Thursday, January 29, 2009

Unpacked and reinstalled...

We stayed at a delightful B&B cottage in Wodonga on the way back from Melbourne for three reasons really...

1 - Half way point, 

2 - A chance to rest our bones over night; and,

3 - A way of prolonging such a fun trip for just one more day!

And I had to take a photo of these ex wooden crates turned into a bookshelf, after all they seem to have been named after sanctimonious, pretentious moi!

And this made me think of the plume!

Now home, well and truly unpacked and reinstalled, I find myself very content.  But already planning our next adventure!

Shell xx

Monday, January 26, 2009


I am your child.
I am long summer days, 
Mountain, river, plains.
I am free, 
to sit under trees and daydream your beauty.
I bravely weather your storms, or your fires...
I am loyal, and thankful, feel your spirit, take pride in your name!
And praise the Lord,
That people, long before and since I, 
Arrived here, and made you their home,
So that I may be, your faithful child, pondering...
My passion and my delight in such a guardian, and friend, as you!

Shell xx

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day Seven - Melbourne!

Early on Monday morning we checked out of our Ballarat B&B and were bound for the beautiful city of Melbourne.  This was the first morning glimpse of the city skyline which I snapped from inside the car! 

Upon arriving we had two different directions - Jamie, Emma and (for some of the day) Campbell were going to the Australian Open tennis, to meet up with fellow tennis loving Tullys!  Sean, Tara and I were meeting up with my wonderful mother in law for a spot of Melbourne's great shopping!

And this was some of what we saw, just wandering around like happy little Canberrans on holiday!

Mine and Campbell's feet on the beautiful mosaic floor in one of Melbourne's many gorgeous arcades.  

Shell xx

Friday, January 23, 2009

Brief Interlude...

Firstly; I hope it's making sense that I am back now and posting about our little adventure from home, as there weren't as many WiFi hotspots in country South Australia and Victoria as I had perhaps imagined!  But I made lost of notes and took loads of photos and I was posting in my head all along...

So I dunno about you, but I am enjoying the documenting of our journey here on this wee blog!

Secondly; to the Brief Interlude from my travel diary -

I went to the supermarket today to buy ingredients for "Chilli" (con carne), which as they say in the South, I had a "hankering" for.

I wanted some super-organic-funky-non-Doritos tasting corn chips to complete the feast, and in the health food isle I found these!

And they're blue!  (Ooh makes me think of  the Bower Bird)! I had never even heard of blue corn, and these chips were delicious! They also looked great with my presentation of a good ole' fashioned hearty din din!

Time to eat!

Shell xx

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day Five - Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

On Saturday morning we explored McLaren Vale, visited a winery (pitty I don't like wine, but the views of vineyards as far as the eye could see were beautiful)!  We took Sean (who is three, and mad about trains) to a cafe which was converted from an old train.

Then we were off to see my mother who lives near the beach.  These are hers and my feet!

And mine and Tara's...

Emma, Campbell and Sean frolicked around in the water and had the most wonderful time!

Later that day I had a chance to catch up with my little brother.  Somehow distance, and the swift passing of years have seen us apart for eight of them.  He was a little less like a boy and more like a man, so familiar, this person I grew up with.  Yet there was so much we had to catch up on.  We both agreed to not let distance or time keep our hearts and minds apart again. 

Shell xx

Day Four - was a day...

Early in the morning we drove into Adelaide, the city of churches.

Caught up with an old friend.  Funny that when we were at school together we were 15.  Now we're both 30...  Her eyes and her smile were wonderful to see.  Her hugs triggered memories of school and adolescenthood, how I would not want to be that young again, but when I was, all the better I was, for a friend like her... : )

* * * * *

An hours drive, and a pretty archway led us into the provincial town of Tununda.

I felt a little bit strange about visiting my Omi.  I love her, dearly.  But she has recently been in bad health, and I'd had a dream, or a vision or some sort of prophetic understanding that she was in imminent danger health wise.  I hate to say it, but I almost feared I may miss her...

When we arrived at the house, (such a lovely house), I knew she wasn't there.  You know how sometimes in your life, there are things you just know?

There was a note, from my aunty, Omi was in hospital.  So we went to see her there.


I kissed her cheeks, and held her hands,
I looked in her eyes, and wiped her weary tears.
I was sorry to be young,
incase I made her feel old...

As we talked, we laughed and cried,
about everything passed,
and somethings still to come;
And while we talked I forgot that I was young!
and she, that she was old.
Just we were two women, 
Two mothers, 
Two wives, 
...talked and laughed and cried,
and whether we were young or old,
Were we glad that day, to be together, and alive!

Shell xx

Day Three - South Australia

On Thursday we were bound for South Australia - as the song goes!

It was fascinating and exciting to follow the map with my very un-map-savvy fingers!  

To stop for lunch, ice creams, a look, take photos or just drive through and admire the little towns along the way, many of them I had never even heard of.  

I have relaxed in the passenger seat of our faithful car,  looked out the window, admired the plains, the hills, the trees, listened to great music, amused the children with toys, jokes and giggles; (answered every question about Australian wildlife, and possibly everything else in the entire universe!) and most wonderfully, it's been a great chance to talk extensively with my best friend. 

Our cottage to call home for the next three days was called Black Rabbit Cottage.  A cute, quaint place which felt homey and served us well.

There was a friendly dog called Jess...

...who offered to eat any, or all food that we should be so good as to throw her way!  

Observe our lovely platter of fresh local produce!

(Except perhaps the Jarlsberg cheese, which we owe to the Norwegians)!

Black Rabbit cottage was truly lovely!  So secluded, yet with Optus 3G I could still check my Facebook messages to confirm a meeting the following morning with a beloved old school friend.

Inside and out, the cute little touches (like this fantastic window!) were enchanting.

A great place to base ourselves as we were to visit some of my family over the next few days.  What adventures would await us?

Shell xx

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day Two - Mildura

Today we drove across the Hay plains.  In heat that was unspeakable.  

What can I say then about it other than this:

The temperature recorded on the car thermometer!  At 6pm!

They make the days hot round here, and the ground flat.  And the soil went from red to gold, to desert sand.

It is strange to already be so far from where I woke up this morning.  But Mildura is beautiful.  The people are country, and lovely.

The food is divine.  And the cottage we are staying in I think I may never want to leave!  But the road is only a few hours away for us, so now I must sleep.

Tomorrow we cross the border into South Australia, where I was born...

Shell xx

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day One - Drive to Griffith

The morning of the day arrived and we set off bright, early, buzzing and excited.

I find car trips relaxing, the prospect of getting away from my daily routine exciting; and even though poor little Sean had some car sickness today, we just pulled together as a team to help with Sean, and take care of one another.  

It showed me how families away on a trip see a more condensed side of one another, I was pleased to notice how big and helpful Emma and Campbell have become.  I felt like I had two big kids to help me with my two younger babies, we had fun and got to Griffith in good time.  

We walked in the evening, soaked up the heat (no see breeze), I looked at my feet against red earth...

This is how you can tell Australia, by the varying colours of soil, as we drove along we watched the colours change from gold to red, what colours will we see tomorrow I wonder?

We looked at big churches, antique shops (which were antiques in themselves), and just enjoyed each other and enjoyed being.

We set out for Mildura in the morn.

Shell xx