|Monday 27 July
Jill and Bren both went to work today, leaving the Mitchells for a long lie in. When we finally emerged, we went round the corner into Bay Street in Port Melbourne and found a nice cafe where we had breakfast. We then wandered down to the promenade and along to the tram station to travel into the city. I had on a whim looked up an ex Carphone colleague who is a Melburnian born and bred but who had worked for a few years in London before deciding to return home after the birth of his first child. I made contact and we agreed to meet for coffee in the centre of town.
The tram journey from Port Melbourne is only 10 mins – you could walk it in 40 – and we arrive early enough to walk along the banks of the Yarra. Melbourne looked handsome even though it was a dull day and passed a pleasant hour with Jeremy in the bar of a boutique hotel. This hotel is distinguished by its rooftop swimming pool with a transparent base that sticks out over the street and allows you to look down on pedestrians. We checked it out as we left and sure enough about 8 storeys up there was a little projection over the pavement where we could see up through the pool. We came back via Fed Square, which is created by several modern buildings inc concert venues, cafes and galleries. The view from the river beside Fed Square was over the MCG and Rod Laver Arena, with several rowing clubs in the foreground, testimony to Melbourne’s love of sport. The main Flinders Station was a handsome yellow Victorian building near to Fed Square, which dominates one of the river banks while the other has a series of cafes and restaurants in front of the towering office blocks.
Another easy tram journey brought us back to Port Melbourne in time for Ant to whip up a nifty spag bol for the workers (one of his specialities). This left enouhg time for us to wander round the corner for a drink at a nice local pub, v quiet on a Monday evening in winter, but v nice.