Sunday in Sunny Melbourne was very pleasant.
Of course, it was all the better for it being sunny after a series of cold days, though the temperature was not as high as it often gets in Victoria at this time of year. We had some visiting to do in the early afternoon, so while Catherine and Mark followed the path of virtue at their gym in the morning, I took a tram to the South Melbourne Market. It was one of the newest generation of Melbourne trams, and though it seems faster and quieter than earlier models, it is still uncomfortable if it is overcrowded (and it was).
The markets fascinate me, just for the sheer volume of goods on display. Meat, fish, cheese, fruit, are all laid out in enticing arrays, with the stall-holders shouting their offers and telling why theirs is better than the stuff next door. Families and grandmothers from all of South Melbourne’s infinite variety of ethnic groups explore, seeking the best bargains.
To my eye, most things were cheaper than at home, even allowing for the currency difference, though there were exceptions. I suspect that most of the high-priced exceptions were due to protectionism by Australia which tends to protect its domestic agriculture from foreign competition using the pretext of biosecurity. That’s not to say that there aren’t some real biosecurity threats out there that should be protected against.
Pastry and baked goods were enticing, though I didn’t succumb. The general merchandise section of the market has changed since my last visit. They have installed permanent walls between the individual stalls and instantly, much of the liveliness and competitive spirit is extinguished.
Mindful of afternoon social commitments, I went back to the tram, where I saw this obviously commissioned mural at the tram stop. If nothing else, it inspires sufficient respect among the more feral graffitists that it is not significantly defaced. The tram towards St Kilda got as far as St Kilda Road when a broken overhead line brought the system to a complete halt.
There were helpless trams everywhere as I walked the twenty minutes or so back to Catherine and Mark’s home. However, the judicious selection of back streets took me past this suburban church, typical of Melbourne’s ecclesiastical architecture in its choice of warm stone as a building material.
In the early evening, as we headed out for dinner, the cruise liner Diamond Princess was departing from Melbourne on its way to Adelaide. It was a lovely evening and the haze produced a lovely sunset. In keeping with good manners, I had left my camera in the car, so I missed it.
Thus endeth the day.