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Published: August 8th 2007
Well even with two broken bones in my foot, a funny boot and crutches I still managed to enjoy my unexpected, extended stay in Melbourne.
Thankfully you cannot go 24 hours in Melbourne without something huge scheduled to happen and Federation Square seemed to be the hub of this happening city. If we weren’t attending an ad lib fashion show or watching bands play on the stage we were just drinking in the Transport Bar, which is actually where we spent most of our time. Another of our favourite pastimes was finding back street bars that were total gems. Robbie (a born and bread Melbournenite who we first met in New Zealand) was the leader and we named these nights Robbie’s back street bar craws; the only rule seemed to be that if it had a dumpster, some graffiti and was down a back alley that you’d expect to meet a crack addict down then it was going to hide a fantastic bar.
Some of the gems we discovered were Loop down Meyers Place; more modern art than bar, the croft institute which was like a science lab inside and The Long room which was a very ostentatious
bar. There were so many more amazing places that we visited but due to the very nature of bar crawls, I’m afraid I cannot recall the names! Take a look at this for yourself to find some gems:
One of the big events that we went to was the Mumba Festival which has been going since 1955. It highlights and supports artistic activity associated with the Commonwealth Games. There is so much going on at this time mostly in Fed SQ and along the South Bank where fairground rides and a thousand different stalls are all erected for about three days even though the festival is only officially one day. The one day involves a massive street parade of floats and mayhem in the morning and later, along the south bank all sorts of singing, food stalls and craziness happen. Liz and I took our places in the afternoon on the banks of the river to watch the birdman competition; where competitors attempt to fly their home made flying machines off a ramp- which was hilarious. The following Fifa celebrations also provided us with some fabulous live music and some weird arse arty performances on the south
Other points of interest were Liz having to move from Robyn’s house to find a hostel. Bless her heart she looked just like a second WW2 evacuee, with all her belongings packed up with her name on we set off to the hostel she had booked. Once there however we were greeted by the scummiest residence I have ever laid eyes on (see pic) we had to laugh when we entered her room that was covered with girlie pics and was less than sanitary but she had no choice but to grit her teeth and bear it until she found a house share.
I should say here that the hostel story got far worse; after nights of no sleep since Liz moved, one particular night an Irish back packer decided fall three floors from a balcony onto a table but amazingly survived with two collapsed lungs. Unfortunately his drunken friends caused more violent havoc punching and kicking in doors which certainly spurred Liz on to find a safer place to stay quickly.
I also accompanied Robyn and the Emily on a picnic to Brighton beach; famous for its decorated beach huts
Emily was a girl who
Robyn acted as a surrogate big sister to as part of a special programme.
One of my favourite places in Melbourne was St Kilda, which was just perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Here they have market stalls that stretch out along the road up to the famous Lunar Park laughing face. St Kilda has many little shops and huge array of cafes, restaurants and cake shops which was enough to keep me happy but the little clothes boutiques, shoe shops and random niche places give St Kilda real character. It is also situated on the beach so when we had enough of window shopping we hit the esplanade, avoiding rollerbaders and cyclists on the way.
Easter weekend was my last weekend in Melbourne and it was a weekend to remember. Liz and I caught the train down to Torquay to stay at Liz’s friend’s house along with 10 other people from Liz’s work. The first night was great; it is unusual for me to meet a group of people and like all of them. After dinner we managed to get pretty pissed and pictionary turned into charades and then late night poker (thanks Gerard for teaching me the
The next day after the yummiest BBQ’s egg and bacon known to man, Gerard, John, Rene, Liz and I headed for a walk on the beach and then we all headed to the main event. The reason for this whole weekend was the world famous Bells surfing competition, however it was annoyingly called off as the surf wasn’t up. The up side of this was that this meant that we got in for free to see the bands playing. We were also lucky to see some of the pro surfers attempting to surf on the small waves. I have been told that my one pic of the surfers is a famous guy but I cannot recall who they said it was. That night we headed out to a club or three and when back, late night ordering of pizza and poker playing commenced! If any of you guys are reading this, I thought you were all fabulous and it makes me feel reassured that if I have to leave Liz in Melbourne that she is with a fabulous group of individuals.
Thank you Robyn for putting me up for five weeks, thank you Saffy (robins dog) for
me once. Thank you to man in Robyn’s local video store for looking up all the weird art house titles I wanted to watch. Thank you for the ACMI cinema, for getting me into art cinema, I am now totally addicted and wish so much I could take you home with me and finally thank you to Robbie and Liz, my Melbourne duo, I miss you both tonnes. xx
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