Monday, August 14, 2017

Taking on a new direction

Myrtle and ME has always been about the Coffee shops I visit while I am Out and About and the service I received while I was there.
Was it good coffee or bad?
Did they give me a bonus cookie or chocolate?
Was there Foam Art on my Coffee?
And the ever present question - Will I return!

Coming home and writing up an experience at a coffee shop that day or even a week later is very time consuming and with the advent of Instagram a little out dated.

And of course Coffee shops come and go - Close down, change owners, Awesome Baristas arrive and then leave again, and the experience I received is never the same from one visit to the next.

So - It is time for a change!

I will not be closing Myrtle and ME but I will be re-purposing it!
(Recycling is all the go isn't it?)
As my DH talks of retirement and his hope to 'not sit at home and stagnate' - I will be taking Myrtle on the road once again but as a TRAVEL Blog.

I will still write about Cafe's and Coffee but as part of Our travels.

In the next few weeks you will see some changes I will be integrating my existing Travel Posts across from my main Blog, so it will mean that AussieKiltedQuilter can be more about ... Quilting (and a few other distractions!)

Come and join ME and DH and of course Myrtle (my trusty Sat-Nav)
as we go on some new adventures.

Sincere apologies to anyone who has me on their reading list for the multiple posts while I have been moving my Travel Posts across.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mornington Peninsula - Victoria

This year I hit a milestone Birthday and was determined to not let it pass without doing SOMETHING special.

So I packed everyone into the car and headed for the Mornington Peninsula.

Our first stop was at the Arthur's Seat Chairlift.
There has been a Chairlift at Arthur's Seat since 1960 and after years of problems and accidents it was finally replaced in 2016 with a new European style all weather Gondola system.

Although as a child, I spent many weekends holidaying at Dromana, I have never ridden the lift (sitting on a seat swinging in the breeze was not my 'thing' even way back then). So when I heard it was being upgraded I couldn't wait to check it out.

The verdict - not nearly as terrifying as the Cairns/Kuranda Skyrail.
And one day - I will get to ride one of these things when it is not raining!

Next stop was the township of Flinders - it sits on the 'other side' of the Peninsula where Western Port Bay meets Bass Strait.

The township has certainly changed since I was there last and afternoon tea was a delight at Mornington Peninsula Chocolates.

There was one last place I wanted to visit before we headed home.

I do love lighthouses!

To me they symbolise safety and protection and steadfastness.
And remind me of all my favourite childhood Sunday School songs.

This one is at Cape Schanck and has been faithfully protecting all those who pass by her since 1859.

I did fully intend to be well on the way home before dark but, time got away from us and. . .
- well - 

What a perfect way
 to finish the day!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The reason for the Visit

Was to bring a Mum Hug and some much needed and wished for supplies (that can't be bought in France) to our beautiful Girl.

She now has a coveted stash of her favourite Shampoo, Tea, Vegemite and Tim Tams.

A downpour during one of our excursions led to the chance discovery of a bright new Rainbow Umbrella which brought a smile to her eyes on a grey day (she left hers at home in Melbourne).

And of course we had to get a photo of her in front of her Lab at the University

(Note to self - next time take a wide angle lens so I can get ALL the building's title in the shot!)

We walked for miles - as my Fit bit will attest to

and crossed many Bridges, many times - none more stirring than when we came across a Pro-European Movement rally on the bridge across the Rhine.
When we drew close to the centre of the group they all began to sing "Song of Joy" and in 3 different languages. It was inspirational!

And this brings us to the point when we have to say
not Goodbye but Au Revoir to Strasbourg

and like my friend here that sits in the square beside Notre Dame always looking up to the heavens and the beautiful Cathedral Spire
we are reluctant to leave and have left part of our hearts behind in this incredible city.

* * * * *

Til we meet again.

Friday, April 28, 2017

There is a saying ...

"That in Strasbourg, your eye will never tire."
They are not wrong
Here are just a few of the views and treasures we found.

We just called him "The Bubble Man"
Delighting the children in the City Square.

Lycee International les Pontonniers
a very seriously beautiful looking High School
(It would make a great movie set - Harry Potter goes to France?)

Picture Postcard Perfect View of the Ille River 
and a few of the bridges that cross it

Notre Dame from the Old City Wall

Is that a Dragon on the rooftop?
No - Just a very artistic waterspout!

and in a shop window - Fabric
What kind of Quilter am I, if I don't keep an eye out for Fabric?
Yep - found some and, What is it displayed on? Aussie boomerang Fabric!
maybe someone is telling me it is time to go home?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Cakes, and other delicious things

I must admit that a travelogue is not complete without showing off some of the local cuisine.  But being a Cake Decorator I was drawn to the wonderful Sweet things around.

IN my defence - a lot of these goodies only gave my camera calories!! ;)


The perfect way to start a day is having Breakfast appear on the table and not making it yourself!

I learnt to order a petit déjeuner

and then to order just A Croissant and Tea 
- with milk.

The little bakery around the corner soon became our favourite spot.

Morning Tea

Ohhhh Strawberries!
So beautifully sweet

I wanted to buy a bucket of these and go home and bake - but...
With beautiful light cakes to try
I didn't need to !

Things in windows...
Nougat and Gingerbread Cakes by the kilogram in Market stalls

A Cake with my Name on it - entreating me to buy
 (I didn't succumb).

Eclairs and Macarons to die for!

And to finish off - There must, of course be Dessert!

Best ever Creme Brulee - I stopped looking once I found it!
Hot Chocolate Fondant and Vanilla Ice cream

A masterpiece of an Apple Crumble in a Restaurant only open a week.
And Black Forest Parfait
- Oh My!! Oh Wow !!

And the best bit?
With all the walking we did
I actually LOST 3 kg!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Street Life

Street Photography is an interesting hobby for a lot of photographers and wandering through someone else's town gives an opportunity to practice taking some 'out of the ordinary' photographs.

The scriptures say
"The poor we have with us always" (Mark 14:7)

The thing we noticed was, like the town's Buskers, the beggars had "their spot" and were rarely seen elsewhere in town.


Now THESE guys were GOOD -
all the Buskers were very talented from the haunting sounds of a solo Vintage Tenor Saxophone played by an elderly Gent...

And the melody of a Squeeze box that picked out a polka and lightened our steps

to an Organ Grinder with an incredible voice
(no monkeys here!)

And then there was the Trio

They sang rousing Russian tunes and well known popular songs (in French) in the sunshine
and in the rain.
(We even bumped into them in Offenburg - Germany)

The only thing they seemed to miss was what was going on around them on Easter Sunday morning -
As they belted out
"The Carnival is Over",

this young man dropped to his knee
- ring in hand.

She said "Yes" and for them the Carnival is definitely NOT over!


Strasbourg is a city that certainly has embraced the Bicycle!

They are everywhere!
we saw them chained to fences and trees and each other
we dodged them in the lane ways and on the main roads

We even found a nest of them outside the Train Station...

And I don't think I heard a bell ring in anger the whole week.

And I must not finish this post without making reference
to the (to us) BIZARRE Parking practices seen around town.

We best described it as ...
"If I fits - I sits"

(yes, this car IS parked diagonally across the corner of an intersection.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Taking time out to remember them -

It is April 1916, the midpoint of the Great War.  Australian Units have begun to arrive in France.  For the first time the men of the AIF find themselves at the main battlefront of the mighty conflict.
At first, they encounter a pleasant land - a welcome change from sea voyages, the cliffs of Gallipoli, and the training camps of Egypt.  But in July, on the Somme, they will be thrown into one of the bloodiest, most destructive battles in history.

Over weeks, in a series of determined attacks against strong defences around the ruined village of Pozières, the Australians will suffer a rate of casualties so great as to be nearly unsustainable for the volunteer army of a small nation.  The AIF will confront its single worst day of the war at the battle of Fromelles, then endure six long weeks of fighting in the murderous ordeal that is Pozières.  The year will end in the most severe winter of trench warfare ever seen.

Many households will be cast into mourning.  In the face of such terrible losses, Australians will be asked to decide whether the conscription of civilians should be introduced.  The ensuing debate will leave the community riven with bitter divisions.  

1916 will be a terrible year.

* * * * * *

I sat in the comfort of a Very Fast Train on a glorious spring day watching the fields speed past – and I thought of a man who “died of wounds” in a makeshift hospital, or in a field not so far away.
101 years later he is a Hero.
Was he a Hero?  I have no idea.
He was a husband, a Brother, an Uncle – a Great Uncle to children he never knew.
I know his name is etched on a Cenotaph on the foreshore of Portsea in Victoria Australia and that he now lies in a pretty and well cared for cemetery in the North of France.

One day I will visit him and leave an Aussie flag –
 to show him and others that “We DO Remember”.