Sunday, June 21, 2009

A full weekend in Melbourne

Once a week Blog:
For those that take an interest in Melbourne My Home, I hope to publish ramblings once a week on the Monday. Feel free to pass on the link to anyone that might have an interest in Melbourne.

Well, since last installment the weather has been chilly and foggy in the mornings and in the single figures but with sunny & cloudless sky afternoons. I must admit that it takes some getting used to after the long, warm days in France recently.

Soapbox Comment:

On our recent trip it was mentioned that there have been some exhibitions of Graffiti – Now I don’t mind creative Graffiti but mindless tagging on peoples property really gets up my nose. Attached are two examples of what I mean. I saw both of these while walking from my office to buy lunch during the week.

And now the weekend:
As much as I enjoy my work with the Australian Clothing Company, I do look forward to the weekends in Melbourne. The weekend usually starts with the ritual Friday night champagne or special bottle of wine with a meal that Sue prepares but this Friday she was called in to emergency teach so it was Spag-Bol for dinner (a favorite of mine nevertheless) which was washed down with a bottle of “Arrogant Frog” rouge (from the Languedoc region of France).

Well, I really bought it for the label - note the cycling frog. I'll have a bottle of this by my side while watching Le Tour next month.

Saturday morning was an early 6.30 am start on the bike to meet my cycling friends for a pre-cycle ride before the “real” training ride at 7.30 am.
This gives us a chance to chin-wag over a cup of coffee before meeting the Bayside Bandido group. This amazing bunch of cyclists have grown from a small group of sailing friends who decided cycling would help them keep fit. The group was less than ten individuals and today has grown to 100 members in just over 10 years.

Today’s ride was special in that it was the winter solstice today which we celebrated with a sausage sizzle after the ride.

Saturday night saw us out with close friends of which two of the blokes were celebrating their birthdays – it was great to meet up after being away and the hosts are off to Italy in September to see relatives – I remember our trip to Italy in 2006 vividly and the time we spent in the south of France to get there. Tuscany and Umbria were wonderful. The view from our villa bedroom window looked over the olive trees in the valley below. Monticchiello, a hilltop village of 300 people was across the valley from Pienza where we went to visit several times during our stay.
Lygon Street - Carlton:

I digress!!!!

After several bottles of red during the night, I decided a sleep in would not go astray and so I rang my son Andrew to join us for a Sunday lunch at Lygon street, Carlton. Both Sue and I have enjoyed meals at Il Gambero in Lygon Street over the years. Before she met me she remembers a night where the two employees had a disagreement that progressed into a knife fight, hey – they ARE Italian.
The restaurant is still in the same family hands today.

Lygon Street was one of my favorite places during the 70s, very bohemian, very student, very cheap. Today it has become very yuppified but with a real vibrancy that gives it a distinct personality of its own. Cafes, restaurants, book shops, wine bars, theatres and lots of fashion shopping. Visitors from overseas need to come to Lygon Street.
Even though I’ve spent years walking Lygon street, I discovered a great chocolate shop I had not seen before. It reminded me of the Chocolatier we discovered in St Remy de Provence on our last day there. At the moment while I write this, I have a piece with my coffee and port.
What a great way to finish off a weekend.

Talk next week. Tune in next Monday.