The best part of our trip to Melbourne was catching up with friends and revisiting our old haunts, and in between times getting totally distracted by the beautiful Europeany-style gardens. This culminated, of course, in the wedding of Drue and Sarah where I got to see so many unexpected faces (Pip and Vesna, I don't know why I didn't expect to see you there - in retrospect I should have, but it was a great surprise to see you both and meet your delightful other halves), the reception was near our old neighbourhood just down the road from where Hayden used to work, and the last thing I did on the night was nick a beautiful white rose from the table decorations. I was not the only person to do that, and I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have had the courage to start dismantling the beautiful arrangements if someone else hadn't shown me the way. But there it is.
We had expected that in the week before the wedding the bride and groom would be completely overrun with last-minute to-do's, so I felt pretty lucky to get a whole afternoon of Drue's time on Tuesday. It was just like the olden days, with Drue dragging us through some inky cobbled laneway up to the back entrance of this charming drawing room of a bar above Swanston Street. You know only the good bars in Melbourne are entered through a tiny old door squeezed between two massive industrial bins in a back ally that smells of cat piss and old oyster sauce.
As well as bars, Melbourne is famous for its cafes and bookshops, and we did make the most of our time in both. Actually, for all the build-up of getting to go to Borders after dinner, the first visit was a bit of a fizzer. I don't know if it was just that at that point in the trip I was always going to be overwhelmed - any time that I've had a drink or two in the afternoon, I'm definitely (these days at least) headed for an early night. We probably shouldn't have pushed on to what was one of our old favourites in the past: dinner at Trotters on Lygon Street followed by a good long browse in Borders. Now you know that we'd built up the Borders thing. Especially the after-dinner Borders thing. So arriving in Borders on an extremely full tummy and a fading afternoon-wine headache, I have to admit it: I got overwhelmed. Hayden did too. We just weren't used to seeing so many books. And so many people buying books. And walking up and down the aisles, talking on thier phones while buying books.
After a couple more visits to Borders and other massive bookshops during the week, I did finally manage to make a purchase on Sunday before we went home. I managed to come away with a small paperback about punctuation. Hm. OK, I did gain a few moments of timelessness leafing through a book of Thomas Hardy's poetry and another one of Yeats. But why undermine that by purchasing a small (but admittedly very helpful) book on commas and full stops?
Anyone who's come here (Directed by Mikey?) looking for pictures from the wedding day, I'm afraid this is pretty much it from us: