28 May 2013

Fit For Travel

I find one of the most exciting parts of travelling is the planning and preparation that goes in beforehand.  I love nothing more than browsing backpacks and travel gadgets in Go Outdoors or Blacks (okay, I admit, I love nothing than browsing ANY shop.  Screw you) or stumbling across a really useful gadget to add to my packing list.  Then there's also the more boring things to sort out, like letting your bank know where you're going (to learn why you should not forget this, read a previous post of mine here), organising insurance and ... getting vaccinated!  Nearly forgot about that did you?  It's easily done.

A couple of weeks ago fellow temp and pom N was telling me about her planned trip to Vietnam at work (great work ethic right there).  We discussed the various things to see and do there, and I told her story after story of my own time in South East Asia this being the first time she had gone.  Then I mentioned how lucky I was to get a load of doxycycline for free as an anti-malarial drug.  At which point the smile from N's face vanished and she suddenly went 'Crap, injections'.

With only a week until her flight, she was really lucky to get herself sorted in time.  I showed her a website I always use to find out exactly what she needed to get done.  It then occurred to me to blog about it.

26 May 2013

Pho Chu The

Everyone loves beef pho.  The light fragrance of the spring onions, the soft and juicy beef and the crisp taste of the watery soup.  In Melbourne, Richmond is the best place to go to be spoilt for choice on Vietnamese cuisine.  Before deciding where to go, I asked a Vietnamese guy at work where he would recommend and he said Pho Chu The.  Decision made.

On Saturday night, I met fellow poms Jess and Phil at the restaurant on Victoria Street for a catch up over cans of coke, cups of tea and chopsticks.

25 May 2013

The Festival Of Steve

Melbourne has some unusual and unique events going on and this is certainly one of them.  The only information I could gather from the blog was that it would be a 'festival celebrating the gentlemen of Melbourne'.  I had no idea what to expect and guessed that it would either be really, really good, or really, really rubbish.  The name confused me, because I haven't met any Australian men named Steve. It's like the comedy channel at home called Dave, I know loads of people called Dave who are British.  Makes sense.  But Steve... who is Steve?

Nevertheless this morning I headed into the city with Marlee and Sam to see what it was all about.  It was located at The Kelvin Club on Melbourne Place off Russell Street.  Our first impression was to see a group of men wearing waistcoats stood outside chatting.  Liking what we saw we eagerly hurried inside to sign ourselves in.  The Kelvin Club is this amazing vintage style public house, it felt like stepping into a film set.  Once I had seen the venue the idea of the event clicked right away and I felt excited to get inside and see more.

The entrance lobby to The Kelvin Club

22 May 2013

Pin It Forward UK

About eighteen months ago I joined Pinterest.  My friends described it to me as a place to bookmark, or 'pin', things that you like and things that interest you.  I was hooked immediately, I installed the pin it button on my toolbar right away and began pinning absolutely anything and everything that tickled my fancy.  From pretty colours to interior arrangements, and from fashion items to motivational quotes and even recipes.  You can literally pin anything.

Pinterest is now taking on a very large life of its own and is about to launch a new website in the UK.  Like all good social media networks, the Pinterest team have contacted a number of bloggers recently and got them on board to help spread the word and generate new users in time for the launch.  I was absolutely delighted when I received an email from them last month asking me to take part.  To be involved in such a wonderful demonstration of how important the blogosphere is these days, and to be involved directly with one of my favourite social networks, is a wonderful opportunity and fantastic experience.

I certainly use Pinterest just as much as any other social network, but it gets used in a different way.  I feel that Pinterest is centered around ideas, inspiration and motivation.  Just a few weeks ago I went to the hairdressers and in the chair next to me a girl was on her phone searching through her 'Hair Ideas' board on her Pinterest account, in order to show the stylist what cut she wanted.  So much less hassle than cutting up a hair magazine!

Similarly, my friend Emily used Pinterest heavily last year for inspiration (or pinspiration, say it with me...) whilst planning her wedding.  She got some great ideas for her hair, shoes, the cake and dress from the site.  The best bit was with us girls all living in different parts of the UK at the time, we could all see her ideas on Pinterest and let her know what we thought, or even find our own pins that we thought she'd like.

12 May 2013

Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Melbourne is famous for its street art, so it would be silly for me to not share some of it with you.  Hosier Lane is an iconic laneway where the art is always changing.  It's also home to MoVida, a bloody sensational tapas place!  My cousin and I went about a month ago, but we were unable to get a table at the one here so we went to the much bigger and much more commercial feeling one off Bourke Street.  That said, the food and service was second to none.  It was the best tapas I have ever had, when I think back to the slow cooked beef cheek with cauliflower puree I do a little Homer Simpson gargle.  I left incredibly full and keen to blog, but I want to go back to the original one on Hosier for a blog post.  Good excuse to have a second round of tapas!

Anyway, I digress, a week or so ago Marlee and I decided to go into the city to see an art exhibition.  Said exhibition turned out to be much smaller than we expected so on our way to get some lunch we wandered up Hosier Lane and took some pictures.  Here are mine:

5 May 2013


I'm suffering from a bit of inner turmoil at the moment.  I'm really enjoying living and working in Melbourne, but as ever my travel feet are itching and just won't give it up.  On top of that I'm also going through a new phase of homesickness.  Now that I've been away for more than six months home is on my mind every single day.  Not just my family and friends, but everything about England that I love.  So with all this in mind I'm trying to decide what my next move should be.  I'm all for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and all that, but at the same time I also think that I should be able to say no to something if I really don't want to do it.