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Welcome back to Hayley Lately. Each month, this is where I chat about my life and what I’ve been up to in Melbourne. Keep reading to discover the book I couldn’t put down, my new favourite show and the best Melbourne eats.
What a month February was! January was all about the work for me, so February was definitely more fun. I started the month working at the Phil Collins concert at AAMI Park. I completely lucked out and got to work at the only bar facing the stage, so I watched his entire set. That same weekend on the Sunday, I grabbed a cider or two with my favourite work friends on Imperial’s rooftop. My friend and I then went to an Eves Karydas gig midway through the month. It was short, but nonetheless sweet.
The last week of February was a blur that began with a birthday picnic with work colleagues to celebrate multiple birthdays 🎉. It was a fun way to begin my birthday week, as then my parents came to visit me. We did A LOT of touristy things in Melbourne, including the Shrine of Remembrance, Royal Botanic Garden, St Kilda and the Brighton Bathing Boxes. We packed a lot into four days, including celebrating my 30th birthday.
For my birthday we started with brunch, headed to Brighton, came back to the city for ice cream and then finished the night at trivia. It was perfect! I had a really fun time with them and I ticked a lot of things off my Melbourne bucket list. On the last day of the month, I flew to Auckland. I’m currently typing this from my hostel room. I’m spending a few days in both Auckland and Wellington, which are two cities I’ve never visited before.
I ate out a lot more than usual in February, and I’m not complaining one bit! There were brunches at Melina on the Rooftop (good views and food) and Hardware Societe. The latter was for my birthday and as it turns out, it was their grand opening at their new location. I definitely recommend getting the baked eggs 🤤
I had lunches out at Mr Crackles, which does epic meat sandwiches. Then there was Hana’s Kitchen, a small restaurant on Little Bourke Street that does cheap Asian meals. They don’t scrimp on quality or quantity either. Finally, my parents and I stumbled upon the bustling B3 Cafe in Centre Place, which does delicious $5 baguettes. There are several options and we took ours to eat in Fed Square. A cheap eat option if you need one in Melbourne’s CBD.
But wait, there’s more. I also had dinner at Hunky Dory twice this month and my birthday dinner included $10 pizzas at the Wharf Hotel during trivia. Get the prawn ;) Okay, that’s all. Moving on…
I nearly got to four books this month, but I finished my last read on my night flight from Melbourne to Auckland on the 28th. So technically it was the 1st in Auckland when I read the last page 😂 Anyway, my first book of the month was All These Beautiful Strangers. It’s a YA thriller-type novel and I really enjoyed it. Although the main protagonist is a teenager, the book includes adult flashbacks, so I think a lot of people will like it.
Next up was Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, which unfortunately did not live up to its hype. I wanted to like it more, but it was less about politics and more about the main character’s marriage. Personally, I just thought it dragged and I was kind of bored. Finally, I finished The Immortalists, which was kind of depressing. It’s about four siblings who see a fortune teller when they’re young, who tells them their date of death. You’d think it would be uplifting, but no. Not at all. Let’s hope I read some better books in March.
I’ve got some new writing work in progress, thankfully. It’s actually really exciting as people are starting to find and email me about freelance writing work, either through this little blog or LinkedIn profile. Here’s a piece I did for This Weekend, which is a new eco-focused Australian website.
I got a few blog posts published this month. I’ve also been updating posts behind the scenes as well. First was my guide to Amsterdam, followed by my experience sponsoring children in Bali. Finally, I hit publish on the massive post that is my top 20 travel moments in 30 years.
I also added advertising to the blog in February. It was something I’d been hoping to do as my page views have continued to grow over the past few months. It’s exciting to see my hard work pay off!
Finally, I totally binged a new TV series this month: SEAL Team. I have such eclectic TV taste! Sometimes I like to watch something light, other times I love to binge a good cop/navy/medical drama. If you’re looking for a cute chick flick to watch as well, check out Forever My Girl.
I return to Melbourne on the 9th, then it’s back to work, as AFL season starts at the end of month (but more importantly, the NRL season kicks off too).