A quick detour this morning to the Oakleigh police to drop off the bicycle we’d picked up last night on the way home from dinner. At five thirty it was lying at the end of our street, it was still there at eight when we headed out for dinner, still there at eleven as we came home — a reasonable assumption then that it had been nicked and dumped. Police were their usual uninspiring selves when it came to reporting and recording stolen property “Brown Bicycle” was the limit of the documentation until I insisted that they put the serial number on the form! We can claim it back in three months, providing the real owner hasn’t come forward and the police are able to find it again… don’t hold your breath.

Shopping, cleaning, packing, preparing… a picnic lunch is required, but no metal cutlery allowed, no glass, no alcohol. No chance of terrorists hijacking the winery and flying it into a building, and plenty of opportunity for Rochfords to sell wine and beer to a captive audience.

An hour in the car to get to the Yarra valley, park in the paddock and walk endlessly up to the main gates. A superficial security check to ensure that we had no dangerous glass in our possession, then inside and up to the bar to buy glass bottles of beer! Security meet commercial opportunism.

The crowd was a miniature version of the “4WD height war” that takes place on the roads. Everyone wanted to be sitting on a fold-up chair so that they could be taller and see over everyone else who was sitting on a fold-up chair… those of us who chose to sit on a blanket on the ground had to pick our spots carefully! Even then we found that one individual decided to stand in the middle of the crowd for most of three hours, completely oblivious to those sitting around him.

Even got myself attacked by a roving pair of Telstra big pond models. Cute young girl and guy roving around with a camera, busy taking promotional shots to put on their website and try to convince you to join a BigPond broadband plan and pay $30 a month for 200MB and then 15c/MB if you go over the limit! No thanks Telstra!

Roaming around I managed to run into a friend I hadn’t seen for almost ten years! Just after Jo and I joked who would be the first to see someone they knew. Neither of us had a pen or paper, so hi-ya Ainsley if you ever find this, I tried to look up your email address but couldn’t find it, the almighty google failed me. Maybe I just can’t remember how to spell your name…

A brief performance by Mick Thomas, a long and thoroughly enjoyable set from Steven Cummings, nondescript singings from Fuel-oil, or Diesel, or whatever his name is, then a great show from the man and the band we’d all come to see, Elvis Costello and the Imposters. Greeting the Yarra Valley crowd as “Yabbadabbadoo people” and launching into songs from his new album, the set included reams of older material, probably essential considering the apparent age of the audience!