Dayna's Blog

Holidays, walks and who knows what


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Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 3 Costume Exhibition at Rippon Lea Estate

It’s the post (some of) you have been waiting for! (Please don’t get freaked out by the word count; it’s largely from the photo captions.)

This one’s for all the people who like looking at my photos from my previous Miss Fisher’s costume exhibition post. (And for any lady looking for gorgeous, fashionable, and sassy costume ideas for a 1920’s party and who doesn’t just want to go as a flapper.)

For the rest of my patient followers, I’m sorry if this one bores you to tears. I hope you’re Miss Fisher fans, too?

I bought our tickets prior to the exhibition opening in May, and have only just gotten around to going! Shame on me. Luckily it turned out to be a lovely day to visit. The driveway up to the Rippon Lea mansion was bursting with colour and looked more attractive than ever!

I love the driveway at Rippon Lea Estate

I love the driveway at Rippon Lea Estate

Good thing we had prepaid tickets – even though there wasn’t (at this point) a queue out the door, the staff were telling other visitor arriving behind us that they had to wait before being admitted if they hadn’t purchased their tickets online. But there was a cafe set up in the old stables around the corner, so I guess waiting there was nicer than standing around out the front.

The ticket booth was out the front of the mansion this year, if you hadn't prepaid

The ticket booth was out the front of the mansion this year, if you hadn’t prepaid

After we heard the usual “Don’t touch the costumes. No flash photography.” speech, we were let loose to wander and sigh over Marion Boyce’s creations to our hearts content. And there was a lot of ooh-ing and aah-ing going on.

I started in the conservatory, where the tennis outfits from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder” were displayed.

Phryne's tennis outfits

Phryne’s tennis outfits

Your blogger, hard at work in the conservatory, trying to photograph every detail - photo by @s_powell

Your blogger, hard at work in the conservatory, trying to photograph every detail – photo by @s_powell

Phryne’s Tennis Coat & Tennis Outfit, Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

Detective Inspector Jack Robinson’s Tennis Outfit, also from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

The American tennis player, Angela’s, St Tropez inspired outfit from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

Angela’s Tennis Soiree Dress from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

Blue Sequin Teal Sheer Dress, worn by ‘Pearl’ (aka the victim) in episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Dr Elizabeth MacMillan’s Tuxedo, worn in Episode 8 “Death do us Part”

Phryne’s “Smokey” Dress worn in Episode 4 “Blood and Money”

Phryne’s dress “The Italian” worn in Episode 3 “Murder & Mozzarella”

Phryne’s Liquid Flame Dress from Episode 7, “Game, Set & Murder”

Pharynx’s Gold Beaded Dress worn in Episode 8 “Death do us Part”

Aunt Prudence’s Grand Hotel Dress, worn in Episode 6 “Death at the Grand”

Cec ‘n’ Bert and spoils of war (i.e. props)

Bert’s Outfit

Cec’s Outfit

Jack’s Suit

Phryne’s Detective Outfit

There were Dot, Phryne and Aunt P’s costumes in the next room, which was set up to look like Phryne’s living room…

Dot’s Peach Theatre Dress, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Italian Blouse, worn in Episode 3 “Murder & Mozzarella”

Phryne’s Pebble Coat, worn in Episode 6 “Death at the Grand”

Phryne’s Coral Dream Coat, worn in Episode 2 “Murder & the Maiden”

Phryne’s Maroon Spot Fill Coat, worn in Episode 5 “Death & Hysteria”

Phyrne’s Chinoise Coat, worn in Episode 2 “Murder & the Maiden”

Aunt Prudence’s Floral Dress, worn in Episode 5 “Death & Hysteria”

The next room was devoted to Phryne’s costumes worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Imperial Blue Embroidered Kimono, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Mermaid Coat, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Mermaid Costume, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Black and Gold Lace Dress, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Lace Tabard, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Leaving Episode 1 and moving upstairs…

Phryne’s Twilight Ruffle Dress (one of my favourite ensembles!), worn in Episode 5, “Death & Hysteria”

Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock, worn in Episode 6 “Death at the Grand”

It wasn’t just room after room of costumes… In one of the back corner rooms upstairs, visitors were invited to draw their own costume designs for Phryne…

A chance to design your own costume for Miss Phryne Fisher

A chance to design your own costume for Miss Phryne Fisher

…and in the next room we discovered a mock-up of the sewing/designing workroom, and some of the stories behind what goes into making these fabulous creations.

Phryne’s Chinoise Coat, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Pharynx’s House Coat, worn in Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

Phryne’s Mint Tabard Dress, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Lace Bolero (Not yet worn in series!)

Phryne's Lace Bolero - Turquoise silk needle lace with vintage silk ribbon (not worn yet)

Phryne’s Lace Bolero – Turquoise silk needle lace with vintage silk ribbon (not worn yet)

Phryne’s Funeral Coat, worn in Episode 3 “Murder & Mozzarella”

Phryne’s Morning “Muppet” Set, worn in Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder” and dressing table

Phryne’s Silk Kimono, worn in Episode 7, “Game, Set & Murder” and bathroom items

Medicinal supplies from the 1920’s, on display in the hallway

Medicinal supplies of the 1920's - #MFMM Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries Series 3 Costume Exhibition

Phryne’s Day Ensemble, worn in Episode 8 “Death do us Part”

Constable Hugh Collins Police Uniform, courtesy of the Victorian Police Museum

And there, in the final room for the day, was a display of a selection of Phryne’s accessories, from the private collection of Marion Boyce.

Items in the first display case:

Items in the second display case:

Somewhat mind-blowing to think this was just a selection of Phryne’s accessories. Imagine how much more there is!

If you are a fan of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (#MFMM) and have a chance to see the costume exhibition – hopefully they take it on tour, like last time – I think it’s well worth it, and our tickets were not expensive at $20 each. If it doesn’t tour to your part of the world, I hope my post has brought you some satisfaction.

If you haven’t seen my other posts on the previous MFMM costume exhibition or Rippon Lea Estate, why not take a moment to check them out now? I’ve also posted about the (rather smaller) Doctor Blake costume exhibition that was on display in Ballarat last June (2014).

: )


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Crunching the trails at Lake Mountain, Victoria – 2 August, 2015

Playing in the snow is fun; spending time waiting in queues is not.

How are the two related? If you live in Melbourne (as we do) and wish to visit the snow, this usually involves entering an alpine resort. The alpine area closest to Melbourne is Lake Mountain (named after Surveyor-General George Lake; there isn’t a lake there) in the Yarra Ranges, just outside of Marysville. But a visit to any alpine resort will generally mean queueing to:

– hire snow gear (chains, skis, poles, sleds, snowshoes, clothing, etc)
– enter the park/resort and pay entrance fees
– put chains on and, later when you’re exiting, take them off again
– be directed where to park
– resort facilities
– ski/toboggan runs

In the queue to enter Lake Mountain Resort

In the queue to enter Lake Mountain Resort

So it’s no wonder we are looking for ways to reduce the number of queues we need to join on our snow day. The answer was to buy all our own gear.

For us this didn’t mean shelling out a fortune because we’re not planning to go skiing. Having grown up in Queensland I have no skills in that area, and while Stephen’s background was almost the complete opposite, we’ve decided that snowshoeing is an activity that we can both enjoy in the snow with minimal practice. After having now shelled out only a small fortune for chains (for the car), snowshoes and poles, we’re set and ready to go. We didn’t have to buy a lot of extra specialised clothing since most of our hiking gear is adaptable to snowshoeing.

This was our first walk with our own snowshoes and poles. We’ve just bought MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes from Bogong in Melbourne’s CBD. We were very lucky to snag the last two pairs they had this season! While MSR aren’t the cheapest brand, and Revo aren’t the cheapest option in their range, I wasn’t settling for anything less. (See my previous post Snowshoeing at Mt Baw Baw for a comparison of snowshoes that we’re hired at various resorts in Victoria.)

Now fully equipped, we planned to go snowshoeing the very next day – a Sunday. We did our best to get our the door early. There are always more tourists of a Sunday, so we didn’t want to be at the end of the line. On the other hand, because the Mini is so neat and zippy we’ll always catch up to a convoy of cars eventually. Eh!

The least enjoyable part of a snow day is getting out of the car once you’ve arrived, and getting kitted up to walk. The cold is biting! And it’s doubly – triply! – cold if it’s windy, but we don’t wear our boots in the car – or all of our layers – so by the time we’re finally ready to lock the car and head I’m generally shivering (or nearly) despite wearing all my layers.

The sounds around the carpark remind me of a crèche or kindergarten. Lots of young children, most of whom are excited and impatient to get going, some of whom are content to play with the first snow they see, and then there are those who have changed their minds and don’t want to get out of the car. Voices – excited, petulant, upset, coaxing, calm, or quickly getting frustrated – hang in the air on every side. For someone unused to children, it provides extra impetus to get going quickly.

Up at the main buildings it’s like the shopping mall at lunch time during school holidays – people everywhere. Here is where we stop to strap on our own snowshoes instead of heading over to the building on the right to queue up to hire snowshoes and poles. Leaving the tobogganists and snowman-makers and snowball-fighters and other wanderers to their own devices we headed up main trail out of the village with a big sigh of relief!

Ski fields are very colourful places - just remember to mind your step!

Ski fields are very colourful places – just remember to mind your step!

Setting off at last

Setting off at last

Lake Mountain is popular because it’s close to Melbourne, and because it’s pretty family friendly. There are toboggan runs to keep kids amused for hours. If, like us, you’re looking to enjoy nature with half of Melbourne in your pocket, you can do that too. Once on the trail we quickly left the noise of the resort behind, and then the novice cross-country skiers. It was nice to go off (groomed) track when we found the snowshoe trail and walk on fresh, soft snow instead of compact trails.

Pretty good use for old skis - Snowshoe trail marker at Lake Mountain Resort

Pretty good use for old skis – Snowshoe trail marker at Lake Mountain Resort

This style of snowshoe makes for easy walking - MSR Revo Explore

This style of snowshoe makes for easy walking – MSR Revo Explore

Walking on fresh, uncompacted snow is not only more pleasant but sooo much quieter! All snowshoes create noise on ice when the mental teeth crunch through the icy crust or compact snow on the trail. Being made of a hard plastic, ours also flap noisily when walking on compact surfaces – on soft surfaces it’s almost more of a shuffle.

Stand aside, they're grooming the trail

Stand aside, they’re grooming the trail

'Cordoroy' - easier to walk on, but much noisier and less fun

‘Cordoroy’ – easier to walk on, but much noisier and less fun

From Snow Gauge (trail junction) we chose Echo Flat Trail to continue up to Helicopter Flat. Despite some cold fronts coming through recently, the amount of snow did seem to be a bit low this weekend. Lake Mountain is only 800m above sea level, so as long as there’s something on the trails I guess we should be thankful.

Lake Mountain Trail Map

Lake Mountain Trail Map

Arriving at Helicopter Flat we were surprised at the number of people gathered – and the tent that was set up (sorry about the dud photo – didn’t notice until I got home). Turns out there was a cross-country race on that we’d stumbled into the middle of.

We waited for a break in the skiers – I think we’d come in towards the end anyway – and continued on along Echo Flat Trail to The Camp (junction).

Winter vs summer - Echo Flat trail

Winter vs summer – Echo Flat trail

I've never seen an iced-over pond before

I’ve never seen an iced-over pond before

The Camp was a busy junction. It has green (easy), blue, (more difficult) and black (most difficult) trails intersecting there. Standing out of the way we had a quick break for a snack, drink – and a couple of fungi photos.

'The Camp' junction was pretty busy today, too

‘The Camp’ junction was pretty busy today, too

Refreshed, we decided to stick with the easy-rated Echo Flat Trail. We’d seen other fresh snowshoe tracks, and shortly after leaving The Camp we caught sight of the snowshoers.

Other snowshoers heading off into the mist

Other snowshoers heading off into the mist

There were more in the group than we’d expected. We left Echo Flat Trail and followed after them for perhaps 30m or so, but the snowshoe track crosses the middle of the valley and they looked like they were going pretty slowly crossing the creek. After watching their slow progress for a few minutes we decided to back-track and stick to our original plan of following the ski trails.

Blue sky was starting to show as we reached The Gap. Pausing just long enough for a drink and a photo, we headed uphill to Triangle Junction.

Our initial aim was to walk the Panorama Trail and checkout the views from the lookouts (assuming it wasn’t cloudy), but although we hadn’t come far our feet were talking to us, so we instead decided to head back along Royston Trail – our first blue grade trail for the day, but as it was down hill all the way back it didn’t really matter. In fact, it was the best ski trail of the day because there was plenty of deep, ungroomed snow on the side of the trail. Perfect for snowshoers!

The cafeteria, shop, first aid, and public toilets and change rooms are all in the large building on the lower side of the village. We knew it would be packed inside; lucky we weren’t famished. We decided to stop in near-by Marysville to find lunch instead. It was interesting to see the old-style skis and snowshoes they had on display. How our equipment has changed!

There’s just one more photo I’d like to share – it’s from our drive back through (The) Black Spur. The road winds its way through a forest of fern trees which are dwarfed by giant mountain ash, standing straight and pencil thin, their crowns seeming to reach for the clouds. It’s not the safest place to be during storms or high winds, though – I’ve seen YouTube clips of trees falling across the road like a giant tipping over wooden building blocks – but unless you’re stuck in a painfully slow convoy, it’s a great drive!

Magnificent Mountain Ash - driving through Black Spur

Magnificent Mountain Ash – driving through Black Spur

🙂


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‘Meet at Cow Up A Tree’ – Melbourne Brompton Club ride, 26 July 2015

If you’re not a Melburnian, or at least familiar with the place, receiving instructions to “meet up at Docklands – Cow Up A Tree” could lead to some understandable confusion. But it’s pretty straight forward. We were to meet where there’s a cow up a tree.

Cow Up A Tree

Ta-da! “Cow Up A Tree”

It was looking a bit touch and go in the lead-up to this ride. Not for the cow – it’s been stuck up there for years. Rather it was the weather forecast that was looking decidedly iffy, and it didn’t improve as the scheduled time drew closer. Given the bay-side location of our destination – Williamstown – concerns about storm surges were quite valid if the weather were to turn ugly.

Satelite photo forecasting bad weather for our ride, via Victorian Storm Chasers

Satelite photo forecasting bad weather for our ride, via Victorian Storm Chasers

Thankfully the weather dawned clear and not too cold, though it was a bit breezy in places. Nothing to stop the ride going ahead, so it was off to the rendezvous point.

The glow of a yellow high-vis top waiting up ahead made me think we weren’t the first ones there – and indeed, we were not, but as I pulled up I realised that although the cyclists were waiting for us, they weren’t on Bromptons themselves. What’s more, there turned out to be a whole group of riders waiting for the Melbourne Brompton Club to turn up!

Cyclists gathering at Cow Up A Tree

Cyclists gathering at Cow Up A Tree

As it turned, out riders with the Go Cycling Melbourne group had come to ride to Williamstown with us. Escorts or windbreaks? Take your pick! (as someone quipped). Either way, our group of five had just grown to 13! Six Bromptons, a mountain bike, an e-touring bike, and road bikes made up our motley crew for today’s ride. Fluro tops were trending, but on the whole our clothing was as assorted as our bikes. Once introductions had been made we were finally underway!

Once we left Docklands and crossed over Railway Canal, Stephen and I were breaking new ground on this ride. It was probably a familiar route for the others. We’ve certainly seen plenty of riders take this path before, and no wonder it’s popular. The design is very good; no tangling with traffic, no being left to wait for traffic lights without a button to press to ask them to change for you.

The wind was coming directly at us for most of it, but that couldn’t be helped. At least it wasn’t raining! Given the forecast, the weather was certainly cooperating very nicely! There are long stretches of flat straight road, and a few small rises, but on the whole it’s a pretty comfortably ride especially once you reach Stony Creek Reserve  – from there you follow the waterfront right around to the main street of Williamstown.

Williamstown didn’t seem quite as packed today as it has on previous occasions we’ve visited. (Maybe that’s because we weren’t looking for a carpark this time…) After another re-group we headed down to Gem Pier and the shelter of the HMAS Castlemaine. I have to say it made a pretty good wind-break – pity it isn’t particularly portable. I was already feeling the start of windburn on my face.

The Williamstown riders - photo by Cory (@baudman)

The Williamstown riders – photo by Cory (@baudman)

By now it was definitely time to choose a cafe that could accommodate our group and enjoy a nice warn beverage. I’m not much of a coffee drinker; a hot chocolate is my preferred brew in the cooler months! Despite the heart-sinkingly long queue inside we didn’t end up waiting too long for our orders – just long enough to chat to a passer-by who stopped to ask about our bikes. They are pretty striking, especially in a group.

Bromptons are just so neat! Cafe Cirino was a good place to stop for brunch - Melbourne Brompton Club & Go Cycling Melbourne

Bromptons are just so neat! Cafe Cirino was a good place to stop for brunch – Melbourne Brompton Club & Go Cycling Melbourne

With everyone fed and watered, we stood up to leave just in time to surrendered our places to a motorcycle group who had just parked their rides across the street. Another audience to impress with the convenience of the Brompton design, though I’m not sure we have any converts from their mob.

Departing Williamstown the wind was once again in our faces and riding along the foreshore was a slog. Conditions improved as we neared Newport Park and continued into Riverside Park where there are a few more trees beside the track.

Opposite the old Pumping Station behind Science Works is the Spotswood Jetty where the Westgate Punt collects passengers who wish to cross the Yarra River to Port Melbourne. Stanley, Elsie, Stephen and I bid farewell to the other riders here as we’d decided to take the shorter (and easier) route back to Docklands. Cory farewelled us from the jetty, but didn’t cross the river as it would have been the longer way home for him.

We passed the Pumping Station - it was a location for one of the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries TV shows in the first series

We passed the Pumping Station – also a location for one of the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries TV shows in the first series

There's plenty on room onboard for bikes and pedestrians

There’s plenty on room onboard for bikes and pedestrians

And then there was one - via Cory (@baudman)

And then there was one – via Cory (@baudman)

In a somewhat surprising move, the punt operator offered me the wheel. I thought it was for maybe a minute or two – time enough to get a photo – but he didn’t move me on so I got to steer the punt the whole way across (it’s not that far). Docking was a different story – quite understandably so, though I was happy to give it a shot!

Dayna piloting The Westgate Punt across the Yarra River (photo by Stanley Tan)

Dayna piloting The Westgate Punt across the Yarra River (photo by Stanley Tan)

Returning to Docklands once on the other side is as easy as turning left and following Lorimer Street all the way back to Webb Bridge, though we did take the water side path in front of South Wharf Drive. The gardens along here are really quite lovely. (Thanks to a shower of rain that came through then I don’t have any photos of this section though.) As we came off Webb Bridge and turned onto Harbour Esplanade, who should we see approaching but the Go Cycling Melbourne group who we left at Spotswood Jetty! We weren’t quite back at Cow Up A Tree, but this was where the riders truly spilt up, after a really enjoyable day’s ride – to try to beat the rain home!

For more photos from this ride please take a look at Stanley’s photos or  Cory’s photos (note: both are FaceBook links). You can also check out the Melbourne Brompton Club on Flickr, again courtesy of Cory.

: )