P is for...........
The dreaded word again. I've spent today sorting out clothes and tidying the house that we are in. I've come to dread the last few days we spend in an area as it means saying goodbye and making sure that I have packed EVERYTHING!!! Would you believe that the only thing I have lost in the whole trip is a hairbrush! Now out of 4 months travelling that's not bad.
So today I have gone round the house and cleared all the little things that have been lying around, all of Mollies toys, clothes, books etc This packing session actually has been one of the hardest as not only are we leaving very good friends but also a fantastic city. Melbourne has been fab. I'm also leaving in a manner not quite how I would have liked. Due to some tennis event going on (more about that in a bit) the flights out of Melbourne have doubled for two days. As a result I'm having to leave slightly earlier in order to catch the couple in Perth (another P) who are flying out to Craigellachie in a few days time. The downside is that Mollie and I are leaving before the family of this house return. Very sad. I assumed we would see them to say goodbye. Maybe it's better this way. It doesn't feel like it though. We have had full use of Rick & Cheryls gorgeous house in Cheltenham, Melbourne with pool. In return all we have been asked is to look after the two cats which Mollie has been delighted with.
(Mollie did turn round to me the other day and whispered how she would like a dog and that she was more than capable as she has looked after her Nintendogz very well for quite a while!!!!!)
Cheryls brother & sister in law have also been so good to us with meals at theirs, gatherings on the beach and childminding for me. I couldn't have hoped for a nicer family. So to leave without saying goodbye feels very wrong but they understand.
Leaving Melbourne is also a wrench. I can't believe we have been here nearly the whole month but we have had such a fab time. So what have we been up to?
Well cast your mind back to the beginning and we had our lovely few nights in The Langham with drinks and meals on South Bank before we headed out to Cheltenham which has been more laid back with days beside the pool and the joy of watching Mollie swimming and diving like a fish. We have also enjoyed
evenings on the beach with temperatures still up in the high 20s watching the sun set. Magic. A horse trip round the city was on Mollies to do list so we did! The highlight of this part of the trip has to be going to the tennis. When we first arrived there was the hype and the build up to it. I remember sitting in Federation Square with Mollie at the start of the competition and watching the huge screen they havemup showing the games. The Aussie players did take up most ofnthe air time. Hewitt had the locals beside them selves at one point. Anyway, people just turn up, pick up a (sponsored) deckchair and sit and watch it. The evening matches can get really busy. You can't fail to notice the atmosphere and social interaction that goes on during this time. It's magic. Seeing as I had come all of this way I desperately wanted to go and see Andy Murray in one of his matches. I had to quickly get to grips with the ticket system. It is fairly easy - once you understand who is playing where and what time and of course prices which increase the nearer the final it gets.
Andy Murray sailed through the first round and so before ticket prices increased too much i thought it best to get in at the early stage. Cheryl's sister in law had agreed to take mollie giving me a child free, tennis packed day! Yippeeeee! So 2nd round and Murray has drawn Edouard Roger-Vasellin. Some French dude. Unseeded shouldn't be a problem and it wasn't. He won in straight sets. But I had the chance to watch Tsonga play as well as a ladies singles match: Petra something or other who just got put out in semis i think. She was a good player. Anyway, I had the chance for the day to soak up the atmosphere, have a glass of wine in the Jacobs Creek area (and get a wine glass!) and watch some great tennis. It was fab. I will never forget.
I did think that that would be my only chance to see Andy Murray butnwhen I found myself at a loose end on Wednesday AND Andy Murray was playing I thought well..........why not? I took Mollie this time to show her what it was all about. The only tickets available were actually in the sun and with a 4 year old and temperatures in the high 20s you can't do it. When you see the people looking cooked on the television in these seats they are! They aren't that comfortable because the sun on them is so intense and you aren't allowed to move out of them that often. The officials are quite strict about when you can and can't move. My seat in the Hisense arena was in the shade and I found it quite cold. Towards the end of the match, 3 set I think, I managed to do a hot seat swap with another lady for a few games and boy I was toast by the time a game had been played. So definitely not with a 4 year old. So instead I got ground passes which allow you to wander round the area, visit some of the outer courts and watch the less profile games. Except on this day Rafael Nadal was warming up!!!! Cooooooooool. He is even fitter in real life. He was attracting quite a crowd but he continued to do some practice shots and get some feedback from his coach for some time. He is quite something to watch. Mollie and I had a fantastic time going round the stalls. There are loads of freebies. Most of the sponsors have a tent with some sort of giveaway. Mollie spotted a face painting tent with a MASSIVE queue! I explained to her that it could be a while but no she was dead set - she wanted her face painted. 45 mins later after standing in the heat, it was our turn. Mollie asked for a flower and she got one. "what would mummy like?" I was asked. Eh?! Ok, Scottish flag please. Hehe well Andy was playing and I wanted to support him. Melbourne Park where the tennis is staged has huge tv screens all over the place with lots of grassy areas. So we found a shady spot and settle in. We had a fab afternoon watching the tennis and getting involved in all the tennis frolics.
Our return walk to the city after the match was along the Yarra with a gorgeous evening sun. Federation Square was becoming busy with people turning up for the match between Djocovic and Ferrer. Funnily enough i had forgotten about the war paint on my face but the number of people that stopped me to speak to me about the tennis was unbelievable. Anyway, I wished I could have stayed but no I had a little person to get fed and returned to bed. We have had sooooooo many late nights it's unbelievable. Mollie sleeps longer than I do!!
P is for PANTS! I watched Andy Murray being beat last night when the game should have been his. My cousins girlfriend, Karen, was handed two tickets to the final from her boss (a perk of the job she is in!!!) and we both hoped that it might have been Andy Murray in it. He played really well though so maybe next year.
Parking ticket!!!!! Don't ask but I was given a parking ticket on Australia Day!!! I will be appealing.
P is for Perth which is where we are heading for next. I have had A swift look at things to do but beaches and surfing might feature!!! Wait and see. I am well aware thou that the weather is not high 20s but high 30s so how we will cope I don't know.
I am very sad to be leaving Melbourne. We have had such a great time and made so many friends. The vibe from the city and the events that happen here make it such an easy place to slot into. I'm hoping we will be back at some point. In fact Promise. We will be back.
P is for plane which is what I'm boarding in.............6 hours time. Pants! It was 35 today and it felt it. By 7.30 this evening it was still 30. Now it is 27 so it is cooling down but it is still very sticky. How will the couple from Perth, WA cope with our 5 degrees?! I might put them off Scotland forever?! At least it's not snowing though I think they would quite like that mind you so would I right now. Eurgh