Trip Start Nov 26, 2010
44Trip End May 15, 2011
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It's New Year’s Eve and the weather is 42 degrees and extremely windy. I try to sit outside for 10 minutes to experience what it is like but have to give in after 5 minutes. The hot weather comes from the north and last year they had days on end like this. It just blows in and scorches everything. Organisers hope that the weather cools for the evening fireworks and all the party goers in Melbourne, it’s expected to cool to 23 degrees by 9 o’clock. We do very little during the day due to the heat and decide against going in to Melbourne even though free trains were available
1st January 2011
The weather had now dropped 20 degrees from yesterday so Sue and I decided to go out for the day and drive along the coast; we packed some sarnies and drink and headed off to Port Arlington a small pretty resort area. The place was full of foreigners, in particular Maltese who apparently meet there each year. We drove along the sea front passing a few caravan sites. Sue noticed a lot of for sale signs up, which we were informed was due to local flooding. We stopped off for a bit of lunch and the beauty here is that there are loads of places to stop and park and not feel crowded unlike back in England. After a bite to eat we carried on until we reached Queenscliffe, whereby Sue wanted to go across Port Phillip Bay to Sorrento on the ferry, which departed every hour and took about 40 minutes to cross. On arrival we had a little walk around, some more food before getting the ferry back an hour and a half later
The plan was to visit Melbourne again have a boat trip on the Yarra, tour the MCG and then watch the big 20/20 bash that is the 20 over competition for state sides in Australia. Unfortunately the Man Flu was taking its toll on me and we decided to stay at home again especially as Sue had sores above her lip caused by the sun as well. It proved to be a good decision as I progressively got worse.
3rd to the 6th January
This was the start of the final Test match, and with me feeling rough and wrapped in blankets even with the temp being 24 degrees it proved a very convenient time to be ill, so I spent the days watching the match on Television whilst Sue read and watched occasionally. After a few days I was going stir crazy even though England was thrashing the Aussies again.
Feeling much better now and enjoying the final rites of the Test series I had a really pleasant surprise when Sharon and Pat (sister and brother in law) arrived from Perth to spend the weekend to celebrate my 50th birthday on the 8th
50 yes that’s right 50 years old, some would say "are you sure" thinking I had reached 50 ages ago but I know there kidding, or were they. Anyway I got up and went to open my cards and the first two I opened from my wife and father were both the same, clearly a lack of cards in Geelong. The rest of the day was spent milling around whilst we waited to go out for a meal later, meeting up with my brother Mike and his wife Rachael whose birthday it was as well. We went to a Pub in Geelong and were given a private booth, which was quite dark and had a step that you had to climb to get into it. Sharon fell up the step and my Dad managed to fall down it grabbing the curtain as he did so to stop his falling, fortunately it stayed up and no-one was hurt but it did cause a lot of looks from all the other tables. One of the tables were occupied by a group of ladies dressed in nurses outfits on a hen night and after dinner I got a few to pose for photos with my Dad, which made his night and maybe the nurses as well after I told them he was Paul Hogan alias Crocodile Dundee, not sure they believed that though
A fairly latish morning but surprisingly no one had got a headache. Pat was looking the worse but considering the drink he drank and the mixtures he had I’m surprised he even got up. We spent a little while at the shops but like the previous night we were going out again, only this time to Michael’s and Rachael’s for a BBQ. Pat was a little more timid with his drinking this day as he wasn’t his usual self and also they had to be up at 5 to catch a plane home. We all had a nice evening with plenty of food, Rachael had some of her family there and drinking was at a much lower level than the previous night
We woke up at about 5am to see Pat and Sharon off before going back to bed and then when we woke we found that the heavens had opened, preventing us from really going anywhere special, so we chose yet again to stay in giving me the opportunity to catch up on this blog whist being introduced to the crime series called Dexter.
Now that Christmas, New Year and my birthday have come and gone, we are fully refreshed and raring to go again. We have a few more things to see around these parts including a couple of international cricket games still to see, before we set off travelling around Australia on the 19th January starting with Sydney.
11th, 12th, 13th January
Rain, rain, rain, that’s all that we have seen during this time, some of it extremely heavy causing Marlene to constantly re-route water from the overflowing drums that were there to save water when they have drought’s and Dad up a step ladder cleaning out his gutters as the water leaked into unwanted places
As the weather was so bad we weren’t able to do much so carried on with the Dexter series until becoming Dextered out.
Today we woke to more rain but had decided to venture back to Melbourne no matter what as we had had enough of staying in now. England were playing in a 20/20 international later that evening and we decided to go if the weather was alright but half expecting it to be called off due to the amount of rain that had fallen. When we arrived in Melbourne it was still raining so we got on a tram and had a little tour, we stopped at Flinders street as the sun had finally come out and had a very expensive couple of pints of Stella costing $23.80, £15.86 in English money; needless to say one pint each was enough. After a stroll along the Yarra River we went to see if the cricket was on. It was so we bought some tickets and went to first watch the ladies match also England v Australia before seeing the main event in front of 55,000 spectators later on. The match was won by Australia by 4 runs. We didn’t see the end as we had a mad rush to get back and catch the train and it looked like England were well beaten when we left
Just another quiet day after the mad dashing about the day before, especially as we knew we were going back into Melbourne on Sunday for the One Day International, yes more cricket.
Another day at the cricket, our last in Melbourne. A game won by Australia again but this time due to a magnificent knock of 161 not out by Shane Watson
The weather had now brightened here but the State of Victoria much like Queensland was suffering floods and this had now touched us because Marlene’s sister’s house had become flooded and her brother’s farm house was under threat over in Charlton. This has meant that Dad and wife Marlene were now stocking up with supplies and equipment to go and help on Friday 21st.
Quiet day again to catch up on the blog and get things sorted out for the trips we are about to embark on. These are Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Darwin over the next three weeks starting on the 19th January, although I’m not too sure what we will be in store for us at Brisbane. I looked into changing the itinerary but the hotel we had booked was untouched and Quantas as yet had not got plans in to alter flights on the dates we were going, so Brisbane here we come.
So now after our quiet period it will be all go until we return for a few weeks before leaving Australia at the end of February
Today we are doing a first and going to day two of the Australian Tennis Open. We are delighted to be taking Marlene who enjoys tennis, especially after all the cooking and running around for us she has done. Pictures will no doubt follow in the next blog with what went on.