Saturday, 23 March 2013

Looking back

We have almost come to the end of our six weeks in Australia.  Just a couple more days to enjoy with the family here.  Today our little birthday girl has a party in the park.  The preparations have been impressive and the food coming out of the kitchen, especially of the cake variety, are extremely promising for someone like me who was, after all, born to eat cake.  

I have been looking back over my photographs taken during this visit and in a spirit of pure self indulgence I am going to post some of my favourites here.  There's rather a lot but I hope you enjoy them!

This flower is magnolia grandiflora.  It grows to be rather more than a shrub with beautiful creamy white flowers and the most wonderful leaves.  This photo doesn't really show them, the one below is a little clearer, but they are glossy dark green on top and a lovely, slightly fuzzy, fox brown on the underside.  A very handsome combination indeed.  I love it a lot!
One ridiculously hot day we had a wander along Victoria Street which is wall to wall Vietnamese shops selling food, trinkets, all sorts of stuff, including these apples which look as though they came via the tattoo parlour
 a few morsels from the Mekong Delta,
and some tiny sugar bananas.  We used to get these when we lived in the Bahamas.  They are sweeter than sweet.

Below school boys on the tram on the way home from school.  School children here are properly turned out and there is no loose interpretation of uniform.  They have to embrace the meaning of the word and look very smart indeed, with no exceptions.
 A Victorian railway station. 
This is the walkway down to one of the many beautiful beaches in Coffs Harbour, NSW.
 Embracing the gentle running wave on a very hot day!
We visited the Queen Victoria Markets again.  The produce there is so fresh and beautiful but I tried not to get too carried away with photos because I took so many last year!   I thought these duck eggs were rather lovely though.
We have enjoyed some very delicious brunches in a few of the zillions of cafe bars around Melbourne.  One of the dishes which appears on the breakfast and brunch menus is Bircher Muesli.  I've had it a couple of times and it is absolutely delicious.  The oats are soaked overnight in fruit juice or fragrant tea, even rosewater, and then mixed with yoghurt, a little honey, some cinnamon maybe, and served with poached fruit, nuts, seeds, whatever - delicious.
We stayed overnight with cousins who live up in the Dandenong Ranges, just outside Melbourne.  Their garden just flows into the forest behind their house and we had a wonderful walk through the woods.  The gum trees which grow there are known as mountain ash.  You may get a sense of the height of these giant trees from these three photos.
Our little grand daughter has just celebrated her first birthday!  She is the most adorable wee  girl you can possibly imagine.  She smiles all the time and has the sweetest temperament of any baby I have ever known.  We are truly blessed to have her in our family.  She is a complete joy.
 Birthday ballerina!
Present opening, following close inspection!
Me and my wee girl.

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