I met Christie many many years ago in London when we were all "fresh off the boat" and living in bedsits in Earl's Court. Now, she lives in a beautiful 3-bedroomed house which she has built by hand using straw bales and recycled timber. I was in awe of all that she has accomplished. Not only did she have the vision to create her own home from scratch, but she also had the drive, skills and tenacity to accomplish what others could not even think of doing in their wildest dreams!
The place is quirky and filled with interesting details, yet uncluttered. Christie has built alcoves into the walls and has created wooden floors using reclaimed wood from municipal sites.
We picked up Christie's adorable daughter, Aeisha, from Benalla and went on a road trip to the wine region and alpine areas of North Eastern Victoria. First up: lunch at the Milawa Cheese Factory, where we also sampled more award-winning Australian cheeses. I was really tempted to buy the Tomme cheese, which is a hard goat's cheese but I already had plenty from the Yarra Valley.
Also, next door to the cheese place, we visited an art gallery with some intricate linocut prints and tasted a few wines from the region at the cellar door. I bought a bottle of sulphite-free wine as they say that I'd doesn't cause a hangover.
We then drive to the Alpine Resort town of Bright, where we wandered around the cute old-school shops and strolled along the river banks. A lovely way to end the day.