Renting my own row of vines – the fun of owning a vineyard without the movie star budget

I have always dreamed of owning my own vineyard and launching my own wine label. The only thing that has stopped me is not having the money, the land, not knowing anything about wine production, or any desire to deal with the trauma of bad weather and poor harvests… Therefore I was very excited to discover Shiraz Republic’s Rent-A-Row scheme: All the fun of owning a vineyard without the hard work.

Things I had no eyed deer about before I started my winemaking journey:

I would have a wine cellar in the middle of my hotel room

I would be serenaded whilst stomping my grapes

Stomping grapes feels like squashing thousands of caterpillars (not that I’ve ever done that)

I’d be giving a lot of thought to designing my wine label and creating a name

Slackline lessons – like tightrope but completely different

Things I had no eyed deer about slacklining

•It’s a great form of exercise and injury prevention
•Types of slacklining include waterlining – over water, highlining – a very long way off the ground, and tricklining – performing tricks on the slackline
•You can do butt bounces, super splits and chest bounces
It is a great form of relaxation as you can’t concentrate on anything else
•Drones are used to help set up slacklines in high places

A to Z of the coolest food & drink classes in Sydney

This week’s A to Z features cool food and drink classes in and around Sydney, ranging from sourcing your own wild ingredients, to sprucing up your presentation, to attempting those dishes you are worried to try in case you poison someone.

Things I had no eyed deer you could learn how to do:

•Find edible weeds in the Sydney suburbs
•Make your own creations on the top of your coffee
•Make liquid nitrogen ice cream and hot ice cream
•Make your own vegetable sculptures
•Make some good old pies

The coolest places to do your bucket list courses in Sydney

Whether it’s blending wine, welding, learning how to be a graffiti artist, upcycling the contents of a skip, skulpting a ballerina or learning what is under the bonnet of my car, quite often whilst I am boring my friends with the latest new skill I am attempting, they ask “where on earth do you find these things?” So, I thought I would jump on the New Year’s resolution bandwagon and share a few of the coolest places that I turn to first for inspiration.

Yoga with fluffy animals, wine, on wobbly objects & in cool places

I am usually more Om nom nom than Om but I have been on a mission to find and try as many as possible of the different types of yoga available. I don’t mean Hatha or Vinyasa Flow but yoga with fluffy animals, in interesting places, on wobbly objects and with wine.

Things I had no eyed deer I would experience in yoga
•A dolphin discount
•Trying to see the teacher with a cat’s bottom in my face
•Being encouraged to namaStay back and have a wine
•Being amongst veggies, butterflies, wine barrels and someone in budgie smugglers doing a handstand
•Dolly Parton music
•Hanging upside down in cocoon in a hidden oasis

Get motivated to run faster by being chased…. The best races for it (or make your own)

Zombies, steam trains, paddle steamers and capture cars. They all have one thing in common – you run a lot faster if they are behind you.

Things I had no eyed deer about chaser races

I would be bounding through trees on a Space hopper at 10pm at night avoiding zombies

The noise of a steam whistle can give you that extra steam you need to complete a race

You can make like Harrison Ford in The Fugitive and avoid the capture car

My dream day as a steam train driver

Things I had no eyed deer about driving a steam train

How much fun it is!
That I would be driving a train wearing a zero gravity flight suit bearing a Star Trek logo
How you make sure there is not more than one train on a single line track (without technology)
How often the locomotive has to fill up with water
Plus did I say how much fun it is?

A cage, AC/DC, and a great white shark called Bruce

This week’s adventure was cage diving with great white sharks in Port Lincoln

Things I had no eyed deer about sharks:

• They have a sixth sense – (not in the Bruce Willis “I can see dead people” kind of way)
• They can weigh over 2000kg – or two Fiat 500s
• Playing AC/DC is particularly good at attracting them to the boat

Pretending to be posh: Learning to play polo in Sydney

Things I had no eyed deer about polo

•The rules in polo make soccer’s offside rule seem simple
•It is one of the few sports men and women play together on the same handicap scale
•Playing left handed is banned
•Polo can be played on a camel, elephant or a Yak (but not in Sydney)

Why a gun to the head was the best thing that happened to me

When I was in my early twenties I had a gun pointed at my head. Although it felt like the end of the world at the time, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I say this because the first thought that went through my head at the time was “but I’ve done nothing with my life”

Flying in Zero G with George Takei

Things I had no eyed deer I would be able to say about zero gravity:

That I can boast that I have done a one fingered press up
I dropped 60kg in 5 seconds
I genuinely got to feel like an astronaut
I got to meet George Takai and he really is a nice bloke!
I’m about the only person that can’t do a Vulcan salute
I missed my opportunity to run up a wall like in the movies
I’d never heard of them before but now I’m a big fan of Martian and Lunar gravity

Two marathons in six days

Things I had no eyed deer about before training for a marathon:
I would become an expert on wine fraud and exploding corpses
It is as much psychology as fitness
Your feet can grow a shoe size in your 40s
I would learn so much about my body
That my knees and hips could feel like they have rusted
That I would hear a bus driver actively encourage everyone to use the toilet on the vehicle
The great comraderie in running
I would bump into someone I worked with 8 years ago in the UK half way through a marathon

Art events for the socially curious

Things I had no eyed deer I’d do or see at Contemporaries:

Become an expert on matching wine with art
Commission my first piece of art
Breathe future air
See someone accidentally stuck to the floor in an artist’s studio

Blending wine at Urban Winery

Things I had no eyed deer about Urban Winery:

I had missed out on getting my name on a vat of wine
You can take away your own blended wine and labelled bottle
If you buy a barrel you can be involved in the wine making process from helping crush the fruit at the winery to bottling your own wine
How to predict whether your lips will go black when you are drinking red wine

Sleeping in a UFO in -25 degrees

Things I had no eyed deer about Sweden

I would get to sleep in an UFO in a tree
I would know what minus 25 degrees felt like
I would visit a city that is being moved 3 kilometres
I would have to avoid getting iced to a toilet
There is no beginning to my talents in ice sculpting
That I can now recognise the smell of a reindeer anywhere


Welcome to my brand new blog – No Eyed Deer Sydney

The pages are pretty empty now but they won’t be soon as I suffer from shiny shiny syndrome – I just have to try new things all the time.

So if you have no eyed deer what your next adventure should be – follow me on this site, Twitter and Periscope for live updates!