Monday, 2 April 2007

Monday 2 April 2007 - Melbourne

I flew into Melbourne late Sunday morning, and after dumping my gear at the motel, decided to go the Melbourne Zoo. I got on a bus and then the train at Box Hill station. Eventually I asked someone if they knew where I had to get off, and discovered that I had to go right into the city then catch a different line. I was quite tempted to abandon my plan and just wander around the city, as I was getting pretty hungry and I was wondering if I would have enough time to fully enjoy the zoo.

I am not sure why, but I made a split second decision and then ended up on the right train, but had no idea where to get off. I asked a lady sitting next to me - but she didn't know. So, I thought I would see how things went - it is all an adventure, after all - and when I looked at the stations it occurred to me that Park Royal was a sign I had seen near to where the taxi driver had pointed out the zoo. As we neared the station, I saw the zoo entrance. My next big chore was to try and get something to eat, and I really was disappointed as I went into the 'shop' and all that was available - for me - was hot wasn't until I was sitting down that I noticed another food outlet nearby! least I had something in my stomach and was then able to head out and explore the area. The lions were magnificent..and I was lucky enough to pass by just as they were about to be fed. They had been penned into a small cage while the keeper went around and threw slabs of meat up in trees and across toys. They paced impatiently but were eventually allowed back into the run, and I got some great film of them 'chasing' their prey. The reptile and frog collection was excellent, and of course the apes were fantastic. Some gibbons just couldn't sit still..I wonder if they have ADD? I had to photograph the giraffes as there is a photo of me there when I was about 18months old. It was a very nice afternoon, and I quite enjoyed myself. On the way home I had to wait at Box Hill station for an hour for the bus, so I decided to go and find somewhere to eat. I wandered into Noodle Kingdom. It was a very strange experience as I was the only non-Asian there. I chose Spicy Deepfried Squid which was delicious and the waiter offered me a fork - which I declined. Interestingly, thermos flasks of jasmine tea were provided on the tables, much like we would have bottles of water....

On Monday my HP course started. The place I am staying at is only 8 minutes walk away, which is handy. The course has one other person from Qld Health and 2 guys from the University of SA. The trainer is from Sydney, so no-one is from Melbourne! It is great to be learning about the application. On Monday night I went to a workshop, being held by the 'Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies', on Irish Family History Research. Their library is located at Blackburn, only about a 3.5km walk from where I am staying. Even though I don't have any Irish ancestors on my side, Darryl does, and it was a very informative workshop in any case. On Tuesday night, it was the AIGS library night, so I walked down again, and did some research. They have quite a good collection of Scottish records, so I spent a bit of time on those, and also tried to un-fathom the mystery of John William Ireland and Ann Peters - who indicated that at some stage they were from Victoria. Unfortunately, there is still no joy with them, but I have some sources to follow up once I return home.

Wednesday night was one to stay at home. The motel unit had a spa and it was the first time for me to 'have a go'. On Thursday morning I decided to treat myself for my birthday and went down to the restaurant at the motel for breakfast. I had a cheese, mushroom and bacon omelette and a cup of coffee (the same as I had the previous two mornings), but this time is cost me $20! For lunch our class went to TaiPan chinese restaurant (purportedly the best Chinese restaurant in Australia!) and had Yum Cha! It was fantastic! Apart from all the other tasty treats I had pork & jellyfish, and a really nice green tea jelly for dessert - just yummy! And - the cost was only $20 each. Friday was exciting as it was the day to go home. I arrived back after 8pm and was pretty exhausted.

Saturday saw the final day of the Beginner's Genealogy Course. Helen and I have been presenting this over 4 weeks and I feel that it was very successful. We were each presented with a beautiful fruit basket. Then on Sunday we had a sausage sizzle at Bunnings to raise funds for the association.

Today I was back at work, and back to my substantive position. We can only be away from our substantive position for 12 months before we are asked to make a choice - relinquish the substantive position, or give up the secondment - I chose to go back to my substantive position.


  1. Hi Chris What a great adventure sounds like you had a whiz of a time. Lovely city Melbourne - its just the weather you have to get used to. cheers Lionel

  2. Sounds like you had a fantastic time!! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! I hope you had a really great day :)