Shepparton – day 263 (K)

An early-ish start to a Sunday morning as we were helping out at an event being held at Latrobe University. Having seen an advert that McDonalds in Australia were now doing all-day breakfasts, Tracey and I had had a conversation last night (around the fifth glass of wine) about going there for breakfast! So, got showered and dressed before putting the fruit in the car (was being donated from Tracey’s work to the forum), jumping in the car and heading down the road. Another moment stood in front of the menu, gazing in awe at all the burgers that we don’t get back in the UK – must have taken me about five minutes to drool over the menu before deciding what to get. Was sorely tempted by a frozen Coke but since it’s winter here and a little too chilly for a frozen drink (and, bizarrely, I’m loving feeling the cold after months of heat and humidity!). After filling up on greasy goodness, we headed over to the university and unloaded the car. Caught up with Charles (a friend of Tracey’s from Rotary) who was organising the African Youth Forum. The forum was organised to hear and learn from young people about the issues of greater concerns to them. There was a range of professionals discussing issues ranging from education and training, apprenticeship, mental health, mentoring and domestic violence against women and girls. We were in charge of registering people who were attending the event. Notice how organised the leaflets are?!? That was my job…
I was also in charge of setting out the refreshments… I guess my OCD ways haven’t diminished at all during our months of travelling – In fact, they may have gotten worse!!The morning passed pretty quickly as we chatted to the Mayor and some of the political candidates who had come to do a quick campaign speech at the start of the forum. Chatted loads with Tracey as people trickled in, lots of them coming directly from church, whilst we sneaked peeks at various rooms and notice boards in the university – is a much nicer university than the ones I went to in England… Made me want to be a student again!Popped into the supermarket on the way home to grab some lunch and annoy Ashleigh on the deli counter, who was back at work today. Resisted the urge to go on a massive shopping spree in the stationary shop, choosing the steal the chocolate muffin from Ashleigh hot chocolate meal deal instead…
Headed back to the house to watch some TV and have a relaxing afternoon before Tracey goes back to work tomorrow (having worked all weekend too!). Got introduced to the show ‘Orange is the New Black’ which was good, although tough when you start in season six. I had to keep asking what was going on! Met up with Tracey’s parents who, very kindly, took us out for a Thai meal at a nearby restaurant. My medium hot curry had quite a kick to it and I felt substantially stuffed as we left. Also said ‘thank you’ in Thai to the waitress who looked at me as if I was insane!! Semi-finals of ‘House Rules’ rounded off a great evening! 9 days to go.

Sunday 26th June 2016

Shepparton – day 262 (K)

Woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of Ashleigh throwing up. Poor girl has food poisoning from the fish and chips that I bought – don’t I feel guilty?!? Felt even worse as I stayed wrapped up, warm, in bed while I let Tracey deal with it… Since Tracey had to work at the florists this morning, Ash and I took to the sofa and watched films. So nice catching up on chick flicks – He’s just not that into you, New Years Eve and Pitch Perfect 2 – whilst I looked after Ash, although I didn’t do anything! She waited until Tracey came home at midday to ask her to get her stuff, even though I’d been offering all morning!! Lols – the joys of being a mother. Never ends, even when they are nearly 20! On the plus side, Ash had made us some cupcakes with her university friends so Tracey and I had coffee and cake as we chatted – they were delicious.The rest of the afternoon was chilled out, watching TV, teasing Ash and chatting whilst watching Modern Family. Tracey had a Rotary Club changeover dinner at the local golf club, so we got dressed up, abandoned Ash on the sofa and headed out. 

Late June every year is a time of change in the Rotary world. At that time of the year, all 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the World conduct a Changeover ceremony which brings new leadership, new ideas, a new theme and renewed vitality to each Club. The changeover of leadership occurs throughout Rotary at Club, District and International level. This meeting was a club changeover, seeing a new president being presented with the presidential badge as well as giving out 100% attendance awards and thanking people for the support over the past year. People kept asking me what Rotary club I belonged to in the UK so Tracey filled in my name badge, declaring me as an ‘international drifter’. Was a great conversation starter!! Think I bored many people with the story of our travels – everyone being surprised that Australia has 19 UNESCO sites. Sat on the table with a political candidate so there was lots of talk about the recent EU referendum over dinner – a rack of lamb with vegetables and chocolate cake or cheesecake for pudding (fortunately, Tracey and I got one of each so we shared!). Having drunk wine during dinner, we were both up for a few more drinks when we got home. Unfortunately, we clearly think we are younger than we actually are because one glass of wine sat on the sofa and we were both falling asleep… 10 days to go!

Saturday 25th June 2016