THURSDAY 29TH MARCH: 0230 Alarm, brekky (Thanks Beej and Manni, I found some instant oats!!) taxi at 0340, plane trip of only 3+1/4 hours,(very uncomfortable seats in Virgin - cannot recline - difficult for the night flights when all you want to do is doze!!), shuttle bus in to Melbourne, lunch at Spencer St station then taxi to reunion Hotel in Queens Road, just off St Kilda Road. Already a group of ex-WRANS here, so while Pete slept I met them and chatted until someone I knew arrived!! Helen and Di, along with Grace (Molloy/Thomas) and Thommo, and Steve Llewellin and his wife Margaret(Sandaver).
FRIDAY 30TH MARCH: Steady stream of women arriving all day - Coral and Ron arrived before lunch, as did Spides. Finally caught up with Pat, who joined up with me from Perth, way back in Feb 1967. Some men here, and we know a couple of them, so nice for Pete. Registration all day - nice bag of "goodies" for each of us - Reception this evening - 460 people - wow - going well already. Watched the second half of the footy in the lounge after the reception ended - say no more!! ('cept go the Hawks!!) 18 years today since Mum died so suddenly - how quickly those years have whizzed by - can remember every minute of that day from when that phone call came in.....
SATURDAY 31st MARCH: We were woken by a phone call from Reception, with a msg from Coral "Where the bloody hell are you?" A quick shower and we joined them at brekky. A different sort of day, very windy, so have decided a quiet one here is on the agenda - the next 2 weeks will be go, go, go so preparing for that! Many have gone off on one of two options today - we had already done those offerings on previous visits, so opted for the Do-It-Yourself day. Gala Dinner tonight so looking forward to that.
SUNDAY 1st APRIL: The Gala dinner was great - food was excellent and the evening went off really well. The Committee had posted photographs from the past years around the wall - found myself in two!! We had a WRAN from 1942 and a currently-serving WRAN at the reunion, so we spanned 70 years of Women who served our Nation in the WRANS - not a bad turnout, at all. Pete woke unwell this morning with a touch of tummy-grumbles and Ron suffering from gout, so Coral and I joined the rest on the day trip back to HMAS Cerberus, south of Frankston, down on the tip of Westernport Bay. Is always great to be back on board again and because of the security on the Base, we had a superb "Windscreen Tour" in our 5 buses, each having a Guide on board to bring us up to date on changes, deletions and additions to the buildings over the years. Most of us saw places (for us, the Boys' Blocks!!) that we had not seen when we were there as Recruits!!! Both of our guys were recoverd by the time we got home, and joined us for the farewell "Roast Night" that the hotel put on for those of us still there.
MONDAY 2nd APRIL: Coral and Ron gave us a lift to Carlton where we joined Sharon, Ken and the boys, ready to start our holiday together. Super to see them again. Spent the day in and around the area - They hired a car and left for Frankston to see Ken's Nana, by about 11ish. We all went to a pub on Swanston St, which is only about 100 metres from our hotel, and had tea there. From Sharon's room, you can see the length of Swanston St with the War Memorial at the far end - a beautiful sight at night with all the lights on.
TUESDAY 3rd APRIL: Pete and Sharon are using the gym each morning while we are here. They all headed back down to Frankston for the day with Nana - we wandered the Markets, found the footy socks for the boys back home and enjoyed the absolutely fabulous weather we have had since arriving here. We walked to Lygon St and had a lovely (though expensive) meal there - we had not been into that area on previous visits here.
WEDNESDAY 4th APRIL: Happy 50th Graeme..... Caught the train down to Geelong and had about 5 hours with Sheena, on the foreshore of Corio Bay - it really is lovely there, and was a gorgeous day. She loved meeting Sharon and family, and Sharon could see lots of her Granma in Sheena. Mum and Sheena are first cousins. Was a great day all together and the boys were really well behaved on the long day.
THURSDAY 5th APRIL: Happy 37th Birthday Brett and Tahra - sending lots of love to you both. Markets were once again our first visit of the day, then Pete and I took RJay on the Circle Tram while Shaz and Ken went shopping. We all met in the food hall of Melb Central for lunch. They are going to Dracula's tonight and we will watch the boys. Jacob is a little unwell today with a cough and congestion,, so hope all will be ok with him through the evening!!