Happy Christmas and New Year Everyone! I was super duper lucky, and spent Christmas not in the UK this year.
Where? I hear you ask, well I travelled half way across the world to Australia!
Mr OTH’s brother and his family moved there about 10 years ago, and we’ve been meaning to visit, but never quite got around to it. It’s a rather long way after all, and getting some little people there and with school and everything it just never happened, until this year!
The Pink one and the Blue one instantly had the best best friendships with their cousins, who they’ve only met once before when we had a surprise gathering a couple of years ago. It was truly amazing, best of friends within minutes!
I have a huge longer post to write about for what we did when in Adelaide, and the Beach, and Sydney, but this post is about a rather special meet up.
A long time (well about 4 years but that seems like a long time), a little crochet hat was all over the internet. Everyone who could crochet was being asked to make these little hats, and everyone who tried to find the pattern came across it in Russian!
Now my Russian is not very good, so at the time I researched a lot more, and stumbled on a blog from a lady in Australia called Red haired Amazona. After thanking this lovely lady called Louise, who’d very kindly translated the pattern into English, so all of us crocheters could actually make these little hats, I had a little tweak with the brim.
We wrote combined blog posts, we even made YouTube videos to help people out, and we started chatting pretty much daily on Facebook. We sent each other Christmas Presents and Birthday gifts, and turned into proper “penpals” referring to each other in any posts as BBB – Best Blogging Buddy
So I mentioned to Louise that I was coming to Australia, and could I possibly come and visit her? I mean after all, if I’m sat on a plane for 24 hours, what difference would another 1 hour to Melbourne make really?
She agreed, and off to Melbourne we went! We had some plans here too. I’m a secret foodie, and have blogged about some of the super posh dinners we’ve gone too. Every year, about September time, Australian Masterchef comes to the UK, and every night for 3 months, we watch an episode. It’s set in Melbourne, but also one of the chefs who presents the show has a restaurant here, so we booked to go!
The food was delicious, and I might even write another post about the meal – for those who want to know, it was The Press Club with George Calombaris as chef, and it didn’t disappoint.
Day two, and Louise kindly said she’d meet us at our hotel before going to see some sites. I sat patiently in the lobby of the hotel waiting for her, when I saw her distinct red hair walk past the window!
The hotel has all these cool paintings around which the little people posed at while we waited.
So in walks Louise, and Son of a gun Number 2, and it was just so normal! We chatted a bit, she gave me some amazing Christmas Presents. A fanastic Aussie book, which would have been far to heavy to post, yarn of course, one of her new bird designs, a pin brooch, bag, scarf, and a hook she made herself!
Just check out this hook – it’s so sweet, and absolute fate, as look at the mural outside the hotel too!
So off we went on a day of adventure. We rode the tram to the zoo. I took a great picture of a Duck Billed Platypus.
Yep – He’s there, but was swimming so fast in the red light this is the best I could get!
We then headed to the watery area (I want to say Antarctic, but might have made that up), and we had a seal Selfie!
Yep – that’s Louise behind the phone!
We had a fantastic experience going into meet some Kangaroos. They are super soft, and so docile, a real once in a lifetime experience.
We saw amazing animals, I even got to meet The Blond Bombshell – it really is quite strange, when you look up in a completely different part of the world, but know the person stood in front of you!
We got a little hot, and tired after a long time at the zoo, but had plans for the evening. Very Kindly, Bear (as he’s known, again a strange moment), managed to get a 7 seater car, and drove us back to the hotel for a little rest.
We headed out for dinner again, Bear gave us a little stop at one of the sights , the F1 pit lane! Being a huge fan, this was great, and something I don’t think we’d have seen with out. We had a huge dinner of Chinese Dumplings, and delicious Chinese food before heading to a place I’d read loads about on Louise’s blog.
St Kilda! To see the Penguins returning home to roost!
We waited (along with about 500 other people), for the little guys to arrive. This little one was so sweet, came out off the rocks and stood there looking at us for a good 20 minutes!
In fact from this point onwards photos aren’t changing direction – so apologies, I’ll wait for my technical advisor (i.e. Mr OTH) to get home from work! (It’s metadata I’m told – but fixes aren’t working!)
Day 2, and our last day, we met up again, and headed to the Botanical Gardens, a lovely walk across Melbourne, through the Armistice memorials. 1 poppy (Knitted or crocheted of course) for every solider who had died in the wars for their particular regiment. Very moving, and horrifying when you see the number of poppies under some trees.
The gardens were beautiful, but the highlight had to be when we went to the childrens garden. While the children free ranged, Mr OTH became a yarn widow!
I’d snuck some crochet out, and we sat there, chatting and crocheting, Louise was doing this funny thing with 2 pointy sticks, like it was a normal day!
What an amazing thing to happen all because of one little Russian Crochet hat!
Check out what Louise thought of our visit here
Check out what Louise thought of it all here