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We got to Keith and Joan's place at about 11:30PM, Thursday. The flight hadn't done my cold any favours, and, although I was tired, it was midnight and I got to sleep almost immediately, I didn't sleep well, waking at 5:30.
Friday night, Mum, Dad and Rev came round for dinner, and I ended up talking to Rev until well after 11PM. Once more, I was tired. This will be a theme for most of the trip, so I won't go on about it too much.
Saturday, we went to synagogue in the morning - caught a few people by surprise. It was good to catch up with a few people. Actually, again that wil be a theme. I'm not going to say it after every paragraph - take it as a given. A friend of Bec's, Manon, was down from Sydney. Bec got to catch up with her and I met her for the first time. We did some touristy things and then went to my cousin Jessie's farewell party, where I got to catch up with lots of family. We then went and voted before going back to Keith and Joan's.
We had dinner at the pub, and got back in time to find that the Bracks Government had been returned. This will get its own post later.
Sunday, Todd was down from Wodonga. I drove (Todd's new car - a Suburu) as Todd, Manon, Bec, Lindel and I went on a winery tour. We got to the first stop, I found I couldn't taste the wine because of the cold, and that was it - I was driving. Cool car.
Monday, we saw Bec's grandparents before going to Ballarat, where we stayed with our former neighbours. We had a look over the fence at our old garden. They'd taken round-up to the vegie garden. It was gone. The strawberry patch which could survive anything - can't. It was amazing how dry it was. Lake Wendouree is virtually empty - just a puddle or two in the middle.
Through the couple of days we caught up with heaps of people. Most notable was Rachel and Mark's kids. The twins were born after we left, and Edward had gone from a big toddler to a mini-human.
Wednesday, we headed back to Melbourne and saw Bec's parents and grandparents before going for dinner with David and Goldele.
Thursday morning we had brunch with Claire and Kym and Charlotte before I went to Monash. I had a meeting with Sridhar before he had one of his students show me the original of the equipment I've built and I had a chat with the student and with the guy who runs it.
Thursday night we went out to celebrate Lindel getting her Masters. Yay her!
Friday, I went into Melbourne Uni and caught up with a few people, primarily Richard, Chris and Audrey before going for dinner at Rachel and Ben's, where we were joined by Kerryn, Liv, Cass and Bob.
Saturday was my graduation (it will get its own post if I can be bothered), lunch with my grandparents, and both sets of immediate family. Saturday night was Rev and Heather's engagement party, where I caught up with lots of family, may-as-well-be-family family friends and Rover-friends.
Sunday we had breakfast with friends Bec went to Rangers with. After that, I went with Dad to drop off the unused alcohol from Rev's party. We then went to Simon and Sharon's wedding. Jonathan conducts good wedding ceremonies. I also caught up with more people, finally meeting Bennie's wife, and was surprised to bump into Deb. Sunday night was the reception. Again, it was a nice reception, and it was good to not only catch up with old friends, but also meet their partners.
Monday was my work at Melbourne Uni day. I got a few good ideas which will hopefully turn into papers. I also caught up with still more people, and I had lunch with Shane and Jason. That night I had a boys' night out on Lygon St with Chris and Jason. Under normal circumstances, it would get a few more details. Sadly, this one is already fairly long, so it won't. We met at 6, and when I next looked at my watch, it was after 11.
Tuesday was last minute chores, meet with financial adviser,spend time with Mum, Dad, Rev and Heather, see Nana and do some last minute shopping day. I was absolutely exhausted through the day. After dinner, Mum, Dad and Rev took us to the airport, where we were met by Joan and Lindel.
Because we had got exit row seats, Mum bought us each a beachball to use as a footstool. We also bought noise cancellation headphones. I recommend them.
We caught the flight at midnight. Qantas has now introduced video on demand on the flight. It was good - it meant I could sleep through An Inconvenient Truth a few times and fast forward to where I left off. Funnily enough, I seem to have got myself on UK time in advance! I was less tired on the plane after midnight than I had been through the day.
Unfortunately, on the second leg, the video on demand system was down. I could still watch videos normally though. More unfortunately, I watched the movies on the first leg, planning to watch the extras, such as series of My Family, on the second leg. Oh well. I went through a friend's thesis instead (no names - he knows who he is though).
After the plane landed 10 minutes late, it then took 40 minutes to get off. Fortunately, we both got through customs and immigration without any problems and caught the bus with loads of time.
And that was the trip in a nutshell. It was good, but all very tiring.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.