One of the joys of moving to a new town or city is discovering new places. Of course you miss the old and are often nostalgic for places that you romanticise in your mind. When you first move to a new place or even visit a new place, you are only seeing a few layers. It takes time to really understand and appreciate the hidden places and nuances of culture and attitudes in a new place.
I remember when I moved to London that I loved its pulse and energy from the start, I loved its history and its grandeur and its feeling of being at the centre of the world. However, it was a good six months before I felt like I really knew how the transport systems worked, which newspapers were the most informative or interesting, and the reputation of areas. And probably a few years before I really had some insight into the subtle cultural differences between Central London, Greater London and then England. Layer upon layer, you discover a new place.
Some people say you're not a local to Ballarat until you've lived here for over thirty years! Having been here one year, I'm making a concerted effort to discover how the city works, how the people think, how country living is different to big-city living, and most of all where the best places are to sit, eat and read or relax. As a city with a significant history of the gold-rush era, many visitors to Ballarat would only ever see Sovereign Hill or the Art Gallery. Just like many visitors to London never get past the major galleries, Westminster Abbey, Soho, Kensington or Covent Garden.
So, pictured is a little bit of hidden Ballarat. A secret spot to sit and sip tea surrounded by beauty. Sssh, don't tell but it's in the Botanical Gardens in the greenhouse.