Category Archives: weekends

Catch up

Oh dear, has it really been that long since I said anything?  How very slack of me.  Obviously nothing exciting has happened.  For the second part of last week I was in Mildura for work.  Mildura is in the far north west corner of Victoria.  It’s a big grape and citrus growing region.  Which is amazing considering how much water they don’t have.

But they have been doing some environmental watering to restore water to an area known as the Hattah Lakes.  These lakes have significant numbers of iconic River Red Gum trees, which have been severely stressed by the drought.  They need to be periodically flooded or they die.  There has been no water in the Hattah Lakes since 1996, and the Red Gums are in big trouble.

Hattah 05

Hattah 02

The pumps sends 120 megalitres an hour to the lakes.
Hattah 04

And water is flowing in Chalka Creek for the first time in many many years.
Hattah 03

I also saw this bird. No idea what it is but he seemed to pose and want me to take his photo, so I obliged.
Hattah 01

Yesterday I spent a girls’ day out with some friends.  We visited the day spa at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne, where I had a wonderful citrus body treatment and a facial, and we followed it up with High Tea at the hotel’s restaurant, Radii.  Can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday?


Crazy Melbourne weather

The weather in Melbourne has been mental in November. We suffered through two weeks of 35deg+ weather, but this weekend it’s cold and raining. It rained so much I discovered these little things growing in my front yard!

Mushroom 01

Mushroom 02

I don’t think we’ll be eating them for dinner.


I forgot to show you this week’s flowers:
Lilly 02
Lovely pink lillies. Don’t ask me the technical name.
Lilly 01I will confess I did a tiny bit of photoshopping to make the colour stronger.  They were this bright when they first arrived but were not quite this colour by the time I remembered to take a photo.

I was in quite a bad mood this morning but thankfully I have a four day weekend ahead of me to recover.  It’s amazing how one bad comment can ruin your whole day.


Thanks everyone for coming over to my new home to say hello. I really wanted to separate my blog life from Huffle’s, and I wanted to be able to do a bit more with the look and feel of this blog, which is still a work in progress. Like a decent header – I still have to make one of those. Soon 🙂

Barb wanted to know if the Boy, my partner and my husband are all the same person. Yes they are! His parents always call him boy, and my father always refers to him as the boy, and he didn’t want me to put his name on the interwebs, so sometimes I call him any one of those things. He is one person though 🙂

I’ve spent this morning updating software on my iPhone and iPod Touch, and putting new songs on all four iPods. No, I don’t have any idea why I need four iPods either.

Penny and Valerie, Milky Ways are called Three Musketeers over your way. I can send you some of ours if you like 🙂

I had a really crappy day at work on Friday. Nothing that will bother me next week when I go back, but I plan to eat chocolate and read my books this weekend as respite. Speaking of books, I’ve now read As You Do by Richard Hammond, and started on Thanks For The Mammaries, which is an anthology and a fundraiser for Breast Cancer research. So I’m doing my bit for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

How annoying is Ben Stiller? Seriously.

What I’m reading

I decided to go book shopping today, instead of looking for some new shoes. I know, outrageous, right?

I bet you also thought that I would read really highbrow books, full of interesting facts and of great literary significance.

Wrong. I loves me some trashy novels. It’s cold and wet outside and I can’t think of anything better to do than read an entertaining book, whilst eating chocolate.
Current books

Oh, and I bought a cook book. Because I also loves me some cook books. If they weren’t so expensive and didn’t take up so much room, I’d buy new ones every week. Actually, it’s more about the room a cook book takes up that prevents me from buying them. And I know, you all are “but you can download recipes from the interweb“, but I love to have the actual book with a proper picture in front of me, so I can see what my culinary masterpiece is meant to look like at the end. I hate cook books with few or no pictures. I got Larousse Gastronomique for christmas last year, and although I am sure there are thousands of excellent recipes in it, I have no idea what they’re meant to look like so I haven’t used it at all.

Thanks to Karen over at Miscellaneous Mum for the book idea.

p.s. Deb if I don’t like the Time Traveller’s Wife you’re in big trouble!

Weekend Report

It’s been a relatively quiet weekend. Yesterday we did not much during the day, although we went to the garden centre late afternoon and bought Huffle her new parsley pot. Actually we bought three pots and planted two of them with cat grass, catnip and cat mint. The other one has no plants in it so she can sit in it and not kill anything.

Then we decided to go to the movies. We saw the new Quentin Tarantino movie, Inglourious Basterds. It was a typical Tarantino movie, full of blood and violence, and a jumpy story, but I enjoyed it. Maybe it was a bit too long though, at just over two hours. I thought Brad Pitt was quite good as Lt Raine, but the boy did not like his character at all. I did like the fact that I recognised Harvey Keitel’s voice in one scene (he has been in every single Tarantino film, as far as I know).

Today we went out for breakfast, that was a pleasant enough outing. I spent the afternoon planting out the companion parsley pots, then baked some brownies, then did the laundry, then the grocery shopping. Such excitement.

Oh I forgot to tell you about my Friday! I went to work as usual in the morning but the airconditioning vent above my desk was doing weird things and sounded like a jet engine was roaring above my head, so I came home again to do some work in peace. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but there is a very big mosque on the corner of the street I live in. Ramadan has been going for the past month, and every day at sundown approximately 1,563,289 muslims arrived to pray. Usually it doesn’t bother us in the slightest.

Anyhow Friday is the big holy day for muslims and at lunchtime you cannot move in our street for all the cars and people. Again, not usually a problem because we’re generally at work at lunchtime on Fridays. Except this week. Around 12.45pm, I heard a car pull up in our drive way. I decided it was way to early to expect the boy home, so I opened the front door to see who it was.

There was a car parked in our driveway. Not my car. Not the boy’s car. Not the car of anyone I know. A random car. Tucked right in up against the garage door. What?

As I’m standing out the front, trying to work out what was going on, the annoying young man who lives across the street (he was out there smoking) told me he saw the driver run off into the mosque. So some random person thinks he can just park his car in MY driveway, assuming no-one is going to notice?

A couple of minutes later, the local council parking inspectors arrived. One side of our street is permit parking only, but some people attending the mosque don’t seem to be too bothered by that fact. I called them over to ask if they could do anything about the strange car in my driveway. The more senior one called the office to see if there was any law that would allow them to at least give this person a ticket, if not get the car removed. Remember they were blocking the garage, so if I had some sort of emergency I would not have been able to get my car out.

Turns out the person was not breaking any council by-laws, which was a shame. The nice parking inspectors (bet you never thought you’d hear all those words in the same sentence) told me my only option would be to call the police, which I didn’t want to do because it would be a waste of their time. By this time prayer time seemed to be over and people were coming out of the mosque. So I asked the inspectors to wait with me until the owner of the car showed up. With his two small children, both of whom tried to run across the garden (I told them off for that). When the man who owned the car showed up, I think he was a bit surprised to find me and two men in uniform standing in front of his car. Actually he looked petrified. I asked him if it was his car (yes) and then if it was his house (no). So then I asked who he thought he was to be parking in my driveway. His excuse was that it was his first time in this country and he didn’t know.

Whatever country you’re from, you do NOT park in someone else’s driveway. That was the most pathetic excuse I’ve ever heard. I told him I wasn’t interested in his excuses and if I ever saw his car in my driveway again I would call the police, and to get his car off my property now. No, don’t talk to me, just get out of here. Now.

I was so angry I was shaking. But I didn’t yell, and I didn’t call him all the nasty names that were going around in my head. The parking inspectors told me I handled it very well. I thanked them for staying with me.

The nerve of some people!

(sorry this is such a long post)

The weekend report

It’s been a busy week in Tracey Land. Not that I’ve done anything terribly exciting.

Sunday two weeks the boy and I went to the Press Club for dinner. It’s named so because the restaurant is in the old home of one of Melbourne’s daily newspapers. The food is greek and wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal, but the service was a little slow. Ah well, I guess you can’t have everything in life. Or do I expect too much?

Last weekend we went and saw the latest Harry Potter movie. Not worth the hype.

I visited some friends of mine on Sunday, who’ve just had a new baby. He’s quite cute but oh the screaming! He only screamed for 5 minutes of the hour I was there and I was ready to scream myself. I don’t know how parents do it. This is why we don’t have children.

Yesterday I had lunch with friends at Fifteen. This is one of the Jamie Oliver chain set up to help underprivileged kids who want to become chefs or get into the hospitality business. An admirable idea. Sadly, the food was a little lacking. I had pasta stuffed with ricotta, spinach and mushrooms, topped with fried sage. I couldn’t eat half of it because it was too salty. And I asked for one glass of sparkling mineral water and they charged me for a whole bottle. Pffft. Now you all know that I like to eat out and I am not averse to paying for a good meal but this place does not deserve the hype. Don’t bother.

Today the boy and I went to see the John Brack exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. I was surprised how many people were there, and also at the number of pictures he painted and drew in his time. I really liked the early work, but not the later stuff. This is one of his pictures that I really like:
Tune in tomorrow for pictures of the nearly complete yard! All that’s missing is the plants and they’ll be done this week. About time too.

Has it been a week already?

I can’t believe it’s been a whole week since we lost Buckley. You know, he wasn’t even my dog but oh how I miss him. He was such a sweet boy.

Meanwhile, it’s been a really busy week. On Tuesday night, I had a dinner organised for 24 people at one of my favourite restaurants, Matteo’s. It was the end of the three year term of the statutory body I work for, and we had the Minister for Environment there too. He’s our boss. It was a good night and of course the food was excellent.

I had a migraine on Wednesday, for the final meeting of the Council, but I took lots of painkillers and made it through. Went home at 3pm and slept for three hours, that made me feel a bit better.

Thanks to Trish and her magnificent Googling skils, we went out for breakfast today and have FINALLY found a place that does good Eggs Benedict. This morning we ventured out to Balzari and tried the Bennies. Success! Good eggs, tasty hollandaise, great ham. Heaving a sigh of relief here.

Next Saturday night I am going to see Ross Noble perform. He is the funniest man on the planet. Seriously. Every time I have seen him perform I have gone home with a sore face from laughing so hard. The boy was meant to go with me but he has to play his stupid game instead (something about a competition; whatever, he nearly ruined my weekend). Yes I am annoyed about it. Happily, my sister is going to come with me instead. I am going to make him feel guilty all week, I think.

It has been a good day, and it has been a crap day

Good, because the heater was fixed and now works perfectly.

Crap, because my father’s beautiful Swiss White Shepherd, Buckley the Wonder Dog, had to be put to sleep following a severe spinal injury. Nobody knows how it happened. We are devastated.

Help me I’m freezing to death

Okay maybe a bit of an exaggeration but holy crap it’s been cold this week! Melbourne is not meant to be like this! Yesterday, the temperature struggled to 10degC. The wind chill factor took it right back down to 5degC. That is COLD people. Bring back summer. Maybe we should move to a warmer country. Or at least a house with central heating. Today, by comparison, it’s a balmy 12degC. But with the wind, 8degC. God help me.

This morning, after suffering through too many freezing mornings in the bathroom (I’ve already mentioned the lack of central heating, right?), we went to the lovely people at Retravision and bought a heater for our ensuite. It’s small, portable and energy efficient, AND it has a timer so we can program it to come on and warm up the bathroom before I get out of bed in the mornings. Bliss.

How long do you think it will take Huffle to move in there?

Whilst out on our heater buying mission, we decided to look for a new breakfast place. Our favourite Filter has mysteriously closed down and we have been unable to find somewhere else that makes good Eggs Benedict. We tried a place across the road from Retravision and I said I would be the guinea pig for the Eggs Benedict today. The sauce came out of a jar. There is NO excuse for that, lazy cafe owners! Disappointing, because aside from the sauce in a jar, the rest was good. Excellent coffee, good service, nicely poached eggs. Dammit. Is it that hard to find good Eggs Benedict?

Apparently so.

But we are not giving up! And if you can be bothered, you’ll be reading about the search for good Eggs Benedict here for weeks to come!

Finally Friday

I haven’t written anything all week, mostly because I have nothing to say. I know, riveting stuff. The Cold is better but still not 100%. I don’t know what I can do to get rid of it, except maybe stop going to work. Not an entirely practical solution. On the plus side, it’s only nine weeks til our holiday so that’s something to look forward too.

Also: this is a long weekend. We are celebrating the Queen’s birthday on Monday. Makes me glad to be part of the Commonwealth once a year!

So what’s planned for this lovely long weekend? On Saturday, we are supposed to be going to a BBQ with people that the boy plays this game with. Yes, he is a complete nerd. On Sunday, we are going to have lunch with his sister and her partner, and his parents. The sister and partner are going overseas to live for at least 18 months, so this is our last chance to see them for a while. Monday we have no plans for. I do intend to sleep in and get my coffee in bed each morning, if nothing else.

I’m trying to decide if I should combine my photo blog with this one. What do you think?

Monday morning report

So about The Cold? I still have it. It’s better, but it’s still there. And driving me crazy. Now the boy is starting to get sick. Which of course in his mind means he has the Swine Flu and will probably die next week. Not that we’re being dramatic or anything, no no, wouldn’t want you to think that. But you KNOW how man-colds are always 20 times worse than anything a woman gets, right?

Friday night I attempted to drown the cold in alcohol by going to a cocktail night at Cafe Vue. It was not cheap but it was lovely. And they give you five big cocktails to go with your five tasting plates of food. Delicious. Only next time I will insist we sit away from the door. It was cold. But a good time was had by all.

Friday night the boy played his computer game all night in some sort of competition. He woke me up at 8am, still buzzing from the excitement of winning. Having had three “V” drinks and four coffees, there was no way he was ready to sleep. He went off to work for a couple of hours, then came home and slept from 10.30am until 5pm when I made him get out of bed. Meanwhile I did five loads of washing.

Yesterday I decided to visit the new Apple Store at Doncaster. I’m so happy it’s open. It’s only 20 minutes from my house which is much better than the other store at Chadstone, which takes me an hour to get to. I bought a cover for my iPhone, two car charges for both the iPhone, and a spare USB charger for the boy to take to work, for his iPhone. I could have spent a lot more money but restrained myself. I want to get a MacBook Pro but can’t really justify it yet. One day…

Teaching an old dog new tricks

I’ve spent the past three days in school, learning how to use InDesign. It’s something I use at work to do our publications, so it’s handy to know a few more tricks. It was good, and the teacher was really interesting, so that was good too, but it’s convinced me once again that there is no way in hell I could ever go back to university. Being in a class room is not my idea of a good time. Three days was more than enough for me.

I got my certificate and a bonus prize of two free movie tickets. It’s a shame there are no good movies to go and see at the moment.

The weekend stretches ahead of me which is nice. It’s Mother’s Day here on Sunday so we’re taking mum out for brunch. I got her some cooking DVDs so that should keep her entertained for a while. Hope she doesn’t read this before then.

Hey look! I even managed to change the colour of my blog without breaking anything! Okay so I didn’t learn that in InDesign but still, it’s worth mentioning.

Wondering what to talk about

Amazingly, the chocolate chip cookies have lasted more than five minutes and there are still a couple left for me to have with my cuppa this afternoon.

I ended up having Thursday off work as well, I woke up that morning and felt like I’d been swallowing razorblades. Not fun. I did go to work yesterday but my dear boss told me I looked “pale” and sent me home after lunch. Very kind of her. I’m not sure how she knew I was pale since I am sporting a pale look all over these days 🙂 Once upon a time I used to be very tanned but we know that’s not good for you and I have been working hard on the porcelain skin look for years now.

I can’t remember if I mentioned that for my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary in December (and for Christmas), we bought them a holiday. They chose eight days in New Zealand and they have been there for a week now, arriving home tomorrow. I hope they’ve had a wonderful time. I haven’t heard anything so I’m assuming it’s all gone well.

The cold weather has arrived with a vengeance this weekend. On Thursday it was a balmy 26degC, today it will be lucky to make it to 15C. At least we’re getting a bit of rain. Our water storages are at 28% capacity which is NOT good. We have been on water restrictions for longer than I care to remember, hence the dead garden.

The little black cat is asleep under the doona at the moment. She has the right idea!

I blinked and I missed it…

… the rest of the week, that is. It’s already Saturday and I don’t know how that happened. What did I do for the past three days?

Thursday I went to work. That was pretty uneventful. Oh that’s right, we had to take the Subaru in for its service, and also for a product recall from LAST YEAR (not that I’m annoyed by how long it’s taken someone to book the car in; I wouldn’t want you to think that) and of course there is no Subaru dealer close by so we had to go to Doncaster which is a solid 30 minute drive in traffic with stupid people and… don’t get me started. But we finally took the damn car in. Then of course on Thursday night we had dinner with Brooke and Greg and Jeannie, which was really nice. I hope they enjoyed it too.

Friday…? Oh yes, I had a headcold. Still do, in fact. Spent all day in my sleepy pants being a slob on the couch. I did manage to do two loads of laundry so that was very productive.

Today has been busy. We have been back to Doncaster to pick up the car, been out for breakfast, and then I came home and wrote a shopping list of all the ingredients for the lasagne I intend to make from scratch on Monday. I’m good! Also another load of laundry. Aren’t you glad you stopped by today?

I feel sad because I have not bought any new shoes for ages. I might have to remedy that next weekend.