Travel Expo

I wandered along to the Travel Expo because I had a quiet Sunday afternoon.   Although it’s not really my type of thing, I do have to respect Flight Centre for the way it works:   get a whole lot of suppliers there, create a lot of “activity” (presentations and the like), publicise some “specials”, have lots and lots of travel agents (all the Flight Centre brands) on hand to sign people up, and hopefully by the end of the day, there will be plenty of new business!   Perhaps there weren’t a lot of booths that were of interest to me, but just the same I collected some  reading matter for later on.

Although we’re thinking about possible travel for next year, we’re not sure what else might be happening in our lives that would affect our plans, so it’s premature to make any firm arrangements.   And, frankly, I’d be too analytical to “grab a special” at an event such as this.  Nevertheless, there was certainly a crowd, and so far as I could tell, the numerous travel agents present seemed busy.

 

Night Life

We went to the Night Life exhibition being put on by the National Trust at Ripponlea.     It showcases evening wear (almost exclusively women’s)  from the early 1920s – featuring lots of beads and glitter – to the “Moderne” style of the 30s (with a greater focus on prints).

It also includes  the works of some contemporary Melbourne  designers who view the era through modern eyes.

Winter Breakfast launch

Prahran Mission’s Winter Breakfast launch is an annual event.    This year, there was a good turnout, notwithstanding the early morning start on a chilly foggy day!    Not as many as at the Salvo breakfast, but the arrangements all ran smoothly.

The keynote speaker was Kevin Sheedy, well-known footballer and coach, who spoke entertainingly of his early upbringing in the Prahran and Malvern areas, as well reminding us that mental health issues affect footballers at times, and it’s an issue that coaches (and others) need to be able to live and deal with.

Still no Grace (is it a cringe or just overlooked?), but also no coffee until after the breakfast service had finished.   Those of us with an early-morning caffeine addiction were nearly panting for it by the time it came! But in the meantime, the food was good.

 

ANZAC Day

As I’ve blogged in the past, I don’t get too carried away by ANZAC Day.  Yes, it has a role, and we have sometimes been involved with it, but this year we’re “passing” on attending.  And, just for the record, the dismal weather forecast didn’t come into our calculations!

We had a look at the TV from time to time.

Things looked damp at the Dawn Service, but the weather was kinder to the march.

 

 

 

Whither the Australian Open

As a child we went to the Show every year.   In theory it was about the animals and agriculture, but for us it was about the displays, the rides and the showbags.     I detect something similar with the Australian Open.    It’s supposedly about the tennis, but increasingly it’s about the other activities:  sitting around outside the courts in the different food and drink venues and so on.

Just the same, we weren’t impressed by the “side show” activities on our day at the tennis.    The beer we bought was an up-market brand (all that was available) so was priced accordingly – but was served in a plastic cup!   Yes, I know, there’s a “no glass” rule, but, hey, if it’s a premium product, then the “ambiance” of its presentation is a big part of the marketing ploy.   Likewise the pizza slices – expensive, supposedly a high-end brand, but served in a cardboard box and frankly the quality was pretty terrible.  In short, the brand names seem to be just cashing in on the exclusive rights without really caring about maintaining their reputation.

img_9688aAfterwards, we walked over the new  “Tenderrum Bridge” back to Fed Square, past various activities which I see are referred to as the “AO Festival”.   Oh well, what with these activities and the expansion of the tennis centre itself, who needs natural parklands these days?

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Just “hanging out”!

Tennis

We were given tickets to the Australian Open (thanks C), and found we had great seats on Centre Court for the Djokovic/Istoman match.   Istoman, who’s he, I thought?  Turns out he’s ranked 117 in the world, comes from Uzbekistan, is coached by his mother – and nearly 5 hours later, he’d beaten Djokovic in 5 sets.

I’m no expert, but although Djokovic had moments where he shone, Istoman was the more consistent player.   It seemed from the outset that this would be an interesting game, as it took over 16 minutes for Djokovic to retain his serve in the first game.    Djokovic seemed to be let down by his serve, and in the rallies, he appeared unwilling to take risks, preferring to wait for his opponent to make an error.   In the 3rd set things seemed to turn around for a while, but it didn’t last.

img_9612aIt was one of those games that will go down in history, and it’s nice to be able to say, “we were there”!

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Hristos se Rodi

7 January was Orthodox Christmas (according to the Old Calendar), so we celebrated Christmas Eve the previous day.  This involved the traditional gathering of the badnjak (oak tree), then we went out to dinner at a local restaurant.    Then it was Christmas Day lunch at another restaurant, after exchanging Christmas greetings (Hristos se Rodi! Vaistinu se Rodi! – Christ is Born! Indeed He is Born!) and opening presents.    After lunch we watched a little of the Pier to Pub swim – although obviously challenging for those involved, it’s not really a great spectator sport!    However, the day was lovely, and the threatened sharks kept away!

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