Monday, 8 March 2010

All Hail!

Today is Labour Day, an annual holiday celebrated all over the world that resulted from the labour union movement and celebrates the economic and social achievements of workers. At the risk of bringing politics into this blog, I’m not exactly a Labour voter, but obviously am happy to support the public holiday regardless. The celebration of Labour Day originated from the ‘Eight Hour day’ movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for rest. Given the hours that British employees work, this might explain why Labour Day is not celebrated in the UK!

In order to take full advantage of the long weekend, Tom and I had long ago booked a trip to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. Sorrento is a popular beach destination for Melbournian’s to escape city life, and the rich few have fantastic holiday homes along the beach and in the hills. We were looking forward to a piece of this, and were really disappointed when the weather forecast for the whole weekend was rain and thunder storms! We chose to ignore the quiet sniggering from folks back home, who perhaps thought it quite amusing that we were on the end of a bad weather forecast for once, and ploughed ahead with our plans regardless.

After a leisurely drive along the coast and a stop off for breakfast by the beach, the sun decided to show it’s face - hurrah! Tom and I didn’t hesitate to jump on a boat for a seal and dolphin cruise. We sat on the top deck and sweltered in our trousers and jackets as the sun was beating down on the water. Why on earth did I insist on bringing all this gear with us when half of the other cruisers were in bikinis? Anyway, 15 minutes out into the bay and we were treated to the sight a manmade island full of Australian fur seals. The sight was incredible, but the smell was putrid. I can’t begin to describe the stench, but the fact that some people wanted to swim amongst the smell was beyond me! I had incredible flash backs of watching ‘Doctor Dolittle’ as a child and the Doctor walking around with a seal in a pram and then throwing it off a cliff into the sea. Bizzare.

Next up were the dolphins, which I promise were much better than the photos suggest! It’s very hard to capture the graceful dance of a Dolphin, or as we found, even capture them at all... Here is the single best photo of a bad bunch (of about 60!):

No sooner had we left the dolphins behind but the heavens opened! We had thunder, lightening, and lots of rain. Tom was miserable, I was miserable – but at least we had plenty of layers! We got utterly soaked traipsing from the boat back to the car, and by the time we got into our hotel room I was ready for a hot bath and a lie down. Unfortunately there was only a shower, but before I had a chance to complain we turned on the news to see that the city of Melbourne had been hit by a freak hail storm with hail stones the size of golf balls! The city was flooded and many cars had been dented or had windows broken by the hail. All of a sudden Tom and I stopped caring about the rain in Sorrento, and were very very glad to be out of the city at least.

We were really lucky the next day and managed to fit in some scenic walks and a trip to the local hot springs, which was not a patch on Bath, but I’m not sure why I thought it might be. The sun made a very well timed appearance for lunch at a beautiful winery, and thankfully the rain managed to restrict itself to times when we were in the safety of our car. This morning was even better, and we caught some beautiful early sunshine during a beach walk, which gave Tom a chance to put into practise some new skills learnt on our photography course.

Contrary to my appearance in this photo, I'm not pregnant or fat!

The next public holiday will be Easter, only one month away! We have a trip to Brisbane planned, so I will update you all then, if not before....

Obligatory sunset photo to close!

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