Posted by: dsduffy | June 29, 2009

What’s in a name; My current favorite place

Our house is attached on one side to our neighbor’s house, I guess you could call it a duplex. Thankfully, the owners only use it as a summer house so they are rarely there. I say thankfully because I fear they would have to wear earplugs from all the noise in our house. What with the kids yelling, me yelling (uh – only sometimes?), and just the noise of living, I am pretty sure we are a loud house. I was pleased to see my neighbor Ian outside today (pronounced EYE-in) and meet his puppy, Archie (say: AHHchie). I had forgotten his name and asked, then replied by saying my name. Then he said "yes, alright Tanya."  This is the 3rd person who has mistaken my name for Tanya (and pronounced it TANya like the color tan, not Tanya rhyming with on).

Am I saying my name wrong? My own name that I have had for 35 years, have I been pronouncing it wrong all these years? I told my German friend about this and she said that the way I say the D sort of has a T sound to it. Once again, I am shaking my head wondering: how am I supposed to say MY OWN DAMN NAME.


I have not travelled extensively. I know there are so many amazing places in this world I have yet to see. But for right now I have fallen in love with the Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra. It is only a 5 minute drive and is just the most beautiful place. We have been there before, had picnics, walked around, had pre-dinner hors d’oerves with my in-laws, and wandered around to check things out. It could have something to do with the nice weather we had on Saturday (sunny & in the 50’s in winter?) but this day made me realize how wonderful of a place it is. We had planned several times to go to the Children’s Garden but never made it – until now.


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I am amazed by the plants, how well-maintained everything is, and how much open space there is just to run around and spend a day. We don’t have a blade of grass on our property and I miss my backyard in Massachusetts, but I am happy to walk, bike or drive to the RBG, my newest favorite place to be.



  1. Such a beautiful place & such wonderful pictures of Cameron, Jake & Craig looking SO happy! Wish there was one of you, too! You & I are always the ones taking the photos, so there’s never any pics of us. Joe and I are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit the Royal Botannical Gardens with you. It really helps me to relate to your experiences having seen this beauty firsthand. Glad to hear that the Australian winter has been “kind” so far. Enjoy! Love you all!

  2. Oh, so its not just us who has no grass. We did get a house with a tiny patch of grass, but mostly porch. Michael was searching for weeks for a yard. I guess the beach will have to be our backyard.

  3. Beautiful pictures! I have to thank you for your blog. We are a US family hoping to relocate to Canberra in the fall for a few years (although you make me wish it was Melbourne!) and I have just finished reading your blog start-to-finish, like a book! I was just so happy to really see what the country was like from a perspective similar to what my own would be, and it really has me excited about living there! Thanks for all the wonderful insights. I have to ask, coming from a place that has no scary bugs or reptiles, have you encountered any there??? I have read about the kinds of poisonous snakes, frogs and spiders that live in Australia and being a mother I am a little worried about that. Just curious!

    Thanks, Sara

  4. Tan-ya, Pa-sta, Mass-da (that was Aussie for Mazda)– it’s them not you. They pronounce some A’s that way– I think it’s one of the differences between a UK accent and Australian.

  5. I just love your blog! Three years ago I was you, however the only difference was I was an Aussie living in the US. I wish I had kept a diary of my time there. Living there for five years really did open my eyes to a different way of living. Yes we all speak english (or lack there of heh heh) but adjusting to certain things, like tipping, was enough to make my brain go mush. Oh yeah and I was used to having the exact money to pay for things and I would forget the tax! Also don’t get me started on the pennies heh heh. I did eventually adapt, as you do, and I started smelling the roses too late. By the time I really started to enjoy my life there, we moved back to Australia (well I did, my husband is from Chicago).

    I look forward to your next installment!


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