Archive for May, 2022

VtV – Day 6

Posted: May 19, 2022 in Uncategorized

Up in country Victoria now where the weather is brisk and the sheep are nervous . A picture tells a thousand words but in this case only has 67. Shrinkage I assume even if not in the pool.

The sun is rather lazy around these parts and doesn’t get out of bed until about 7 am or just after breakfast time for me normally. I am slowly resetting the body clock just wish could reset some bones and joints . The cool weather does bring it with some arthritic pain but I will soldier on in true Anzac tradition. At the rising of the sun …..

I got out of bed. I see Flannos in immediate future .

An army can’t march on an empty stomach so after running around and waking everyone up accidentally it was breakfast time . Todays plan involved some shopping I believe back in Bendigo. I hope anything the ladies buy they can Return to Sender 🕺🏻

Drove to Bendigo and then went our separate ways based on gender and ability to shop for clothes > 5 mins. Bendigo is a very picturesque town especially in Autumn on a glorious day .

I did walk past one store that had an outfit that couldn’t resist especially as it came with its own woman in tow

Then it was time for an excellent lunch at El Gordo . Well known for its Gin range and classic Tapas et al. The Gin was nothing special mainly because a tad on the meagre side nip wise but the Bocadillos were delish. Bocadillos are like Pecadillos but tasty.

Then it was home for a quiet afternoon before the fun and games start up again late afternoon .

All good things come in threes and so we planned the drinkies accordingly . Afternoon drinkies were G&Ts by the firepit

Then it was time to move inside for the late afternoon drinkies of the grape variety and a delicious dinner of roast pork . A Viogner and a Burgundy Pinot Noir covered all bases and let the liver know we were serious

Then it was time for cheese and the sweet stuff. We did move back out to the firepit briefly and it was a beautiful starry night but rather chilly

And so another wonderful day with family comes to end and we look forward to more festivities tomorrow

VtV – Day 5

Posted: May 18, 2022 in Uncategorized

And so our short stay in Melbourne comes to end and time to actually find that V Line camp and catch one to Bendigo . It’s been a fantastic few days and even though will be back briefly on Monday for a layover before flight home we will be counting days until we can return. Ok, it’s 4 . Ya got me . Finally then one last breakfast at Bond’s Tore where I assume you can only wear underpants 🤔 Ah, it’s Bond Store, that makes more sense …..

Bid farewell to Langhams and it is a keeper especially in the corner deluxe river view King rooms. Very quiet and spacious . Cab to the station in plenty of time just to make sure our Myki cards are working !

Of course the Taxi took 25 mins to travel the 2 klms to station through Melbourne traffic. Train left on time and made sure I got a good seat

Settled into the Quiet carriage for a peaceful 2 hr trip. 40 mins in and noticed a missed phone call being a good lad and having had phone on silent. It was from the Surgeons Office – never a good sign. Stood in the corner like a dunce and phoned them only to find out I was being offered an early bird special for grind and bind. We can do it a week earlier next Thursday ! A quick Brains trust meeting confirmed this was not a good idea not getting home until next Wednesday especially as no discount offered 😏 Back to Roy and HG .

Arrived in Bendigo about 10 mins late and then we went to lunch in Bendigo at Harvest Food and Wine with Sis in Law Lorraine . Very tasty. Fair to say the city has gone Elvis mad with images and memorabilia everywhere . Viva Las Bendigo

Then it was time for our booked visit to the “ Direct from Graceland “ extravaganza. You would think it would be easy to find but really it was just luck on our part 🤓 At least it wasn’t in the ghetto part of town.

As with all things the Bendigo Art Gallery does it was an amazing exhibition and the recurring theme that strikes one is Elvis must have been a bit smaller in stature than you realise judging by the numerous actual clothing items on display.

It was an easy exhibit mostly to walk around with numbers limited for each 30 minute period. The Elvis fans must go a tad ga ga . But of course all good things come to an end and as the saying goes

Time then to head back to Windy Hill in Harcourt North to wait for the worker (hee hee) to arrive home at 530 pm. There could be drinking involved but of course I will be sensible as here 4 nights. Yeah right.

Some Champers of course to start the ball rolling then or at least the eyes. As always Freddo finds the good stuff we would never consider. He also drinks a little faster than Lorraine so was already onto the Chardy

Time for some food then I guess while Freddo rummages through the cellar for that next exquisite treat . I think it was called Starfish Surprise and I bet they were when they were thrown in the oven . Delicious .

We had some dessert so naturally the dessert wine came out and it wasn’t lonely and bought a friend 👍🏻

Then of course discussion turned to Rum and all the varieties you get these days and I mentioned rather smugly I enjoyed Zacapa Guatemalan Solero 23 but it was $100 a bottle . I will see you and raise you $100 says Freddo . Well hello Zacapa Centenario Xo. One bottle , two brothers – only 1 ending

As always a wonderful evening of chat, eating and drinking when we catch up with our southern friends and the good news is we are here another 3 days and the weather will be brisk ……3 – 15 and Sunny.

In QLD we would call that rum drinking weather .

Looks like a visit to Dan Murphy and an ATM tomorrow 😏

VtV – Day 4

Posted: May 17, 2022 in Uncategorized

Good things come in threes – except broken joints – so this morning it was time for Tradition #3 . Coffee and Breakfast at Seven Seeds in Carlton. In previous years have walked the walk and talked the moan but wiser heads will prevail this morning as we tram it up and back the main drag . Still some traversing hill and dale at either end but let’s see if it helps. Certainly plan to reduce protein intake today after the couple of cows inhaled in recent days .

Weather looks a little dicey as we head off or as we say in Melbourne – normal. Will be a cooling of temps when we hit Bendigo tomorrow – Darool Darool. The tram was easy to find and a short walk downhill had us at Seven Seeds. The coffee was very good but sadly not hot enough , a pet peeve of mine. Food was tasty and plentiful but we ordered too much 😏

It was time to Ponder then what to do next ? Hands up anyone who wants some more kulcha

So we walked across a couple of blocks and caught a different tram which not only went in opposite direction to first one – kinda obvious when u think about it – but also crossed the river without getting wet . Before you could say pick ur asso we were at the National Gallery of Victoria . As were 3000 school kiddies it seems. Using the cane to bat them away we made our way inside and then out the back where the Ponder exhibit was on

I don’t mind dipping my toe into Kulcha but think CLP went a bit far . We had been out for a while now so did get caught a bit short in the ablutions department. Let’s just say there is a new sculpture at the gallery that won’t be on display if you get my drift 🤠.

Must say the walking cane has helped a lot . In fact let’s dance

Another fun packed morning only left one question . What to do for our last afternoon ? Let’s spend first hour waiting on phone with Centrelink . Sweet, that just leaves another 5 .

‘‘Twas a relaxing afternoon which meant it must be time for a Beer from a foreign land of course . What are our options you may ask

Ok, that leaves Belgian then I guess . To Google Maps we go . 300 m ? Sweet

Guess we better have dinner now so let’s stroll along Southbank for something fishy . Wait a minute – is that the gin joint Yarra Botannica I see . Can’t hurt to have a couple of 4 Pillars Bloody Shiraz surely against this magnificent backdrop

It didn’t . Ok , now it’s dinner time. Pure South kitchen looked the part with some great fish dishes and a very tasty scallops entree. Throw in a couple of Pinot Grigio and the night fills itself in really

So once again a no real plan approach worked a treat with a couple more memorable moments to savour. It’s off to Bendigo tomorrow on a train for some freeloading with da family after we drop into Graceland to see The King. We will miss Melbourne but shall return no doubt

Flash has left the building 🕺🏻

VtV – Day 3

Posted: May 16, 2022 in Uncategorized

More tired than seedy as another day dawned. For once the sun certainly beat us up even in Melbourne. Speaking of being beaten up a couple of my constituents ( election speak) had signed a petition citing elder abuse and demanding an enquiry. Rather sneakily the left knee had now aligned with the right ankle in a United Party type nonsense campaign of whingeing. I told them they were lucky I wasn’t the size of Clive Palmer or else they would have something to moan about. Whip smart as they are they suggested I could be by end of this holiday judging by first day. When they are right they are right eh

Only planned events today are a few cocktails at Gimlet at 4 pm and a catch up with Number One son Tony later who is down for work at the major hospital in town. I suggest there could be a Bex and a lie down before that but first we need some caffeine this morning methinks.

It shouldn’t be this hard really. Our second tradition in Melbourne is our favourite Crepery – Le Petite Chateau in the Block Arcade. For the second day we went past they were not open at advertised time of 0830 so thought we would try Brother Baba Budan just for a coffee on Little Bourke Street. We did line up to be fair but then thought better of it as it was slow going and instead checked out some more murals and added them to last nights selection .

By now we were back in vicinity of Frenchie so thought one more try – and he was open. The crepe was great as always but the coffee was ordinary

It was a beautiful day indeed so happy to walk/hobble the streets a little and check some more murals and a little shopping. When at Frenchie did note a posh Pom place next door that amongst other things sold some swish walking canes with impressive knobs . Feeling a natural affinity with said walking canes and La posh lady said they were handcrafted in Italy and a steal at only $335. It wasn’t easy trust me but I literally ran from the store. And into the chemist next door where I got a collapsible walking cane for $25. It actually does help a bit and at least less odd looks when walking around like Kayser Soze for no apparent reason previously

After some relaxing hours it was time for The Gimp with the Limp to head to Gimlet at Cavendish House

It’s interesting to observe how people may treat you differently when your handicap is more apparent although to be fair CLP is usually by my side . Ouch . Ok we made it to Gimlet for our 3 mini cocktails and bar snack. They were delicious as were the Sydney rock oysters

As usual our general demeanour encourages folk to engage so Alphonse from the wrong side of the bar was chewing our ear off Van Gogh style when we mentioned we would have liked to have eaten dinner here but all full. “ Nah, we always have walk ins” “ I cleverly asked what a about walk outs that walk back in “ ? He was non plussed. Anyhoo called Lurch from the front desk over and asked if could make a dinner booking for 3 for 6:15 pm and rattled my cane. He said “ Of course Sir and thank you for your service.” First up though time to meet Tony for a drink at Rooftop bar at QT. It was a jumping

We then returned to Gimlet for dinner and went with the Tomahawk share plate as a challenge . We also went with full size cocktails just for a change . It was a great meal and also wonderful to catch up with Tony

And so another day chock full of highlights and memories comes to an end. One last full day in Melbourne before the serious eating and drinking starts .


VtV – Day 2

Posted: May 15, 2022 in Uncategorized

It’s a quiet room on a high floor so slept ok , sleep of course being a relative term these days. We have a special dinner tonight so will try and be a quiet day in the drinking and eating caper but 6 pm seems a long way away at present . Time to look for some coffee first up and so I hopped to it. Here is one I prepared earlier

We ended up walking a bit further than first planned as first option didn’t open until 8:30 am. Bloody Victorians 😏 Next option then was Brick Lane and as always with Google maps always head off in wrong direction initially 🕺🏻 . We did find it though down yet another laneway which wasn’t called Brick oddly enough. As it was now approaching 8 am we stayed for breakfast as well and not disappointed . In fact could not finish it all

Across the road there was a cat cafe and if wasn’t full certainly would have tried the Persian Porridge but like I said was fully sated and certainly didn’t need a furball as well.

Melbourne has always had a great street art scene but some more have been added now with Flash Forward laneway murals. We had a map and noted a few near us so when in Rome……try the Burmese Bruschetta.

Hopefully will see more over next few days . Now it was time to roll back down the hill and head home for a breather before some shopping at DFO given that must naturally stand for David Ferguson Outlet ?

Did I mention my ankle is fucked already 🚶

So a 30 min rest so the Osteophytes could line up again and off to DFO. CLP keeps an ear out ( pay attention) for any cultural events in our vicinity so maybe should have been alerted when she suggested we walk through the Convention Centre in case it rains. Well it is Melbourne. And I walked right into it. Well limped . There was a Van Gogh exhibit on at The Lume . There goes the next 60 mins of drinking time. To be fair it was rather brilliant and glad I talked her into it . Photos can’t do justice to the immersive spectacle but when has that ever stopped me. Cutting down the 40 I took was the tricky part especially as the great ones are usually easy to pick out – I am in them 😏

While the display was great standing for an hour wasn’t so I needed liquid sustenance and a nubile nurse . Ok a beer and a frisky fraulein would have to do so we headed to Munich Brauhaus

Then it was off to the the shops cleverly avoiding any large indoor structures along the way. I had minor success with a new pair of dress pants but that was about it folks. By now the ankle was gone and still had to make it back home a few klicks. And then it did rain……

Somehow made it home and time to chill for a few before our anniversary dinner tonight at Grossi Florentino. One morning of kulcha is enough for this LBD

Well, what a superb meal that was after a dodgy start. We arrived early so settled in at bar at the 3 level establishment . Sadly , Basil Fawlty in a dress was the bartender. Hopeless service and attitude. Then we went upstairs into a whole new world. The level of service and attention to detail was simply exemplary. We had looked at Gran Tour degustation on line and not impressed but the menu presented tonight intrigued so we hooked in and added the paired wines. Our first degustation many many years ago was here and it bought back wonderful memories. The food was varied , plentiful and delicious and they didn’t skimp on the wine servings. A perfect meal takes time but you don’t notice and neither did we after 4 hrs! Some great fun people watching – we had The Kardashians behind us, Jared Kushner and family next to us , a group of money launderers adjacent and Red Dress in the corner. Which just leaves the photos

Tomorrow mornings plans are currently on hold …..

VtV – Day 1

Posted: May 14, 2022 in Uncategorized

We did get to Brisvegas yesterday for a quick drive and drink soirée to celebrate Claude’s birthday with Della clan. The weather was lousy but luckily no accidents and we made it home ok . I was very sensible drinking wise of course with a big week ahead. Yeah right….

Sunday has dawned a little clearer but won’t need sunglasses anytime soon. We have arranged for a “local” drive service to take us to airport at 9 am as fares back and forth equate to a weeks parking anyway and much more relaxed. The obvious first flaw in the Maroochydore plan is a distinct lack of Qantas Club so some mixing with GU must be endured

By 9 am the sun was a blazing and we headed off in our Beemer. A bit early for check in but all good and by 10 am was sitting in a GU gathering area looking at our $37 for two small coffees and two sandwiches ! And by two sandwiches I mean two slices of bread stuck together and cut in two 😏 Methinks it’s Brisbane airport all the way from here .

Plane left on time 👍🏻 Exit row seats are very good value . Even though flying at lunch time all we got was a muesli bar and a cup of tea ! We arrived on time and then lickety split to The Langham. Had done the old “ special occasion” ruse and had been promised something special in our room on arrival for our 20th anniversary….

Wow. Luckily we were full from the muesli bar …. It’s a lovely room of course with great views

Then it was time for Tradition #1 and of course we knew where the nearest Irish Pub was. Being Sunday arvo there was some live music as well

Our only real plan for today was to visit the Icebar at 6 pm so had some time to fill in and did a quick reconnoiter of Fed Square and then wandered down a lane as you do in Melbourne and MoVda looked quite so why not even if only 5 pm. Excellent Tapas as always and some red stuff to cleanse the tonsils

Wandered back to Icebar in Fed Square for something a bit different and it was good fun. Had a cocktail and a game of air hockey while generally loitering for 30 mins. Glad we did it as was unique but not sure it’s a life changer . Amused at the dolly birds rocking up in shorts .

Then we wandered back out to Fed Square as it was finally dark and caught the Constellations light show . Very impressive

Then it was time to saunter back to our lodgings along the always impressive Southbank with the impressive Melbourne skyline. The weather was great and we had already done so much in our first day and if nothing else something was already very apparent

Now I remember why I am getting this ankle fused 😰

With Armageddon approaching I headed off to Flashman Inc at Nosunshine Coast a couple of days early as didn’t want to miss a thing before making a V line to Victoria on Sunday

Ok so technically you only catch a V Line once in Victoria but where is the fun in that . We had decided to fly out of Maroochydore rather than Brisvegas. It then made sense to fly back into Maroochydore duh. Simple you would think but of course Qantas in 2022 is a nightmare so after they changed our flights weeks ago still have not got a correct eticket to reflect that but have been assured all is good. We should know about 1135 on Sunday and take an altitude reading and hope it’s closer to 30,000 feet rather than 0 feet or my attitude reading could be off the charts !

Sitting here on Friday at Maplehead it is presently hosing it down as predicted . Yeah I was shocked too. We are hoping to drive to Brisvegas and back tomorrow to see my Mum and also help celebrate Claude’s 92 nd birthday at Burbank, but not the one in California . That is the plan but if this rainbomb hangs around past today as is now looking likely then we may be cocooned here for another day as roads may become flooded etc. It would be ironic , bordering on a tad annoying , to be flying out of Maroochydore on Sunday only to be stuck in Brisvegas.

So provided we get off the ground on Sunday we will spend 4 nights in Melbourne at our go to hotel there The Langham before catching a …… wait for it …..V Line train to Bendigo to freeload at Harcourt North with family for another 4 nights . Because Qantas changed our late afternoon flight to an early morning flight on the Tuesday we V Line it back to Melbourne on the Monday afternoon to spend a night at The Grand hotel before early flight next day . There could be eating and drinking involved but too early to confirm that yet …. hopefully Number 1 son may also be in Melbourne at the same time . CLP and I will actually be celebrating 20 years together of which we actually spent about 7 months together under the same roof but when I see that hopeful look in her eyes I just may give her an upgrade from C to P ie Current to Probable. No promises .

So now we wait to see what Old Whiskers has in store for us over the next 24 hrs . The only certainty in immediate future is a date for a Grind and Bind on June 2 nd. Better get some walking in next few weeks because after that it will be lay down Sally for several.