Saturday, May 27, 2006

Announcing - ta dah! - my retirement!

You may have noticed my new countdown banner near the top of the screen. Yes, after 30 years as a librarian, more than half of those years at La Trobe University Library, I am going to start on my next big adventure, retirement. There are a number of things I'd like to do, not the least of which is spending more time on bookbinding, getting 3 decades of photos in order, scrapbooking. They dovetail nicely, don't they?

And the graphic for my countdown banner was also chosen to reflect one of my more frivolous plans for spending my leisure time, and that is to gradually explore all the train and tram routes in Melbourne, right to the very end of the line. Armed with my $3 all-day seniors card travel ticket covering the entire metropolitan system, I will be able to sit in the comfort (!) of Melbourne's various modes of rail transport, gawking out the window, peering into people's back gardens, doing vicarious window shopping, and probably coming across a number of odd people, including those who think it's fun to sit on a tram or train gawking out the window.

Shown here are the rail lines radiating out from the city.

I've always been a fan of rail travel, starting from when I was a kid living on Long Island. A trip to New York City was so exciting: you'd start out on the Long Island Railroad, but approaching the city the train would then go underground, to become the wonderfully spooky subway.

Trams have always been an interest too, as I wrote about in another post.

Here's a map of the Melbourne tram system.

This project may take me some time, and of course I'll need to take photos and write about my adventures.


consise10 said...

I've always loved the bay run myself.Although haven't caught a train in donkeys years.This post makes me want to to get down to Flinders st and hop on for a few long rides!

Sue said...

How exciting for you to be planning for your retirement. It was a huge step for us to retire when we did.
The train and tram traveling sound like such fun (and great blog material)...

Lucy Tartan said...

Congratulations, and wow. You'll be very much missed, Val. Those plans sound delightful - now I think of it there's that vast network across the city and most of us only know a very small fraction of it. I'm looking forward to reading all about your adventures.

Alice said...

One of those 'odd' people lives in the National Capital and also loves train and tram travel and looking into people's backyards, and simply watching that most fascinating of animals - human beings. $3 a day is very cheap entertainment, too.

If you'd like a longer train ride, you might like to come all the way to Yass and then an 'odd' person could be there to collect you one day?

Although you may miss your workmates a little, I'm sure you'll never, ever be bored. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

By the way, will the MWC be retiring about the same time?

Val said...

Many contratulations! How very exciting. You dont look old enough to retire :o)

Val said...

I'm glad to see that others might take up the call to explore the idea of using the transport system as entertainment, be it in Melbourne or elsewhere. Alice, I would LOVE to meet you in Yass! What a lovely idea, and let's plan that, maybe for Spring? What fun! No the MWC is still working, he's a year younger than I am so it makes sense for him to continue for a while yet. It will be good for us to stagger our retirements, I think. As Sue said, it's big step to retire and I can imagine that two people going through a major lifestyle change at the same time would complicate things slightly, or a lot!

Lindsay Lobe said...

Hi Val

Interesting to hear about your retirement. Mine will be next year, probably in July!

I think your plans are exciting and I ike the idea to explore the rail network. No doubt we can look forward to future postings.

A project I was contemplating on retirement was to attempt to write a short history of Australia as seen through the ideas expressed in Advertising. To confine that history to what advertisements appeared, beginning with the first publications, and to follow the changes in culture and taste of society evident in the advertisements. From your experience as a Librarian I was wondering what you thought of this idea and whether it’s of interest to you.

Best wishes

Val said...


Your idea is an interesting one and I’d imagine you’d be spending a lot of time in the State Library to see the ads in the newspapers and magazines. I hope you don’t have to look at too much microfilm though – that can make you feel a bit queasy if you overdo it.

I have noticed ads in old newspapers when I’ve been looking at them from time to time and they certainly offered different products and services that are no longer necessary in this day and age. I think the biggest difference you’d find between now and pre 1950s is that the more recent ads target products that aren’t necessary or even useful, but are just appealing to the acquisitiveness of people these days. The topic you suggest is what many media studies students investigate at uni.

Takoma Gardener said...

Congrats! And I love your sense of adventure.

jellyhead said...

Wow! You'll be starting a whole new chapter in your life. I'm sure you'll have some wonderful experiences. So, 24 days to go? - not that you're counting or anything!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I can see that you are going to enjoy being retired and going to take full advantage of your time off from work...GOOD for you!

Riding the railways sounds like great fun too.

Just one bit of advise once you retire...Don't go to the library every morning anymore. *S*

Meow said...

Congratulations, Val. Your plans sound wonderful. I haven't used the Melbourne Public Transport system for some time, but it is certainly interesting (to say the least !!). Have fun, looking forward to your photos. Have you been on the Burwood Highwy tramline out to Vermont South yet ?? There is on and off talk about extending it to Knox City eventually.
Take care, Meow

Stuart said...

That's awesome Val. What a way to retire and only 24 days to go. Even that number in years won't get me to retirement age - oh well!

Our retirement plan is to move to Melbourne for the footy season and follow Carlton around during the premiership season. They should have come good by then!?!

I love trains too. My parents took us on a trip from Port Pirie (SA) to Perth (WA) via the Indian Pacific. It was the most memorable trip ever and I'd love to do it with my kids one day.

Hopefully you'll have more time to blog all those adventures as well. Looking forward to reading them all.

Val said...

Meow, the Burwood Hwy tramline will be a priority for me, it would have to be the longest tram ride in Melbourne, I think.

Stu, a train trip across to Perth on the Indian Pacific would be a dream come true for me. I'll have to look into a seniors discount. In Victoria they're bringing in more discounts for seniors on public transport, including two free vouchers for travel on VLine. Might use that on my way to Yass!

AIP, I might not go to the library every morning, but I'll visit often as I'm a member of 4 different libraries already and probably join more. I will never have enough library membership cards!

Sonia said...

Congratulations, Val!
What a great and fun plan you have!I think that would be wonderful to explore all the train and tram routes in Melbourne!! I am looking forward to see the pictures and the histories.

Sharon said...

well I am at the Box Hill end of that tram line and only a hop step and a jump from Laburnm station too... It would probably have to be a weekend day but I could meet up with you too... Or if you wanted to meet me for lunch at Box Hill that would be great too - did I mention I work in a bookshop???? I have often thought it would be great just to take a book and buy an all day ticket and read and ride all day without interruption... Perhaps for my retirement...

Val said...

a lunch at Box Hill would be great fun! Let's see: I take the 48 tram or the 207 bus to Kew Junction, then transfer to the 109 to take me back out to Box Hill. There's a bus I could take to Box Hill from the end of my street, so that's another transport option. I live a 10 minute (max) drive from Box Hill but that's no fun!

Yes, I do remember that you work in a bookshop, Sharon, an added bonus. Let's plan for that in July sometime?

I am also planning to meet up with a colleague who lives near the end of the Hurstbridge line. I think this transport-as-leisure idea of mine is inspired, if I do say so myself. But others seem to agree.

Kali said...

Congratulations Val!
What an exciting time for you. It really sounds like you will have so much to see and do, and as for train travel...I love it, though it wasn't until I was on a 6 week holiday in Melbourne a few years back that I got to really spend a lot of time on them...I will look forward to hearing about your adventures :)

Kerri said...

Congratulations on your impending retirement! Sounds like you'll never be bored. Train travel is a great way to explore and I'm sure you'll have lots of great adventures.
Staggering yours and MWC retirement is probably a sensible idea :)
Enjoy! We'll look forward to hearing about your adventures.

Tanya said...

Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. Wish it were me!

I knew of an Aussie living in London many years ago who had planned to WALK every underground train line from one end to the other (though she was going to walk above the tunnels, not in them). At the time I thought she was insane and I don't know if she ever did it. She's probably still walking...