Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One night in Melbourne



This time last year my mum made me a wonderful offer. As it was one of those milestone birthdays with a zero on the end, she offered to take care of the children for a few days so we could get away for a holiday. The sort of holiday that doesn't involve 5 am starts,  theme parks, waterslides or mini golf.

Unfortunately due to the chaos of last year which included  being robbed, packing and unpacking our entire house twice , a six month renovation, my mother in law breaking both her hips, a melanoma and forty stitches in my leg,  we couldn't really take advantage of this marvellous gesture. Until now.




So, with five days up our sleeves, we planned our escape. One night in Melbourne and the rest in Daylesford. But because this is real life and things don't always go to plan, I hurt my back, three days before we were to leave.




A few years ago, a setback like this would have had me ranting about the unfairness of it all. I have never hurt my back before, so what are the odds that it would happen just before my first proper time away from my kids in eight years. But, these days I am wiser and I know that sometimes sucky times happen, to everyone, and you just have to push through and wait for your luck to turn.




At the airport I saw a five cent piece on the ground. Despite being drugged up on painkillers my back was too sore to even contemplate picking it up for luck. But when I saw another five cent piece on the airport tarmac in Melbourne, I made Legoman stop and pick it up. Find a penny, pick it up and all the day you'll have good luck.




We picked up our budget basement hire car and were about to leave the airport when one of the Europecar staff noticed we had a flat tyre. When I thanked him for saving us from disaster and told him it was our first holiday away from our kids, he came back with an entirely different car. An entirely nicer, upgraded zippy little VW kind of car. Look how you open the boot. Fancy pants.



After we checked into our hotel and discovered we had arrived in Melbourne the same night as White Night festival, I really knew my luck had changed. As we started walking the city streets with half a million other people, I was grateful for good painkillers and lucky five cent pieces.




Aside from just taking in all the amazing shop fronts like this florist,





spectacular shoes ( with spectacular matching price tags),




and shops with stools that look like liquorice all sorts,




there were the most amazing light projections I have ever seen. This is the top end of Flinders St, outside The Forum theatre.





and if you stood quietly and waited while the throngs of people swelled around on all sides, suddenly it would change from this,




to this. For a colour lover like me it was pure magic.




We walked a little further and stumbled across this gorgeous little church. Lit up with magical patterns that changed constantly. I thought it was on some sort of loop and waited patiently for one pattern to come around again.




Every now and then it would reset, back to original sandstone then bit by bit the colours would appear.  We watched for about twenty minutes and then turned to head home.




As we left the courtyard, we noticed a little booth. With a little sign on the side.




Amidst the throng of thousands of people, there was a little booth, with a set of stairs and no queue. It seems that amidst the masses, many people stop to look, but most do not see.




And inside was this.




So as half a million people wandered past, I created my own design.





Bit over the top but I was a tad excited and had to cram every possible option in. Legoman was a little more sedate.




On a colour high, we walked the zillion blocks back to our hotel, stopping everyone who still had children awake with them at 11 pm. We told them about the little booth of pure magic just a few blocks back that half a million people never even noticed.

One night in Melbourne, with a lucky five cent piece and a whole lot of magic.

14 comments:

  1. I love Melbourne, its such a great city. Your photos really captured the feel. Glad you are enjoying a nice mini break x

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    1. I so love the energy of Melbourne, even 24 hours fired me up. mel x

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  2. I love Melbourne, too. I visited many moons ago, when I still without family. I am getting all sentimental now... Amazing how technology allows you to do magic! I hope your back has stopped hurting so much by now. Cx

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    1. Thanks Christina, back is nearly better - taken nearly a month and a real nuisance. mel x

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  3. Oooh - that is so fabulous. Some day soon I'll be dragging Mr AP down to the Southern hemisphere - we have popped out of the end of the parenting race and need to go before the oldies start getting dependent!

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    1. Oh yes, it would be a great adventure for you both. mel x

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  4. How lovely to hear about your experience at White Night from the eyes of an out of towner, We must have passed each other near the little church, but we didn't see the booth - Amazing to know the designs had been made by random people! Thanks.

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    1. I know we couldn't believe our luck stumbling onto that booth, it was incredible that there was no queue. We were just so stoked to have spent our one night in Melbourne on the same night as White Night! mel x

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  5. this made me a bit teary mel..in a good way. you are such a positive person. i hope your back prblem has improved. bad backs are horrible! so good that you had this break away. this getaway resonated with me too because I think the mr and i have only had a night away(together) from our kids ever-12 years and yes we are suffering because of it. time for change at our place and your lovely post has given me a boot up the bum to make it happen. always a joy to visit your space here mel. Lx

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    1. Oh Lea, some days I have to work harder than others with the positive thinking. We have had so many holidays ruined by sick kids in the past but I know my negative mood makes everything worse so I really had decided to get in a good head space no matter what and then all these wonderful things happened. Do try and get a break, it is so especially important for us mums with kids with issues, I know for me this was way overdue and has done wonders for my mood in general. mel x

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  6. Completely deserved, by the sounds of it! Sounds and looks amazing.

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  7. Wow, what a night. The colour is amazing and so are the photos. I lived in Melbourne for nearly a year and I remember it so fondly. One day I'll get back there. Hope you're back's getting better, Katie xx

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  8. Isn't that light show just amazepants? I was going to write amazeballs, but it just didn't seem enough!!! I am so glad that your special weekend turned out so wonderfully magic. Good old Melbourne. I hope we get the Daylesford bit as part 2?

    Hope your back is all fixed too. Back pain is too awful for words. x

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  9. Hi Mel - sorry I haven't commented recently, but I have been reading all your posts (on my iPhone) while our internet was down. Your Victorian getaway sounded absolutely wonderful and you captured the magic so well - I must say I do love that yellow coffee machine! I too very rarely get a break - as you know, I had to book in a surgical procedure to have a week away from the family (not quite the same though.) Hope your health is improving - I will find those books and drop them off soon. xx

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