Miracle Village Knock West Ireland

The International Knock


When Bus Eiraenn service number 64 from Sligo arrived at Knock, County Mayo of West Ireland, one third of the passengers got off the bus.

DSC01010 Bus Eiraenn 64 arriving Knock small

Bus Eiraenn arriving Knock



“The Knock of 1879 was an out-of-the-way village, not long recovered from the Great Famine. On the evening of August 21st, with the rain lashing, 15 villagers claimed to see holy apparitions on the side of the Catholic Church, suddenly aglow. In the centre appeared the Virgin Mary, her eyes trained heavenward, and, by her side, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist. The images neither moved nor spoke.” – The Irish Times, May 14, 2017

Two church commissions in 1879 and 1936 investigated the Apparition to confirm the claim was ‘trustworthy and satisfactory’. Visit of Pope John Paul II in the centenary of the Knock Apparition in 1979 and Mother Teresa’s visit in 1993 made Knock well-known to the world.

DSC00947 The Church of Apparition Knock small

The Church of Apparition Knock

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Poperinge –  behind Flanders fields

In Flanders fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.


John McCrae’s poem ­has led visitors to Flanders fields, for remembrance and healing, for those whose courageous ancestors survived or fell in World Wars I & II.

War museums and cemeteries, Menin Gate and the Last Post, whenever you find yourself in a mood of sorrow towards the end of a remembrance tour, make a final stop to visit Poperinge, a small town behind the Flanders fields, where you’ll find peace of mind as soldiers did century ago.

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Located at the intersection of regional roads to Pazin, Kanfanar, Svetvincenat and Labin, Zminj is a small town in Istria, Croatia. Zminj Library is a most beautiful historic house in town. There I met librarian and dedicated poet Nada Galant. Over the years, Galant published four books of her poems written in Zminj Chakavian dialect, a dialect only use by … Read more

Fab Nobs Does Dolly – Fab Nobs 2017 9 to 5

There are a couple of small theatre companies operating in the Bayswater area, one of them is Stageworx which is run by Trish Carr, who is a graduate of Deakin University’s theatre program after it moved to Burwood. The other is Fab Nobs who specialise in the production of musicals. 9 to 5 rewinds us to the … Read more

CLOC’s Les Mis

The male singers were particularly strong, the standard was edging close to that of Princess Theatre productions. The barricade looked less convincing, however, it staged the scene. The chorus was large, which enabled a grander scale production. Technical sound effects of gun shots were capably achieved. Spiritual aspects such as death of Fantine, were suitably … Read more

One Life No Regrets – An Original Australian Musical

This is an original Australian musical presented by the Mad Cat Theatre Company, and so reflects the decades that have influenced Australia’s sociological development as a society. After having been to Sweden and England, it is funny to find yourself around the world again, watching a play about a life, country and society that you … Read more

Mother’s Day at Melbourne’s Southgate

Mother’s Day: 5 ways to spoil every kind of mum on Sunday 14 May No matter what your mum’s style may be, every mum deserves to be pampered this Mother’s Day. From fine-dining experiences to a casual meal at an iconic Irish pub, Southgate’s precinct of eateries has something to suit every taste on Sunday … Read more


Sunday May 7 – 10am-4pm – Free Entry Prahran Market’s Wicked Chocolate Festival is back for it’s second year in a row and this time it’s double the indulgence for all chocolate lovers! Featuring a stack more exhibitors, tastings, activations, styled chill-out zones and entertainment for the whole family, this year the mighty chocolate festival … Read more

Easter Feast: Entertaining Tips from Southgate’s Finest – Recipe Included!

Tutto Bene

Mid Level Southgate, Melbourne – www.tuttobene.com.au

 Southgate restaurants sure know a thing or two about setting the scene for the perfect afternoon or evening soiree. With Easter just around the corner on Sunday 16 April, we rounded up some of our entertaining maestros to give us their tips on how to host the perfect Easter feast.

 Melbourne’s much-loved risotteria, Tutto Bene, is known for its quintessential riverside dining experience. Sommelier and Restaurant Manager Osvaldo Tognella is an alfresco aficionado with years of experience in fine dining from Ritz Carlton Hotels across Europe and Japan to Head Waiter and Sommelier at the Bulgari Luxury Hotel in Milan.

 Osvaldo agrees that hosting a lunch or dinner can be exciting but it can become a bit stressful if you don’t know where to start.

 As a Northern Italian with a rich history in global hospitality, Osvaldo feels that hosting is a great opportunity to ‘show off’ how creative and attentive to detail you are.

 “As an Italian I have to say that we are a bit vain and we love to receive people’s compliments and approval as much as we love to make guests feel welcome,” says Osvaldo.

 Osvaldo’s top tips for the perfect table setting:

 1.     Keep the table settings simple with ceramic or lightly painted plates, ensuring you create a   contrast with tablecloths or wooden tabletop.

2.     Candles in beautiful lanterns around the area will add to the ambience.

3.     Add a touch of vintage using old style wine glasses and wicker breadbaskets.

4.     On the table rather than candles try some vases of herbs: rosemary, basil, or oregano, ready to be used with the meal.

 Osvaldo suggests that while you are cooking you should keep your guests entertained with light nibbles, “a fresh pinzimonio salad to dip in ‘bagna cauda’ (a warm dip made with garlic, olive oil and anchovies), with some cured meats, mozzarellas or a light and refreshing caprese salad so they don’t fill up too fast.”

 Tutto Bene’s innovative Italian head chef Nathan Scarfo has the perfect recipe for your Easter entrée.

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Melbourne pop-up dining trio are taking you to the Yarra Valley to get stoned…

chap 53 logo 


Yarra Valley, Victoria, Sunday, April 9, 2017

After a brief summer hiatus, Melbourne-based seasonal pop-up project Chapter 53, are popping up at a stonefruit orchard in the Yarra Valley, Sunday April 9 for an adventurous 5-course lunch degustation with matching Victorian wines. The theme for the mindful diningevent to be hosted at Rayners Stonefruit Orchard in Woori Yallock, is Stoned In The Yarra Valley, with all menu items using stonefruit from the orchard and reflecting other local produce.

This is the third event for Chapter 53, whose mission from the beginning was to reconnect high-end diners with their meals by sourcing interesting and ethical local producers for their menus and presenting discussions from the producers and farmers sprinkled between the courses, with each one sharing their unique story.

Chapter 53 found Len Rayner, of Rayner’s Orchard, through a friend who had heard him express the difficulties of farming. Len has recently shifted his focus toward tourism due to the unpredictable and challenging industry. While still producing but only for his onsite café and tours Chapter 53 decided they wanted to use his produce back in early February when the season was still strong. Using the orchard as the venue for their Stonefruit event only came about when they visited Len and fell in love with the place.

Some hiccups forced the summer event to be moved into autumn, but given the un-predictable climate, Chapter 53 thought it almost fitting to hold an event mid-seasonas a way to further push the message about the unstable seasons that hold many farmers at ransom.

While Len is not selling his produce anymore, his story is still one that resonates with the crew from Chapter 53 who aspire to show foodies first hand how important it is to support local producers. The event will also include a tractor tour through the orchard where guests are able to pick and eat fruit from the tree.

The Stoned In The Yarra Valley event will also see a presentation from local legends, Yarra Valley Caviar. Mark Fox will share his passion for hand-milking salmon and trout to produce some of the most sought after caviar in the country. And of course, salmon caviar will make an appearance on the menu. The menus are secret however and Chapter 53 guests require an adventurous nature, which is half the fun of the event. For the wine lovers, there will be some of the smaller Yarra Valley wineries represented, including Yering Farm and Coombe Farm, plus family run Anderson Wineries (whose wine is not available in Melbourne) from a little further north.

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