Botanical Gardens


Caught this colourful tram



 People watching
And reading

When I get a chance in between everything else I’m doing I try to make an effort to go somewhere in Melbourne I haven’t been before. I actually got a guidebook actually from Kajsa before I left Scotland and I should dig it out and start ticking stuff off because I’m worried when you slip into an everyday routine you forget to go out and do things. In Melbourne you’re kind of spoilt for choice with things to do.

A little while back I ended up having a free afternoon so I decided to venture over to the Botanical Gardens. I had been in it briefly before but only really walked the outskirts of it. This time I had time to go for a proper wander. I loved how it was laid out. At first glance, when you just enter it, it looks pretty bare, nothing that extraordinary but as you walk further and further in, it becomes something else. You’ve got beautiful greenery, plants and small ponds with people going punting on them.

The weather was stunning and everyone was out having picnics, running, walking and sunbathing in the grass. There was so much going on and it was very peaceful. It was like it’s own little bubble and you don’t realise how close you are to the city when you’re in the middle of it all.

I could’ve stayed and walked around for so much longer but had to head back eventually.

How are you all my dears? This week has been a bit of a tough one for me. I feel a bit broken at the moment. On Friday I smashed my chest against the bar attempting a muscle up with a band. I landed full force on my ribs and the pain was excruciating! I was worried I might’ve cracked something but Mich said she though I was okay and she’s an emergency nurse so I trust her. Luckily it is feeling better but I still can’t do a lot of overhead work, which meant yesterday in class when it was mainly all overhead stuff, I had to do an entirely different session. It’s not a big deal at all but I just don’t like missing out haha. Then I’ve also managed to do something to my pinky last week so sometimes when I lift it is really painful. My calves are acting up again after a lot of double unders and running. And finally, on Sunday afternoon and all of Monday I felt awful and achy. It kind of felt like I was getting the flu but on Tuesday I felt almost completely recovered. Very very odd!

It’s safe to say I’m not in my prime at the moment. I’m just taking it easy and trying to recover for my gym’s competition next Sunday. I’m really hoping I can still take part but if my chest continues to hurt like it has then I’m not sure I’ll be abel to participate. It would be a massive shame but I’d rather recover from this than cause more stress to my chest. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not writing this to complain. I just want to share what is going on because I know I write a lot about pbs and everything going well a lot of the time and right now I’m having a bit of a dip! It’s part of life and I know I’ll get through it. It’s just a shame about the timing just before Battle of the Bluff but oh well. It’s done and all I can do is hope that it feels better soon.

Have a lovely day my dears,

M xxx

Serotonin Eatery // Burnley

Serotonin, a place I’ve been dying to go to for ages. It’s a bit of an institution on the vegan and health scene here in Melbourne. Specialising in food to raise your mood and boost your health through their creations. It is a bit off the beaten track over in Burnley, at least in relation to where we live, and that’s why it’s taken so long to to get there.

Last weekend Mim and I FINALLY decided that today was the day. We were out shopping on Chapel Street with her sister Alex. We knew we needed a good feed after spending hours going in and out of shops trying on clothes so off to Burnley and Serotonin we went. Their café is in a lovely location just by a park and they even offer you to take a picnic basket and eat their food in the park. How nice is that?

We walked in through the door and as soon as we got through the doors we were greeted by their lovely staff. We were sat outside on their swings! The best idea ever to have swings. A guy called Gabriel was the one who helped us during our visit and he was amazing! He got our menus and we told him about how long we’d been wanting to go and asked for his recommendations because we wanted to try EVERYTHING. We knew their famous pancakes were a must but other than that we had trouble deciding what to have on top of that. At this point we were starving. It was just before three in the afternoon and we hadn’t had lunch. Meaning we pretty much would’ve wanted to eat the entire menu because of how hungry we were, that didn’t really make the decision any easier.

We were leaning towards their new pizza, you guys know I’m not a massive pizza fan but it sounded unlike any pizza I’d heard of. It’s been made in collaboration with Simon Hill who does one of my favourite podcasts Plant Proof. Unfortunately it had chickpeas in the base and Mim is quite intolerant to them so I will just have to try it another time because we wanted to share food. After a lot of going back and forth we went for another new addition to their menu, the savoury waffles and we added scrambled tofu to it and also ordered a side of satay tempeh. How could you not order some tempeh with satay sauce? Yuuum!

We of course had to try some of their delicious sounding hot drinks while we were waiting on ur food. I had a peanut butter latte. Yup a peanut butter latte! How good does that sound?! And it tasted even better. What a great idea for peanut butter addicts like myself. Mim had a golden latte and it was lovely too!

I’m trying to find words to explain how good the food was and I don’t feel like there are good enough words to really give you an idea of how insane Serotonin’s food is. The pancakes were beautifully fluffy but moist at the same time. The cashew cheese on the waffles was so creamy and cheesy, I have no idea how the managed to make it taste that way. The scrambled tofu tasted amazing and the satay tempeh, that satay sauce was heaven. I could’ve eaten a whole bowl of that stuff. I don’t think the staff have ever seen to more enthusiastic customers. We couldn’t stop mmming and aaaing over how good it all was.

The food was devoured far too quickly and even though it looked like a lot it all somehow fitted in our stomachs without feeling overly full. We then got the very lovely surprise from Gabriel who asked us what dish we’d like to try next time and he gave us a card each with ten dollars off the dish of our choice next time we come in. How nice is that? Incredibly generous of them.

They were closing for the day at this point and we headed to the till to pay, the last people to leave. It’s a very tempting place around the till because they have all their beautiful cakes displayed just there. Mim and I were discussing the cakes and another guy who worked there gave us one of their raw lamington cakes for free. Wow, I’ve never experienced a place so caring and generous towards their customers and everyone who worked there seemed to love to be there. The positive vibes and energy is contagious.

Wow, wow, wow. I’m lost for words and can’t wait to go back!

Crossfit 2018 Partner Comp // Part 2


Now this is what I call a great angle hahahaha

And a little double chin hahaha


Done!

Our first heat was drawing closer and I was getting more and more nervous! We watched some of our other teams compete and they did so well. Then it was time, time to get this thruster workout out of the way. Our heat was called up so we headed over to our lane. I was getting excited. We got set up. I was starting and then Mich was doing the second part. The clock was set on the 10 second countdown and then off we went. Those final beeps for the final three seconds are intense!

The workout had a time cap of 12 minutes. It was divided into two parts and you decided who does the first or second part. My part was 21 dumbbell thrusters at 15kg and 15 toes to bar for two rounds. Then Mich’s part was 21 dumbbell thruster with the same weight and 15 chest to bars for two rounds.

Funnily enough, I was more nervous about the dumbbell thrusters than the toes to bars. It was kind of a big deal even entering a competition with toes to bars in them because a few months ago I couldn’t even string them together. Yet, the thrusters for some reason psyched me out more.

It’s fascinating what a difference competition nerves and adrenaline does because the thrusters didn’t feel as bad as I remembered them. Then again, it’s very different doing them under pressure. My tactic was to break them up into 3 lots of 7s. It’s very easy for me to get carried away sometimes at the beginning of a workout and go too hard because the movement feels easy but this time I was sticking to my plan and forced myself to put the dumbbells down. Stubborn Maddie did come out but I convinced her now was not the time to push through and die at the end. Better to be consistent with little breaks.

The second round was where the thrusters got tough. It all happened very fast but I think I ended up putting down the dumbbells another time before I did my final three or four reps. The toes to bar were a struggle! Then someone from our Red Bluff squad shouted, do singles! So instead of being stubborn once again by trying to get several reps in one go I did singles. Thanks for the reminder whoever that was! When you’re stuck there in your struggle bubble it’s great to have someone watching you yell out with other solutions to the task at hand. I eventually finished my thrusters and then it was Mich’s turn.

I was lying on the floor for the first part of her thrusters but I did see her absolutely smash it. Her tactic on the chest to bars, because it is such a taxing movement was to do singles but she managed a couple of sets unbroken which was amazing to see. Towards her final round of chest to bars I could see she was struggling, the same way I had struggled with my toes to bar. All we wanted was to finish within the time cap. With about 40 seconds left on the clock Mich still had a couple of reps to go and she finished them with a few seconds to spare. What a lady! We were thrilled to have finished that workout. I was relieved and felt like we only had the good ones left. Well, we didn’t know what the final would be but then again, what we didn’t know we couldn’t really worry about. There was not much you could prepare for and we were all in the same boat.

Around this time our coach Pete showed up to support us. It was so great to have him there to discuss tactics and to have his support. He suggested we all found a café nearby to leave the competition and chill out for a bit. It gets very overwhelming competing and spectating all day, it takes it out of you. Our coach Ads something really interesting to us during his pep talk the day before and it was about the most exhausting roles you can have during a comp day:
1. Run the event
2. Judge
3. Spectate
4. Compete

His advice was don’t take on more roles than you need to because they’re all exhausting. So don’t compete and spectate. I had never really thought of it that way before but I knew what he meant. I was dead watching Faye compete at Rainhill and I said to her it almost had felt as though I’d competed too haha.

Mim and Em were in a different and earlier heat from the rest of us and decided to stay at the gym whilst we all headed off to a café nearby. I felt really bad us all leaving them but we went anyway because we needed some space.

We got to the café and chilled for a bit. Some of us had coffees and some food. I was just sitting there and chilling. We were there for 20 minutes or so but then I really felt that I wanted to support Em and Mim. They’re some of our closest friends and I wanted to be there to cheer them on during their heat. So Mich’s boyfriend Kyle very kindly drove Mich, Perry and myself back so we could be there little cheer squad. We knew they had Pete there but it does make a difference having a little support crew when you’re out there on the floor.

Back at the competition PC had arrived, that was a pleasant surprise! Very sneaky of him considering he said he wasn’t going to come when I’d asked him the day before. We all sat down next to Mim’s and Em’s lane. The girls did so well! We were so proud of them.

Philip Island and Penguin Parade


Spot the wallabies

Pyramid Rock

Penguin Parade
A couple of weeks ago my friend PC from the gym and I went on a mini road trip. I had no idea where we were going as he had planned it all. I was just excited to see a bit more of Australia. We got in the car and we drove and we drove. The music was blasting out of the speakers and the sun was shining.

At one point PC got me to drive on the left side of the road for the first time ever. I was really stressed but he talked me through it. It was almost like taking driving lessons again with him pointing out where the indicators were and what to think about when driving haha. I’m glad I had him talk me through it because I’ll tell you, it feels weird driving on the other side of the road when you’re not used to it. I’m glad his car was automatic because I’m not sure how changing gear with my left hand would go. I was only behind the wheel for 10/15 minutes or so but it was really fun and I realised how much I’d missed driving.

We eventually reached the bridge that led over to Philip Island, so yes that’s where PC had planned for us to go. He said we had some time but we had to be somewhere for around six I think it was. Over on the island we were driving to place called Pyramid Rock when we saw something hop in the bushes at the side of the road. PC stopped the car and reversed back. We got out of the car and there in the field were two wallabies staring right back at us. They were so close to us and were incredibly cute. I stood there for ages, so fascinated by how Australia has this amazing and unique wildlife. It’s crazy!

The area around Pyramid Rock (which coincidentally is a rock shaped like a pyramid, who would’ve thought?!) was stunning! A bit windy and grey by the time we got there but that didn’t make the place any less scenic. It was now time for the next part of the trip. As we got closer I eventually guessed we were going to see another animal, penguins. We were going to Penguin Parade, which is where you can see the penguins come out of the ocean at night to go up to there nests on land. So we joined the tourist crowds and grabbed a seat. We sat there for quite a while chatting and waiting for the penguins.

Just as it went dark you could see little groups of penguins running from the water up onto the beach. It was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. You could see how they were working in groups to make sure everyone got across safely. It was kind of an odd experience sitting there in a massive sea of people watching these little guys do there thing. I’m glad it’s all natural and they’re in their habitat but still, you wonder if it doesn’t stress the little guys out. We weren’t allowed to take photos, which was good as I could only imagine what a shock it would be for the penguins if a flash went off. Still some idiots were insisting on getting their phones out for a photo.

It got even worse when we were walking back and you could get real close to the penguins. People literally stuck a phone in the little penguins’ faces and the flash even went off. It made me so sad to see how inconsiderate and selfish people can be. All in all, it was really cool to see real life penguins in the wild. If you can really call it in the wild with this set up but pretty much in the wild.

Overall such a fun day! I would have to say the highlight was probably the wallabies and now when I think of it we also I think saw some kangaroos hopping by Pyramid Rock. PC couldn’t quite make up his mind when I asked if they were wallabies or kangaroos as they were quite far away. There’s something so special about spotting animals in their natural habitat with no one around. Just crossing pathways with them and seeing them do their thing. I can’t wait to go back to Philip Island and see more of it.

Right time to get going with this day! I’ll speak to you soon,

M xxx