New balls please .....
We had a smooth, uneventful trip to Melbourne and yesterday spent our first full day exploring the city. The temperature was perfect and this is typical Melbourne weather - mid 70 degrees but with a cool breeze. We're already getting a "good vibe" here. We walked to Federation Square to take a look around and then on down by the Yarra River, heading in the general direction of the MCG. We then had a thought - the Melbourne Open was on and the tennis arenas were next door. Through the champions walkway and five minutes later we has bought afternoon tickets to see Serena Williams and Andy Murray (Ian and Jill's oldest I believe) at the Rod Laver Arena. Cost around two hundred quid mind (as Anna kept reminding me) but we thought - sod it, you don't get a better line up than that.
Serena got beaten by a newcomer - Sloane Stephens who as underdog, we were rooting for. Jill and Ian's finest then pulverised some French guy who was sh*t. I thoroughly enjoyed it - chilling out in the shade watching some world class tennis. Anna on the other hand got bored and restless after about an hour. This girl has no patience and finds it impossible to sit still and watch. Instead as usual, she just starting poking me for amusement and praying for straight sets victories. On this subject let me pause for a moment and pay tribute to my erstwhile partner, Miss Anna Ellis, with whom I have spent almost three weeks in close proximity with another six to go.
The best tribute I could pay is that Anna will make a perfect..... PA for someone one day. Indeed, she is very close to becoming my permanent PA and only needs to improve in a couple of areas. I will be documenting some feedback so she can address these in due course.
Let's focus on a couple of Anna's qualities for a moment. Firstly, she has a massive brain which almost seems to pulse on her forehead and which can pick up WI FI signals which is very handy for accessing the bbc website. Secondly, she is very adaptable and could live anywhere really. She has taken to Melbourne like a duck to water. Thirdly, Anna does a good job of washing my "boccos" although I was short of a pair tonight which wasn't good and had to put a four day old pair on. All in all though, a good egg and a BJ rating of 4 is deserved for a quality performance thus far on the trip.
Today, it was much warmer - around 90 degrees and we had a look around the city, taking the free tram tour and chilling out. We stumbled across the Mercer office and so we thought it would be funny to take a few pictures of me contorting around the Mercer sign and then send them into work. Had a walk along the south bank (like London really) and then the Crown Entertainment Complex, which is an indoor mall with a casino and restaurants. The shopping is still not great though. The G Star Jeans were over £200 quid.
I've mentioned it before, but I am staggered at how expensive things are here. Compared to five years ago everything is at least twice the price and some things are triple of the price of back home.
Anyway, we can understand why Melbourne was voted the most liveable city - it is a lovely place, a bit like San Fran. We could well imagine ourselves here. There is more to do than in
Perth and it feels a bit more cosmopolitan.
Back down the river tonight for a few drinks and then off to check out St Kilda tommorow. It's all about the suburbs here.........