Monday, August 24, 2009


I have just had the most fantastic, relaxing weekend :-) I have been in awe of the work of Spanish artist Salvador Dali ever since I was a teenager. A few months ago I heard whispers of an exhibition of his work coming to Australia, and was later gutted to learn it was only visiting Melbourne and no other cities. An opportunity to see 2 huge collections of his work brought together doesn't come around too often. Fast forward a couple of months and my very lovely hubbie suggested I take a trip to Melbourne so I could get to see it!

So first thing Saturday morning I flew from Sydney to Melbourne, went to check into my hotel and headed off to the National Gallery of Victoria.

What can I say about this exhibition? I was blown away to see so many of his amazing paintings in real life, I crouched down and moved around each piece (no mean feat as the gallery was packed), looking at how the light fell on his brush strokes, the incredible vividness of the colour he used, the liquid surrealism of his paintings that just makes you want to dive into them and swim around. There were many pieces I had never even known about, sketches, photos, film clips. It was fantastic! I spent almost 3 hours looking. The terms "mad genius" and "creative genius" are thrown around a lot, I fully believe that Salvador Dali is one of the few people in the world who actually deserves such a description.

I then took a little walk along the banks of the river. Did I mention that I went on this trip ALONE!!! I know a lot of women whose dream idea of a break away from it all would be a pampering weekend at a spa with the girls, or a weekend of shopping with friends. My ideal break is to go a-wanderin' solo. As I'm sure a lot of mums will testify, being with your children is the most wonderful, rewarding experience, but the constant routine and chaos can get a little tiring sometimes and so it was just bliss for me to go away alone for 38 whole hours, and do whatever I liked, at whatever pace I wanted, when I wanted without having to factor in routines or time-limits.

Heading back towards the hotel I came across Degraves Street, a fantastic little alley-way style street full of funky shops and eateries. It had a grungey vibe about it I liked that kind of reminded me of an area called Temple Bar in Dublin where I used to hang out as a student.

Then back to my hotel for a "nana-nap". 2 hours of late afternoon sleep, unheard of for a mother of three! Back up again and out for dinner, I found a delicious Asian restaurant and had prawn and rice rolls and then prawns in chili sauce with steamed rice (I love prawns).

And then, thanks to my husband, I spent the night in prison!!!

Perhaps I should clarify. My hubbie had booked me into a five star hotel in the city which was converted from a former prison, the Intercontinental Rialto Hotel. It was bliss, the comfiest bed ever, a super powerful shower, lounging in my white fluffy robe watching movies and eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate and snacks. My room included access to the Club Intercontinental where I was treated to evening drinks and canapies and a delicious breakfast.

My initial plan was to sleep in till midday abut after falling asleep at 10pm and waking at 7:30am after a night of pure uninterrupted sleep, I felt like wandering again. And where better than the Camberwell markets I have read about in various blogs. Off I went on the tram!

All I can say about this place is that I thought I'd died and gone to vintage heaven!! Hundreds of stalls selling all things vintage and all things gorgeous. Clothes, homewares, kitchenware, memorabilia, industrial, it was all there.

How adorable is this little model of a child's school desk, it even had a mini-chalkboard on the inside, apparently it was an apprentice's piece, gorgeous!

The original gourmet sausages eh? That's quite a claim.

Even though I had a 23kg baggage allowance for my flight, I had travelled with a small carry-on bag only to avoid having to wait at baggage claim. However when I saw this stack of fabulous vintage suitcases an idea formed in my head - buy one of these for ten bucks and fill it with 23kg worth of vintage fabulousness from the market and fly it home. Then I thought about how difficult a divorce would be on the kids, so in the end all I bought was a little vintage box brownie camera for $2 and a dressmakers ruler on a metal stand for $5. But it was bliss spending a few hours just wandering the market. I had an early evening flight back to Sydney and am happy to be home with all my fellas, refreshed and rejuvenated!

And now, all will be quiet on the blog front for me for the next couple of weeks as my wonderful Dad is arriving today from Ireland :-) We are all very excited and counting down the minutes!!! The boys love spending time with Grandad and H has a million outings planned, including picnics, tree-climbing, chasing... Hope Dad's not too jetlagged :-)


Michelle said...

Looks like you had a nice get away! That market looks great- Most flea markets around here have baseball cards and DVD's and ninja stars- all the things a girl is hankering for! I'd love to stumble across something like that in suburbia Virginia. Thanks for sharing so I can dream about it! That side street reminds me of the latin quarter in Paris...

Michelle said...

ps, funny thing, "Heaven" aka "John" left that same message on my last post... wanna take a trip to Bali?

katiecrackernuts said...

Sounds like a perfect couple of days. And I did like that luggage plan. Was all for it. Can see how it could have ended in tears though. ;)

Franny said...

What a nice trip! Great pictures of the sights. I can almost hear the street musicians playing :-D
Enjoy your time with your dad. Awesome that he's traveled so far to visit.

janellemac said...

DELIGHTFUL! Just delightful!

I try and find wonderful junk here in Osaka!

NOT as easy (nor as cheap) I am sure!

Those pyrex dishes are also (bloody) amazing!

GO you Sydney woman wild!


svelteSTUFF said...

Dreamy! Thanks for taking us along 8-)

Home Girl said...

how much fun! so well deserved too. sounds like you hit the jackpot with your destination choices degraves st is a highlight and the camberwell market is a bit of a hike from the city but well worth it (u must have done your research). its funny i was at the same market a few weeks ago and saw that same suitcase stall and thought of you! its a shame i was away, next time ill happily ditch the kids & join your for some team fossicking (u must visit savers next time) xx

Leigh said...

Beautiful pictures! Sounds like a wonderful trip, and how exciting to go alone too!

kurrabikid said...

Am most envious of your trip! Good on you for taking it - hope it well and truly recharged your batteries.

Missa said...

Oh. my. GOD. I am about to cry from jealousy ;)
I'm happy to be able to live vicariously through your post though!

p.s. the divorce crack totally made me chuckle. Have a wonderful visit with your Dad!

my little birdie said...

glad you enjoyed camberwell market, it's a fave of mine too. just dont seem to get there anymore with a seven month. i loved the market at bondi when i was last in sydney (3 years ago) that from memory had some lovely items. enjoy the time with your dad : )

Vonlipi said...

That sounds like the peeeerfect weekend! Was there any Pyrex?

I have a big case of Pyrexia. Come visit my blog if you want

Kate said...

Ooh what a lovely thing for a husband to do for you! Looks like you had a lovely time - hurrah!