If you’re planning a move to Australia and have visions of frolicking freely in the sunshine all year round, don’t come to Melbourne! It has been absolutely freezing this week! Let’s just say, all the practice Ste had scraping the ice off his car in the dark before work back in Manchester has come in very useful! And when he’s gone – he’s gone! The distance Ste has to travel to the city for work from the Mornington Peninsula equates to around 15 hours a week, which is about 3 times the amount we were used to back in the UK. It’s not exactly the enhancement to family life we were hoping for when we moved over here but at least it makes the weekends all the more special because we are all together.
I have to admit, I have been pretty homesick over the past few weeks and it’s really rattled my nerves. I don’t know why it’s hit me so hard 16 months since we arrived here. Maybe it’s the weather reminding me of home and emphasising the fact that here we don’t have the option of visiting family during the week and feeling the enormous sense of relief when someone that loves the kids as much as we do gives them heaps of attention that they revel in while we sit back and enjoy it. Doing it alone is challenging and exhausting me in ways I couldn’t possibly have forseen until we made this move and though I am so very grateful for the amazing friends we have made here, I do worry that it’s never going to feel the same as it did when we were lucky enough to have all the unconditional love and solid support we could ever need from our families. The phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is never far from my mind.
So I try to keep my mind present and stop it wandering so far into the future it probably needs its own Visa and enjoy what’s happening right now, which is happy kids who are loving our new adventures in a beautiful part of the world that we are lucky enough to call ‘home’. To enjoy some family time together on Sunday we went out for dinner to a place that describes itself as a ‘cosy British Tavern’ – nostalgia was on the menu!
We love the drive up to Arthur’s Seat where the panoramic views of the Mornington Peninsula are nothing short of breathtaking. When we got out of the car at Murray’s Lookout to take it all in, the kids complained that they were ‘too cold’ and we wondered how they ever managed British Winters!
There was a real rustic feel to the Pig and Whistle with timber beams and an open fireplace though the ‘English pub’ vibe was lacking a bit for me. I guess it’s just something that can’t be recreated! The kids sat so nicely waiting for our food, there’s a lot to be said for remembering to pack pencils and paper for once and Snapchat filters on demand!
We ordered a vegetarian basket of spring rolls and risotto balls, fish of the day that came with roast potatoes and salad and fish and chips for the kids. It was pretty good, though we were hoping to have finally found a venue that made hand-cut chips like back home so it was pretty disappointing to get the frozen variety. There were no roast dinners on the menu either, which I thought would be a staple of a British style restaurant.
The kids loved the ice-cream (don’t they always!) and the date pudding was pretty tasty. The service was great and it’s definitely somewhere we are adding to our list of to-do’s when we have visitors!
There are so many wonderful places to visit here, I think we could spend our whole lives exploring and still have things to find! I think the climate will force our pursuits indoors over the next few months, so we will be sure to share the places we love to visit in winter with you!
Love from Leyla