Adelaide Fringe, Australia

I often display meerkaks like traits.  Im either consistently checking over my shoulder or up ahead.  If, for whatever reason, Im busy, possibly checking my phone, or googlemap, or maybe just focusing on eating a really messy ice cream (while it melt all down my hand because I ordered a cone), then I expect another member of the group to keep look out.  If I am on my own, I will sit with my back to a wall or seek shelter at a bus shop for a few minutes of safely.  But Australia was different.

For a start we were enjoying these doughuts and nutella while out in the evening at a little festival during the Adelaide Fringe.  Yep, that’s right.  I walked round a city at night.  I wasn’t hiding under a blanket or duvet, trying to keep safe, like I do at home.  I don’t remember keeping an eye out for hazards and dangers (other than in the fair ground).  I don’t remember thinking there are too many people, or this isn’t safe.  I don’t remember thinking “what if…?” (except maybe at the fair ground…).

I remember enjoying the freedom and fresh air, and the views, and the pretty city lights, and the view of the moon, and my friends company.  I remember not being able to decide what I wanted to eat, so I ordered, ate and enjoyed all my options.  The festival was everything you would expect.  It was quint.  It had food vans, a crappy little fun fair, nice little shop stalls, music, festival type lights, and most importantly a vibe (the good kind).

So on this night, I sat at a table in the middle of the field in the middle of the evening focusing on nothing except dunking those nutella loaded doughnuts into my big fat mouth.

Mr Fitz’s Finest Ice Cream, Brisbane, Australia

This Chocolate Mint ice cream took me back to my childhood.  I don’t mean it in the same way that the smell of freshly cut grass takes you back to sunny days in the local park.  Or how the sentation of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth makes you feel safe.  I am referring to that rush to eat the ice cream before it melts all down the cone, and before you know it both of your hands are somehow covered in ice cream.  And the ice cream continued to drip down onto your shorts, and then shoes.  And you become one sticky mess.

Turns out I never learn.  Should have ordered a bowl not a cone.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, Australia

This was a nice double chocolate muffin.  It was everything you would expect from a chocolate muffin (chocolately and moist).  But this muffin was extra special.  It was 3pm, I was hungry and I was on a natural high.  I had spent the afternoon having a private tour of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.  I had held a koala, a python, a barn owl and a white-bellied sea-eagle.  I had fed the platypuses and tazmanian devils.  Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Everytime I have a double chocolate muffin I hope I remember those moments.  I want to remember how koalas smell like eucalyptus, and how I laughed hysterically as the snake wrapped its tail round my thigh.  I never want to forget that feeling; that buzz.  And that is why this double chocolate muffin was special.

Gaintree Rainforest, Queenland, Australia

Imagine you are having the most amazing day.  You have had a really nice lunch in the middle of Gaintree rainforest (served by two guys wearing an elephant and tiger wooly hats in over 30 degree heat); and you have seen some amazing veiws of the forest and Cape Tribulation.  Its getting late, and  you are now on your way back to Cairns, when the tour guides asked if anyone would like to stop for icecream.

Me Me Me!!!

This ice cream parlour is special for a number of reasons.  Firstly, it is in the middle of the Gaintree rainforest.  Secondary, the ice creams are made from fresh tropical fruits from their orchard. Lastly, there is no choice.  Each cup contains four flavours, which changes thoughtout the seasons.  There isn’t even a choice between cup and cone (thought I go for cone everytime!). I had banana, passion fruit, davidson plum and wattleseed flavours. As I am a bit of a fussy eater, so this meant I tried  flavours that I would not usually have chosen.  I am also incredible indecisive.  I have walked out of shops because there had been too much choice (how many different deodorant does a shop really need?).  I have bought 13 pairs of shoes in one go because I couldn’t make up my mind which pair to get. Last christmas I spent over 3 hours in 4 different places picking out a christmas tree (switching beteen real and artificial)!  I ended up buying artificial under the logic that it would mean I wouldnt have make any more decisions about christmas trees for at least a few more years. There was no umming and ahhing about what to have.  The ony question you have to answer is “do you want ice cream?”, and whoever said no to that.

Since this blog is suppose to be about food, I should probably mention that the banana ice cream wasnt that great.  I have never had passion fruit, davidson plum or wattleseed so I couldnt tell you which scoop was which.  But they were perfect for the end of a very hot day in the rainforest.

Gelato Messina, Winsor, Melbourne

I am gutted.  Not because I broke my phone while I was on the other side of the world. Not because I lost some photos of icecream, cakes and deserts (along with other precious moments). Or because I lost my little notes reminding me of what flavours I was enjoying (or in some cases not enjoying), or where I was enjoying it. After bugging aussie Sarah for information on where we had that amazing icecream on my arrival into melbourne I went onto their website to work out what flavours I had (all I know is I had a nutty based Messina Special, with chocolate), and discovered something.  They do classes.  This was possibly the best icecream I’ve ever had and I missed out on their classes!!!  You won’t know this, but from time to time, I make my own icecreams and sorberts.  This was the opportunity of a lifetime and I missed out.  So I learnt two things about my visit to Messina.  Firstly, on very hot aussie days, always eat icecream in a tub (I’m the one with the cone).  Its just isnt possible to lick the damn thing faster than it melts.  Secondary, always do your research.  Im in bed at silly oclock in the morning with jet lag; Ive been home for 1 day; and Im already wondering if it is too soon to start planning my next trip to Australia.

My First Blog, Maddie’s Gelato and Waffle Bar

First, let get something straight.  I am not a foodie.  Foodies like to cook.  I usually end up charcoaling my food, and living off the ingredients I have in my freezer.  Foodies enjoy trying new restaurants and cafes. Whereas (till very recently) I dreaded going out.  I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.   I had been a normal happy thirty year old, and then I wasn’t.  In recent years there have been times when I have been too depressed to leave my bed. I have been claustrophobic.  I have been agoraphobic.  I have cried over the stupidest things. I stopped eating. I spent most of my time on my own, or working out.   I did what I had to do to stay alive and survive.

Things have been changing very recently.  Yes, my group of friends have got smaller and smaller, but my relationships have got stonger. I dont get that dreaded feeling because I have to step outside my front door.   It has taken me over three years, but I want to live again!  I want to learn the cello! And attend a stainglass workshop!  I have my freedom back.

Last year, one of my friends suggested we work our way thought the nine best local places, according to the Liverpool Echo, to have icecream.  It has taken me a while to build up the courage, but a week ago we finally visited Maddie’s Gelato and Waffle Bar.  I had the Maddison Fruit Garden Waffle, and it was nice (told you I am not a foodie). This is the inspiration behind me starting this blog.  Now seems like the perfect time to start.  On Friday I am flying to Australia.  Over a three week period, I am hanging out with friends and family.  But I have 6 days on my own.  It had been years since I have travelled alone.  And I am scared that I will be too scared to leave the hotel. So here is my plan.  I am going to go to different icecream parlours; and pancakes houses; and try different puddings. I know a pudding cant make you happy; it cant give you a hug; and it cant make you feel free.  But an icecream sundae can make you excited; a pudding from your childhood can comfort you;  and the search for a taste sensesation will set me free.

Im a different person today than I was 4 years ago.  But one thing has remained the same.  I still love my puddings.