Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Melbourne Parliament House

Spring Street, East Melbourne, Victoria 3000
P: 03 9651 8911

Towards the end of last year, several of us ladies in the office decided to go for High Tea at Parliament House, which is an easy walk from the office. I fully recommend it, it was lovely.

While we were there, a couple of us then decided to hitch a lift on a guided tour of the building. There was much it didn’t take in, and we couldn’t go into the senate at all, however the guide told us an awful lot of information on the history of the building and the people who’d spent their working lives in it. Below are a sample of some of my favourite pictures from the tour.

Entry hall. Pictures of past big-wigs in Victorian politics surround the walls. I love the soaring spaces and high ceilings in this building.

So hard to believe how many volumes there are in this room. They have everything in them.

I got into trouble trying to take this picture! I just wanted this shot, with no-one in it, but the guide wouldn’t leave me alone for the 3 seconds it would take to do it (because she couldn’t leave people unsupervised or somesuch). I did eventually manage it, however she gave me the frowning of my life. The irony is that, once the tour was over, I went to the toilet... and could have wandered right into this room unsupervised. Go figure. I just wanted the picture.

Just one of these chandeliers would go a nice way to paying off a good chunk of my mortgage. I can’t remember all the details around them, but I think all up they cost, or are worth, nearly $300k.

The library. It’s not open to the public. I love the old vs. new feel of it. See the old staircase and the bookshelves? See the mouse in the bottom right corner? We weren’t allowed to move from a tiny area in the middle of the room, which is a shame as I’d love to explore it more fully. Sadly, I think the only way I could do that is to join Victorian politics, and frankly I’m too honest and nice for that!

According to the website, public tours are conducted on weekdays when Parliament isn’t sitting, and leave more or less hourly from 9.30am. See the calendar on their website for more information.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nash Gallery & Cafe

212 Ipwich Street, Esk, Queensland 4312
P: 07 5424 2424

I realise it was a while ago now, but in my defence I DID have an entire post typed up, then lost it due to being scatter-brained.

On New Year’s Day mum and I decided to go for a drive. We thought we’d meander up to Somerset Dam and, by lunchtime, had reached Esk. We figured we were hungry, so looked around for somewhere to eat. Nash Gallery looked interesting, so in we went.

The cafe is set up in an old Queenslander-style house and, although it’s not air-conditioned, the design of the house meant that the temperature inside was still quite pleasant. We decided, however, to take a table on the verandah. Lovely white tablecloths, with butchers paper over the top, and a pot of crayons to play with are dotted around. There’s something on the menu for nearly everyone, and we quickly decided what appealed to us the most.

I went for the bacon pie. Back at school we used to get this regularly, but never to this standard. This was delicious. Possibly a touch too much pepper in it for my liking (given that I’m not a fan of pepper at all), but still full of flavour. It was a VERY generous serving. The chips were lovely too – crisp on the outside and all fluffy in the middle, and the salad was perfect – crisp and fresh, with dressing on the side so you could add as much or as little as you wanted.

Mum ordered the salmon quiche. This was also very good, although mum said it was a touch over-cooked – probably due to being reheated for serving.

Both serves were a generous size. So generous, in fact, that we couldn’t even consider anything from the sweets case:

We did, however take a bag of rum balls with us when we left.

The cafe doubles as an art and craft gallery. There are plenty of creations on display for sale, and if I had the $$ I would have happily purchased several. There are also posters with information on the area, and the house itself. I found it all quite interesting.

It also has disabled access – a ramp up the side of the house provides wheelchair access, and the toilet (one only – unisex) is well set up to accommodate people with movement challenges.

The scenery around Esk is lovely –with Mt Esk looming over the town there are some great sights. If you find yourself in the area around morning tea/lunch/afternoon tea time, give the Nash a go.

Oh, and of course I couldn’t resist the temptation of those crayons, so left a short message for the owners. I even managed to convince mum to write something!

I’m a regular Picasso, yes?

Monday, March 12, 2012


Woodenbong is a quiet little town approximately two hours drive south of Brisbane , just inside the NSW border. Well, it’s usually quiet, but sometimes Woodenbong digs through its wardrobe and pulls on its old party frock to show locals and visitors a good day out.

Yes, Woodenbong Show is on again. After being cancelled by the weather last year, Sunday 29 April 2012 will be bigger and better than ever.

The show gets started on Saturday night, 28 April, at 6pm with a BBQ tea and entertainment for all the family. The bar will be operating.

Then on Sunday morning the ring events start bright and early at 8am. This is a two-ring program and there are some new sections making an appearance. The local Border Rangers Pony Club will be doing a march past during the opening. Cattle judging starts at 10am.

Entertainment for young ones is on during the morning, with pet shows, novelty events and the animal nursery. During the morning there will be entertainment by two local dance groups, followed by a competition for all children from 0 to 12 years: as this is the Year Of The Farmer everyone in this age group is invited to come along dressed as anything to do with farmers or farming. These will be judged and the winners announced during the formal opening of the show at 1pm.

The Pavilion will be open after judging at approximately 10:30am with all the local produce, cakes, jams and handicrafts.

There will be a demonstration of chainsaw skills.

There will be a ute show so polish up those utes and come along.

A new event on the program is the Woodenbong Hotel Iron Man Competition, which will be run after the sporting events. If you fancy yourself good at farm work come along and compete against the clock. This should be fun, with a $5 entry fee and $100 winner-takes-all prize money up for grabs.

The Championship Dog Show is on again. Come along and watch the dogs going through their paces.

There will be an all day BBQ, Devonshire teas, tea, coffee, cold drinks, and the bar will be operating.

There’s something for the whole family to enjoy - catch up with folks you haven’t seen for a while: just a good old family day!

Come along and make it a weekend in this pretty little village as the Yowie Country Markets are run on Saturday, or just spend time admiring our beautiful scenery. There are a range of accommodation options:

- Woodenbong Hotel: 02 6635 1275

- Dairy Flat Farmstay (approximately 15km from Woodenbong): 07 5539 5923

- Crown Hotel Urbenville (approximately 13km from Woodenbong): 02 6634 1213

- Mt Clunie Cabins (“ten and a bit kilometres from Woodenbong”): 07 4666 5118

- Woodenbong Camping Ground: 02 6635 1300

If you wanted to stay somewhere a little more... populated... Kyogle is a mere 45-minute drive from Woodenbong, with plenty more accommodation options.

Please note, non-Telstra mobiles do not work in the area.

If you have any questions please note them in the comments section.

Hope to see you all there. Come and say hello to me ;-) if you can find me!