Saturday, 27 September 2014

Our anniversary

Hello everyone.  I've just come back from an overnight stay in a Melbourne city hotel to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary.  27 YEARS!  I really don't know where the time has gone.  We started our celebration Friday evening by attending a concert by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and soprano Emma Matthews at the Melbourne Town Hall.  The theme of the evening was music centred around Shakespeare classics and was most enjoyable.  Our seats were high up at the back of the hall so we had a very good view of the orchestra.  Hubby loves the timpani and in one piece of music they had two timpanists performing which made him very happy.

Melbourne Town Hall

The view from our seats.  I apologise for the quality of this photo as it was taken on my phone in low light.
 After the concert we wandered around Southgate in search of coffee and cake but decided on a raspberry sundae and tea at the Lindt Chocolate cafe which was delicious.  It was a beautiful night in Melbourne, not too cold and not too busy either.

This morning after a yummy breakfast at our hotel we made our way to the National Gallery of Victoria. We were interested in viewing the European paintings on permanent display and an Asian art exhibition.  Before we viewed the artworks, we first experienced the Hyper-Natural: A sensory spring garden.   (The garden is a part of and adjacent to the gallery.)  The link gives an excellent description.  All I can say it that it was beautiful experience.  We walked around the garden amongst mist that came from pipes and at the different stands, were able to smell synthetic and natural products that go into scent design which seems to be a rather complicated chemical process.

The white stands you can see in the photos contained two different scents in little wells, the synthetic and the natural in which you can dip a sample stick to smell the difference.  There is an interesting explanation on how the synthetic replicas are made.

This Wisteria vine was in flower.

In some respects, the garden had an almost Japanese feel to it.  Visually it was very peaceful with some rather interesting sculptures enhancing the overall appearance.  Although you can see Melbourne CBD buildings in the background, it didn't detract from the garden in any way.  In combination with the negative ions from the mist, it was a beautiful experience.

In the foyer area of the National Gallery were these brightly coloured bear sculptures in different poses.  The exterior of the bear was covered in synthetic feathers so it was impossible to see how they were constructed.  Many Asian tourists were having fun posing with the bears, trying to replicate the poses and having their photos taken.

Besides viewing the Asian exhibits and the European paintings on permanent display, there was one painting in particular I wanted to view again.  In my early days of living in Melbourne, I use to visit the Gallery frequently on a Sunday afternoon just to sit and be still among the paintings.  It was this one painting below though that had me amazed and coming back time and again to view it.

The Banquet of Cleopatra
The Banquet of Cleopatra, by Giambattista Tiepolo [1696-1770]. The painting shows Cleopatra a wager with Marc Anthony that her banquet would be more lavish ...

The size of the painting is huge and you can read details about it here.    Nearly one whole wall is dedicated to it's display.  It truly is an amazing piece of art, the detailing is incredible.

There were a couple of other paintings of interest to me among the many on display.  This one by Picasso, Weeping Woman.

I'm not particularly enamoured by the painting above, but rather curious as to why Picasso went from painting like these painting shown below to the Weeping Woman above.  Quite a contrast.
Picasso's portrait of his mother.
The Old Fisherman - Picasso.

Science and Charity - Picasso.

This painting below is the work of Paul Cezanne an artist whose style I admire.

After viewing the exhibitions, we went outside and enjoyed a coffee in the lovely spring sunshine followed by a stroll in another small section of garden with this beautiful sculpture.

Dragonfly by Tom Merrifield 1988
 The two photos below taken on my phone aren't so good as I was facing into the sun but it gives you a better idea of the backdrop.

Soon after this we headed off to look for lunch and found this lovely little cafe, Caffe E Torta in the Royal Arcade, just perfect for us.  A chicken and salad baguette and glass of bubbly never tasted so good.

Source, Google images.

After lunch we went looking for an easel for my studio.  I was gifted some money from hubby's family when I turned 50 a couple of years ago and now we've found one that is absolutely perfect for my needs, it's sturdy, very well made and will last a life time.

So there ends our celebratory sojourn into the city.

If you've laboured through this post to the end, thank you.

Anne xx


  1. Happy anniversary, it looks like you had a fabulous weekend.

  2. Happy 27th Anne and what a lovely look at Melbourne xxx

  3. Congratulations to you and R on your 27 years. It sounds like a wonderful night away, the sensory spring gardens sounds good, I think I'd like it. I'm glad you were able to find a perfect easel too.

    I like the new changes you've made on your blog - I say new, I hope it's not something you did a while ago that I've only just noticed! The background is nice and works well.

  4. Happy Anniversary. Looks like you had a great time. Looks like Spring is slow in coming to Melbourne with so many trees still without leaves.

  5. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Anne and Hubby, sounds like you had fun time in Melbourne. The weather certainly looks nice :)


  6. It sounds and looks a s though you've had a lovely wedding anniversary. Lovely photos! xx

  7. Happy Anniversary - what a great way to spend it together!

  8. happy anniversary, what a lot of amazing experiences x

  9. Congrats Anne, 27 years is definitely worth celebrating......Sounds like you had a lovely time in the city.
    Have fun using the easel, I can imagine visiting the National Gallery has inspired.

    Claire X

  10. Happy Anniversary, Anne!
    Congratulations to you and your husband for the 27 years!
    Love that post, just amazing pictures! :)

  11. Belated Happy Anniversary Anne, what a great and very cultured way to celebrate! Thanks for sharing it all, I hope you both had a great time. The sensory gardens look amazing, and I loved seeing all the works of art.
    Gill xx


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