Ant and Christine do Oz travel blog

Saturday 1 August

The day was bright and sunny but not hot. We walked to a farmers’ market which was really quite similar to UK markets, and then through St Kilda to catch a tram into town. St Kilda away from the beachfront is quite an diverse community, a mixture of hip and hippy, with both scruffy and trendy houses. We stopped to organise a treat for Jill and me at a spa in one of the hotels in St Kilda, as a thank you for lending us the car, which we could indulge in while Bren took Ant to an Aussie Rules football game at the MCG (Melbourne vs Richmond).

The day gradually clouded over and by the time we’d got into the city to do a couple of chores it was spitting, so we stopped for coffee and cake (first time in ages). We trammed home and spent the rest of the afternoon sorting out laundry and getting ready to go out in the evening.

Jill had booked tickets for us to go to a club where a swing band was playing. It’s a small club - we reckoned about 300 max - with a nice atmosphere, and the food wasn’t bad, altho service was slow because of a computer failure which is an integral part of the food ordering system. The band was good - a seven piece band singing some old standards and some we didn’t know. They did two sets and the little dance floor was full most of the time. The clientele were of a variety of ages, mostly around our age but the hen party brought the average down. Bren doesn’t dance so Ant was kept busy as Jill loves to dance and I couldn’t resist a turn or two. We got a cab home having had a lovely evening.

Sunday 2 August

After a full Sunday breakfast, we had a civilised hour reading the papers in the cream lounge. The boys had thought kick off for the match was 3pm but fortunately realised at 1pm that kick off was 1.50pm, altho Aussie Rules matches are so long one can afford to miss the initial phases without missing too much. Jill kindly offered to drop them off to ensure they missed as little as possible, and we went for our massage when she got back. The hotel which houses the spa has quite funky décor (v black and moodily lit) but the spa had sun streaming through the windows into the waiting area and was v pleasant. We had booked a tandem massage, ie both in the same room, and fortunately agreed there would be no talking during the massage. The spa had also asked whether we minded male masseurs, which we didn’t so we had two nice boys give us a couple of good massages (why would any lad would want to pamper to middle aged women as a career is beyond me). We then went for coffee and cake (gotta be done) and made the most of our opportunity to chat one on one.

Meanwhile at the football,…over to you Ant.......

The girls got back just after the boys, so the household swung into getting supper ready. Jill had bought some fresh barramundi (fish), which was lovely. There was definitely an end-of-weekend feeling, as we were leaving for Cairns the following day and Bren was going off to China on business for over three weeks. At least Jill managed to ensure her induction trip to the US coincided with Bren being away so at least she’ll not be own her own in Melbourne for the whole of that period.

Ant and I took the opportunity to sort out our packing. We have booked to stay at the Shangri-La Hotel both before our mini-package to the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest, and when we return, so we had the idea of putting all our winter weight Melbourne clothes into one suitcase and taking just our tropical clothes with us to the reef and rainforest, so all was organised in a timely fashion.

We were sad to be having our last night in Melbourne but excited about going to the sun!

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