Before I reach full BurbleMode, I thought I'd show you a picture of the office. I haven't put pictures up before, because the More Visual Person is planning to do a whole picture blog thing at her place. Also, I'm lazy. You can click on any pictures here for the full thing. If that doesn't work, you could try complaining. Won't do you any good, but you can try.
We work on the 27th floor.
We are both well over the jetlag, but for some reason we are still waking up at a reasonable time in the morning. So, we were up and about today with a chance to go out for breakfast, rather than the lateish brunch, maybe lunch, that was our old habit. Give us a week and normal service will be resumed.
So, before ten o'clock we found ourselves sitting in the (cold) sunshine at a cafe by the river ordering a Croque Monsieur and a Toastie to help balance a long black and flat white (Australian coffee is excellent, but confusing). When one thinks of a toastie, one does not normally imagine the plate I was presented with. If there has been a glut of eggs on the world market, I can assure you that the crisis is past. It took ten minutes of determined mining through delightful, fluffy scrambled perfection before I could see the edges of the plate. As usual, we shared our breakfasts. That strange sound heard in Europe last night was caused by my arteries clanging shut at the sight of the Croque Monsieur.
We strolled down from Federation Square to the river bank path, where we hired some bicycles. I say strolled, because that's what we did. The Normally Navigationally Challenged One pointed out that we could have trotted down some steps in a tenth of the time. This set the navigational theme for the day. Hey ho.
We wanted to have a closer look at some of the areas that have been recommended to us as areas to live. We pedalled down towards Port Melbourne, which is an up-and-coming trendy area a couple of Ks from the city centre. It is half residential, and half huge working port facility. However, the grotty port operations are well separated from the trendy apartments. There's a good beach running all along the coast of Port Philip Bay here. It starts at Port Melbourne, and runs down through St. Kilda to Elwood. Here's a map for those with bandwidth to burn.
The person hiring the bikes out had given us an excellent map, so I stuffed my nose in it and proceeded to get lost. Fortunately, the One With The Common Sense just read the signs. We found the beach after about 20 minutes gentle cycling. Port Melbourne is lovely. It's got everything we could possibly need. It's about ten minutes by tram from the city centre, it's got pubs, bars, shops, restaurants, apartments and houses. And it's on the beach. The water is astonishingly clear for a place so close to a city of 3 million. If we can, it's where we want to live.
After a good rootle around, we cycled along the path by the beach. This led us past a couple of yacht clubs, including our current favoured candidate. The clubhouse and boat storage are on the beach, and the facilities look excellent. We pottered on down to St. Kilda. We'd be happy to live anywhere along there.
We went far enough south along the beach to find places that, while OK, didn't really compare to Port Melbourne and St. Kilda West, so we headed inland to Albert Park (where the Formula 1 Grand Prix is held in March), There's a large artificial lake in the middle of the park, and adinghy club was racing. They must have had about 50 boats launching. Interestingly, there were a significant contingent of Laser 4.7s, which may be a sign that it gets windy here. Local knowledge needed. There's also a place where you can hire sailing dinghies, including an RS Vision. It's AU$55 an hour, which isn't exactly cheap. We're probably better off just buying our own.
Everybody knows that Australia is upside-down. Less well known is that it's all in photographic negative. The swans are black:
First this year.
One of the parents was rootling up grass from the lake bottom, and dropping it on one of the chicks, so they could all eat it before it sank. Almost too much cuteness.
We headed back into the city, and dropped the bikes off. We'd been out for about three hours. After a bit of a rest, we hiked over to Queen Victoria Market to see what it's like. We didn't get there until about 1530, by which time a lot of it was closing down. Executive overview: It's huge, you can get anything from meat to trinkets, but it's a bit too far away to carry anything back. We'd need to take the tram. Incidentally, have you ever considered what the need for an executive summary implies?
If someone asks for an executive summary, they are trying to imply that they are too busy to comprehend the full picture, and just want the important facts. This is, of course, rubbish. If a decision could be made with only the 'important facts', then that is all that would be in the report. If a decision can't be made without understanding the details, then an executive summary just leads to decisions being made by the uninformed. What a request for an executive summary really means is "I'm too stupid or lazy to understand this, but I don't trust you, the person with the knowledge, to make a decision". I'll leave you to decide whether spending hours making a decision based on an executive summary is a mark of laziness or stupidity. Unless you want the executive summary.
Back on topic. Except this blog doesn't have one. On the way back from Queen Victoria Market, we went shopping at the supermarket round the corner. One wonderful, if depressing, aspect of food shopping here is the meat. We spent several seconds debating whether we should buy rump steak or fillet for our stir fry. We decided that we couldn't bear to hack a fillet steak into strips, even if it would have been cheaper than buying about a cow's worth of rump steak for less than the price of a beer. The rump steak turned out fine.
Having cycled for three hours already, I went to the gym and spent some time on an exercise bike. Mostly, this was to assuage the guilt brought on by breakfast. I hammered it a bit, and my legs feel like they've been hit with sticks. Certain Persons suggested that they could have achieved the same outcome in minutes, and at little charge to myself. I think she was joking.
We went to the pub across the road for a beer. they have a wood fire, which is the only place the Delicate Tropical Flower can get even half-way warm. Electric blankets are being considered. They were showing a footy match between Fremantle and St. Kilda. We saw the first half. The match was rather one-sided. Fremantle wer up about 53-13 at half time. It's a hard game. the field is about the size of Canada, and physical violence seems mandatory. It's a wonderful spectator sport. I'd like to see some more.
I've just looked back to the post from a couple of days ago, where I mentioned that cycling, boats and forests were on the agenda for this weekend. Two items knocked off, and we're thinking ocean rather than forest for tomorrow. Partial result secured.
Once again, BZ TEAM HOBBYHORSE!