Archive for April, 2021

BBB – The Wrap

Posted: April 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

Great to dip our toes in the travel world again even if only interstate for now. At present we will take what we can

The flying experience is a little different but not arduous. Qantas Club is low key with food on offer being very basic but is still a good place to chill. Good coffee. Just have to try and not get there 2 hrs before flight leaves like use to for international flights. Masks are a nuisance at times but a small price to pay . A 2 hr flight was ok, not sure howa mask for a 5 hr flight would go. On board once again the “refreshments” are very basic and no alcohol on any flight that LEAVES before 5 pm as opposed to being in the air after 5 pm! Will never leave Brisvegas again first up on a Monday morning – too busy. The Melbourne QC was good though being of the PM visit format….

Of course, with the return of flying comes the return of the moron, of the ignorant/arrogant variety. 737s load from both ends as explained verbally and by bloody big signs! Rows 15-30 ? Board from back steps. Ah nope. Sitting at Seat row 16 and having had an easy board from back (steps not withstanding) sit in seat while dickhead after dickhead wanders down from front to back and usually the ones with the large carry ons. Then of course we come in to land and several announcements about seat upright, mobile devices .,window shades yada yada yada. Ah nope. Every 3-5 rows hostie has to lean in to tell someone to do something they have been asked politely to do several times already. My solution? Send them on a plane to China for a week . On China Air. To Wuhan. They will learn to pay attention trust me

Melbourne remains a fave city to visit. It was pretty quiet in CBD still, no doubt due the that alpha numeric bastard still on the prowl. The Langham was an excellent choice for accommodation. The weather is a big factor of course and Autumn and Spring are much more appealing than in Qld. Not much point leaving Qld for June to August as the weather is usually booteeful here . If USA in Feb is no longer viable then could see more visits to Melbourne in those months. Its a great walking city , especially for people with functioning legs

Trains work well in Victoria and run on time. Good value with Seniors card 🙂 Regional Victoria is a bit cooler of course and some days just dont warm up. Perfect….if only

Always great to have local guides to show you around and then fill you up at night for all the major food groups and a couple extra thrown in for fun. 5 days of that diet was certainly my limit methinks. Still thats why trakkies suit cold weather so well. After experiencing early winter in April next trip should be late Autumn in June – Darwin. Talk about climate change . There needs to be an investigation…… ok will spare you Tooves this time.

Highlight ? Would go with the tasting menu at Balgownie Estate near Bendigo for a number of reasons mostly amusing. Smitty was a woeful choice for doing a wine tasting with unless you were at the bar. He carried 2 glasses only at a time and invariably got them wrong. The tasting menu had a price and nothing more. No matching wine offer – odd. No listing of each course – “the chef likes to surprise you”. When one plate with only 4 oysters came out we wondered if that was one of our 6 courses. The next was equally small but tasty. After that really picked up in variety , quantity and quality. No point asking the waitress what the menu was as guess she liked to be surprised too . Luckily they were chosen mostly from main menu so just read it for ourselves. By end of day full as a goog and also good value at $95 ea . Not so much recommended but certainly glad we did it. Freddo gave it 3/5 – I concur

Quiet pleasant weather even in Maryhole at present. Back to barista, golf course and gym tomorrow . In that order

BBB – Day 8

Posted: April 25, 2021 in Uncategorized

In a slight rewriting of history and on the 8th day He rested . From chopping wood anyway . Idle hands being the devils work though…

Another glorious start to the day on what will be our last full day in Victoria and certainly last day of being full for a while . Let’s hope the sun stays out all day for a change . I went for my usual 5 k run while CLP caught up on all her social media commitments . One of those is a blatant lie, one a slight exaggeration.

Will be a short trip into Castlemaine this morning for a loiter and latte. We drank red wine on Saturday and white on Sunday so intrigued what is left to try tonight but am sure it will be enjoyable.

The sun is fighting the good fight but losing on points at present . Still that’s why God created sheep on Day 3 from memory – to provide us with jumpers duh. Castlemaine has not changed much since last visit and is a very pleasant laid back place. We parked and walked a few streets while the ladies did secret women’s business . It does have an amazing bookstore . We then decided to head back to Harcourt Store for that coffee and early lunch. The sun was catching up but still cool . Very nice pie/quiche and salad but the coffee was only like warm

Then settled in for a quiet afternoon before the Pinot Noir challenge later on and some Pulled Pork for dinner . Took a tour of the newly built man shed under blazing sun and here I am without my sluggos.

Considering the guys were working for several hours I thought the shed, while functional , was underwhelming .

Sorry, what’s that you say ? Oh that’s the rabbit trap , the shed is over there ya clown. in this climate I would have gone with a roof but no denying the natural light is great 🤓

Back down the hill and await the afternoon festivities to begin . There could be a sun and yardarm involved on this booteeful day . The ingredients for a long night were there for all to see but only for me to drink . Yay

The festivities began with a bang as in a large G&T in an even larger glass 😳 This could get ugly

Then came the Pinot Noir challenge . Two bottles same year but different location . I went with Dan Murphy’s Aisle 3 but was only out by about 15,000 Kim.

Luckily there was some food to eat to help soak up the alcohol. Pulled Pork, chocolates and Cards against Humanity – it’s the COVID lockdown trifecta buster folks.

Made it to 8:15 pm which is pretty much a record this visit . Officially as full as a state school hat rack and see some alcohol free days in immediate future . Maybe not tomorrow though with Qantas Club beckoning and an afternoon flight….. I am only human after all.

Tomorrow will be a long day of the Planes, Trains and Automobiles caper. Drive to Castlemaine and catch train to Melboring, taxi to airport, flight to Brisvegas and then drive home to Flashman Inc , Sunshine Coast HQ that night. Then the highlight of the trip – the drive home to Maryhole the next morning to resume life as we know it. It has been great to travel again even in baby steps . Also great to see family . Next trip is a week in Darwin in June where I don’t think we have any family or at least none we admit to. That will finish my Capital City Bingo card have been carrying around for many years now

Word on the street is the COVID jab will be offered to us younguns by middle May so will check on that on Wednesday and line up pants down, bedflute pointing north at the appropriate time. Of course , Maryhole is expecting their first shipment of the Polio vaccine next month so may have to look further afield . Later dudes and dudettes.

Posted: April 24, 2021 in Uncategorized


BBB – Day 7

Posted: April 24, 2021 in Uncategorized

Woke a tad seedy after a solid effort last night but was immediately entranced by a glorious sunrise on this significant day . Had I really slept in until 10 am 🤔

The fire wood supply was starting to look a bit low so time to head out to wood pile with Freddo and grab some wood in the barrow as you do. Hmm, those logs look somewhat intact and thick🤔 Yes , we need to chop them up with this thing that is very sharp at one end. But I don’t want to be a lumberjack… or do I …

It was a glorious morning so we set to work tag team style but forgot our matching outfits . To be fair Freddo did most of it as I had accidentally wandered out in my slippers . We got a barrow full which should last 24 hrs. Maybe we need a bigger barrow

After our usual yummy breakfast it was time to head out for some nature on this glorious morning. Went to room, got changed and came back out and suddenly someone had stolen that orange ball out of the sky 😳 Oh well , add an extra layer and hit the road . We went to Barkers Creek Reservoir for some exercise and edumacation.

Now for that morning coffee. We drove past a few usual faves but they were all a jumping on this particular day so we ended up at Castlemaine and Padres Cafe. I wanted to go back to Frau Blucher at Das Kaffeehaus but apparently my photo is up on the wall and not allowed back in after last time. Perfectly fine , if lukewarm , coffee and some toasted fruit buns closed out the morning in style. Back home for lunch to ward off fading away and could foresee a nana nap in near future .

As late afternoon approached I could feel our resolve to be smarter tonight starting to slip. It was a cool grey afternoon or as they call it in Victoria – Autumn. Watch some Anzac Day footy but being in foreign lands it may not be the good one . Oh well

Of course watching footy in Harcourt at 5 pm – or doing anything for that matter – does require some dexterity

The Dons won, the Roosters won. Time for dinner . Another booteeful meal with accompanying alcohol in a shiraz free zone. In fact the drinks tonight would fit right in at a Pro Trump rally – white as far as the eye can see. Nothing wrong with that of course …. when talking about alcohol 😏

Another wonderful day comes to an end and only one more to go now 😰 . As sad as I may be can only imagine how devastated my devoted followers must feel to think a blog free zone approaches

BBB – Day 6

Posted: April 23, 2021 in Uncategorized

Time does fly when you are having fun. An early night followed by an early morning went almost as planned. Not a fan of the new sleep mode on iPhone as only way to set up alarm. I showed this to Lorraine yesterday for the alarm I set for flight down. Despite me not actually touching anything to my knowledge the alarm was again activated as evidenced by a loud ringing noise at 415 am followed by a slap across the ear from my beloved . This extra safety net option of a double whammy so to speak could catch on and ensure you do wake up👨🏻‍🦳

Plans are pretty loose for today , if only jeans could follow suit . Let’s watch the sun come up first – you know in 2 hrs time. Then some breakfast before heading into Bendigo for some general loitering it appears .

Some supplies to pick up for a few meals ahead and a walk around a lake sounded like a hoot

I was keen of course but soon left behind so found a bench and warmed it. The 3 Amigos continued on and if a race caller would have gone with Freddo by 2 lengths pulling away . No surprises there

We stopped for a good coffee in Strathdale before grabbing some more supplies from Edwards Providore . My little angel has been my crutch these last few days 🤮 We should be set now for the next 36 hrs assuming there is enough alcohol at home. Yeah, I crack myself up at times.

Settled in for a relaxing afternoon before the serious business starts again around 5 pm . By serious I mean Wagyu and Shiraz.

We did the weekend quizzes in the papers and there is a remote chance we are not as smart as we think we are. The weather has again remained that constant slight gloom and 15 degrees. No complaints here folks

Time to check on news of the world just to cheer one up . Freddo buys the weekend papers but I scan the online sources. Does make you wonder….

Well, 5 pm did eventually roll around and the world rejoiced. Well, at least in Windy Hill. Time for some group photos

Time to fire up the barbie and the liver but not in that order necessarily

The food and drink were excellent as usual and it was a wonderful night . Did we eat and drink too much ? Well duh. Let’s worry about that tomorrow, life is good

And then it was time to call it a night. Or was it…… help

BBB – Day 5

Posted: April 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

Despite some impressive imbibing last night slept pretty well and woke up dull eyed and bushy tailed as usual. Despite the cool temps outside the house is toasty with the wood fire burning 24/7 . Main plan today is a lunch time visit to Balgownie Winery Eatery near Bendigo. We know when we start just not sure when we will finish…..

Let’s check the weather first and always best to ignore the 37 weather apps and just look outside . Sweet

An easy morning lazing around the homestead had us all dressed up and nowhere to go at 11 am. So we went to Balgownie Winery . When we arrived they were shooting promo shots for Twins 2 – The Later Years

It was an impressive looking cellar door with beautiful Autumn colours

Thought we would go with the tasting session first as I wasn’t driving . Certainly passable range but nothing stood out as such. The main problem was we were being served by Smitty . It was a slow process

Suitably lubricated we thought let’s lock in the tasting menu. Information was light on and while it was a stated “ 6 course “ there was no idea as to what each course was. As no “ matching wine “ option was offered thought it was best to go with a bottle of white and red 😏

Started off slowly with one oyster each and then a toothpick flavoured by wagu beef. At $95 per head for food only alarm bells were starting to ring. However from there on things picked up and ended up excellent value for money . The food was ample and tasty but the actual interaction with staff was not what one expects for a quality degustation. No real explanation of each course as tasty as they may have been . We checked with the menu each time to check what we were actually eating. 3 bottles of wine helped . The desserts were especially impressive though. On the plus side might have got a knob kiss with the bill as suspect they missed one of the bottles of wine

An easy way to spend 3 hours so we thought time to waddle outside into the emerging sunshine in very pleasant grounds. Designated driver probably needed 30 mins rest 😏 I made the mistake of asking Smitty to take the photos so framing was questionable

Time to head home and settle in for the night . Food may not be required but one never says never at 430 pm in the afternoon. While we decide let’s sit outside in the cold and have another expressi martini . They don’t have alcohol in them do they….

BBB – Day 4

Posted: April 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

Certainly a tad brisk in the mornings and of course stays dark until lunch time but this why we travel – experience the culture of distant lands. When I find some culture in Victoria you will be the first to know trust me . Today could be the start with the Mary Quant exhibit on at the Bendigo Art Gallery. When first mentioned am sure I heard Merry Quart so quickly agreed as assumed it was a winery . Alas no but the good news is there are only 110 garments on display to check out. At least now may get some sympathy as Lorraine has suggested I try using a crutch to support whichever particular joint is causing most pain that day. Today’s winner is…….ankle. Am sure the cooler weather in general ain’t helping but does come with its benefits , the prime one being it’s not Maryhole ! I wonder if it’s cooler outside

It is . Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s off to Bendigo we go . Could I be any keener ?

Bendigo Art Gallery was exactly where I left it last time . Now was my last chance to escape but the bloody crutch slowed me down 😰

Oh well, when in Rome. Being about some Sheila from the 60s there certainly were some great images of a great period. You just had to move 110 dresses to see them . Oddly I was the only male there , at least of the straight variety . A couple of well dressed men seemed particularly interested in my crutch. It was then I wish I hadn’t left the walking aid back in the car or I could have hit them over the head with it 🕺🏻

The time literally flew by and what seemed like only an hour and 10 mins was actually an hour and 10 mins 😏 Then it was time for an early lunch in town . Very tasty chicken curry at Hoo-Gah hit the spot before some minor shopping was done and then back on the road.

Decamped back at Windy Hill on Cloudy Day. The sun wasn’t threatening and nor was 15 degrees. Perfect . Weather predicted to remain much the same all stay . Big Bro is due home any minute so will sign off now and start drinking some water in preparation for night ahead.

Knee 4/10 – maybe switch crutch tomorrow

Ankle 6/10 – crutch assisted

Chance of a good nights sleep – 0/ 10 but nothing to do with knee or ankle I suspect …

BBB – Day 3

Posted: April 20, 2021 in Uncategorized

They say fool me once shame on you, fool me twice and I must be a moron. Only explanation for why I would line up for another 35 min walk to breakfast this morning. We have our fave haunts in Melboring and another is Seven Seeds Coffee Roastery in Carlton. Maybe I should get my nuts roasted if I maintain this goldfish like memory! Mind you, the look on the business owners faces when we rock up and they remember us is almost worth the pain that will surely follow.

The weather has cleared as predicted and a pleasant 8 degrees in the city . Not a bad nights sleep all things considered so onward and upward . Now just to try and get out of bed first . First dilemma of course is do I wear the new swag from yesterday or go with the tried and tested ? As my last few hours in Melbourne thought best not to tease the female populace and then leave them hanging so will save the new stuff for the 3 ladies that live in Harcourt knowing that one has already been vaccinated against the Ferguson Male species. It’s that rare case where the actual disease is the clot rather than a pleasant side effect of the jab.

Headed off with remnants of night still with us. Luckily there was a guiding light from Buffoon Bob. Lordy Lordy take me now

Crossed the street quickly and soldiered on . Finally made it and pleased to see it hasn’t changed . Very full breakfast indeed and a good coffee is all one can reasonably ask for . Seemed a tad early for a lap dance to be honest

By now had decided time to try out this Myki card and also save lower extremities for later tomfoolery . Hopped on at Victoria markets and …. in the free tram zone, DO NOT use Myki card . Oh well. Down to Flinders Street then . Or so we thought . Approached to within about 300m for yet another stop and to be fair a lot of people got on. No announcement mind you. Then we hit reverse! Ok, so we got off at Little Collins and were able to walk off some more of that breakfast .

Our short stay in Melboring has been great but now time to catch a slow moving train northwards to bustling Kyneton. Langhams has been great and level of service is excellent . Train left on time, always a good start . Not crowded so should be a relaxing 70 min trip . The chick across the aisle started to hit on me straight up of course. Looked familiar but these masks are confusing

Our Uber was waiting for us at Kyneton station as we arrived on a simply glorious day. First stop was the Little Swallow Cafe which was a rocking for a Wednesday . Very passable Reuben sandwich hit the spot which was suitably pre lubricated by the local froth in an ice cold glass

It was certainly brisk on the street . In fact you could say it was Fook Shing cold and if you don’t believe they even have the sign to make sure

Lorraine asked if I would like a paddle now and was starting to think the K in Kyneton maybe stood for kinky 😳 Alas my concerns were allayed as we continued down the main drag to Animus Gin distillery . Pretty impressive looking place for a small town. That was the next hour sorted

Then the words all men fear. “ There are a couple of nice dress shops up the other end of town” . To be fair it was a short stop but fear could be a forerunner for tomorrow. If only there was some fashion exhibit on at the museum as well 😏 I am outnumbered at present until Bro arrives home tomorrow night . On the bright side does leave more wine for me . Now just have to find a nice fire , take off a few bandages and straight into the slippers. Hey, there is one over there . Later folks

BBB – Day 2

Posted: April 19, 2021 in Uncategorized

As expected a shocker of a nights sleep. Lovely quiet room but have the cement encased doona as only option so either lay on top and get a chill or lay under and can’t move. Not as if the room AC was doing much except making noise . Some investigation is required

Which does remind me. Again, when in a city ( usually OS to be fair) that has potential for chilly climes as soon as night time temps drop below about 18 degrees all restaurants have to have the bloody thermonuclear heating devices right next to you. And fark me if the locals still don’t rock up in head to toe velvet . I suspect the Universal Cafe may be a Fave for the student brigade as seriously 90% last night were having the chicken parm and chips plate and it was massive . Probably only meal for the day . I digress

Today’s plan then first up was to find a breakfast option nearby that came in under the 2000 calorie limit self imposed momentarily . And a good coffee. And all before the bad weather rolls In around 10 am. I suspect the weather forecasting is no better down here but Melboring does have a rep for some fast moving dodgy weather . Quick peek outside indicates we are good to go

So we went . Wasn’t sure where we would go for breakfast but we will cross that bridge at the time. Here is one I prepared earlier

Slowly made our way into CBD and have to say still seems rather quiet these days even at 8 am. Found the Block Arcade and asked Scotty Cam what he would recommend for breakfast . Of course he went with the French option of Cafe St Germaine and we opted for the crepes. Tres delicious and while waiting for Pierre got a haircut and met some locals

Weather still good so to make most of it walked the 27 kms to DFO. Put CLP to shame with a wild shopping extravaganza of jeans , shoes and a belt . By now the skies were gray as we waddled back to Langhams to offload the goodies . And some other things . CLP was keen for lunch at Il Solito Posto but it had been impossible to book as they were not open until 1130 am today and were not answering phone before that . Being seat of your pants type relaxed folk we trudged up to arrive around 1135 and take our chances . The place was jumping as apparently they open at 1030 am for coffee. Just don’t answer the fucking phone it seems. So Mario said he could squeeze us in but don’t serve lunch until midday. I suggested maybe we could order a coffee and wait and we became best buds after that . Or so I thought. He looked after us well and took order even before midday . Sadly we didn’t get our main meal until 40 mins later even though others around us ordered afterwards and were eating before us. When he bought our plates he informed us the risotto takes longer “ I should have told you “ Odd then how the Sheila behind me is hoeing into a risotto she ordered after us. Unfriended Mario! It was a lovely meal of course and well worth the effort

By now some rain was falling but not too disruptive so a last check at Myers on way home to see if could finally get CLP to buy something before settling in for the afternoon . It had been a long and productive day but man the body is falling apart

Knee 3 /10

Ankle 0.5/10

The Langham has been great and could well become our go to Melboring hotel. It is a very classy joint only enhanced by my presence natch . Mind you the first hotel have stayed out I recall that has condoms in the mini fridge. Something cool to slip into after a hard day 😏

Misty afternoon ahead so will chill for a few and could be a relaxing bath in near future . After a fair go at the old feed bag last 24 hrs we thought we would stay in tonight and get the Charcuterie Board and Bottle of Wine deal delivered to our room . Luckily there won’t be much eating or drinking at our Harcourt Haven for next 5 days………..

It’s fair to say that the actual charcuterie board does not bear a close resemblance to the pictured one 😏 $79 doesn’t get you much these days and who needs 3 breadsticks! Only going to cause a fight in a couple. Mind you we did score with the good champers

Off to Harcourt North tomorrow via a train to Kyneton. Weather forecast in Harcourt tomorrow is mouth watering . 1 to 14 degrees

Darool Darool

Finally some travel not involving car only is here . It is a flight/accomodation credit from 10 months ago finally looking like happening. Originally planned as 5 days in Melboring and a few days with Bro and Wifey in Harcourt. All booked and then a couple on months ago our accomodation in Melboring contacted us to say yeah no, it ain’t happening Sonny. They did give a full refund so quickly changed to a couple of days at the Langham and then extended the free loading at Harcourt as you do from a few days to a few more . Hence we are in the travel bubble ( green zone permit) , we will be seeing my brother and we will be drinking every day. Hence, the title ain’t rocket science folks. Still clever though eh

Early start from Maplehead had us looking for a park in P1 with only 3 hrs until flight 😏 Of course when planned it all did not realise it would be same day as travel bubble with NZ opened. Being we are domestic not a major issue but have to say Qantas Domestic is very busy on a Monday morning with all the workers heading off to regional Qld it appears . Looks like an episode of Orange is the New Black here in the club .

So, safely ensconced in Qantas Club for a couple of hours . Coffee was fine but food options limited . Still all very good considering the troubled times we are still in. Just a basic economy flight down as saving up the money for the booze later on. Of course this was before latest medical episode . Had been having some knee issues last few weeks so went to Doc and had X-ray done. It would appear a knee replacement is in my future due to “ degeneration “ but not next week so just suck it up for now. Spooky as DGen always a fave.

Needless to say it may cause some issues with sitting in a cramped seat etc. Time will tell . Walking the streets of Melboring shopping may be curtailed as well as not all bad news….

Well , we left on time so that’s a good start . They usually claim “ in flight wi fi available “ but rarely works. This time it did , even at the fat end of the plane. Now , how to make 1 bikkie and a cup of tea last 2 hrs. If only I had a paper to read …

All my whining pays off at times as CLP organised a limo driver to take us to our Langham Lodgings and thus avoid any more GU momentarily. Room was ready and is a great corner room as requested so all settled in and not even 1 pm

Time then for some lunch and always like a Guinness first up at PJ OBriens . Easy walking distance but CLP insisted on driving

Time then to relax for a bit before heading up to Lygon Street later for dinner and drinks. At this stage plan on walking so leaving at 230 pm! We do have our Myki cards though just in case

Well I made it 100 m and then settled in for a G&T once we saw the Fever Tree sign. Our first, but not last, introduction to scan in menu and order and pay on your phone. Then they expect a tip as well ! FMS. Then headed off for the hour trek to Lygon Street and settled in at Johnny’s Bar which was a rooftop bar of course so just a bit of extra climbing. Great views back over city and very noice beer. Then back to Universal Cafe for a very tasty Italian meal .

By now full as a goog so despite multiple atrocities below the waist needed to walk home. Hey it was downhill. Of course anyone else who has bad knees and ankles knows downhill often worse. After a slow crawl we saw the Lights of Langham in the distance a mere 300 m away. Sweet I would be home in 25 mins 😏

So , a full day in all that does remind us why we love Melboring. Rain expected tomorrow but we shall cope . At present just want my bed

Knee 4/10

Ankle 3/10

Chance of good nights sleep 0/10