Shepparton – day 269 (K)

A chilled out morning whilst Tracey was working her second job at the florists. Had a massive craving for beans on toast so I made some for breakfast whilst I pottered around the house, killing time until Tracey got home at midday.
Had some lunch, got dressed in Magpie colours before getting in the car and driving an hour to Seymour which has a more regular train service to Melbourne. On our way, we drove past the famous stumps. Dressed by a couple of local people, the tree stumps get a change of outfit based on the time of year – bunny outfits at Easter, Santa costumes at Christmas etc. Today, they were dressed up in football outfits. Very random but, apparently, really famous to the area.
Arrived in Seymour, parked the car and caught the train to Melbourne, looking out the window for kangaroos the entire way! Saw absolutely loads of them even if they were significantly smaller than the ones we had seen in the field a couple of weeks ago. A really quick hour and a half later and we pulled into Southern Cross station. Decided to make our lives easier and have dinner in the train station so after checking the train times to get us to Melbourne Cricket Ground, we found a pub and ordered some food. Turns out that we had completely over ordered and stuffed ourselves with far too much yellow food… I even had to keep the skewer in my burger as it was too big to keep it together with just my hands! Took the city train circle line four stops to get to the stadium. After walking all the way around to our gate, we had our page checked and found our seats. Tracey wasn’t too pleased as we seemed to be surrounded by the fans of the opposing team whereas I was just excited to be at an AFL game! Knowing full well that I was completely oblivious to what was going on, my plan was to just clap when Tracey did. However, clearly got over excited cause I began clapping straight away. Tracey prodded me sharply in the side and said ‘stop clapping – we are the other colours’ to which I replied ‘the yellow team?’… Turns out they were the referees!! The game was, apparently, not very good with both teams being equally good (or equally rubbish) and the scores were relatively low. On the plus side, the lack of ‘real’ action gave me ample opportunity to ask loads of questions. Got into the game and began cheering for the correct team!! Although when one of the players made a bad kick in the fourth quarter, I shouted ‘you dipshit’ which came out incredibly posh and made all the supporters around us laugh out loud. Fortunately, Collingwood won so we were both cheerful as we made our way back towards the train station that was incredibly busy. A fast train back to central station and we caught the train back to Seymour. An easy train journey and car drive back to Shepparton before falling into bed at 1.30am… 3 days to go.Saturday 2nd July 2016

Shepparton- day 261 (K)

My morning routine has now become a routine! Which is a strange thing to admit since I’ve not had a set routine for over nine months whilst we have been travelling – just get up and go with the flow!! A week in Australia and I already have a routine… Wake up, Skype Jayne, shower, make coffee and muesli and watch the news. It may not seem particularly interesting but it’s strangely reassuring to have a set routine when I wake up.Having finished my breakfast and caught up on foreign affairs, including the shocking result from the EU referendum, before giving the house a quick clean (got to earn my keep, after all!!!). Got started on the job of removing the sticky tape off the door of Ashleigh’s bedroom, which we had all been picking at gradually over time. 2 hours later and a huge amount of elbow grease, the door was perfectly clean and sticky free!The rest of the afternoon was spent completing, revising and editing my travel scholarship application form for World Nomads and Lonely Planet. The prize? A three day writing workshop in Melbourne and an all expenses paid 10-day road trip around Australia. It has also got me motivated to start applying for any travel competition I can find, so I started googling – there are so many!! Need to restrain myself, or Jayne and I won’t have any plans or reservations for our trip around Australia… Ashleigh is coming home from Melbourne university tonight for a week so I cleaned her room and moved my stuff into the spare room as Tracey is bringing a blow up mattress home. Headed out to the fish and chip shop to get some dinner for all of us – I ordered anything on the menu that I had no idea what it was or something that we can’t get in England. Potato cake burger was a winner, the chicken garlic ball as a chicken kiev and the pineapple fritter with cinnamon sugar was divine!! Ate whilst watching the AFL game between Collingwood and Fremantle.As Collingwood is the team that Tracey supports and my first AFL game, it was great that they won and is the first time that Collingwood has beaten Fremantle since 2012!! We talked about going to see a live game but there are no games being played locally when Jayne gets here – might have to see one without her… 11 days to go!!

Friday 24th June 2016

Shepparton – day 260 (K)

Having had a more ‘relaxed’ day yesterday, today was the day of productivity!! Woke up and Skyped Jayne before reading a bit more of my book (it’s already far too interesting and addictive!). Got showered and dressed before I got sucked in to reading another chapter and grabbed the duvet that Tracey needed washing and walked down the road to the laundrette. Now, I haven’t been to a laundrette since my university days a few years (ahem… 13 years) ago, however they are still the same… Brilliant old machines that object to the tiniest bit of dirt on your coins positioned next to tumble driers big enough to fit a fully grown human being inside! I put the duvet in the ‘big’ machine and stood in the corner (there were no seats) and tried to read my book. However, I got too distracted by the people coming in and out, carrying loads of clothes, towels and even someone with hospital uniforms. There was also a (very) pregnant woman wearing a thong (or worse… going commando!!) under her fully stretched, practically see through leggings. Thankfully the washing cycle was relatively quick and I managed to grab a tumble dryer before the laundrette started getting busy. 20 minutes later, the duvet was clean and dry! Walked back to Tracey’s house via the supermarket to pick up some essentials – cereal, toilet paper and more alcohol! The rest of the day was spent sorting out clothes washing, editing my Lonely Planet article and watching TV. Tracey came home from the gym and we had a dinner of left over food items and cheese whilst chatting about various things. Tracey’s colleague had seen the videos I have been sending daily of me singing to songs about loneliness and did her own, using a hairdryer as a wind machine… Bring it on – it’s now officially become a competition! Ate the rocky road chocolate apple as we watched a couple of episodes of ‘Orange is the New Black’ and caught the end of the AFL game between Adelaide and North Melbourne. I understand some of the rules now but still want to try and catch a live game whilst we are ‘down under’. 12 days to go!Thursday 23rd June 2016