We both felt ropey again this morning, having had another interrupted night’s sleep of 3 hours snoring, 2 hours reading, 3 hours snoring. Breakfast was consequently slow and very quiet but we still enjoyed it and had a couple of interesting conversations, including an English girl who woke up to find a possum in her room! Now we’ve never seen a possum and I only know that their bellies were eaten by “The Beverley Hillbillies” in that classic comedy from years ago. So I’ve decided to kill anything that gets into my room, even if it does have cute sticky-out eyes! The only exception will be Mary.

When Scott texted to say he and his pals were to be heading for South Melbourne Beach, we both gave ourselves a good shake and tried to prepare for an afternoon on the sands. Thanks to Scott’s instructions, we managed to take the required 2 trams and get to the beach before the boys arrived about 15 minutes later. I had my trunks on underneath my shorts and Mary had her Kindle as she still felt too poorly to go swimming.

So for the first time on the adventure, we found ourselves on a beach, a very beautiful beach, in 25 degrees Celsius and unbroken sunshine. There was line after line of beach volleyball courts and the lads had brought a football with them so first stop, as Mary started a new thriller, was a free court for a game of volleyball, something I hadn’t done in a long, long time. Boy it was fun though, and I think the old man kept his end up with one or two moves.

Volleyball anyone?

Volleyball anyone?

Next of course had to be a swim in the sea (I’m not exactly sure which one!) and I am pleased to report that yours truly was first in, a process made all the quicker by the lovely temperature of the water. Screams of pain and retraction of body parts were unnecessary in such balmy conditions, allowing me to get swimming within a couple of minutes of entry. The boys soon followed and we enjoyed a great half-hour bouncing about in the waves. Scott rather spoiled it by whispering the word “shark” in my ear because you know what it’s like, despite 98% sensible thoughts on the subject , there’s always that 2% doubt, isn’t there? I blame Steven Spielberg personally.

Is that Daniel Craig?

Is that Daniel Craig?

We followed up the swim with a few beach games including “Let’s bury Michael”, “Plant the stick” and “Melbourne”, all 3 games self-created but really good fun. While the first is self-explanatory, the second involves sticking a twig as far out into the tidal sands as possible without getting your feet wet and the third is a Burton tradition, a game of “Granny” but with the name of the place we’re in as a substitute for the traditional name. We’ve played “Cattolica”, “Port Bourgenay” and had a quick game of “Nice”. Thankfully, we’ve never played the game in Wales or we’d still be there!

I'm standing in a hole

I’m standing in a hole

Just before we covered the head!

Just before we covered the head!

Poser!

Poser!

What AM I doing?

What AM I doing?

We left the beach and went back to Scott’s flat where he made us a delicious curry for tea. We had intended sinking a few jars in a local hostelry and watching the Saturday night fever in Melbourne CBD but once again fatigue got the better of me and I crashed out on poor Scott’s bed. When I awoke 2 hours later, Mary was nestled up to my back and sound asleep. I then shared a drink with Scott before waking Mary and taking our leave, to let the young ones enjoy themselves. The ride home in the tram was fun and we were back at the hostel by about 11 p.m.

Today was really wonderful at the beach and I’m sure we’ll be going back for a swim once Mary is fully fit again. Tomorrow evening Scott is taking us to St. Kilda beach to see the beautiful people strut their stuff. I’m sure we’ll fit right in!

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