Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Botanic Gardens on an autumn afternoon

It had been a little while since we'd been for a walk at the Botanic Gardens, but it was a cool autumn afternoon so we decided to get some fresh air (and a coffee...!)  
Temple of the Winds
I was interested to notice that a punt is now operating on the lake.  I see that this is a recent innovation, offering "elegance and style".  Cost is $25 per adult, for a half-hour trip, apparently with commentary.

I hadn't realised that the Governor's flag is yellow

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A new station at Springvale

So, at great cost and amid fanfare, the level crossing has been removed and a new station has opened at Springvale.   I'm sure that this is very nice for the people in the area, although personally the closest I ever get, if I'm driving down that way, is the Westall Rd overpass.   But, there is no such thing as a free project and in addition to our taxes being devoted to this project (not that I'm seriously contending that it isn't worthwhile. even if expensive), the rest of us are also enduring 6 weeks of train cancellations while the train drivers learn to drive through the new station (and, it is true, areas affected by the regional rail works).

 Yes, it's just a train here, and a train there, and the cancellations vary from day to day (seemingly, though, the same trains are cancelled on the same day for each of the 6 weeks), but they do include a number of peak services as well as (on our line) one instance where two trains in a group of 3 won't run.

And although there's been a bit of a splash at our local station about "improvement" works occurring on our line (is there an election coming on?), there's nothing there giving any tangible information, such as telling us which trains are cancelled (or, for that matter, even just alerting us to the fact that cancellations are being scheduled).

I know that trains are different from trucks, but I've never noticed the trucking industry being disrupted for a few weeks when a new road is opened so as to allow for truck driver training!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Neighbourhood Watch

The set is stark (as one reviewer put it, there's not much to distract the eye) and the flashbacks are disconcerting at times.   MTC's Neighbourhood Watch is basically about two very different women dealing with aspects of their respective pasts and involves a mixture of humour and confrontation. Apparently, the play was written with Robyn Nevin in mind and she certainly carries it well.  In fact, the entire cast was good (a few quick changes, too), save that Bella, the dog, didn't put in an appearance even though she's pictured in the publicity (we only heard her).

I guess the issue for me is that "confronting demons" just isn't my scene.  So, it's issue of "it's me, not the performance", with the result that I was left a little cool by the play.

Edit - In thinking a little more about the play's lack of appeal, I guess the issue is that most of the play is taken up in identifying just what the "demons" are.   They gradually emerge, bit by bit.  Once the issues have been identified, there's not much more that can occur, and the outcomes were, perhaps, inevitable. 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Anzac Day

We watched bits of the Anzac march on TV, as well as portions of the ceremonies at Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux.    The march in Melbourne seemed to take longer than in previous years;  perhaps the nice weather had something to do with this?   I participated in this once, but don't feel any urge to do so again.

It does seem that a great deal of effort (and hence, presumably, expense?) has gone into arranging the overseas ceremonies (lots of dignitaries and so on), and there's more on the way.    I leave it for others to pass judgment on whether it's all a bit over the top.

Friday, 25 April 2014

H & M

So, what is it with H&M?  Sure, there's a new store at the GPO complex, but is it really that different or that interesting? 

Apparently, people think that it is - or that it's worth checking to if it is -  and are prepared to wait in a queue to find out!  No doubt a crowd attracts a crowd?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Lunch at (or near?) Hanging Rock

Although it was wet, the great company made up for it when we had lunch a little while ago at M and R's place close to Hanging Rock.
Our view as we ate lunch!

Afterwards, we went past nearby Hanging Rock winery and did some sampling and took the opportunity to replenish the cellar.

That's the hen house

Hanging Rock winery

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The ANZAC tradition

It appears a lot of money is to be spent on commemorating the centenary of the ANZAC landing next year.  However, the amount involved has raised eyebrows, for example in this ABC report.

However, in academia, apparently the issue goes a lot deeper than the money.   The matter is the subject of an article in the April 2014 issue of Quadrant (Mervyn F Bendle, The Military Historians' War on the Anzac Legend).   Bendle's article identifies a group of historians, including (strangely?) some at the Australian Defence Force Academy, who have have described the tradition in such terms as "Anglo-Celtic ...Anzac mythology [and] military fable".   There seems to be quite an overlap between these people and those behind the Honest History website.

Bendle particularly takes to task the views put forward in recent books by Prof Joan Beaumont (Broken Australia:   Australians in the Great War) and James Brown (Anzac's Long Shadow:  The Cost of our National Obsession), but along the way mentions a number of other historians  who have, in one way or another, taken issue with a number of the traditional and popular views of Australia's military history.

Let me say at the outset that I haven't carefully read the books that Bendle mentions, but I was taken by Bendle's colourful description of them as contributions to "the campaign of denigration of what is seen as a 'festival of mythology'".   Bendle quotes Brown as stating, "This year an Anzac orgy begins.  A commemorative program that would make the pharaohs envious".    Brown is an ex-Army officer and an academic at the Australian Defence Force Academy.   Bendle describes Brown's view of the Digger tradition  "as a sort of cultural cancer within the military, promoting mythical ideas about the capabilities of Australian soldiers, and giving them ideas above their station."   Hmm, a the risk of drawing a conclusion here, it sounds as though Brown thinks the tradition pays insufficient respect to the dignity that ought to be afforded to military officers as trained at the Academy.

Bendle notes that another historian in this category is Peter Stanley (author of Bad Characters, Sex, Crime, Mutiny and the Australian Imperial Fire, and who is quoted in the ABC report linked above), who includes in his criticism of the Anzac tradition the fact that it "unfairly favours old Anglo-Celtic families who [have] direct connections with those who served in and lived through the Great War", thus discriminatorily excluding "non-Anglo-Celtic Australians".

Joan Beaumont (these days also a Canberra academic) is said to have a wider range of issues with the tradition.  Summarised, her views appear to be that the tradition insufficiently reflects the role of the women on the home front (such as, having actually to read in letters from the front about the miseries), as well as obscuring the memory of the 1917 general strike.  She sees issues of the war years as leading to Australia in the 1920s as polarised between volunteers and shirkers, conscriptionists and anti-conscriptionists, Protestants and Catholics, workers and bosses and radicals and reactionaries.

Perhaps indeed history is multi-faceted, but the thought crossed my mind that some of these views seem to be in a similar category to an American historian writing about the effect that Paul Revere's ride had on his horse!
I notice, however, that the Weekend Australian  is having none of this doubting!   In the issue of 19-20 April, there was both an article by Peter Cochrane, referring to Anzac Day having been "reborn" as an appreciation of the trauma suffered not only by those who were directly involved but also by later generations in a variety of ways. And in the review section of that issue, an extract from Patsy Adam-Smith's 1978 work, The Anzacs, was published (although perhaps this isn't entirely unconnected with the fact that the book itself is being republished).

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Getting back to normal

After all the plastering and painting, we had to get the house back to normal.  This involved cleaning and dusting everything, and moving various items of furniture, some of which were fairly heavy.   We'd had some help from the tradesmen when they first arrived in moving them out of the rooms they were working in, but of course the workmen were long gone by the time we'd cleaned up and were ready to move back.
Still, we managed.   The trickiest was the bed, which had been dismantled in order to move it.   Putting it back together involved fitting the base on to both the head and the foot while at the same time placing a mid-beam (which had to go under the slats) into its slots.   All a bit complex, and a bit of juggling was required to align everything at the same time, but we got there.

Then there was some rain, and we were pleased that the annoying little leak in the verandah had been fixed.

Monday, 21 April 2014


It was Easter Sunday.  In accordance with the Western tradition there were lovely flowers at the Church, and later in the day, in the Orthodox tradition, we cracked painted eggs!

Friday, 18 April 2014

The roof

In addition to the work inside (plastering and painting), we're also having some roof maintenance work done.   It's taken some time to get this arranged (you'll see from this post that it's been on my mind for a while).

Is that harness securely fastened??
I'm not certain where or when we obtained the flyer about the guy who's doing the work, but to cut a long story short, he's Irish and (would you believe?) very persuasive.   At least he arrived when he said he would.  He's told me several times about some small extra things he's attending to, and I try not to divide the amount we've agreed to pay by the product of hours x guys on the job....the resulting hourly rate troubles me a little.

Nor am I in a position to inspect the work actually done, since it's way up there......But at least, he's assured me that things inside the roof area are relatively "clean", with no evidence of possums.  That's a relief to me, because one of my fears has been that the loose pointing may have provided easy access for them.  Hopefully, the roof man has in fact done everything he said he'd do, and any potential possum entrances have been sealed up.

Thursday, 17 April 2014


After the plastering comes the painting.  Maybe I was premature in commenting on the quality of the plasterers' work in my earlier post, because the painter, who asserted he knew something about plastering, was critical of some aspects.

Perhaps it was partly our fault, we said, because we had chosen that parts of the cornice be patched rather than replaced.  Be that as it may, the painter said that he wanted to do some extra preparation (not covered by the quote), to which we agreed.  We also noted his point that he had drawn our attention to the issues, and that if these resulted in aspects of his work being slightly less than the standard to which he would normally aspire, we would not hold it against him.

All this work is very intrusive and we've got things scattered in temporary positions all around the house, so we'll be glad when it's finished.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Lunar eclipse

I forget about the lunar eclipse until quite late, and then had trouble getting a good photo of it.
However, by taking quite a few photos on a range of settings (aka "trial and error"), I managed to get a passable photo, just before it finished.

The red colour had all gone by then.

However, there are much better ones on the internet, as was the version Paul Henderson showed as part of the weather report.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Eating Lebanese

We went for a casual meal at a fairly new, local Lebanese restuarant (Zikrayat).   We hadn't been here before, and we liked the food and the service.  The unexpected bonus was that at 8.30, the belly dancer appeared.
Not a great photo, but you get the idea!

We hadn't expected this, but she was very good and soon had a number of the guys (and even some of the girls) up on the floor!

Monday, 14 April 2014

A train to the Airport

Well, we've had an announcement that there's going to be an announcement about a rail link to the airport. It's all vague at this stage, but we keep reading that lots of Melbournians want a train to the airport - and there's an election coming later this year!   Daniel Bowen was quick off the mark with his as-ever sensible comments (although that's not to say I agree with everything he says) 

Yes, a rail link would be nice, but, really, is this the best use of our urban transportation dollars? 

The starting point has to be the existing Skybus service.   Unfortunately, it isn't perfect, especially when compared to services such as Narita airport's "Limousine Bus".   We haven't been to Tokyo for some years, but when we did, there was an counter inside the terminal with helpful staff to assist (instead of a booth outside on the pavement), and you were allocated a set departure time for a bus service that often took you directly to the part of town where you wanted to be (including a number of major hotels).  

Wouldn't fixing up Skybus be a lot cheaper than a new rail line?  Crikey thinks so.  Additional buses could add to the frequency and if there are delays at certain times of the day at the airport end of the freeway (which I'm told is the case), then a dedicated roadway (elevated if necessary) for buses as they neared the airport would be a lot cheaper than a rail line (even if it's now going to be elevated instead of underground).

Yes, Skybus costs $18 one-way (cheaper if you buy a return ticket).   But does anyone seriously think that there wouldn't be a premium charged at an airport railway station?   And let's not forget that the basic Heathrow Express fare is now £21.

Skybus operates 24 hours a day.  Would a train do that?   Further, Skybus is door to door (via a connecting shuttle) if staying in the city (6am - 10.30pm Mon - Fri and 7.30am - 5.30pm weekends).

Another issue in relation to a train is the route.   Public Transport Victoria has recommended the so-called Albion East route - but in their report it was integrated with the Metro tunnel, and there's no sign of that happening.   It now seems that this isn't a requirement (and in fact, my hunch is that an airport rail link is likely to squeeze out funding for the Metro proposal).  Perhaps we'll end up with a service into Southern Cross via the new regional rail tracks.  A 10 minute frequency to the airport would run the risk of creating congestion on this line, although Daniel Bowen seems relaxed about this.

At least the proposal for a monorail that briefly flickered across our TV screens a little while back seems to have flamed out.  Hopefully we've heard the last of this.

Friday, 11 April 2014

The parking permit zone

A section of our street has been changed from 2 hour parking to "permit parking only".   It's at the end closest to the shops, and, yes, shoppers do (did) park there.     But what's wrong with that?  Of the dozen or so houses fronting the street in this section, almost all have driveways and off-street parking.    Have we reached the point where the rules can be changed to accommodate people who just don't like to have cars parked outside their houses?

I wonder about the motives of the Council.  It's obviously much easier to fine someone for parking in a permit zone than having to come back 2 hours later to check whether they've over-stayed the limit.  The Council seems to have form in this regard.
Most houses in the affected area have driveways

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The ward meeting

I'm not sure that I know why I seem to be drawn to attend the Council's ward meetings.  They're painful affairs, characterised by grumpy residents expressing strong views about matters that little can be done about.  Attending seem to be an exercise in self-inflicted pain!  Who'd be a local councillor?
The venue was at Prahran Town Hall

However, I suppose it's interesting to hear about the things that are concerning people, even though the issues are familiar, and the thrust of the answers is much the same. There are a group of matters where the Council tends to say, sorry, but it's out of our control.   Planning matters feature prominently here.  The answer always given is, it's out of the Council's hands, because VCAT overrides us.   Noise issues are sometimes mentioned (here, the EPA's rules prevail over anything the Council tries to do).   And traffic lights that seem to be set wrongly are the fault of VicRoads.

Then there are complaints about roadworks, such as about planter boxes having been installed in the street (in the particular case, years ago), to which the answer is, these are what a majority of residents in the street wanted, so speak to your neighbours.   And then's there's traffic management:  please make it hard for everyone's car except mine.  At the most recent meeting, I'm sure that the essence of one comment was, yes, I want traffic humps in the street, but please put them outside my neighbour's hose, not mine.

One interesting bit of information did emerge.    One of the ward councillors in the last council was Tim Smith who aspires to move into State politics.  Now it seems that the Greens councillor (Sam Hibbins) aspires to follow in his footsteps at the next State election.   I'm not sure that I like the ward being seen as a stepping stone into politics.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Legal Education

I was indebted to an article in the Australian for drawing my attention to a speech by (Victorian) Chief Justice Marilyn Warren  (the Fiat Justitia lecture, a link to the text is here) regarding a number of aspects of legal education in Australia.   Her speech covered quite a lot of ground, and it was good to see these issues getting some exposure.

One of the issues she mentioned is that the universities are producing far more law graduates than can ever be employed as a lawyer.    On a per capita basis, the number is far higher in Australia than it is in the US.  In one sense, this is not all bad news, because a law degree can be a good form of generalist education.  After all, how many arts graduates are employed as historians or whatever their major may have been?   Moreover, if the places in law courses aren't available, they will become even more elitist than they are now (I'm not sure that the brightest VCE students will necessarily become the best lawyers).

However, this seems to have the result that the universities are responding to the demand for places in law courses by turning law into a generalised degree that fails to include some matters the judiciary considers important.  She didn't say this, of course, but my informal observation is that these days there is quite an emphasis on "sociological" subjects, dealing with human rights and similar issues.  But she did say that the way in which subjects are taught has changed, and that the teaching in some core areas is, "at least disappointing and in many respects unsatisfactory."  She also says that it, "it is unfortunate that law students typically spend years studying the law before they find out what it is like to practice law".  And she sends a shot over the universities' bows, saying, "if the university sector persists with the generalist direction a solution for legal practice effectiveness is needed".  She moots various possibilities, including an "admission to practice" exam (akin to the bar exam sin the US) or even a cap on the number of lawyers (the aspect that the Australian chose as the subject of its headline).

Justice Warren's speech is worth reading in its entirety. I hope the law schools take it on board.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Confusion on Metro

Things can be confusing on Metro at times.   Perhaps the worst problems are with the automated announcements and signs in the trains.  These regularly provide incorrect information, such as the announcement and sign in the train this week that stated, as the train was arriving at Flagstaff, the next station was Parliament (2 stations back).   And this is by no means an isolated example.

There are also regular issues at Flinders Street, too. Last minute platform changes are perhaps inevitable, but so often the announcements are unclear at best and confusing at worst.

But there's unnecessary confusion programmed into the system, too.  A classic example is the recorded announcement regularly made at Richmond, when a train running direct to Flinders Street is approaching.  The recording states that the train will "stop at all stations".    I have looked in vain for a new station to service the tennis centre or the MCG, but to the best of my knowledge, there are still no stations between Richmond and Flinders Street.

Monday, 7 April 2014


The time finally came - it just had to be done.  We've put up with cracks in the plaster for quite some time, on the basis that, even if you fix them, they re-appear.    But you can only take so much, so we've called the plasterers in.

Work in progress
It's messy (very dusty indeed), takes time and it's not cheap, and while the work is still in progress, from what we've seen so far, we're happy with the quality.
It's very disruptive

Friday, 4 April 2014

On-line reviews

We all know it's an issue:   an establishment such as a restaurant or hotel gets a rave review, but unbeknown to the audience, the review is written or planted by the proprietor.

The ACCC issued some guidelines last November about the matter.  The guidelines are well worth reading and make a lot of sense. 
For example, they address issues such as,  transparency, reviews shouldn't be misleading and that the editing or suppression of reviews is likely to be misleading.    But they also covered matters such as the processes that review sites should follow (including issues about commercial arrangements between review platforms and reviewed businesses), the issue of incentivised reviews and so on.  Reading the Guidelines drew my attention to a range of practices that I, had I thought about the matter, I suppose I would have thought were possible, but I perhaps preferred to think didn't occur often.   Perhaps there's more going on out there than I realised.

The Guidelines have also been the subject of comment in the blogosphere.   Claire Davie's comment seemed particularly good to me.

But, in this era of cyber, how enforceable are guidelines such as these?  Ultimately, common sense has to prevail.  The ACCC's thoughts are only relevant in the Australian context, and the vast majority of the material on the internet is based in other places. Personally, I use reviews to help me understand the nature of the product I am likely to receive.  I don't rely too much on someone elses subjective opinion as to whether a the food or accommodation was "great";  I want to know more practical things, such as, is the accommodation over the road from a noisy night-club?  Was the restaurant so noisy that you couldn't conduct a conversation?    And, the credibility of the reviewer is important.   I don't worry about Jean from Jersey City's comment that she found a hair in the shower cubicle (especially when the track record of  reviewers such as this often show that nothing is ever good enough).   Nor do I take much notice of the one-time-poster who rants on telling us never to use a particular hire car company because he got charged for a dint that he's certain was already there when he picked the car up.

One issue that I'm a bit dubous about is where a hotel chain website actually contains a link to third party review sites (such as TripAdvisor).   Can we always be sure that somewhere in the link process there isn't some smart software that edits or even just ranks these reviews?   Surely TripAdvisor wouldn't stand for this (......well), but software can be smart!

And a final thought:   newspapers!   Look at the travel section!    Is a little line at the end of a glowing review of a cruise or hotel that the writer got a free trip at the end sufficient?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Being prepared for tsunamis

I was interested to come across this sign while in New Zealand.

I suppose, conceptually, it's similar to the bushfire safety zones that we now see in rural areas around Vuctoria.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Black boxes

"Black boxes" have been in the news a bit lately, particularly with regard to the search for the one fitted to MH370.    It seems that ships have them too.

Here's the one on Dawn Princess (located prominently on an open deck) ---

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Some nitty gritty about cruising!

I had a few questions about cruising before I left, but the answers weren't always easy to find.   So at the risk of descending into trivial detail, I though I'd record some of my observations, even if they're boring!

In relation to electrical outlets, in our room we had  US 110 volt sockets as well as both Australian and European 240 volt sockets (but only one of each, so a power board is useful if it's likely that you'll want to recharge two items at the same time). Princess apparently had no objection to us using our own hair dryer, but I think I read somewhere that they don't like people bringing their own coffee maker to set up in their cabin (I wouldn't have thought many Australians would bother with this, maybe other nationalities are different).
The webcam

There's a webcam on board, which can be monitored on the internet - see

I couldn't decide what to call our cabin/room/stateroom. The cruise line obviously always uses the expression “state room”.  I found this a bit of overkill, so used "room" or "cabin:".   We had what's called an “ocean view stateroom” which was comfortable and had a very large window (larger than I had expected from the promotional material, but it may be that not all rooms in this category had such a large window).   There was adequate storage space and good use of mirrors made the room seem a bit larger.  The bathroom was small, but adequate. We had no balcony and the window didn't open.  

We didn't miss a balcony, although their main advantage seems to be that you can open the door if your want fresh air.   From what I saw, it would be possible (but a squeeze) to sit on it, but on our trip it was often windy and the amount of sunshine was limited so the opportunities for this would have been limited.  Maybe things would be different if cruising in tropical waters. 

Our cabin - about midway on deck above the large windows

I can't compare our location (towards the aft) with any other locations, but there was no engine vibration or intrusive noise except for the airconditioning (the temperature could be adjusted but not the fan speed).   

Even though we were directly above the Vista Lounge, we didn't hear anything from this.   The prices for cabins on higher decks seem to be more expensive, but we were quite content where we were (on deck 8, best described as in the middle).
We were told before embarking that there would be two "formal nights", and that dinner or business suits could be worn.  In fact, I took a normal (dark) suit and ties, and this was in fact what most of the men wore,   Only a small number wore dinner suits, and the minimum attire seemed to be jacket and tie with dark trousers.  If you didn't want to bother with this, you could eat in the buffet.

Mobile phone coverage was available on board, presumably via satellite, and I received a message from Telstra to the effect that it's so expensive to use that I wouldn't have been able to afford it!  Internet isd also available, with the basic charge being 79 cents a minute.  This reduces if you buy “in bulk”, so 100 minutes is $69.    One of the perks of being a “frequent cruiser” is that you get a quota of free (but reportedly slow) internet.   As will be apparent form my earlier posts, I got by using the free wi fi offered in the downtown areas of some of the cities we visited, usually limited to 30 minutes.   I paid NZ$10 for 24 hours of access at Port Chalmers because I didn't take my netbook into Denedin where I am told there was a free service.

A daily “service charge” was not added to our accounts (unlike cruises in other parts of the world), but bar and room service tabs etc have space for a gratuity to be added … it certainly wasn't a “tip-free” environment.   Apparently the beauty treatment/spa facilities added a "suggested" gratuity to their already hefty charges (I was told that these facilities are contracted out).  On the last day, quite a number of passengers appeared to give envelopes to their room attendants and wait staff.     Did I read somewhere that the crew get paid Australian pay rates while in Australian waters?   If so, my hunch is that, financially, they weren't missing out!

Speaking of the crew, I was expecting a mix of nationalities, but the diversity was greater than I expected.    They had their nationality on their name tag, and amongst those I noticed are are Indians, Russians, Ukrainians, Thais, Indonesians, Filipinos, Indians, Serbs, Bulgarians.... and many more.    The female bridge officer who has made the noon navigational announcement on the first couple of days spoke with a nicely modulated English accent, but when we received a list of the bridge officers, it was clear that a range of nationalities were represented.  

I thought that the price we paid for this cruise was quite reasonable, but the cruise company obviously isn't a charity!    The prices for drinks and speciality coffees were in line with mid-range restaurant prices, although I thought bottled water at $4.95 for 1.5 litres was a bit steep (although all the tap water on the ship was potable). There were plenty of other ways to spend your money, too!    There was an “art auction”(!), numerous photographers who were there are every turn ($19.99 for a print and more for “portraits”), pokies and gaming tables, excursions (at top-of-the-range prices), satellite internet (as mentioned above), several boutiques (lots of promotions and sales talk) as well as charges for the spa and related treatments (not cheap).  [Edit] We didn't need any medical treatment, but we understand that this, too, is expensive.

 On the other hand, all the food was included except for $25 if you want to eat at the speciality restaurant (as mentioned elsewhere,  we didn't bother with because the dining room was more than adequate).  There was also an offer one morning of a champagne breakfast ($41 per double).  “Food” for these purposes includes (beside the main dining rooms, available for all meals) pizzas, burgers, ice-creams and – of course – the buffet (open all day).   The amount of food available is on one view a health hazard! Perhaps not entirely unrelated to this, the lifts seemed to be busy, the stairs less so!

In case it’s of interest, I kept my eyes and ears open for the source of the ship’s stores.   I saw what appeared to be dry goods being loaded at Tauranga, straight out of containers.   I wondered if these had been sent over from California?  The small packages of breakfast cereals at the breakfast buffet were from the US.    At the culinary presentation, the chef was asked the source of some of the seafood and meat, and admitted it came from the US (again perhaps sent in containers from the US and loaded, I believe, in Melbourne).  However, when disembarking, there were many pallet loads of local fruit and vegetables being loaded in Melbourne, and the milk on board was Devondale (obviously Victorian).    Likewise all the wines and beers were Australian, as was the mineral water.  Drums of white paint were also loaded in Melbourne!
Sunrise on arrival back in Melbourne