Saturday, December 27, 2014

A visit to the Bellarine Pt 1

We spent a couple of lovely days last weekend on the Bellarine staying with Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo. The weather was quite pleasant. We were sitting under the grape vine covered pergola. Actually, above the grapevine is perspex, so while sitting at the table, the grapevine was expirating its moisture which turned into water droplets that collected on the perspex roof and then fell down on to the table and us.



It was Bone Doctor's work Christmas bash, so we looked after Little Jo while she and Sister attended a rather large country property with a pool, a tennis court and room for a pony. They were too late for entrée and after the main course, Sister asked if there was a bed she could lie on as she had a headache and she slept for two hours and missed pudding and desserts.

We had decided to take Little Jo for a twenty minute drive to Victoria's largest regional city, Geelong. We wanted to see the ever so expensive Christmas tree and have a bite to eat. We thought Little Jo would enjoy La Porchetta and we had a nice meal, except I forgot to ask for anchovies to be left off my pizza, which spoiled it somewhat. The staff were just so nice and the service excellent. Little Jo con #1. She managed to extract one dollar at a time for us to play one of those games where a claw comes down under your guidance to pick up a fluffy toy. The seventh dollar went in and she managed to pick up a cheap toy worth less than $7.

At this time of the year in Victoria the sun does not set until 9pm, so we were in no rush to get to the Geelong waterfront. We slowly ambled along. There are some lovely old Victorian buildings.


The almost obliterated Dimmeys sign. The closure of its discount stores is quite lamented.


Once a tram ran along this Moorabool Street. Like most large Australian towns, it had trams until the late 1950s. Somewhere nearby, maybe within this building was the tram depot.




King Edward VI Sailor's Rest. After lots of activity on the ship, I suppose sailors do need a rest.


We approach the waterfront.


We heard so many figures about the cost of the Christmas tree floating in Geelong's Corio Bay. The highest figure was $5 million. It seems the real price was $1 million and if it is used for another couple of years, it was a cheap price to pay for the numbers of people who were around to see it.


Little Jo con #2. "I've never been on a trampoline while being suspended by ropes. It's only $12." She lied as we subsequently discovered she had been on one once before. It was pretty good value though. From one of the parents plonked around the trampoline, we heard, 'Isn't that Little Jo?'. It was the parents of a child Little Jo used to attend kindergarten with. R had met the father before when he once picked up Little Jo. He could not remember but the bloke remembered R too. They were pleasant to chat to, so we learnt later, ex hippies from northern New South Wales. He had his turn on the trampoline. Quite a hot guy really. People were gathering.


Little Jo con #3. Andrew and R. I just want to look at the carousel please. Look! It is so cheap for a ride, only $4.


It is a very old carousel. Many of the horses are original and it used to be powered by this steam engine, and note the chimney, so it must be started up at times.


The Hygeia arrived, named after a paddle steamer operating on Port Phillip Bay.


A very old musical instrument.


Nearly dark.


Little Jo con #4, can I have a light sabre please?


Once properly dark, every so often the lighting went into overboard and synced to the tune of Christmas carols.


The colours were endless.


Little Jo was tired. We left, slowly.


Little Jo had to stop for a quick stage performance with her light sabre.


Bye bye Christmas tree.


We took a different path back to the car, past the main entrance to Deakin University.


Near the car was Geelong Town Hall, with an illumination display.





Birds were flying all over the building. The projectionist had cancelled his gig with the Rolling Stones at Hanging Rock to work on the lighting for the town hall, a more ongoing job. Then the Rolling Stones cancelled their gig at Hanging Rock because Mick had a sore throat. Call me cynical, but I think the advance sales were not high enough.


Not exactly on the way back to Sister's but we really wanted to see this house in Aberdeen Street. Many Australian houses are so decorated. The couple who lived there were elderly and she was giving out chocolates to children. Little Jo con #5 "Haven't you already had a chocolate my dear", the woman asked. Indeed she had and was back for a second.


 

Oh, formatting has gone wrong. Not sure how this will display. Little Jo was asleep by 10.30 after a quick story was read to her by R. About 11 Sister and Bone Doctor returned. Bone Doctor and myself stayed up until 12.30 chatting over a glass or three of Scotch. Ah yes, if you are wondering about how I went with the internet, Bone Doctor only has a small allowance, so I upgraded my phone data allowance from 250mb to 1gb. After the reset on the 25th, I switched back to 250mb, so I will pay pro rata for a few days. I'm allowed to do this once per month. This works well for me when away from wifi.



24 comments:

  1. Andrew, your photos are fantastic. Your Christams tree is different from European but I can say amazing. The decorated house lovely but we have the same here. It means you had a great day and it is going to be New Year and one more celebration

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    1. Gosia, the tree is very different to what we normally have, but I like it and it attracted lots of people. I am working New Year's Eve, so no fun for me.

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  2. Was her sister Violet at the property with room for a pony?

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    1. I expect so Victor, possibly in the sauna.

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  3. I think Little Jo has got the two of you wrapped round her little finger. You stand no chance of saying 'No' to her. Sounds like you survived another Christmas.

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    1. Fun60, us controlled by a child? Preposterous. It was quite a good Christmas really.

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  4. Little Jo must love going outwit her easily conned uncles. Great shots of Geelong. It looked very attractive. Different tree.

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    1. Geelong is a nice place but it can get as busy as Melbourne at times. Oh yes, she does like going with us and tells her mother that her monitoring company is not wanted.

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  5. Geelong has surprisingly (to me) turned into a major tourist destination. There are so many places to take school-aged children - museums, port buildings, ferries, music, parks, beaches, customs houses.

    My grandchildren loved the National Wool Museum most of all, and the Woolshed dining room. But next time we will certainly have a look at King Edward VI Sailor's Rest and the old tram depot... thanks!

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    1. Hels, it has a good feel to it and many old buildings were saved. I haven't been to the wool museum, and I must do it soon.

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  6. Loved travelling through some of Geelong with you. The illuminated Town Hall was great - and I did like that Christmas Tree. Particularly at night.
    Little Jo appears to be the mistress of con acts already.

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    1. Thanks EC. At least I now know what, 'I only want to look', means.

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  7. I love the old steam engine and that old musical instrument.
    I hadn't heard a single thing about that Christmas tree, but have to say it's rather nice, I like it.
    I like the town hall in its green and red, but not the other colours so much.
    The decorated house is lovely. I didn't go around to see any houses this year, I saw a few on the news though.
    Little Jo knows you and R love her enough to "fall" for her cons.

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    1. River, the present Mayor of Geelong is somewhat of a colourful character and a master at self promotion, but was criticised over the cost of the tree.

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  8. What a beautiful excursion ! Little Joe certainly had a lot of fun ! I wished we would have daylight until 9 pm, here it's dark at 5 pm !

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    1. Gattina, we will get our turn at 5pm darkness in six months.

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  9. A great tour. I love the unusual Christmas tree. And I think you should simply change Little Jo's name to Little Jocon.

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    1. Thanks Mitchell. I like the name Jocon. I may call her that to her face.

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    2. SEVEN goes on the prize scooper - oh you two are so good to that child. I wish I had been with you for that lovely day. Happy New Year to you both x x

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    3. Ann, I would only say this to you, but I had ideas that she would be a model child. Sister said I would teach her how to eat properly and know her table manners. It is impossible, and not my place. I have pretty well given up being any sort of role model and am known as the grumpy uncle, as per next Sunday Selections.

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  10. what do you think of that fire in the apartments at Dockland revealing 8 mattresses to a room and the place stacked with exploited workers from Other Nations? can't wait for chapter 2 of that one.

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    1. I know Ann, I know. How many more blocks are like that at Cocklands and elsewhere? It is something I will follow, because as you would imagine, I take fire very seriously because of where we live.

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  11. Looks like Geelong went to a bit more trouble with the Xmas decos than Melbourne CBD! I'm a sucker for a carousel and the Geelong one is AMAZING, but somehow I think they'd pay me NOT to ride it in case I broke something!! Looks like a lovely night, and what are uncles for if not to spoil their nieces with the stuff of great memories?!

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    1. Red, you may well be correct about what was spent. The carousel is not overly decorated or lit and very old.

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