Tuesday 14th February
Today Pat and I paid another visit to the Beaumaris Men’s Shed where Bob, one of the members gave an interesting and informative presentation on a drawing package called Sketchup, although designed mainly for creating drawings of buildings, as Bob demonstrated, it is ideal for producing drawings of pieces to be made in the Shed. We then returned to P&K’s where I helped Pat with a word processor for the production of his latest book on recycling.
We then all returned to Aspendale to celebrate Graeme’s birthday, we were joined in the garden by Sean, Moni, and the boys for a BBQ in the evening sunshine. The celebrations were topped off with another of Briony’s cake creations, this time the theme was an Aussie Rules football pitch. We agreed that it was a great day and I felt it was so good to be here to celebrate it with him.
Wednesday 15th February
As today was predicted to be rather warm, I decided to stay home and sort out some of my photographs and blog posts, plus I thought that if I had any spare time that I would help tidy up the garden a bit. As usual, time drifted away from me and I never got near the garden, however, I did manage to get my blog updated and it was good to just relax a bit in the sunshine.
Thursday 16th February
Today I decided to get my walking shoes on again and head out, firstly to the suburb of Richmond to see if the 50-metre Dimmeys mural, by Hayden Dewar, was still there and what condition it was in, I was very pleased to see that it was indeed still there and, apart from a couple of little tags, in good condition, (Click on this link to read about it and see the images from when I visited in 2018). As the day was starting to heat up, (it eventually got to be over 35 degrees), I picked up lunch from the supermarket in the Dimmeys building and had an enjoyable lunch just watching the world go by. After lunch, I thought that I would visit some of the murals shown on my app, this took me initially to the Clifton Hill area to find that a very good-looking mural had been painted over, which was a bit disappointing, rather than continuing through Clifton Hill, I went back to the Fitzroy and Collingwood area to photograph some more from the app, it was a mixed bag sort of afternoon, I found some good murals, some not so good and plenty that had been spoiled by loads of tagging.
It turned out to be really sunny and hot, which took me into a nice little Collinwood bar called the Gem, where I had a nice pot of ale and a blether with some regulars, this is one of the things I like about Melbourne, the people are so friendly and just like Glasgow, like nothing better than chatting.
As the afternoon wore on and I was beginning to weary in the heat, I took a tram to South Yarra to meet Graeme for a pint in the Arcadia Hotel near his work before catching the train to Mordialloc where we stopped for a meal in one of the local hostelries. On our return home, we were greeted by Briony and her friend Simon, who was the best man at their Australian wedding, it was good to catch up with him.
Friday 17th February
It was a scorcher today with temperatures reaching the high 30’s so it was a stay-at-home day, although we walked to Aspendeli, a nice new deli/cafe just around the corner from the house, we had to leave Joffrey at home though as the pavements were too hot for his paws. By the late afternoon I was getting a bit bored so decided to chance the weather, covered myself in sunscreen and with my wide-brimmed hat on I ventured out to find a mural by Hayden Dewar which I had read was nearby, after a long walk into an industrial estate, I gave up as it was just too exhausting in the heat to go too far. I think I turned back at the right time as the weather suddenly changed, the wind got up and it started to rain, I managed to get some shelter in a petrol station forecourt until the rain stopped, and the sun came back out. I then headed home, stopping only to sit for a while to watch a local cricket match ( really it was an excuse to just sit for a while). The only consolation for this trip was a schooner of ale in the nearby Braeside Brewery on my travels.
Saturday 18th February
This morning whilst Briony took Joffrey to his Rally exercise class, Graeme and I caught up with the papers, on Bri & Joffrey’s return we went to a community market in the special needs school around the corner, it was a nice place to see how the school integrates with the community, and we all had a nice lunch into the bargain.
In the afternoon Graand I had a lazering masterclass, before going out to the garage to make some things for the family, Graeme is a quick learner so I don’t think I will get too many calls for help in the future.
Sunday 19th February
Today we all had a quiet morning, reading papers, catching up with emails and puzzles etc., before heading over to Urban Ground for Briony’s birthday bash, this bar/food court, which is only a 10-minute walk away was an ideal place to hold it, they had arranged a private area for our group which was next to the bar and adjacent food stalls. All of the Cullin clan and plenty of Briony’s friends turned up, it was so good to see them all there with their expanding families, Briony’s popularity meant that some of her friends had travelled quite some distance to be there, one guy even altered his journey from New York to be there. The party went on into the evening and I can honestly say the walk back across the park seemed much longer, perhaps the open bar they had laid on made the difference.
Monday 20th February
Today I went out mural hunting again, I started off in the suburb of Brunswick to see a mural on a silo near the railway station showing the outgoing New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Arden, showing her embracing a Muslim woman, this was painted by Melbourne artist Loretta Lizzie, after the devastating Christchurch mosque attacks in 2019.
Brunswick was I felt a nice place so I hung around, wandering its streets and lanes and taking photographs of murals before catching a tram to Collingwood to visit Easey’s for lunch, this place, in a converted Melbourne train, on the rooftop, still with its retro seats and decor, heavily graffitied though, is a nod the origins of hip hip and graffiti, it really was pretty cool to eat your lunch on a 1970’s train on top of a building looking out over the city. I stayed in the Collingwood area snapping away until it was time to catch the bus down to South Yarra to meet Graeme for our journey home.
Tuesday 21st February
Tuesday being Tuesday it was men’s shed day as they were having an induction day for new members at Pat’s shed in Beaumaris, he took me first to the local one in Mordialloc, this shed is limited for workshop space suits its members very well as they consider it to be more of a social space where the meet mainly to chat and play games etc.
Following that we travelled to a shed Pat had wanted to visit for some time, the Dingley Village Men’s Shed, situated in the nearby Braeside Park, we were both very impressed with the shed, they had a large well equipped workshop, covering woodwork, metalwork, welding and car servicing, with a large well-used cycle repair and refurbishment section. In addition to the workshops, there are well-equipped art, photographic, and computing sections, they even have a large flight simulator setup with some licensed pilots who are willing to assist. They, like all of the sheds I have visited, do great work for the local community, however, the Dingley one is the only one I have seen with a small injection moulding setup where they recycle plastic milk bottles, turning them into picnic tables and benches, very innovative. I must admit that all this talk of men’s sheds may seem boring to some but I have really enjoyed visiting them and hearing about how it benefits men’s health.
We then returned to Aspendale to meet up with Briony and Kay for a nice lunch in the Aspendeli, Pat and I then travelled to Beaumaris to see a very good mural by Julian Clavijo on a beach hut near the Sailing club boathouse before going home. As it was sunny I sat reading my book before boredom set in causing me to get out the trimmer (they call them whipper snippers here) and do a bit of tidying up in the garden.
Due to all the exciting things we have planned for the remainder of my stay, I think this will be the last blog post from Australia, I will however finish off the blog when I get home, (jet lag permitting). There will also be some pages full of the wide and varied range of street and silo art I found during my time here, so watch this space.