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

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

World Vegan Day // Melbourne Showgrounds

The crew minus Mich who didn’t want to be in the photo

If there’s something I’ve learnt about Melbourne is that there is always someting happening. If you wanted to be busy every day of the week I’m convinced you’d find something different to do every day. The vegan scene here is pretty amazing. There are vegan events happening all the time. Some of them we’ve been to and been a bit disappointed and others have been fun. At the majority of it’s mainly all about the food, which I’m all down for.

World Vegan Day was a couple of weeks ago and for this day a massive event is held in Melbourne at the showgrounds. Em has been talking about this non-stop for months as she went last year and absolutely loved it. I knew about it from watching Youtuber Bonnie Rebecca’s vlog from her trip to it last year. Little did I know when I was watching it that I would be experiencing it for myself the next year. How times change!

Mim, Em, Mich and I have to been talking about going to this day for ages and the expectations were quite high considering how Em had been singing its praises.

We had the best day for it, the sun was shining and it was a really warm. We got on the “Vegan Express” to the venue, as the train driver called it, and arrived at the Showgrounds around midday. The event was in a massive tent and as soon as you stepped foot in it you were in vegan food heaven. Food stalls were everywhere and vendors were handing out free samples of their products to try. It was a bit overwhelming!

Usually when eating vegan you are limited by what food you can eat. This usually is in my favour as I can never make up my mind. Okay I can, it just takes forever. Here, everything you could eat was vegan. I didn’t even know where to start looking but I was starving and was in desperate need of a refuel. The group split up and Mim and I ended up at a Thai food stall (always drawn to the Thai food) and got a platter with a mix of Pad Thai, satay and spring rolls. It was delicious! Then we couldn’t not have some food from Vegilicious (based in St Kilda), we’ve had their food before and it is insanely good. Their vegan Japanese pancake and stir fry is out of this world.

The cherry on top was meant to be an Acai bowl from Acai Brothers but it was boring and uninspired. t didn’t really taste of anything, which was a shame.

Once we had been fed we walked around all the other stalls for ages. I got my first ever Coconut Bowl, I’ve been wanting one for ages and I’ve used it every day since I got it. I don’t know why but it’s much more fun eating out of a coconut than a bowl.

I also took the plunge and got my first In the Soulshine top. I love it so much and have used it loads since! We were there for the entire afternoon with some breaks outside in the sun. There was so much to look at and we didn’t even get a chance to go to any of the talks or workshops, yet when we left we felt like we’d still managed to squeeze in loads.

It was such a fun day with my girls and we are really excited to go back next year!

The coast

There’s an Arthur’s Seat here in Australia as well!

Look at that water!

Lunch at The Holy Bean in Rosebud

Rosebud’s beach
Gonnamatta Beach 

My adventures and exploration of the Melbourne area continues! PC suggested the other day we would go for a drive down the coast and I wasn’t going to say no to an opportunity to see more of this beautiful place! It was Em, Mich, PC and myself who were all going so we packed up the car with two dogs and ourselves and away we went. I didn’t really have a clue of where we were going but I was just excited to see something different.

We droves past vineyards and farms along the way and it really took me back to the Australia I remember from visiting with my family years and years ago. The drive down was lovely. PC was pointing out all the areas along the way and telling us about them. Probably more new information for me than the others seeing as I’m the only foreigner hehe.

Our first stop along the way was at Arthur’s Seat. Yes there is apparently more than just the one in Edinburgh back home I was about to say. Well it’s sort of back home. It was my home for almost six years good old Scotland! You can get cable cars and go up and down the… I want to say mountain? Is it a mountain or a hill? I’m not quite sure. Either way the view was stunning. Unfortunately no ride in the cable cars this time around considering we had the dogs with us but I’m sure there’ll be other opportunities to do that.

We continued along the serpentiney roads down towards Rosebud, a town along the coast where we stopped for lunch at a place called The Holy Bean. They had a separate vegan menu, which was handy as three quarters of the road trip crew are vegan/eat majority vegan. I had an almond milk turmeric latte and then went for their avocado toast. The food was tasty but needed quite a lot salt and pepper. Unfortunately the beetroot relish on the side had a very bitter aftertaste. I like beetroot but that flavour at the end was not great.

After we were fed and the hunger crisis was over we headed to the beach just across the road of the café. It was stunning with white sand and the water had hints of turquoise in it. The dogs were running around like mad and one of them Rusty managed to somehow find a all the dead puffer fish along the beach. Apparently they are very poisonous so most of the time we were all keeping an eye on him to make sure he didn’t try to eat them! Crazy that I’m in a country where there are pufferfish washed ashore and fish can be poisonous. I don’t think there are any poisonous fish back home in Sweden.

Next stop before we had to head back for the gym was Gonnamatta Beach and wow, the view there was just something else. This is the kind of scenery I remember from years ago. Stunning cliffs and beautiful beaches. A view that makes you stop and you could stand there forever taking it all in. I wish we would’ve had a chance to stay for longer but time was running out and the dogs weren’t allowed out in that area.

On the way back we were playing cheesy amazing music and singing along the entire way back. It was great haha. The trip left me wanting to see more. It was a great first glance of all there is to see here in Victoria and only a couple of hours drive from Melbourne. Everyone is talking about how we’ll do more things like these once spring and summer comes and I can’t wait!

We eventually got to the gym, a bit later than usual but still managed to squeeze in three different workouts before it was time to leave. I felt a bit blaah, this week’s classes have been quite tough and my body was feeling a bit tired but I got through it all. We did a bit of double undering and walking lunges once we were done with our main workout and I managed to string together over 40 in a row consistently. Finally! We finished off with abs and I can still feel them today. I don’t very often do just ab work stuff but Em made sure we squeezed in an ab tabata session at the end and my core was on fire!

Today is Sunday and I’m on my final days in the house and with Taylor. I’m going to miss that little cutie when I move out! Today I’m paying a deposit for a room I’m renting in North Brighton for the next month. If all goes to plan I should be moving in there next Saturday.

In other exciting news, I’m starting a new job tomorrow! I know, a long time coming and I’m really excited to have something to do. Vineyard work will be happening later on in the spring so I’m looking forward to working, meeting some new people and earning some money while I’m waiting. I was invited to come along to their weekly Thursday dinner the other night and they were so lovely. It was nice to meet everyone before coming in for the first time tomorrow. I’m getting a bit nervous but I’m sure I’ll be okay. It’s always a bit scary when you’re new. I can’t wait to get to grips with everything so I can do my best possible job. I’ve been looking for so long to find something to do so I’m glad it’s finally happening.

So yes there’ll be slightly less gym hangouts and more work. I knew it was bound to happen eventually hehe. Can’t go to the gym like a crazy person forever unfortunately. It’s been amazing to have the chance to train as much as I have and to just hang out with everyone but now it’s time for change and whilst I’ll still be aiming to go every day at least it’ll be different. I think it’ll be a good change.

Time to soon get ready for Sunday track session! The weather is looking promising with the sun coming out. You never know what the means though. Last Sunday it rained every other minute and was sunny the next. Here’s hoping we stay nice and dry. I’m wondering what our coach Dave has up his sleeve for training today.