It was a big day in Melbourne today with the running of the Melbourne Cup, the pinnacle of the Spring Racing Carnival. I'm not interested in the event itself, but I enjoy the atmosphere and it's great for people watching. Lots of young men in their best suits and women all glammed up. Plenty of women looking like trashbags too, but that's all part of the people-watching fun.
A couple of weeks ago I lamented on Twitter that it had been ages since anyone had made me a mix tape (to use the language of the olden days) and one of my lovely Twitter followers offered to make one for me! How ace is that? I told you Twitter was good, didn't I?
Kim has put together a three-CD set of music for my listening pleasure. I feel quite spoilt. It went into the mail today and I can't wait to get it - both to listen to it and perhaps discover some new music, but also to enjoy the rare pleasure of getting something in the mail besides bills and junk.
I've had a few nice things in the mail lately for a change. Last week my friend Gillian sent me a letter - a proper, old-fashioned handwritten letter on nice writing paper (can't remember the last time I got one of those!) and also a postcard from her holiday in NSW.
I feel quite nostalgic about the pleasures of receiving handwritten letters in the mail. I had several overseas pen pals when I was a kid, and as I didn't live close to my school friends, on school holidays we kept in touch by writing epic letters to each other. I used to love riding my bike through the paddock to our mailbox to collect the mail.
I grew up on a farm in south-west Victoria. We had a 25 gallon drum painted white and mounted on a pole for a mailbox and it occasionally had huntsman spiders living in it, but they didn't deter me. Our postie drove a car and used to also deliver milk and bread. If we wanted to post a letter, we just put it in the mailbox with the money for postage. Seems like another world...
I like the idea of sending handwritten letters to my friends, but I know it's not going to happen. I can't even keep on top of my emails. Sigh.
Have any of you Melbourne people been to the new South Wharf precinct lately? I went today to collect something from a friend who works at the Hilton and the area is taking shape quite nicely. The new boardwalk is great and you can actually smell the timber. I love that new(ish) footbridge too(above).
It's amazing to think how much Melbourne has changed in the past 15 years. I feel like I've seen the place blossom from a pimply-faced, sullen teen into a pretty young woman. When I came to Melbourne in 1992 the south side of the river was a wasteland of rail yards and old industrial sites and the docks were a no-go zone. The city's back was turned on the river, but now it gazes out across the waterways. Sure, Melbourne will never be as visually spectacular as Sydney, but I love it.
PS I didn't make it to the Wagons gig last night after all. Too tired and too head hurty. I'll have to post my triumphant 'I went to a gig alone!" blog another time.