I don't work Fridays and I took Monday as an annual leave day, so combined with Cup Day I had a 5 day holiday. Hooray.
We didn't go away. Instead we had Halloween and lunch with my oldest friend and her family. Bruce came by for some help making kitchen curtains for his new house. We went out for dumplings and took the kids to 'Kiki's Delivery Service' at the Astor. I don't suppose there was a share house in Melbourne without the Astor program poster on the back of the toilet door in the 90's. Nothing like knowing something is closing to make you rush out to go again, filled with waves of nostalgia. I try not to succumb to 'how great things were back when....' thinking, but I do feel a bit sad about all those old cinemas that were so formative and no longer exist - the Genferrie Hoyts on the corner of Dandenong and Glenferrie Road, with foot warmers in front of the seats, where I saw 'Blade Runner' and 'The Muppet Movie' and 'The Elephant Man'. The Carlton Moviehouse in Faraday Street, where I saw 'Betty Blue', the Metro where we didn't see 'Storm Boy' because it was sold out and had to go to something else instead - can't remember what. At the Astor I saw 'Agnes of God' with my Mum one afternoon, and 'Casablanca' and a million other films. Some are still left - the Rivoli, where I saw 'Children of a Lesser God', the Classic, where I saw the first 'Superman' with Christopher Reeves and the Valhalla - now rebadged the Westgarth and thriving, where I saw 'The God's Must be Crazy' and walked to Camberwell with my oldest friend with whom I had lunch last Saturday.
I got Lily some Hansel pants (I guess they are really some form of imitation lederhosen, but in our house they are Hansel pants) at the fete but the straps were a little short and gave her a wedgie, so I lengthened them with ribbon.
Our pathetic gardening efforts over the winter were rewarded with one small and very sorry cauliflower. Look how bug eaten those leaves are! I hope to do better (what I mean by that is that I hope Craig does better) with the tomatoes and basil for summer.
I took the three younger girls to the gallery to see the Romance was Born show - fun for the under 8's - and to ride on the golden carousel in the foyer. We had afternoon tea in the gardens across the road. I forget, sometimes, how wonderful Melbourne's public gardens are and how much fun kids can have with a police memorial, a fountain, some assorted fallen seeds from nearby trees and a bit of sunshine. I dosed off in the sun while the kids pretended to join a circus and ride ponies in the ring.
Cup day I forgot to even watch the race. Some years I get quite into it and enter the sweep and have a flutter and a BBQ and give a damn and other years I don't. This was one of the don't years. I dragged out all the drunkard's path quilt patches I had made way back here and tried to decide what sort of strapping I should use to join them - dark, patterned, bright, neutral. Sewing has been in a bit of a hiatus, partly because of the fete, partly because we are revamping our dining room/my sewing room (we've actually got a table that can seat not just our family but some friends now too!) and partly because of Breaking Bad which I am very late to get to but which I find quite riveting. I need to have some handsewing but I'm nursing a minor crafty injury - overuse of my left thumb, which interferes with hand work.
Cup night we went to half moon bay for a swim and fish and chips on the beach. We never go bayside and, if I didn't have family south of the Yarra I'd probably rarely get there which is just ridiculous. The kids were very impressed that this little picturesque place was just a short drive from home. Must explore Melbourne a bit more and stray from the well beaten paths we tread.
And now Lily's fifth birthday is upon us and we are careening toward the end of the year. I can't believe it's more than 12 months since we departed for America. A whole year gone and I'm not quite sure what to make of it.