Picture this day in the life of Melbourne

It’s September and for a short moment it seems Spring has arrived in Melbourne. With the break in the gloomy weather there’s a window to start training for my nine day cycle trip around the Coorong in October. I’ve always wanted to visit that part of South Australia and booked the trip on a whim. Now doubt about my ability creeps in as I haven’t cycled that far, ever!

Setting off on the bike path in Port Melbourne provides quick access to a network of routes around the city and within minutes I arrive at Station Pier. My demeanour changes when I see the ominous USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship rising soberly out of a calm sea with Seahawks and Ospreys lined up on the deck.  I’m relieved when I hear that the 2500 sailors and marines are visiting on rec leave only.

Some 200 metres towards the restored Princes Pier, the Port Melbourne front lighthouse seems to be directing its reflection toward the USS Bonhomme. In the past its beacon would have guided ships down the Port Melbourne channel.

Heading east past St Kilda’s seabaths, the bevvy of Gillie and Marc bronze beauties grows with the installation of more Rabbitgirl statues.  I love the distraction and jump off the bike to inspect Marilyn before continuing my morning ride.

Did I mention rec leave…? Later that day the tram to the city is crowded with marines in civvies. I suspect they won’t be headed to the Wallace and Gromit and Friends exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) with me…

Then again, they may like the distraction of the claymations, storyboards and mini film sets. I’m a relative latercomer to Aardman Productions but have seen Chicken Run at least three times.  See what you think. The exhibition is on until 29 October 2017.