Australia versus Sri Lanka.

Australia had a 250 run lead at the end of the second day.

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Williamstown botanic gardens is a small park located at the northern part of Melbourne (Port Philip) Bay

The garden publishes its own pictures on Flickr

On Christmas Day (!) the park was popular with families having the great Australian barbie
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South Melbourne market

Dec 24, 2012

South Melbourne market is a traditional covered market that sells meat,2012-12-23 13.23.31 fish, 2012-12-23 13.21.08 fruit and veg, 2012-12-23 13.17.26 bags etc. It also contains a barber’s shop 2012-12-23 13.16.40 and a ladies’ hairdresser. The outer part of the market has been overhauled in the past few years (I believe) and here are a number of cafes selling good quality food and drink 2012-12-23 13.57.06

In the vicinity of the market are traditional Melbourne houses that were quite modest but are becoming very “desirable” as the mineral-fuelled Australian economy spirals upward.2012-12-23 13.09.102012-12-23 13.13.24

Swan Hill Pioneer town

Bill helps out at an aircraft hanger in Weribee, where a World War 2 B-24 bomber is being restored. The place is described by Bill as a “huge men’s shed” full of delightfully corroded and neglected pieces of aviation hardware

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.. ah yes, I was wondering where the rotating flange distributor, with the incising modification, from an Avro Avalanche had got too ..

that are painstakingly brought back to some sort of life by retired tradesmen

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and others of a practical bent

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.. to the man in the green tea-shirt, I would stand well back if I was you ..

where much banter is exchanged

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another tea-break is required

and work proceeds at a steady pace.

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.. hmmm, how come I have one of these left over ?

More images and videos .

A disaaaaster, darling

Dec 18, 2012

Well, pricey inconvenience really.

But let’s start with the good bit. I am now an evangelist for Emirates Airline and the Airbus A380. Boeing must envy this plane. On the Heathrow to Dubai and the Dubai to Melbourne legs economy is full, but the plane does not seem congested.

I also think that as the plane has been divided into 4 smaller cabins with a standing area at the back rather than squeezing in another row of seats AND the ceiling height means you don’t duck under the luggage lockers than you finger feel cabin fever.

It may be my imagination but are the seats a tad wider? Is the seat pitch a fraction bigger? certainly there are more staff serving. The cutlery is metal. The children don’t cry.  The in-flight entertainment has large screens

and instant-play up-to-date movies.

Even audio Monty Python on one of the audio channels. It just seems everything is better. The only slight down side in cattle clews is the 3_4_3 seat configuration. Mercifully my request for an aisle seat has been honoured. Still, another 90 hours travel. Ask me my opinion when it gets to half-past Monday.

But the “disaster”. Why oh why, when I was standing to get off at Dubai did I not concentrate that I had everything at every major pinch point. Why oh why did I not put all essentials in just one place such as inside pocket of coat? I did the airport pat down and yet I lose my phone. Yes, losing my passport would have been a real disaster. But two weeks after losing my dance shoes? Get a grip.

I discovered the loss of the phone when in transit. I dashed back to the transit security, wrong one. There is a second transit security. I am sweating now. And blow me down, it is a quiet time and a smiling security man, Ibrahim, may Allah protect you, my new brother, had my trusty, diminutive Galaxy Ace in his hand. To celebrate I am writing this blog. As penance, another donation to St Mungo’s the homeless charity.