The Merricks-Red Hill trail. Nothing to write home about, fortunately.
Trust Confucius to put it in a nutshell: ‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.’
That’s all very well for him to say. Chinese labourers swarming round him, slaving themselves towards an early grave, while he sat under a shady tree thinking up a few quotes. I bet he had days he couldn’t even be bothered being pithy and original. And he fell back on the same old lazy start to every sentence: ‘Confucius say…’
By Mr Confucius’ reasoning, most of a writer’s life is a holiday, and so it must appear to those who do jobs that actually need to be done. In vain do I grumble to friends about producers breathing gently down my neck while deadlines loom (or ‘whoosh by’, to quote Douglas Adams). There’s little sympathy for a writer from people whose work actually matters.
But there’s a flip side to my relaxing chosen career; in recent years most of my holidays have been taken for purposes of writing about them, either for money or in a pathetic attempt to attract blog hits. In other words, they have been work. But not this time. Continue reading
A car may come along, but it probably won’t.
Like most right-thinking people, we ate and drank more than was absolutely necessary over Christmas. Fortunately we did it in an area with ideal places to walk off the damage and the guilt.
I’m not talking serious hiking here, just gentle morning strolls on beach, country lanes or rail trails. Continue reading
There was just enough mist to catch the first light. Merricks North, Victoria, Australia.
My first Weekly Photo Challenge of 2013. A new dawn.
For more shots of this magic morning click HERE.
Taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ24. In point and shoot mode. Nothing clever. The scenery and the light did the rest.
‘What’s all this about calling yourself a foodie?’ says my down-to-earth brother, ‘I mean, it’s not like eating is hard.’
A Ten Minutes by Tractor creation. Photo: Kate Nulty
Eating used to be so easy during family holidays when we were kids. After a day on the beach we’d drop into Somers General Store for an icy pole. We’d collect a pack of white sliced bread and a bottle of Rosella tomato sauce to splash on our BBQ chops and sausages.
Now the Mornington Peninsula has gone foodie. The paddocks have been replaced by boutique wineries with trendy tasting rooms. Local shops have become epicurean delis stocking ‘gourmet’ everything. The bakeries sell olive/mustard seed/wholegrain/honey/ciabatta/sourdough at yeast-inflated prices.
Dine by the vines.
The Peninsula, an hour or so outside Melbourne, is now liberally sprinkled with some of Australia’s best restaurants. And younger, more knowledgeable members of our family drag their oldies to a fine dining experience.
It’s pointless to mutter that we could enjoy a week of decent meals for the kind of money they’ll be charging. We’re going to eat at Ten Minutes by Tractor and that’s that. Continue reading
Happy New Year, people!
Internet and mobile phone coverage has been limited in our corner of the world, even though the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia, is just an hour’s drive out of Melbourne.
Thank you for your patience while I’ve been on blogging holidays. I don’t know whether I should be encouraged or disappointed to return to cyberspace and discover that the number of visits to this site was about the same during my absence as when I was working hard to find good stories and post regularly.
The Peninsula is an Australian gem, well known to Melbournians and less well known to tourists. That’s their loss and our gain. I’ll have more to say about it soon.
For now, here are a few shots from my morning walk. I was very lucky with the light – there was just enough mist hanging around the trees to catch the sun’s first rays.
It was an excellent start to my year. I wish everyone many mornings like this during 2013.
South West Tasmania...nice clean beach, where are all the people?
There was a thoughtful and thought-provoking article by Europe-based Australian travel writer David Whitley on the Sydney Morning Herald website today. Whitley argues that Australia can never compete with Europe in attracting tourists – Europe has so much that Australia will never be able to match.
We can’t provide tourists with centuries of history or spectacular ancient buildings, says Whitley. We have no great castles or cathedrals or museums like the Louvre or the Uffizi. Our modern architecture, with the Sydney Opera House as a notable exception, is uninspiring. Our mountains are puny compared to the Alps. We have no drawcard festivals like Oktoberfest, Carnivale in Venice or even Queen’s Day in Holland. We don’t even have summer twilight.
In Europe you can travel three hours on a train and traverse three different countries, passing through charming villages and encountering totally different languages and cultures. Three hours on the train from Sydney will take you through Goulburn and Yass. Continue reading