Winter rolls on in Melbourne

This morning is foggy and cold but not unpleasant.

Sue used to tell Kerrie that the thing she missed most about England was the distinctive seasons.

I understand completely what she was saying.

Growing up in Christchurch was the same – two totally separate seasons – the cold and the warm.

Queensland’s separation of seasons is less distinctive with the clear, warm winters.

Melbourne has those distinctly different seasons.

Many of the trees are bare with only a few stubbornly persistent leaves hanging on to the last.

Even the vibrant autumn colours have largely disappeared and yet there are still plenty of winter colours in this fascinating city.

On Saturday we decided to attend an AFL game at the Mecca of Aussie rule football, the MCG.

We took the 15 minute tram ride into the city from Preston to the Parliament Buildings from where we would walk a kilometre or so to the “G”.

This tram ride is a fascinating one, taking in almost the full length of Brunswick Street and travelling through Fitzroy past  the numerous small shops that give this place a heart and soul of its own. Brunswick St is packed with people for almost 24 hours a day. Every nationality under the sun is represented here as is every conceivable type of fashion from the smart, quality dressed business people to the way out, off the planet extraordinarily different.

Graffiti and posters are probably the main visual framing point as you proceed through this part of the world. Both are visible on every available space. It makes for a very untidy but immensely interesting landscape.

It’s chaotic with people, trams, cars and bikes everywhere giving the appearance of transport anarchy and yet everything seems to function very well.

There was a lady killed by a tram here last week and it made quite big news indicating that it is a rare occurrence. We’re amazed there are not a lot more accidents but I guess people just get used to getting around.

As is very common in Melbourne there were plenty of friendly folk only too happy to help show us the best stops to get off.  One young bloke even walked us almost to the MCG gate.

Even amidst the tense, fiercely competitive and vocal crowd people never stopped being friendly and genuinely interested in where we were from and what we were doing.

The MCG is a huge stadium and even with 62,000 people in attendance there were plenty of seats. The stadium holds about 100,000.

The atmosphere was electric even for a relatively ordinary game such as this one between Richmond and Melbourne.

The MCG – Mecca of Aussie rules football

Of course the supporters didn’t see it as “ordinary” game.

We soaked up the atmosphere and were amongst the last to leave thoroughly enjoying every second of the experience.

By the time we rode the jam packed tram back to Preston it was dark and we decided to visit our Chinese restaurant again.

Walking along High Street in Preston in the early evening is an experience in itself.

The street is jammed with restaurants of every type many packed with diners, especially the Asian ones.

We came across a noodle restaurant where there was a number of ladies hand making noodles.

This place was so full there was a queue outside along the footpath.

We were temped to try any number of places but opted for the one we had enjoyed previously.

It was also jam packed with a noisy yet vibrant atmosphere of mostly Chinese patrons.

Waiters were running around with live fish and dishes that looked fascinating yet mysterious.

Kerrie, being very conservative in her food tastes opted for a Sweet & Sour Pork but I decided to be a little adventurous and ordered a “Clay Pot”.

The Clay pot consisted of a mixture of foods mostly of which I had no idea of the origin. This was not the case with the 4 items that took pride of place on the top of the clay pot – 4 webbed feet!

Webbed feet took pride of place on the top!

Well I’d wanted to be adventurous so into I tucked.

It was really tasty although probably best I didn’t question the contents too much.

We shut out the cold of the city as entered the warmth and the inviting cosiness of our little home and we reflected on a wonderful day in Melbourne.

The week so far has consisted of working to capacity on the uni job but I had a long meeting on Monday in Melbourne with our client company and the uni about the preliminary reports we have sent from the program.

It seems they are taken aback by the huge volume of information they are now able to access relating to the way they use thier space.

They were extremely happy with what we had achieved and I felt we had created something of significant value.

We’ll be on the move again on Sunday.

School holidays start next week here and along with this there will be a dramatic increase in price for this site so we are heading to a place close the Dandenong ranges.

It’ll be a lot colder but who knows, Kerrie may yet get to see snow, one of her lifetime desires that has eluded us so far.