Posts tagged ‘Melbourne’

I love to go a-wandering

This has been a travel-happy year so far. I went to England with Mr. Manx in May, to make up for the awful aborted trip last year.

This is a horse having a bad day at the Horse Guards Parade. If I'd been the horse I'd have been cranky too, being photographed by all these crazy tourists. Damn you, crazy tourists!

Then I went to Melbourne in July and had a great time with my pseudonymed friends Mr. and Mrs. Monty (and their two tiny Montettes – let’s call them Hontette and Sontette), Camellia and Tinman. 

A glorious ramble through the National Gallery of Victoria and the Queen Victoria Park led to this lamp-post overlooking the Yarra River (which I’m just mentioning for reference; you can’t actually see it in this picture, sorry). I can’t swear to it, but this was probably along St Kilda Road. I think.

I thought that was going to be it for the year, but as it turns out, in the span of the next few weeks I will be taking short trips to Bali and Hanoi. I’m really excited because I love travelling and taking strange new photographs. On the other hand, I really hate flying and am terribly unprepared (planned itinerary – nope; changed money – oops; packed luggage – eh)… but that’s kinda part of the fun sometimes, isn’t it?

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November 17, 2011 at 12:41 4 comments

Status update

Katie Manx is partially incapacitated by post-equestrian myalgia (horses cause phenomenal bum pain, boys and girls), but was captivated by the Tesselaar tulips, and is looking forward to Devonshire tea on Puffing Billy tomorrow, despite predictions of 2-degree weather at the Dandenongs. Dear Weather Boss, it is supposed to be spring in Melbourne.

Absolutely frigid weather necessitating consumption of much baked potato and Dutch poffertjes to maintain core temperature, not to mention vast quantities of mud on shoes... but such beautiful flowers.

Absolutely frigid weather necessitating consumption of much baked potato and Dutch poffertjes to maintain core temperature, not to mention vast quantities of mud on shoes... but such beautiful flowers.

October 7, 2009 at 20:56 1 comment

Five special things

Five things of importance happened today.

  1. Mr. Manx and I went horseriding! We’d booked a ride with Gunnamatta Trail Rides on the Mornington Peninsula – got there late, but the nice lady there, Louise, let us go ahead with the full thing nonetheless, because we were the only riders this morning. Mr. Manx was given a piebald named Bruiser (not a terribly reassuring name for us noobs) and I a brown horse named Jet, and we followed a lady named Donna for two hours through the bush and onto the beach. It was absolutely bewitching. Even though the weather forecast was ominous, we got a lovely two hours with no more than a minute’s sprinkle. And there were funny bits, like the horses producing massive amounts of first crap, then pee (yes, I am not above toilet humour). Only thing is, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna hurt like hell tomorrow.
  2. To reduce the impending hurt, we headed for a soak at the Peninsula Hot Springs. That’s a place that took a leaf out of the onsen book, tapping into underground mineral springs to produce hot pools for soaking. I was shivering in one corner at first, because all the pools, except one, were outdoors. On an eight-degree day. In the rain. I guess it says a lot about the pools and sauna that I was soon toasty enough to scuttle around sans towel. It is bliss being cooked on a cold day.
  3. Hail fell soon after. My first time seeing it. I’d sorta imagined egg-sized rocks braining anyone unlucky enough to be out, but it’s really more like falling ice chips. Imagination always surpasses reality.
  4. Incredible views of the sea lay generously along the coast lines. By the time we got there, the sun was beginning to set, making for some really beautiful colours. We even saw a stub of a nice fat rainbow.
  5. The last item has nothing to do with Melbourne. Monty and his family made it safely back home! Welcome back!

October 6, 2009 at 20:00 3 comments

Hot-air ballooning over the Yarra Valley

This was a very difficult day to start. Mr. Manx and I set the alarm for 0330 today (it would be three hours earlier in Singapore because daylight saving started yesterday – argh) and set out way before the crack of dawn. The taxi we’d booked online didn’t come (let me say unequivocally that 13Cabs really didn’t deliver and made no call to inform us – thumbs way down) and we drove to the Grand Hyatt to be picked up… resulting in a whopping parking fee of bloody A$47 when we retrieved the car in the afternoon. Then the couple (Singaporean too – a prosperous-businessman type oozing superficial bonhomie and his wife in strappy platforms) staying at the Hyatt were late and we had to hang around waiting for them. Boo.

But after that, the worst of the day was over. John, the driver who picked us up and got us to Rochford Winery, was kind and friendly, and provided a tutorial on driving in Melbourne during the hour-long drive. There was a stretch of highway that had no street lighting, and the stars showed themselves. That was another thing I had not seen in some time.

The rest of the story is better told in pictures. How lovely to have my Nikon D90 on this trip.

Our pilot, Tim, releases a helium balloon to check on the wind conditions. I'm thankful to have gotten to this point, actually. This spring has been so wet that this place got flooded last week.

Our pilot, Tim, releases a helium balloon to check on the wind conditions. I'm thankful to have gotten to this point, actually. This spring has been so wet that this place got flooded last week.

Weather settled. The next step of getting the basket and balloon assembled was a product of audience participation. The basket needs to be toppled onto its side before the balloon gets pumped. This girl demonstrates to perfection just how to get the basket onto its side.

Weather settled. The next step of getting the basket and balloon assembled was a product of audience participation. The basket needs to be toppled onto its side before the balloon gets pumped. This girl demonstrates to perfection just how to get the basket onto its side.

The balloon is inflated, first with cold air, then with hot. Petrol-fuelled fans and flamethrowers have allowed us to achieve in fifteen minutes what took our forefathers five hours to achieve by hand.

The balloon is inflated, first with cold air, then with hot. Petrol-fuelled fans and flamethrowers have allowed us to achieve in fifteen minutes what took our forefathers five hours to achieve by hand.

After the balloon gets pointing in the right direction, everyone climbs into the basket. It can take 16 people. Tim continues to shoot fire jets into the balloon, and it's damn, damn loud.

After the balloon gets pointing in the right direction, everyone climbs into the basket. It can take 16 people. Tim continues to shoot fire jets into the balloon, and it's damn, damn loud.

But the noise does nothing to shatter the peacefulness when the balloon finally takes flight. The only word, really, is wafting. The balloon wafts with the wind so that you hardly feel any movement or breeze. Take it from me, because I'm the kind of person who throws up at the hint of a sway.

But the noise does nothing to shatter the peacefulness when the balloon finally takes flight. The only word, really, is wafting. The balloon wafts with the wind so that you hardly feel any movement or breeze. Take it from me, because I'm the kind of person who throws up at the hint of a sway.

Not wanting to bore you with pictures of endless greenery, I shall instead entertain you with a picture of this cow. You can see and hear them quite clearly from up here.

Not wanting to bore you with pictures of endless greenery, I shall instead entertain you with a picture of this cow. You can see and hear them quite clearly from up here.

And when it's over, the balloon has to be deflated and packed away. When that was done, we were all packed back to Rochford Winery for a champagne breakfast, which included a bizarre anointing on the forehead with aforementioned champagne. A perfect end to the morning.

And when it's over, the balloon has to be deflated and packed away. When that was done, we were all packed back to Rochford Winery for a champagne breakfast, which included a bizarre anointing on the forehead with aforementioned champagne. A perfect end to the morning.

October 5, 2009 at 17:40 2 comments

Spring in St. Kilda

Today was that thing of beauty – a balmy spring day in Melbourne. And the conference being over, Mr. Manx and I slept in and had brunch before heading out to St. Kilda. For the first time, it was warm enough for me to contemplate going jacket-less outdoors – I didn’t in the end, but it was something.

Clearly, the weather meant something to many other people as well. The St. Kilda beachfront was bustling with folks taking in the sun. There were couples and families strolling and sitting, sun-worshippers baking snow-white and nearly-naked bodies, random kids and middle-aged men whizzing past on bikes and blades. I had a strong feeling that there was no agenda for anyone today. People had come out simply because it was a beautiful day, to see the beach and be with one another.

I haven’t seen that in a long time.

So, pictures.

Practically the first sight that met my eyes upon arriving. Voyeuristic me immediately whipped out my Ixus to snap this canoodling pair. I must say, they were in a nice spot. Their own patch of beach, their own patch of sky.

Practically the first sight that met my eyes upon arriving. Voyeuristic me immediately whipped out my Ixus to snap this canoodling pair. I must say, they were in a nice spot. Their own patch of beach, their own patch of sky.

 

Moo

I loved the way this man was trundling about on his mobility scooter with his two dogs in tow. You don't need to talk - or be able to walk - in order to have a good time at the beach with the ones you love.

 

The Market makes its home right next to Luna Park, which I pretty much dislike, with its big clown mouth and all. I did, however, have a good time laughing at the screams of the people inside, bwahaha. Not to mention watching these two hotties do their thang with their ladders and fire. <sizzle>

The St. Kilda Esplanade Market makes its home right next to Luna Park, which I pretty much dislike, with its big clown mouth and all. I did, however, have a good time laughing at the screams of the people inside, bwahaha. Not to mention watching these two hotties do their thang with their ladders and fire. <sizzle>

And tomorrow will bring one of the highlights of the trip, weather permitting. We’re going to go hot-air ballooning over the Yarra Valley at sunrise. I cannot wait!

October 4, 2009 at 19:25 Leave a comment

Spotted: Up In The Tree

Tree Koalas

Heading towards Mait’s Rest in the Otway region, we were wondering why the hell there were cars parked along the Great Ocean Road all of a sudden. After all, there were just trees, trees and more trees. Then we looked up where people were pointing and saw these two.

Oochie-koochie lookie de cutie wutie pie widdle koawa baybeeeeee…

October 2, 2009 at 10:35 2 comments

Live From Melbourne

Reporting live from Melbourne City, this manx is having such a great time that it’s hard for her to choose what to blog about today.

<Chucks third-person POV out the window, which lands in the icy-cold swimming pool with a loud splash>

I <heart> Melbourne. I really do. The vibe here is mature and mellow, and not afraid to be a bit silly at times. The weather is PMS-temperamental, but in comparison to broiling Singapore, the rainy-gusty-haily-scorchy days are, frankly, quite enjoyable.

I’d have blogged earlier, but couldn’t find an Internet connection that was both reliable and free (cheapie me, I know). I will (hopefully) write a bit more in the next few days, but for now, will content myself with posting some pictures of where Mr. Manx and I have been resting our patooties o’ nights.

The stairwell of the Tolarno Hotel, an artsy boutique hotel with Italian origins and paintings in every room. I've never seen a stained-glass window in a hotel stairway before.

The stairwell of the Tolarno Hotel in Melbourne City, an artsy boutique hotel with Italian roots and original paintings in every room. I've never seen a stained-glass window in a hotel stairwell before.

Why am I showing you a picture of a giant safe door? Because it's now a kitchen door in a super-unique accommodation called The Bank. It really was the town bank in Koroit many years ago, but got refurbished into an apartment. With a functional old-fashioned fireplace. And we had it all to ourselves.

Why am I showing you a picture of a giant safe door? Because it's now the kitchen door of a super-unique place called The Bank. It really was the town bank in Koroit many years ago, but got refurbished into an apartment. With a functional old-fashioned fireplace. And we had it all to ourselves.

 

A miniature English manor on stilts? Close enough. These are two of Paradise Gardens' cottages, in Apollo Bay. We had the entire right half of this structure, named Plum Tree Cottage, with a loft bedroom and immaculate furnishings, and a deck overlooking the pond, which had ducks swimming in it. Can someone say idyllic?

A miniature English manor on stilts? Close enough. These are two of Paradise Gardens' cottages, in Apollo Bay. We had the entire right half of this structure, named Plum Tree Cottage, with a loft bedroom and immaculate furnishings, and a deck overlooking the pond, which had ducks swimming in it. Can someone say idyllic?

There are more, but it’s time to head out to dinner. I must say, I think I’ve been lucking out on my choice of accommodation so far. All these places are comfortable, beautiful, and, best of all, fall in the range of A$120 – 190 per night. Thank God for the Internet!

October 1, 2009 at 17:06 2 comments


Welcome to my blog!


My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

Visit my photoblog!

I started my first photoblog on 3 May, 2009. Each post features one picture, with a little story of how it came about. Do take a look by clicking on: Manx Pictures
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Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.

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