Arrived at Federation Square at 7.45. Renee, my youngest daughter, arrived at 6.30. She gave me the news that Michelle, Darren, James and Lockie were at the hospital because Lockie had broken both arms (get better soon, Lockie). I was told he was joking after the operation: “Mum said, ‘That’s the last time I want to hear you have been on drugs.'” Renee looked after the George 11 (pram) while I raced up to Collins Place where I had lost and cleaners found all my credit cards cash and my electronic gear.
Send off was lovely with Gwen Swimmer from WA and Geraldine from aquarobics also from WA but is settling in Melbourne. Helen and Robert came all the way from Belgrave. My Norwegian dresser Ian Feeney ( I had a motor bike accident during the Jotun Olympics in Lillehammer and Ian kindly dressed me every morning which has been the source of some minor humiliation ever since) was there with Ruth.
Later while walking up Elizabeth Street I met a lady named Louise who caught a tram to catch me. She heard me on Australia All Over with Macca the Sunday before. This seemed a lovely blessing to me as my sister Louise died a few months before.
Last week I had a meal with Neil and Helen while Neil added some gadgets to the buggy. I met Helen’s sister Elizabeth who offered accommodation at Ballan (closer to Lal Lal Falls). I met Tom who pushed my buggy for about a km and gave me lots of good advice about a refrigerator and take a few steaks along etc.
When I got to Deer Park I went to Fefine Woman Exhibition and met Lokita Niua, a Tongan artist, and the curator Jo Ely at the Hunt Club Community Arts Centre, an Old Pub like the George where I had my studio. I slept or tried to sleep near the road past Deer Park.
Melton: called in at the Men’s Shed and talked to the guys; they showed me a promotional video that was filmed there and launched the night before. Darren Cunningham was his usual gracious host. It was fun to be back there with the boys . The Men’s Sheds is a great institution.
Bacchus Marsh: had lunch at the Jolly Miller in memory of the last time having lunch with Peta Miller and a couple of friends.
Picked up and returned to a Bridge on the Freway (bike path) near Ballan. I was taken to Lal Lal Falls and had a Bath – ah what bliss! – and a lovely meal prepared by Jenny and Liz . We had a delicious WA wine supplied by Gwen and too heavy to carry any further. By the way, Gwen seems to be doing her own verbal blog to pass onto Gloria Colleen and all the pool network.
Burrumbeet Hotel -had an impromptu talk to 50 members of the Ringwood Clocktower Probus group; lots of good questions. I also indulged myself with two pots of beer and a plate of chips. Thanks to Marion and Kevin McDonaugh for passing the hat around.
Arrived at Beaufort 9.30 am. Grieving over broken radio and borrowed but not returned solar charger. This means I will be slowed down to charge equipment as my phone is now flat. I am renewing food and water for the next trek to Horsham. I got some Osteo Paracetamol at suggestion of a chap I met yesterday. I could sure use some pain relief. I had forgotten how hard the first 2-3 weeks are: blisters, nappy rash and knees wearing into some sort of groove. Met Jamesand Rachel from Woomelang (nr Swan Hill) in Beaufort 160 km from Fed Square. They are visiting their 84-year-old grandfather.