29 September 2011


We’ve just returned from a couple of nights at Echuca, with Denis and Donna.   On the way up, we checked out some of the Heathcote wines, and on the way back, some of the Goulburn Valley wines.   The latter included Tahbilk (see photo) as well as Plunkett Fowles at Avenel.    I hadn’t heard of Plunkett Fowles, but in addition to the wine being very acceptable, they served a good lunch in a nice restaurant overlooking the Strathbogies.    Our accommodation at Echuca was chosen for functionality rather than style, but was OK.    We did the obligatory paddle-steamer trip (see photo) with a break for lunch at Morrisons winery (we sat on the balcony and were watched by a couple of kookaburras - see picture).  In between all this, we had time for a couple of coffees in the port area as well as dinner each night at a club (one night was the Moama Bowling Club, the other was the Rich River Country Club).    A nice break, although arriving back in Melbourne in the middle of a major storm slowed our homeward trip.

25 September 2011

Vienna Art & Design exhibition

We recently had an evening at the Vienna Art & Design exhibition at NGV.  This exhibition explores the concepts which were in vogue in Vienna just before and just after the commencement of the 20th Century.  

The display contains art works, examples of architecture, fashion, furniture and decorative arts. Included are works by the Secessionists who desired to integrate art into all aspects of life.  As the website states, they “embraced extreme rationality in its architecture and design, [and] equally encompassed the irrational and dark side of human nature.”  There are also examples of work by architect Otto Wagner, who was deeply involved in Vienna's transformation form a city of "historicism" to a city of modernism.

Of particular interest was that this exhibition was not imported from a single source.  Rather, it was assembled in Melbourne, using a number of items (especially furniture ) held by NGV as the basis, with other items borrowed from a variety of public and private sources.

Following the guided our, we had dinner at the Savage Club, where two of the curators offered some further  insights into the exhibition, complemented by comments from a couple of well-qualified Club members.

24 September 2011


A couple of weeks back, we had an overnight stay to Bendigo (girls’ trip to the White Wedding Dress exhibition, which I’m told was impressive).  I had a look at the Bendigo gallery, which isn’t large, but it does have a number of nice works.    We also visited the Chinese museum, which seemed to  pretty honest  in its description of history.   And they have several dragons there, for use in the Easter parade – well, the big new one is, the older one has been pensioned off.  On the way back from Bendigo we checked out some of the Heathcote wines and had a nice platter for lunch at the Shelmerdine winery (at Tooborac) - recommended.  However, I didn't take any pictures.

Sunshine Coast

After returning from our trip in June,  we spent a couple of weeks on the Sunshine Coast.   One week was at Noosa and the other was at Mooloolaba.   I won’t go into all the details, but here are a couple of pictures.  One is of the  "Valley Rattler” (a steam train based in Gympie that runs on the Mary Valley line), and the other is of Coolum Beach.

23 September 2011


Ang and Kev have recently introduced us to Tilly.  She's a labrador, and growing up fast. This is a recent pic!
EDIT - name has been corrected.  Any resemblance to "silly" is presumably coincidental.

22 September 2011

Why a blog?

Having experimented with a blog when travelling overseas earlier in the year (EDIT - here's a link, in case of interest -  http://www.sandg-italy2011.blogspot.com/)  , I realise that a blog is a useful place to record those random thoughts that seem inspirational at the time, but soon disappear.  These thoughts are similar to those that come to you in the middle of the night but are gone by the morning, leaving you only with the feeling of having had a brilliant idea but being unable to recall what it was!

Hence, here’s a new blog.  The idea is to keep a note of the thoughts that occasionally occur and seem at the time to be worth recording.  Hopefully by blogging, the mind will be kept active and free of cobwebs!