A quick getaway – Melbourne

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As my final holidays before I retire from my firm came to an end we decided on a few days in Melbourne.

Melbourne often claims to be the sporting capital of the world, however it can rightly claim to have the best shopping and quite possibly the best eating in Australia. Melbourne is an hour on the plane from Adelaide and nearly as long by cab to the city.

We arrived on Friday and decided to go out for dinner instead of going to see the Socceroos trounce Kuwait in the opening round of the Asian Cup. A good choice given the weather. We went to Movida an awesome tapas bar located in Hosier Lane which is also famous for its graffiti walls. Movida has great atmosphere, always noisy and very tasty food. It’s been there a long while and never disappoints.

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A dash back to the hotel in the rain and a good night sleep ahead of a visit by my favourite person to Cos. After a successful visit, Continue reading

2014 – That’s a wrap and now for 2015

Well that’s 2014 over and 2015 has begun.

2014 has been about transition, getting over relevance deficit syndrome as I handed over my clients and relationships,embracing study, discovering country music(sorry to my wife, family and friends and my dear blogging friend, David Perry), comfortably meeting my cycling target of over 5000kms for the year and preparing for new experiences as I move from the comfort of working in professional services to something else.

It feels quite surreal. Normally, I find the period after Christmas quite a let down as it signifies the last few days before it all starts again, but this time it is quite different. That shouldn’t be surprising as in 2015 my focus will be completely different. I’m not thinking about finishing off client compliance work, billing targets, collecting cash or winning new work. That’s all for my successor who is now well ensconced.

2015 is about winding out of my firm and embarking on a new adventure. Completing Honours, focussing on building my academic credentials, and maybe some advisory boards. Also it is about planning an extended stay in Italy in 2015, something which has been on my wish list for the last few years.

It seems quite surreal, but as I sit at my desk writing this post, for the first time since 1978 I don’t have my year planned at all. Sure there are a list of “to dos”, not the least of which is a 20,000 word thesis but I don’t have a back log of work and a diary full of appointments that usually fill me with dread in the first week of January each year. What I do have is lots of “white space” and a question about how it will be filled?

So its on with 2015…

So It’s back to work but ….

It was back to work today after the Christmas Break.

I love the Christmas New Year period, it’s totally relaxing, the phone doesn’t ring except when someone wants to catch up for a drink and there are no emails!

This year we didn’t go to far spending our time between home and our beach house.

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What could be better than few days at Second Valley , South Australia’s best beach.
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Just so quiet and peaceful in the lead up to Christmas. A great place to walk the dog, ride the bike and just take it easy.

Then there was Adelaide’s Central Market. It’s a unique experience, right in the centre of the city. Awesome fruit, vegetables, meats and cheese. Sure wine tasting is fun, but spending time at The Smelly Cheese Stall is just as good – always better to do this on my own so my wife can’t see how much I’ve spent!

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Christmas Eve at the Central Market is complete bedlam, but such fun. Happy people shopping for their Christmas goodies. One of those not to be missed Adelaide experiences at Christmas or anytime of the year.

Then it was Christmas breakfast, which is my favourite part of the day as it’s just with our children. This time it also included my dughter’s partner a new and important member of the family. We always have Pantone, a Christmas tradition, with Nutella and Mascarpone. It’s definitely a Christmas only treat, truly yummy. After lunch it was back to the beach for French Champagne on the deck with some cheese and a delightful sunset.

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Apart from some great riding across the break I did plenty of writing, something I am finding so relaxing – even my thesis proposal! That involved a lot of research and writing quite a structured piece for my potential supervisor to read. I also enjoyed working on my blog. The timing of the Zero to Hero Challengecouldn’t have been better.

As for eating and drinking there was plenty of that! New Year’s Eve was a feast topped off by some amazing mango sorbet and a walk home on a very hot night!

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My favourite meal was the catalunya seafood dish and of course my favourite drink was Aperol Spritz of which we had an ample supply!

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I also watched a lot of soccer!
For me, it started watching Arsenal V Chelsea at the beach on a glorious sunny morning, whilst it was a dreary wet windy night in London, not the best game of the break which I think goes to Manchester City v Liverpool, although Arsenal beating Tottenham was pretty close ( I am an Arsenal supporter after all). I also took in a couple of Adelaide United home games cross the break, a win against Newcastle United, which included a cameo from Emile Heskey and then a full house when Adelaide United drew with Sydney and the opportunity to see Del Peiro play.

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Of course there was also The Ashes – 5 – 0! The Boxing Day Test for all its hype is absolutely required viewing whilst lazing around on the day after Christmas. It really is an Australian tradition.

As I’m not a traditionalist the chance to go to the 20/20 also wasn’t to be missed.

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Also there was great music. I rediscovered Badly Drawn Boy, had a fantastic night listening to 70s music, watched lots of music videos and started to ready myself for the Springsteen Concert in my home town.

So as I reflect on it, a very enjoyable 16 days all spent in fabulous South Australia, a time with friends and family. What could be better?

Second Valley, South Australia

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Second Valley is located on the western shore of Fleurieu Peninsula and is surely one of the most beautiful spots in South Australia. The natural beauty of the undulating hills and the rugged coastline is always picturesque whether seen in the dry of summer or the green of winter.

So says Ron Blum as he opens his book The Second Valley A History of Second Valley South Australia

It was during the public ride for the Tour Down Under that I really discovered Second Valley. A day which was so far beyond hot it didn’t matter. I had cramp early in the ride not surprising given it was 40c plus and which made all of the hills a major challenge. The road was melting under my wheels!

I reached Leonard’s Mill and sat in the shade simply to recover before attempting yet another hill. One which on a normal day would have been simple. While I was sitting there a group of locals rolled out of the pub after a cold beer and had a chat. I must have looked quite a sight!

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In any event, I took a mental note of the place as we searched for a new beach house. We had a place at Aldinga but

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