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Melbourne

Last year the Melbourne Vintage Men’s Group made me a lifetime honorary member. In fact it is they who gave me inspiration and encouragement to develop the LGBT Older People’s Group in North Staffordshire. So there is a feeling of mutual respect. Because of my injured leg, I felt it unwise to meet up with Gordon and Paul at Joy Radio…that would have meant an early start and a long walk to Alexandra Park. Instead, I took a taxi from the Metro YHA directly to the park. The timing was perfect, I arrived just as they were unloading their cars with stuff for the stall. Whilst unable to help with heavy items, my assistance throughout the day allowed Gordon to do a live radio interview and Paul to sing with the choir at Midsumma Carnival. Together with David, the Chairman of the group, we sold loads of books and DVDs….raising a useful sum of money for Vintage Men.

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On Monday, I felt fit enough for a day at the seaside…so took a tram to Bourke Street where I caught the 96 tram to St Kilda Beach. The interchange stop was close to site of the terrible car attack that occurred on the Friday whilst I was flying to Auckland.  Monday, however was a peaceful sunny day, but with a very strong wind…so after a tasty lunch and a short stroll along the seafront, I headed back to North Melbourne. Before leaving Australia, I managed to see an interesting Banksy Exhibition in a tent behind Federation Square car park and the David Hockney Show at the National Gallery of Victoria. For the latter I am indebted to Paul who kindly pushed me round in a wheelchair.

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Although this was my shortest visit to Australia, I succeeded in my objectives of renewing friendships as well as attending social and cultural events. In addition, I also met some delightful people like Pan a Chinese student in E-Commerce who couldn’t believe that I was older than his grandfather.

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