Drink

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…

Innovation a legacy of Covid

This pandemic lockdown has been hard, annoying, boring, scary and just a pain in the proverbial, so it is exciting and energising to hear of people being innovative and creatively moving forward. Many businesses and events have gone online and we mention a couple in this post – and that’s great for those that can, but it’s a bit difficult to drink a coffee over the internet. So we’re seeing clever and brave people opening new businesses, buying businesses and reinventing older ones. Our regional councils and tourist offices are also being clever and looking ahead . We can talk…

Bendigo Heritage Uncorked Festival Goes Online

One of Bendigo’s longest running wine and food festivals – Bendigo Heritage Uncorked – hosted by winemakers of Bendigo, has been very innovative by taking the celebrated festival online. For the first time in history Bendigo Heritage Uncorked is going virtual. The wine chat series, from unseen spaces within Bendigo’s historic buildings, will be broadcast live as individual events over six Fridays. Bendigo Heritage Uncorked – The Unseen Series is a reimagined online wine series to be enjoyed in the comfort of home. Each Friday, local host, Kathie Bolitho, chats to three winemakers from the unseen corner of a historic…

One Day We’ll Dance Again

And hopefully it will be sooner rather than later. The reducing numbers in active Covid cases is testament that the majority of Victorians support and are prepared to follow the directions of the Health Authorities for the good of all of us. Let’s keep up the good work and hopefully Christmas might just be a very merry one. Secrets in Summer Like everyone we’re trying to find our way through the uncertainty of today’s world. We’ve been throwing fifteen balls in the air and hoping to catch at least one. Just when we think we can schedule a “hold in…

Lock Up Your Ostrich

The media is full of doom, gloom and vitriol, so we thought it was time for a little levity, with thanks to the VicEmergency App. A notice came through yesterday warning of an outbreak of Avian Influenza in two poultry farms in Lethbridge in the Golden Plains Shire. The advice was quite extensive and informative, especially when listing the birds most susceptible to infections. These included domestic fowl, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, pheasants, quail, turkeys and ostriches. Can’t remember the last time I saw an Ostrich in a chook shed, but if you have one, make sure you lock it…

Breathing Life Through Art

The word retirement usually conjures up images of lazy days sitting in the sun, reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee in hand – not so for artist Alison Parkinson.  Alison has enjoyed a very full life as a portraitist, landscape artist, sculptor, jewellery maker, French polisher and teacher, however when asked about retirement. Alison says, “I’ve never been busier and I’m loving it”.  Alison has had exhibitions, both solo and collaborative, in various commercial galleries around Australia.  Most recently she had a very successful show of portraits at the Backspace Gallery – operated by the Art Gallery of…

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Just when you think you’ve caught the ball, the rules of the game change. The only constant in life is change, but when change seems to happen hourly, there is a collective cry going into the ether – “Give us a break!” There is a silver lining – or is there? Whilst the throngs of Melbourne travellers are on hold for awhile, we are being told that we should encourage visitors from other regional areas. We are fortunate where we are – we’re not called Central Victoria for nothing – and our towns are easily accessed from around the rest…

We were told

So the doors opened and infections rose dramatically.  The Department of Health experts can be excused for saying “we told you so”.  At the moment, infections seem to be confined to particular Melbourne suburbs, some of which are very nearly bordering on our region.  Considering the influx of visitors to our towns over the past few weekends, we can only hope that those visitors respectfully practice social distancing.  We spoke with the Mayor of Hepburn Shire, Licia Kokocinski about the Council’s response to Covid-19 in the Shire. Read her comments here https://wp.secretsmagazine.com.au/2020/06/the-mayor-speaks-about-hepburn-shire-covid-19 Shout out for Swiss Mountain Hotel Our hospitality…