Drink

The Pyrenees – it doesn’t get better than this

The Pyrenees has it all. At just over two hours easy drive from Melbourne and an hour from Ballarat and Bendigo, the Pyrenees offers superb wineries, stunning scenery, inspired walking tracks, picnic areas, camping grounds, delicious food and so much more.  A visit to the Pyrenees is an adventure, a place where you can explore and indulge your senses. If you’ve ever deserved a break, this is the year to make it a good one.  Moving beyond one of the most challenging years we can remeber and as we see life slowly, but steadily moving toward a greater state of…

Town support

Living in a small country town locals are very protective of their traders, so when circumstances threaten those businesses, local support comes into its own.  When Covid hit, there was considerable concern for the survival of favourite businesses. Brothers, Jorban and Raj Singh of Creswick’s Smokeytown Café sat down together when the lockdowns first hit and discussed what they would do.  Without hesitation, they agreed that no matter what happened, they would keep the doors open, albeit for take away only, but they knew they had to be seen to still be operating.  Sometimes they were standing in their café,…

Yay – we can dance again

How good is this! From today at 6pm we don’t need masks in retail, although they still need to be carried for public transport and ride sharing. There will be greater seating in restaurants, cafes and other entertainment areas and 75% capacity at AFL football games, but let’s not be too cavalier, we still need to be mindful that there is still a pandemic in play. But the best news is – we can dance again! It is so exciting to be publishing this magazine again, especially with a terrific new look. Like so many Covid hit us hard too…

Onward and Upward

The joy expressed by this visitor to the last Pyrenees Unearthed festival in our opening image, exemplifies the sense of relief we were feeling last week about the prospect of life continuing to return to “normal”. After a year we all want to forget, when so many of our much loved festivals and events were cancelled, it was a delight to see many of them returning to the fold in 2021. That was before we were thrown into lockdown once again. This newsletter was ready to post last week, then came the news of another lockdown. It was a shock,…

Who you gonna call!

This story about snake catcher Gianni Hodgeson appeared in our autumn 2020 issue of Secrets, which was caught up in the very early stages of Covid-19, so it didn’t travel very far. We thought it was worth posting here especially as snakes are still very active. Not many people like snakes, in fact most of us are scared witless just from the thought of accidentally running into one, or worse, finding one in the house or nearby.  However, there is one young man who absolutely loves snakes and is making a living by removing those unwanted visitors. Gianni Hodgeson, has…

Hello – We’re Back

We had a bit of a break over the Christmas/New Year period, but now we are back and getting into the swing of a more hopeful 2021. We are super excited about producing our first hard copy of Secrets since March, 2020. There have been a few attempts to publish earlier, but Covid restrictions loomed large making it unviable. However, it’s time to move on and we will be back soon with a new look and a new website – let’s get on with 2021. A Look Back As we move to a new era for Secrets Magazine, we thought…

Did someone say – go!

Twenty eight days of donuts and now I can fly – well at least with caution. Victoria you have done it. Twenty eight days of no new infections leads the experts to say that we have effectively eliminated Covid in the community. The sense of relief is overwhelming. We still have to be cautious, particularly as borders open, but we know what to do now and none of us want another lockdown. It may be small steps for awhile, however they are steps that are going forward. Enjoy Victoria – you deserve it.Image Donna Crebbin Speaking of Images Ballarat photographer…

Doughnuts say it all

Doughnuts have taken on a new meaning with the latest figures on Covid infections. No new cases for thirteen days (from today 12th Nov). This is the best news we have had for a very long time and what a wonderful way to round out the most challenging year we have probably all faced. Victorians deserve a huge pat on the back – we did the right thing and now we reap the rewards. Unlikely that life will be exactly what we knew, things have changed and we are probably facing a reset in how we live, work and play,…

The Drawbridge is down

Those of us who are fortunate to live in regional Victoria have empathised with our metropolitan cousins stuck in the longest and toughest lockdown in the world. We now rejoice with them that most restrictions on their lives has been lifted. To say they’re excited is an understatement. Reports on the first day are of large crowds in shops, cafes serving coffee from the early hours and (not so good) lots and lots of road traffic. The euphoria will settle and a new normal will prevail, which means that from 8th November, we will be welcoming city dwellers to our…

One Small Step

Six years ago – spring 2014 to be precise, our cover featured this great image by photographer Kyle Behrend, courtesy of Edgar’s Mission. This was one of, if not the favourite covers we’ve had in the more than fifteen years of Secrets Magazine. As we are slowly, albeit cautiously emerging from the impositions of Covid lockdown, it really is a ‘one step at a time’ process. If we remain sensible, considerate and vigilant, those steps will become, two, then three and we’ll soon be running once again. Where Art and Nature Go Hand in Hand Set in one of Victoria’s…

For the love of Grapes & Opals

Peter Fyffe, owner and wine grower of Glenwillow Wines is a man of many colours and passions.  He grows grapes, mines opals, lives in an underground house and loves the wines that his grapes produce. The wines come from his vineyard at Yandoit, which Peter along with his brother and a few friends developed by scrubbing out a sheep paddock on the family farm and planting the vines.  The result, after twenty years of hard work is an award winning range of premium red wines recognised as a Bendigo Big Red.  As a Bendigo winegrower, Peter is part of the…

Art and Nature go hand in hand

Located in the foothills of Mt. Alexander with stunning views across the Sutton Grange valley stands Mica Grange a glorious 40 hectare property that is a must visit at any time of the year, but especially in spring. Owners Bede and Mary Gibson love their picturesque property and it shows in the beautiful gardens, which lend themselves seamlessly to the staging of the Mica Grange Spring Open Garden Sculpture Exhibition. The Exhibition opens on 24th October and runs for six weekends to 29th November including the Monday and Tuesday of Melbourne Cup week. Entry is very reasonable at $7 with…