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The year 2012 marked the beginning of something special for Trish and I, this was our first overseas adventure together and I’m happy to say there is many more ahead.
Though this video may not be of the best of quality, we have since up-graded our technological standards to keep up with the demand for quality in the digital realm so please don’t judge us on our past ignorance.
I will soon display our plans to take place later this year, so hold onto your socks, but in the mean time to get you warmed up I hope you enjoy this little tribute to our beginnings as much as we enjoyed making it.
Midsummer Festival is held in Melbourne during the dates of January 12th – 2nd February and is a celebration of Queer Culture.
The opening carnival was a fantastic event which brought together all sorts in celebration of the LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Intersex) community. Unfortunately what was portrayed of queer culture on this day was a very sex orientated series of entertainment. I don’t necessarily agree with the queer culture seemingly to be all about sex and felt the entertainment somewhat over exaggerated this aspect for which I was little disappointed, though it was very entertaining to see a dancer get very drunk and hump the stage, but hey that’s just my thoughts.
To be honest I was just happy to be out and about in the arms of my girlfriend, feeling accepted within the community and not afraid to give her a kiss because of the social awkwardness of the people around us – the drunk, stage humping dancer I guess was just a bonus.
Like most music festivals there was rockin’ music, live bands and great company as the sun made it’s exit. The energy of thundering feet electrified the atmosphere, dirt fogged the air and the last of the sun cooked our skin as we celebrated our acceptance as human beings.
If your looking to see what it’s all about please visit the Midsummer Festival website for a list of events or to support the Queer community please join the beloved Pride March is held on the 2nd of February for a great cause and quality entertainment.
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We stopped for our favourite meal of the day in a cosy little town called Port Fairy and filled out grumbling bellies with a ‘big breakfast’ at a café called Rebecca’s where the meals were reasonably priced. We sculled down our ice coffees and scoffed the plate of spinach, eggs and sausages until the delicious meal hit the spot.
We had a couple of stops on the way including a scenic lookout along the coast called Yellow Rock which is located around the Portland area, this amazing view of the ocean cliffs had us photographing for hours running up and down the long stairwell. I must admit that I have a small fear of waves and so as Trish stubbornly seeped closer to the crashing sea that hit the rocks with an exploding force I panicked and imagined that the tide was coming in. I yelled to Trish to retreat from the edge of the ocean, of course I may have overreacted just a little, but Trish just laughed at my incompetence.
We passed through Portland briefly sussing out the township before heading straight for Cape Nelson, 10 minutes outside of Portland. That was it for us; the Lighthouse stole the show and had all the best things on offer in one area without disappointment, beautiful architecture, a fantastic scenic lookout and ‘The Lighthouse Café’ a great place to chill out.
Unfortunately because of our fascination with taking photos at Yellow Rock we arrived at Cape Nelson Lighthouse too late to join a tour of the building, but for anyone who is interested in seeing the Lighthouse from a higher point of view the tours operate from 11am and 2pm daily. They also offer accommodation for those who are looking for a romantic getaway.
The flawless white lighthouse overlooks a deadly beautiful drop below into a fluffy ocean swell. I hiccuped fearfully as Trish once again sort to be too close to the edge which was becoming a very annoying habit of hers. I scrapped my knees on the rough rock to peek my head over the cliff-side to see the clear blue calm of the rock pools.
This famous lighthouse has been the star in a movie called ‘South Solitary’ which is now on my must watch list. After scouting around the outside of this amazing building which was erected to help passing ships sail through Bass Strait (the sea between Victoria and Tasmania) which is said to be like threading a needle, we rested for a bit in the little lighthouse café with a lemon lime and bitters and a unusual and delicious homemade coconut, prune and apple cake served with cream and ice cream, the best combination of sweet and refreshing after a long day on the road.
Trish and I have spent our first days of 2014 rolling up and down the coiled string of bitumen called The Great Ocean Road which is located on the south, western coast of Victoria, Australia. The 243 km road begins in Torquay and Finishes at Allansford, and is just a beautiful glimpse of the endless Australian coast. The road developed just after the first World War by returned soldiers who work on the roads to give easy access to secluded areas for transportation and tourism purposes.
On the very first day the weather set the theme for the rest of our stay with rain and wind and just an hour of sunshine just to trick us into thinking our luck would change. We stayed in Princetown at the 12 Apostle Camping Park, which had an exceptional view. The nights where long, also plagued with wind and rain threatening to collapse our tent. The morning’s sun warmed up our tent into a sauna but as we unzipped our way outside we found it to be grey and chilly.
The culture of the region has a quirky sense of humour. We found a tree with a witch smacked into it, a fence with shoes hanging from it, animals crammed into every nook and cranny and simple pubs with the tastiest food. One pub in particular The Road House Tavern located in Lavers Hill served the best burgers we’ve ever eaten for only $11. Just a note with any trip you make; go where the locals go, not the tourists. In main tourist locations you’ll find you’ll pay more for mediocre meals as we rediscovered in towns such as Port Campbell and Apollo Bay.
If you’re thinking about making a trip down this way I certainly recommended it but heed my word of warning when I say that this road will knot your stomach. After several days of cruising down the cliff hugging pavement, your ears going snap crackle and pop, the thunder of rolling wheels, brakes pumped on every bend, you realise that that burger you ate 45 minutes ago may not make it all the way down.
I say this only for you to prepare your self on a road trip that is The Great Ocean Road but I do recommend forcing through these difficulties if only just to witness its unforgiving coastal shores, heart stopping wild life and unpredictable rainforests.
After all sometimes you have to go deep into the lions den to witness its splendor.
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Tomorrow Trish and I will begin our Great Ocean rd Adventure. The road is a long 243 km windy, tummy turning strip on the Southern Coast of Victoria, Australia and is the home of some of the most beautiful landscapes, national parks and wildlife.
We will camp out under the stars just outside the town of Port Campbell. Our itinerary will include the obvious coastal landmarks such as the 12 apostles and the London Bridge as well as several forests and waterfalls and one particular surprise which Trish has set up for my Birthday.
There will be day trips to Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Portland, Port Campbell and Apollo bay and tasting of wines at local wineries, cheese from cheese farms and fresh local seafood from the many cafes and restaurants. I’m drooling just writing about it.
If you have any suggestions on things to see and do I would love to hear about them.
What a great start to the New Year!
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A couple days before Christmas I took my nine year old niece, Kiarah, to Melbourne city for a bit of sight seeing.
The plan was to show her a bit of everything our city had to offer, to educate her on Melbourne’s culture and give her a different experience than what she was used too.
As they say in show business avoid working with animals and children. This idea for an article to educate a child on city culture did not exactly go to plan but instead my niece educated me on how to make the most of every minute.
We entered the National Gallery of Victoria but did not admire the art. Alternatively Kiarah lead me through the maze of doorways and ramps to find a balcony where we put the camera on timer ran too the other side squealing ‘go, go’ and took selfies. We played with a magnetic sculpture and were told off by a nearby security guard.
We flipped a coin in the fountain outside to make a wish, Kiarah wished it would continue to rain because we were having fun getting soaked and then found a photo-booth and took more selfies of us looking rather damp. We went to the Victoria State Library’s dome room and instead of admiring the architecture we climbed the stairs all the way to the top to see how high we could get and then took the elevator to back down.
Instead of waiting in line to witness the famous Myer windows we climbed a nearby bench and looked over the heads of the crowd, then walked arms linked singing ‘Follow the yellow brick road’ through the crowd of people and stopped at Myer’s makeup section and tried the lipsticks and eye-shadows.
I do apologise for not taking as many photographs of Melbourne as I probably should have but I was so occupied seeing Melbourne through the eyes of a child that I began to appreciate living like one once again.
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I’d like to tell you about a little country town called Echuca.
As a child I came to know Echuca as a place for family vacations, where my Granddad and father taught me how to fish with my new bright pink fishing rod, where we strolled down the Murray Esplanade which looked as though it had been held in a time capsule, and at night play several games of poker under the rustle of the eucalyptus trees.
On the banks of the Murray River, Echuca is a busy little country town North of Melbourne, a playground for the old and young.
Recently we returned for a family reunion for both happy and sad circumstances and found that not much had changed.
We stayed just outside the town on a homely property called Possum Grove surrounded by olive trees and curious cows which came so close that me, my Mum and Nanna all screamed and ran for safety while Trish and my Dad showed off by getting as uncomfortably close as possible.
Echuca is a diamond in the rough taking the past 100 years of Australian history and bringing it nostalgically to the present with the sound of a horse and cart scraping town the dirt road, paddle boats tooting along the river, and a small orchestra in a nearby gazebo swooning you into excitement, and with a pub around every corner how could you go wrong?
When I think of Echuca I think of a swag man in style. Echuca is a clash of old and new, beautiful township mixed with harshness of nature, Eucalyptus leaves mixed fresh baked bread.
Together, my family came to this familiar place and stood on bank of the Murray River, all seventeen of us, brothers, sisters, mums dads, aunties and uncles and cousins with our five dogs wagging their tails and barking to the wind, together we said goodbye to a Man who was a Grandad, a Great-grandad, a Dad and a Husband.
My Mum and Uncle freed my Granddad’s ashes and his spirit into the Murray River for safe keeping. With all our joyful memories we knew this was his happy place.
RIP Ernie Moger
Yesterday someone advised me that the way I wanted to live my life was wrong. She said that ‘My goal to travel the world for the rest of my life was unrealistic’ and that ‘the real world does not work like that.’ She then proceeded to tell me that ‘She was older and wiser than me and knew better.’
Yesterday I was very annoyed and confused and this woman’s words consumed me. I was stunned that my goals and beliefs in life were questioned by someone I hardly knew.
I took a look at a study made in 2008 at the National Institute of Health which stated that people’s biggest regrets consisted of education and career.
Today I woke with a fresh mind and received some great advice from some amazing people in my life, people who know me and my passions well.
When I asked a very good friend of mine what she thought she stated that she has had similar experiences and concluded very rightly that ‘sometimes when you try to explain something to someone they try to see themselves in that situation and it just doesn’t work because their own fears and concerns come into play.’
I realized that the woman who criticised my goals was not wrong; she had every right to her own views but these things she had said to me were a reflection of her self and her life, not mine. If I did not pursue my goal as a travel writer/ photographer this would be my biggest regret.
I guess I was stunned at the time, stunned that someone could not bring themselves to accept another’s choice in life whether they think it achievable or not. There would be no fun in trying if we did not question our abilities to do what we wished in life against all odds.
I recently stumbled upon this quote which reflects the recent test of my ambition, and it reminded me to continue to aim high. This quote is now one of my favorites. I hope it serves you as it has served me.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
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So a few weekends ago we went to Bendigo with a few mates. Bendigo is located in central Victoria, around 2 hours outside of Melbourne, Australia.
The town was filled with music in celebration of their yearly Blues and Roots Festival where hundreds of local artists take turns in performing their talents in venues all over Bendigo.
During the day we split up and explored the different sights Bendigo had to offer including the amazing modern mixed with vintage architecture. In the 1850s gold was discovered in the Bendigo soil and so they built a fantastic cityscape including the spectacular sight of the sacred heart church.
I became a little inspired by the crochet street art, also know as crochet bombing, created by some mysterious vigilante grannies. I found out that these fantastic artistic creations that bring colour and mystery to the streets is illegal because it’s considered vandalism. This law was no doubt created by some grinch of a government.
Later that night we headed to The Exchange bar/ cafe to chill and listen to a line of musicians. I headed back early with a couple of the girls while Trish partied on like a rock star until the early morning. The Bendigo residences have a reputation for dancing like crazy, I was warned about taking my camera and I could definitely see why. I made sure I stood back as people kicked and shook and jumped around to the music.
Bendigo, with or without a music festival is a fantastic place to spend a weekend and is much larger than the average country town. Check out Bendigo’s festivals and Events.
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