Howe to brunch down under

This post may make you extremely hungry and/or hopefully point you in the right direction if you’re an egg lover like myself and in Australia… 

Here are my 10 top cafes I willingly tested out in Australia:

 1) Cozzi Cafe, 233 Coogee Bay Road, Sydney


Coogee big break $17

Our first breakfast in Australia and it was an incredible start, and on New Years Day on route to go back out and see Derrick Carter at Greenwood, this was especially vital. Everything was deconstructed; mushies piled up, a fat chunk of avo lay on the bottom left of the iron slate, 2 fried eggs marinated in green pesto oil in a hot pot and 2 slices of crusty sourdough. A build your own breakfast. Everyone had their own way of putting it together, mine rivalling the lot. I lay out the bits of bread; first layer of each slice – avo, second – the bacon, scattering the mushies on top with the egg glenty placed to allow for the runny yolk to flow below. 

Cozzi Cafe in Coogee

*Sydney Cafe top tip: Three W’s in Waterloo. Mars Bar milkshake is a must!!

*Sydney’s second best breakfast goes to Pancake on the Rocks for its amazing fluffiness and fantastic harbour views. 

2) The Eatery, 18 Johnson Street, Byron Bay. 

Eggs Benedict $21

After a very humorous evening in Byron Bay, including a discography of John Mayer, a stripped onesie and a full moon, me and my friend Steph desperately needed to get out of the Arts Factory, where people insisted on playing the drums completely out of rhythm and search for our breakfast fix. 

This was one of the best eggs benedict I am still yet to beat! We sat out on the street watching the characters of Byron Bay go by, with our collection of flat whites and orange juice to reenergise ourselves and this beast of a breakfast! Steph has even been back since and it’s just as good! 

The Eatery, Byron Bay

Call me…

 

*Cafe top tip: Twisted Sista Cafe – their cakes are to die for!! We went back for another round, the banoffee pie even rivalled my own! 

Twisted Sister Banoffe Pie


3) Double Shot New Farm, 125 Oxlade Drive, New Farm, Brisbane


Big Breakfast Plate $23

Holy hell!! This was the mother of all deconstructed brunches!!! The best thing about being single on Valentine’s Day is you don’t have to share! This is what we did this wonderful V Day of 2015. Our friend took us to this lovely hidden spot in New Farm. There was a glorious selection of: avo, poached eggs, salmon, haloumi, mushrooms, pesto oil, cherry tomatoes and sourdough. Definitely worth finding if you’re in Brisbane, it’s worth the trek! 

Big Breakfast Plate, New Farm


4) Caffiend, 72-74 Grafton Street, Cairns. 

Eggs Benedict $21

For anyone who stays in Cairns for a long period of time, you’ll need to head to Caffiend for some insane juices to cure a brutal Gilligan hangover. It’s a little taste of Melbourne in this crowded cafe which spills outside into a graffitied side alley, where you can have your morning hangover flat white and cigarette. A little expensive, especially if you are on your last $10 while desperately searching for farm work, but it’s worth skipping a night in The Woolshed for! 

*Cute cafe: Tinies (to the left of Giligans) Egg Benedict $18 – splash out for a juice here as well! 

*Award winning pie alert!! For only $8, pick up an amazing selection of apparent prize winnings pies at Meldrums, Grafton Street, Cairns. 

Northern Territory and West Coast stops to tick off:

  • Coffee Clubs are found all around Australia, but the butterscotch and caramel cheesecake is truly delightful. 
  • Three-way Roadhouse on the way down to Alice Springs. They offer the best steak and ale pie in NT for only $5. We made sure we stopped here on the way back up from Alice Springs, but alas we were too late and all the pies had gone. 
  • Zanders at Cable Beach in Broome boats some of the best sea views on the west coast, I was enjoying my $20 Eggs Benedict while watching humpback whales breaching in the distance. 
  • Pop into Brumby’s Bakery in Exmouth for a delightful vanilla slice. 
  • Before heading to Monkey Mia early in the morning, if you stay the night before in Denham, The Old Pub on the high street makes you feel like you’re back in a good old English pub on a winters day. The sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce was to die for. A lady next to us asked if we’d be walking home after seeing the amount of food 3 girls put away. 
  • Yanchep National Park, north of Perth is a lovely stop to spot local wildlife like the Kookaburra or if you’re hungry, visit the Chocolate Drop Cafe inside the park and try their amazing coconut and maple syrup caramel slice.  

Chocolate Drop Cafe in Yanchep National Park

5) The Bakery, Margaret River

Devonshire scones $7.50 & 
Banana and Honeycomb pancakes $16

The winner of all bakeries! We came here two times in the 2 days we stayed at Margaret River. And both those times I went for the banana and honeycomb pancakes. They are stacked up high and drizzled in maple syrup with a dollop of whipped cream and a bowl of banana slices on top! The bakery had an amazing menu and selection of cakes. It was beautifully decorated with antic treasures and comfy sofas. 

The Bakery was so good it deserved a montage

*Nearby in Perth: The Little Bird Cafe in Northbridge. The Eggs Benedict for $18 is lovely but if you’re sick of eggs by now they have a great array of cakes, pastries and vegetarian foods, particularly the zucchini lasagne. 

6) Tall Timber, Commercial Road, Prahran, Melbourne. 

Sourdough toast, Poached Eggs, Salmon and Avo $16

Having just moved to Melbourne, we were overwhelmed with brunch spots and didn’t know where to start. Scroling through Broadsheet Melbourne, I had compiled a list of cafes I had to visit before leaving and this one was at the top. It took a while for us to navigate the trams, having come from Richmond to Prahran but we finally found this white walled cafe teaming with Melbournites. We asked what was highly recommended, and I’m guessing from reading so far, you’ll already know what I went for….eggs…but I did try some of the pumpkin toast and pumpkin spread and it was so flavorsome! 10/10 for presentation with everything! 

pumpkin toast and pumpkin spread

Avo and smoked salmon


7) Issus Cafe, Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Issus Eggs $18

As many of you may know, it rains a lot in Melbourne. So when it does and you get caught in it while shopping, what do you do? You run into the nearest cafe! What a find this was! The first time we got rained on and ran into this tiny eatery, I went for a duck pasta from the specials as it was a little late for brunch and nearing dinner time, but I did check out the menu for the next time and the Issus eggs were well worth returning back for. 

Not always on the hunt for brunch, this duck pasta was delicious

8) Fifty Acres, Richmond

Chorizo Scotch Eggs and Avo $18

What a revelation! Scotch eggs for breakfast! And lined with spicy chorizo with a runny yolk in the middle. Absolute perfection and just around the corner from my first flat. 


9) Two Birds and One Stone, Claremont Road, South Yarra

Two Birds breakfast $19

I’m not one for going to the same place twice, but I do make some exceptions and this was one of them. I even had the same breakfast both times, because who wouldn’t want mushrooms, haloumi, avo and poached eggs over and over again. 

*Best hot chocolate found just around the corner – A La Folie Patisserie was perfect for a Melbourne winters day. 

*Best selection of muffins found at Tom, Dick and Harry Cafe – the crunchie muffins were out of this world. 

10) Top Paddock, 658 Church Street, Richmond

Eggs Benedict with ham hock $19

You need to get here super early to avoid waiting for over an hour outside. And if you don’t make it early, make sure it’s a nice day, you’re with a good crowd and find a good patch on the opposite lawn and maybe sit near a group with a dog to make the wait more fun! This place is epic and definitely worth the wait! The coffee here is so fresh and the choice is overwhelming. Do you go for the hot cakes, or the eggs benny or go all out and have the steak sarnie?! Keeping to my brunch theme, I had to try the eggs benedict but did get a side of blueberry hot cakes to share. If you’re not too hungover or maybe you are, go for the Aperol Spritz to start the day as you mean to go on. 

Blueberry hot cakes

Eggs Benedict and ham hock

Line up for a fresh cup of coffee

 

It’s safe to say they don’t do brunch better anywhere else but down under! 

West Coast Road Trip: Week 1 Darwin – Uluru – Katherine 

Week 1: Darwin – Uluru – Katherine = 3744km

These are the stories of 3 English girls, Sophia (myself) and Ellie, who take on their longest drive yet, while Rose sits in between as she is chauffeured around the West Coast of Australia. 

 

Tourists: Ellie, Rose and me


 

My original plan for these blog posts was how to do the West Coast on a budget. However, after our first week and first $2000 down, this was not going to be cheap. So instead I thought I’d capture the most interesting stories that can come out of travelling in a camper van with two other girls for a month and pass on my knowledge to any of you wanting to undergo a similar trip. I will also explain how petrol, campsites and countless chocolate bars and diet cokes will drain your bank account dramatically. Nonetheless it will be a trip I will never forget and would already recommend it to anyone. 


For our camper van rental we went with Travellers Autobarn in Darwin. It came to $3320 between the 3 of us ($1106 each), which covered us for the premium insurance and the camper van for 30 days. I would recommend going for the full insurance package because even if you just chip the windscreen you’re already paying $400, which is more than the extra insurance itself! 

Day 1: Saturday 11th July 

Darwin 🚐 ➡️ Ubirr 

I had volunteered the day before to be the designated driver for our first day, but fine well knowing I had to be sensible the night before, I instead got too carried away with the cheap gin and tonics and suffered the consequences the next day with a hangover I had never quite felt before…so I passed on my role to Ellie, our other responsible driver who didn’t overdo it and who took note on how to operate our new home for the month.

  

Our main man Rupert at Travellers Autobarn laid out all the information about our new van. 

Here’s what we learnt:

  • There is a gas canister which you can fill up at caravan sites. To turn it on, you turn the knob to the left and there’s a yellow lever that you turn so it’s vertical. To turn of, turn to the right and bring the lever on its side. 
  • There is a hose which you attach to a tap, usually found at caravan sites, so that you can use the sink. 
  • There is also a power cable which you can use at powered sites, allowing you to use the microwave and charge phones. 
  • The fridge should be turned down at night so it doesn’t make too much noise. 
  • To make up the beds is quite self explanatory but don’t be lazy and definitely put them back before you start driving, especially the top bunk as everything moves around. 
  • They advise you not to drive at night as animals may be on the road and could write off the car or seriously hurt you. You are also not insured for night time driving. 

After driving to MacDonalds, but not the drive-thru as the car is too tall, we made our way out of Darwin and onto Stuart Highway to enter the Kakadu National Park. 

We entered the monotonous woodland area with countless trees and bushes for kilometers at a time. The late afternoon silhouettes on the road are extremely trippy as the trees are very close together and their shadows make it seem like your traveling at a lot higher speeds and make you go slightly cross-eyed. 

Kakadu National Park

It takes a while to get used to the feel of the van. Any gust of wind in this tall and non-streamline vehicle can get your steering all over the place and make tipping over easier. I would get down to 40km/h to take on a corner, this is just for the first day though.
Just in time for our first sunset of the trip, we got to Ubirr, an Aboriginal rock art site. It is a 1km circular track that takes you round several rock art sites. 

The Aboriginals used the rock art to tell stories that had been passed down from their ancestors, and many were drawings of animals and the first encounters with Europeans. The act of painting was generally more important than the artwork itself, many older paintings, which are dated from almost 4,000 years ago, were covered over by younger ones. They used red ochre to stain the rocks and a lot of the original paintings are still intact. 

   
 

The best place for the sunset is up the 250m climb to the top of a rocky lookout that overlooks the Nadab floodplain. 

  

Just before dark we managed to find Meryl campsite, where we haggled down to $10 for the vehicle. It was unpowered and the toilet block was a long way a way in the pitch black. This was the start of our becoming ferrel and the outdoors became our new toilet as we were too afraid of the dark to venture away from the van. We made up our beds and tucked into our first meal of the trip, chicken salad wraps. Very hot night, all these sheets and sleeping bags were unnecessary. 

Total km = 287km 

Full tank included. 

Day 2: Sunday 12th July

Ubirr 🚐➡️ Dunmarra

We were all awake before our 6am alarm went off as the cockatoos crawed and the sun had already risen. 

   
 

We had a big drive to do today so we set off through the National Park and experienced our first kangaroo crossing and then a dingo run out from no where. 

  

We bombed it down Stuart Highway all the way through to Katherine, where we took a lunch break. I was left to look after the van while Ellie and Rose found a toilet. We’d been warned about the locals trying their best to break into cars but hoped they wouldn’t do anything if we stayed inside, so that’s what I did. It was only until we drove off did we notice a group of women disperse after they had been hanging around waiting for us to leave the car alone.

Dusk was upon us and we were still a way from our campsite. The only thing to do was look out for potential road kill and avoid swerving into the side of the road. One amusing piece of road kill was a dead cow that had been recently hit and had blown up like a balloon! 

We camped at Dunmarra caravan park which was $8 per person. It was a powered site and even had a lamb spit roast for $19 per person. We had pumpkin soup and bread for dinner instead. 

Total km = 616km

$50 each petrol

Day 3: Monday 13th July 

Dunmarrra 🚐➡️ Alice Springs

We had a long day of driving. We made it to Three Way roadhouse for 11am, which was the perfect time to try their homemade pie. It truly deserved the title of ‘the best’ pies in the Northern Territory. Highly recommended stop. 

  

We drove through Tennant Creek and to Devils’ Marbles, which were a group of large rounded rocks, which the Aboriginals believed were carved by a serpent, a bad spirit, hence why they belonged to the devil. 

  

The next stop was extremely surreal. A service station obsessed with the idea that there had been UFO sightings in the area. The bar was covered in news-clippings about backpackers and travellers being chased by alien type figures and disappearing in the outback. 

  

  

On the road you will see that people in the Northern Territory have somewhat of a sense of humour. For example, termite hills have been dressed in t-shirts and caps and some into snowmen. I think some of the Aboriginal communities have too much time on their hands but they do amuse you while speeding down the never ending straight highway. 

We were on the outskirts of Alice Springs, the girls were asleep and I had been driving the afternoon stint. I estimated another 90km to go until we got to the main town. All of a sudden the petrol light flashed a red warning. Without panicking the girls, I slowed right down to 80km/h to drive economically, a tip I’d learned from a friend’s mum – which was to drive slower and in 4th gear with minimum breaking. I’d also remembered seeing an episode of Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson drives from France to England on a full tank and drove at a much slower speed when he was running low. So this is what I did for 45 minutes on my own. Rose eventually woke up and then so did Ellie, who both questioned my going a lot slower. I continued to creep all the way into town, anticipating the worst but to our surprise we managed to crawl all the way to the doors of the first petrol station in Alice Springs. 

We then found Heavitree campsite, just outside of town for $44 a powered site. It was an extremely cold night and I woke up shivering. At one point it reached minus degrees. All the sheets and sleeping bags were necessary. 

  

Total = 868km

$60 each petrol

Day 4: Tuesday 14th July

Alice Springs 🚐➡️ Yulara

We drove around Alice Springs to see what it offered. Turns out there are no springs in the town as the name would suggest and it was extremely cold and gave us quite a dangerous vibe so we were happy to leave and make our way straight down to Yulara. 

We arrived at Ayers Rock resort campground just in time for sunset. It was $69 for a powered site. You could put a deposit down for Monopoly, so that kept us entertained for a while. I even won by getting very lucky with the community chest cards. 

  

Total = 445km 

$33 petrol each

Day 5: Wednesday 15th July

After 4 days of continuous driving, we finally reached the entrance to the Uluru National Park. It took us 2,216km to get here, which is the equivalent to driving from London to Serbia. 

  

Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is the biggest stand alone rock in the world. Uluru is the name given by the Aboriginals and the white Australians named it Ayers Rock. 

At the Culture Centre there is a video representation on how the white Australians first came across the Aboriginal tribes of Uluru (Anangu) in the 1930s. They introduced to the tribes tinned food in exchange for dingo skulls, which the government paid them for at that time. These new foods brought in deadly diseases, such as diabetes.

In the video it makes the Aboriginals seem like animals, as they are scared of these mysterious tins and the humped camels that the ‘white fellows’ arrived on. The Aboriginals have only been classed as ‘people’ since 1967, before then they were legally known as ‘fauna and flora’. 

  

The Australians took over more and more of their land and brought cattle in that destroyed much of the bush tucker and scared off many of the animals that the tribes hunted and so many starved to death. 

They then introduced the White Man Law, which legalised the use of Aboriginals as slaves. Many were pushed away from Uluru and other camps by police and white Australians who were exploring the rock. 

In 1951 there was an application to allow tourist flights into the Peterman’s Aboriginal Reserve, which was originally set up to protect the Aboriginals. In 1958 land around Uluru was taken out of the reserve without taking any consideration of the Aboriginal tribes living in the area. 

  

In the 1960s the tribes earned money by selling dingo skulls to the government but they stopped paying them as they gave them rations instead. They then returned to making traditional artefacts and paintings to sell to tourists, which they still do today as a source of income. They then were hired as workers and cleaners in the National Park but when tourists started to complain about them, the council started to hide them away but “they always came back to protect Uluru“. 

The Aboriginals say:

“The Spirit of the animal in the rock is not of the white people and we have a more spiritual connection to the land. The white people should listen to us and learn, and pay us more attention. We are the only people who truly understand this place. We’ve lived by their white man law but we still don’t gain any respect or attention.”

In 1978 Uluru was declared as a National Park within the Northern Territory so the Aboriginals could no longer claim it as their land. However, in 1983 the government decided that Uluru shouldn’t be part of the Northern Territory but of the Australian Government, to respect the significance of Uluru for all Australians as a national symbol. 

Now the Aboriginals apparently have real control of how the park is run. Many are on the board of management and only ask that the tourists respect their sacred areas by not walking over them or take pictures of. The tribes live there safely and have given back to Uluru their Aboriginal spirits. 

You can drive around the entire rock to get a feel of how big it is, but it is very disrespectful to climb to the top. Many Australians ask if you have done the climb and are surprised when your answer is no. Some are still not aware of the spiritual significance of Uluru and by disrespecting their spirits which live inside the rock, can in turn disturb the Aboriginals’ way of life. 

  

A great way to see the rock is to get to the Sunset car park at around 4.30pm to secure a good spot. The sun sets behind you which casts a red glowing shadow. It’s very chilly but worth watching how it changes shades. 

  

The caravan site has free gas BBQs which is perfect for a sausage sarnie. 

Day 6: Thursday 16th July 

Uluru 🚐➡️ Connor’s Well 

Before setting off from Uluru, we took advantage of the showering facilities and then made our way back to Alice Springs. We also filled our small gas canister for $15 in a caravan park. It shouldn’t normally last only 6 days, but in such freezing conditions, we needed copious amounts of hot drinks and a little extra heating. 

  

In all the excitement of reaching civilization and fast food, we had a binge stop in a car park and a snooze to get out of our fried chicken coma before making it to a free campsite, Connor’s Well, 92km out of town. Out of boredom we decided to see how many marshmallows Rose could fit in her mouth. It was 18. 

  

It also got down to minus 5 in the night and frost was on the ground when we woke the next morning. 

  

Total km = 565km

$45 each petrol

Day 7: Friday 17th July 

Connor’s Well 🚐➡️ Warlock

We were forced out of bed earlier today due to how cold it was and how desperate we were to get into the front seats with the heating on full blast. We zoomed back up to Katherine where it was a lot livelier than last time. The rodeo had been in town and a fun fair was kicking off. In all the excitement we treat ourselves to an Eggs Benedict and an unbelievable butterscotch cheesecake at the local Coffee Club. 

Ellie got excited after a group of army men crossed the road and almost flipped the car over as she enthusiastically turned into the petrol station. It was the most testosterone we’d seen in a whole week. 

To reach another free campsite, we had to drive into the night. After 5.30pm the roadkill starts to appear and nosy kangaroos hop to the side of the road. A dingo even took a chance at crossing. To avoid hurting any of the animals and making a huge dent in the van, I dropped down to 50km/h. 

  

I wouldn’t really advise driving in the dark as we are completely not insured but the stars looked really pretty and it’s a great way to spot local wildlife. We reached the campsite at 8.30pm and had our latest night of the trip after steak, egg and salad. 

 Total km = 963km 

$50 each on petrol. 

WEEK ONE = 3,744km 

Thoughts of a sweet potato picker

For the last 11 weeks I have had the pleasure of doing my regional work in Tolga, part of the Atherton Tablelands. I have been moved about from farm to farm experiencing how to pick avocados from trees (who knew they grew on trees!), plant blueberries, sort bananas and most of all I have learned the ins and outs of the production of sweet potatoes.

Our first week avocado picking

I have been placed at Tindel for the majority of my stay. A farm I was warned about from the beginning of a dragon slayer farmer who was a top class bitch. So I had my worries naturally and joined a group of boys and began my education in potatoes. I hid away from Jackie the boss and did as I was told, or of what I could understand as she yells constantly with a fag hanging out of her mouth. It was Fiona, another supervisor, who showed me the ropes and who people confirm with about what Jackie had told them to do. She takes the be nice to backpackers approach, treat them as you would like to be treated. In the end you get used to Jackie and I actually admire and respect her for having the balls to shout at people all day long. It gets the job done and any of those that give her attitude are replaced the next day. When you get to see her everyday you see that she’s actually a big softie at heart when she talks about her little dogs and when she teases the Italians. She makes each day interesting.

RIP Packer: the farm dog who was run over by a fork lift

When you spend all day standing around, you get a lot of time to think. Ex boyfriends who you haven’t seen in 6 years make an appearance and what your lives would be like if you were still together…of course magical and full of joy which makes you question why you ever broke up with them, which is how farm life can make you insanely crazy. You question all life choices and many other things…

The crazy thoughts of a sweet potato packer…

I have imagined a scenario of there being farm scouts who travel the distance in search of the best backpacker fruit packer. The idea is that each job you do during the day are rounds. So for example with sweet potatoes…

  • Round 1: de-vining rows that can stretch to up to a kilometre.
  • Round 2: digging the potatoes on the machine.
  • Round 3: the making of crates and cardboard boxes.
  • Round 4: sorting and packing premium sweet potatoes. And finally;
  • Round 5: cleaning of the shed.

Now in each round you have to be the quickest and most efficient worker to impress these imaginary farm scouts. As it is just me playing this game I get to chose who is the fastest. I don’t mean to be biased but some days I am the fastest. I pride myself on how fast I can throw those potatoes from one belt to another, flinging them up and hoping for the best, spraying mud and dust into everyone’s faces and having the occasional potato falling back onto the first belt holding us all up. I’ve never moved my hands so fast but when there’s important scouts on the loose, you have to do anything in your power to impress. I just hope one day they will see my talents and see I am meant for better things.

After a hard days work

I think by listening to my thoughts I have found out some traits of my own. I seem to be a perfectionist, want to impress and also to be approved of. I think it stems from not being able to get the top grades at school or at uni, which didn’t impress my parents or myself so I have started to use practical skills to impress instead as I have found out here at the farm, I am good with my hands and not with my head. Being a perfectionist though in farm life is useless. It slows you down rather than does a good job. Imagine cutting every single weed on an entire kilometre row. I found out the hard way…it takes twice as long as those who ignore the little buggers.

A 9 hour day of weeding and no breaks

We are given the instructions of “nice and fast…nice and neat”. It’s very hard to get the right balance between the two but after 11 weeks (yes that’s right, I’ve been here longer than I was in South East Asia!) on sweet potatoes I think I am getting the gist.

However, compliments are given out as many times as Jackie has given up smoking…once.

So instead I fake her approval by making up dialogues between myself and the top boss and how she comes up to me to personally tell me that I am a really hard worker and one of the best girls they’ve had at Tindel, when in reality I’m actually being yelled at for letting the good spuds go past.

6am starts

Farm life takes away the horn from some people, for others it definitely doesn’t. But for me while I have three bruised fingers, covered in mud and dust reaches inside my nostrils and eardrums, feeling sexy isn’t on the agenda. Even when revisiting Fifty Shades of Grey or upgrading to Silvia Day – nothing happens, no spark, no tingle, nothing. Just barren thoughts of sweet potatoes. It takes over your whole life. Close your eyes, sweet potatoes. I can’t even sleep on the far side of the bed anymore as I think I’ve turned my back on the conveyor belt of potatoes.

Farm girls

When Friday comes along, girls being girls, we change out of our muddy and torn, second hand weekday clothes and transform into real life ladies masked in eyeliner ready to hit Tolga. For such a small town, the drama that goes down each weekend keeps us entertained all week. The third Friday of each month is when the real debauchery lets loose. Atherton’s BV hotel offers out its’ bar services to host a wild party for all backpackers of the Tablelands. Some end up face down on the street, some walking home, some in a strangers bunk bed and others in a cell.

The Tolga family

Naturally at Tindel where smiles, laughter and joy are closely controlled by Jackie, any musical device is confiscated. Therefore to keep a hold of what’s left of my sanity I supply a personal radio station inside my head. I have a special collection of songs that go on shuffle while standing at the conveyor belt for hours on end. Knowing me, people would probably think I’d have an electronic track list running through my head, but I just can’t recreate a wobbly baseline in my thoughts…I need lyrics! (None of these songs are even on my ipod)

Optimistic as the day starts, I begin with this catchy tune. However the happiness of it soon fades after lunch.

‘I’m walking on sunshine woowooh, and it’s time to feel good yeaahh [trumpets] da da da-da-da-d-da-da-da!’

On repeat at 6am while viscously vining those kilometre rows of potatoes. Who knew Australia could get that cold!

‘You’re as cold as ice, you’re willing to sacrifice.’

My inner gangster waiting for pay day with some Kanye.

‘Naa naaa Na Na wait till I get my money riiiight….ah ha you can’t tell me nofing.’

Obviously the Bublé cover, his velvety voice soothes me as I struggle to push back a mountain of potatoes for the sixth time that morning.

‘…it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.’

I tend to finish the day on a motivational song to make those last 10 bins fly by. (Take That if you couldn’t get it)

‘Heyyyy forget where you’re coming from heyyy…oh we’ve come so far, da da da da daahaha’

[Do not take these lyrics seriously because they are probably all wrong]

Another fun game is guessing songs that people are humming or whistling along to. We had a French guy that worked with us for a week and he was always whistling away. As soon as I heard the intro I’d surprise him with the artist…Bruno Mars! Manu Chao! It’s the simple things.

All there is to do at the weekend is drink!

Each night after a long day packing away sweet potatoes, I go to sleep and dream about the perfect potato. My aim for the next day is to find the dream shape and tell it it’s beautiful and worthy of being gently placed into a crate and sent to Coles across Australia. I even freaked myself out after working many hours into the night packing continuously and found a potato shaped like E.T!

I spend a lot of time thinking about Christmas and not about the rest of my time out here. It’s the thoughts of going home and being looked after and fed by my mum that gets me through the days. I imagine the whole family in Christmas attire waiting for me at the airport on my arrival…this time I’m not in a wheelchair like after Spain. I get to go through my wardrobe and pick what Christmas jumper I want to wear…it’s almost always my pink and gold bobby dazzler. And the spread of food on Christmas Eve and Dad’s homemade turkey and ham pie that’s definitely one the the highlights.

Our very own Tolga Sunday Roast

I have definitely lost some brain cells while working on the farm but I have finally gained some strength in my upper body, can find you the perfect potato, I can still hear Jackie shouting demands in my head, found a new love for getting covered in mud, I will never complain about another job in the future, bought a holiday to Bali and most importantly met the best people ever that will hopefully be in my life for a long time.

Our first weekend at Tolga Country Lodge

Farm work can be horrific but it’s worth it if you have something to come back home to, like a movie and a home cooked meal with your favourite girlies, and of course a box of goon.

Girls Sunday dinner