The beauty of AFL football is that it brings people together and you sit next to complete strangers and yet by the end of the math you're analysing the game together and discussing football in general. Where you might otherwise just pass each other in the street without a thought, suddenly there's this expansive common ground. Alas, you don't get this up in Brisbane much, largely because this is rugby league heartland (a football code I couldn't care less about, sorry) and the AFL followers are fewer.
Anyway, enough about sport. Melbourne in itself was a joy to visit. Freezing cold weather, but walking through the Fitzroy gardens again made me so happy. I did find my 'Complete Works of Josephus'. Not second hand, but for a cheap $34 at Readings, by far one of the best bookshop chains in Australia. Unfortunately the chain is based in Melbourne only, but it has the biggest stock supply of Loeb Editions that I've ever seen (always important for Classicists- I died of squee when I saw it!) and I'm quite willing to pay postage in the future in order to get the books up here. Reader's Feast were also quite good for religion and classics texts. I was able to buy Robin Lane-Fox's 'Pagans and Christians' down there, so at last I can give Rick back his copy.
I also went to St Francis' bookshop in Lonsdale St, and bought a text on incorruptible saints that I'd heard about and wanted. I've been thinking that if I get a top result in honours, that I'd like to go on and do a PhD on the significance of relics in Catholic Christianity (something I thought about for honours, but dismissed since there wasn't a lot of scholarship to be found on the topic). I know, way too early to be thinking of this, especially considering that I haven't even written my thesis yet! But it's still a nice thought.
We saw family down there as well. My Aunty Muis and Uncle Menno have a good eye for food, and we had an amazing breakfast with them in a Bridge Rd cafe in Richmond on the morning of the Grand Final. The place was so popular that there were people queueing up outside for tables! We also went to the always divine Brunetti, which have the most amazing cakes and deserts in Melbourne. I never miss a chance to go there.
We had lunch with my Aunty Paula in Wallan yesterday, and then we drove out to Avalon for the flight home. Our flight was horribly late at night, and I didn't get to bed here until after midnight. I'm still quite lethargic now, and have decided to work on my paper at home today and meet with Rick on Wednesday instead. And so off to work I go!
Also? Only negative note is that I was seriously prepared to see an e-mail from Amazon saying that my copy of Hugh Laurie's new book had been shipped when I got back. Instead, the release date's been pushed to late October and one of the posts in the product forum says he hasn't even started writing it yet. Dammit. :/