On Saturday, P. and I picked up Delila the Corolla and Frank and headed for Ballarat in not particularly clement weather. After a very nice morning tea with yummy cake at the Mill in Ballan, we picked up Carmel B. and headed for Merkema, an Ethiopian/African cafe in Ballarat. They have very tasty mixed platters of two meat and four vego dishes which are excellent. After a good mag, we checked in at the Ansonia, then did the gallery which had a number of goodies, including the Rick Amor drawing prize which had excellent entries and a retrospective of the work of Pam Hallandal, an artist whom I have never heard of, undeservedly. Her prints and drawings of Collingwood are wonderful, as well as her sculptures. The gallery also had a couple of historical exhibitions of migration prints and pictures of old Ballarat. After an arvo rest, we had dinner with David G. at Meigas, a Spanish eatery which had very good food and wine, then repaired to Her Majesty's Theatre for the Australian Opera touring production of 'The Marriage of Figaro'. It was a very enjoyable night in the old theatre with good performances and production. David and Frank went back to Clunes for the night. In the morning, after a comfy night in cold Ballarat, P. and I picked up Frank in Clunes then went for Melbourne. We had a very good run until we hit Melbourne. It took nearly half as long to get across Melbourne to home in Abbotsford as it took to get from Ballarat to Melbourne. Weird! It was a packed and enjoyable weekend, or really closer to a day. We arrived home to find that Maria Lelleton had died overnight. VALE, a lifetime of amazing service to the community in our neighbouring shop. More on Maria later.