Melbourne excursion

I think I could live in Melbourne. I grew up in country NSW in a smallish town, the son of one of the town doctors. Hated it. Went to a boarding school in Sydney when I was 15. Changed my life forever. Living in the city was exciting, everything I wanted.

Currently I live in Canberra and have done so since 1992. Don’t get me wrong, Canberra was the right place for us to start and bring up a family. I have great friends, a good job and and it is where my private life started and blossomed. But it is not a Sydney or Melbourne.

In a previous post you will know that I decided to go to Melbourne to see a gorgeous lady. This is about that trip.

6:15 I fly out of chilly Canberra. I love travelling but don’t get to do it often enough. 7:25 arrive at Melbourne airport. 90 minutes later (I had forgotten what city traffic can be like) I arrive at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne. I felt like some indulgence. I leave my bag there and venture off to the city for a day of discovery and preparation.

First stop breakfast. My doctor had recommended a place called Cumulus Inc on Flinders Lane. Magic. I decided on the bircher muesli, I just couldn’t bring myself to have the English breakfast (blood sausage/black pudding). The coffee was excellent. I can recommend this place, for breakfast at least.

After breakfast I wandered the city to try and get the lay of the land. I also had to buy some stuff for the evening/nights rendezvous. Being of the person I am I tried to plan out the best way to travel the city and pick up the items I wanted. So what did I need

  • A particular vintage French champagne
  • Dark champagne truffles from Haigh’s Chocolates
  • Some fruit to go with the above items
  • A new pair of pants
  • A new pair of shoes

I found myself outside David Jones on the Bourke Street Mall. In I go to find some clothes. Up to menswear and to the Gazman collection. I like Gazman, they not only look good, wear well but do a size that fits me well (yes, I am a bit overweight). Pants, check. Looked at the shoes, couldn’t find anything I really liked. So down to the food hall and check out the liquor department. Couldn’t find the champagne I was looking for so opted for another one I had tried before and really enjoyed (picture later). Champagne, check. Added bonus, the food hall also sells Wensleydale cheese. Love my Wensleydale and yes I am a Wallace and Gromit fan. I will be back later to get some of that.

A friend had suggested I go to Queen Victoria Markets to get the fruit. Okay, time to figure out the trams. Lo and behold, trams are free in Melbourne CBD; best idea ever. So tram down to Elizabeth Street and then another up to the markets. Man, nothing like this in Canberra. I wandered around for a good hour and a half. Found the fruit I was looking for, check.

Lunch time, what to have. Out goes the twitter call and back come the answers. Off I go trying to find the N Lee bakery and get a Grilled Pork Vietnamese roll. Absolutely delicious. Do get one if you’re in Melbourne. Mine didn’t have the chilly but I believe they are just as nice with the chill.

Now, where is Haigh’s Chocolates. Oh look just around the corner, yay my feet were getting sore. Pick up the champagne truffles and then back to the hotel for a rest and to prepare for tonight.

No details about the evening other than it was great to catch up with my lady friend. We talked, drank, ate chocolate, and…

After my companion left I couldn’t sleep; I was happy, satisfied, content, I was enjoying myself. I read and eventually went to sleep and dreamt of my lover and times yet to come.

I woke at 8 the next morning eager to get this new day started. I wandered down to The Commune for breakfast. No muesli today, bacon, eggs, sausage and rosti. And another great coffee.

Back to the hotel, pack and check out. I had a ticket booked for the David Bowie exhibition for 11am. Left my bag at the hotel and wandered into the city to find another coffee. It started drizzling. Damn, my umbrella is in my bag back at the hotel.

I am listening to Heroes right now while writing this and remembering yesterday. I have tears on my cheeks at the moment.

I found a nice “alley” full of coffee shops. Picked one and sat under an umbrella in the rain, had a coffee and started journaling. Some of you will know that is one of my favourite activities and I do it several times a week. Out of the journaling comes these blog posts.

Down to Federation Square to see the exhibition; half hour early but they let me in anyway. Absolutely fabulous exhibition; one of the best I have ever seen. It covered his whole life. All his outfits were on display. I got to learn more about him as an artist. His music and videos were everywhere. As they give you your ticket they say it will take one to one and a half hours to go through the exhibition. Ha, more than two and half hours later I emerge – an emotional wreck (see previous post). Watching everybody and they reacted to the exhibition was great; us older people were dancing along with the music while reading and absorbing. Enough said other than if you can make it to Melbourne before 1 November then do.

Because of the way I was feeling I decided I had better get to the airport and wait out there for my plane. I spent a couple of hours at the airport, had a couple of drinks and started my blog posts. Not the way I planned to end my trip to Melbourne.

Overall the trip to Melbourne was a great break and I enjoyed it very much. Melbourne, I will be back.

Still recovering,

Eccles

The last 24 hours

Time to write about happier things. But what? Let’s go through how the last 24 hours has changed my plans for August.

Exactly 24 hours ago I get a twitter DM from a gorgeous lady who I have met once before but hope I can meet regularly. We were hopefully planning to meet in three weeks in Canberra. However, due to circumstances the trip was not going to happen as planned. My friend (can I call her my friend? I will for the purpose of this blog post) apologised sincerely and suggested other dates that she might be able to make it to Canberra. We had chatted on other days about a David Bowie exhibition happening in Melbourne so she offhandedly suggested I should visit Melbourne to see the exhibition.

Well, I have never been spontaneous in my life but the idea kind of excited me. Get out of cold, windy, frosty, wet Canberra for a couple of days to the slightly warmer climes of Melbourne. There was also the added benefit of spending some time with my friend. I decided to do some research.

While I was doing some research my beautiful friend sent me a photo of a hotel that she thought I might like. I think she cunningly picked a photo that included a glass of champagne. She knows what I like. Then a single word from her “Haighs”. I’m almost convinced. Another message “Might be good for you to get away. You can see your mate”. She was of course referring to my good twitter friend in Melbourne that I am yet to meet. All these benefits of visiting Melbourne. My friend really knew which buttons to press.

I was needing a break from work so I had already applied for leave the week of my friend’s planned Canberra trip. The leave was approved two days ago. So I had a week off work, I wasn’t planning to do anything that week. What the heck, I’m convinced.

Do you know how many hotels there are in Melbourne??? So let’s filter the list, 4 and 5 stars only. So that got rid of about three hotels. Which to choose, which to choose. Anyway by 11:30 this morning I had booked flights and a room at a rather nice hotel. One night and two full days in Melbourne. Get to go to the David Bowie exhibition, try and catch up with my twitter friend, shop at Haigh’s. But the best part of the trip spending an evening with an intelligent, beautiful, gorgeous lady. How exciting. Needless to say that it was hard to concentrate on my work for the rest of the day.

I am looking forward to the poetry (my friend will understand).

An excited man,

Eccles


My secret life

Leonard Cohen in my secret life
Leonard Cohen in my secret life

I consider myself to be a decent enough man. Others may not call me decent after reading this blog post. I am married and have two adult children. I have a good job and I like to think I am kind to those I interact with. I have a lot of friends who care about me. Up until this year I had been a practising Christian for over 30 years. I had a comfortable but troubled life.

That all changed last November. My brain and body stopped operating (again) in what most people would call a normal manner. I had a bit of a breakdown. Since then I have been learning about myself; what caused the meltdown, how I am feeling, what can I do to continue on with life. There are no easy answers to any of these questions but progress has been made. For instance, I am back at work and have managed to work my way back to working 4 days a week. In two months I go back full time.

I now know that I am not a Christian. This has disappointed a number of my friends. One in particular. I told him yesterday morning. He and I, and a few others, meet for breakfast every Friday. We chat, joke, help each other with life problems, and read the Bible. I made him cry. But I could not be truthful to him or me and not tell him. We have been having breakfast together for 20 years and I hope it continues for another 20.

Since last December I have once again been seeing a psychologist, weekly to start with, then fortnightly and now I we meet once a month. These have been the best sessions for me. I have found out a lot about myself, some of my issues (I am sure there are more) and we have figured out some plans on how to deal with life issues. Some issues can be helped with medication. Some you just have to face, like my social phobia. No magic cure, just take little easy steps and practice.

One of my issues has led to what I will call my “secret” life. There are quite a few people I have met in this secret life. Some have became good friends. A lot I respect greatly. I have learnt a lot about myself and others from this life as well. I am brave enough to admit that I was a hypocrite and I was able to lie to myself very convincingly. I can’t believe some of the things I used to think and sometimes say about other people.

I have one friend in my non-secret life who knows about my secret. I am sorry to say that I don’t think that many of my other friends would understand what my secret life means to me and that it helps me get through life. In my secret life I would be called a “punter” or a “john”, terms I don’t like. Personally I like the term “client”. To be frank about it, I have paid private escorts to spend time with me, sometimes very intimate times, sometimes not. I started my previous blog post, My public life, as follows

Last night I spent a number of very enjoyable hours with absolutely gorgeous lady. We enjoyed a meal, we drank, we talked, we did other things. I can’t remember ever feeling so at ease and relaxed in my life.

This was the third time we have spent time together and we plan to spend more time together. There are also two other ladies I see regularly, as time and money permits.

I have found these ladies to be some of the most understanding people I have ever met. They may not know it but they have helped me a great deal. A lot of my increase in self esteem I owe to them.

This time it has taken me 8 months to get to where I am now able to start coping again. There have been some major changes in my life – for the better as far as I am concerned. I’m still not fully there but have come a long way.

Ladies, you know who you are. If you read this, thank you. I am glad to know you and be part of your world and that you are part of mine.

Man, when I start I just keep going.

A secret man,

Eccles

Leonard Cohen in my secret life