Illustrated Adventures » by Alli Campbell

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I use a stack of faulty photography postcards for my to-do lists. Each morning I copy over the tasks that haven’t been crossed off from the day before – and sure enough “for Pete’s sake, update the blog” has been copied over seventy bazillion times now. No bingo.

One day, it’s possible I’ll once again schedule posts. But today is not that day.

What have we been up to? Rob’s hours have reached a new level of inhumanity, and I’ve gone from happy introvert working from home to sending him semi-joking-mostly-desperado texts at 8pm saying things like “the sick people can wait.” Gracious. I’ve done 1400km in the car in the last ten days, without leaving Victoria. Hello Horsham, Bendigo and Lorne. I love you all, but I’m going to need to make new road trip CDs before I come your way for a while. They’re at that point where I start singing Billie Jean before Aretha has finished belting out Natural Woman. I forgive you for never wanting to road trip with me.

So, lately. In dot points:

  • Wedding anniversary. 3 years. Love him to pieces. Miraculously we both had the day off. We took the opportunity to finally visit the first crocodile I can ever remember Melbourne having. I’m a bit enamoured by crocs. I wasn’t super impressed by the enclosure, but sat crossed legged watching the croc for longer than I care to admit. He’s HUGE! And then we had a big fat fatty lunch at Grossi Florentino with dessert at Gelato Messina. Told you it was fat fatty fat fat. Which just about sums us up: dorks who like food.
  • We both had birthdays. 26 and 27 (I was a child bride). Well past my scary age of 24, trying not to think about it. Or “geez you’re young,” as Grandad put it. We actually saw each other on both birthdays this year, which is a first in recent times. And bought presents. And made a cake. All in all, a win.
  • Weekend in Horsham with friends. We ate, Grampian walked and Champagned. Talked major life decisions and trivial dribble. Solid gold.
  • We’ve been trying to get home to Bendigo a bit more. I’m getting more weddings there (yay!) and we love being home. Last time we stayed, we walked the O’Keefe Rail Trail with my 200mm lens. It was a wildly, deliberately, inappropriate choice, but it was fun to highlight the beautiful little flowers in the scrub. We’d desperately love to move back, but it’s not a possibility at the moment.
  • I actually went to a footy (Aussie Rules/Football/Over-funded stupidity) match. It turns out it isn’t too bad if you go with a member, as there is a well stocked bar. I’m not 100% sure who played.
  • Marking Anzac Day with Grandad. Humbling.
  • Mortal injuries. Last weekend I broke my toe fifteen minutes before I drove to Lorne for a wedding. Yet again I was grateful I hadn’t thrown out my ratty velcro travel sandals. They were all that fit, and they kept me comfy for eleven hours on my feet. Ridiculous in winter, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Then an hour after I got back to Melbourne I thought it would be a good idea to grab a 200*C oven tray with my bare hands. I slept holding a freezer block wearing a Michael Jackson glove. The toe is transforming from blue to purple to mottled pink.
  • Shooting weddings, weddings and more weddings – and this week. A new baby. Ten minutes old. I’m still awe struck (and more than a little cluckety cluck cluck) by the experience. I treasure this back stage pass I get into other peoples’ happy. And yesterday, I had an enormous bunch of flowers and gift bag arrive at the door from a recent bride – sometimes the universe sends us reassurances at the exact moment we need them. I’m formulating some thoughts on working-for-yourself, but they’re still in the slushy brain stage at the moment. In the mean time, it’s realistically starting to feel like a really good choice for me.
  • And I’ve done a little writing work lately, which has been an unexpected breath of fresh air. It was essentially what I studied at university, but the more you love it – the harder it is. I know a few of you will relate to that.
  • Last night we saw Colour Bomb and Hailey Cramer perform at our local, which is – conveniently – one of Melbourne’s best independent music venues. I already knew (and loved) Colour Bomb, but Hailey was a pleasant surprise – a massive voice and vision.
  • I just discovered the middle aged favourite Woolovers. It is ridiculously difficult to find well priced actual-wool cardigans and jumpers in Australia. They are UK based and ship internationally, but this will be particularly appealing to those used to Australian prices. Especially as we are coming into winter.

End ramble.

Grossi Florentino [Bourke St, Melbourne CBD] A perennial Melbourne favourite, for good reason. The food and service are excellent and unpretentious, and the set menu at lunch is good value. Or go off-road, and order the Spanner Crab Ravioli. I dream about it. Book ahead.
Gelato Messina [Smith St Collingwood] Saying this is better than what we got in Italy is a big call… but. Amazing. Dangerously, it’s in our hood.
Mount Zero Cafe [Grampians National Park] Nestled amongst the olive groves at the northern edge of the Grampians – come here for a relaxed farm house vegetarian lunch and then walk up Mount Zero for amazing views over the Grampians and greener than green Western district. I also love their lemon pressed olive oil and Egyptian Dukkah.
Mason Clarke Coffee Roastery and Preserving Kitchen [Dimboola] For the love of baking, get the scones.

illustrated adventures by alli campbell photography
mount zero olives
mount zero grampians national park
hiking mount zero grampians national park
grampians national park hiking
mason clark preserving co scones
victoria travel australia
australia on collins mosaic tiling melbourne
melbourne CBD travel photography
melbourne travel
melbourne aquarium penguins
melbourne aquarium penguins
crocodile pinjarra melbourne aquarium
shark tank melbourne aquarium
bendigo anzac day dawn service 2014
mornington peninsula walks
byron bay beach
mornington peninsula walks
mornington peninsula walks