Today would, I think, qualify as an unusual Mothers Day. I left my four youngest in Melbourne and dashed up to Bendigo to visit my Mel in hospital. Mel is fine, had surgery late last night and is facing more surgery later this month. Naturally, I am a little on the worried side but am confident she is in good medical hands and I know her husband will take the best of care of her. This did kind of overshadow his recent birthday though, but I am sure Mel will make it up to him later.
Autumn has arrived well and truly in Bendigo as this streetscape illustrates.
This weekend Mr O Jnr 1 committed THE cardinal sin! He played his first official game of Australian Rules Football instead of playing the game that Mr O says is “in his blood”, soccer. Kids want to try new things, so it is only natural that Mr O Jnr 1 would want to try out the local sport! Mr O did make an effort to understand the scoring and asked questions about frees and penalties, so he is learning…. Mr O tells the story of when he was first in detention here another detainee said “Come and watch the football” so he naturally assumed soccer. He couldn’t understand what on earth the game on the TV was at all!
Uniforms are a wonderful thing! They mean the kids never have to compete with the latest fashions at school. I asked our four “What is something starting with “U” that you all find different or unique in Australia compared with Nigeria. The answer came back in unison: “UNIFORMS!”
I thought this was odd. I knew they wore uniforms in Nigeria, so what was different?
Miss O 2: “We didn’t have different uniforms, we wore the same thing all year.”
This makes sense, as they don’t have the seasonal changes we have here in Australia. We have summer and winter uniforms and I remember when I was at school there were very strict rules around when you changed from one uniform to another! Here in Melbourne, given our weather can be rather changeable, there is a couple of weeks of flexibility, but even then I have seen kids wearing summer uniform to school in the middle of winter so I’m not sure all the schools are as strict as “in the old days”.
Here the boys wear shorts in summer and long pants in winter.
Miss O 2 has a lovely gingham school dress which she refuses to wear (I think she’s worn it twice) because she MUCH prefers the culottes (or skort) which means she looks like she is wearing a skirt but can do all the tomboy things without anyone seeing her pants.
Miss O 1 is in Year 12 so she now wears “casual” (sadly for Mum and Dad’s wallets).
The photo above was taken in July 2011. None of them look anything like that any more! Mr O 1, the older of the two boys, is now taller than I and almost as tall as Dad. What a growth spurt in 20 months!
Those are the winter uniforms. In summer of course the jackets and jumpers hardly see the light of day, the girls have dresses (or culottes for the primary ones) and the boys wear shorts.
Then there are sports uniforms for sports days.
I wish I had a picture – but it was one of those moments and besides I was driving.
On my way to work in peak hour, down a main, multi-lane, divided inner city, VERY BUSY road, I was approaching a set of traffic lights. The lights were, surprisingly given I was approaching them, GREEN.
Luckily I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a young woman approaching the pedestrian crossing from my right. Did she stop?
No, oblivious to on-coming traffic she proceeded to cross the road.
Her eyes firmly fixed on the smartphone in her hand!
I stopped, as did the car to my left. The woman was on the crossing ahead of us, past my line of travel but not yet in the other car’s line of travel before she lifted her head, looked in our direction like a deer caught in the headlights.
What happened next blew my mind – no acknowledgement that we had stopped, she dropped her head back to the phone and ran across the remaining lanes of traffic.
That folks, is my community service announcement for the day.
Stop walking blind with your faces in your phones!!!
One of our favourite restaurants is changing hands. Frank is retiring after 31 years!
I have eaten at Frank’s off and on for probably 15 years. My old friend that now lives in the USA (a spouse visa going out of Australia) held a dinner there when they got married. Delicious.
A couple of weeks ago Mr O and I went out for a kid-free few hours. It had been a while since we’d had a date night and knowing Mr O likes seafood, I thought Frank’s might be just the ticket! It was certainly a hit with Mr O!
The Australian state of Victoria is the state where we live. Where I have lived for most of my life. When I first came to Australia I got a flight into Melbourne, not Sydney (where Mum came from and my planned ultimate destination) and I seem to have just stayed! Melbourne is a lovely city, so I’ve not really been tempted to go anywhere else. I did consider Perth once or twice, and I did move to Tasmania for a brief period. I just like Victoria.
Victoria is the pink area on the map to the left.
The following slide show has a random collection of images I’ve collected in my travels. Other Australian shots can be found on Australia in Pictures, including shots of Victoria. I’m just not big on city pictures: in my warped perspective on life, if you’ve seen one city, you’ve seen ‘em all!
Go to YouTube and search “racist rant on bus melbourne” and you will find many versions of the rant uploaded in an attempt to name and same the perpetrators. Edit: I should point out when I wrote this, I believed the young French woman was black, but it turns out she was European. Bigotry would be a better term. Either way, disgusting.
Yes, the smashing sound you hear towards the end is the man pushing the pram smashing one of the windows as he got off the bus.
The young French tourists were singing – in French. Seems some bogans in Melbourne think singing is a crime deserving of mob mentality brutality.