Jun 12, 2012

Being a Tourist in my own Backyard... on the Mornington Peninsula...

It was rather fun to play tourists over the long weekend,
as my parents came over to visit from Adelaide,
and the crisp, clear sunny weather made the Mornington Peninsula 
all too irresistible,
with its mix of vineyards, restaurants, art galleries & antique shops.

Sculpture to amuse, to please, and to relish,
the McClelland Sculpture Park is home to a most eclectic array 
of artworks, set in the most glorious park lands.
From a distance, we thought this was a dog,
but on closer inspection, it's no wonder the red man is laughing
at the little pig standing on his tail.

The pieces are scattered about the park,
and the amazing thing is that they look as if they just belong.
No mean feat, as they are anything but natural,
but they are so carefully placed,
that it all looks so artfully simple.

While nature plays it part, 
with some of the native flowers & seeds looking so very sculptural themselves,
they could also be part of the art display.

Then further south to the middle of the peninsula, 
for lunch at Montalto,
of wood-fired pizzas with eggplant, fetta & rocket pesto,
from vegetables grown on the vineyard.
A heavenly way to spend a sunny winter's day,
 with a backdrop of rolling hills with gum trees,
vineyards & the sea on both horizons.

Popping into one of the many antiques centres,
I found this old silver ice bucket with tongs,
which was incredibly tarnished & unloved.
A polish of carb soda though, 
and it is now almost too shiny! 

(Why on earth my pear trees have decided to flower now, 
I can only wonder. 
Obviously they don't read calendars.
But pear blossom in winter is very welcome, if unorthodox.)

So now it's back to work, 
after a gloriously long weekend,
but it was a wonderful reminder to stop 
and look around one's own surroundings 
to see the beauty therein.

images :: blue fruit


  1. Would love to be a tourist in your backyard Virginia - bit more interesting than mine :)
    Happy week sweets, hope this one is a great one,

    1. I think I may beg to differ on that one Anya!

  2. Oh hooray!! So happy to see more of your world! And I actually said out loud "yummy!" when I got to the pizza photo (I am hungry now) and woke Ben up with a start! :) And I love such art parks. We have the Fondation Maeght in Vence--actually something worth thinking about for when you do make your way to these parts--it is stunning.

    Thank you for the lovely post Virginia--looks as if your camera is working out nicely...

    1. Oh just loving the camera Heather! Extremely addictive, as you warned me....

      Ok, will add the Foundation Maeght to our list. It's getting rather long!

  3. We must have crossed paths Virginia! Sounds like a lovely weekend with your parents. The pizza looks yummy, Montalto is on my list to try one day.
    I spent hours fossicking in Tyabb on the way home, I was in my element.
    I'd love to catch up one time when I make the trip! xx

    1. Yes, how incredible. So close! If you've not been to Montalto you are in for a treat. Every year, without fail, we go to the restaurant for my birthday, but in between we are a bit keen on the piazza in the veggie garden. And their wine is truly my absolute favourite. (Sipping on one of their Semillions right now....)

      I get to fossick in Tyabb quite a lot, hunting for furniture for my clients. Oh I love those fossicking days!

      Next time you are this way, do let me know!

  4. Hello Virginia:
    How cleverly you have juxtaposed Nature's Art with the contemporary Art sculpture in this post. A delight! The Mc Clelland Gallery looks to be exactly the kind of place which we should very much enjoy. The outdoor sculptures really add a dynamism to the landscape, we particularly like the suspended rocks, and it must have been wonderful to roam the grounds at leisure, stopping and staring at will.

    1. My son Alistair was most taken with the suspended rocks too, as you can see from his posture. They were one of those weird optical illusions where, on first glance, the rocks appeared to be hanging from above. But on second glance, they appeared to be floating above the ground. Merely a different way of perceiving the same thing of course, but it was rather fun.

  5. Very handsomely integrated personal portraiture and nourishment imagery in the autumnal reminder that the world is round from top to bottom as well as side to side :)

    Montalto is the name Thomas Jefferson gave to the sole peak overlooking the lower one on his father's immense estate in the Southwest Mountains in Virginia, Monticello. Accordingly Monalto is one of our most privileged and protected sites for visitors to appraise our early genius in agriculture, viticulture, culture and philosophy. I think its pizza looks irresistible!

    1. That's very interesting. My understanding of the name "montalto" is a person who lives on a high hill or mountain, as there are many towns of that name in Italy, and I believe that is why this one is named so. Sounds like a similar meaning was known to Jefferson then.

      And yes, the pizza was pretty irresistible - but then fresh air and a gorgeous landscape make any food taste even more fantastic, I think!

  6. OMG, Virginia! What a fabulous post.
    You live in a wonderful place - this is my idea of Heaven. I'm sure you feel happy and blessed.
    Have a happy Tuesday.

    1. Hi Tereza. Yes, indeed we do feel very very lucky to live in such a beautiful spot. Having lived all over the place, in many interesting spots, I think we have somewhat lucked out here.

  7. What a nice winter you have out there Virginia. So funny to hear that and to see when we're in the middle of a heatwave. The rear rain turns into fog and mist. Humidity is a 1000%. I like those sculpture of Rabbit Ears from Alice in Wonderland.
    What a lovely place and lovely time you have, and yummy too.
    But funny thing happens to Australian wines here, whenever we favor some names, the next time we come to the store we're told that THAT was a limited edition so we're in a process of trying new labels.
    Love your RESCUE ME series very much.

    1. Now that is most interesting - about the "limited edition" wines I mean. Sounds rather like the merchant is being a little devilish. Because while we do have many boutique wineries of small production, there are also many which are on quite massive scales. Perhaps they are only stocking the true boutique wines, or perhaps they are just being mischievous?

  8. Been longing to go to the Mornington for years and these photos are wonderful motivation.

    1. I can imagine you would absolutely adore the Mornington Peninsula Mel. Be right down your street. And your husband too - as it is extremely English - which quite fascinates me.

  9. It's so beautiful there I may need to visit.

  10. Really enjoyed this post; I have never visited and your pictures are fantastic!
    x KL


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