Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

What wonderful entertainment:  adventure, eccentric characters, enterprising children, baddies, a little romance and a car that swims and flies!    It’s all in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Babirra’s production with a total cast of 37 plus a few dogs as well as 14 in the orchestra delivered in spades.

It’s based on a book by Ian Fleming that was subsequently made into a movie.  The car of course has James Bond-like features!

All the cast gave strong performances, and while it’s a bit unfair to single out Michelle Eddington as Truly Scrumptious (because the part itself invites admiration!), I was amazed to read in the program that apart from school productions (and a life long love for music),  this appears to have been her first major role!    And everything else came together, too:   the movement of the car (enhanced by the bold use of projection), the choreography, the costumes, the sets and a polished finale.

 

Mornington

Although we’re home now, we spent a little time looking around Mornington.   These days, it has something of the look and feel of an outpost of suburbia.   However, its proximity to the sea and historical connections with Matthew Flinders give it a few interesting characteristics.   And, at the risk of a massive generalisation, someone commented to us that things were a bit quiet around town because “everyone’s gone to Queensland for the winter”!

The main street is quite long, with extensive car-parking behind the shops on one side and a shopping complex on the other side.   The shopping complex is built on the site of the former railway station.

The railway line, closed since 1981, still operates with a few heritage trains, but stops short of the town (resulting in there being no level crossing at Nepean Hwy).

These days commuters are catered for by a bus to Frankston.  There are 3 routes which when taken together give a basic 3 buses/hour frequency during the day (but not always at even 20 minute frequencies)!

The foreshore park has some nice views and allows for some interesting walking, as well as access to the beaches.   There are a number of memorials to Matthew Flinders (I’m planning a future post on these).

View from cliff top
Memorial to 15 members of the football team who were drowned in 1892.
Old police cells (modern police station behind)
A walking possibility!
Shopping complex where the railway station once stood.

Jackalope

After checking out from our accommodation, we spent a bit of time around Mornington.   We then decided to head for a winery for lunch.  Our first choice was closed (notwithstanding that the map I’d got from the information centre said it would be open)!   So we headed down the road, and found we were at Jackalope.

Well, with the benefit of hindsight, I now realise that it had been mentioned to me, but I was not prepared for the stylish atmosphere that we encountered.  We had a lovely lunch at the Rare Hare, all designed around “tasting plates” of various sizes, for sharing.  We had the chargrilled squid, roasted pumpkin and the ducklegs.    Very innovative, good flavours and interesting presentation.  Our only minor quibble is that we’re sure the quince jelly mentioned on the menu as accompanying the duck legs had been replaced by a tomato relish;    kind of an interesting touch, and I was OK with it, but S wasn’t impressed.

Seating was at benches (but no problems with these), and the number of patrons even though we were there early in the week attests to the fact that this place has clearly earned a name for itself.

Hotel reception, accommodation block behind
The Rare Hare restaurant
View over the vines while at lunch
More vines!
So trendy for up-market chefs to have a kitchen garden!
..and yes, lots of things growing in the kitchen garden!
Accommodation wing at Jackalope

 

Sorrento

After a “continental breakfast” (included in our room rate) consisting of generous serves of muesli, fruit, croissants and rolls and more, we ventured down the peninsula to Sorrento.   The day was cool and cloudy, but there was no sign of rain.

Lunch was at The Baths, our first visit after it was rebuilt after a fire a few years back.  Very pleasant welcome and nice food, although the kitchen was slightly slow I thought (not really complaining just mentioning).  We were amazed that the carpark at the Back Beach when we headed there was completely full – we had stumbled on a memorial service.    I returned later, when things were less hectic and. yes, the timeless atmosphere of the back beach is intact!

After a stroll around the shops, we headed to the Sorrento Hotel for “coffee with a view”, thence back to our accommodation to get ready for dinner.

The Baths – rebuilt
View from The Baths
Pop-up ice skating rink being erected on Sorrento foreshore
Sorrento Back Beach – timeless
Ferry watching while having a coffee
From balcony at our accommodation – city skyline across the bay

To Mornington

We’re spending a couple of nights at Mornington.    Yes, I know it’s not very far from home, but in a pleasant hotel room with a balcony giving an uninterrupted view of the Bay, we feel as though we could be in another country!

We arrived in time for a great lunch at The Rocks, down by the yacht club, and enjoyed a walk along the pier on a sunny winter’s day.   We then had dinner at the Royal Hotel.

The Rocks, Mornington
Yachts, Mornington
Sunset from hotel room

Anatomy

I was in an aisle at the library that I don’t usually venture down…..and came across The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Anatomy.  Well, something different, I thought, and since I had recently read an article  about the operation of the gut which in a strange way had been interesting, I thought I’d delve a little deeper into the subject!

I know that anatomy is second nature to health professionals – for good reason –  but I certainly can’t say that I absorbed even a fraction of the information.   Just as well I never enrolled in a course that involved studying anatomy.   Soooo many names to learn!  I wouldn’t have stood a chance.     What amazingly complex things our bodies are!   I learned that the skin is 16% of the body’s weight, and that the lymph system is actually part of the circulatory system (and the immune system) in that it returns excess issue fluid to the veins, via  the lymph nodes which filter out and destroy bacteria and other harmful nasties.

Looking at the chapter about the arms. I paused to wonder if the scapula (shoulder blade) is actually attached to the rest of the skeleton.   No, it’s not, it isn’t connected by way of a joint to the spine, only by numerous muscles and ligaments to the ribs.   There is a “fake joint” called the scapulothoracic joint, where the scapula moves against the rib cage, but isn’t connected by any bony connection.  The only bony link between the shoulder arm bones and the spine is by way of the collar bone (clavicle), which actually serves as a strut to keep the shoulder away from the body.

And of course there’s a great deal more!

Data matching

The Australian Taxation Office is pretty good at matching up the data it receives from various sources to individual taxpayers.  Well, so it ought to be, it’s not rocket science – most of the data they receive presumably comes with tax file numbers.

And sometimes the ATO likes to portray itself as being a little helpful, too.  Hence, I recently received a letter from them drawing attention to the fact that I might be in a zone where I could be affected by the upcoming changes to the superannuation rules.

As it happens, I was already aware of this.   But I couldn’t help wondering why the letter was addressed to our residential address – when we always use a different mailing address (a P O Box) for all our superannuation and ATO correspondence.   Sounds as though there’s room to fine-tune that matching process!