Tuesday, April 25, 2017


We had really rather a jolly weekend.

Lindsey and I went out to the Lakeside Farmers' Market on Saturday morning and came home with a basket full of delicious vegetables and some rather nice looking lamb.  Lindsey ran into a friend who she used to work with, until the friend and her husband moved to Ballarat couple of years ago. The friend hadn't known about the market until she randomly drove past it and stopped to see what was going on. A good find for her, yummy things to buy, and a Lindsey :-)

We all met Emily for lunch in a cafe near her place.  Until a year or so ago it was a milk bar.  Alas, many of the old milk bars are closing down and, if they're lucky, transforming into something else. This one has transformed into a nice little eatery. It's not far from the hospitals and I think is doing  good trade in weekday lunches with hospital staff.  This, of course, was a Saturday and it seemed to be doing well with families.  The food was excellent and the atmosphere cosy.  I very much enjoyed my "Webster's Breakfast" (at lunchtime!) but especially enjoyed my Jaffa hot chocolate which was a fairly bitter hot chocolate served with a hot Jaffa sauce on the side together with a scorched marshmallow on a stick. It was very unusual and extremely delicious.

Webster's Cafe on Webster Street, Ballarat

On Sunday we went to Eynesbury, near Melton, to inspect the monthly market. We didn't know very much about Eynesbury, apart from what we had seen on a brochure advertising the market.  So we were unaware of the existence of the Eynesbury Homestead, or the protected grey box forest, or anything much. We did know that there is a housing development underway there because we had seen hoardings advertising it on the Western Freeway.  So we packed Sam (much to his astonishment) into the boot of the 4WD and off we went in an exploring mood.

The Sat Nav took us across country.  This was very exciting.  It took us, in fact, the way that Ian's had taken him on Easter Monday afternoon when there were massive hold ups on the freeway.  At one point we went down a steep and very winding road that reminded Jim and me of the roads from Spitewinter, near where we lived, into Bewley or Rowsley near Chatsworth.  The comparison was compounded when we got to the bottom and emerged into a village called Rowsley!!!  It's very pretty spot, much more rural than Rowsley in Derbyshire.  But we would never move there - no phone signal!

The Eynsebury market was lovely.  It combined elements of farmers' markets, food truck markets and arts and craft markets. We didn't need much in the way of meat and veg, although Lindsey did buy a beef pack for the freezer.  But there were lots of yummy thing to eat and pretty things to look at.  It's also entirely dog friendly.  Sam had fantastic time chatting to  small dachshund, a shiny black great dane and various other happy dogs.  I think we will probably go again; it makes an excellent lunch venue.  But we probably wouldn't also go to the Lakeside market on the same weekend.

We were being closely observed this weekend as we variously pottered in the garden

There are lots of kangaroos in the paddocks at the moment

You find Jim and me this morning back at Tullamarine Airport, heading back to Christchurch for a couple of days by the beach. It's not three months since we came back from our last trip, but we're going to Hobart next weekend to start the celebrations for Lindsey's 60th birthday and then there are various people coming to visit at various times and most of May is quite busy and it might be difficult to fit in an overseas trip when the three months are actually up. We don't want to breach Jim's visa conditions, partly because that's never a good thing and also because we are commencing the process of applying for a partner visa for him.  So when I found cheap flights to Christchurch for now, I figured we might as well take advantage of them. They are still renovating the facilities airside, but at least now there is a cafe one which sold us a very pleasant plate of eggs on toast for breakfast.  Much more expensive than Hungry Jack's offering but also quite a bit more palatable.  We'll be off to board soon and will catch you on the other side of the Tasman Sea.
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