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Archive for April, 2011

A big three cheers to all the volunteers from Warragul SES and the Lions Club for their manning of the Driver Reviver post at Longwarry North today. An excellent service for all of us travelling back from Gippsland – managed extremely well and in a very friendly manner.

Bravo!

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I’ve blogged before about the importance of our dogs, Spike and Ned, to Carol and me. They are an integral part of our lives, so when we decided to go away for Easter, it had to be somewhere that they could come as well.

We found Eagle Point Cottages on the net (http://www.gippslandlakesaccommodation.com/), about three and a quarter hours drive from Melbourne in East Gippsland. Well it would normally be that, if the freeway wasn’t closed at Morwell. Add an hour. Thanks VicRoads.

DSC_0276We discussed the usual concerns when we’ve thought about going to East Gippsland in the past. It’s just a bit too far. Ned doesn’t travel well. Everyone says the mosquitoes are shocking. We put all that aside and booked anyway and are so glad we did, for two reasons. We had a fantastic time and also made one of those life-defining decisions while we were there.

There are two cottages comprising Eagle Point Cottages, set on an extremely large area of mowed lawns and native trees, surrounded by farmland. The eagle and pelicans flying overhead at different stages were stunning and there was a plethora of native birds as well, given all the trees. There were no concerns about letting the boys off the leads to run around, given the size of the property and the distance from the road. However they also had their fenced-in back yard.

The cottage was described as a studio, which I guess means the bed isn’t in a separate bedroom. It had everything we needed, was clean and extremely comfortable. Phil, the owner, dropped over briefly to make sure everything was OK on our first morning, but beyond that, we were left completely to ourselves. I really like that.

For those of you who don’t know and haven’t bothered to look at a map since you started reading this, Eagle Point is about seven or eight minutes drive from Paynesville, described as the Victorian Riviera. If Paynesville isn’t ringing any bells, it’s about 20 minutes from Bairnsdale. If you’re still looking blankly, look at a map.

“Oh give me a spell” was my reaction when I first heard the Victorian Riviera bit. “What wanker real estate agent came up with that?”. But damn it, it’s pretty close to the mark, albeit nowhere near as pretentious as the French Riviera or more locally, Sorrento, to which we found ourselves making a comparison.

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We (and Spike and Ned) absolutely loved the place. It was certainly the most relaxing break either of us could remember having for a very long time. There was lots of running, swimming and walking for the boys and plenty of things to see for uDSC_0279s. The Gippsland Lakes area is absolutely magnificent – I continued to curse myself for leaving it so long to go down there. I used to say that Rutherglen and surrounds was the best part of Victoria. Wrong!

We also found more than enough time to curl up with a couple of good books, which usually coincided with two exhausted boys being sound asleep on their beds.

So what of the reasons for not going? It probably is a bit too far, but was no doubt worth the pain once we got there. The mosquitoes are a pain in the arse, but nothing that Aerogard can’t fix. And we learnt that Ned goes a bit stir crazy coming down off the valium. While we’re on that subject, why do four valium tablets cost $20 at the vet? That might be the subject of another blog post.

So if you’ve bothered to read this far, you’ve probably only done so because you want to find out what was the life-defining decision. Wow! How sad are you that my life-defining decisions are so important to you! 😉

So here it is. Carol and I have decided that, when the time comes for us to finally retire, it will be to either Paynesville or Raymond Island. Probably Paynesville – I don’t fancy being completely dependent on a car ferry when there’s a bushfire screaming across the island. Although, at least it’s not operated by VicRoads.

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The Age had a story this morning on another Tiger Airways debacle. Why anyone would fly with these clowns is a complete mystery to me.

If you dig down into the comments in the article, you’ll find this.

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Bravo Make A Wish Foundation!

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I’ve never really liked Carl Barron. I actually think he’s about as funny as a multiple patient car accident. And we almost had one when I went to park in my usual parking area in St Kilda and found it blocked off to accommodate a large number of people who were there to see him at the Palais. The net result was having to park on Beaconsfield Parade, but that, thankfully, was the only downside of a great night.

phamish (http://www.phamish.com.au/) is on The Esplanade, immediately opposite the entrance to Luna Park. It’s a new entrant to the Entertainment Book (http://www.entertainmentbook.com.au/) this year, so independent reviews were a bit hard to come by. However, with a desire to show Mitchell an example of cosmopolitan Melbourne, we thought we would give it a go, right in the middle of a typical St Kilda Saturday night.

We weren’t disappointed – phamish was phantastic!

Cocktails, milkshakes and a very acceptable Kilikanoon ‘Killerman’s Run’ Cabernet Sauvignon got us started, with a selection of entrees from which we grazed. The favourite here was the dips with the sesame bread – almost a cross between turkish bread and a cracker.

Mains were terrific – with favourites being the gnocchi and the paella. Our fitness fanatic at the table was disappointed that the salt and pepper squid was fried, and felt it could have been described as such on the menu.

The deserts were the highlight of the night, particularly the  sweet custard pizza. A normal pizza base cooked as such, but with a great mix of apple, custard and sliced almonds.

The $35 discount through the Entertainment Book meant a cost of around $50 per person – perfectly reasonable for what was a great night. Probably not a lot more than you’d pay to see Carl Barron.

Phamish on Urbanspoon

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I got my iPad2 this week – 3G + WiFi. Given it has quite an attractive 12 month plan, I went with Telstra as the 3G carrier.

This now means I have an iPad2 on Telstra and a Windows Phone 7 (supplied by work) running on vodafone.

I would have to seriously say it is like chalk and cheese. The Telstra coverage and speed is brilliant – vodafone is absolutely crap. Why anyone would seriously consider vodafone as a mobile device carrier in Australia is absolutely beyond me.

Telstra v vodafone! 3G v 0.3G!

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