Christmas in July

The annual Christmas in July expedition to country Victoria with the family’s Buick Car Club. A suitably cold day needing long coats and hats.

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A lovely, hot Christmas lunch and lots of classic cars.

Our own white 1982 model went out for a spin. It was a good experience chatting and lunching with familiar people and meeting new ones who shared stories and connections.

Christmas in July – it can only happen here in Oz but we like the opportunity to socially and "automotively" show off!

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Australia Day

26th January commemorates the landing of the First Fleet in 1788 in Sydney Cove. Therefore, it is a public holiday for Aussie citizens. We also must take into account indigenous cultures who often do not see this as a day to celebrate,

As we are part of the Buick car club, we take part in the RACV display bringing our 1982 Riviera to the gardens. With milder weather setting in, there were countless classic cars to peruse. Some of my favourites were

20130126-130931.jpg 1929 Pierce Arrow which always reminds me of the Robert Lowell poem, Grandparents.

20130126-132031.jpg Our Buick

20130126-132113.jpg even teddy got a ride!

20130126-132210.jpg there were some quirky exhibits….

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No Australia Day is complete without the local wildlife: possums, dingoes and snakes

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20130126-132511.jpg Government House is open today for those who wish to view its splendour and for me that was the magnificent magnolia!

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No doubt we live in a vast land of many contrasts and today’s outing was no different. What did you do for Australia Day or how do you commemorate your national day?

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Tractors, Trains and Automobiles

Our first extra warm day. The country towns which surround us are easily accessible and peaceful. If we were to choose the fourth reason why we live here it would be the close proximity to these regional centres. The weekend saw us off to a Buick car run – we have a 1982 Buick Riviera convertible but others in the club have much older ones, ’38’s and ’39’s!

20121028-213039.jpgThe roof went down to capture the much missed super sunshine. Our neighbour hitched a ride with us as we travelled to Muckleford. It sounds like a strange place and there’s nothing there except for a railway station which hosts steam train rides on weekends. These carriages have seen some sun!

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20121028-213529.jpgTractor Pulls are a fascinating pastime. Some of these managed to pull their loads for nearly 80 metres!

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20121028-214726.jpgNow I don’t know much about tractors but I do appreciate their raw power and earthiness. You can tell it’s nearing summer when the flies begin to descend on your lunch – salad nicoise – tuna, egg, cos lettuce and potato with extra virgin oil, grain mustard and apple cider vinegar! All this in a far away place away from shops and restaurants. At this point a horse and cart and its passengers meandered amidst the cars and trains and I wondered where I was! And there goes that steam train!
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MI MI MILANO

As a continuation of my previous post, our visit to Milano, the last major city before we left Italy was a mixed affair. The weather was hot one day and rainy the other. The hotel we stayed in was a twenty minute walk from the Duomo and a tee shirt displayed en-route revealed to me what Milano was really about – Mi Mi, the pursuit of the self and all its adornments.

One of the major department stores which we apprehensively walked into was seven floors of glitz, gloss and glut. Called il Rinasciamento, you too could be reborn as a fashion icon, for the right price! We decided what the heck, let’s go right up to the top – the food floor. Anyone for chocolate shoes or sushi train or Moët Chandon and oysters? Wild mushrooms and truffles were readily available, though no prices to be seen.
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The magnificent Duomo was a billboard for famous brands and a perspex kiosk inside the magnificent cathedral sold expensive religious icons. Indeed, Milan is the fashion capital of the world and if one wants to be the first to see what we as Australians will be wearing next winter, then please come to Milan. However, if you want to seek out history, art and opera, then you may need to share your search with the frantic shoppers eager to be swept up by the glamour and irresistible call of the credit card.

In addition, you may like to load your purchases into a Lamborghini, Ferrari or more to our budget, The Twizy. Colin tried it out for fit.

Despite my skepticism, Milano left its mark on me. Yes, ultimately it did come down to me. There was one other very famous venue which had unexpectedly overwhelmed me. Can you guess what that was? I will leave this to the next post.

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