A Star is Born

I’d like to paint a picture for you. A lovely Sunday afternoon in Melbourne (such a thing DOES exist), some wine, cheese and bickies, a picnic blanket, great company, and a huge oval field of luscious green grass. At each end, 4 giant poles stand in anticipation of the game that’s about to begin. The referee takes the field, looking a little worse for wear – like he’d had a big night out the night before. On one side are the Ormondians, geared up for the 4th and last game of their short season. And on the other side are the Newman Stars.

For those who don’t know much about arial ping-pong (aka AFL) 18 players from each side take the field and not only did 18 Newman boys run on at the start of the match, they had another full team on the bench. Such is the excitement of playing college football.

A bit of background information for you about the Newman boys: They have 2 teams at the college, The Firsts (like Australia) and the Stars (like Australia A). The Firsts generally do very well (incidently they are playing in the finals next weekend.) The Stars have got a lot of heart, but not much of that translates to points on the scoreboard. In fact, the Stars team hadn’t won a game since 2005. But in the first few minutes, they proved to their opposition that they were going to put up a fight. With 2 early goals in the first 5 minutes, they just about passed their total number of points scored all season. And it didn’t stop there!

The points kept coming, and in the middle of it all was a young Queensland boy, in boots bought only an hour before kick-off, who was putting his body on the line for his team and for College pride, and on the sideline sat the most proud, impressed Wifey you can imagine! I was also accompanied by a few friends who came down to watch and it was so much fun! One of Hub’s friends even came all the way from Brisbane to watch him play!

Hubsband had an absolute ball and after his first game a couple of weeks before, he started using tactics (trying not to get killed) and really got in to it (sometimes involuntarily!!) The final score was something like 65 to 20 and it was a great afternoon. Here are some happy snaps:

Hubs about to take a classic catch (oops, wrong sport) a MARK during warm-up (doesn’t he look sexy in his jersey!!??)

A few members of Hubs’ fan club

The Team Victory Photo 24th August 2008

10 things…

I LOVE about living in Melbourne!!

1. Trams – they come ALL THE TIME!!
2. Public Transport in general – I’ve mastered the trains, trams and buses and am finding it so easy (okay okay, so I’ve caught the wrong tram, the wrong train, and missed a few stops on the bus, but I’m getting there!!)
3. Coffee – you can find a decent coffee almost anywhere! AND CHEAP TOO!! I can get a soy flat white or soy mocha for 3 bucks!! (FYI I was paying up to $4.50 in Brisbane at one stage!)
4. Living on college – it’s still a little weird sometimes, but generally we are loving it here. The people are great, the location couldn’t be better, and the food is… well… it’s college food. Let’s not get TOO excited!
5. Walking everywhere – It’s been great walking to work and just generally getting around on foot
6. The unpredictable weather – okay, so I don’t love this, but if I don’t embrace it, it will get me down! Actually, it really hasn’t been too bad!
7. Great food – ahem… outside the college that is! (in all fairness, the college food isn’t THAT bad, I’m just missing my veges!! There’s lots of meat, pasta, rice, and potatoes and desserts. Lots of desserts. I’m trying to be good!!) No, the food I’m referring to is on Lygon st, or any other little alleyway you come across!
8. The opportunity to get to know my hubsband – this is the first time Hubs and I have really lived together alone (for more than a few weeks) since we got married and I must say it’s been just lovely. We’re still learning each other’s habits and moods and having lots of fun doing so!
9. The lovely old pubs – Melbourne has a way of doing up a pub without gutting it and ripping out all the old character and style (exhibit “a” in the Vegas – Dooleys aka “The Valley”… yeuck!) We haven’t found a favourite yet, but if you’d like to come and visit and help us look, come on down!
10. The endless number of alleyways that I keep discovering – by day they are empty, but at night time the umbrellas, heaters, tables, chairs and menus come out and out of the blue there are a dozen restaurants to choose from!


Hubs and I took a road trip a few weekends ago down to Sorrento which is about 90km down the peninsular from Melbourne. We tripped in the kombi which was lovely and stayed overnight at Hub’s grandparent’s house – they own a house about 15 minutes walk from the main street and not much further to the beaches. It was a lovely relaxing time and we hope to visit again soon.

Here are some photos of our trip:

A pretty sunset

It was quite chilly!!

Mmmmmmm…. breakfast….

The view from the lookout. It was lovely up there. We’re looking forward to heading back in summer time, though I’m not sure I’m crazy enough to brave the water!

All you can eat… and then some

I thought I would share with you all the experience of visiting my Nanny and Grandpa. Since we moved to Melbourne, Nanny and Grandpa have been missing us terribly, and they’re looking forward to our visit in a couple of weeks. I’m sure Nanny has already started planning the menu, which could include any, (or all!) of the following:

Sledgie (pickled herring) usually served with steamed potato
Borscht (beetroot soup)
Other soup – chicken noodle, barley etc
Pickled cucumbers (what’s with all the pickling??!! Maybe that’s why they’re enjoying such a long life! – Grandpa is turning 90 this year and Nanny is 85.)

Here’s a photo of them:

Now back to the food…
Main course
Roast turkey
Chicken – either smoked or roasted (1 WHOLE chicken, that is!)
Crumbed steak or pork
Crumbed Barramundi
Shepherd’s Pie
Polish Sausage
Potato – either fried (yummy!) or mashed and sometimes steamed AS WELL
Carrots, beans, peas, potato salad, seafood salad, cauliflower, pumpkin
Broccolyyyyyyy (thanks for agreeing with me Jenny!!)
Cucumber and sour cream, Coleslaw, Cabbage, Beetroot salad
A mixed platter of ham, boiled eggs, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese

At Christmas she’ll add Fresh prawns!

And then there’s…
Round 1:
Ice Cream
Fruit Salad (I get a special one without mango 🙂
German Custard

Round 2:
Napolean Cake (it looks a bit different when Nanny makes it) or
Walnut cake or
Cheesecake or
Apple Pie or
Fruit cake or
Plum pudding
and that’s not to say she won’t sometimes make 2 of these cakes for us!!

Round 3:
Tea & Coffee & Aldi biscuits

By this stage, most normal people will be groaning and loosening the belt. Or for those who know what Nanny’s is like, they’ve had the foresight to wear their stretchy pants! What you also may not know, is that Nanny cooks the same for 4 people as she does for 6 or 8, though when she knows another person is expected, she’ll cook more.

Here’s a photo from Christmas:

All jokes aside, I love my Nanny and Grandpa dearly and they are two of the most generous people I know. I just wish I could cook as good as Nanny!!

Chapel of the Holy Spirit

The Spirit

If truth be told, I’ve been having a slight identity crisis since moving to Melbourne. In Brisvegas, I had my “place” if you will. I was a friend, a sister, a daughter, a daughter-in-law 🙂 etc etc. When we moved in to college here, I became Hubs’ Wifey. Now don’t get me wrong. That is a truly beautiful and sacred thing to be, but let’s face it: there’s more lay-yers to me! So the last few weeks I’ve been on a bit of a journey of self-discovery and have discovered some very interesting and terrifying things about myself that I didn’t even know were there.

This is a pretty scary thing to happen to a seemingly self-assured woman in her mid… ahem… late 20s. So what did I do? I gotta say I turned to God. The great thing about living in a religious community (not a cult!!!) is the amazing support around you, even if you don’t ask for it, and even if it’s not directly given to you. Let me explain myself a little better.

I don’t know how many of you out there in blogging-world have had someone pray for you but I’m sure there are a few of you. I also know there are a huge number of people out there who have been prayed for without even knowing it! (I know this because if I know you personally, I’ve prayed for you at one time or another!) I also know that we have been prayed for here and God has answered prayer after prayer. Being here in this place has made this transition so much easier and I feel like I’m part of a family down here.

I’m also getting to know myself better and better. And I’m not so bad after all! 🙂
Just some thoughts I thought I’d share…

NO one says potaaaahto

I’m not saying people are wrong when they say brocolleeeee instead of broccolyyyy, but they’re WRONG!!! I thought it was just a Mexican thing (ie people south of the border) that people pronounce the “i” on the end of broccoli with an “eeeee” sound, but it seems not. I was always taught to say broccoli, with the “i” saying it’s own name.

Can I please have a show of hands? Is it broccoleeee or broccolyyyyyy?

Mmmm…. parma….

What? You mean to tell me you don’t know what a parma is? Well, OBVIOUSLY you’re not from Victoria then! When I first heard the phrase “parma night” I thought to myself “wow! Victorians sure like their cheese!” But after the initial mix up, I learnt what a Parma REALLY is!

It’s a CHICKEN PARMIGIANA! Basically, a slab of chicken, topped with bacon or ham or salami (i.e. pig) and cheese and herbs. Sounds healthy, I know!

My work colleague invited me to a parma night with a friend of hers and we went to a place called The Aviary which is around the Richmond area, not too far from where we live. They have been scoping out parmas for some time now and have decided this one was the best by far. If you go on their actual “parma night” you get your parma, chips and salad on a bread board, AND a glass of wine all for just $16. I thought it was just a pub we were going to, and getting pub grub. But no. It was all just lovely.

So if anyone comes to visit us on a Thursday night, rest assured we’ll be having a parma night!

The Everlasting Gobstopper

My awesome brother and his gorgeous girlfriend went to Hahndorf, just outside of Adelaide (thanks for the correction bro!) for a wee trip a while ago and brought us back presents!! Everlasting Gobstoppers!! Hubsband’s was about the size of a golf ball, but since (apparently) I have a big mouth, mine was more like a tennis ball. Hubsband finished his off in a week or 2, and the proceeded to work on mine.

Here’s what it would have looked like before (if we’d taken a photo!):

And here’s what happens after a month of sitting in front of a computer, licking a gobstopper:

I must admit, I was very impressed with his persistence! I’m just worried about his next dentist bill… and he’s only half way through!!

Check out the lay-yers!