Why I Love Op Shops (and a haul!)

Benalla Op Shops Feature

If you’ve been hanging around for a while, you’ll know I’m always banging on about op shops (and if you’ve just joined in: this is a quick heads-up that I’m always banging on about op shops). I’ve written about op shopping instead of unpacking after moving house. I’ve written about getting super old stuff for free because it looked like scrunched up newspaper. I’ve even written about finding the perfect mug in an op shop in the middle of a roadtrip.

But why do I keep going on about op shops? What’s so good about them? Continue reading

2018 in 12 Photos

2018 in 12 FEATURE - Katie Writes Stuff

The new year is still young (and yet, the first month is already half over somehow), so I figured it’s the perfect time to take stock on the year that was 2018. Ideally, I’d do a re-cap of my blog posts and share some of the highlights I recorded… except I only wrote eight blog posts for the entire year.

So, with thoughts of calendars still in my head, I thought I’d do a sort of blog calendar and share a photo from each month of 2018 with a little wordiness, because you can’t ask me to choose between words or photos. That’s like asking me to choose which is my favourite cat.

Read on for a snapshot of my 2018! Continue reading

Christmas Traditions

There are many grand Christmas traditions in this house. No decorations go up before the 1st of December, for example. I get way too excited about putting icicle lights on the deck railings. Mince pies become a vital food group.

And I always leave my Christmas calendar until the very last minute.

But let’s backtrack a little first. Continue reading

Roadtrip Diaries: Queenscliff

Roadtrip Diaries Queenscliff

Our Queenscliff trip changed my life.

Well, it changed my holiday breakfasts, at least.

The life-changing breakfast moment came when I was standing in line in a café in Point Lonsdale. I was contemplating my own order when the lady in front of me asked for grilled tomatoes with her eggs.

Up until now, my breakfast extras had consisted of smoked salmon, avocado or hash browns. I hadn’t even realised you could add on grilled or fried tomatoes, which are pretty much my favourite thing in the world (at breakfast time, anyway).

So I asked for grilled tomatoes and now that is how my holiday breakfasts will be for the next forever.

Let’s backtrack to a time before that life-changing breakfast; namely to a chilly, rainy, windy Saturday morning in July when I set off to pick up my Failboat friends Emily and Aimee. We’ll be backtracking even further in future blog posts since I have a lot of roadtripping to catch you up on. It turns out the last time I posted about a Failboats adventure was in April of 2016, and if you know anything about me by now, you should suspect that I’ve managed to pack in quite a bit of roadtripping in those two and a half years.

So please join me for the first episode of a lengthy series I’m calling ‘The Roadtrip Diaries’. Continue reading

A Garden Disguised as a Metaphor

Garden Metaphor Feature

I’m starting to think my house is surrounded by a metaphor rather than a garden. It’s always trying to say something to me, although up until recently, mostly it was telling me what an awful person I am to let a garden go untouched for three years.

Yep, three years. As in: since we moved here. More on this later.

Recently, it’s been teaching me to heed my own advice, specifically the advice I dish out to everyone I know (and even those I don’t).

You can learn anything you want to

You really can. Want to learn how to fly a drone? Need to pick up some cooking skills? Keen to develop yarn bombing techniques for re-covering the Sydney Opera House?

You can do all of that. Well… you might need to assemble a formidable team for the last one, but I have faith in you.

I generally have faith in my ability to learn anything, too – with one notable exception. Continue reading

Adventures on Public Transport

Adventures in Public Transport Feature

It takes us an hour to get to our mechanic. You might think this is crazy and wonder if we’ve considered the benefits of seeking a local mechanic after moving house… but he’s a really good mechanic. He never treats us like idiots who don’t know how to car and he tells the best stories about how he fixed our vehicles when we go to pick them up.

And once, he sent me a text with a photo of my cabin filter because it was literally covered in the A-Z of Interesting Winged Insects That Got Sucked Into My Engine.

So even though we no longer live five minutes away, we keep going back.

This leaves us with a dilemma: do we take two cars and do two return trips? Do we head back home via train, bus and one incredibly vertiginous walk? Does the owner of the car simply spend the day hanging around until the job is done?

If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know I love a low-key adventure, so the answer will not come as a surprise: we caught a train and decided to go somewhere. Continue reading

Local Lovelies – Adventures on our Doorstep

Local Lovelies - Katie Writes Stuff

In my previous post, I mentioned that I have a slightly enormous backlog of photos to share on the blog and that seems like a perfect excuse for a photo post. But which trip to choose? The Winter getaway to Queenscliff? The tour down an old coal mine in Autumn? Perhaps I could go back a little further to the fabulous Great Ocean Road trip of 2016?

As I said: a slightly enormous backlog of photos.

I thought about all of those options for a while and decided to go with something completely different.

The thing is, we’re fortunate to live in a rather beautiful region of the state and I love taking advantage of this fact. With such gorgeousness on tap, it’s easy to head off for a half-hour walk ten minutes from home and still find plenty of things to photograph.

Of course, this may have a lot to do with my compulsion to take photos at all possible times… but I’m pretty sure the fabulous surroundings help.

So let me take you back to a couple of weeks ago, when we drove a whole ten minutes to walk a section of the Warburton Rail Trail near Launching Place. Continue reading

Season of Change

Season of Change Feature

Here’s something you probably don’t know if you’ve never had hayfever: Spring is hell.  There’s no delight in the growing warmth. There’s no feeling of anticipation for the bounteous season ahead. That moment when Winter starts to fade away, revealing lush fields of grass and eager flowers, is no cause for celebration. There’s just resignation and a trip to the chemist for whatever treatment makes the whole time bearable.

That’s been my reaction to Spring for my entire life… until now. I gave up sugar last year and it came with a surprise benefit: no hayfever. For the first time in ever, I’m excited about Spring. The flowers are gorgeous! The warm wind blowing the grass fields is delectable! The blossom-scented air smells positively delightful!

Forget that feeling of impending doom – all I’m getting is a desire to do ALL OF THE THINGS.

Make curtains!

Finish all my sewing projects (and start sixty more)!

Overhaul my website!

You know, the standard list of things. I’m sure yours is much the same.

I’ve never felt this way before and it’s strange but I’m planning to make the most of it. And since some of that Spring energy is going to be dedicated to this website, I thought I’d get you all up to speed with what you can expect in the next few weeks. Continue reading

Falling Back Into Daytripping

Toorongo Falls

When I was a kid, my family went on daytrips all the time. We drove to Marysville to see the Autumn leaves and Steavenson Falls. We drove to Mangalore every Easter Sunday to park in a dirt road behind the airport and watch the air show from a distance. We drove up to Toolangi and along the back roads into Healesville of an afternoon, just because.

Daytripping at Flagstaff Hill
My brother, the boat-spotter. (Technically, this is from a holiday, but it’s a cute photo and I wanted to share it.)

One of my earliest memories is of being in the back seat of the car with my favourite doll, watching raindrops hit the window as we drove along and feeling like that was exactly where I belonged. Continue reading