About Me

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Loving all stylish and wonderful things in life, fashion and interiors. I am English but living my life in the fabulous city of Melbourne in Australia. Welcome and please read on.... (contact me at sjstubbs19@gmail.com)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Art for Art's Sake

Melbourne is famed for amazing and eye catching 'Street Art' in the many small laneways and arcades in the city and whether you love it or hate it you have to admit that it is colourful and different. The dear, darling daughter LOVES it and so, before she went back, we went for a special visit to the city in order that she could take a few photographs. These she has decided she will enlarge and use to decorate her room at University when she goes in late September. Here are a small sample of the many photographs she took:

After all that we decided to go to a wonderful, hidden away little Chinese place recommended for their fantastic and tasty dumplings filled with soup and pork... Shoa-long Bao - they even have special instructions for the correct way of enjoying and eating them.....!

Above photograph - the cooks hard at work making hundreds of wonderful dumplings for lunchtime diners.

And here above are the finished article......................mmmmmm!!
They were really delicious.... Luckily I am going back there again next Friday - I have made a plan to meet my friend Shelly for lunch there - she is a dumpling 'officiando' and I am sure she will LOVE them as much as we did.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vineyard Visit on a Sunday

Yesterday was one of those glorious, crisp and sunny Winter's days that makes you feel happy to be alive and also promises that Spring is not too far away. So, in order to celebrate this Mr SE and I struck out of the City of Melbourne into the countryside on a mini road trip. We drove for around an hour and a half or so towards the Bunyip State Park and early afternoon I spied a sign saying turn off next left for Vineyard! We bumped down a track for around 8 kms and then came to this very welcoming and promising notice! Wine - tick. Wood fired pizza - tick. Art gallery - tick.

This was were we had come. Jinks Creek Winery. Seems to me that we had stumbled across quite a find. The car park (such as it was - just a rather rough field) was full and when we opened the door to the rustic barn in the photo below it was

loud; packed full of people either standing up chatting or sitting down together in large parties laughing and drinking and eating and having fun! What a find..... Only problem seemed would they be able to fit us in - I am sure they are booked up well in advance... Whilst we were waiting I had a quick look in the Art gallery just off the main room/dining room.

A gorgeous room full of light with dark wooden floors and white walls.

This was the view behind the counter - love all those stacked plates in subtle, muted colours. Perfection.

A view of the busy dining room.... It is difficult to describe just how much I LOVED this place. It was slightly chaotic, unpretentious and the furniture was worn and painted - all my kind of favourite things. I am still smiling to myself as I am writing this remembering yesterday. I think the man in the blue shirt standing in the middle of the photo is the owner.

See what I mean? Just look at this lovely table. The cutlery was kept in the boxes on the table.

Open fires....
And this was where they found a little spot to put us. On a squishy leather sofa next to the fire sitting at a low table. We did not mind and quickly ordered. A glass of Pinot Noir for me and water for us both (sorry, Mr SE you were the designated driver!).

Our delicious food. Simple but fantastic. Woodfired Margarita pizza and a salad of rocket and toasted pine nuts.... Yummy.

Afterwards we went for a stroll around the outside. See all the vines behind Mr SE - looking rather bare at the moment (the vines not him!) - not long before Spring though.

Then I can imagine coming back to this place and sitting outside on the deck and having lunch at this GORGEOUS, scrumptious table. What a view.

It was hard to leave the Vineyard but we went on through the Bunyip State Park seeing views like the one below at every corner we turned.

Through the forest....

And then a quick look at the reservoir which serves the City of Melbourne. Thank goodness water levels have risen over the last 6 months. At one point Melbourne's water supply was dwindling fast such was the lack of rain in the state.

Then home again. I did have a little sleep on the way back I have to admit. Must have been that glass of red !

A perfect day!
P.S. More excitement. I have just checked the website (see the link above) and they also do Bed and Breakfast - now how wonderful would that be ? We are DEFINITELY going back.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Photos from Sydney

Apologies that it is well over a week since we returned from the beautiful city of Sydney and I have not till now shared our photographs with you. Here are quite a few to make up for lost time!

We had the most fabulous time there and look - the sun shone for us too! The eagle eyed amongst you will see that the dearest, darling daughter has had an image change and gone brunette whilst she has been in Australia. I have to admit that it was quite a shock to begin with but now I rather like it. Oh, and there is also the small addition of a nose piercing that I was not so 'cool' about - in fact I burst into tears. Yes, I know I am rather silly at times but I guess it could have been worse. (Just letting you know that all is not always a bed of roses in the Semi Expat household as may be depicted via the blog world) .....

No matter... back to our weekend. A very happy Semi Expat basking in the sunshine outside the cafe at the Museum of Modern Art in Sydney.

And on the ferry over to Manly Beach.

The iconic landmark, the Opera House .... one photograph with a very happy and smiling daughter!

Getting ready in our lovely 'marble-ized' bathroom at the hotel.

The view from the window where we had dinner.

As you can see from the shopping bags we also had some time for a little sale retail therapy too!

Quite a bit actually!

Photo above taken for us by obliging security guard at the Opera House... wonder how many times a day he gets asked we wondered!

So there we are... a selection of photographs for you. Today I am rather sad as I say goodbye to the dearest one. She flies back to UK tonight so we are off to spend the last day in Melbourne together...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Off for a mother and daughter weekend

And this is where we are going..... Leaving very early tomorrow morning - on an 8am flight.

We are so excited - we have each packed a 'capsule wardrobe' for a little sightseeing, browsing/shopping and outfits for a Saturday evening in this beautiful city. I can hardly wait. This is a first for my daughter - she has never been to Sydney before and I am delighted to be able to share this with her - I have been a few times but don't know the city all that well so it will be fun to discover new places as well as going to see the iconic landmarks again. I could never tire of the Sydney Opera House for example.

We will be sure to take lots of photos for a few posts next week......
A wonderful weekend to all whatever you may be doing and wherever you are.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A day in the life of a mature 'model'

Dearest, darling, daughter has today finished her 9 week course at the in Melbourne and I am proud to say that she has passed with flying colours!

I had to go into the school today as one of her assessments was 'Mature Age' make up and I offered up my mature face to another student as well as to DDD. (See result above - top left!). I have to admit I was a little overcome when the assessor said, after inspecting the makeup that my daughter had created for me - "Well, that is absolutely stunning work, well done...." I almost cried and ruined it all!! (I am such a 'sook' as they say here in Oz - roughly translated as a bit of a 'weed' or softie).

My daughter has always been artistic and has a creative streak - this was a course for her before she begins her University back in England in September. A little bit of fun before the studying begins in earnest and as it is also an accredited course would help her if she wanted to get a part time job whilst at University or do some freelance work.

She's loved it and I have rather liked have my very own 'make up artist in residence' too. I am sure even Madonna doesn't even have that luxury!