I think the two things that sum up winter in Melbourne are footy, and being able to see your breath inside your house.

What have we been up to over the last few frigid months? A lot!!

Big news #1: I got a new job. A permanent full time job. FINALLY! I’ve been there about six weeks now and it’s been great. It’s much busier than my old job but everyone is very nice and I’m really enjoying it. Plus I don’t have to drive to work any more and have gained back about 2 hours a day with the shorter commute and shorter hours. YAY!

Big news #2: We moved! Our old apartment was for sale and the constant viewings and uncertainty were driving us nuts. We decided to take charge of our lives and found a new place that’s within walking distance to work for both Scott and I. My walk is about 25 minutes, and Scott’s is about 45 minutes. It’s one unit in a group of six on a block.

We love having a lot more space, and being able to hear the rain on the roof, but it’s been FLIPPIN’ FREEZING in here this winter. I don’t think it has any insulation at all, so in the morning when it is 6 degrees outside, it is also 6 degrees inside. There is a very nice gas fireplace in the living room but we obviously can’t run that all night, so it makes for very uncomfortable mornings. Thankfully it’s starting to warm up now so we’re past the worst of it for this year.

Sparkler fail for Jemma’s 30th birthday cake. The Tres Leches cake turned out pretty delicious if I do say so myself, but we could not get the sparklers all lit at the same time and also set off the smoke detector in the process, haha. Forgot to take a picture of the cake in the frenzy. :(

We’ve been skating a few times. Scott is trying to get ready to sign up for the next term of hockey academy. I just skate around in circles and shout things at him every time I pass by, hahaha. BEND YOUR KNEES!!! He is getting better though.

Canada Day was fun. We started the day in a very un-Canadian way with an afternoon footy game. We got free tickets in a promotion where they were trying to introduce the game to newcomers to Australia. I also got two free hats and a scarf! Noice! Melbourne lost by two points though. :((((((((


Then we went to a pub that was throwing a Canada Day party. They had Canadian pizza and wings and poutine, and Canadian Club and Molson and lots more. There was a live band too but they weren’t playing Canadian music?!! I was a bit disappointed in that because I think there are a lot of good Canadian music options. I easily made a ten hour playlist for Scott’s citizenship party back in the day!

A couple weeks ago I cobbled together a porchetta with a giant piece of pork from Costco, and a slab of pork belly. It ended up being ridiculously large so I cut the thing in half and froze half for another time. PS this is our new kitchen. So much space!

It turned out ok but not quite as good as the ones I made in Canada. Perhaps the cut was not really the right kind, or it was just too big. The crackling on top was good, but the inside got a bit dry. My yam fries were extremely limp as well even though I roasted them for ages. Ah well.

Speaking of Costco, I bought a secondhand freezer off Facebook Marketplace so we could buy some stuff in bulk. We put it in the garage. This lot of meat should last us a while!!! :D (Another view of part of the new house btw.)

No pictures but we went out to a really nice sushi place called Shira Nui for my birthday/celebrating getting a new job. We got the omakase which comes with two pieces of nine types of sushi. Everything was very carefully put together and truly yummy. I liked the salmon wrapped in a weird thin transparent seaweed the most. We left stuffed. We’ll definitely have to go back there again some time.


We spent our anniversary weekend cleaning our old apartment. FUN TIMES. Then we went to Crown for dinner, which I already wrote about. We put $5 in the bouncy dice machine thingy and I won on the first bounce!! CASH OUT!!! I am really not a gambler.

Scott went to Sydney for a weekend to set up servers (???) at a new Betty’s Burgers restaurant. He got to extend the trip a couple days and visit Ava and fam, which is nice.


Weightlifting has been… a journey. Months of not very much progress. Then my back started hurting. Debated quitting. Started seeing a physio who is also from my club. Lots of rehab exercises. Back still kinda hurting but he started helping me with a few technique things at training too. Had MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT. Lifting started improving dramatically. Temporarily stopped squatting. Back feeling better. New training PBs. Competition coming up next week!!!

Feeling pretty good going into this next comp, although we’re going to be pretty conservative. I think I’ll be powering everything. I might not get any PBs but that’s ok.

(Pic is a result of doing one million actually ok power cleans with a bar with knurling in the middle.)

Jill and Joe came for a visit the other week from Adelaide. We met them for lunch at Milk The Cow for a delicious cheese feast. We had raclette, a cheese board, and the most delicious Grundlegend fondue that came with fortified wine to dip the bread in first. YUMMMMMMMM. Delicious food and great to catch up with them again, as usual.

The Dees had (have??) a fairly good chance of making the finals this year, they just had to win one game out of the three left. Thanks to one of Scott’s friends we got to sit in the MCC section for their best chance, vs. Sydney last weekend. It was a fun day, but unfortunately, Melbs blew it. I am currently watching the second chance game at home, against a much higher ranked team. Melbourne is winning at the moment with one quarter to go but it’d be pretty miraculous if they pulled this off. I think I will have to try and go again next weekend for the last attempt. I really want to see them in the finals for the first time (since I chose them 9 years ago)!!!!!

My allergies have kicked in hardcore so I haven’t done a lot this weekend. I was on call yesterday for the first time at my new hospital but didn’t get called in. Spent most of the time curled up under my enormous blanket in front of the fireplace and tv. It’s hailed about ten times this weekend. #winterinmelbs

**ten minutes later** OMG!!!! DEES WON!!!! Melbourne in the finals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And now I will attempt to catch up on the last THREE months in one giant post because I am sick of being behind.

  • Natasha’s old bosses took us all out for a sunset punt picnic before she left the country. It was very serene and lovely, and Scott even got to try punting (until he was heading directly towards the one thing in the lake that you’re not supposed to touch exactly like Tina learning to drive… my all-time favourite Bob’s Burgers scene btw).

  • Jess popped in for a quick visit! I hadn’t seen her since our old brunch club in Vancouver before her and Zsofi moved back to Ontario. We did a little wandering through the Queen Vic Markets and alleyways, and shared a pitcher of margarita on a floating barge bar on the Yarra.

  • I was sailing again on a fairly regular basis until work got in the way. I was getting more and more jobs to do which was fun. But now it’s impossible for me to get to the sailing club in time. :(

  • We found out our apartment is for sale. :( The real estate agents tried to schedule viewings at all times of the day and night, and got mad at us for not meeting them half way with preparing the apartment for sale but I was not having it. I’m not meeting them anywhere tbh. I managed to get them to give us a free week of rent, but now that it’s been three months of limbo and viewings I think I should have negotiated differently. Bah. Anyway no one has been coming to even look at the apartment lately so at the moment we’re just waiting to see what will happen, and keeping an eye on other rentals, but not looking seriously yet.
  • I started full time work. Same job, same hospital. I’m covering a mat leave. It’s been quite an adjustment working every day, especially because I hadn’t really done it since like… 2011… and that was just data entry. LOL. Between work and commuting and weightlifting I pretty much have zero time at home. But the money is fantastic!!!
  • To make life even more tiring… I have been getting called into work ridiculously often. So I am actually working way more than full time. Since Christmas my coworkers have been called in around 2-5 times. I have been called in… EIGHTEEN TIMES. 18!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t even understand how it is statistically possible. Again, the money is fantastic, however I would also like to actually have a weekend!! I’m just waiting for the opposite side of this balance where I don’t get called in at all for like three months.

  • Perogies are not a thing in this country. I attempted to make a sort of quick perogie meal using gnocchi, bacon, caramelised onions, cheese, and sour cream. It was.. ok. A bit dry. I think it needs some kind of sauce… maybe with the caramelised onions. Any ideas?
  • A guy from my weightlifting gym competed in the Commonwealth Games. That was cool. We had a BBQ to send him off. I watched quite a lot of the games this year. There are some weird sports in it… like lawn bowling, netball and pistol shooting!
  • Cristoforo came to Melbourne and we ate a ridiculous Nutella feast. Pictures later.
  • Thanks to Scott’s work perks I got to try a fancy Endota spa package. It included a massage, facial and pedicure. Was very nice, although it was an extremely weird sensation to get your toes painted while your eyes are covered. I didn’t know if she was just about to start painting so I had to use all my willpower to not move my feet. I think if I got to do it again I wouldn’t choose one with a pedicure.

  • Friends who not only pick you up to drive you to the city, but also provide ciders and snacks for the ride get a FIVE STAR review!
  • We went to see Urzila Carlson at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. She was funny! That was my first time going to a MCF show, despite it being a HUGE thing here every year. Maybe next year we’ll go to more.
  • Still been doing Monday night trivia, although a bit less often lately. And monthly stitch n bitch, and Phoenix ladies night dinners. Yay frands.
  • Scott’s been keeping up with planning something for us to do each month. In March we went out for fancy ultra hipster hot chocolate, April we saw Isle of Dogs and ate dumplings, and in May we went to a really nice Spanish tapas restaurant in the city called Bomba.

  • Scott’s work did a private trivia night thing. I came too and joined the IT team. We thought we weren’t doing that well because of how loud the other tables were cheering when they read out the answers but then we won!!!

  • I lifted in the Victoria Weightlifting Open. I made 4 out of 6 of my lifts, and got a 1 kg PB on each lift. I guess that’s ok but I was hoping for more considering all of the good training I had been doing. It was my first real competition and I had a really fun time. I found it much less stressful than skeleton comps… I guess because there is less fear of death?? My coach was able to give me his full attention and he told me exactly when and what to lift to warm up, made all the decisions, and counted others attempts so all I had to do was go out when he told me to and lift the bar.

  • I’m smiling because I felt my arm bend a little bit when receiving the bar and knew that it was going to be a no-lift. I got in trouble from my coach afterwards for making a face… have to work on my poker face. Two red lights. Anyway this was disappointing because I was able to stand up and everything and if not for the tiny bit of arm bend it would have been a great PB.

  • Third attempt clean and jerk. I made the clean, but didn’t quite get under the jerk. Three red lights.

  • I’m so happy I joined Phoenix Weightlifting Club. I’ve made a lot of new friends and it’s been so fun challenging myself with the Olympic lifts. I don’t think I can ever go back to regular gym-ing. I stuck around to be a weights loader for the session after me. Holy moly that was more work than actually lifting in my session!! Didn’t help that it was a big boy session and they were using all the plates.
  • I finally redeemed my free float voucher that we got as a thank you for putting up with the noise while they built the place directly below our apartment. It was for one hour in one of those sensory deprivation tanks. I scheduled it for right after my weightlifting comp because I knew my legs would be sore and the magnesium salt is supposed to help with recovery. I guess it worked pretty well for that, but I didn’t really like it in general. I was slightly too hot, and my neck started to hurt from my fat head hanging down? I’ve never been great at meditating or relaxing or anything so I was just awake the whole time too and just aware of how hot I was. I tried sitting up for a bit to cool down and rest my neck a bit which was better but then the super salty water dripped down into my eyes and stung a lot, lol. I was pretty happy when it was over, tbh. The next day my neck was sooo sore. In the future I would much rather just get a massage I think.

  • Scott and I competed in a Ticket To Ride tournament. It was run by the same people that did the Carcassonne tournament we did last year.┬áThere were four rounds (USA, Europe, India, Asia). I won the first game, then finished 3rd in the next two games. I knew that I needed to win the last game to make the finals. I took tickets on my last turn for the win and actually had two of them. We did the final count and I ended up tied for the win. The tie-breaker is number of tickets completed, which we were also tied on. The second tie-breaker was number of mountain routes finished, which I lost. Bummer. Then the host read out the names of the top 4 people who would be in the finals and I was tied for fourth!!!!! The tie-breaker was number of points earned over the day which I lost. :((((( Such a bummer. I can’t believe I missed the finals by so little. Scott on the other hand did not do so well and finished second last. :( It was fun though. We do love board games.
  • Scott has a cracked rib. Someone head butted him at basketball (accidentally) and now he has to take it easy for a couple weeks. Poor dude.
  • He also just got Employee of the Month though! Go Scott!!

OK! Whew! I think that’s about it. All caught up!!!

A thousand years ago Scott and I went to Wilsons Prom for a weekend.

We drove down on Friday night after work, stopping for dinner in Fish Creek. We wanted to have a quick meal so we’d arrive at the campground before dark but the food took 5ever to come out. Oh well, other than it making a bit difficult to pick out a good campsite (Tidal River Campground is first come first serve) we were fine setting up in the dark because we are Master Campers.

**This just reminded me I need to change the batteries in my headlamp. Thanks guys.

Anyway after setting up we just chilled in our camp chairs and watched the wombats wander around and surprise people. Very entertaining. They are brave wombats!! And so pudgy. :D :D

 

After a delicious camp breakfast of bacon and eggs we set out on a little hike. Check out this wombat hidey hole!! And check out my muscley legs!!

We walked out to Pillar Point Lookout and then down to Squeaky Beach. We ate our sandwiches and decided we wanted to swim but it would be a lot easier if we headed back to the beach near our campsite. It was sunny and nice out, but close to the end of summer so the water wasn’t super warm, but once we got in it was pretty nice. I put my head under and everything.

Later that afternoon we put our shoes back on and drove to the car park for the Mount Oberon “hike”. I put that in quotation marks because it was just a road that goes up up up up up up forever. I did not care for that much up hill. It’s not very scenic until you get to the very very top and then it’s SCENIC AF, as you can tell from that picture. We timed it so that we’d get to the peak at sunset, and succeeded, but unfortunately the sunset was a bit boring that evening. Unlucky because the night before the sunset was spectacular!! (We saw it as we were driving to the campground.) Then we hustled back down the mountain and only had to use our headlamps for the last ten minutes back to the car.

PS that’s Tidal River Campground on the right side of the picture. Scott used extreme zoom on my camera and took a picture of our tent. He debated running up the next morning so I could wave at him from down there and now I have ragret that we didn’t actually do it.

We actually had a really miserable night though. It suddenly got super windy, and sand was blowing everywhere. Our tent has a full fly but somehow sand was flying under the edges and into the tent and EVERYTHING was covered. Our pillows were gritty. Our sleeping bags were gritty. Our lips were gritty. To make it worse, it was super hot but we couldn’t open anything up because we would have been covered with even more sand. So sweaty. I did not sleep very well at all. When we woke up in the morning we had grey faces!!

Our breakfast pancakes came out horribly rubbery for some reason and then we felt a few drops of rain so we shook everything out and packed up in record time.

We had planned on doing another hike that day but instead decided to just give up and head home, via a cidery and cheesery.

We went to Gurney’s Cider, which is a family run farm that makes very simple and tasty dry cider. I loved their Scrumpy cider made from foraged apples but it was a bit too pricey for me. I did get a bottle of Wild though.

And we checked out Prom Country Cheese for lunch. We had a massive cheese board. It was intense. It came with a whole bunch of huge pieces of sheep, cow and goat cheese, warm bread and crackers, meat and more. I’m drooling reminiscing about it. Lovely place.

Anyway other than the sand we had a lovely time at the Prom. I would like to go back again next summer, for a bit longer. The beaches there are really great, and wombats are soooo cuuuute. It’s really competitive/expensive to reserve spots there though so dunno. Maybe somewhere else along the coast is better.

We had a really busy January. I thought life would slow down after Christmas but it did not. I feel like I’ve barely been home at all over the last month and I’ve been perpetually 15 minutes late for everything.

Last year I would go months without getting called into work, but I’ve now been called in 7 times in the last 6 weeks. Insane. But insanely good for our bank account!!

Anyway we’re on holiday now though so it’s ALLLLLL GOOOOOD.

Cassia and baby Cedric came to visit the other weekend. I was a bit unsure how the visit would go since it was the first time we’ve had a baby guest, but it ended up good! Cedric is 6 months old and requires a lot of bouncing. Between the bouncing we went out for brunch, played Ticket To Ride, went to the Camberwell Sunday Market, went to the city to shop at H&M and Uniqlo (they don’t have those in Adelaide), made pizza, drank milkshakes, and of course lots of catching up chats.

We played the present Rosemarie gave me for my birthday.. (mostly) Canadian themed Wits and Wagers cards! They were fun although we had some questions… for example, does the surface area of the worlds largest pizza account for the top and the bottom?

Weightlifting is going ok. I got told a new cue a couple weeks ago which has made some things click finally, although I’m still terrible and weak AF. Don’t know if I’ll be able to lift in Korea at all though so maybe I’ll forget everything. :/ If things go ok when I get back though I will do another competition in March, the Victorian Weightlifting Open. We’ll see.

Sailing has been fun. They’re slowly giving me more things to do as I get more comfortable on the boat again. Although last week I tried to help by loading the winch, but I did it wrong and caused an override and we came in (extreme) last place in the race. We almost had to cut the rope. It was real bad. They’re probably glad to have a couple weeks without me haha.

Scott and I have started a new thing where he is supposed to plan something for us to do once a month. Last month he organized a night out at the Big Bash League. I am slowly figuring out cricket. I actually don’t mind big bash because it plays at a pretty good pace and they try more exciting shots. However the game we went to turned out to be more of a Medium Bash and was kinda dull. Melbourne only hit one 6 (and no 9’s hahahahahah).

Da boys cashed in their Christmas present voucher from us, which was to take them to the Aquapark at Melbourne Cable Park. It was really fun! Although Scott and I struggled to keep up with them, haha. I also feel like I pulled Seth out of the water about 900 times. The next day my arms were so sore!! We got slurpees after and no one hurt themselves, so I would consider it a success all around.

Kate sent over a whole bunch of Canada Olympic gear for Scott and I, and all the kids. They are very ready to cheer for Canada starting next week!!

Scott and I leave tonight!! We’re stopping in Sydney to see Jess and Rae and Ben Folds, and then we fly to Seoul on Wednesday. Rosemarie will arrive on Thursday. :D :D Back in two weeks (unless we get nuked).

I’ve been asked to write out a list of what we are going to so you can look for us on TV. I apologize if there are any mistakes… time zones are hard. Look for the Aussie-Canadian duo! I’ll try to post on Facebook or something about what we are wearing on the day. I’d guess that it will be easiest to see us at skeleton, but who knows.

All for now. I’ll probably be posting the most on Instagram while we’re away. #instagramthatshit

GO CANADA GO! AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!

Last weekend Scott and I went camping in the Grampians. The campground had a big field next to it where you could see emus during the day, and kangaroos in the evening. It was my first time seeing emus in the wild. :D

Saturday morning we hiked up the Pinnacles. It was very hot and I am very lazy so we took the easy way up, from Sundial car park. It still took a few hours and involved a bit of climbing. The views up top were great!

Scott is so #basic.

After our hike we got ice cream in Halls Gap, and walked to Venus Baths, but it was a bit lame and had too many flies so we didn’t stay long.

We still needed to cool down so we headed to the Lake Bellfield swimming area. It was not very busy and I don’t know why because the lake was very pleasant. I really like lake swimming.

We couldn’t have a fire that night because there was still a total fire ban (we have such bad luck with that!!!!), so we just swam in the campground pool, read books, and played games instead.

Sunday morning camping pancakes to fuel us for another hike.

This time we hiked to Mackenzie Falls from Zumsteins via Fish Falls. This hike is longer, but much flatter than the quicker way to the waterfalls. Again, it was HOT AF!! It took us about 2.5 hours including lots of time taking pictures and refreshing our feet in the water.

Again, so #basic.

OK so the hike and waterfalls were lovely, but it all feels a bit weird now because we found out afterwards that someone actually drowned in the waterfalls the evening before, and they had only pulled the body out about 1.5 hours before we got there. The waterfalls were actually closed when we set out, but because we walked the long way in there were no signs!! D: I’m just glad we hadn’t gotten an earlier start because we could have seen it all which would have been even more disturbing. :( It’s all very sad.

You’re not supposed to swim at Mackenzie Falls but a lot of people do because it is SO nice. We totally would have swum too if we had brought our bathing suits. If you do decide to swim there, please be smart about it!!! Maybe wear a life jacket? Stay well away from the falls, they are much more powerful than it seems. Only swim if you are a strong swimmer. Be careful about slippery rocks!!