Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We captured Simon at ten to seven on Monday evening - not that he put up much resistance! Then we went to Clifton Hill and captured Emily and Christian. They were ably defended by Krumm - until his attention was diverted by Lindsey whom he loves, adores, worships and admires with a passion. Then we squished in (mercifully Lindsey’s car has two hidden seats which can be pressed into service following a successful multi-capture!) and transported the captees to the Little Italy which is Lygon Street where we were meeting Ant and Julia at Papa Ginos for pizza - and so I could hand over Julia’s stuff which was abandoned at The Sidings last December when her American baggage limit was abruptly reduced to a Rest of the World baggage limit! I have brought many things to hand over to people. I had thought we might be going back with nice, light suitcases. Alas - people keep giving me things to take home with me. I am an inter-hemispheric courier!

We hadn’t booked for Papa Ginos. Partly because it’s a pizza house for goodness sake. But mostly because the numbers were very fluid right up until half past seven when we were due to meet Julia. Papa Ginos was very full. I asked, without much hope, if a table for nine might become available at any time in the foreseeable future. Around 15 minutes? Excellent. We’ll wait. In fact it was only about 5 minutes and we had just collected Ant and were settling at the table when Julia turned up from her lecture which finished at 7:15. She’s doing a Masters in something cinema related - my memory says that it has a lot to do with cinema management but my memory is not terribly reliable when it comes to other people’s courses! (Julia - tell me again what you are doing!!)

We had a lovely evening. I don’t think Julia had seen most of us since she went to America. And she wasn’t expecting Simon, Christian, Ant or Christian because we had arranged for them to come after we had arranged to meet her. It was a good evening. It had nice pizza in it too.

Then Lindsey and Ian took Christian, Ant and Emily - oh, and Julia, who lives in St Kilda Road - home and Simon, The Builder and I walked back to the apartment. I think we have worn The Builder’s feet out. He’s not used to walking quite so much!

His walking isn’t over yet!

We woke up on Tuesday morning to find that there was almost no milk! Just enough for the pre-activity cups of tea!! The good news is that there is a supermarket immediately under our feet. The bad news was that we were all still in our pyjamas :-S I got dressed. When we first arrived, Lindsey had presented me with some “very expensive” blueberries. Blueberries are always expensive. I decided to treat myself to some. “Very expensive” is all right. Extortionately expensive came as something of a shock. EIGHT DOLLARS FIFTY for a tiny packet of blueberries!!!!!!!! The Builder’s pineapple treat was much less of a shock!

Time for our morning constitutional. We walked into town to visit Target to see if there were a more Pirate knickers. There were not. Very boring knickers in the City Centre Target. So we made our way to the block Arcade for Morning Tea then Lindsey went away to a meeting and The Builder and I pottered about in the shops and mootled about. We had been supposed to be meeting Karen in Carlton for lunch but she had cried off. This gave us, at short notice, an unexpectedly free day. So we went to look at the exhibitions in the State Library. The in flight radio on the flight from Tokyo to Sydney had a review of the Illuminated Manuscripts exhibition which was generous in its praise. Plus, it’s a free exhibition, which is always a bonus! Ian had seen it well reviewed somewhere else. Plus, there are posters and banners all over the place advertising it. Seemed as good a way of passing a couple of hours as any. In we went. Couldn’t immediately see where it was, so wandered through the reading rooms to the paintings. Then we went up to the exhibition rooms in the dome - the walkways where I’m sure the books stacks use to be. The display shelves of old, old books still line the walkways which are visible from the domed reading room. But I wonder where the stacks have gone?

Anyway. The exhibitions were great. One on level 4 about the development of the book, which I found very interesting. I don’t know about The Builder, though he seemed interested enough. Then up on L5 there’s another exhibition on the history of Victoria which was also extremely interesting. Plus there are magnificent views of the domed reading room. And the dome!

Right. Time to find the manuscripts. In a room by the front door! Alas, the exhibition was full of school parties with industrious students peering into the exhibition cases and filling in question forms. Where there were no students, there were parties of little olds, also peering industriously into the cases. We decided that it might be a well-received exhibition - but if we want to look at illuminated manuscripts we can do it in considerably more comfort at home. Whenever we want to. In London, amongst other places.

So we hopped on a tram (Lindsey having provided us with day tickets) and went to Carlton and had a lovely potter about the shops, then a souvlaki at what used to be the Twins’ burger bar and which is now twice as big and is the Intersection Cafe. Still does a fine souvlaki, however!

We took a tram back to Victoria Street and tried to take a tram back along Victoria Parade to the flat. This failed dismally. We managed just one stop :-( We walked the rest of the way :-(

Lindsey came back from her meetings - and she, The Builder and I went to Ikea in Richmond. The Builder and I have never been to Ikea before, but have heard many horror stories of people who have innocently wandered in - and have never been able to get out again!!! Lindsey was in a hurry and we were frog marched through at speed. It looked fascinating. There is an Ikea in Leeds. There is also one in Nottingham. Perhaps we might go on an inspection tour one day. Then we dashed into Dick Smiths and into a delicatessen. Then we ran around the supermarket and back to a butcher where we bought a magnificent and HUGELY expensive piece of beef fillet, which fortunately I did not pay for. We now had the makings of a wonderful roast dinner for the carnivores and falafel for the veggies to add to their roast veggies. For Simon, Ant, Jess, Emily and Krumm were coming for dinner. Haven’t met Jess before. Haven’t really met Krumm - the very brief meeting at the front gate on Monday evening doesn’t count. It was a good evening. Krumm is a lovely doggie. Jess is quite nice too!! And the beef was magnificent. Hardly needed chewing. More or less disintegrated a you put it in your mouth!

And now it’s Wednesday morning. The sun is shining. The barometer is set fair. We are shortly going downstairs for breakfast. Then Lindsey, The Builder and I are off to the seaside. Ian can’t come. He has a grand Finish It Day in store. But he’s coming to breakfast. You can’t have a grand Finish It Dy (I’m not sure what it is he’s finishing!) without an adequate breakfast!

But first, I need to get dressed. I’m still in my jammies

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