"Home for the travelling 2sues" SPW's Profile
We bought our house here in Williamstown, the original port for Melbourne and now more of a seaside suburb, in 1994.
In that time we have become part of our street community but we would have to have lived here for several generations to really be considered part of Williamstown but that doesn't affect our enjoyment of the place. To our delight our street party was revived this year after a 4 year gap. The gap was the result of the local council creating so many obstacles about insurance, blocking off the street, and levying hefty fees. How community spirit can survive bureaucracy is a modern challenge.
Most of the port infrastructure and supporting industries have gone but there are still major yacht clubs and local boat builders. The former naval dockyard is filling its last contract and is listed for closure, and the railways, which were also major employers and landholders, have declined.
As land has become available there has been much residential development which means that there has been something of a population explosion with the schools full and demand for retail services is high. For all that, it retains much of its old charm with many grand old houses as well as lots of more ordinary dwellings from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
As a promontory, it is surrounded by sea with a front, port/river beach and a back, swimming beach and fortunately it is bypassed by most of the westbound traffic from Melbourne, so it is a little like a country town 11 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne.
While Susan, like so many young Australians made the journey to England/Europe when she finished her training, I didn't set out to see the world until the late 80's when my daughter and I went to New Zealand.
Now that our families have grown we are much freer to indulge our passion for travel. We love it. The saving (ouch), planning, setting out and all the new and exciting people and places, money, customs, languages, food.
Since living here we have been to different parts of Australia: Sydney, Queensland (a couple of times), Tasmania, and South Australia as well as to the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Italy, Hong Kong, Bali, Singapore, Vietnam, and Melaka in Malaysia. We enjoy travelling together and as we share our given names, we are the 2sues
In June 2005 we went to Airlie Beach, the land base for the islands of the Whitsunday pasage section of the Barrier Reef. This excursion to Queensland started well, with a day out visiting Hill Inlet to climb to the lookout over Whitehaven Beach, several miles of white silica beach, before swimming at the beach itself, followed by snorkelling off Hook Island. A couple of days later our holiday ended disasterously following a golf buggy accident on Hamilton Island ( see Dangers Tip). We were evacuated by helicopter to Mackay Hospital where our fractures, bruises and cuts were attended to, and where we spent 5 days before returning home to Melbourne to recuperate. Such are the joys of travel! After this, we thought we'd have a quiet holiday in Penang and Singapore, enjoying the beach and the multicultural delights of food, people and temples, as well as shopping. A week in, all this was altered when I fell and broke my ankle, but we still had fun, even if I was in a wheelchair!
In 2006 we spent a month in Italy, Susan's spiritual home, enjoying the sights, the food and the people: Roman style amongst the ruins of past glories, the quiet backwaters of Venice, the calm of Lucca, the drama of Sicily., lots of lovely meals and freeflowing wine! It is such a diverse country and we took great pleasure in experiencing as much as we could, but still plan to return for yet more of la dolce vita.
We have also spent 3 weeks in a whirlwind tour of another diverse country, China. It was the first organised tour we have done, and we managed that experience well, but we returned marvelling at the contrasts of China: the energetic development of modern Shanghai, historic Beijing preparing for the Olympics, the Terracotta Warriors of Xian and the nearby village of cavedwellers, the tranquil banks of the Li River, the exuberance of Lijiang and its Naxi people, and the heights of the Yak Meadow.
In 2008 we spent 10 days in Fiji, and a little later, a week in Singapore, with my little old mother, followed by a week in Bali. And this year, Spain and Morocco are the subject of speculation, dreaming and the start of planning.
Fraser was born in Adelaide on 28 February 2007, a dear, dark haired boy weighing 3.6 kg. And baby Alexandra arrived less than 3 weeks later on 17 March, weighing a huge 3.97kg. Both babies and their parents have thrived and the new Nonna and her mother, a great grandmother twice over, are delighted.
And now, a third little one has arrived: Jean Louise (Jeanie), a whopping 4.24kg, a sister for Fraser
The family say we're never home, but with a whole wide world out there waiting to be explored we want to take advantage of our active years to experience other people and places, stockpiling memories and friendships to keep us warm in our old age. Otherwise known as SKI: spending the kids' inheritance!
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