Daily Archives: September 21, 2015

Friends, Springtime and the Bellarine Peninsula

Bollards, sparkling water, bobbing boats and happy children at Geelong, on the Bellarine Peninsula.

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I loved the quirky bollards lining the Western Beach shoreline and noticed all the  joggers, dog lovers and  mums with young children smiled as they passed each one. So did I.

bollard 5  bollard 2

The aim of this trip from the Mornington Peninsula, around Port Phillip Bay to the city off Geelong was to visit an old friend. Janet and I have known each other for over fifty years.

Life’s more fun when you share it with friends 


The last time I saw Janet was in her home in the Australian outback town of Coober Pedy.

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Then the talk focused on underground dugouts, opal and heat. She now lives on her own close to Melbourne but on the opposite side of Port Phillip Bay. It has been years since we saw each other, mainly because the road distance around the bay from Carrum on the Mornington Peninsula, through heavy traffic over the Westgate Bridge to Geelong on the Bellarine Peninsula on the other side. It makes any sane driver think twice before attempting the journey.

Janet does not drive far these days so I managed to catch up with her in her home in Geelong. This time the talk was about art and craft, making greeting cards and stringing together light reflecting mobiles. She sells the beautifully handcrafted cards where ever she can. They are absolutely gorgeous. I particularly like the cards with pink, blue and yellow daisies and the ones with chips of Coober Pedy opal. Opal comes in so many colours and Janet knows where to by the opal chips in bulk. They add just the right splash of colour.

Opal Doublet        Opal Bracelets         Coober pedy opal

One day I hope to be able to attend one of her card making classes.

card 1                        flowers

card 2

On arrival I was greeted at the door by two little dogs, Tiny And Joel. Janet appeared and it was if the years between had never existed. We were once again seventeen years old and doing our apprenticeship together. Memories flooded our talk. We laughed about being so young and so impressionable. Our fondest memory was when we went to the Tivoli Theatre in Melbourne and were unexpectedly seated in one of the exclusive ‘boxes’ that jutted out from the side wall inside the theater. Our joy was complete when Tommy Steele looked up and saw us excitedly grinning and madly applauding in our box seat. We felt he sang The Little White Bull just to us.

Having eye contact with a celebrity was a memory that has lasted a lifetime. He never knew what an impact he had on two impressionable teenagers and it has given me empathy over the years for all the young girls who scream when a celebrity/rock star appears. I know how they feel.

After our visit we decided to skip the long journey home and pay to drive the car onto the ferry that sails from Queenscliff, past the Port Phillip Bay heads over to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. It was well worth the money. While on the ferry it seemed too good an opportunity to miss to call in to see a good friend living at Blairgowrie.

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Carol-Anne Croker is amazing. She has supported me all through my PhD while doing a PhD herself. You couldn’t wish for a better friend. When we arrived thinking we were staying for a quick cup of coffee, much to our surprise, Louis began cooking fresh mussels and prawns. My husband was delighted and felt like royalty to be treated to such a seafood feast. Many hours, and a glass of wine later (drats that we had to drive) we continued on our way home.

Let’s kick off our shoes and dance around our handbags – sing at the top of our lungs – badly…Make the time to catch up, drink wine, eat cheese and chocolate in ridiculous amounts and enjoy each other’s belly laughter until our cheeks hurt and our sides are splitting…No matter how old we are or what challenges come our way.