A few days away in Melbourne – visiting a National trust historic house and garden, watching the taping of a TV comedy show as part of the live audience, meeting up with blogging friends, walking my sister and her husband to the train station on their way to work, going for a run, shopping, having my car cleaned, night markets, listening to buskers in the mall, relaxing, reading my book, seeing a movie, visiting the State Library, White Night…..
All the fun things in life I can do now that I’m retired and have time. I must admit it felt a bit weird watching everyone going about the business of going to work, they had a real purpose to their day and it showed. Even listening to my sister and her husband talk over their day after work – it felt a bit strange now that I’m not in that world anymore. I suppose I have the luxury of doing things at my own pace or not do anything at all.
Rippon Lea Estate
I loved finding pockets of the city where peace has taken over – the gardens, the library and the quiet back streets of the suburbs. I mentioned this in my recent post – against the odds.
Who couldn’t relax and enjoy themselves here?
State Library of Victoria
I also visited the State Library of Victoria on my sister’s recommendation. It was beautiful, peaceful, quiet and full of people either studying, working or just visiting like me. I immediately felt the city outside fall away…the reading room under the huge dome was spectacular and I sat for quite some time just taking it all in before getting my book out of my bag and reading for a while….
As I walked around the library, I was reminded of a talk I used to give to inmates in our correctional centre (in my previous life), where I would start them thinking of the time they’d be released. How would they cope, what had changed while they were locked up, family and relationship issues, work possibilities…all that sort of stuff. I would always remind them that as they had used the library in the centre they should now feel comfortable about using any library anywhere. Every suburb and town has a library and they all work in a similar way. I would tell them that libraries are free, open to all, peaceful places to go when you wanted some quiet time with helpful staff who can find almost anything you’re looking for. I heard this talk ringing in my ears as I walked around, thinking that I was now taking my own advice and enjoying some time-out in a quiet place. I looked around at the clientele and indeed it looked like a mixed bag of people from all walks of life and all treating the place with a deference it deserved. Isn’t it funny the sorts of things you think of sometimes??
White Night Melbourne is the city as you know it, but reimagined and transformed under the ephemeral cloak of night.
For one night only, from dusk ‘til dawn, local, national and international artists, musicians and performers will weave a spell over the city’s streets, parklands, laneways, public spaces and cultural institutions in a celebration of creativity.
A night where the surreal seems real, White Night Melbourne is a rare opportunity to experience the city in a different light. The event transforms the impossible into the possible through installation, lighting, exhibitions, street performances, film, music, dance and interactive events. For one night in February in Melbourne, “we are such stuff as dreams are made on.” – William Shakespeare
It featured fantastic projection light shows on buildings around the city, purple rain, buskers, exhibitions, puppetry, food, fun – there was something for every taste, appetite, age to enjoy during the night. We didn’t stay out all night and we didn’t see everything but we thoroughly enjoyed the night. Along with hundreds of thousands of other people!
I’ll leave you this photo from the beautiful Alfred Nicholas Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges, just an hour out of Melbourne – another peaceful place to wander around and discover beauty at every turn.
I am now home from my Melbourne mini break and I’m already planning a return trip with my husband, as there is so much to see and do! You just have to get out there and find it.
Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for showing me another side of the city.
Have a great week!