Melbourne Style

Melbourne is downright friendly. I’m staying with friends in the inner north where you can find a cute caravan on the street, veggie garden in the front yard and crazy chickens out the back. People say hi to total strangers around here.

Melbourne is known as the city with four seasons in one day so I took my raincoat, sunhat and water bottle and headed along the bike path to CERES, the environmental education centre and urban farm alongside the Merri Creek. I love their slogan:

Our vision is for people to fall in love with the Earth again.

You can fix your bike or learn how to do it. It’s all about community sharing.

And education.

You can also volunteer. There’s plenty of projects from constructing a Playspace to Creating a Meditation Space. I don’t have any affiliation with CERES but I’m a sucker for community projects.

I’m going to borrow a few more words from the CERES website:

‘Along with Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek, CERES and volunteers planted hundreds of trees and shrubs and lobbied governments to clean up the creek. In 1994, after 12 years of remediation work, Sacred Kingfishers returned to nest along the banks of the creek, having been absent for many years.

Now, CERES is an award-winning community place that is visited by people from around the world who want to understand how this place has come to be, and how they can take some of the ingredients back to their own places.’

‘We think the key ingredient is love for each other and the Earth.’

I have to agree.

Happy Travelling!

A day at the river

“Breathe in, breathe out. This is a sanctuary. Take off your weary clothes and the shoes that no longer shield your soles from the grit of the journey. “

Jeni McMillan

It’s another hot day at Lagu├ępie in the south of France and everyone is hanging out at the river. The lifeguard has a steady gaze. There’s screams, splashing and laughter as this crazy, inflatable spaceship rock and rolls.

The local kids are smoking cigarettes in the shade, wrapped in each others arms or taking selfies while Parisian girls cluster at the edge and dry their long black braids in the sun.

We are all shapes and sizes, ages and backgrounds with the same language of laughter. We are residents, visitors, travellers and refugees.

Thanks to Val Johnson, for introducing me to some of the guys who have made it to France against enormous odds and found refuge in this small community. Val has been tireless with fund-raising, finding homes and resources and for encouraging diversity and inclusiveness. I’m also grateful to the people I met for their generosity and smiles. I wish everyone a future where peace and happiness is as simple as a day at the river.