By the end of last week I was so tired I was an emotional wreck. I walked in from work one night, unlocked the front door and burst into tears. Not because anything in particular had gone wrong, or because anything had happened, but because I was so stratospherically tired. It was tiredness that hurts, and it was compounded by work being so busy that I kept missing little things and then becoming more stressed by that causing me to ruminate and panic.
I needed to unwind, and I needed an excuse to spend the masses of overtime I was accumulating (In the last week alone , 28 hours of over time). Of course there is an electricity bill sitting there that is due at the end of the month, and I am still planning my Paris holiday, but I needed something that was actually going to get me through the next few months. So when Tiger had a $1 return flights deal for Melbourne, I booked the Monkey and I for a 36 hour getaway to remind me why I go to work in the first place.
I have not done something with the Monkey alone in months, and although there was the inevitable guilt about not taking the Elfling, right now it is the Monkey that needed to be made special. She and I have been a little fractured lately, and several hours of anticipation and then sitting on a plane together was just what this doctor ordered. So I bought her some Melbourne fit clothes, and off we trotted, cabin bags trailing along behind, in matching trench coats.
(segue, there are fireworks outside. I am eternally grateful to live somewhere where I can hear and see fireworks randomly throughout the year).
The Monkey was superlatively good for the whole 2 hour wait at the airport (we got there very early at her request) and for the 2 hour flight down. She was besotted with her tiny can of lemonade and the M&Ms that I purchased for her, and didn't spill etiher. She thanked the stewards, she made games of matching the different coloured sweets, and she chatted - thrilled to have me as a captive audience, focused only on her. We watched the cloud cities float by and I tried to explain lift and thrust and settled for jet engines instead. We watched the patchwork quilt of undulating farmland spread out beneath us and traced rivers and lakes and ridges. Then finally we swooped low over Melbourne, circled out over the sea and landed in at the airport just as the horizon was beginning to gild at the margins.
She charmed everyone she passed, dancing as she walked in her hot pink coat and stripey tights, insisting on toting her own bag behind her to the amusement of others racing past to get their nicotine fix. Then we jumped in our car, driven by a very patient Auntie and headed off to the city to part ways. She for the zoo the next morning and being thoroughly spoiled, and me for Bourke St and grown up fun.
I arrived early in the evening, just as the offices were emptying, and I perched on a cold slab in the middle of the mall and shamelessly people watched, wrapped up in my black trench and red hat, before deciding that I didn't care what people thought of me and pulled out my behemoth of a camera and began practising night shots.
I then met up with my fellow shoe fetishist and began my introduction to Melbourne City, a place I had fallen in love with from the first trilby topped gentleman that had rushed past me in the cool. We traipsed through alley ways and malls, window shopped and outright ogled before settling into a venue that I felt sure saw right through me and my Queenslandery ways that would have made me uncomfortable if I hadn't been so gleefully enjoying the vista.
The next morning we were up bright and early, red lipstick at the ready to take on a day of power shopping. I had very set ideas on what I wanted to buy - black boots being top of the table. And of course I found none I loved the whole day. Instead I bought some pretty dresses and tried on shoes and scarves and hats and chattered and laughed and hurt my back through walking all day in heels, but it was worth it.
We then headed out for dinner with friends, with lots of laughs, a very few drinks (apparently the conversation scared the waitstaff enough that they didn't do the obligatory offer drinks every few minutes - their loss!) and some delicious food. We then wandered back to the car, and prepared to come back home in the early hours of this morning. The Monkey meanwhile had had a superlative day that she talked about the whole flight home.
And after a joyfun family reunion with breakfast under the Eiffel tower, we headed home to regular life again. I then pulled out my puchases to show Bingley to get his approval or eye rolls and practised using my new eyeliner brush (a revelation! no pens again) and thinking of reasons to avoid doing the things I"d planned for the afternoon and lazing around in bed instead.
It was a lovely weekend.
Edited to add, for some reason blogger has put up very low quality images that look blurry/pixellated, but if you like any of them, clicking will take you to a higher res.