A Long Post for a Long Weekend

5 Mar

I’m beginning to think I’m not doing very well keeping this blog up to date, so I thought I’d update you about my weekend, it was the best in a while! Thursday is the night in our hostel that everybody always goes out, but I had work (I chose the wine bar; I have hated it and then not minded it but now i’ve come to accept that my innately angry manager is just part and parcel of the job) so I got back and joined everyone at the hostel who were drinking home-made sangria with red goon (for anyone who hasn’t been to Australia when you can’t afford to drink real drinks, it is a 4 litre box of ‘wine’ that contains eggs, milk, and definitely zero trace of grapes among its ingredients list). The night turned out to be quite eventful, with Mel, Alex and I buying another box of white goon after lasting 10 minutes in the club because we thought we weren’t drunk enough. We went back to the hostel to drink it, where they proceeded to insult my (very sober, and quite unpleasant) German roommates for approximately an hour straight with a variety of their best GCSE German vocab including phrases such as “you are the ugliest dog in the universe”. The night culminated us consuming about half a kilogram of the risotto we had made the day before, an extraordinary reaction to fried eggs, and resulted in me throwing up in the Melbourne museum the following day (our trip there was by no means my choice).

On Saturday me and Lucia went to Chapel Street with Mel, Alex and Murray (one half of our new found Tasmanian friends), where we categorically ignored all the nice little independent cafes it had to offer and headed straight to Hungry Jacks for a stunner meal (burger, fries, drink AND a sundae all for $4.95, can’t say fairer than that). We made up for it my browsing all the ‘op-shops’ (vintage shops) and stumbled across a really nice little store which had so many interesting books and journals, including a ‘book of life’ which was roughly the size of a Bible and was designed to allow people to record their entire life by the seasons of each year; with spaces to write your favourite things, what you have learnt, what weight you were that year and a photo and lots lots of other stuff. I found it quite an interesting idea but then I couldn’t decide if it might just be a self-absorbed waste of time, so left it there (plus it was $94). We stopped for happy hour in one of the bars, or a Lager Moment as we would have said in Portugal, and had a drink in the sun. The weather picked up this weekend, I think I might have tempted fate in my last blog post, because all last week was rainy and pretty miserable, which has led to our development of an unhealthy addiction to the 4 pictures 1 word game. But it’s back on form this week, it’s 32 degrees today and getting even better later in the week, so I’m back to my usual past-time of sitting in a deck chair in Federation Square listening to music and reading for hours on end.

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Federation Square

Saturday night was spent eating home made nachos with chilli, while Mel and Alex prolonged their moving out of the hostel and into their trial flat for as long as possible (they eventually left at 10pm as opposed to their intended time of mid-morning). I didn’t want them to leave the hostel, and they didn’t particularly want to go either but that might be because one of their potential flatmates has a tooth gem. Lucia works most days so I liked having them around to spend time with, but the week is just a trial so they may be back in Greenhouse soon, and if not then they will be here more often than not anyway. It’s weird having people from home here, sometimes it makes me forget we are actually at the other side of the world, but I like having friends here and that we are able to share lots of our experiences. Mel worked out that this is the 5th country we have been in together outside of England in our 4 years of friendship!

I had been looking forward to Sunday and equally not for a long time because it was March 3rd – an entire year since I started going out with Mike (a massive achievement for me ha ha). I was determined to celebrate it even though he is thousands of miles away, and I had probably the best day I’ve had in Australia so far. I went on a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula with Lucia and Mel; I wasn’t really sure what was there to do apart from coastal walks but I had heard that there were vineyards and thermal springs. When we got there we headed to an information centre, which contained two old ladies who proceeded to bicker so extensively over the advice they were giving us that it was like we were in the middle of a comedy sketch. One thought it was too far to walk the width of the peninsula, the other rubbished that and said she had done it easily. One said we must be careful swimming on the beach because of the deadly octopuses (octopi?) that had been spotted recently, the other told her not to be stupid, she’d been swimming there just the other week. They were politely arguing amongst themselves through gritted teeth so much that i’m not even sure they noticed when we edged out of the building. We then walked down to a cliff edge where we sat and ate yet more of our famous risotto (we cooked the entirety of the 1kg bag of arborio rice hence it practically fed the 5000).

After lunch we headed down to the beach and decided to rent a pedalo boat. Whilst out in the water we came across a fishing boat with three Aussie guys, Benny, Zach and Jimmy (Benny and the Jets) who gave us a (cold!) corona before towing us out to sea and informing us that if we were lucky they could become our future ex-husbands. And they say romance is dead! After politely declining to give Benny our numbers we pedalled furiously back to shore as we were late in giving the boat back, but I’d forgotten we were in Australia and everyone is laid back about everything so they probably wouldn’t have cared if we’d been an hour late.

The rest of the day was so nice, we got ice creams and walked along the coast and on the beach and eventually stopped at a harbour. I always feel more like I’m actually in Australia when I’m by the sea because in Melbourne city centre I could easily just be in a European city with sun. We missed four buses in quick succession which delayed our return to Melbourne and the anniversary dinner Lucia and I had planned, but luckily by the time we got back the restaurants in Hardware Lane were still open and, awkwardly, we ended up sitting outside next door to the Italian restaurant I had done my shitty trial shift in on Valentines Day.

The restaurant gave us free sparkling wine, and I ate a bowl of spaghetti with bacon that I had been craving (because bacon costs about $9 here for a packet, slightly out of my price range). It felt nice to be eating the food and drinking the wine instead of serving it for once! Lucia made a bloody great replacement date for Mike until we can celebrate it properly when we go to France a week after I get back.

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Anniversary meal

So that is what I have been up to this weekend, lots of detail about stuff that probably isn’t even that interesting, but at least it means I will be able to remember it! I’ve decided if I could just sort of copy and paste my friends and family here it would be perfect, I know so many people would love it here and I wish they could see some of the amazing places we go to!

Also, I bumped into two school friends yesterday in Fed Square, what a small world. Well one does live in Melbourne and I did know that the other was here staying but still, weird coincidence.

We’re over a third of the way through our trip now. I’ve only been at work a week and a half but will need to hand my notice in in about a week’s time, I can’t believe how quickly it’s going! But I guess time flies…

Cat xxx

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