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!

It IS a small world after all!

Hubs and I went out on Saturday night with some friends and got completely lost on the way there, and when we finally made it to our destination, who should be walking out as we were walking in? One of my cousins who lives in Queensland who I hadn’t seen in months! And to think, if we had been 5 minutes earlier or 5 minutes later, we would have missed each other. He was down here for a few days on business and was heading back on the Sunday.

AND, one of the girls in Hub’s course used to be a waitress at the R.E. (our local in Toowong) when we used to go there all the time! We wouldn’t have recognised her though, as we never actually ate there (we just drank!)

I’m sure there will be more small world stories that come out of our adventures down here!!

Oh, you got lay-yers?…

I’m wearing so many layers at the moment I feel like an onion!

I used to pride myself on being able to get ready quickly, but that has gone out the window since moving to Melbourne, and I’m recalling I had the same issues when I lived in Scotland. It’s not like you only have to choose 2 items anymore – top + bottom – nnnnooooooo. Now you have to look outside and determine what sort of day it is and decide how many layers are going underneath your shirt (do you wear a singlet AND a thermal, or just an undershirt?) then you decide on your top, then you look outside again and realise it’s started to rain, so you add another layer, then you choose between leggings, stockings, or long socks to wear under your skirt/trousers/jeans, then you pick either skirt/trousers/jeans, then you realise the rain has stopped, the sun has come out, but the wind has dropped the temperature by about 5 degrees, so you add ANOTHER layer underneath! THEN you have to decide on a jacket – do you take the waterproof one just in case it starts raining again? Or the one with the hood? Or the super-dooper warm one that you might end up taking off and carrying around for most of the day?

But we’re not done yet! We now have to choose accessories! I start with the shoes – do I need closed-in boots for the cold? Or waterproof shoes for the wet weather? Do I take a scarf? (yes… ALWAYS take a scarf) and do I then top it off with my Barret to protect my poor little ears from the wind? (again, the answer is usually a resounding YES!!) And then we’re ready to go!

No wait, I have to go to the toilet first…. this could take a while…. 🙂

College Life

We have been living on college for 10 days now, and if you had asked me yesterday how it was going, then I would have said “pretty good” but today I would say it’s going really well! We had our first SCR (Senior Common Room) dinner last night and it was really great. We now feel like we’re a part of a community, instead of being the newbies. Our room is starting to feel more like a home since we’ve found places for most of our stuff.

Here’s what the place looked like before we unpacked:

And this was during the unpacking: (eeeeeeeek!)

And these was taken Saturday after lunch. Home sweet Home!

We are quite comfortable in our 2 rooms plus bathroom. The meals are all eaten in “The Dome” and we are yet to have our first formal dinner, which take place Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Apparently it’s quite la-di-da! Hubsband has to wear a suit and tie and I can wear pretty much anything except jeans, as long as it looks classy! And we have our first Black Tie dinner and welcoming Mass next Friday which should be heaps of fun too.

There are quite a few people around our age and a few are in the same course as Hubs. I seem to be the odd one out, not currently adding to a HECS debt (I already have one!!) so I feel a bit out of the loop in some ways, but everyone is making us feel very welcome.

I’ll leave you all with the view we have every morning when we step out of our front door. We will be attending our first Mass tomorrow evening and we’re a little nervous about not knowing all the moves (Catholic services always feel like a carefully choreographed sequence, and I forgot to turn up to rehearsals!) Apparently the messages are very good though. We’ll keep you posted!

The Chapel


I’ve decided that since we’re in one of the most well-known restaurant/cafe cities in Australia, I’m going to start reviewing the places we have been to for dinner and drinks. Tonight we’re going to look at a FANTASTIC Italian restaurant on Lygon street that we went to with some friends who are visiting from Brisbane. The restaurant is called Papa Gino’s and it is in the heart of the Italian Restaurant precinct of Melbourne.

We were treated to excellent service, nice ambiance, and FABULOUS Italian food. I couldn’t decide between the pasta and the pizza, so the waiter kindly suggested that I order an entree size of both! So I did! And what a great decision that was. The food was excellent value for money both in quality and quantity. We were not left wanting (and I’m still totally full an hour and a half later!)

Hubsband and our friend shared a calzone and a bolognaise pizza (I sampled both of those dishes too – yummmmmm!) and our other friend and I had the ravioli/tortellini with chicken and spinach in a tomato cream sauce. Oh…. my…. gawsh…. it was all just so good. We brought along some wine we had bought from the Yarra Valley (I still haven’t posted about that yet!!) and to top it off, we weren’t charged corkage. Now THAT’S my kind of place!

All in all a fantastic night out. I give it 4 stars out of 5.