Friday, May 26, 2017

A busy, busy few days

So.  Back to last week.

I went on Tuesday morning, from Ballarat to the airport to pick up a young cousin and his companion who have been visiting Far North Queensland for a few weeks and had come to Melbourne to spend a few days with the Aussie Rellies.  Most fortunately, I had checked the flight status before I set off at the crack of dawn.  The plane was delayed by three hours on account of bad weather in Melbourne.  I gazed out at the glorious weather in Ballarat while I drank my morning cup of coffee and pondered the vagaries of the Weather Dogs.

It was foggy in Melbourne when I got there!

I took the visitors on the tram into Melbourne for a wander around and then left them to it and took the train and bus back to Mount Helen.

Wednesday I spent mostly making roasted tomato soup, slow cooked steak and ale stew, suet pastry to sit on top of the stew and sorting out vegetables.  For on Thursday Irene, Gillie, Chris and John came for lunch.  I thought it would be a good plan actually to have food for them.  I'm not sure that vegemite sandwiches would have cut it!

On Friday I actually managed to get to work for a few hours, then I went and picked up the youngsters and they, Lindsey and I all went back to Ballarat, where we were greeted by Jim, Sam and Ian, and an absolutely magnificent seafood paella made by Ian.

Walking around the Lake

On Saturday, Lindsey, the visitors and I walked around the lake.  Ian, Sam and Jim walked around a bit of the lake.  In the afternoon, all of us except Ian and Sam went to Sovereign Hill for a bit of a look around.  Sovereign Hill consistently wins awards as a tourist attraction - and I haven't been for decades.  I suppose it's the sort of place that locals don't go to unless they have visitors.  And I possibly should go more often than once every 30 years or so.  There's a lot to see and we only had a couple of hours.  If you wish to volunteer to come and visit so we can go again, please feel free!

On Sunday Lindsey, Ian and the visitors took themselves off to drive along part of the coast and then took the ferry across the bay and went to visit Stella and Tony, briefly.  Jim and I did very little.  I suppose I could have done an update here on Sunday - but I didn't!

On Monday, Jim and I pottered down to Melbourne and met Lindsey in the flat.  We wandered into town, did a bit of shopping, wandered around a bit more, pottered back to the flat - and in the evening everyone went out to celebrate Ian's 60th birthday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I actually managed to get into work.  The scanning mountain is growing!!!!!

On Thursday I was in Ballarat pondering whether to buy the rather nice dressing gown I was looking at which was at half price.  My phone rang.  It was Lindsey with a very complicated proposal involving car swaps, travel plans, dog feeding plans and various other things because someone needed to be in Mount Martha on Friday morning to take Tony for some hospital tests.  I abandoned my plans for the next couple of days and hastily packed for a week or so, grabbed Jim and we embarked on the car swap.  This was slightly complicated by the fact that we arrived to swap the cars when parents were picking their children up from school. No parking spaces to be had for love nor money.  Eventually we got it all sorted hopped in Emily's car to set off on our mercy mission - and Stella rang to say that the hospital visit had been postponed to next week :-(

We decided to come down anyway.  We were coming on Saturday in any case and it seemed silly to re-swap the cars, cancel the dog sitter and go back and unpack, especially given that we were sitting in the car ready to go.  So down we came.  I could have wished not to have hit the Burnley Tunnel and the Monash Freeway at just after 5 on a weekday, but in fact the traffic wasn't as bad as it sometimes is and we arrived in Mount Martha nicely in time for dinner.

So here we are.  The sun is shining.  We have no real plans until Sunday late morning.  It might not be quite so busy (although  the irony then is that there may be time to write the blog, but there is nothing to say :-S )

This feels  very much like a What I Did on my Holidays school essay!  So here are some pictures from our visit to Sovereign Hill:

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