in the CBD. Zuki dog is dropped off in New Town for a sleepover with a couple of Jack Russells, except the new puppy addition to the family is not having a bar of him- Fun doggy times for our placid pooch who is blissfully oblivious.

That afternoon I scampered around the city enjoying the relaxed pace of Tassie's Christmas shopping 'frenzy'.
And with a cruise boat in town, it was pleasing to see thousands of tourists milling around injecting dollars into our economy.  After my splurge on shoes at the locally owned The Jolly Swagman, which isn't just hiking gear, I wandered back to our centrally located base.
While walking I noticed a few new Asian eateries such as the Three Japanese Charcoal Grill in Elizabeth street- Menu sounded yummy! Also, and this is very exciting, a Ramen bar is currently being fitted out on the corner of Elizabeth/Bathurst streets. Plus I hear on the hospitality grapevine a couple of new exciting eateries are being developed on the waterfront, a sushi train will be finally landing in

But there's a party to attend; the weather is behaving itself. I'm never been one for parties but all that's changed since moving to Tassie. Locals here are friendly & welcoming and couldn't give a hoot about what you do or what school you went to-Unlike another unnamed state. A great time was had by all..

Next morning I hit Ecru Coffee in Criterion street for a yummy Chai latte & squealed with delight when realizing the Farmgate market is out the front of the hotel. Needless to say it is pretty hard digging me out to go to our dog sitters, who are cooking us breakfast. Before departure there's time for a quick pit stop at the fabulous Cool Wines also in Criterion street. It's a fabulous shop with an eclectic range of local, interstate & overseas wines, beers, spirits etc, and super cheap to boot. Well worth stocking your wine rack from here alone, forget the internet, shop local with a crew who know their stuff- Among other wines, I grabbed 3 Coal River Rose cleanskins for just over $30.

After brekky it's time to head home, before I max out my budget any more..quick get me outta here!
Except maybe i just wouldn't mind stopping at the roadside stall in Longley. Gosh they've totally expanded their stock with a massive range of seedlings, herbs, succulents, berry bushes, veggies, potting mix & a microbe organic soil conditioner- I've been looking everywhere for this! Also there's fresh produce for sale, grown behind the stall. Check out their seedings, they're super cheap! 

Note: Photo is only a small snapshot of what the Longley stall now sells.

Ok home James, I'm exhausted and feel like I've been on holi's..all that in 24hrs..any wonder I'm tired.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Flat out..

Things are still crazy here.
Renos always seem to proceed quite slowly until you reach a stage when
everything comes together, wham. 

But I am most definately never doing this again.
Fixing up someone else's build is painful, not everything is level or straight, it takes time
and serious PATIENCE!!

Meanwhile poor Zuki dog is bored, why is everyone inside so much, making banging noises?
So what's a dog to do, but sleep ?

Finally i can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and hope to start undercoating upstairs by next weekend.
Between gardening, entertaining the dog, feeding workers & doing a website, my quiet country life is chaos.
I think I need a holiday and some hot weather wouldn't go astray ☆

Monday, November 10, 2014


It's been awhile between interstate visitors and I love nothing more than sharing 'my Tassie' with them.
But I've never had a such a difficult unpleasant time, as I did last weekend.

A very dear friend from Queensland was visiting for 2 nights, meanwhile Tassie pulled off an impressive cold snap, yep it happens.
But cold weather & a Queenslander is often not a good mix; my weekend took a nose dive.
The list of complaints was long, endless and constantly verbalised..
Apparently the weather sucks, Tassie is a boring backwater, who would want to visit or live here, the rain water tasts funny, the local milk too
and my sustainable lifestyle choices took multiple daily hits. I did feel numb, under attack but realised it was a bucket load of her stuff.
I couldn't help noticing my once chilled friend was very tightly wound and unable to see anything positive outside of her world.

Sadly I couldn't get her to the airport quick enough, and it was probably not a minute too soon for her. But I never managed to let her know my
disappointment at her resistance to share & embrace a weekend in my world- Usually I visit her in Brisbane, just quietly I'm not a fan.
Late in the day I received a text message from her, the weather is perfect in Brisbane today, great just what I wanted to hear!!