Saturday, 16 April 2016

Last day of the hols

One of my oldest and dearest friends is Australian, and I met her a long time ago when she came over to the UK to do some further training as a midwife, and also to spend time with her cousins, who happen to be my cousins too!  So, we are related, by marriage, which makes our relationship even more valuable to me.  We hit it off from day one, all those years ago, back at the beginning of the 1970s.  

Apart from seeing my son and his family, one of the bonuses of coming to Australia is to catch up with this very special lady.  She lives up in Coffs Harbour, and I have posts on the running wave, from time spent with her, up there, a few years ago.  

Today, we spent the day together in Melbourne, and caught up with each others' lives again.  If there is a gap of one year, or twenty (as has happened) it doesn't make any difference.  We just pick up where we left off, so today was a very good day indeed!  When one has the time to regroup with someone special, it makes you realise what an important part of your life they are, however far away they may live.

We started off with a trawl along Hosier Lane, graffiti central in Melbourne.  I was there three weeks ago, but even so, things have changed, as they do with graffiti.


The first piece above, on 31 March, is now the image on the right.  Things get covered over, and, in the past, we have seen some wonderful work disappear, smothered and hidden underneath something else.  Sometimes, I find it quite sad that such a magnificent piece of street art has disappeared from view .... for ever.  But that's the way of it, and the graffiti artists know that.  

I am not sure what these trifles are, little bits and pieces, tied to the bars at high level, along one section of Hosier Lane, but they are very feminine and pretty, in the midst of all the surrounding graffiti, which is often bold, and occasionally aggressive.  I rather like these  random little expressions of something or other!
We walked across the road from Hosier Lane to Federation Square and found a second hand book fair.  I cannot pass by a collection of second hand books, so we had a little browse.  These old children's books were fetching high prices - $50 or more.
 And then into the art gallery which forms part of the arts complex of Federation Square.  I particularly like the work of Frederick McCubbin, whose work you can see below.  He was painting in the late 1880s, with a soft palette of colours, and these images can only be Australia!
We then headed for the botanical gardens.  Room to breath and to chat!


From the botanics, we walked back towards the city centre, and the National Gallery, where we had lunch, and oggled at the bicycle-inspired installation below, 
 an Austrian bentwood cradle,
and the work of an architect, whose weird and wonderful installation was positioned outside, at the back of the gallery.  Not sure Henry Moore would welcome the colourful backdrop for his piece of sculpture!

Today rounded off another great trip to Melbourne.  It is a wonderful city.  Stimulating and vibrant in so many ways.  Mr Gaucho and I will have to come over here again before too long, to make the acquaintance of our new grandchild, who is due to make an appearance in a few weeks time!  I booked this trip, with my eldest granddaughter, before I knew about the next new addition to the family.  So, this visit has been great, but the next one will be even better!


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