OZ and Tassie travel blog

Christmas/New Year

24 December

Totally relaxing afternoon; it was hot. Lots of iced water. Hung out some laundry and it was crisp within half and hour. Watched some tv - Australia’s ‘Hidden Islands’; Kangaroo Island and Lady Elliott Island, both of which we have been to, so a nice catch-up. Bed.

25 December - Happy Christmas!

Panettone and buck’s fizz, packed up the gravad lax Ruth had made, plus some wine, then off to the station to use the train system to get to John and Janets in Kensington. A bit of a bump at a roundabout near the station which delayed us a while, but we boarded the train and set off to Flinders Street. Changed here for Kensington, only a few stops away. The whole journey only took an hour and a quarter, not too bad, especially as travel on Melbourne public transport systems was free on Christmas Day.

Christmas dinner was amazing, so much food! A huge beef rib roast, a gigantic ham, crayfish (locally know as Southern Rock Lobster!), chicken, the aforementioned gravad lax, plus all sorts of salads and dressings. Followed by a huge Christmas pudding, pavlova, shortbread and fruit. It was all very good, and everyone ate far too much. It was good to catch up with John and Janet’s family and friends.

Didn’t fancy the train journey back, so stayed the night.

26 December

At a bit of a loose end after breakfast and undecided on the day we sort of invited ourself to lunch. Helped finish the clean up from yesterday and set up lunch - all the delicious leftovers. Today was for a small group of JandJ’s friends and they it made a very entertaining afternoon and all too soon we had to bid our farewells and tackle the trains again.

The train became jammed with cricket supporters as we stopped near the MCG. Didn’t ask the score as India had built a respectable total on the first day of the 3rd Test, Aussies didn’t look too happy. Arrived at Croydon station and after a twenty minute walk uphill we arrived at the house-sit. One cat on the drive who ran off as we arrived, no sign of the other, but food had been eaten. (We had been told by other ‘cat people’ that there are strict rules regarding cat ownership, including not allowing cats out at night.

27 December

I travelled out to Essendon to pick up another car. An interesting, but easy journey by public transport; walked to Croydon Station and caught the train (air-conditioned) to Melbourne Central, a few metres walk to the tram stop and caught a tram (not air conditioned!) to within 50 metres of Van and Ute Hire. The whole journey took about 2 hours. It was warming up to be a very hot day. Back to Croydon, in just over half an hour by car. Still no sign of the cats, so we walked the neighbourhood; no sign of them.

28 December

A very hot day - 38 degrees; did very little, watched Australia being beaten by India at cricket. Lots of iced water. Walked the neighbourhood again but no sign of the cats.

29 December

Another hot day, but cooler than yesterday. Emailed Emily about the cats, but she was fairly relaxed about their absence. Later in the day Ollie appeared and ate like a horse, wanted a cuddle and stroke and stayed around all evening. Carolyn arrived for dinner.

30 December

A beautiful morning, nice breeze and the forecast was good, so we headed out to Queenscliffe, a 2 hour drive away. We called in at Jane’s (Wager) but she was out so grabbed some lunch and met her later at the opening of a new art exhibition at the Salt Gallery nearby. Interesting art and the only picture we liked had already been sold - for AUD 7,000, so maybe we would not have bought it! (It was over two metres by one metre, a bit difficult to fit in our suitcase!) Queenscliffe is a nice town, some lovely old buildings and residential areas, local shops and cafes.

Back to Jane’s for a cup of tea and chat with her and some other visitors before heading out to the ‘Twilight Market’ down near the waterfront. An interesting market but nothing grabbed us so we headed for home. Quick look at Point Lonsdale lighthouse and to see the narrow entrance passage to Port Phillip. Too windy now to take a dip, which I had with John and Jane 18 months ago.

31 December

This was going to be another hot day, but there was at least a cooler breeze. Just relaxed the whole day, reading, watching Aussie TV and sending New Years greetings. Drove to Yarra Boulevard in Kew, a large open space on the slopes leading down to the river. We found a spot up the hill, along with several hundred others all set up with chairs and picnics, where we had a clear view of the CBD. We waited until midnight and the chant/countdown that spread through the crowd until 12 o’clock when the fireworks started. They were designed to be seen from afar as they were sited on top of buildings in the CBD. A great show, though we were still a little too far to see some of the detail, but a fantastic show nonetheless. Wow! Welcome 2019!

It took half an hour to get on to the highway and another 20 minutes and we were home. Bed. Ok, so we thought, that’s Brisbane and Melbourne on New Years Eve, where next?

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