Australia 2016

Excuse us while we share a few snaps from our adventure down under...


Kyle & Bethany's wedding photography preview- The Flour Factory, Perth WA

Putting days like this into words never does them justice.

Wedding photography: Flour Factory, Perth WA

Kyle & Bethany's pre-wedding photos by the river

Flip! Just three days to wait... #kyleandbeewed

Pre-wedding Photos: Perth, WA


We did it!

We've completed our 365 project! You can view the full set here (and if you're really nosey, see the 365 project I completed 4 years ago here).

There were 2 bumps (who are now Lydia and Ivy), 5 Johns (or Jons), 14 photos were in wales, 18 were at weddings, 37 were about food (10%!), 43 were in Australia, 58 are of Birmingham (including 28 of where we live- Erdington) and 123 were individual or group portraits (just over a third). There was also a parrot, a seagull, two clown fish, a goat, a rabbit, a dog, two gerbils and a pelican!

We'd like to thank: Leython, Jack, Ben, Matthew, Becky, Auntie Cathie, Bomber, Sarah, Matthew, Izzy, Anton, Albena and Elizabeth, Kelvin, Santa, Nathan, Sunny, Terry, Nai, Sutton Arts Theatre, Hilary, Volker, Atif, Sunny, Hilary, Graham & Caroline, Nanny, Sam, Emirates, Jack & Jill, Corinne, Laura, Alecia, Bethany, Elen, Stu, Sara, Marley, Fiona, Chris, Kelly, Margaret, Helvetica, Carolyn, TOAST, Phil, Manda, Cnob, Rebecca, Clare, Jon, Catherine , Jon, Malachi, Judy, Grandad, Vanessa, Tom & Anna, Viv & Dave, Mum, John, Vaughany, Jo, Girl's Group, Sam, Martin, Sean, Mimi, Ali, Clair, Charlie and Ella, Jeff, Alix and El, Pheonix, Rhodri and Fernandes, Gav & Alli, Peter, Max, Grandmold, Seth, Purple Moose Brewery, Josh, Andy, Ben, Fran & Matt, Gareth, Jess, Mr. Motivator, Uncle Peter, Smithy, John, John, Paul, Charlie & Joe, Michael, Hana, Bekah, Steve, Kenny,  Jason, Aunty Sue, Jason, Ed, Geoffrey, Ostinato Chamber Choir, Charlie-Bob, Rachel & Bump (Ivy!), Jess and Becca, Chewy, Lydia, Davida, Emma, Matt, Nathan, Sarah and Lea, Emily, Josh, Jim & Fiona, Baljeet, The 2012 Paralympics, Rob & Shamima, Scarlet, The Youth, Nay, The Tech Team, Marsh Lane Day Centre, Liz & Paul, Rosemary, Sarah & Joe, Community Group and Ollie.


We had a relaxing time in Perth, which was great, but probably means we're not qualified to give a thorough list of "Things to do and see". Here are some of the things we enjoyed doing incase you might like them too. We've mingled in some tunes from our holiday experience as well.

In Perth
Kings Park is pretty cool- its full of native plants and when you get bored of looking at them it has great views across the centre of the city from its high vantage point. During the summer months it also is the host of Mooonlight Cinema: a temporary outdoor cinema showing a variety of movies (including exciting advanced releases). You can buy popcorn and rent a chaise lounge shaped bean bag to recline on.

For other greenish, outdoor activities you could take the free CAT hop off by Mt hospital and cross the road to John Oldham Park. Its a nice spot of shady green in an unexpected spot surrounded by major roads and there were plenty of birds to wonder at. Or you could go down to Point Walter and walk out along the sandbank into the middle of the river.

Perth is a city that feels small an manageable rather than huge and cosmopolitan, but it still has its hidden gems and its big city lights. The best place to see those lights is from the South Perth foreshore. And the best place to enjoy its small, friendliness... at someones house in their pool.

Around Perth
Hop on a ferry down the river to Fremantle. Consume so much chocolate you feel like you're about to go into a coma in Chocolateria San Churro at Hillary's boat harbour. Watch the sunset and eat fish and chips from the jetty at Cottesloe. Take a road trip to south for the beaches, beer sampling at Eagle's Bar Brewery and walk the jetty at Busselton (there's an underwater observatory at the far end and a little train to bring you back again). Its 3km long- take a look at it on google maps! (While you're there have a look at the swan river around the city of Perth to see some crazy boat trails).


Breakfast in Perth

(Nom and Malc would like to thank Breakfast in Perth for the inspiration behind this post and the recommendation of some of the great eateries we visited in Aus.)

Today we thought we'd share some of our favourite places we ate at while we were in Perth. You may have noticed we love our food, and whilst we are not fussy we are also not easily impressed. So the following are our recommendations should you ever find your self in WA with a rumbly tummy.

Toast in East Perth was our favourite place for a hot drink. The best chai latte I ever tasted by a mile, with an almost custardy texture and none of that grit you sometimes get with a ground cinnamon topping. The cafe is filled with an eclectic mix of nic nacs and tinkers and the outside tables are right by the river. The breakfasts we had were inspiring- we've tried (with partial success) to recreate their scrambled egg on polenta toast, which was delightful.

Cioccolato: Their menus are disguised in children's books, so once you've chosen you can had a little read. The food was yummy- we sampled quite a variety (breakfast muffin through to an exciting roast veg salad) and check out the chocolate sprinkles on my iced coffee. Fliori Coffee served us another great chai, but I was more taken by the coffee paraphernalia decorating the service counter.

We wound up in Bivouac for Malc's birthday, and were not disappointed by some really tasty food. Blue cheese arancini with pesto were new to us and fantastic (the above picture is a chicken schnitzel with avocado mayo). Straight across the street is Jusbuger, which has an interesting aversion to freezers: they never use one, so everything they're selling is made fresh. The vegetarian options were refreshingly thought out- not just a generic veggie burger. Malc had a lamb burger and Nom had a pumpkin goats cheese with goat's cheese and pesto.

The Old Swan Brewery is now mostly swanky riverside apartments and two nice restaurants, but does still have its own microbrewery. Malc had one of their Kangaroo Paw's.

For a small bar tucked away down an alley in in centre of the city Helvetica has a pleasantly surprising number of scottish whiskey's. Also pleasantly surprising was their free antipasti buffet table, which seemed to be provided just for the birthday boy.

Dear Aussies, We miss you!

Its been 6 weeks since our 6 weeks in Aus: about time we wrapped some things up I think! So this week we've got a few posts planned about our time in Perth, Dubai and then something a little closer to home. Hope you enjoy them.


Beer Cap Map


Bomber's kitchen, Wylde Green

Bomber, Mike, and Jon are working their way round the world in hops and grain.


The snow's made it to the UK and parts of Europe are struggling with the freezing cold, so here's a sunny Aussie wedding to warm your toes.

Chris and Kelly's Wedding has now been uploaded to our portfolio here.

This was the hottest wedding we've been to so far and we had a great time getting to know loads of the guests. Check out all the sweet details that Kelly and her Mum arranged, and the amazing venue over looking the city of Perth.

We're also really excited to share our first stop-motion wedding video.

It was so much fun to be part of an Australian wedding- so thanks again chaps for having us!




Toast serve a variety of toast-based delicacies, delicious coffee, and awesome, custardy chai lattes right on the waterfront
East Perth, WA

Australia Day Fireworks


Australia Day fireworks viewed from the South Perth foreshore

Aunty Carolyn


Jeff's sister



Helvetica, back street whisk(e)y bar
Perth, WA

Mr. Pelican


Mr. Pelican
Mandura, Western Australia



Margaret, 63
The eldest sister

Fiona's Dad's house


Fiona's Dad's house, South Perth

The family are having a big clear-out. All this was gone by evening.



Miss Kelly Gaunson
The Bride




Chris, 23
Tomorrow's Groom

Happy Birthday Malcolm!




Stu, 16
The responsible cousin



Marley, 3

C+K The Preview

A sneak preview of Chris & Kelly's beautiful wedding in Perth, Western Australia. More to follow here shortly (with sweet details and balloons!).





The Mother of the Groom's preparations

Pigeonhole, Perth

In Perth there is an imitation of the Liberty of London building, it's called London Court and it contains one  of our favourite Perth Shops: Pigeonhole.

London Court contains a variety of shops selling things from Aboriginal artwork to English sweets.

We popped in and had a lovely chat with Sara, todays 365, and she told us about their other shops (they sell clothes and coffee! ). We'll be sure to check them out.




Sara, 24
Pigeonhole Employee



Perth City Skyline & The Swan River

Yallingup Beach


Very hot day

Abundant Life


Abundant Life Campsite, "Holy Mile"
Busselton WA

Elen and wounded parrot


Abundant Life Centre campsite, Busselton


One-Legged Seagull


One-Legged Seagull, Meelup Beach
Western Australia

The Drive Down


The drive down to Busselton, WA



Bethany, 17
Gets her P plates this week

Dutch Sax Man


Dutch Sax Man
He and his wife have been in Australia since the 70s, and haven't been back since.

Brett & Kendall's Wedding

OK so we kinda crashed a wedding. Friends of our Aussie hosts got married on Friday and we tagged along, because who doesn't love a wedding?!

So congratulations Brett and Kendall, we look forward to meeting you :)




Alecia, 18
Great singer

Off Murray Street


Off Murray Street, Perth

The Departures Gate


The Departures Gate
Perth International Airport



Hillary's Harbour


Fun Fair at Hillary's Harbour
Western Australia



Cargo Dock
Fremantle, Western Australia


Moonlight Cinema


Moonlight Cinema
KIngs Park, Perth Western Australia

[Menu Thoughts] Fried Gnocchi

Fried Gnocchi made by Laura and Malcolm

1) Prepare Gnocchi: with the help of cousin Laura, 

2) Get an adult to help you fry the gnocchi (this is a long, boring process, which should be left to adults)

3) Serve the gnocchi as you wish (seen here with Bolognese sauce and mozzarella).

4) Use the leftover egg whites to make meringues. Serve these to your guests as pudding.


9.30pm Fireworks on New Years Eve
Next to MCG stadium

Pinhole Experiments

A couple of Pinhole pictures taken with the D700 and my cousin Dan, more about him and his photos soon I hope!

P.S Interested in taking your own pinhole photos with your DSLR?

DIY Pinholes:

Buy a suitable body cap (or use the one that came with your camera if you can find it and are prepared to break it) for a few quid. Drill a small hole centrally. Cut a small piece of tin foil, tape it to the inside of the cap and use a pin to poke a second hole through smaller than the first, but aligned with it.

Attach to the body and Bob is, as they say, your uncle.




Somers General Store 
Somers, Mornington Peninsula

McCLelland Gallery

After a week of various extended family members telling us art galleries were boring, Malc agreed with the Tom (Nom's uncle) that his kids might enjoy some sculpture, as its a bit more tactile than other art. Bravely, Tom and his wife Sarah drove our whole party to McClelland Gallery in Langwarrin, Victoria. As you can see, James, Laura and Dan treated the Sculpture Park like a playground, which was exactly what we were hoping they'd do.

The younger two also spent sometime learning our new camera, the results of their efforts can be seen below.

Above two photos taken by Dan

Above three photos taken by Laura

The restaurant was everything you'd expect from a self-respecting private gallery. It's a well-lit space with a cabinet of expensive luxury cakes for the snacking visitor, and high quality light lunches for those who didn't have enough time to make a picnic. Witness the homemade mushroom soup, could've had a third bowl.




Spillwater, Matthew Cox & Darren Davison
McLeland Gallery, Mornington Peninsula

The Enchanted Maze


The Enchanted Maze
Arthur's Seat, Mornington Peninsula

Somer's Beach


Somer's Beach
Somers, Mornington Peninsula

Corinne & Laura


Corinne & Laura, 19 and 11
Cousins and quiz teammates


Jack & Jill


Jack & Jill at Christmas Eve Carol Service
She's a teacher and he sends big and complicated files to the US even during his holidays.

The Pool


The Pool, Tom & Sarah's House
Balwyn, Melbourne

Victoria Market


Victoria Market, Melbourne

Yara Valley

A visit to the Tarrawarra Art Gallery and vineyard, a tea stop and then over to Domain Chandon to the Aussie home of the French Champagnier. (Check out that parmesan!)


Happy New Year

Its looking pretty good from where we're sat.

Planet Melbourne

Ten places or things worth a visit in Melbourne...

1 Fed Square

Federation Square (or simply 'Fed Square' as it's known locally) was designed as a cultural and social hub for Melbourne. It sits close to the National Gallery of Victoria, the fantastic south bank food court, the Arts Centre and the Melbourne Theatre Company. It also houses a performance venue, multiple fun-looking eateries and bars, and the NGV's national collection. Apparently it's a bit of a Marmite (or should that be Vegemite) in that people seem to love or hate it. We are lovers.

2 Trams

... are everywhere in Melbourne. An integral part of the transport system, you can pay for one ticket that takes you into the city on a train, then gets you on trams once you're there. Mostly people use them to hop from one end of the road to the other, which, as we discovered, is probably the most sensible thing to do. We took the 109 from Balwyn on our first trip into the city, but could've cycled it faster! On the upside, there's a free City Link tram that circles the city centre. It uses old-style trams that look as if they've seen a journey or two.

3 Royal Exhibition Hall

Probably more spectacular than the hall itself is the surrounding Carlton Gardens, one of the city's numerous large green areas, all of which are worth your time. The flower beds are special, littered with Bird of Paradise flowers, which we are struggling to grow in the UK.

4 Eureka Tower

The tallest tower in Melbourne allows you to go (nearly) all the way to the top, using probably the fastest lift in the city. The 88th floor Skydeck is pretty spectacular: there are windows all the way round the tower, allowing you a 360 view of Melbourne, and a small, caged, open air section where you can watch the intense wind blow your ticket into the distance and mothers hold tight to small children. I enjoyed the scrolling lcd screens that showed fun local facts like: 'EVERY DAY 90 TONS OF DOG POO IS LEFT ON THE STREETS OF MELBOURNE'.

5 Queen Victoria Market

Much like our own Bull Ring Markets, the QV has a handsome range of fresh meat, seafood, and fruit and veg stands, alongside lots of suspiciously cheap clothes and other goods. Malc was pleased to find a spice stall that sold tea by weight for less than T2 (a nice chain of high street tea shops). He bought some Turkish Apple instant tisane, which rubs its smell onto anything it touches.

6 Hoiser Lane

The back streets in Melbourne have a reputation for their graffiti. We checked out Hoiser Lane and were not disappointed.

7 Fitzroy Gardens

A walk through these gardens includes a variety of experiences. We spotted three wedding parties, Captain Cooke's Cottage, people meditating, an orchid-filled greenhouse, the old treasury building and plenty of greenery. We couldn't find the fairy tree, but then again we had no idea what we were looking for.

8 The Art Centre

We didn't intend on spending much time in this landmark building. When we popped in to try and find a good cup of coffee  it seemed mostly to be fully of theatre goers. We did stumble upon an impressive exhibition about a famous Aussie cross-dresser.

9 T2

It might not get a mention on the tourist guides but this is a tea shop worth a visit if you like tea even half as much as Malcolm does.

10 The Nicholas Building

We visited to see a temporary shop set up for Christmas by Melbournia, and we were glad we eventually found the whole place. Many of the building's original details have remained: stained glass, arched ceilings, an old style post box and two manned lifts. The lift operators tell us that they are soon be replaced by a less exciting standard lift. After the end of January those lifts will be a much lonelier experience.


Puffing Billy

"Puffing Billy  is a genuine relic of more leisurely days. An historic steam train still running regularly in the mountain district it was built to serve at the turn of the century. The Railway is the major survivor of four experimental lines used to develop rural areas in the early 1900s. Puffing Billy is now a major tourist attraction, its operation depending on hundreds of dedicated volunteers."


Domain Chandon


Domain Chandon Vineyard
Melbourne, Victoria



Christmas Tree decoration

Boulevard Lights

In Melbourne one residential street in particular has a reputation for its Christmas lights: the Boulevard. They take it seriously, to the extent that the road is partially closed, allowing traffic to flow slowly in one direction only. The police and St John's ambulance are there on standby alongside glow-stick sellers, food vans and revellers. The night we visited there was a band giving a live performance from their garage with people stopping to watch down the driveway and some drinking beers in the garden.


Family of Man II


Family of Man II, Cole Sopov
With the Melbourne Arts Centre and Eureka Tower



Melbourne CBD, yes, all of it
View from the 88th floor of Eurika Tower, Melbourne's tallest skyscraper

Back Yard


The Back Yard,
Balwyn, VIC, Australia



Snowman (head only), ageless
Sugar-based gingerbread house adornment

Dubai Airport


Dubai International Airport, DXB

A spot of research...


The waiting is over

We're Off to Aus today! Our theme song

Last Weekend. This Weekend. Next Weekend.

Last Weekend

Next Weekend


The countdown begins



Photo: Caro Embrey

We've just booked flights to Australia over Christmas and the New Year.

We've just booked our tickets for 6 weeks of fun, so we're on the look out for your recommendations! Where should we go, what could we eat and which photos should we get? We're having some time in Melbourne, before going to Somers for a family Christmas and then flying to friends in Perth after New Year.
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