Saturday, 28 January 2017

Catching up by Catching Up

Sunday 25th December 2016 to Friday 20th January 2017

This is a bit of a catch-up blog, simply because there has not been much that I have thought that we had done that was of anything out of the ordinary whilst we have been in Melbourne.

Once we had returned from Maroochydore, it was straight into Xmas Day, which was a pleasant day in itself; Diane as usual was ready very early in the morning but had to settle for a coffee instead whilst she waited for others in the house to wake up.
Crazy LA kids - this years Santa photo from them
- ain't they adorable
After presents were opened we were down to the chicken place just down the road from us to pick up a couple of cooked chooks which would be part of lunch – saved all of the hassles of a lot of cooking; Sam prepared the vegetables and we had picked up the cheesecakes the night before – oh so easy and simple.

We ventured west of Melbourne down to Warrnambool – at the end of The Great Ocean Road (although we didn’t travel that way) – to visit Brenda (my aunt) and we also caught up with Heather and Ron (aunt and uncle) – very glad to see all of them and to see that they are all very well and very fit.
We will spend more time down this way when we are back in Australia full time.
Diane was a bit keen to get to church whilst we were in
Warrnambool and light a candle for Lauren who has had
another stroke - we all are hoping for the best for her
Since then we have had Sam’s flatmate Harry move out to his own place – we helped with all of the moving; Diane has changed a few things around to make it more the way that we would like it and Sam as well; there has been some severe cleaning out of wardrobes and cupboards with extra bins required for what has left the house.

Rebecca was over here from New Zealand so we were able to see her - we all seemed to have tight schedules whenever we come back and so it was a matter of spending time for lunch and then some drinks - funnily we ended up at Young and Jackson's (an iconic Melbourne pub) again with Chloe still there.
Bec and Diane with Chloe

We have continued to catch up with old friends – Diane has had lunches and coffees with Vicki, Sandie and Robin as well as a dinner with others whom she worked with – all seemed pretty well interested with what we have been up to, what we are doing next and when we are coming home (for good).
Diane with her ex-colleague and still friend Robin
As well we met up with Robert and Bruce for breakfast one morning and then a week later for dinner – these guys we met 10 years ago on a cruise around some of the islands in the south Pacific and remained friends ever since – they really are great guys whom we love very dearly.

The only sad note of the whole trip is that our dear neighbour Frank has been diagnosed with a secondary cancer following surgery to remove and replace his right eye which had ocular cancer. It is now a fact that we will not see him again after we leave to return – it will be a matter of a few months – maybe a bit longer – before he is gone, leaving his wife Helen.
We have been able to get a few jobs done for them whilst we have been home and once we do return we will be aiming to do much much more.
Frank was involved with the running of the committee for the townhouses and instrumental in the resolution of the problem that we have had as I have described previously. He is a wonderful man who used to be a professional cyclist in Europe and we shared a passion for Le Tour.

So not really a lot has happened – oh, I almost forgot, we decided to have a day out just on the outer area of the City of Melbourne at a little sporting event called The Australian Open (tennis) – just lobbed up to the ticket office there and grabbed a couple of tickets – just took 45 minutes and had a great day out seeing a few well known players and some entertaining tennis matches. It was a bit warm with the temperature rising to about 33C.
Like the headwear - ready for the sun at the tennis and any rain that might
dare to be around

The weather whilst we have been home has been pretty much typical Melbourne weather – some hot to very hot days followed by milder weather and interspersed with a few rain periods – mainly overnight – a couple of nights where it was a bit more difficult to sleep – but in the end it was as expected.
Just a lovely part of Melbourne - top of  Collins St and the
icon of Melbourne transport - the tram - the network is the
3rd largest in the world
By the time this is published on-line I should be back on the boat; Diane however will be with her parents again in Queensland, making sure that they are doing as they are supposed to be doing – she’s looking forward to getting back on the boat already!

Apparently Diane's Mum wasn't impressed when we
posted this photo on Facebook with the caption
 "just shopping for mum and dad"