After discovering the joys of cycling in 2002 I took a group of fellow riders to China in 2006. Since then we have gone on to complete something like 42 other overseas cycling and trekking adventures which have taken us all over the planet.
  • Day5

    Exploring Albury/Wodonga

    May 3 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    The last time Maggie and I had been in Albury was more than 47 years ago. We had been married for about 2 days and were on our way to Canberra to spend our honeymoon.

    Of course the world of travel was a bit different way back then. The only resource we had to plan our accommodation was the RACV Accommodation Guide. There was no Internet, no mobile phones, no email, no GPS to help guide our way. We really were on our own.

    After looking at maps and studying the brief descriptions of each motel that the guide book offered, I chose a place in Albury for our overnight stay and received a printed voucher to present on our arrival.

    We left Melbourne with our little Renault 10 loaded to the rooftop with about everything we owned at that time. Although I had promised Maggie that we would have a lovely place to stay after the long drive, we soon discovered that the place did not live up to the description. The room was tiny, the bed situated right under the front window, only partly protected by an inadequate flimsy curtain. Every time sometime walked past the room (which was often), we felt like we were meant to say hello to them. It was an uncomfortable night.

    When our plans were made to spend a couple of nights in Wodonga as part of this trip, we were obviously curious to see if anything had changed in almost half a century. We soon found that the city was nothing like how we remembered it. Albury/Wodonga is now a thriving metropolis with very well-developed infrastructure. The shopping centres were modern, the coffee shops welcoming and the traffic appeared to flow smoothly. In addition we found a wonderful rage of beautiful parklands and bike paths to explore. Our main regret was that we did not have enough time there to do the place justice. If we repeat this trip next year, all agreed that we should include a day of cycling around the city.

    And as for our motel of 1974 ? To our surprise we found that it is still there. In fact it had not even changed all that much, apart from a sparkling new paint job. Apparently, such "retro motels" are now all the rage. It even has a huge hotel and restaurant added to the complex. But will we ever stay there again ? I really doubt it.

    On the other hand, we all left with very positive feelings for the city and a desire to return well before another 47 years had elapsed.
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    Michael Slattery

    That’s a very weird dinosaur 🦕 😁. We missed that one.

    Dennis Dawson

    It was in the special children's section of the Botanical Gardens.

    Kay Sweeney

    Awesome Dennis!

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  • Day4

    High Country Rail Trail

    May 2 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Maybe it was because it's a long way away, or maybe it was fear of the unknown. Even though the High Country Rail Trail has been open for many years, the Ghostriders had never explored it prior to 2021.

    When we first started thinking of riding the Tumburumba Trail, I started looking at combining it with several other trails to make a week of cycling and exploring. If we were going to come such a long way from Melbourne, we might at least make maximum use of our time. Over a few days, the plans evolved to include the Tumbarumba, High Country and Murray to the Mountains Trails.

    The High Country Trail starts in the centre of Wodonga and stretches about 40 km through Ebden and Bonegila to Tallangatta. Much of the trail runs along the side of the massive Hume Weir, but in case you might be thinking that it must therefore be a flat trail, you have another think coming. Although there are no extended climbs, there are many smaller undulations along the route.

    Once again we started the ride in brilliant sunshine. The thermals and leggings were definitely not required, but the sunscreen was. The start of the trail is quite close to the Motel 24, where many of our riders were staying.

    The first few kilometres are high quality smooth bitumen, but the surface does not last too long. Once you reach the site of the old Bonegila Migrant Hostel, the surface deteriorates to fairly rough gravel. In some places it is actually quite loose and potentially dangerous, but the less than perfect surface is compensated for by the magnificent scenery across the Weir.

    Because the lake was artificially made, there are still hundreds of drowned trees poking through the water surface. These certainly add a certain moodiness to the scenery.

    All our riders made it safely to Tallangatta, where we settled down to a lengthy lunch at the Bakery. Then it was time to remount the bikes for the long ride back to Wodonga.

    Although the surface of the trail is not as good as the Tumbarumba Trail, we all agreed that it really was an enjoyable ride. Maybe this will become a regular part of the annual calendar ?

    Tomorrow we have a free day to explore Wodonga.
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  • Day3

    Riding the Tumbarumba

    May 1 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    I am not sure when I first heard the name "Tumbarumba", but I suspect it might have been many years ago when I listened to the haunting sounds of Smokey Dawson singing "Ghosts of Old Khancoban". The evocative words certainly stuck in my mind, and painted mental images of rough bush country. The sort of place where men were men (and probably smoked a pack of Marlboros a day) and women worked all day in the kitchen, preparing meals and darning socks.

    One line in the song goes something like "we rode a 100 miles for a lady's smiles at the dance at Tumbarumba". It is certainly a name that rolls off the tongue, the problem is that it rolls off the tongue differently every time someone tries to pronounce it. Ever since I first announced that I planned to ride the Tumbarumba Trail, its name has been distorted into a multitude of strange permutations and combinations - so much so that I have now found myself calling it anything from Tummamurra to Tipperary.

    Whatever the place is called, it certainly is a spectacular location, made all the more beautiful by the palette of autumn colours that have painted the hillsides so vividly. Of course, every place also looks better when the sun is shining and the sky is blue. That is exactly the sight that welcomed us when we gathered at the start of the rail trail this morning.

    After the obligatory group photo shot, we were soon on our way to Rosewood. I explained that we needed to split into smaller groups to avoid the chaos that would undoubtedly ensue if 25 riders all descended on the Gone Barney cafe at the same time. The large group progressively separated out into a succession of smaller pelotons (minitons ?) and one rider quickly disappeared into the distance, riding in his own uniton. (Yes it was David).

    This gave us a chance to see just how good this brand new trail is. The smooth sealed surface, regular distance markers, clear signage and incredible scenery certainly combine to provide a wonderful riding experience. It is little wonder that hundreds of riders travel large distances to ride this trail every day. We could certainly see the boon it has already provided to local businesses. That should serve as a clear example that such trails do not constitute a threat to the local population. To the contrary, they can be just the sort of stimulus that struggling country towns need to thrive again.

    One unique feature of the trail was a succession of cattle bridges, constructed over the trail. These allow the cattle to safely cross over from one side of the trail to the other. It was something of a strange sight, seeing a large bovine calmy walking overhead, while I rode underneath.

    Although the trail is not very long (around 23 km) it is certainly a joy to ride. At the current time it terminates at the small town of Rosewood, where we were welcomed by the thriving Gone Barney Cafe and a nearby host of gnomes (I am not kidding).

    After a cheap and delicious lunch, we climbed back on the bikes and headed back to Tumbarumba. Although it is a rail trail and has no serious climbs, the final few km back to Tumbarumba is a steady ascent (great when riding an e-bike).

    At the end of the ride, I asked several of our riders what score they would give the trail. They agreed that 10/10 would not be an exaggeration. It had been a marvelous day, and one that we will remember for a long time.
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  • Day2

    Free Day in Tumbarumba

    April 30 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Question - What do you do in Tumbarumba when the sun is shining on a perfect autumn day ?
    Answer - Anything you feel like.

    I don't think that anyone in our group has ever travelled to Tumbarumba before, but there is no doubt that we have all been captivated by its charm and beauty. Of course it is possible that it might not have looked so idyllic if the rain had been falling and the biting winds had been sweeping in from the alps. But today it could not have been more perfect.

    After breakfast in our rooms, a few of us decided to walk into the town in search of a real cup of coffee. We soon spied a sunny courtyard which liked like the ideal place for a cappucino and a chat. No sooner had we sat down than we were joined by a very sociable black cat. It stayed with us for the next 60 minutes, enjoying the autumn sunshine just as much as we were.

    We had heard about a nearby waterfall with the exotic name "Paddy's Falls". How could we resist that ? It was only 16 km outside of Tumbarumba and the drive was cerrtainly worth it.

    Although the falls were not exactly spectacular, we had to agree that they were really quite charming and the walk down to the base of the cascade was not overly taxing. That was also a great bonus.

    After admiring the falls, it was back to town for a late lunch at The Nest Cinema Cafe. Another couple of hours slipped delightfully through our fingers. Such moments really are like a precious medicine and we could all feel our souls being rejuvenated as we sat, laughed, chatted and ate.

    Tomorrow's forecast is for another superb day. That is just as well as that is when we will all be climbing onto the bikes to ride the rail trail we had come all the way from Melbourne to experience.
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  • Day2

    An Indian Summer in Tumbarumba

    April 30 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    For most of last year Melbournians endure a crippling series of Covid 19 lockdowns, curfews, travel restrictions and toilet paper shortages. It was terrible. During the worst of the lockdown we were not even able to share rides with our Ghostrider friends. All overseas travel was banned and we couldn't even travel more than 5 km from our own homes.

    As our freedoms were gradually restored, I looked for alternative avenues to experience cycling adventures. A couple of months ago I heard about the brand new Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail that had only just opened. It seemed like a suitable place for the Ghostriders to explore. Although Victoria is spoilt with a surfeit of cycling choices, it is surprising to discover that the Tumbarumba Trail is exactly the first such rail trail in NSW.

    Plans were quickly made to combine the Tumbarumba Trail with the Wodonga to Tallangatta and Wangaratta to Bright Rail Trails. It did not take long for the word to spread and very quickly we had over 25 riders recruited.

    Of course, everyone knows that the Snowy Mountains are called that for very good reason. "It will be freezing", I warned everyone. "You will need thermals, hats, gloves, coats, scarves, leggings, arm warmers, leg warmers, and ear warmers", I added. "And then the really cold weather will set in".

    I figured that it is always better to be prepared than be sorry. Our riders set about packing cases full of arctic gear and snow riding clothes. We were prepared for the very worst that the Snowys could throw at us.

    It was only when the weather forecasts started to come through that we could see that maybe the conditions would not be as brutal as I had anticipated. After a rather gloomy couple of weeks in Melbourne, the clouds finally scuttled away, the sunshine broke through and we were presented with the very best day that we had seen for some time.

    Our riders set out from Melbourne for the 500 km drive to Tumbarumba in high spirits. We all felt like kids on the eve of Christmas. It just felt so good to be finally heading away on a trip.

    The sunny weather followed us all the way to Tumbarumba and the long drive was made all the better for the never-ending kaleidoscope of vivid autumn colours that followed us the whole way.

    We stopped at Yea for our morning tea stop and a chance to meet up with Gordon and Sue and Gael and Gerry. From there we formed a sort of three-car convey to complete the rest of the journey. It did help the long km to flow past relatively quickly.

    Our final stop was at Holbrook. A late lunch in the park, indulgently feasting on sandwiches and cakes, seemed like an appropriate way to punctuate the drive. From there it was only another 80 km of absolutely delightful driving to reach our destination of Tumbarumba. I was glad that we had taken the time to clean the inside of our very smeary windscreen before we left Melbourne as the scenery was breathtaking. There was no doubt that this was absolutely the very best time of the year to explore this region.

    After checking into our motel, 17 of us decided to head for the nearby Tumbarumba Hotel for a pub dinner. Then we enjoyed a short walk back under the stars to our waiting rooms. We are so looking forward to the next few days in this beautiful region.
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  • Day273

    30 Days Without Covid

    November 29, 2020 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    According to the calendar it's been over two weeks since I last posted a footprint. That could be because (a) not that much has been happening or (b) I am becoming slack or (c) both of the above.

    Actually, it would be very misleading to say that nothing much has been happening. In fact, it has been an exciting time for Australia, and Victoria in particular. We were always told that 14 straight days without a new Covid infection would mark a significant milestone in our post Covid recovery. That point was reached two weeks ago.

    At the time it was a real reason to celebrate. For the first time in months we could dare to believe that there was going to be a life after Covid after all. Even better has been the fact that the run of "donut days" has continued unbroken. Today marked the 30th such day. Since 14 days represents one Covid cycle, we have now completed two such cycles. The experts are now cautiously telling us that we have achieved Covid elimination in Victoria.

    Apparently there is a difference between Covid elimination and Covid eradication. We might not have fully eradicated it yet, but elimination is surely the next best thing.

    The improving situation in Victoria has meant that restrictions have been even further relaxed. We can now entertain up to 15 people per day in a private house. Of even greater significance for the Ghostriders, we can now have groups of up to 50 people participating in outdoor events. This means that we do not have to count all our riders to make sure that we have no more than 10 riders in any group.

    Last Thursday was the first time we were able to put these new guidelines into effect. It was our first unrestricted ride in many months - and it felt wonderful. Even the weather played the part by providing us ideal conditions for riding.

    One of the most unpopular things we have had to endure for the past few months has been the compulsory wearing of face masks when outside the home. We have now been told we need only wear these masks when in close proximity to other people. This means that we can enjoy the freedom of "bare faced cycling" once again. It is amazing how important such things become when you no longer have them. It certainly felt great to be able to ride and breathe freely again.

    Eighteen riders met for this very important ride, although we did divide into two smaller groups for the ride itself. The ride itself went mostly according to plan, although we did get slightly lost at one point and one rider had a fall from his bike. These minor mishaps did not stop us from smiling the whole way. It was great to be alive and share fun with the friends we had missed for so long.

    So what else has changed ? The state borders are progressively starting to open - just in time for Christmas. It is now possible to travel between Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Tasmania, without having to quarantine on arrival. Western Australia is taking a more cautious approach and seems determined to stay closed until the next Ice Age.

    And what about South Australia ? That is the only sour note in an otherwise positive report. Over the past two weeks South Australia has experienced a new local outbreak of cases. This has grown to around 30 active cases in a significant cluster. Having seen just how quickly such outbreaks can spread through a population, it has obviously been a cause of concern.

    The initial response of the South Australian government was to throw the entire state into a complete lockdown for 6 days. The extent of this lockdown was even more extreme than we experienced in Victoria. After only three days of this lockdown, the governemnt did an abrupt about turn and called it all off. They are now reliant on contact tracing to prevent further spread, but they have not been entirely successful in this as every day brings another 2 or 3 new cases.

    For the past few days I have been back in Melbourne, while Maggie has stayed down in Inverloch to enjoy a well earned rest. The remaining short time before Christmas looks like it will be the busiest we have had for a long time.
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  • Day255

    A Covid Remembrance Day

    November 11, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    One hundred and two years ago today, World War I officially came to an end with the signing of the Armistice ceasefire agreement in France. Over the preceding 4 years, over 20 million people had lost their lives in what many still believe was a pointless war. On that day, the battlefields of Europe finally fell silent and the world was able to take some time to count the incredible cost.

    Since that historic day in 1918, we have set aside the 11th of November as a time to honour those that made the ultimate sacrifice. In Australia, the day is known as Remembrance Day. All over the nation, people gather in towns large and small to hold remembrance services. This year, remembrance day services were destined to become yet another casualty of the ever-growing list of canceled events.

    Even though the traditional services were not possible, over the past few days there has been a steadily growing feeling of optimism in our population. This is especially evident in Melbourne where we are finally daring to believe that we just might have beaten the Covid menace.

    Today marked the 12th consecutive day with no new known infections and no deaths in our state. There is absolutely no doubt that there is a widespread feeling of relief spreading through the people. This has also been reflected in a significant rise in the stock market over the past few days. Since most people's superannuation savings are closely connected to stock market movements, this gives another reason to smile a little.

    This morning we had yet another reason for celebration. An announcement came through that one of the major candidates for a Covid 19 vaccine has shown better than expected results in the latest large scale tests. The experts had been hoping for a success rate between 60-70%, but the initial results exceeded this benchmark, with a success rate of over 90%. We are now being told that widespread vaccinations could begin early in 2021.

    Although many businesses are still battling to stay afloat, there are others that are actually doing very well indeed. Now that the "ring of steel" no longer separates Melbourne from the Victorian country, there is hope that we will see a huge flow of money from city dwellers to the rural cities. All over the state, signs have been erected outside country towns, welcoming back people from Melbourne.

    Although the battle is far from over, there is no doubt that we are rapidly becoming the envy of the world. The latest news from the USA showed that the daily new infections are now in excess of 200,000. In most states of America, the virus is spreading without any real attempt at control. While this is going on , we witness the ludicrous spectacle of the defeated ex-President Trump, bunkering himself in the White House and refusing to acknowledge that he has been thrown out. It is a truly sad spectacle of a man in complete mental decline. Where will this lead in the weeks ahead? Who knows?
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  • Day253

    Donuts Galore

    November 9, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    At the time of my last update Victoria had achieved the unthinkable - three days in a row with no new Covid 19 infections. Just a few months ago we were in a much different position, with daily new infections over 700. I am pleased (actually ecstatic) to announce that the sequence of "donut days" has continued for another week. We have now had 10 consecutive days with no new infections and no deaths. Perhaps even more remarkably, we now have only 4 active cases remaining in our entire state.

    Today we take another big step towards reclaiming our freedoms. The much hated "ring of steel" around Melbourne has been removed, along with the 25 km travel restriction. All Victorians can now leave their houses whenever they wish and travel as far as they want. After being confined for so many months, it represents a massive change.

    Not so popular was the news that we can still only have two visitors per day to our homes and a maximum of 10 people can take part in an outside activity. That means that extended family dinners and large group bike rides are off the agenda for at least another two weeks.

    Against the backdrop of our improving Covid 19 status, we have daily reminders of how dire the situation still is in most of the world. This is especially the case in the USA and Europe where the daily infection numbers are setting new records virtually every single day.

    The USA has had another event to distract from the long-running Covid show. Last Tuesday was the US presidential election. While the rest of the world looked on and hoped that the four-year Trump debacle would finally come to a peaceful end, in the USA the outcome was not so sure. For millions of underpaid and undereducated Americans, Trump has become some sort of cult leader. The more outrageous his behaviour becomes, the more they seem to adore him. It is sad but true.

    The lead up to the election has seen the USA more and more divided into two warring camps. On numerous occasions we have seen news footage of heavily armed Trump supporters marching through the streets, threatening a civil war if they do not get the result they want.

    The best possible outcome would have been for a decisive victory for the Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Although at 78 years old he appears to already have one foot in the grave, he does seem to be a decent and honest man. At such a precarious time in world history, perhaps the voice of reason and experience is what is really needed.

    It did not turn out that way. Due to a record number of postal votes having been lodged, the counting continued day after day. It soon became evident that the final result was going to be tight. After several days passed, Joe Biden slowly moved into the lead. Eventually, on Sunday, he was finally declared to be the clear winner.

    That would normally be the end of the matter. At that point, the loser generally contacts the winner to offer their congratulations and best wishes. Trump was never going to behave in such a gracious way. Instead, he has bunkered himself down in the White House, sending out a torrent of uppercase tweets, These childish ravings accuse the Democrats of having "stolen" the election. He also seems to think that all the postal votes are "illegal" (apart from the ones that favour him). It is looking increasingly likely that he will need to be dragged out of the Oval Office, while he stages a full-blown kiddy tantrum.

    I guess you can add the weird goings-on in the USA to the huge list of unbelievable events that have already taken place in 2020. What a year this has turned out to be.
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  • Day246

    A Feast of Donuts

    November 2, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Some people spell them "donut" and others spell them "doughnut". However you spell the word, we all know what they are. They are those circular, sugary treats with the hole in the middle. When I was a kid I visited a very early incarnation of Chadstone shopping centre. The shops did not interest me much, apart from one store that stood in a special location, all by itself. It was the Downyflake donut shop, and for a curious child, it was the stuff of wonder and amazement.

    Because we were a very poor family, we could not afford to buy any of the delicious treats, but that did not matter. The real fascination was due to the fact that the store contained a machine that manufactured the donuts, right before your eyes. I remember standing outside the Downyflake window, mesmerised by the never ending donut parade that took place there. The final step was when the completed donut dropped into a bed of sugar. Lucky shoppers could then purchase the, still warm, delicacies and enjoy them while they explored the shopping centre.

    About sixty years have now gone past since those days. The Downyflake store has long since disappeared, but I can still vividly remember that smell of warm donuts, that so permeated the location.

    Nowadays I very seldom buy donuts. In fact, I can't remember the last time I sunk my teeth into one, however all of Melbourne has been enjoying a wonderful sequence of so called "donut days" in the past week. This does not mean that Melbournians have all gone off to the nearest bakery in search of a sugar hit, but it is an undoubted reason to celebrate.

    After enduring one of the harshest lockdowns of any city on earth, Melbourne is now finally enjoying the fruits of our sacrifice. We have seen the daily numbers of new infections drop steadily. The first milestone was achieved a few weeks ago when we dropped into single digits for the first time. Then we celebrated afresh when the numbers dropped below 5 cases a day. But the best was still to come.

    About two weeks we achieved what was almost unthinkable - a day of zero new cases. The day was christened a "donut day", because the numeral zero resembled the classic circular donut shape. This week the incidence of donut days has increased, so much so that we have now had three consecutive donut days.

    There is no doubt that this is a significant milestone in our recovery from Covid. We now have good reason to hope that we will soon be able to move to the next stage of removal of restrictions. The next major update is due next Sunday 8th November. The rumour is that we may see the hated "ring of steel" around Melbourne finally removed. This is the network of police roadblocks that stop Melbournians from venturing into rural Victoria. If that does happen I suspect that we will see an instant exodus of people from the city heading off to enjoy the countryside.

    Although that day would be a very happy one for Melbourne residents, I am not sure that the sentiment is shared by the people of country Victoria. Obviously, they are concerned about the possibility of infection being carried out of the city, along with the day-trippers.

    Another observation we have made is that people seem to be getting visibly slacker with their Covidsafe habits. I think that many have decided that the battle is now over and therefore they no longer need to wear masks or maintain safe social distancing. Maggie and I went on another bike ride today and noticed numerous walkers completely ignoring the mask-wearing rule. Many others had their masks hanging uselessly under their chins. It would be such a terrible waste of our previous sacrifices and self-discipline, if such slack behaviour allowed a terrible third wave of the virus to re-emerge in Melbourne.
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  • Day237

    A Covid Grand Final

    October 24, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    In this year that is unlike any other, today we have the spectacle of the strangest Grand Final in football history. In any normal year, this would have already been held on the final Saturday in September. But not this year.

    This year was without doubt, weird in every respect. Football was no exception. The outbreak of the pandemic looked like it would bring a premature end to the entire 2020 season, and that's what almost happened. After a few rounds, the pandemic grew to such an extent that all matches were suspended.

    For a time matches resumed in front of empty grandstands. It was purely a TV spectacle, but the "spectacle" was more like a farce. Someone decided that we need some artificial crowd noises to build the atmosphere, but that only served to make it a sad joke. The quarters were reduced in length to 15 minutes. I am not sure why this was done, but it only added to the lacklustre season that never was.

    Soon the dreaded "second wave" arrived in Victoria and somehow all the players, partners, friends, neighbours, etc were offered free transit to Queensland. The players were supposed to be separated in a special "hub" away from the general population. Of course, many players immediately ignored that condition and proceeded to behave badly at every opportunity.

    The home and away season was reduced to only 17 matches - just enough for every team to play every other team just once during the season. The all-important Grand Final was delayed by four weeks and, in the worst insult to Victoria, was rescheduled to be held in Queensland at the Gabba. At least up there they could still have modest crowds. In the meantime, the massive MCG would sit empty.

    Somehow the season limped along to the finals. It was hard to really get very involved in such a contrived situation and many of the people I spoke to told me that they had lost all interest in what was going on this year.

    To cut a long story short, one by one, the teams were eliminated, until only Richmond and Geelong were left to battle for the Premiership of the Damned. It was somewhat ironic that the first non Victorian Grand Final would be battled out by two Victorian teams. Since I like to support the underdog, I would have liked St Kilda to win the premiership this year, but that was not to be. Both Richmond and Geelong have had more than their fair share of success over the past few years, so it will be another example of the "rich getting richer".

    Against the backdrop of the leadup to the Grand Final, we had had a steady reduction in the daily numbers of new cases in Victoria. It was actually looking like we might even reach the holy grail of zero new cases, however another stuff up in bureacracy has seen another local outbreak in the Preston region. Apparently the Dept of Health and Human Services incorrectly omitted to tell a family that one of their children should have been kept in isolation. The parents dutifully sent off the infected kid to school and the result was therefore quite predictable. We now have three schools closed for 2 weeks and hundreds of people placed potentially at risk.

    Dan Andrews had previously promised that we could expect a further easing fo restrictions tomorrow, but the latest bungle may now have prejudiced that happening. In the meantime, hundreds of unmasked protestors rioted in the streets of Melbourne yesterday. They have come to the conclusion that the pandemic is a scam, and that we should be completely freed to infect anyone we choose, in any way we choose.

    On a personal level, Maggie and I were very happy with the increase in travel distance up to 25 km. This gave us the chance to leave our neighbourhood for the first time in months. We met with friends at Gembrook, had a picnic in Garfield and, best of all, saw our youngest grandson again. It really was like a breath of fresh air and made us feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel after all.
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