Cowra Weekend, 50th Birthday Gig, NRL Grand Final

Cowra Weekend, 50th Birthday Gig, NRL Grand Final

Heya Crew, BIG weekend. Huge. Did some stuff, wore some perfume, had a ball.

Cowra Weekend, 50th Birthday Gig, NRL Grand Final

Jin and I went on a mini adventure about 4 hours west of Sydney. We drove out on Friday in a leisurely way. Left at 9.30am, stopped for lunch at a lovely cafe where they home made their pies and a couple of other places, then got out to Cowra at about 3pm. Checked into the motel the guys had booked for us and waited for them to get back from picking arrivals up from the airport. Some of the guests were arriving by their private planes, including an ex fighter jet, and they were giving joy flights. Heaven. Yes, it was that kind of party. Heads of industry, politicians, LGBTQI+, family and locals all meshed together for a weekend of celebrating my warm acquaintance’s 50th birthday. I was the MC and entertainment, with the publican’s children (OMG! They were amazing and sang Journey We Built This City like angels). If you put everyone in country casual, add copious amounts of Moet and an open bar, a buffet dinner and one of Sydney’s most sought after DJs (Victoria Anthony), you start to get a picture of the happy bedlam.

Here I am in full flight, miming like crazy. No idea who took the photo.

Having slept soundly and with Saturday to ourselves before the party we decided to explore. Cowra was unexpectedly lovely and full of history. They had a POW camp in WWII. Italians and Japanese were the bulk of the internees. While the Italians were very happy in the compound it was overcrowded. The Japanese staged a huge breakout and many were killed. It’s an eerie set of ruins now but in the most gorgeous scenery of softly rolling hills and agriculture. Cowra has planted a Japanese Garden in the dead POW soldiers honour and every one of them has a blossom tree with plaque. Luckily we were there just as the blossoms were still hanging on, a week later and they’d be done.

There is also a perfectly maintained non working train station and some very famous old houses.

Again I’ve dropped the ball on photos (SORRY Undina) but here are a few.

Weirdest thing. The ducklings were obsessed with Jin and came up to him everywhere. They even followed him across the pond. I saw no one else have this unbelievable connection with them. I get it, he’s freaking adorable but it was spooky.

What perfumes did I take?

Divine EdP because it’s so rich and glamorous. The end game of aldehydic florals. CHANEL No 5 started the ball rolling and I think this is the best of breed. It’s also an excellent power perfume that works as armour and centre. If you haven’t tried it and aldehydic florals are your jam go do.

Cacharel Amor Amor is a lovely sweet fruity floral that has a soft amber base. The original that spawned a slew of flankers. The top notes list reads nothing like what I smell which is berry lollies. Add some light white flowers and a laundry musk vanilla. It’s simple but so jaunty and wearable. Perfect spring fare that works all year. My original bottle was a gift from one of our besties Anna Maria. Every time I wear it it’s as if she were with me.

Jin brought his vintage CHANEL Antaeus and smelled divine.

Sunday morning after the party we jumped in the car about midnight. Jin had to be back in Sydney by 9.30am to meet his BFF Matt. They’d won the NRL (Nat. Rugby League) Grand Final Experience. This included walking the ground, the dressing rooms and bleachers. They were able to meet and talk to two ex players who’d played in Championship Winning Teams! Back home for a couple of hours sleep and then off to the Grand Final in Row 9 tickets. It was their dreams come true and when they got the news they’d won there were a few happy tears shed.

Sadly both the women and men teams they barrack for were defeated but they had been there.

It was a BIG weekend. We took all of our public holiday Monday off to recuperate.

Did you do anything, wear anything, spritz anything you’d like to share? Please chat with me in the comments (and each other). It’s the connection I crave with you all. That’s what makes blogging so special.
Portia xx

 

 

 

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Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Hey ULG Crew, We created a personal long weekend with our mates Anna Maria and Johnny. Friday 7.25am flight to Launceston and Monday arrive around midday back in Sydney. We bought the flights for almost nothing months ago. It was our first time travelling as a foursome and only I had travelled with everyone before. I picked an old favourite hotel, The Grand Chancellor. It’s one of those 1990s built hotels with spacious rooms and lobby. Each room has two Queen sized beds and each couple had a room. The breakfast buffet is good and generous, without being brilliant, and we all had an excellent feed to start our days. Originally I had booked a small SUV but they gave us an upgrade to an enormous Nissan Outlander, it was like travelling in a lounge room.

Anna Maria and Johnny’s daughter Domenica was on the Australian MAFS 2022 series. They were interviewed a few times on the show and have become quite famous in their own right. They were recognised and had their pictures taken

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Our days were designed by meals. We all got to pick different food adventures.
Day one for lunch Jin wanted pies, a local sent us to Banjo’s Bakery and we went pie crazy. Delicious! Tasmania is famous for its Scallop Pies and all three of the others had one. After that Johnny wanted to get a shave by a barber so the rest of us went and had cocktails. Then we wandered the shopping district for a couple of hours, the stars getting papped left right and centre. Our hotel had $6 spirits for Happy Hour so we spent a leisurely hour or so drinking companionably. I’ll admit to getting a little tipsy. That night Johnny picked Kebabs for dinner. He’d seen a shop called King of Kebabs during the day and it stuck with him. It was such a strange choice but we sat instore and had the most wonderful Middle Eastern meals. We came back to the hotel, had a drink and watched the Australian Election unfold. Anna Maria, Jin and my team got up and won but Johnny’s crew were ushered out the door. He was devastated, we were quietly jubilant. OK, not so quietly. Yes, we are fully aware all politicians are lying pigs but at least the foundation of this new crew is Women, Climate and a Political Watch with teeth. They’ve been left a dogs breakfast financially and things will get austere here for at least a decade.

Day two we dropped into the Farmers Market across the road from the hotel. Again they were recognised and asked for photos, very bloody cool. I really wanted us to go out to the Lake District in the heart of Tasmania. I’d found The Great Lake Hotel and it sounded wonderful. Set right on one of the great lakes (much smaller than the US versions). This meant we also got to spend 1.5 hours in the car seeing Tasmanian scenery from urban, to farming and the hills and plateau. It was good. We had a table in the middle of the room, views of the lake and felt like we were in the action. Service was so friendly but slow as a wet week. Food was some of the best pub food I’ve had. Fortunately we had so much conversation and fun that the wait to be served and then for food to come sped by. On our way back we took a two hour detour to get the Best Vanilla Slice in the world from the bakery in Ross. It was well worth the drive. That slice was earth shatteringly delicious. Anna Maria chose Indian food for dinner. Neither Johnny nor she had ever had it. There was a restaurant called Pickled Evenings, #3 on Launceston Trip Advisor. We also had a couple of mates join us, Morag and Ward, so that lent an extra festive air to the evening. I kept the food choices very simple. Opened with Onion Bhajis and Potato Samosas. Mains were Veg Biryani, Butter Chicken, Beef Vindaloo (mild) and Goat Curry. It was a fine entree for them and only a little too spicy.

Day three we were up bright and early, busy day ahead. Today we were going to head north along the Tamar River. First stop was the Beaconsfield Mine, site of the 2006 cave in disaster and rescue. The Museum there is a wonderful memorial and there are some very eerie and saddening parts. Straight from there we went to Australia’s only Seahorse breeding centre and then next door to the Platypus and Echidna rescue. Both had excellent tours and we learned a lot. Lunch in a real, old fashioned riverside Fish & Chip restaurant chosen by Jin. Another thing Anna Maria and Johnny had never done was a wine tasting, so we found a popular Cellar Door nearby and the three of them had a wonderful hour while I watched and enjoyed it immensely. They were bloody hilarious and the hostess managed them brilliantly. Both couples have a case winging their way towards us as we speak. Being a Sunday night most of the restaurants were closed. We were going to introduce Anna Maria and Johnny to Vietnamese but the best close choice open was a very ra sha sha Chinese. Service, food, atmosphere and design were bloody wonderful. They were woefully understaffed due to C19 but still managed us, our food and the whole evening perfectly. We drank a couple of bottles of wine from our Cabbage Tree wine tasting that Jin had bought to celebrate our adventure.

Day four we had a leisurely breakfast and bumped out. The flight home had the best turbulence I’ve experienced in decades. It was a wild ride into Sydney and I loved every second. Poor Jin was a bit green by the time we got off though. Grabbed our bags, hugged everyone and holiday done. Jin and I spent the whole afternoon and night discussing what a perfect getaway and how much fun we had.

My Pics

Anna Maria’s Pics

Perfume

Wore Hermès Eau des Merveilles for the flight down. It’s salty, warm, mineral waft was perfectly understated and lasted till my nighttime change.

In the end I took these perfumes.
Atelier des Ors Rouge Saray: Wore this every evening on the trip. It was a perfect accompaniment to the dry chill night air. Spicy woods with a soft fruity sweetness, all mellowed by a vanilla patchouli. Beautiful. I thunked the decant, now desperately want a bottle.
BDK Bouquet de Hongrie: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque Rose de Mai: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque L’Ombre dans l’eau: Was supposed to bring this, thought it was stolen first morning by the cleaners. Thank goodness I didn’t kick up a fuss. It was here on my desk the whole time, hiding behind the Marveilles. BUMMER!
Guerlain Mademoiselle: When I first got this decant I was all meh. It has bloomed into a ridiculously beautiful marshmallow iris, so powdery and warm. I also get some roses in the heart that aren’t mentioned in the notes. Sadly it becomes a very soft wash in an hour and I can hardly smell it. Wore it on the last day and on the plane ride home. I won’t be buying another but absolutely loved it for this holiday.
Le Labo Neroli 31: First two days I wore so much of this and FINALLY thunked the decant. It’s nice but there are a million citrus type scents that smell better on me for much less money. It just does not live on my skin and I won’t be rebuying.

How ever did we fit so much into so little time? It was a really relaxing few days despite being jam packed and now I’m refreshed and ready for action.

Are you looking forward to a break? Has this given you some ideas? Where would you spend a few days nearby?
Portia xx

Jin and Portia: The Ghan Train Trip 2021

Jin and Portia: The Ghan Train Trip 2021

Hey Crew. Jin and I have been trying to get back on this train for over a year. There have been three previous dates, all postponed due to C19. Finally it’s happened. So I thought you might like a few photos and some small commentary. We were away for nine fun filled nights. A few in Darwin, three on the Ghan itself and one in Adelaide. We flew up to Darwin and back from Adelaide. I know your first thought is “What perfumes did you take?”

I thought it might be a good time to wear some of the decants I loved but have lain forgotten in the mad rush for new around here. All these decants (Except Rouge Saray, sent by my beautiful buddy Megan In Sainte Maxime) are quite old in my collection and really need to get worn. It seems my selection is VERY vanilla heavy. No problem. It’s one of my favourite notes. It’s like I’ve picked four vanillas on four very different points of the spectrum. One thing they all have in common though is how beautifully created they are. Also how easy wear and versatile, yet interesting statement pieces as well.
Coeur de Vetiver Sacre by L’Artisan Parfumeur: Vetiver, tea, incense sweetened by vanilla/amber. This was the most worn of the selection in daytime. It’s sheer yet interesting beauty went so well with the trip.
Mon Precieux Nectar by Guerlain: Vanilla heavy white floral with almond & incense.
Rouge Saray by Atelier des Ors: Spiced fruits and fairy floss over a patchouli/vanilla base. Very ra sha sha. I wore this to almost every evening event and had compliments every time. So beautiful and noticeable.
Neroli 36 by Le Labo: White floral citrus backed by a lightweight vanilla.

One of our friends, Martin, was our travelling companion on the journey. He’d always wanted to do The Ghan and when his wife Jane heard we were going she pulled out all stops to get him on ours. It was excellent having him on the trip and it made the whole adventure even more special. The photos below are a mixed bunch taken by all three of us. By this stage I’m not sure who took what.

The class we travelled on this trip was Gold Superior. There were only two of these larger cabins on the train, the rest of the Gold class has less floor space. There is a higher glass, Platinum, but we think the Gold Class bar car is infinitely more fun. Quite pricey for a four day holiday but there is no more comfortable or fun way to see the centre of Australia. My pictures hardly do the whole trip justice and don’t show any of our four night stay up in Darwin. Also, all food and booze are included in the price. VERY dangerous! I drank more alcohol in the four days than I’d drunk for the whole year beforehand.

Jin and I are currently planning our next adventure, also on a train with the same company. This time from Perth to Adelaide ands then up to Brisbane. That’s how much we enjoyed the experience.

As a final aside, how freaking gorgeous is my husband Jin? He’s a bit of a fool in some of the pics but he is so charming and lovely the whole train fell under his spell. Every morning or evening the staff and voyagers would fall over themselves to greet him and he had smiles and chats for everyone. It was like travelling with a celebrity. We had a beautiful time and now we are back home, refreshed and ready for another few months of work and life before the next adventure.