Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Melbourne Continued Thursday 31st July

Everyone slept in that morning. David had come home late from the concert and was also finally getting used to being on holidays and not having to get up early. Even though the weather was looking decidedly Melbournish, we decided a day trip to the Dandenongs was in order. Swapping cars, we took David's up the ranges and headed to Emerald Lake Park where you can catch Puffing Billy. We were too late to catch a ride however and instead amused ourselves by looking at the Emerald Lake Park Model Railway which is the largest working model railway in HO scale in the Southern Hemisphere. David was initially skeptical, but almost as soon he entered he saw the photography potential and headed back to the car to grab his camera. We ended up spending ages in there with David taking quite a lot of photos. Yvette got chatting to the guy who owned it and he told us he had taken all his superannuation and bought it about five years ago. You can imagine the reaction when he rang and told his daughter what he'd bought. He has done an amazing amount of work in those years and turned it from something that was really quite ordinary into something that held our attention for ages. I could imagine kids would go nuts in there especially as there are little buttons you can press which make things move, lights flash and noises sound. After that we had a spot of lunch in the café on the lake where in winter you can hire rowboats and pedalboats. As we were leaving we passed a keen group of young kids about to go canoeing. Hopefully their skill level was high enough not to fall in the water.
After a bit of a driving tour looking at the mountains from the warmth and dryness of the car, we drove to the William Ricketts Sanctuary, a protected area of forest containing the sculptures of the well-meaning, but slightly odd William Ricketts. Ricketts spent a lot of time with aboriginal communities in the outback and this informs his works. He also had an odd Christian philosophy which mixed with the aboriginal imagery produced some interesting works. The sculptures are quite amazing though having been fired but not glazed and put into the forest where they have begun to darken, grow moss and become part of nature. The rain had started to become a little annoying by this stage and we headed back to the carpark and down into the Churinga café and lounge for a Devonshire tea which had some of the best scones I've had in a long time.
That night we were booked in for Jamon Sushi which is a very expensive sushi place in South Yarra, apparently one of the posh areas of Melbourne. This is one of David's favourite food places in Melbourne and has been for nine years or more. Over this time he has gotten to know the chef quite well and has taken some brilliant photos of his work. The food was quite nice and I tried smoked eel (unagi) for the first time ever. It's actually quite nice. However what wasn't nice at all was some kind of crab miso which was made of the crab's offal and the membrane separating the meat from the guts. Had other people not been there eating it, I would have probably refused however I felt my manliness was under scrutiny and had some on a piece of lavosh-like material. It was disgusting. Absolutely foul. It tasted like the gross orangey crap you occasionally accidentally eat from the heads of prawns. The most amusing thing of the night was having a smoke outside watching a guy exit a minimart wearing trackies and ugg boots take a wizz on a wall and then climb into his BMW 4WD. South Yarra may be posh, but money obviously does not buy class. Then again, he was a BMW driver so what can you expect?

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