Posted by: glenswatman | November 1, 2010

20101016-31 AUSTRALIA Victoria

SATURDAY 16 OCTOBER – What a rough night with hail stones battering the window. By the time we get up the rain has stopped and although it is very windy the sun manages to peak through the clouds. You could be forgiven for thinking this was an October day in England. Bev & I visit Joan and stay on for dinner, pickled port, broccoli, carrots, mash potato and jelly fruit and cream for dessert. Just like going out for dinner.

SUNDAY 17 OCTOBER – Bev & Norm are out to their great nieces 1st birthday party so we invite Tony & Ruth over for lunch. Spend more time getting to know them and hearing about a course that Ruth has been on to learn all about property development, sounds really good apart from the $5000 (£3000) price tag. Shortly after Bev & Norm get back their neighbours Grant & Peter call round for afternoon tea. They kept an eye on the house whilst Bev & Norm were away last time so now they just have us to keep an eye on!

MONDAY 18 OCTOBER – When we left Australia just over 4 years ago we left some stuff stored at Joan’s and it is still in the garage. Bev & Norm have to go round and check things with the tenant Melinda giving us a chance to get some things out. We have stuff stored for motorhome use but are now interested in the clothes. Back home it is really funny going through them and wondering why on earth we saved them or why they have shrunk so much! Bev cooks us a delicious seafood marinara pasta for our last evening together this year (they are off on a cruise tomorrow and we leave for ours before they get back). Bev & Norm are flying to Las Vegas for a few days then to Los Angeles to join a cruise that goes via the Panama Canal to Miami.

TUESDAY 19 OCTOBER – Bev & Norm are in and out all day tying up loose ends. On a visit to the doctor they get a different one and he is a younger person and traveller and asks more about their trip. The upshot is they come back after having diphtheria and tetanus jabs that were needed. It is a hot and sunny day so we sit out on the balcony and enjoy a last happy hour before Bev & Norm head off to the airport hotel. Home alone we settle in to our own routine for the next couple of weeks having begun by having our main meal at mid day and just a snack in the evening.

WEDNESDAY 20 OCTOBER – Today is the Geelong cup races and a public holiday. After sitting out most of the day we take a late afternoon walk down to the beach then along the esplanade and back via the “ghost” town.

THURSDAY 21 OCTOBER – The forecast is for today to be the hottest so we drive over to Torquay to visit Point Impossible beach naturist section. As the morning progresses more and more people arrive and a few hardy souls dive into the chilly waters. It is so hot that by early afternoon we head home. En route we drive around the new “Sands” golf estate with the houses built around a golf course. Streets are named after famous courses and many places in Scotland but the house design does nothing for us. Whilst they are all huge and luxurious they are basically all very modern with linked square shapes that look like boxes. On the news we hear today has been the hottest since April with temperatures reaching 20C, bring it on.

FRIDAY 22 OCTOBER – In the morning we get tapping on the window like rain but look out to see a huge swarm of bees, they hover for quite some time and we are glad to be safe inside. I pop out to water the garden where Norm has recently planted lots of vegetables. Steve hand feeds Norm’s friendly magpies by giving them pieces of cheese. We sit out most of the day but again are lucky to have already moved inside when anther swarm of bees pass through.

SATURDAY 23 OCTOBER – We drive over to Drysdale to combine a visit to the library with one to see Joan. Bev has left her with various trinkets from Joan’s previous cruises to try and make her understand where Bev & Norm are and it seems to be working as she is looking through them when we arrive. Some of them are amazing as she has menu’s going back as far as a trip in 1971 and they make interesting reading. This is Steve’s first visit and Joan seems very pleased to see him.

SUNDAY 24 OCTOBER – Sat out on our balcony and shielded from the wind it is really hot. Mid afternoon we set out for a walk to the beach and immediately get blasted with a really cold wind. Make a quick change of plan and make an exploratory walk around the neighbourhood shielded from the wind by the houses. It is certainly a different type of housing estate to what we are used to in England. None of the “cooker cutter” style homes just all individually designed ones but unlike England the houses are huge and fill the block whereas we have smaller or higher houses and bigger gardens.

MONDAY 25 OCTOBER – It’s a nice day so I water the gardens and do the laundry – leaving me the rest of the day to relax and sunbathe!

TUESDAY 26 OCTOBER – Take a morning walk to Ocean Grove. Most people in Australia use mail boxes so we collect Bev & Norm’s mail from their Post Office box then call in to the library to pick up more reading books and DVD’s.

WEDNESDAY 27 OCTOBER – Once the morning rain stops it turns into a nice hot sunny day. In the evening we whet our appetite for our visit to India watching the DVD of the BBC series Story of India with Michael Woods, already it looks like 3 ½ months will stretched as the programme encourages to add more things to our itinerary.

THURSDAY 28 OCTOBER – In the afternoon I go over to Drysdale to visit Joan whilst Steve stays home watching Liverpool on TV. Since Bev & Norm left we haven’t seen anyone to talk to so through Couchsurfing I have contacted a local host called Christine and she has invited us round for the evening. Her husband Brett is working night shift building the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne and not home. Christine is very interesting and has visited India so tells us a bit more about it whilst we help her with Couchsurfing as she is new and hasn’t had any guests yet.

FRIDAY 29 OCTOBER – Predicted to be the last hot sunny day for some time we are glad of the sheltered balcony to sit out away from the wind and really make the most of it.

SATURDAY 30 OCTOBER – I get up at 3am to make some calls to England. Mum has been for her pre op prior to her hip operation in 2 weeks time and unfortunately it didn’t go too well. David is visiting her so I talk to him too and he is worried about his kidney pyeloplasty surgery next month. Steve’s Dad is getting better but they are moving next week so pretty stressed with the preparation. This is one of those times when had we not committed to house sitting in December and booked a cruise for next month we would seriously have considered going back to England to help. I manage to get down to Ocean Grove for the Frenzy morning with shops having reductions and the Surf Life Saving Club doing collections. Even before I leave the library the heavy rains kick in and continue throughout the day and night with strong winds as well. We are perfectly happy sitting in watching DVD’s and reading.

SUNDAY 31 OCTOBER – After a wild night things begin to calm down, even manage to take advantage of the wind and get some washing done. According to the news this has been the wettest October in Victoria for 35 years with almost the month’s normal rainfall coming down in the last 24-hours. OK so who wants the rain next, Swatman’s can bring it.


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