The tap in the kitchen sink had a blocked nozzle. Whenever we turned it on, it sprayed wet happiness wherever it could. Normal people would have told the landlord, waited a few days, stayed in, and let a surly plumber fix it. We just lived with it - until this morning. After a light brunch on our balcony, I attacked the tap with a spanner and an incomplete understanding of the problem.
One could make an argument that The Sensible One as was a bit out-of-the-loop, decision-wise. My desire to present a successful result outweighed my common sense.
So, while I was (unobtrusively) wrestling with wrenches, spanners and washers, my conversation had degraded to 'Yes, Dear' level. Imagine my surprise when I was presented with a complete day plan. 'We're taking the train to Williamstown, the ferry back, and that would work better with a washer.' Damn. I hate it when she's right.
With no further argument, We toddled off, hopped on a train at Flinder's Street, changed at Newport and arrived at Williamstown Beach after the advertised 33 minutes. We whinge, but the public transport here is excellent. This trip was, of course, included in our weekly metcard.
Williamstown is about 12kms round the bay to the west of Melbourne. It's actually the bit of land that we can see from our apartment.
The beach is good. When the need to swim in the sea grabs us, we'll be toting our towels to Williamstown. The water looks clean, and people were swimming there today. We strolled along the dog-plagued paths in the direction of the town center. Photographs were taken. We saw our first Pacific Gull. It was only a chick, but was doing its best to haul the rotting carcass of a huge fish ashore, while terrorizing the (smaller) silver gulls. It was about the size of a Bristol Garbage Gull, and if it had been dragging the fish into a chip shop, demanding to have it deep-fried, we'd have felt right at home.
We strolled past the oil jetty where the supertankers deliver Melbourne's fuel, and the harbour where HMNZS Canterbury is getting her military-fit-out, to the centre of the town.
We found a lovely area. There's a huge green, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and at least one supplier of excellent ice-cream, all overlooking the harbour. The central pier hosts tour boats and ferries, and is the permanent home for HMAS Castlemaine.She's a WW2-vintage corvette, rigged for minesweeping. She looks very well cared for. She's open for public viewing. Next time, I'm going to go aboard and have a rootle.
Once we'd eaten our ice-creams, had a good look around and got bored, we hopped on a ferry in the mistaken impression that it would take us to St. Kilda. Wrong ferry. This one took us up the Yarra, past the car carriers, container ships, concrete carriers and a floating oil refinery back to Southgate, a short stroll from home. Result.
Once we got home, Sensible People had a light afternoon snack, rested on the balcony until the sun became too warm, then went inside to relax in the corner, looking out over the city and the bay.
The Team Nutter, meanwhile, grabbed his bike and snorted off by road to take this picture:
HMAS Castlemaine with my bike
8 miles. 60 minutes by ferry. 33 minutes by train. 31 minutes by nutter on a bike. Including getting lost.
In other news, U2 played the Telstra Dome tonight. We can now claim to have heard them live. I doubt there was an eardrum left intact inside the stadium. Kicking.