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London Update

I’ve been now asked so often to continue the blog…thought I might write a quick update (and no, Alex, I won’t write a book). So here you go. What happened since my return?  A lot. I’ve become a Cheesemonger. Yep, I really made it!!! A proper change of course. You’re gonna find now a happy girl with a big grin behind the counters of Neal’s Yard Dairy. Awesome cheese and very lovely people. I am immersing in the British Cheese world, learning a lot about cheese and food and wine. Love it 🙂

The job gives me a lot of time to do all the fun stuff…finally!!! Friends, movies, books, concerts, cooking & baking, volunteering,  galleries, theatre … Still exploring London’s coffee shops – Jacs, they keep up with Melbourne but it’s just not the same without youhuuuuu!!!

And I managed to make use of my good old friend Sony alpha 5N more often. Pics say more than words…. see below.

Lots of love

Mel x

Back to where it all started

So, this is where it all began… here I am back on the farm. I decided to spend some days on the farm before heading back to London and starting a new chapter in my life. So good to be back, meet the lovely stuff and friends, making cheese (I made Ricotta!!!), breathing fresh warm Somerset air. The farm looks very different from when I left in spring, everything’s so green now, it is warm, I don’t need to lit fire or have to wear 5 layers of clothes.

Went down to Bath’s farmers market and had a great day with Debbie, sold lots of cheese and by the end of the day my goat’s cheesecake was sold out too, what a success 🙂

Just want to say thank you to all those who’ve been following this blog (I had a look at the stats… wow!!). A million thanks to my mum, dad and my sister, to Sibs, Anke, Claudia, Christina & Steward, Petra, Jacs, Dawn, Debbie & Cam and Mary.
Thank you for supporting me, believing in me, encouraging me and pushing me to follow my dreams and for not judging.

Reckon it’s time to open a new chapter…

Lots of love

Mel xx

Coffee, tea & squid in Malaysia

I’m lying on a rooftop terrace in KL. My tummy is about to burst….I’ve decided to eat out Indian on my last day and indulged myself with a Thali, a massive Uttappam, an idly and fresh buttermilk, whoa.
Makes me think of the great food I had in that one week in Malaysia. Very good coffee, yummy Asam Laksa, Lemak Laksa and Nasi Lemak in KL. Delicious Penang Laksa and Steamboat dinner in Cameron Highlands (besides food, awesome mossy forest and truly beautiful tea plantations, loved the tea). And the highlight of my stay on the Perhentian Islands – SEAFOOD. Holy sh*** I’ve eaten fresh squid, lobster, fish and prawns twice a day.
I wasn’t only busy with eating … I’ve been active though … I went on an unforgettable snorkelling tour, which was AMAZING!!! Didn’t want to leave the water. So many beautiful corals and fishes in all colours. A f***** sunburned back was the inevitable result and YES I put on sunscreen!!! In return I indulged myself at the seafood BBQ in the evening, ha!!

Well, seems like it’s time to reflect but to be honest I’ve seen, learned and experienced so much in the past 6 months, I feel a bit overwhelmed thinking about it right now. One shouldn’t think so hard with a full belly. I’d rather keep gazing at the Petrona towers in front of me and smiling happily … looking forward to what’s waiting for me in London and being back on the farm … and eat cheese!

Kuala Lumpur

Cameron Highlands & Perhentian Islands

Serenity in Bali

It’s time to find a little peace, to relax, allow my soul to dangle and unwind, before heading back to reality, the bustling London. I’m lucky, I found paradise just a few flight hours away from Perth.
I’m sitting on a cosy sofa on my cute little veranda, surrounded by lush greens, flowers, a small temple in a hidden garden in Ubud, Bali. This is such a beautiful place, an oasis for your soul. I’m listening to chirping crickets, inhaling the warm air, drinking coconut water. I enjoy calm and serenity, being by myself, I relax, let my thoughts run free, savour the undisturbed peace. I’m doing yoga for the first time and am thrilled.
I treat myself with spas and massages, good books, good food, cooking classes, rice field walks and good coffee. Who would have thought Bali has excellent cafes, roasting their own beans and even offering barista and coffee tasting courses.
I’m not missing anything, not even cheese…not yet 🙂

I’ve joined an awesome cooking class somewhere in a village outside of Ubud, a beautiful compound in the middle of rice terraces.

And when I thought I couldn’t get better, I arrived at Balangan beach, a well known surf spot south west of Bali, with huge waves, empty but gorgeous beaches and a 2min walk to cute little bamboo bungalows surrounded by Palm trees. I spent 2 awesome days watching waves, surfers and sunsets, drinking uncountable fruit juices, eating lots of fresh seafood and having a peaceful sleep in my 3×3 m princess bed.

Good bye Oz

It is dawn, I awake from a deep and peaceful sleep, I’m rolling to one and then to the other side of my huge princess bed, I slowly lift my head and I squint against the bright morning light, my eyes moving along the duvet and right behind of the foot end of my bed, there it is…a sky immersed in all shades of morning red, far away the towers of Perth City sparkling at the horizon. This has been my every morning ceremony in the last few days.  I am in the Perth Hills, we’re staying at a beautiful place of Jac’s friends Jackson and Zaskia, a lovely couple that welcomed us with such a warmth and hospitality which makes me even more enjoying my last days in Australia but also even  harder to leave this beautiful country. I enjoy the sun and nature, great food in good company, try to breath as much fresh air as I can and try not to think about what’s coming next (namely 2 cheese free weeks).

Perth is a beautiful place, with nice suburbs, good markets (I had gluten free Scones, rolls filled with spinach and ricotta and multiseed flutes for the first time), great book shops, a lot of green (beautiful Kings Park), nice beaches, cute little towns in Perth Hills, great vineyards (Swan Valley!!!!) and KANGAROOOOOOOOS crossing my jogging track.

Roadtrip #4 – The South of Western Australia

We’re heading along the coast of the Great South West Edge towards Perth. In contrast to the Nullarbor, Western Australia is incredible versatile in terms of flora and fauna. What a contrast between land and see, a dramatic coastline, stunning surf spots, white beaches, vast landscape and farmland (with pretty cows and fluffy sheeps), lush green forests and beautiful pristine National Parks with massive giant trees.

Seeing whales for the first time in my life was undoubtedly my highlight. The Southern Right Whales came incredible close to the coast so we could watch them and even recognize their massive blowholes. It was an unforgettable  moment which deserved an entry in my travel diary as the Whale-Day.

We’ve been to Denmark, ha! We took the “tasting road” with nice wineries, chocolate factories, local honey and of course cheese – Denmark Farmhouse Cheese with an absolutly beautiful Gold Hill Cheddar, only available in their local shop.

Worth mentioning is Margareth River, a renowned wine region with beautiful vineyards, and again yummie tastings at chocolate factories, cheese shops, honey farm, olive groves, coffee roastery with a very interesting coffee tasting … a real delight!

After 6.754km in 3 weeks we arrived in Perth, final stop.

And then there are the beaches … one of the most beautiful pristine and white beaches I have ever seen. No further comments needed.

Roadtrip #3 – Crossing the Nullarbor

One of the musts – I think – you have to do, when you’re travelling in South of Australia. Crossing the Nullarbor was a great experience which Jackie and I loved and enjoyed very much. We basically drove 1,700km in 4 days the entire Eyre Highway that connects the west coast with Adelaide. In between is flat, almost treeless (hence “null arbor”), arid country with endless straight roads – the Nullarbor Plains, it’s the world’s largest piece of limestone. One part of that Highway has the longest straight stretch of road in the world – 145.6km –  and it wasn’t boring at all, it was fun driving in the sunshine on empty roads, enjoying the rugged landscapes, seeing awesome sunsets and sunrises, nice roadhouses, lots of wildlife even though mostly dead wildlife hit by the road trains. And in the end we even got a certificate!