Saturday 10 December dawned with a bit of cloud but also with a bit of a breeze and the sun breaking through – ideal for drying the washing we had to do before leaving the holiday house. Packing up, loading up, clearing up and tidying up were the important duties this morning. We all set about doing our bit to ensure the house was left as spick and span as possible. Graham cleaned out the wood-burner, Daphne and I both did some cleaning and then we set about hoovering and dusting until everything looked perfect. We had to wait a while for the washing to dry but we were in no hurry to leave this idyllic place so we had a last visit to the “front” at Peterborough and admired the views and wished we weren’t leaving. Back at the house the sheets, pillow cases and towels which had to be left in the house were dry and it was time to bid farewell to our lovely temporary home. Graham double-checked that the relevant power supplies were switched off correctly and that all the windows and doors were secure. We set off for Melbourne just before our designated time of 11:00am
but today we would travel along The Great Ocean Road – a much longer journey than the direct route through Colac but we had enjoyed the scenery so much we wanted to take in as much as we could. We meandered through Port Campbell and past The Twelve Apostles and all the other lookouts we had visited and headed for Apollo Bay. This was to be our lunchtime stop today and the sandwiches Daphne had prepared would be our lunch. We arrived at the tail end of the Saturday morning markets and couldn’t resist a stroll around. Later we found a shaded grassy spot and made use of our picnic blanket to have our picnic. A quick stroll to the beach completed our all too brief visit to Apollo Bay and we then moved on towards Geelong taking in Lorne, Anglesea, Torquay and others, stopping occasionally for a photo opportunity. Our main afternoon stop was to be at Geelong – the second largest city in Victoria. With a bit of guesswork we found our way to the water front and found a parking space for an hour at the cost of $2. The weather began to look threatening and the
forecast of thunder storms looked all too realistic. We had delicious ice-creams and coffees from an ice-cream parlour and then took a chance and strolled along the front towards the large pier. It was very interesting with lots of colourful cartoon-like statues spread along the walkways. We saw three wedding parties and one couple were having a photo session in what looked to be a small museum of fairground carousels. All went well until we began our walk back to the car when a heavy storm arrived and we could see lightening in the distance. Graham gallantly went back to get the car while Daphne and I took shelter until he arrived to pick us up.
Our journey back on the freeway towards Melbourne became a bit of a nightmare as the heaviest rain we’ve ever experienced in our lives caused us and many others to grind to a halt – we simply couldn’t see where we were going! We pulled off the freeway and waited for the storm to blow through but it took a while. Eventually the rain eased enough for us to progress safely, albeit slowly, and we were soon on the approaches to the Westgate
Seals at Apollo Bay
(no real life ones anywhere to be seen sadly)
Bridge with Melbourne in the background. Strangely, it looked as though the very heavy rain had passed Melbourne by as, although the roads were wet, there was no evidence of the rivers of water we had ploughed through just a few kilometres earlier. By the time we had driven through Melbourne and entered Barkly Street it was positively pleasant – but it wasn’t to last. We checked the house to make sure that it and Mad Micky were still in one piece but just when we went back out to empty the car the heavens opened once again and clearing the car had to be put on hold for a while. Poor Graham volunteered to do the donkey work and got a bit soggy while Daphne and I received the bags in the dry of the house and distributed them accordingly. Later, because we were all shattered and hadn’t done any grocery shopping, we ordered an Indian take-away which was delivered within 30 minutes or so and it was lovely – too much but lovely. Graham showed signs of having caught a cold as he was sneezing often. But we were all tired at the end of a long hard
day so a good night’s sleep beckoned for us all after what had been a truly special week in Peterborough.
On Sunday Graham and I were a bit slow to get going but Daphne was up and out to Camberwell for some special ingredients. Late last night she was asked by Anna to provide a chocolate cake for Jordan’s birthday celebrations this evening but she was short of the main ingredients – chocolate and rum! Un-daunted, she was soon back from Camberwell and switched into full baking mode as a cake began to take shape. It would need to cool down before it could be coated with chocolate so there was no rush to do that. Meanwhile Graham and I went looking for a tyre depot to get our punctured tyre sorted but we couldn’t find one handy that opened on a Sunday. However, there is one very close by in Burwood so I’m sure we can arrange it for tomorrow. Whilst we were out we did a bit of grocery shopping to keep us going for a day or two but we will need to do a bigger one soon. Some time after lunch Daphne and I began
the chocolate coating process but we quickly realised that the chocolate Daphne had would not be enough so I dashed to the local shops looking to buy some dark chocolate. Time was going on and, as is quite usual in Daphne’s world, it will be a last minute thing before the cake is finished but it will no doubt also be a huge success.
Sure enough, later than planned we left for Grant’s laden down with a huge chocolate cake, a chocolate pizza which I had bought especially for the girls, and a big bowl of strawberries which was my contribution to the party food. We were attending the birthday celebrations of Grant and Anna’s son Jordan who will be 24 on Tuesday. As is usual for an Adams party, Grant had been busy on the barbecue, plenty of people were invited and everyone had brought something so there were delicious looking (and tasting) meat dishes, vegetables and sweets. We were delighted to see Anna’s father, Bill, there - he had recently sustained an injury while yachting and this had developed into something very serious. It had been suggested that he wouldn’t be up and about before Christmas so
it was great that he felt well enough already to partake of the festive atmosphere. A jolly good time was had by all and Daphne was thrilled when her chocolate cake was used as the official birthday cake complete with a candle that Anna had added for Jordan to blow out. There will be a similar gathering for the Christmas Day party to which we have been invited, although there is likely to be twice as many people there then including David and his fiancée Mele. If it’s as enjoyable as today’s affair has been it will be another splendid event. A bonus for us all, once most of the visitors had gone, was a brilliant Skype conversation with David and Mele during which a few more wedding needs were identified and sorted out. We left at about 10:30pm with an invitation to visit Grant at his place of work – Box Hill Police Station!! We were also able to bring away with us two parcels from the UK which had arrived safely at Grant’s. Many thanks to Barb and Tony and to Enid (the parcels will remain unopened until Christmas Day).
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