I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what April has done to me or what I’m doing differently that’s having any sort of impact on this but all of a sudden I can write titles. I mean, “The triumph of spontaneity” this time, “The elation of distance” last time?! Pretty short, a little elusive and mysterious with some incredibly satisfying words in them too. What more could you want?! Except for (probably) 2000 words of remarkably average text trying to make rubbish stories sound like the most exciting thing that has ever happened to a person ever (I don’t think anyone’s realised how much I actually just sit here and talk about how much I like food). So if you want to read about some stuff I put in my mouth and can’t really explain in any more detail than “hey that was good” and want to hear about some spontaneous things that I’ve done and other things that I’m going to be doing VERY VERY soon then you should absolutely read on. You’ve got this far, you really might as well.
BUT before I can get on to all of that I’ve got a couple of things to mention. A few days ago I was a little bored/wasn’t doing an essay I should have been doing and started playing around with my blog! So on my homepage (this probably doesn’t work if you’re not on a computer of some sort so your iPads and phones are pretty useless here. The 21st century is a very confusing place. They can do everything except something I told it to do but anyway, this is not a passive aggressive rant about technology.) I used to have pictures of various places that I’ve been alternating as the cover picture across that top bar, but I’ve been living in Australia nearly SIX MONTHS now so decided my study abroad blog based in Australia should feature some Australian pictures. So every picture you see up there (on the home page only, that’s outboundandaround.worpress.com) is a picture that I have taken whilst out here in Australia. Or someone else has taken it if I’m in it. You get the point.
I know what you’re thinking, does it get any more exciting than that?! And the answer is YES!!!! OF COURSE IT DOES!!!! I tried to be clever and set up a public iCalendar feed so naturally there are massive teething problems in that it only works some of the time. But on the left of my homepage you can (sometimes) see upcoming things that I have planned and I’ve put in some essay deadlines so you know why this thing may or may not have gone quiet depending on how organised I am. Also, it’s coming up to the part of my year abroad with the most potential time to travel – the end. Because you know, as if the Great Ocean Road and Sydney twice, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Phillip Island, Melbourne, The Grampians, Blue Mountains and Singapore wasn’t quite enough. Soon I’ll be getting free time which I’m hoping to travel in to secret, magical undisclosed locations (I haven’t decided yet and it depends on when exams are which is released a week on Tuesday). So that calendar is there for me to add in destinations of various places and events that I’ll be going to. It may not be used that much but it was oddly satisfying to set up.
Three paragraphs later and lady-blokes and gentle-blokes (a bit of cultural enrichment for you there) we’ve done it. We’ve reached the start of the blog. Where we go from here not even I know just yet. I believe it’s customary with these sorts of things to pick up from where I left off. So last time, I was trying to not be incredibly dramatic because all of a sudden Mags and I were in different continents. Again. Immediately afterwards I struggled a little and just tried to get on with doing the basic things first. Going to bed at a good time, getting up at a good time, eating well, not snacking unnecessarily, washing, shaving, keeping my room tidy and clean and everything else will follow. I was trying but quite frankly I was having a miserable time. I got out to play futsal a few times because exercise and fresh air is good but really I still felt awful.
I have a friend in Canberra, Hannah, who is American and on her year abroad. She wanted to visit Melbourne at some point so it was a good opportunity to meet up. Mags left on the Sunday, Hannah arrived on the following Wednesday and then left the Monday afterwards. We stayed around the city and as I’ve done a lot of what we did before I won’t go into too much detail other than say we visited a lot of the laneways and arcades – found a genuine magic shop I didn’t know existed and I do not mean the rabbit out of a hat sort of magic, I mean witchcraft, potions, spirits, demons and the like. Not something I’d say that I’m accustomed to but it was intriguing nonetheless. We visited the Shrine of Remembrance after it had shut so sat on the steps and had a good chat for an hour or two which was lovely.
We visited Melbourne Zoo which as it happens is (in my humble opinion) nowhere near as good as Chester Zoo. The animals just did not seem happy there and it just made me feel sad more than anything really. Also, the illusive snow leopard was so illusive that it was gone. Whilst Hannah was here though we visited what has become my favourite lane/street in the whole of Melbourne. Degraves Street. A pedestrianised street flanked with cafe’s on either side, some cute clothes shops and a very popular doughnut shop which one day I will queue up for and purchase one of the phenomenal looking doughnuts. We stopped to eat at a cafe on Degraves Street where I had an iced coffee and my first lasagne in months, which was wonderful. Those places are yet to let me down. We had a Domino’s pizza night with some of my flat as well as a cinema trip out to see Batman Vs Superman with my flat. The film was okay but it took a while to get going. All in all it was a good evening and the company was wonderful. It was good to have Hannah around for a few days to distract myself from the lack of Mags although it didn’t really get easier until recently. After Hannah left I found a whole shopping centre that I had no idea existed so I had a bit of an explore before heading back home.
Then it was a case of getting back into the swing of lectures. I failed miserably but that’s okay, sometimes you need time to adjust to any change so as long as you catch up, you’re okay. This week I’m going to get back into it as I’m feeling significantly better. I’ve been feeling significantly better since Saturday but I still have to talk about Tuesday!
After not a great day I already had tickets booked to accompany my flatmate Rachel and two of her friends who I hadn’t met yet to go and see some more of the Melbourne Comedy Festival. It was $15 for a ticket to see four comedians on what is known as “tight arse Tuesday”. Lovely. So we paid up and went along to watch two British comedians, a Greek and a Canadian. All of whom were wonderful to watch and it was just a really good night out in good company which is obviously important. Fast forward to Saturday now because as far as I can recall nothing much really happened after that but Saturday was the one to look forward to.
The Melbourne Night Colour Run. After purchasing some cheap clothes I was likely never going to wear again (a $4 white shirt, $2 pairs of socks and $6 running shorts which for the record were reduced from $12. Outfit for £6. Bargain.) we (myself, Rachel and her friend Caroline) turned up to pick up our packs of colour run stuff – our race number, colour run shirt, headtorch and fake, glow in the dark tattoos. We lined up at the start where everyone was split, runners down the right side, walkers, ravers, skippers, hoppers and dancers down the left. We chose the left side to gain the full experience. We went through the start and followed the path laid out around Flemington Racecourse, offering views across to the city skyline and Docklands. Every so often we’d had a paint station where volunteers lined the route with bottles of powdered paint which they aim low to try to avoid eyes.
I got it in my mouth, in my eyes and at one point I definitely snorted it but it was a lot of fun and in all of the UV light, everyone looked fantastic. The atmosphere was electric, there was so much happiness in one place and it seemed to grow and grow. After our little walk we bought nachos and that was a very important thing to include. Following that we headed over to where the party was and we danced a little, then took in the atmosphere and grabbed some pictures. Immediately after the run we were handed a pouch of the paint to throw wherever we pleased so in the midst of the party we threw it in the air above ourselves and covered each other all over again. We headed to the tram, were given ponchos to protect the trams and then it rained but we had ponchos anyway so WHO CARES?! It was a great time.
On Sunday I headed into the city to meet up with my friends Sara and Colleen who I’ve barely seen this trimester but love them both anyway. It was good to have a catch up there and within minutes of seeing Colleen I knew it was my day. I’d woken up in a great mood and they say it’s lucky to be pooped on by a bird but as we were sat at Federation Square catching up and a seagull flew over relieving itself inches above us for it to land literally centimetres in front of us on the floor, I think that’s luckier. Should have bought a lottery ticket. We went to Degraves street (I really like it there, okay?) and visited one of the cafes I hadn’t yet been to. I ordered muesli with caramelised oranges, natural yoghurt and iced coffee and it was sublime. Absolutely lovely stuff, with a friendly waiter bloke who even did a bit of a dance for us! Afterwards we just enjoyed the sun and had a bit of a sit around and general laze about on some grass near the MCG. That was after the married couple juggling banana chunks between each other using their mouths on stage at Fed Square as part of the comedy festival (it was disgusting) and walking past Elmo from Sesame Street playing the bagpipes.
In Melbourne, nothing seems to catch me out anymore. When I was waiting for the tram home I saw a bloke dressed as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. Melbourne is such a lively, vibrant place and to have nearly lived here for six months is wonderful. I love this city and all of its quirks and you come to somewhere as amazing and incredible as this and you think that you could never miss a place as grotty and miserable as Wrexham in winter. Then you get thinking about just how grotty and miserable Wrexham is in the winter and it might be grotty and miserable but it’s home, and it’ll be good to be back, but I’m not there yet. There’s still so much out here for me to do and to enjoy and I’m determined to get as much out of it as I can. That starts on Friday. As you can see from my little calendar thing on my home page, on Friday I’m travelling to Darwin! It’s going to be the furthest North that I’ve been in Australia and most likely the most Northern point I’ll travel to in Australia. It’s going to be hot, sweaty and beautiful and I’ll have lots to write about very soon!
Also more pictures. I was a little short of those here.
Thanks for reading, I promise I’ll write the next one better. I was dipping into an essay with this one. I got bored.