“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Thursday 31 March 2011

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

After much deliberation as to which day might be the best to visit the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, my friend and I decided yesterday would be the best...well according to the weather forecasts etc. But we are talking about Melbourne here, so even though the grey clouds were looming, off we set. As you can see by the time we arrived it was blue sky's and sun....typical Melbourne.

We decided our plan of attack would be to peruse one side of the grounds first, then up through the sculpture exhibit, on into the Royal Exhibition Building for the floral hall and then to the other side of the grounds, trying to make sure we didn't miss anything in between. Oh, and of course a few stops along the way for tea/coffee's, lunch and a little vino....well its compulsorary and all part of the experience, also very enjoyable too ;-)

There were so many things to photograph I was in danger of my batteries running out....oh and the camera's too.
The light shining through these trees was spectacular
And of course you never know who you might bump into...above Graham Ross - Garden Expert from Better Homes and Gardens 
and below Jason Hodges - Channel 7 Resident Gardener/Landscaper  
I don't wish to brag but Jason did come over to us and chatted for a few mins.
Positively charming!

Not too sure about these next characters though....but they were hilarious and entertaining the crowds with they're antics. The dog was quite naughty....but everyone had a good laugh.

And with the sun still shining we headed into the Exhibition Building.
What a fabulous building.

The perfume in here was quite powerful, but I can imagine as the show moves towards the weekend, it will only intensify as the displays bloom. Some of the arrangements still had numerous buds still to open.
It was a floral feast for the eyes.

This particular bouquet reminded me of my wedding...wow...what a memory....to go back that far!
 This display was good enough to eat...then we realised we hadn't had lunch.
Once outside the crowd was being entertained once more, but this time with this cute snail. He was being enticed around by the 'lady' dangling a piece of lettuce (I never thought I'd think of a snail as cute, but this one was).
In his little shell behind there was a brilliant caravan home with so much detail. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a picture of that.  
I loved these huge teak balls....

Oh, I forgot to mention all the freebies, competitions, children's face painting, cooking demonstrations, and masses of retail display areas too. Well, in fact I've probably still missed lots, but then you should just go and visit yourselves. 
This is a vertical wall of plants...I think definitely better than a concrete wall.
I have to admit it was difficult to keep a blogging head on, because I just kept being swept away with the enjoyment of the day. My sister and daughter will appreciate what I would have been like and will sympathize completely - we usually visit flower/garden shows together and all hyperventilate though-out the visit!
So I may well have to revisit again before Sunday, when the show comes to a close.
Beside, I'm hoping that like the UK Flower Shows ie Tattenhall Park and Chelsea, on the last day of the show at approx. 4pm there's an heightening of excitement, as everyone expects the imminent sale....suddenly a bell rings and then everything at the show is for sale. There's always some brilliant bargains to be had, plus sometimes even things you just wouldn't normally be able to buy.  
I love to see everyone trying to make they're way to the car park carrying or dragging or in fact doing anything they can to get their treasures home.
Some of the sights are truly amazing and hilarious.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Avocado planting

I've wanted to try and grow my own avocado for quite some time now. Each time I cut one open I'd vow I'd give it a go. I'm not sure whether or not its something I'll be able to manage but that's never stopped me having a go planting things before...

Finally I've got one underway

I was thrilled to see the tiny root system....
Unfortunately, things seem to have remained static over the last week or so - it could have had something to do with the fact that I accidentally caught the root and chopped it in half when I changed the water :-(
Oh well...back to the drawing board....
I'm beginning to think I'll have to start a new one. I'll keep you posted.
Meanwhile my little lemon trees are coming on beautifully. These seedlings were already sprouting out of a lemon when I cut it in half. Its the first time I've ever seen that.
The mug by the way, was a little favourite of mine from the UK. Alan Titchmarsh (gardener, author, tv presenter) designed them and I did have a soft spot for it.
But unfortunately the possums didn't.....
I heard them on the decking the other night accompanied by a crash....and yes, you've guessed it....so much for that treasure...pesky possums!
A neighbour recently told me that last year, she had a trap set up in her garden to catch and release her resident possum into the wild....basically anywhere far enough away, but she actually captured 59 over a period of time. Eek!
I'm not sure if they were one and the same - just making a hasty retreat back to base camp - or if they were all different!
That's some serious commitment on all parts....

Candle sculpture

Just a quick post to show how earth hour shaped one of my candles...

It reminds me of a chinese ornament carved out of ivory....

Saturday 26 March 2011

Earth Hour - Australia

Earth Hour 2011
I'm proud to have participated in this year's earth hour, switching off all non-essential lighting and power for one hour this evening.

What a brilliant idea to help everyone rethink their lifestyle.
Thank you Sydney for the inspiration.

Friday 25 March 2011

The honeymoon is over.....

How am I going to break it to this happy couple that the honeymoon is over....

Zac is due to go home on Sunday....I'm not sure how to break it to them :-(

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Prahran Market....

Prahran Market has always been one of my favourite markets here in Melbourne. It stems from the early days after our arrival. It was within walking distance of our first apartment, and as soon as I wondered around and drank in the atmosphere, saw the plentiful seasonal produce that was available, I knew I'd found somewhere I'd be happy to frequent regularly.
Prahran Market is known as "the food lovers market" because of the quality and range of their food.
There are also so many other aspects to the market ranging from the children's amusements, pets corner, the cookery school, a wide range of activities, live music and events that are a regular feature, to name but a few.

I never realised there were so many varieties of tatties, but if you state what dish you are about to create then you'll be advised which potato will be most suitable for the job in hand.

I once saw the largest mushroom I've ever seen in my life on this stall.
It was larger than a serving platter.

I think you can get virtually anything and everything at this market.
This little hardware store is a treasure.

Even Ostrich eggs?......imagine dipping your toast into that chucky egg for breakfast!

Always a favourite with the children...Pets Corner where they can feed the animals - getting up close and personal.

The Fish Stall is amazing and well worth a visit ....

It's a shame I haven't featured all the stalls but then you'd be here for hours, so this is just a snippet to give you a flavour of the place. For all the stalls that didn't get a mention I apologise - its not for any particular reason just time, space and possibly I didn't get a good enough photo! So blame me....

The aroma as you pass this stall is incredible (not that you'll likely pass without stopping) 
It's a pity this screen doesn't have a scratch and sniff button....

This chalk board was so impressive with the full explanation of all the different types of coffee. It was well worth stopping for another cuppa, just to take in all the information.

There are even happy chappies always willing to carry out your wares to the car.
Now that is a service I really appreciate, but unfortunately has long disappeared from many parts.

There was a little rivalry between these two guys, so I had to take the two chaps photo.
But he was so happy it was a pleasure.....I left them deciding who was the most photogenic...

And then there's 'The Essential Ingredient'....wow... I hyperventilate when I visit this shop. Yes, I know for some its shoe shops, fashion boutiques, or handbags but for me its kitchen equipment and books!
I was very honoured to be allowed to take these photo's in the store - so thank you for your permission and hopefully I've done a good job!

Cookery books galore.....

Learn more about Prahran Market from their website....I especially like all the history behind the market.

Monday 21 March 2011

Things that go bump in the night......?

What a night we had last night...virtually awake every hour or so....
Muffin has always been the type of dog to easily be spooked by loud noises, bangs, thunderstorms, fireworks or heavy rainfall on the roof. She was even spooked by clouds, when she lived in the Middle East - well, we didn't see too many of those, except maybe one or two over the winter months, so I suppose that was understandable. By the way, she's fine about them now thankfully, which is just as well.

I digress....back to the story.... numerous times during the night she would start to do her gruffing (which although is only quiet has the amazing ability to get your attention and drive you to distraction) She usually just heads under my son's bed when the eebeejeebies set in, but his door was firmly closed.....he's not daft.
I couldn't work out what was spooking her periodically. She'd kick off then settle again, but unfortunately this happened throughout the whole night. At one point my OH got up and watched the second half of his UK football team play their match...well, he was awake anyway!
(This by the way is a normal activity in our household during the UK football season. The joys of having your team play on the other side of the world and in a different timezone).
Anyway, finally still wide awake, we actually heard a loud ding! Off she went in a tizzy..... We realised at last that it was the sound of the acorns falling off the Oak tree outside and hitting the vehicles parked underneath. Even the ones landing in the road and pavement made quite a noise.

Now the problem is how do we desensitize her for the next few months and the thousands that will fall ....

Saturday 19 March 2011

I see the Moon....

What a spectacular sight...the moon is huge tonight. Perfect in fact.

After a glorious day we are treated to an incredibly clear sky highlighting the moon.
It never ceases to amaze me that from here on this side of the moon, we see the rabbit, but when I'm home in the UK , we see the face.
Whoo....maybe I've indulged in a little too much red wine with dinner....
I often look at the moon and reflect on whether my family on the other side of the world are looking too.....sigh
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