Little things: to market, to market

On Sunday Dave and I went to the local Vietnamese fresh food market ‘Little Saigon’ to have lunch and stock up on fish, fruit and veggies for the week. It’s one of my all time favourite domestic things we do. Obviously I love Vietnam so I get a kick out of seeing and tasting all the things I’ve encountered on my holidays but I love the energy and the honesty of this place. I don’t know if that sounds stupid but there are no fancy signs, there are no pristine shelves or 2 for 1 deals. There are plates of fruit cut up for tasting and people just use their fingers and help themselves. There are people shouting out their prices loud and fast in Vietnamese. The herbs are 99 cents a bunch and there are live mud crabs lined up in rows in plastic tubs. The food stalls on the sidelines sell crispy fried calamari, dumplings, rice paper rolls and all kinds of other tasty things.

We go there for the experience and the fruit tasting as much as the cheap prices and fresh produce. I get more excited than a normal person should about grocery shopping but I just think it’s the best part of living where we do. 20130429-220507.jpg20130429-220537.jpg20130429-220546.jpg20130429-220555.jpg20130429-220604.jpg20130429-220619.jpg

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A visit to Walhalla

For the Queen’s Birthday long weekend Dave and I escaped to West Gippsland for a well-deserved minbreak. It’s a great place to go in winter because it’s cold but it’s green, hilly and gorgeous and there are lots of little towns to visit. My favourite town was Walhalla. Founded in 1863, Walhalla is an old gold mining town nestled in a valley in the Baw Baw Ranges. Spending the day there was like spending time in a different era. Cute and cosy cottages are built into the mountainside, the old hillside public cemetery watches over the town and the Goldfields Railway winds its way through the forest alongside a gushing Stringers Creek.

Our visit coincided with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations so we were treated to Devonshire tea in the town hall, people in costume and bagpipes (confession: I love bagpipes!). Next time we go we will definitely be staying the night in one of the lovely cottages or at Walhalla’s Star Hotel. I could easily spend a couple of days there soaking up the history. Here are some snaps of Walhalla but they don’t even begin to capture the beauty and atmosphere of the town.

P.S. If you look closely, you might just spot yours truly…

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A visit to the land of the long white cloud

We spent Easter in Auckland, New Zealand. What a lovely place to relax, enjoy the ample beaches and escape the inconsistent Melbourne weather! For somewhere only a few hours away by air it seemed a world away in terms of its beautiful landscape; the cool blue of the ocean visible from just about everywhere and land scattered with the lush green of ferns, palm trees and volcanic mountains. As I am something of a cloud enthusiast I was looking forward to going somewhere known as the Land of the Long White Cloud and I was not disappointed. On the day we went to Piha Beach a long white cloud hovered above the ocean and seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. Gorgeous.

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