Today it got really hot. From first light, serious warmth pervaded all areas, adding heaviness to the air and making metallic objects take on burning properties. By the time breakfast was over, I was in my second T-shirt of the day and had already filled my water bottle twice. This one was going to be hot!

Once again I felt a fair bit better than Mary, especially as I’d had an almost normal night’s sleep, so, while she stayed in the room, I headed off over to the park perimeter where there is a jogging track with enumerated stages and watering holes for the fitness crazy Melbournians (I think that’s what they’re called). I set off at reasonably smart walking pace anti-clockwise round the circuit, amazed as wave after wave of runners sped past me along with a hedgehog and a snail. No, I wasn’t walking that slowly; I just felt I was hardly moving compared to the stream of lunchtime athletes that threatened to swallow me up.

I escaped being trampled upon however and reached the safety of the Yarra bridge at Federation Square from where I texted Scott and Mary to invite them to come and lunch with me. As I awaited their replies, I did a full circuit of the walkways and bridges around Flinders Street Station returning to the food hall on the riverside where I enjoyed a healthy burrito. Thirty minutes later, Scott came strolling by, sporting a new haircut which caused me initially to have a double-take. We chatted in the shade (and for a brief period out of it, at his request) before Mary appeared and we all went inside for something to eat or drink.

The decision was taken to stroll back along the Yarra where the tree-lined pathways would offer some protection from the prickly heat of the sun and this meant that we ended up back inside the Botanic Gardens where we decided to have a tea by the lake. As we sat outside with our lemonades, ice-creams and Earl Grey, we were able to take in the beauty of this idyllic setting, what with ducks and moorhens walking around looking for crumbs and a white parakeet screaming blue murder in the tall cypress tree to the side of the tea-rooms.

Colourful scene

Colourful scene

There was little question regarding whether to sit in the sun or the shade so, below a corrugated canopy, we kicked over all our plans for the future, discussing the pros and cons of coming home or staying away among several ideas we wanted to explore. The hours slipped by almost without notice and the proprietors were stacking chairs when we decided to leave.

Our journey back to the CBD took us back along the Yarra where we showed Mary the army of rowing teams training on the water. As we passed the rowing clubs, we observed dozens of these young men and women in school uniforms stacking away their rowing boats. This unusual scene for us was clearly just daily routine for them and they were senior school kids, not university students. Seeing 17- and 18-year olds in short trousers, shirts and school ties (some even in knee-length socks!) does take a bit of getting used to, but the girls in their uniforms of checked summer dresses were all very pretty.

Cool and Kooler!

Cool and Kooler!

Not quite the Swanny ponds!

Not quite the Swanny ponds!

We bought our evening meal at the mall before going back to Scott’s flat where Mary cooked us chicken satay with boiled rice and prawn crackers followed by apple pie and cream. Such a big meal sent me to sleep almost immediately and it was half past eight when I came to, freshened up and joined Mary and Scott as he took us a few metres down the main road to a building with a rooftop pub. We climbed the 7(!) floors via the stairs as the lift was out of order and we were rewarded with good, cheap beer and fabulous views of night time Melbourne: I personally found it one of the best places we’ve been down here and we will definitely be going back, maybe with Joe & Mo.

View from Scott's flat.

View from Scott’s flat.

 

Not having had a snooze today, Mary began to flag a bit, so we stuck to two drinks then left. Unsurprisingly, with the seven floors, going down was much easier than going up! Scott stayed with us until our tram arrived then we parted, having had an exceptional family day together and one we will treasure in the future.

Upon reaching our room, we repeated our routine of previous evenings here in Melbourne i.e. undress, fall on the bed, fall asleep! You would too.

Advertisements