Well, that is how the locals say it!!!!

Whatever the pronounciation it is a lovely city. Friend picked us up and whizzed us back to their super apartment with a lovely wide and long view over tree filled suburbs in the Toorak /Malvern area. Friend’s wife had left all sorts of details and cards for us including Myki cards which gets you around on the buses and trains. Friend told a lovely story about an upmarket friend who could not travel on trains and buses as she simply did not have the clothes for public transport!

We did have the clothes, in fact we fitted right in, and immediately put the cards to use and headed into central town to visit the short persons section of Myers and David Jones- much diminished- the section not me, but picked up a couple of things anyway then browsed all the little,  read expensive arcades.  Purchased some chocolate frogs and went back to the apartment on the bus.

Next day we had  a lunch we had to attend and luckily it was in a nice part of Melbourne and at a nice restaurant- Spanish tapas, one of the dishes was kingfish!

Our weekend excursion, thoughtfully organised by our friends, was down to the Great Ocean Road, we cut across the bottom of the peninsula then drove back along the Ocean Road. Drove about 300 k’s and on a map it  was barely a smidgin  covered. The feature of the Great Ocean Road is an area known as ‘The Twelve Apostles’, there are only eleven now as one washed away- took a few thousand years…  The Apostles are giant limestone stacks that rise up out of the ocean. They are caused by erosion from centuries of wild weather and you can see the same strata replicated in the Apostles  as in the cliffs 200 metres away.  A wild wild coast but very beautiful.

Stayed the night at Wye River in a lovely house set up amongst the gum trees with a view of the pounding surf down below. Friend cooked a lovely dinner and we were all asleep by 10.30pm- all that sea air. Next day we slowly wended our way back to Melbourne via Geelong. Geelong has a recently(?) redeveloped waterfront which was very attractive. We had  a lovely afternoon tea there in a converted barge run by a furniture restorer and his Kiwi wife. The barge is just that , a barge with a building on top that is the cafe, you get to the barge by a walkway from the beach. It seemed to be a success as it was very busy and a nice change from the sidewalk cafes.

Monday T and I went off to the Victoria National Gallery which was between major exhibitions- Monet soon, most interesting thing was a large shallow pond painted blue with porcelain bowls gently moving around it and producing a chime like sound as the bowls touched. Bowls were all white and three different sizes. Whole thing was about 4 m by 4m. very different. Went to the Hollywood Costume exhibition, MM’s famous dress worn by her when standing over the grate was there, also Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress from the famous breakfast film.  Some John Wayne stuff and the Belushi Brothers suits. The point of difference with this from a usual costume show was the projected animated faces above the costumes. I could have sworn that John Wayne wicked at me, looked again and there he was winking away. Great exhibition.

Tuesday we met up with friend for lunch and generally mooched the day away. Bought T a new shoulder bag, he always complains about his travel bag- he better not complain about this Melbin priced one! We then went off to the opera “Aida.” Cost an arm and a leg and was friend’s first full opera. We wondered as it proceeded if we were just picky, we haven’t seen that many operas, but the voices seemed a bit less than wonderful and the staging was quite eccentric, lots of projected stuff. Read the review afterwards and actually we were very kind…I would hide under a stone for a few years after a review like the one in the Age.

Next day we caught the train into town , assisted by friend who dropped us off at a convenient station, then caught the bus to the airport , plane home and all uneventful until ….

We were staying the night with son and wife as we had to renew my passport for the upcoming Russian saga and time was a bit fine, so decision was made to take the passport in person to the immigration office.

Had been fine all week in Melbin, we arrived back to cold and wet, put son’s address into the Garmin and set off, only missed a few turns but I had put in #54 not #60 so when it said we were there we were not! T got all excited about the number and could not understand why I was yelling ‘igmore it!” A very domestic moment, took several glasses of wine and a nice meal to calm down! Next day we navigated our way to immigration, wheedled to get the passport done that day(travel agent had said to try) no way. Anyway next day while I was in the garden and T was mooching around inside the mailman came and left a card saying he had a couriered item for us! Damn- the passport. Saturday we went into town to get it then to take it straight to the travel agent to get the Russkie visa. ‘No’ mailman has taken it back out to deliver , they expect people to be home on Saturdays! @#%!! On the way home we realised that we had not brought T’s passport anyway!

Skulked around the front door waiting for the mailman, he duly arrived and handed over the passport!!!! All this because my passport would have been 11 days short of the requisite 6 months they now seem to need prior to expiry. #@!&*&*