My parents have left today - have spent the last 10 days with us in Melbourne (from Perth). To put it simply, they spoilt my daughter rotten, and I like that! Though now we have to remind her that not everything she picks from the store's shelves will be bought just because she flashes a smile and asks 'P-p-please pay?'.
Yesterday we did something different and hired a car, taking it for a drive to the Werribee Open Range Zoo (as close as you can get to Africa and without the 2x4 cages of a normal zoo), and then across the coast along the Great Ocean Rd. I say different because for the entire time we've been in Melbourne we've hardly strayed from the suburbs that surround the CBD. So yesterday I learnt that Torquay is not just the name of a water bottle, that Bells Beach may look like an idyllic surfing spot but must first be navigated through a high series of cliffs, sans a beach (you can rest on the rocks you wash up on), that Lorne is somewhere I picture myself relaxing in another ten years (in one block there were 3 bookstores, though they were all shut by the time we arrived), and that Anglesea made a dream come true.
You see, I have a list. We have been in Melbourne for a year and a quarter now, and I have started to write a list of things we miss from our home city (Perth) - believe it or not, they are simple things. One of them is a large helping of traditional, greasy, cooked in an old-fashioned shop that reeks of the 80s, posters on the walls of catches they wouldn't actually sell in the store, fish and chips. Thank you guys in Anglesea for providing such an establishment, and such food. I bought and ate so much I couldn't move, so it was lucky we were sitting in the car.
Unfortunately I didn't take a business card. I have a habit of taking business cards from most places we visit - I could probably fill a shoe box by now. Writers, you might want to take note of this, because I find business cards are great, not necessarily to write about an exact location (lawsuit, anyone?), but to jog your memories of it - allowing food, smells, decor, and other general points of atmosphere to creep through so you can write about a place that you may not be able to visit again.
I've written enough for now, but at least have more material to regale you with over the next few weeks.
Enjoy your reading,