We Came, We Saw, We Travelled At Home

Festival Jes Suis PAris So Frenchy So Chic Melbourne Werribee 2016 Travel at Home Many Cha Cha

This summer, we embarked on as many adventures as time and energy would allow. We have attended festivals, viewed parades and danced to live music. We’ve absorbed culture, experienced diversity and had a blast!

It’s only now, as the weather seems to be cooling (I think?) and we are settling into our new kindergarten routines, that we are slowing down a bit. So I thought I would do a bit of a photographic round-up of some “travel at home” adventures from our past few months.

So Frenchy So Chic Melbourne 2016 Many Cha Cha France Travel at Home Festival

In January the “So Frenchy So Chic” festival entered my radar and I didn’t think too much of it until the day of the event, when I woke up with the burning need to attend. It was a risky proposition (and pricey, let’s be honest), because Husband was working and I wasn’t sure if the kids would have the patience or stamina for a full day of Francophilia.

I needn’t have worried. Who could possibly resist the allure of lawn crocquet, gigantic bubbles, delicious delicacies and chic company, all to the live soundtrack of the best that French music has to offer (pictured above  on stage is Lou Doillon, who was great; insert pun about rocking cool jeans and genes). I was very grateful that the stage was audible (and just visible) from the face-painting queue, because that is where we spent a great deal of our time!

So Frenchy Je Suis Paris Melbourne 2016 French Festival France Travel at Home Kids

During February, Multicultural Arts Victoria held a series of concerts in the Fairfield Amphitheatre and we got along to a couple of them. They were a wonderful chance to spend time with friends and inspiring for the kids, who played instruments with one of the bands and danced to music from a variety of cultures.

Festival Multicultural Arts Victoria Thornbury Amphitheatre Concert Music Travel at Home 2016

We celebrated Lunar New Year in a number of ways. Chinatown in Melbourne thronged with people, lions and dragons, and the local Chinese community offered numerous activities for children.

Chinese Lunar New Year of the Monkey 2016 Chinatown Parade Melbourne Festival Travel at Home

And Melbourne Zoo took the opportunity to highlight its monkeys and decorate enclosures with bright red lanterns for the Year of the Monkey.

Melbourne Zoo Chinese New Lunar Year of the Monkey Travel at Home

Melbourne’s Moomba Festival has fallen in and out of favour over the years, but since I grew up with it I have a soft spot for the parade. Luckily, it was just our kind of thing; filled with fantastic music and dancing by local communities representing the world. My kids loved it.

Moomba Melbourne Multicultural Arts Culture Parade India Indonesia Travel at Home

Finally, last weekend we drove in the opposite direction, to Bendigo, to experience its Festival of Cultures.

Bendigo Multicultural Arts Culture Festival Travel at Home

We watched Karen people from Burma weaving cloth on simple looms, ate a fantastic lunch (including masala chips, YUM) from the Dhaba Truck, and enjoyed the live-mixing and layered vocals of Geoffrey Williams (pictured below).

This festival seemed to suffer from a slight lack of participation, which I’m sure is partly because there was another arts event on nearby and the huge annual Easter Festival planned for next weekend.

But it was a reminder: if we expect to have access to brilliant cultural events, live music, international artists and fun family festivals, then we need to get up and GO.

Festival of Bendigo Multicultural Arts Cultures Victoria Geoffrey Williams Concert Music



Pussycat Pussycat…

…Where have you been?

Cat Children Pat Twins Gumboots Boots

We’ve been all sorts of places this past month, enjoying the good weather and festival season of our island home. Here’s a photographic summary:

Taste Tasmania Hobart Street Performer 2014

The Taste of Tasmania Festival, with nosh, nibbles and noms galore (sorry, I was on a roll with the aliteration). Not to mention giant lego, street performances and fantastic buskers.

Mona Foma Hobart 2014 Mofo Tasmania Mac 2

Mona Foma, or MOFO for short; a super cool music festival run by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).

Sun Ra Arkestra Mofo Mona Foma Hobart 2014

Highlights for me were the Sun Ra Arkestra, (above) an international, interplanetary stage explosion; The Bombay Royale from Melbourne via Bollywood; the tight-as-a-leopard-leotard punkish rock of The Julie Ruin and a mesmerising machine/music installation called The Ada Project.

Mona Foma Hobart Tasmania 2014 Mofo

The festival precinct, by the Hobart waterfront, was also just a really cool place to hang out with other music fans at dusk and beyond.

Mona Foma Mofo Tasmania Pixar in Concert Symphony Orchestra

We took the kids to see the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra performing music from the films of Pixar and they showed remarkable patience and focus. They are still talking about “the concert!”

Robin Hood Hobart Botanical Gardens Big Monkey Theatre

We also went, as a family, to see a musical version of Robin Hood performed in the Royal Botanical Gardens by Big Monkey theatre company.

Bruny Island Tasmania Beach Sand Child Running

Day trips have included jaunts to the Cygnet Folk Festival and the Middleton Country Fair. We took a ferry to Bruny Island and collected shells and rocks on the sensational beaches.

Bruny Island Beach Tasmania Child Rocks Sand

And in a surprising twist, given my usual relationship with sport generally and tennis specifically, we attended the Hobart International Tennis Tournament (and enjoyed it!). Check out the view beyond the court in the photo below.

Hobart International Tennis Tournament Women Doman 2014

It has been a month of involvement, discovery and new experiences.

(And I should mention that while we’ve been visiting all these different places, and more, it has been possible to find me in one “place” the whole time: Instagram. Look me up under the name manychacha if you are a frequenter of that particular social medium!)

New Norfolk Tree Children Hipstamatic