Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Melbourne: Full On!

Hi!  Writing at the end of the day Monday from the snuggly bed of our apartment in Melbourne!  The weather in fact has "changed" and it's feeling a bit San Francisco-ish around here.  Neve is asleep next to me on the bed and I can hear Hamish tapping away on the keyboard of his computer in the living room - just starting his workday in New York.  Neve's arms are splayed up in the I surrender pose - her face turned in my direction, breathing with surprising ease (cause she usually makes more noise than a seven wheeler who mated with a raccoon)!  I'm just admiring how much better she looks than earlier today.

If you're ever feeling like your skin is a little bit of a mess (flaking rotten milk, lip blisters half falling off, blotchy red patches from sleeping on your cheeks, some light scratches on your face cause you've been pawing at yourself with knife like nails) - try this.  Have someone draw you a nice warm tub of water.  Lay in the tub of water with hot towels covering any parts escaping the water (replenish often to keep warm) and have someone use sensitive skin soap to give you a good, but gentle scrub - all over - the whole time whispering to you words of affection and encouragement. After the bath (and the pat down drying with hooded towel) - heat up some Mustela body lotion in the microwave (only about 10 seconds) -- then have that someone rub the lotion into your skin while you lay on a super plush blanket.  Have a bottle (of whatever relaxes you), then take a nap.  I guarantee you will look (and feel) a thousand times better after that (really, I've got the proof right here in front of me)!  Neve literally looks 10 years younger!

I know I again dropped off the face of the earth, but the weekend in Melbourne was a bit of an endurance test for those of us emerging from the social solitary confinement of "Delhi with a baby".  We have been running one of those breakfast, lunch, dinner type schedules and, well, to be honest, bathing Neve and blogging both got a bit lost in the shuffle!  Friday we had a lovely breakfast at a beach cafe called Sand Bar with Jo Campbell-Smith and her daughter Hannah and dinner with our favorite former New Yorkers, Tim and Fo (at their amazingly cool home in St. Kilda including orange glass backsplash in the kitchen made to exactly match the Veuve bottle!).

Saturday morning we drove up to Myrniong to visit my brother and sister in law James and Jane and their munchkins - Lachie, Eloise and Hughie.  Myrniong is a really special place about an hour west of Melbourne with large farms, rolling hills, forests of gum trees and properties backing up on the Lerderderg State Park - which has tons of wildlife.  In the evenings herds of kangaroos bounce around and we're betting a few koalas live in the park if you really look.  A truly magical place!! I could easily live there full time!  We petted chickens (Lachie raises wonderful show chickens who lay eggs that are a periwinkle blue color) and cats and dogs, looked at wombat pooh, ate well and got to experience the weather change first hand while out riding horses (yes, a first for me in year and my inner thighs are not letting me forget the injustice)!  Eloise was a wonderful riding host and opened gates for me and kept my mind off of the very real possibility of falling off in the rain - which would have been NOT GOOD at my advanced age!  Jane had coaxed me into wearing her "driza-bone" jacket that covers your legs which was absolutely the right call.  I really felt like we were riding around the Scottish moorlands and I kept looking behind me for large hounds!

We had to leave Myrniong a bit early to head back in town Saturday night because Hamish had plans to go to a Footy game (Australian rules football) that night with some mates (friends).  As we were leaving Myrniong, it was bucketing down with rain, Neve was beside herself (she had fallen in total love Jane and Eloise!) and, of course, we were late.  We managed to get down the road a bit before realizing that we had left ALL the bottles on the kitchen counter.  Awesome job Newbies! You left two of your bottles in Singapore and now you've left the remaining 5 in Myrniong - and your child is flipping out (thankfully, because that reminded me of the bottles before we got too far away)!

We got back to the apartment and Hamish left for the game and I settled in for what should have been a joyous evening in front of the TV.  But it was just ok.  I had a well, not so good as it turns out, pinot noir, and some well, not so good, as it turns out, Malaysian takeout.  Happy Feet was on the TV and I thought that could be really good, but again, not so good!

Next morning we were up again early to meet more friends at one of those cafe/children's play land places. We were working our way through this warehouse area looking for the address and I was like -- is this some enormous prior factory that people pump full of children on weekend mornings?  And, yes, that is in fact exactly what it is! The inside is two stories high full of slides and rope bridges and a car carousel - heaven for children and they can't escape.  Our friends PJ and Rata have two totally cute little boys and we had coffee and breakfast with them in the child warehouse and looked at what the future has in store for us!  And it was frightening.  I don't think Newbies should go to such places.  We are overwhelmed by a little blobs who sleep 20 hours of the day.  Imagine the fear that can be instilled in your heart watching creatures that walk and climb and speak -- well, walk and climb and speak?!  It's just too much too soon! We left a little worse for ware but turned up at the Grandparents house for the next event.

You got it, more Footy!  This time Pappa Mick was taking both of us (Neve staying home with Granny Sue and Aunt Jac) to the MCG to see his favorite team - the Melbourne Football Club.  Mick is a long time member of the MCG and a volunteer tour guide for the place.  He loves the place so much that he refers to things the club does in terms of "we" -- for example "we" commissioned a tapestry to commemorate our 150 year anniversary.  The MCG is a large sports complex where mainly cricket and footy are played.  There are about 100,000 members of the MCG and about 200,000 people on the waiting list -- so you can see that being a member is pretty important in these parts.  Anyway, the game was good fun and Melbourne won and at the end we got to stand and sing some song about the the Melbourne red and blue to the tune of "It's a Grand Old Flag".  I really like Footy and wish it were more popular in the US.  It's sort of a mix between soccer and rugby/football.  But mostly it's good because (a) the guys are really very good looking and they don't were padding so you can really get a good gander at them, (b) there is a lot of general violence sort of like hockey which is strangely entertaining to watch  (like what I imagine people felt in the gladiator days) and (c) although there is an alleged strategy of kicking the ball between two field posts to score points, the game often (really often) degenerates into the guys chasing after balls that have been dropped or kicked to someone who misses and like 15 of them jumping on each other struggling to get ahold of the ball (which seems to evade them like a slippery baby in a bath)!

After that, we went back to the Grandparents to check on Neve and to have dinner with Hamish's older brother Charlie and his wife Di and their kids Matthew and Cameron.  We had a very nice reunion all around and by about 8pm Neve was done and started the indiscriminate crying thing.  And I was done, and wanted to start the indiscriminate crying.  And I said to Hamish as I'm bouncing from one leg to the other to keep Neve from a breakdown that we should really go soon and he says yes and announces that we should all be seated for cake and ice cream! Not exactly "leaving" but ok, I do like cake!!

Love from the Melbourne society page!!

G, H & N

At Myrniong.

Riding on the moorlands!

At the MCG singing the red and blue song after the Melbourne Footy victory!

Neve with her cousin Cameron.

Neve waiting for her Mustela lotion massage.  Such a princess!


  1. Thank you for sharing yoru trip with us! Makes me want to take a month off to visit australia! Are you going to meet any of our aussie blog-land friends? I'm jealous!

    P.S. Babies definitely don't need a bath every day!

  2. This reminds ne of when a mom here in Beacon told me that all the kids went to Splash Zone on Rt 9, and so David and I went to check it out, and it was an intensly crowded water park with waves and rambling roads that kids and moms wondered down and I kind of had a panic attack while some guide gave me an official tour. I'm better adjusted now tho, having completed our first night of night bowling on 52 with flashing strobe lights and really bad pop music.