(COMING SOON) Syd, Melbs, The Prom | 9-140418

Pure Happiness from 4:00am. I wake up – way before dawn! – with an exhilarating feeling of complete happiness filling every cell of my body. The kind of positive, everything-is-wonderful-and-possible feeling you just want to savour and store for potentially tougher or blander times. We have just spent a wonderful weekend in a wonderful place – the kind of weekend that just felt like one big, warm, adrenaline-inducing hug given to you by some loving and alluring character. Ahh. I doze off again, sort of, and wait with jumping out of bed till 6am, when the sun rises and we hurry down to Tallow Beach together to roll out our yoga mats facing the star sending its burning red glory down on the calm ocean. What a spectacle! At 7am, we’re seated on the verandah of the charming Suffolk Bakery (which opens at 5:30am to serve the early surfers!), smoothie bowls and coffees in front of us, fuelling up for a work day in Sydney.

Surry Hills & Friends. Our Airbnb studio is a converted garage in a small, quaint lane off Crown Street. It’s clean and neat and does the trick – makes us feel like we’re living in Sydney. On all of our previous trips, we’ve stayed in Bondi, but this time we opted for a central solution. I still love and probably prefer the beach area, the fact that you can hop right down on the coastal walk when waking up, but there are also advantages to waking up in Surry Hills. It’s closer to our offices, it’s where one of my best friends lives, it’s a very beautiful area too. It makes it possible for me to meet my friend for a quick lunch, both of us super thrilled that this is even possible, that we are right here, together, and in the afternoon, I actually decide to work from Surry Hills Library – it’s such a great place for getting things done while at the same time watching various types of people pass by on the street in front of the panorama window and really feel that you’re in Sydney. When the library closes at 6pm, my friend picks me up, and Sanoop joins us for a drink at The Clock, after which we all go and meet my friend’s boyfriend for a delightful dinner and even more delightful conversation at Muum Maam. Walking home through the neighbourhood late in the evening, Sanoop and I stop at Maloneys Grocer (one of a tonne of gourmet groceries on Crown Street!) to pick up a cup of heavenly coconut milk-based strawberry ice-cream. Yum. 

Centennial Park & Cafe Life. morning run to the large park around the corner from our dwellings, Centennial Park. Meadows, girls riding horses and chatting. Large bicycle groups. Runners. Ponds and lakes. Palm trees and rose beds. Exotic blue birds. Back to Sanoop. Brekkie at the small table by the one window in our studio, overlooking a small charming community park – coconut yoghurt with muesli and fresh raspberries. Pukka tea. Walk up Crown Street together, S getting chai from Cafe Mint, I getting an Allpress soy flat white from Calipress, he takes an uber to the office, I decide to not go to my office and instead work from a quiet, comfy corner of a cosy cafe, Pieno, with excellent wifi, overlooking Crown and a small garden, can concentrate on work while simultaneously feeling that I’m immersed in the middle of Sydney life… watching people, hearing snippets of conversations…

Barre Body. Flow, fun, challenging, nice to feel I am strong and flexible… walk through leafy, vibrant Surry Hills… ahh. Back to work at About Life after nourishing lunch….

Ballet at Sydney Opera House. Walk up Crown, Oxford, through Hyde Park, meet friend… Opera House… nice after being immersed in Surry Hills, to see iconic view… Harbour Bridge… Opera, makes every Dane warm and fuzzy with pride… Jørn Utzon, 100th birthday yesterday… wine, food, sunset, friend… Ballet… magical… modern in choreography and costumes, classic in elegance… phenomenal, musicality, humour, creativity… Murphy…

Walking My Friend to Work. Sunny Surry Hills… coffee from Brewtown Coffee Roasters… up Crown to Oxford…

Bondi. Undecided whether to work from Surry Hills again, quite liked getting that area under my skin yesterday…. but… almost strange being in Sydney without seeing the beach… and now that I can. Work from there. What feels right: take uber to Bondi… breathe in salty air and sweeping view… at 8:30am, I am seated at Cali Press, vibrant view across Hall Street, happy chilled people. Window seat. WORK intensively till mid-afternoon, there and also next door at Gusto… then food from nearby healthstore, peek into Aqua Bumps, coffee from heavenly next door tiny coffeeshop, walk over to Icebergs for a thrilling swim, Coastal Walk, heart full of love for S and life.. Bronte, pool, honeycomb cliffs, spray, climb hill, Bronte, Huxton, acai bowl at Cali…. walk back, work on lawn above beach…  considered Power Living Yoga, but beach and coastal walk are pulling me… haha. …. In Travelling Light, author Robyn Davidson (who travelled 2,700 km across Australia with her dog and four camels in tow!) writes about her first visit to Sydney, … By the time I reached Bondi I was dazzled by it, converted to it, thoroughly seduced by it. Previously I had thought of cities simply as places where more people lived and therefore more things happened. Social cesspits. I had never associated physical beauty with them – that belonged exclusively to the country. I stood on the beach, raised my 18-year-old arms towards the apartment blocks rising like honeycomb out of the cliffs, and proclaimed Sydney mine… I get her! – And some of the cliffs in these photos look like honeycombs too

Nomad. Industrial, but warm with wood… ambiance.. large wooden bar in middle, sit here, front row view of carefully orchestrated act performed by cheerful and talented people taking care of the wining and dining experience…

A Day in Melbourne. Step out from airport at midnight on Wednesday – immediate feeling of slight crispness in air…. spend first night at sleek downtown hotel, so funny, feels like big city, normally, we stay out in the charming neighbourhoods, this is Melbourne too, and has its own charm, sleek skyscrapers packed with dynamic action, people walking with purpose, a few fallen leaves, … wake up, League of Honest Coffee brekkie… check into Airbnb in Collingwood, family loft… cool space and view… some elements about interior design nice too, fun to think what sort of family lives here, clearly giving lots of space to their kids, creative, art, humour, good quality kitchen stuff, wine, books, conscious, Thank You soap, but also quite overly stuffed, random, carpets… love to stay in places that are so beautiful and harmonious and inspiring that I don’t want to change a thing, but ALSO very fun to stay in places where your mind starts working – thinking what if I could throw out all of this and then…. We both work from there in the morning hours on Thursday, great wifi, quiet… then walk up Gertrude, sunshine, vegan ramen at very trendy Neko Neko, quintessential Fitzroy, girl with rainbow-coloured hair, divine homemade matcha latte, walk up street, leafy, people sitting outside cafes, vibrant street art, whole foods groceries, vegan icecream, then work from Streat… then wander through Fitzroy to CBD, chatting with my mum on the way, sunshine, Gertrude, parks, bicyclists, Barre Body Flinders Lane, barre and yin…. Candles, blissful music, lovely light furniture, flowy curtains … 20 people – big beautiful studio … Yin – but in a barre style, all way through – very balletic and delicious. One leg on barre – move hand over. Ball under butt, move one leg up and down at a time, not how Far arms and legs can go, not how quick, not how flexible, no comparisons with others, just tune into yourself, about stretching the spine, being graceful, feeling graceful … No count downs, no mentioning of how Long we were holding the stretches for – so nice … Long savasanas – hands on belly – Make your breath gentle – be present – belly breath … autumn evening… glimpse of life at Flinders… wrap up work in calm of Hyatt’s calm luxury… lounge tucked away between upstairs lobby…. S comes to meet me at 9pm… Tonka

Another Day in Melbourne. Wake up at sunrise 6:45, so excited… S comes out with me, stroll through pretty Abbotsford, along Yarra, Children’s Farm, was excited to show him, the smells, the light, the fresh air… we’re like kids, dogs, puppies… ahh. Brekkie at The Kitchen at Weylands, most beautiful breakfast…. and coffee. Home, ready, cycle up Gertrude, so beautiful, to State Library of Victoria, the final, most regal and quietest, work space of the week… meet old colleague from London for wander and NGV, her story, journalist, moved here…. South Melbourne Market, acai bowl… S picks me up, we stroll around the market, buy kombucha and dried fruits, then walk all the way via the vibrant south bank in the stunning sunset and Flinders Lane to Collingwood, meet friends for drinks at Le Bon Ton and dinner at Saint Crispin, cosy, trendy, modern Australian fare…

Christmas Brekkie. Queen Victoria Market… wraps, kombucha smoothie, Hoodies made in Australia… Allpress… check out… get car… drive to national park 2.5 hours south of the city, Wilsons Promontory in rain… stop at quaint Tea House selling plants, sip tea, hear locals chatting, look out on rain….

Fish Creek. Lunch at Art Deco hotel, lovely local vibe, stroll around hamlet, lots of galleries, cute bookstore, buy provisions in general store… drive down, check into cabin, clean, pretty, overlooking sea and Prom… stay in… reading magazines, S Property, me Peppermint… eat beetroot crackers, hummus, Tasmanian carrots for dinner, fall asleep at 9pm…

Wilsons Promontory. Starting this trip on mainland Australia’s most easterly point, in Byron Bay, we’re now wrapping it up in a nature reserve that covers the southernmost tip of it. The Prom is known for its lush flora, rugged granite mountains and abundant wildlife, including kangaroos and wombats. A nature reserve that invites you to turn off your phone, breathe in the air, and start hiking. Saturday morning, after short run and yoga…. Stop at beaches, such fresh air… see kangaroos and koalas, unfortunately no wombats… some locals call the windy, chilly weather ‘shocking’ – it is suddenly very autumn-like, after weeks of scorchingly hot, calm weather… we would like to come back sometime and experience the Prom in sunshine. However, it has its own wild charm now… we really feel like we get some fresh air, and its mostly deserted…

Sandy Point, lovely summerhouse area, meet lovely older couple, art gallery, bought the house on their honeymoon 51 years ago… now retired here.

Sunday Night at the Pub. With all the vineyards in the area closed due to the dreary weather, we finished off the weekend at the Fish Creek Hotel – with the allegedly best Pinot Noir in the country, from neighbouring Bass Phillip, and an early dinner consisting of locally and freshly caught baby snapper (me) and steak from an unstressed grass-fed cow (Sanoop). Such a pleasant evening amongst locals… sipping our wine, which really was good, reading our magazines, chatting, laughing, digesting the wonderful weekend.

 

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