Well I for one was feeling rested and relaxed following our lovely three day sojourn down south to Quindalup over the long weekend … that is, until around 6:30 am this morning, when I checked in at work, processed the weekend’s emails and wrote out a list of the day’s tasks. At work, I make sub-lists of my ‘master’ to do list, sometimes on a daily, weekly or several-hourly basis. The busier I become, the more lists I make, and the more neurotically neat and tidy my desk becomes. I make piles of papers, paperclip them together, and then arrange them in neat rows. I set myself colour-coded calendar reminders to think of things, to complete tasks, to follow up, to prepare, to telephone, to meet, to collect. I check, recheck and then check again every email recipient, sentence, calculation and piece of advice. It seems the more that my brain is working through, the less it can process outside of those urgent tasks and the more my organisational skills kick into gear to see me through to a calmer period. Not long now, until the end of the month, the end of a series of back-to-back major tasks, the beginning of a new professional year and a time to reflect, learn and plan again for the future.
Images taken down south, by me and my love.
Skipping forward in time from our wedding in late December, the following morning my husband (!) and I travelled to Victoria for our honeymoon. We flew into Melbourne on New Year’s Eve just in time for dinner (a degustation menu with matched wines) at Vue de Monde. Let me just say that this was one of the most memorable dining experiences of my life. Highlights of the evening included a single baby marron with a crunchy butter to hand-dip into, an enormous chocolate souffle with chocolate sauce poured over the top at our table, salted caramel shell chocolates and an amazing cheese course (pictured below), hand cut from the Vue de Monde cheese cart roaming the floor. We finished dinner at 11:30 pm, just in time for our waitress to escort us through the kitchen to the restaurant’s Lui Bar, where we rang in the new year while watching the fireworks over the Yarra and drinking old fashioneds. It was magic.
On the first day of 2014, Mike and I hired a car and drove out to Victoria’s Yarra Valley where a revamped old farm dairy house was waiting for us. Much to our excitement, the weather turned rainy and cold just in time for us to bunker down for our first evening in the country and light the fire in the dairy house.
We spent three lovely days in the Valley, during which we checked out local wineries, drank a lot of pinot noir and shiraz, ate very well (including at the Healesville Hotel and the Innocent Bystander cafe) and managed a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula. Doesn’t Mike look handsome with his wedding ring on (above).
Finally, to round out the trip, we checked back into our amazing Melbourne hotel, The Olsen, one of the city’s Art Series hotels, this one modelled around the work of Australian artist John Olsen. The weather was still crazily cold for summer (I refer to my jumper below), but we ventured out to Mamababa around the corner from our hotel where I ordered a crayfish pasta below that changed. my. life., did a little shopping and drank some delicious Melbourne coffee. As part of her wedding gift to us, Verity had orchestrated a romantic tour of Melbourne (complete with snack money and mini Nutellas to keep up our energies), which ended in us leaving a lock engraved with our names and wedding date somewhere in Melbourne (I’m not going to say where). I really hope Melbourne’s street cleaners take pity on our little lock and don’t take to it with bolt-cutters any time soon. We loved Verity’s idea and were so glad to be able to leave behind a little memento of our Victorian honeymoon.
So far, married life rocks.
What is becoming of me – I am posting pot plant pictures on my blog? I am a garden person? It seems so. In recent weeks, Mike and I have been cultivating a little kitchen garden in the back courtyard, complete with dill, parsley, coriander, basil and chilli, as well as a lemonade lemon and a potted magnolia (which is not for the kitchen, but is beautiful nonetheless). It is so handy having fresh, often-used herbs on hand in our back garden, and all the greenery has warmed up the little outdoor space. I’ve got grand plans for more courtyard landscaping in the future (but not all at once, who knew that gardening is expensive?).
Long in advance, I had planned to take a day of leave today which, with the public holiday yesterday, has meant a lovely (super) long weekend. And just in time, following a particularly stressful couple of working weeks. Highlights of the weekend so far have included Anzac Day breakfast at Hobart Deli (below), a few more wedding tasks ticked off the list, a playful afternoon with my nieces Emily and Lucy, a great gym session (what?) and a little Friday night dinner at Burgermeister (I die for their peanut butter choc shakes). Looking forward to what the next half of this weekend holds.
Everyone talks about always being so busy all of the time, and I have to say, I find myself saying the same thing a lot these days. Between work, home, family, friends and keeping healthy, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of unplanned time squeezed into life. This long Easter weekend has been a huge relief. The end of March saw my work review (and budget) year come to a close, and I felt like I hadn’t seen my family in too long.
Mike and I spent the weekend seeing loved ones, spending time in the fading summer sun, eating (a lot), sleeping in, getting little jobs done around the house (including adding a few new household purchases) and generally enjoying the long stretch of free time. It was lovely.
Because a post is not a post without images, some shots from our recent dinner at Gordon St Garage. I highly recommend the roast beetroot salad … and the entire contents of the sweets cabinet.