Sunday, March 18, 2007

Oh what a weekend!

Saturday morning I met up with Barb and we went to the State Library to attend some talks on the new exhibition of artists books. Some of Barb's papermaker friends were there too and we had lunch at the Mr Tulk cafe, where Alice and I were last week. I also got to meet another blogger buddy, Ampersand Duck, who was in Melbourne in conjunction with the exhibition.

Afterwards I had some time to kill before a very important evening event (more of that later), so went across the street to the revamped Melbourne Central shopping centre. This used to have a very elegant Japanese department store (Daimaru) and small interesting shops. Now it is very much geared to young people into fashion and who obviously enjoy being in a busy, noisy place. I'm outta there!

Besides, it was a lovely late autumnal afternoon - why spend it indoors? So I headed down La Trobe Street to Telstra Dome, the site of the evening's event: the preseason Grand Final in which my beloved Blues were playing. They played well and they won - things are looking up for 2007!

This evening we attended an event of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival*. It took place in the Botanical Gardens at Cranbourne, specifically in the new Australian Garden. It was absolutely stunning but sorry, folks: I left my bag at home and that's where my camera was! But we will go back for a longer visit and take some photos. Here is an aerial view of the gardens, but really, it has to be seen to be believed.

Meanwhile, the wonderful food and wine was vying for our attention along with the visual delights. As we walked around the gardens which were explained to us by a knowledgeable ranger, we got to sample local food and wines. There was salmon, quail and kangaroo. Delicious! Throughout the garden we could also hear someone playing the didgeridoo. A memorable evening!

*Melbourne is rather a foodie city and for a couple of weeks of the festival there are events galore to wine and dine. The festival "brochure" is as large as a weekend newspaper magazine supplement. On Tuesday we are going to an event that is devoted to the martini. We will be taking public transportation home...


Susie said...

Sounds like a fun packed day! I had no clue that people actually ate kangaroo! I thought it was like a national "pet" or something. See what I know!!
Have fun sampling all the different martinis. Try to remember which one was your favorite!!!

Val said...

Gosh, fancy finding a Daimaru outside Japan. I used to spend quite some time in the early evening in Kyoto, just marvelling at the suave and elegant displays of just about everything, and travelling up and down the escalators. All the time trying to look nonchalant and worldly wise, when really my mouth was dropping open at the array of expensive merchandise.

DellaB said...

Hi Val, thanks for letting me know about blogarthyms, I am still working on readers so I'll have a look.

I have actually found something I really like the look of, easy and without so many bells and whistles. Do you use IE7 ?

I'll be back later, too, to read properly, kangaroo? daimaru? didgerido? - oh yes, and that was just from a quick scan...

Oh, and have posted a few more 'family' photos and a 'missed' important date.

Annette said...

And Kangaroo tastes like... what exactly (that I might have actually tasted)? I have tasted salmon and quail, also elk, duck, deer, reindeer, halibut, shark, and moose.


Meow said...

sounds like a wonderful day.
Melbourne is such an interesting, diverse, city, with so many things to do.
Did you eat kangaroo ??? Is it very "gamey"?? I'm not a big fan of game. Don't know, also, whether I could bring myself to eat "Skippy" ... tch-tch-tch-tch !!
Anyway, have a wonderful week.
Take care, Meow

DellaB said...

Hi Val... I'm back... thanks again for your input, I have added links to subscribe to both Google reader and blogarithms to my sidebar. I see that blogarithms does not offer a 'read online' update, only email.. and they don't seem to mind if it is ATOM or RSS - I'll test it though - to see.

I have eaten kangaroo, lots actually, it is quite the popular menu item in restaurants in Adelaide. It has to be cooked just right or it can be very tough, I have even tried to cook it, but mostly it depends on the restaurant if I feel confident in ordering it. It is quite 'gamey'.

I really love didgeridoo music, Noel has recently bought us a CD that features it a lot - very special.

That new australian garden looks amazing, that's another thing they have in Adelaide, a wonderful rain-forest under cover in their botanical gardens - I am SO glad that we have people who create these magic spaces for us...

One day - I am coming to Melbourne for the comedy festival, I have promised a friend, and it is a promise I intend to keep...

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

How wonderful that you got to meet another blogger friend. I also can't believe that your summer is coming to an end already...time sure does go by fast.

Kerri said...

Glad your Blues have had some wins lately Val! Sounds like a fun-packed weekend. Too bad you didn't take your camera to the Botanical Gardens.
I haven't eaten kangaroo meat. It used to be labeled "Not for human consumption" when my parents sold it in the pet shop. It had a worm. Guess they've taken care of that now.
The quail and salmon sounds delicious.
We're getting more snow today. Enough already! Where's the spring?

Cris said...

Wow... In my mind kangaroos just jump and carry their babies, I had no idea you can eat them! Thanks for sharing some peculiar things about Australia, it is a place I would love to go one day.

Jeanette said...

Hi Val. sounds like you had a wonderfull weekend and to top it of your team Carlton won.
ooooohhhhhhh we tryed kangaroo in Darwin at an exhibition. Yuk with a capitol Y never again,also tryed a crocodile hamburger that was like eating gamy chicken not for me .
Thanks for the visit. all my ferns are under shade cloth which help protect against the hot sun but not the cold winter the shade cloth is high.Take care

Granny said...

How neat that you're meeting blogging buddies. I still regret that we couldn't make connections when you were in the states.

Maybe another time?

Ampersand Duck said...

Hi Val
I'm sorry we didn't get to talk further... so many people to talk to at that exhibition!

I really want to encourage you -- and other booky people who were there -- not to take George's comments on crafty bookbinding personally. He was being naughty and ruffling feathers; I wholeheartedly endorse anything that gets people making and doing, and anyone who thinks it's not worthwhile creatively can get stuffed. Ahem. I should say that I respect George's work, but I also admire *anyone* who gets away from the tv and makes something, no matter how 'crafty'!

Have fun and encourage others... its a good credo. Enjoy your making!

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Val

Have you noticed how well Kangaroos are surviving in the drought; so much better than cattle; as they have a vastly superior digestive system needing far less per body weight in vegetation and water to survive. And we have about 35 million kangaroos in Australia.
The kangaroo meat industry is involved with 5 species and has grown to an annual intake of 2 million representing a source of very healthy very low fat meat superior to beef and lamb. In early trials, it seems to possess more anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetes properties, to reduce obesity and high blood pressure.

A great start this year for Carlton!!

Best wishes

catsmum said...

Hi Val
thanks for the reciprocal visit :]
you asked if I found you through someone at Kyneton? Nope. No idea who she is. I just typed castlemaine into the search function on my Bloglines subscription page and your last post was one of the ones that came up.
oh and for the record, I've only been served kangaroo once and I choked my way through it ... she'd gone to so much trouble I wasn't game to tell her that I'm a vegetarian :]

Merle said...

Hi Val ~~ The new Gardens sound lovely - I hadn't heard about them.
I ad taped the football but didn't know we would win wen I put it on.
Funny, Peter didn't want to watch it.
I hope we can keep going when the Season starts, so far it's looking good. Haven't asted roo meat, and no desire to. Glad you met a few bloggers. Sort of proves we are real people. Take care Val, Love, Merle.

catsmum said...

me again val
in answer to your questions/comments ... yes I know about Buttonmania and Kimono House and that Magstore too, but NOTHING would induce me to go into the centre of Melbourne if I don't have to... and bookbinding? not anymore but I used to make handmade books back in the late 70s,early 80s and still appreciate the skill that goes into other people's.

Peter said...

Hi Val, boy that game really took it out of you didn't it?... well you haven't posted since.
We should arrange to meet when I'm in Vic next, I'll bring Merle along too.

Quilting Diva said...

My goodness, you have quite the following!. Hello from Central Canada. I got you thru Susan in Australia. I'm a quilter.