Flags and old friends

Victoria is a bit of a blur. Deliberately so. We want to focus on heading west to SA and WA, and avoid getting COVID in the meantime.

After a pleasant overnighter by the Avon river in Gippsland, we head to Warburton, to catch up with an old colleague of T's from her NT years. Warburton has the same feel of hill station towns the world over. Steep windy streets following the valley, with a central strip of shops and facilities, and fabulous views from surrounding walks. Apparently the Adventists used to run everything, but have now upped stumps. Their old hospital is for sale if you happen to need one.

We blast through Melbourne, only stopping for roadworks. Like Sydney, it will be a nice town once it's finished.

Ballarat is known as the birthplace of Australian democracy. We visit the Eureka exhibition, to see the Flag. The display is excellent, but the supporting interpretation glosses over three tricky issues: The rebels at the stockade specifically excluded Chinese diggers from their concept of “rights”, foreshadowing the White Australia policy. Democracy didn't apply to aboriginal people until 1967; like the Chinese they barely get a mention in the exhibition. Finally, the flag has been coopted by extreme right wing groups; this should be reminder that when left wing politics fails to address the needs and fears of working people, how easy things can swing to the hard right via the use of attractive symbols.

T and the girls visit Sovereign Hill which they loved. I find it a bit cheesy, so do some shopping instead. Then we catch up with a couple of friends whom we have been aching to see for a long time. Lemons!!!!!!!