Australia - Part One: Memory Lane•
Anzac Day is probably one of Australia’s most important national occasions. Celebrated on 25th April, it marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australia and New Zealand forces during World War One and commemorates all conflicts that followed! It has been claimed that these biscuits were sent by wives and women’s groups to ANZAC’s serving abroad! I'm home schooling after all!
This flight was double the time, but I had films to watch!! I did manage to get some sleep after more food and more little wines!! 12 hours later we were landing in Melbourne. My books unread, my magazines still in their cellophane, although I did mange to listen to a Ruth Jones Desert Island Disc Podcast!
We stayed up chatting over a few beers, but we were by now ready to sleep horizontally!
It was already quite warm as I marched down the street and into Northcote. This was my old neighbourhood, I named our house after it! As I arrived into Westgarth, everything looked more familiar. My last house in Australia was 14 George Street. It was beautiful with a wide hallway, open plan lounge and diner, galley kitchen and a bathroom that had an outdoor space in the middle of it! The master bedroom had a vaulted ceiling. Standing outside, I could see myself walking through the door in my black vintage leather coat!
I carried on, past the old Valhalla Cinema, now the Westgarth Theatre and on to Clifton Hill. I lived in Clifton Hill when we first arrived and a few years later in a condominium. Don’t you love that word, condominium? By this time it was getting really hot (over 40 degrees predicted that day!) and I was feeling a bit strange after no food and not much sleep, so headed back and into ‘Barry’s’ for breakfast. I ordered another Flat White and an Activated Charcoal Porridge with caramelised walnuts and poached pears!! Only in Melbourne!
I refrained from telling this waiter that I’d just arrived from England and used to live here!! Activated Charcoal is actually quite delicious! Who knew?? After breakfast I walked home, wishing perhaps I hadn’t walked quite so far as I received a round of applause from my Fitbit having smashed 10,000 steps! It wasn’t even 8am!
We drove by the 'Homestead', one of our locals that was now apartments, past the condominium and down Brunswick Street. The day I arrived in Melbourne in 89, we went to the Punters Club in Brunswick Street to meet Jana who worked there. I remember exactly what I was wearing! Cut off black denim shorts with black opaque tights underneath and Dr. Martin style shoes. I was also wearing a black flat hat (which is strange as I never wear hats!) The next day, my photo was in one of the local papers - “regular lady at The Punters Club”!!
I loved Brunswick Street. The bars, the shops, the cafes! I used to take a tram down it every day to my Secretarial job in the City, secretly wishing I owned one of those shops.
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