It must seem odd writing about Monday on a Thursday, but, all of a sudden, so little in life makes sense.
Monday 17 September:
One of the great things about life in Oz is getting to spend more quality time with my family; and whilst Monday mornings in our household would test the patience of Ma Walton, we do manage to send them off to school, hats on heads, and overloaded packs on backs without any reportable incident.
A quick journey, and I'm at work with a good ten minutes to spare. I then spent the next couple of hours praying for the phone to ring, just to break the tedium, whilst simultaneously compiling a mental list of everything that I failed to get round to doing over the weekend, whilst also checking my emails, and of course the football scores. Whilst so doing I chanced upon an article declaring Sydney to be the 17th more expensive city in the world, whereas dear old much maligned London Town was 10th. This disturbing statistic was based upon criteria such as housing costs and clothing. I would like to know how anyone around here can find accommodation for a mere $900 per month. But what I'd like even more is to have the $1900 that I apparently need each month to spend on my wardrobe.
Fast-forward a few hours. I doubt that I've done much more than 3 hours' real work (whatever that is), and I'm back home by 6pm. Just in time to spend some more quality time, coercing my kids into finishing off their homework and getting into bed without injuring each other.
Monday 24 September
It's School Holiday, so we decided to take a short flight to Melbourne, and spend a few days there. Now Melbourne was to our liking. A booming cafe culture, big shops selling familiar brands, museums, theatres, boulevards and trams. Just like a major European City in fact. I feel like a British tourist in Majorca, looking for his chips and beer. I've just crossed to the other side of the globe, and all that I want is what I've just left behind.
We spent our first day at St Kildas, and chilled-out hippyfied seaside resort. In spite of a mile-long golden beach, I'm apparently not allowed to call it a Beach. This is apparently because it does not boast any lethal-looking waves, nor posers on planks of wood. Anyway, regardless of its status, it's a great place to visit, and like Melbourne in general, is full of charming and friendly people. The rest of the time was spent exploring the City; and since there is little that I can usefully add to what is contained within any Guidebook, I shan't bother. Although the weather was much cooler than that to which we've now become accustomed, it was interesting to monitor our collective mood. We were all more relaxed, enthusiastic, and nicer to be around - probably. In fact, when it came to 'Going Home Time', A pleaded with me to find a job there. It's only a few months before the Australian Open Tennis, and then we have the British Lions Tour in June. It could happen.