17 October 2011


We're about to head off to our first WWOOF host near Reigate/Redhill, south of London. We're there for about a week, then we head to Peacehaven, near Brighton, for another week. We're not sure if we'll have internet access while we're away. Hopefully we'll get back to blogging when we return to London. In the meantime, here are some photos from the flight over and from our first few days in the UK. You can see more on our Flickr.


Snow caps and Ararat?

Dolomites (we think!)

view from our bed
The view from our bedroom window in London.

sloe plums?
Sloes - ready to be made into sloe gin, I think!

big wood
Big Wood

These are all from our walk around Totteridge/Mill Hill with D's parents.

the before picture
The before picture!

first blackberry!
My first blackberry!

medical research centre
Some kind of science-y research centre, which we thought looked like an old asylum.

finchley nursery, near totteridge
The nursery

wildflower planter

What a view! It's pretty great that this is still technically part of Greater London. Yay for green belts (Australia, take note).

walking by the hedge

By the way, we have a new mobile number - email us if we haven't sent it to you already.

14 October 2011


Yesterday we helped make cider! A more detailed post will come at some stage (with pics, I hope), but for now, YAY!

We picked apples, put them through the scratter, pressed them and then pasteurised some of the juice for drinking (we've been drinking it today!) and watched as J added the yeast and other bits to the rest of it to make it into cider.

What a super day! The sun was even shining...

12 October 2011


We went down to East Gippsland in August for J's 60th birthday. Here are some photos!

Flowers and orchids and teeny tiny fungus:


Wee flowers near Marlo


Greenhood orchid 3

raggedy flowers

Water and sand:

mitchell river in flood: b&w

View from the new footpath at Marlo

sand ripples at wood point



Walking in the bush


7 October 2011


It actually feels like we're on holidays, now! Yesterday we went for a lovely walk around Totteridge with D's parents. You can see the map here. Today we're heading to Bristol for the weekend. We're looking forward to seeing our friends and maybe having a day out in the countryside.

I'm still editing and uploading photos from July, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll start to upload photos from the UK.

6 October 2011


Just a quick update to let you all know we arrived safely after a fairly uneventful flight. There was a lot of minor turbulence on the first leg, but otherwise fairly pleasant, with great views of lights over Australia and Sri Lanka, and then of the deserts, mountains, lakes and shorelines of the UAE, Iran, Turkey, Slovenia and Italy (there was one MASSIVE mountain on the horizon at one point - possibly Agri Dagi? (Great Ararat?) Not sure).

Yesterday we went for a bit of a walk around the local area - ate some tasty felafel in Golders Green and wandered through Big Wood and Little Wood, spotting squirrels. Today we're going to go for a walk up near Totteridge - in fact, we are going to leave now!

3 October 2011


We've just woken up from our last sleep in our flat. We've been sleeping on the floor for the last week, as a friend bought the bed! Luckily some other friends have let us borrow some camp mattresses, and we have a bunch of fabric going to the opshop that includes a very thick curtain to use as a base layer!

I planned to write more here about the process of packing up the house and migrating, but in the end it's just been too busy. I submitted my PhD dissertation for examination just under two weeks ago; since then, it's been a whirlwind of packing, garage sale, moving things, catching up with friends, packing, cleaning, catching up with friends, visiting Melbourne's fine eateries, packing our storage container, packing, weighing our bags, sending boxes, packing, doing paperwork, packing, and so on. This has been much more stressful than finishing the PhD! I think I didn't (let myself) realise what a big thing it was not just to be moving house and going overseas, but to be vacating a house, putting things in storage, organising to rent the flat, moving to live overseas, etc. I'm thankful for all the things I did well in advance!

We have found a property manager to look after renting our flat while we're away - they come recommended by our financial adviser/power of attorney, so it is good to know they have a working relationship. The painter (friend's dad) is coming to finish off the painting and put up the blind, etc. tomorrow. The property manager will get the carpets steam cleaned, and hopefully everything will be ready to go for an inspection this weekend. I hope we get some tenants who like this flat as much as we do!

It's been sad saying goodbye to all our friends and family here - and to Melbourne itself, though I guess in a way I've been doing that for months. I think I've been pushing the bigness of it all aside, as I haven't had the time or space to do anything but organise, organise, organise. In fact, I think the fact we're leaving hasn't really sunk in at all - I didn't even have anxiety dreams last night. I'm also trying to be in the moment, to enjoy hanging out with friends when we do and give them lots of hugs, to listen to the distant sounds of trams turning the corner and birds calling in the day. Today we'll go for a quick walk along the creek and breathe the air. Tonight we'll see the lights of Melbourne spread out below as we take to the sky...

Tomorrow we'll be in London.

1 October 2011


Several months ago we wrote a list of places we wanted to eat at before we left Melbourne. A few people have asked, so here's the list, divided into places we went, places we didn't go (yet) and places that closed before we got the chance. (Places one or both of us have never eaten/had never eaten before marked with an asterisk.)

Trippy Taco
Thaila Thai
Thai Nee Cafe
i Carusi
Wood Spoon Kitchen
Disco Beans*
Jimmy Watson's
Hellenic Republic*
Al Albero
Veggie Kitchen: Intention of Love
The Breakfast Club*
Moroccan Soup Bar
Yong Green Food*
Jackson Dodds*

Hu Tong Dumplings*
Lentil as Anything (or does this go in the next list?)
Friends of the Earth
Las Vegan*
Misty's Diner*
White Lotus

Mr Nice Guy (cafe - they still wholesale the cupcakes!)*

There are also several places that aren't on the list because we go there all the time - A Minor Place, Pearl Oyster and Ceres are probably the most obvious, but there's also Munsterhaus, Tiamo 2, and other places. We went to a few places not on this list for the first time, too - but I can only think of Cumulus Inc at the moment!