Spring concert, rowing, punting, captain of boats, father son brunch and a crushed apple
It has been a rather frenetic last eight days. We began with Joe’s spring concert held in the Memorial Hall at Melbourne High School. Joe played the violin in the camerata and also in the Main Symphony Orchestra. From marching bands to wind instruments and of course the strings accompanied by percussion the friends and parents who attended the evening were treated to a celebration in music.
I have managed to make it to at least two of these concerts in the past and each time I’ve been there, they have been uplifting. This concert was equally uplifting and made more enjoyable by the fact that Helen won a prize in the raffle which by her own admission is a fairly rare occurrence.
the spring concert was held on the Thursday evening. The next day Joe had a cross-country event which he participated in and in the afternoon we met up with Lance, Bianca, Stefan and Anna in Melbourne’s Royal Arcade at a coffee shop called Koko’s. They had flown down to Melbourne to watch the football match between Geelong and Richmond which we now know that Richmond won. This was unfortunate because Lance supports Geelong however that team redeemed themselves in the following match.
That evening I tested out our new fire pit as it was still quite cold in Melbourne despite spring having started.
The next morning Joe had his first rowing race of the spring season. This was on the Maribyrnong River and was hosted by the Essendon rowing club. This race is considered quite complex because of the curves in the river. It is a time trial race and all of the boys acquitted themselves well.
That evening we were to go back to Melbourne high School for the captain of boats dinner. On our rowing calendar this is quite an auspicious event as it marks the change of the outgoing captain of boats to the new captain of boats.
As with all of these evenings we had a great time. The event is both social and offers a chance to recap on the achievements of the previous year while looking forward to the coming year of rowing. It was not totally unexpected that John Polianik was selected as the new captain of boats.
It was during this event that I realised that there was a strong possibility I had left my phone on the roof of my car and driven off when we departed our house. Returning home confirmed this fear and despite the fact it was almost midnight, I walked down the street I had driven on which has 10 speed bumps with a torch looking and hoping to see the phone. I returned home and switched on my Mac mini and opened up the application find my iPhone. To my great surprise there was a green light indicating where my phone was. It indicated that it was on a rather busy street and was still operating. I walked to the location in the dark with a torch and Helen stayed back with the Mac Mini and got the application to make a sound on the iPhone. Suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of an Apple device and look to the middle of Stubbs Road to see a faint glow in the middle of the road. Being midnight there was not much traffic so I wandered into the middle of the road and picked up the phone. I can see the glass was crushed but the phone still seemed to be responding.
I returned home and immediately plugged the phone into the Mac Mini to perform a backup. Even though the front of the phone was incredibly crushed the thumb scanner still worked. I was able to unlock the phone and perform a complete backup. I don’t know how many times the phone was run over on that busy street but it amazes me that it held out until after I had retrieved it. The next day, I planned to take it to a repair shop hoping there was some chance it could be repaired. When I sheepishly showed the crushed device to the repair man, he didn’t look too surprised, but turned to me and said “I think you’re going to need a new front camera”.
As it turns out the phone was beyond repair as too many internal elements had been damaged.
Crushed apples aside, the following day was the father son branch was held at Melbourne high School.This annual event at Melbourne high School is held in the unicorn Lodge, home of the Melbourne high School old boys Association. Fathers and sons gather for a brunch where the scenery encompasses the oval in front of Melbourne high school and of course the castle on the hill itself. Volunteers prepare a sumptuous meal. This year one of the volunteers was none other than Helen so our father-son brunch was in fact a family brunch.
The principal of Melbourne high School Jeremy Ludowyke did an outstanding job as master of ceremonies and created a beautiful segue between his words and the introduction of the speaker who apart from being a Melbourne high old boy is in fact the author of Romulus my Father.
Raimond Gaita is the author of the book as well is being a philosopher a professor and a father himself. His talk certainly offered up food for thought in relation to how fathers can present themselves to their children and of course how their children can perceive their fathers.
Melbourne had been gripped in a wintry start to spring, but fortunately this day offered up sunshine and warmth. Lance and his group arrived after the branch for a brief tour of Melbourne high School. To many people, Melbourne high School is just another high school, and an old one at that. So without the historical context or the years of achievement made aware to the people who visit the school, those with only a passing understanding of Melbourne high School could dismiss it as being overrated.
The bricks and mortar of a school including the wads of chewing gum stuck underneath old desks are only a very small part of what makes up a school such as Melbourne high. It is in fact the activities and actions of those within the four walls which define the achievement and traditions of such a school.
Activities like the concerts, captain of boats, father-son brunches in addition to the sporting, musical and academic activities that form the daily life of a Melbourne high student are the things that define and differentiate Melbourne high as a leading school.
After a brief tour and some obligatory photographs in front of the castle, we made our way down to Alexandra Avenue for a short stroll to the botanic Gardens where we had planned to yet again take a punt on the lake in the gardens. This of course has nothing to do with making a wager, but rather a chance to step back in time and into a flat bottomed boat called a punt, which is slowly guided around the deceptively large lake by a punter. Although I feel that the term punter is not elegant enough for the actions performed by these skilled pilots of the waterways. Their knowledgeable commentary rounds out what is an informative and relaxing experience for anyone who participates. Wesley, who has punted in no less than six countries around the world runs the business in the botanic Gardens and it is always a pleasure to catch up with him when we are there. His fellow punter, Campbell, a trained teacher took us on the journey around the lake on a trip that I never tire of taking. If you are near the botanic Gardens and looking to give someone a wonderful treat I would strongly recommend punting in the botanic Gardens of Melbourne.
After completing our relaxing punt in the botanic Gardens, we all made our way out towards Swanston Street where we caught a tram up towards Lygon street which is famous for its Italian cuisine. With the temperature dropping fast we found a restaurant with heaters on the sidewalk and proceeded to have a wonderful pizza meal. A full day with family, friends, philosophy and more – Melbourne at its best.
Sunday at an end and school and work just a short sleep away, we headed home pleased that we were living the life.
The following day brought on requirement to do something a little more serious. Joe has had a hemangioma on his back since birth and in recent weeks part of this has transformed into a lump. Not only that but it is sensitive to the touch. Naturally concerned we initiated the steps one normally goes through-that is to go to a GP arrange for x-rays and ultrasounds leading up to potentially an MRI which in fact will be taking place next week.