One of my favourite habitats in Melbourne…

It is the first day of May, the start of a new month and the start of my last month in Melbourne before the big move to South Africa!!  Thirty days to go!

One of the places I shall miss the most is the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.  I have spent hours inside this stunning playground of incredible flora and fauna.  Not to mention the many hours running around its perimeter, I will come back to this shortly!  In summer time it is a glorious haven to relax in and many a family, group of friends or united couple can be found in amongst the diverse plant collections and trees with picnic hampers, rugs, balls, books and newspapers.

During these warmer months it is also home to the moonlight cinema and provides a stunning back drop whilst you sink into a bean bag and watch the silhouettes of fruit bats fly across the dusky sky as the movie starts…. particularly effective if you go to watch something more sinister!

Another favourite evenings entertainment here and the reason for many a wry smile has been watching the captivating and dynamic performances of Shakespeare Under the Stars.  The Australian Shakespeare Company present contemporary and unique productions in the enchanting garden surrounds.  Folks settle down on the grass with their array of goodies, and you can bet a fine drop of Australian shiraz or pinot noir isn’t going a miss, before being utterly absorbed, amused and entertained after a busy day.

Melbourne is also a very active city and on the exterior edge of the gardens runs a wide sand track lovingly known by the locals as the “tan.”  You will always spot a jogger or walker circumnavigating laps of the track at pretty much any time of year come rain, shine and even extreme heat!   I have definitely done my fair share of laps and it has helped keep me in shape with all the fine culinary delights and tasty treats on offer in this diverse multi-cultural city of fabulous food.  Another part of Melbourne I shall deeply crave and miss!

The good news is I know there is Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town and I look forward to exploring its glorious surrounds with my camera.  Watch out for this blog post in the future!

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The incredible things people can do…

Last Friday I took my husband on a date to celebrate five months of being married!  Two weeks prior he was cordially invited out for the evening by a hand written invitation from myself, with instructions to be ready at 7.30pm however no details were provided on where he was going!  I should let you know that I had told him to be prepared to be amazed ….and advised shortly after it might not just be my cooking that would amaze him!  The element of surprise seemed to add a certain suspense to this particular evening I had planned.   Now it takes a certain amount of trust to be involved in feeling confident that a surprise doesn’t end up back firing and the subject of surprise is not a disappointment or not really what your person being surprised had imagined.   Perhaps women are harder to surprise than men who are usually more malleable to go with the flow…..especially when their wife commands it!  Perhaps after all the surprises he experienced on our Wedding Day I have earned his trust….. oh yes and the small matter that we decided to get married….trust certainly being one of the most important corner stones involved!!  So if I can confidently decide to surprise anyone hopefully it should be my husband.

Anyway, back to last Friday…. after serving a two course (amazing!) dinner made by myself at home I lead him to the tram stop (sounds great doesn’t it!) which subsequently took us to the front door of the casino!  I could see he was questioning the unlikely choice of destination when we are definitely not gamblers nor inclined to hang out for thrills over the pokie machines.   Before he could question too much I took him by the hand and we slipped past the poker tables, emerging at an elegant and sophisticated champagne bar for a slip of decadent bubbles. Relaxed and giggling I then whisked him up the escalators to the rooftop of the casino.  This was a spectacular vantage point to see the twinkling lights of the CBD along the gleaming river before arriving at our destination for the evenings grand highlight and entertainment……

There upon we entered the fabulous world of the Spiegeltent.    If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit a Spiegeltent be sure to do so if one comes to a place near you.  For they do traverse the planet containing a fabulous host of entertainment where ever they go.   Tonight it was an incredible performance called Empire.

It was nothing short of awesome!!

Excuse the photographic quality as the pictures were taken on my phone but images really are the best way to give you a flavour of the experience we had and hopefully amaze you too…

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An absolutely spectacular feast for the eyes….

Three ladies balancing on each other.

Three ladies performing an acrobatic balancing act

Such impressive strength, beauty, co-ordination, talent, humour, positivity & energy….

A man balancing a spinning top on a tree branch.

Outstanding…… this guy is balancing a spinning top on a branch and moved it from one length to the other and all the little outcrops in between!!

Woman balancing on a man by the hands.

Woman balancing on a mans head.

This couple were unbelievable if it hadn’t been before our very eyes….  for she is balancing on one hand on his head!

I can safely say the surprise was a success and he, well we were totally amazed!  The next morning we sprang out of bed with a determination to work on rippled muscles and strength with more enforcement than even the enthusiastic pre-wedding work out vigour we had!

With effort, commitment, determination, and hard work it is amazing what we can achieve.   We are all incredible and so lucky to be alive.  Even if you are not a world class acrobat (I certainly wish I were), you have your own incredible talents.   Go forth and amaze!