Friday, 1 June 2012


This morning the first sight that greeted my eyes.........was the ocean at Port Fairy:

 It has been a long drive to get here:

You can really appreciate why when I show you the view in the back of our car:

Although mercifully, this was the same view later in the day:

For some bizarre reason we thought a family road trip might be an easy option for a holiday, especially as we now have four children and were forced by necessity to buy a seven seater car. We have tried various Bali resorts (is there anywhere better than the Ayana at Jimbaran Bay?), a P & O Cruise (still trying to forget the debauched behaviour on deck during the Australia Day festivities), various European jaunts around France and Italy and two weeks in the UK in a motor home (friends of ours recommended it.....they are now divorced). The fact is that there is no easy option for a holiday when you have four children. And cars and boats are not necessarily easier than planes.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I had no idea that when you cross Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania a public address system wakes you on arrival at 5.45am so that you can be in your car and good to go at 6.30am. It's a tad early to be starting a day out and about in Melbourne, don't you think?Nor did I really register the hours involved sitting in your car waiting for the ship to board. Luckily though someone had given us the heads up about the food on the ship so we packed a delicious picnic and bottle of wine from the Hill Street Grocer before we left Hobart:

Look, David Jones in Melbourne has the same light that we bought from an antique shop years ago in deepest, darkest South Hobart:

Admittedly our's doesn't have her frock accentuated in gold. Tobes loves her regardless:

After a brief stint in Melbourne we drove along the glorious Great Ocean Road. Yesterday, there were myriad koalas in gum trees by the side of a narrow country road:

This photo makes it look like downtown Collins Street. And then we went to the 12 Apostles:

......there were helicopters and the track was like being on a busy city footpath. It was beautiful though in a way that only dramatic natural panoramas can be:

Our children were excited to be in the same place as on the front cover of our Lonely Planet guide:

Which of course we have been reading as we tend to rather slavishly depend on guide books when thrown into a new destination. Although we hadn't been in Port Fairy for an hour when amazingly I bumped into a girl I'd been to school with in Launceston. She was able to give us some insider tips re restaurants, pubs and the best place to buy treats to bribe your children with. 

I have also been reading this: 

Paris in Love by Eloisa James. I wasn't prepared to be so utterly beguiled by it as I have been, especially as it starts out after she has been diagnosed with cancer and that's what prompts her to move her family to Paris for a year, and then the discovery that the book is a series of Facebook posts which have morphed into a book. Regardless, this book is like a jewel box of tiny, individual stones which make up a priceless treasure chest. It is so real and honest and true and I really connected with it. On page 142 she writes,'.....I pack the children off to school and then think greedily about how many hours I have before they come home. I have come to the conclusion that silence and time are the most precious commodities'. I hear what she is saying.

I loved Paris in Love so much that I sought out another of Eloisa James' books not realising that when she says that she is a romance writer she really is a bodice ripping, no holes bared ROMANCE writer. I got my hands on this:

Yes, it's called Desperate Duchesses and no, I'm very sorry to say it is no match for Paris in Love. In fact, I'm struggling to reconcile that they were written by the same author.

Half of our family has gone fishing to attempt to catch our dinner:

I hope that they have some luck as I'm sick of having to buy it at the fish and chip shop:

Oh oh, the baby's awake so had better dash. Yet before I do thank you, thank you, thank you so much to the fabulous Faux Fuchsia who linked me to her phenomenally attractive blog in an attempt to boost traffic on mine. It worked! For twenty four hours I was so popular that I was positively giddy. And then I became consumed by our a Victoria.  Thank you also to everybody who took the time to make a comment, it was like being in a parallel universe and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wonder what will happen now?


  1. I hear you on the family holiday thing. We went to Fiji last year for 10 days. It wasn't much of a holiday for us (the kids of course loved it, and want to go back). Skiing (youngest ones are still a bit young but it has potential due to ski school every day when they are a little older), Queensland resorts (see Fiji. I get tired getting up at 5.30 with overexcited children wanting to go for a swim). After taking our oldest to New York for a month when he was 20 months old I vowed never to travel with children until they are old enough to work and watch their own inflight entertainment system for at least 24 hours, so that rules out Europe and anywhere more than a 6 hour flight away. My husband asked me where we were going this year for a family holiday, and I said nowhere!! Hope your time in Port Fairy improves!

    1. Most of Tasmania has gone to Fiji for the hols! I'm still dreaming of a villa at the Ayana in Bali complete with kids club AND a nanny. Good news......just discovered they have a babysitting service in Port Fairy so we'll be making use of it. Back in the days when we only had 2 children & found ourselves in Christchurch we dialed a nanny - a charming matriarch appeared who only charged $8 NZ dollars an hour. Bargain. I long for New York......maybe my mum who is at home in Hobart babysitting our beagles might babysit the children next time and we can jet off sans enfants. Here's hoping! Rx

  2. Oh Romy! Goodness, you make me laugh. Where to start? I think you're very brave attempting such a trip. We haven't yet. My SIL is an artist in Port Fairy. It's a pretty little place, isn't it? Enjoy your time there. And FF is such a gem. I knew you'd be stoked! J x PS That GFC widget is looking very spiffy up there ☺.

    1. It really is delightfully pretty here. One day you will have to bite the bullet and embark on a family road trip and here is an ideal destination.....especially if you have family that you can lean on for free babysitting! We are dialing the babysitting agency tomorrow! What kind of artist is your SIL and does she show her work here? Maybe we can lead an expedition (it takes us the best part of an hour to walk into town) to an art gallery during our stay. Hop hope you are enjoying the hols in Hobart! Rx

  3. is FF's doing that your post of today arrived in my inbox. Great read! We have just returned from a holiday to Bali with our 10 year old son. We had a great time but were 100% prepared to do kid friendly activities with him. One day I'll get the one on one holiday with hubs. Enjoy your 'road trip' in Port Fairy; those scenic pictures do look spectacular!

    1. As I kick back in a beach house I ache for a hotel in still cooking, washing clothes & cleaning up ...... would love room service, in house laundry and a kids club! Ten year olds on their own are fabulous - we have one of those as well as a nine year old and a four year old and an almost 18 month old! My husband and I are well and truly outnumbered now.....and our children know it! Our trip to India last year without children was almost like a second honeymoon....sigh. Rx

  4. Also thanks to FF I read your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it! Am signed up for the emails and look forward to following you along from Canada.

    1. Thanks Patricia.......would love to explore your country one day too. Rx


I LOVE hearing your thoughts! Rx