just arrived in Melbourne
by Debbie Alford
On the 19th August I was lucky enough to be featured in the Melbourne Herald Sun. The article caught the eye of the producers of radio station 3AW and I gave my first interview with Ross and John at 6am that morning. They are both fun loving blokes so I proceeded to laugh my way through that one! Next a call came through asking if I had time to be interviewed by Denis Walter at noon – of course I had time! This interview was a little more informative than the first one (I am certainly not at my best at 6am…)
So please click on the link and enjoy!
by Debbie Alford
Americans take note. You may think you are familiar with our way of life thanks to Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) and Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter), or familiar with our diet courtesy of the Outback Steakhouse (Bloomin’ Onion anyone?) but we offer much more to American holiday makers. Australia is a country with a great many varied travel destinations from the outback to the beaches through to the multicultural cities offering a wide variety of entertainment and dishes to eat ranging from spicy Thai to tasty Lebanese.
However there are some things to know before you visit, especially to do with our language. We don’t all speak like Crocodile Dundee and some of our phrases tend to be a little unusual. Here are some which may be helpful to you during your visit:
A shout – Your turn to buy usually referring to drinks as in “your shout” or “my shout”
Cuppa – A cup of tea or coffee
Chook – Chicken
Maccas – McDonalds
Footy – Australian Rules Football
Barrack – To support as in a particular team
Snag – A sausage
Tomato Sauce (or sauce) – ketchup
We love our meat pies at sporting events and vegemite on toast is a breakfast favourite. We rarely say “Gidday” opting for the more universally accepted welcome of “Hello”. And we NEVER EVER use the term fanny pack preferring bum bag or belt bag instead. In Australia the word ‘fanny’ refers to a part of the female anatomy. Use of the word and the anatomy can both lead to trouble!
Our currency is dollar and cent-based although you may notice the absence of the one cent coin and the quarter. Our lowest coin is 5 cents and we have a 20 cent coin as opposed to a quarter.
One important fact to remember is that Australians drive on the left side of the road. To counteract this make sure you look both left and right before crossing a street. Speeds and distances are measured in kilometres not miles and this can add to confusion.
Stay safe but most of all have fun!
Looking forward to meeting you!
by Debbie Alford
Spring is finally here and you know what that means? That’s right; the Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne is almost upon us.
Did you know that there are 90 race meetings held over 50 days across the state of Victoria and last year over 715,000 people including visitors from overseas and interstate attended the Carnival.
A word to the wise here – if you wish to find accommodation in Melbourne, especially around the city during the carnival, you’d better be quick! There seems to be slim pickings already and I’m afraid much of the accommodation seems to be at somewhat inflated prices compared to last year.
The launch of the Spring Racing Carnival takes place on the 29th September with the Melbourne Cup Carnival preview day on the 2nd October – Turnbull Stakes. The following two Saturdays see the running of the Caulfield Guineas and Caulfield Cup. The 23rd October features Cox Plate Day and also the Yarra Valley Food and Wine Race Day.
Have you been to a country race meeting? I’ve had the pleasure of attending quite a few and they are definitely fun! So much more relaxed than the city meetings and not nearly as crowded. If you like a bet and are not sure about which horse to back, you can join the Punter’s Club. Usually run by a couple of local punting experts, you and many others form a Club for the day. You all put, say, $20 in the kitty and the experts punt on your behalf at this race meeting and also at others around the country. You are told which horse has been backed in each race so your job is to simply cheer it on to victory. Couldn’t be easier and at the end of the day, hopefully you come away with a profit!
I urge you to make the effort to go along to one of the many country race meetings this Spring Carnival – a great day out and you are supporting the local communities.
Now, back to the city! Saturday 30th October is Derby Day, where traditionally the racegoers are dressed in black and white. You only have a couple of days to recover before the Melbourne Cup, the first Tuesday in November and the race that stops a nation. This year is the 150th running of the Cup. Where else but in Australia would there be a public holiday to celebrate a horse race? Got to love that!
If you are up for it, you can then head off to Oaks Day, a personal favourite. Known traditionally as Ladies day where fillies of the 2 legged and 4 legged kind appear in all their finery – and hopefully keep their shoes on until they get home! Emirates Stakes day on the following Saturday marks the end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. It is commonly known as Family Day with lots of activities to keep the younger race goers amused and features Fashion on the Field for the younger set.
If you are heading off to any of the major meetings, you may wish to accessorize with the traditional flower of the day. Caulfield Cup – white rose. Derby Day – cornflower. Melbourne Cup – yellow rose and Oaks Day –pink rose.
Enjoy planning your Cup carnival activities and please call me, your personal concierge, if you’d like me to give you a hand with any of the organising, be it food, accommodation or transport or even if you want me to go shopping with you for a new frock – love to help!
Don’t forget to pencil in a country race meeting or two will you?
By the way, do you remember who won last year’s Melbourne Cup?
by Debbie Alford
It’s been a busy and extremely enjoyable time lately for this personal concierge. One of the main tasks in the past fortnight has been researching availability of rental properties and inspection of suitable new homes for clients who are relocating from overseas and interstate.
The two couples who engaged me for this task are professional people – both with a similar budget – what I would call mid range but I soon discovered that finding rentals in this price bracket is certainly a challenge in Melbourne at present.
Thankfully we have been able to secure suitable properties for both couples, so smiles all round!
Another task these past few weeks has been to clear out a storage unit for a client who has lived overseas for the past three years. The contents of the unit include furniture, clothing, electrical good and some boxes that we haven’t been able to get to yet because of the larger items. What treasures will be revealed I wonder? This is a fun job – dirty but fun and we are now in the process of securing a decent price for the used furniture items.
You could say we like to move it, move it!
Need a hand with similar tasks? Give me a call.
by Debbie Alford
Just signed the documents for your new home? What an exciting time for you!
Hmmm now for the packing. How on earth did I accumulate so much stuff you may ask yourself? It’s easy to do, so don’t beat yourself up – I’m sure we’ve all been there.
It’s a great idea to get rid of some of the clutter before you start filling up those boxes for the move to your new home. You may like to follow some of these suggestions to get you on your way:-
If you haven’t used it within the last year you probably never will – out it goes.
If it’s broken and has been so for the last 12-18months, you probably have no intention of ever fixing it or using it – toss it.
If it doesn’t fit you, and hasn’t for a year – in the op-shop pile
If it’s past its use-by-date – turf it
If it’s a gift you are hanging onto because it was a gift, not because you like it or use it – op shop
If I have 20 sets/pairs of the same thing – let it go people!
I’m sure by now you’d be feeling a lot happier about packing up your decluttered house. But what about the unpacking at the other end?
Just imagine coming home to your new home to find the boxes unpacked, your kitchen in order, your beds made and the rubbish removed. There might even be dinner and wine in the fridge for the first night in your new home. Pure bliss!
What “moving house” stories/tips have you got? Would love to hear them!
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