Saturday, October 09, 2010

Backlog, belfry, buttered scone

I have a fair bit of catching up to do here. Some days you just don't feel up to relating events in pithy bite-size pieces, and its easier just to skip the whole thing.

The main excitement lately has been a flying family visit to Melbourne for Ash and Trish's wedding last weekend. We flew over on Saturday morning and back on Sunday evening. Saturday was all about the wedding, and Sunday was entirely taken up with a trip to the zoo for the kids' benefit. I apologise to readers in that neck of the woods that we didn't arrange to hook up - it was just not that sort of trip this time I'm afraid.

We used public transport, but it took a lot of fiddling and little pick-ups and drop-offs by our hosts Di and Craig to make it work. Bus from the airport to the city, two trains then a lift from the station to D & Cs, then a lift to the wedding service, taxi back to D & Cs, lift to the reception, lift home, lift to the station in the morning, two trains to the zoo, then train and bus to the airport. Yep, I think we should have hired a car.

The groom, Ash, is one of Elf's favourite cousins, and also Marcus's godfather. Elf has a stack of cousins and Ash invited them all, which was very generous, but probably easier than picking and choosing. The wedding service was in the traditional family church in the eastern suburbs, where Elf's grandad was laid to rest just a few months ago. The minister was young and groovy, and the whole thing went off hitchlessly. Ash looked dashing, Trish looked delightful, and everyone looked pretty happy with them finally tying the knot. They are both in the region of 30 and have been together eight years.

Afterwards there was tea and scones in the vestry (or the sacristy, or possibly the belfry - an adjoining churchy room) and there was a tiny playground to keep the kids from going out of their minds. I was slightly going out of mine as we were all missing the AFL grand final Mark II - after the original finished in a thrilling tie a week earlier.

Digressing into football briefly: in minor finals when the score is tied at full time, extra time is played to break the deadlock. But the Grand Final is the exception - if it is tied the whole game is replayed a week later. This of course causes all sorts of havoc, as events that were carefully scheduled for after football season, suddenly clash with the main event of the football season. At least, having gone past earlier on the train, I can say I have seen the MCG on Grand Final day.

So there I was in the churchy room eating scone No. 3 and wishing I had some slight idea how the game was going. As the reception was not starting until after the football, I hustled the family into a cab and got us back to D & Cs for the second half. As you probably all know by now, even in Arkansas and Mauritius, the Pies had the Saints on toast by that stage, and romped it in by about ten goals.

The boys stayed behind to eat pizza with Di and Craig and their boys Max and Tom, and Di dropped Elf and I at the reception at Wattle Park. It was in a large dining hall. We were all wondering what this big old slightly down-at-heel building used to be, if it was maybe a private home set in enormous grounds or something. It turns out it was actually built in the twenties to be the function centre and tea rooms it still is. It was at the end of the tram line then, and considered to be a day out in the countryside, pretty much. FUN FACT: Barry Humphries says it used to serve the best buttered scone in town. The toilets were called cloakrooms. You can bet Barry would have actually turned up in a cloak, if no-one else.

Dinner was a salmon/lamb/salmon/lamb kind of affair. I had quite a few Prickly Moses boutique beers and don't remember the food all that well, but I seem to have spent a lot of time wishing I'd got what Elf had. The lady on my other side was from Geelong and didn't have all that much to say. I thought the speeches were pretty good, but Elf is harder to please. She gave my speech at our wedding a 4. She's a tough audient. But she gave Ash's brothers 9/10 for their work as MCs. There was a live band who were pretty good. We all agreed that it's strange wedding bands always play 80s music, no matter the age of the couple. I suggested that maybe the 80s simply had the the Best Music, full stop.

We had planned to walk back to D & Cs (and had brought our sturdy shoes in a bag) because it didn't look far on the map. In reality, Wattle Park is huge and the function centre was deep within down a long and windy road. So we called Di and she rescued us. Although she had always wanted to look inside the building, she wouldn't go in as she was wearing trackie dacks.

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