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a blog by Chris Barrow

The Australia Diary – day 10 – running, peace, an amazing young lady and a long walk

My calendar is completely clear today – a rare event indeed.

Have you ever had one of those days where you have so much time to yourself that you don’t quite know where to start with it?

In the event, my day begins with a second 10 km run – this time down to Port Melbourne to see the beach and the beautiful ocean-side apartments around the village centre.

Melbourne is a combination of single or two-storey Victorian homes, decorated with elaborate ironwork fencing and balconies, contrasting with shining glass and steel blocks that look as futuristic as architecture can be in a sunny climate.

The 5+ million people who live here are lucky to be in the second most desirable city in the world (second to Vienna, as recently assessed by The Economist newspaper).

After my run I decided to get out of the Novotel for a while and walked a short distance to Charlie Lovett’s, one of the many riverside cafes on South Wharf.

Over breakfast I was joined at my table by another diner and we soon got chatting about our respective lives (that’s a thing here as well – people talking to each other).

Alannah Zhou is a Vancouver based student, here for a youth conference, she’s is a budding young entrepreneur and has her own tech start-up.

Here’s what her Linkedin profile says about her product:

Everyday, an alarm is able to blare at someone until one wakes up physically – but not mentally. ezWake uses intelligent programming and brain puzzles to ensure a scientifically healthy wake up that actually allows someone to do their best in a day. Furthermore, ezWake can be utilised to break the cycle of drowsiness of inconsistent sleep.

Even more impressive, here’s what she says about her role and responsibilities:

*Created a team environment that is motivating in the middle of a teenager’s summer break, ensured steady flows of communication between all branches of team, assisted team members with any personal or technical issues they face, worked to create a network of outstanding, experienced advisors, managed a 15+ person team of designers, coders, and marketers, filled in for team members when they were absent, reinforced and directed efficient work, interviewed and screen applicants, balanced the finances for project, and guided bi-weekly meetings. *

I think many of my readers would love to have someone with that skill set running their business operations.

Alannah is a high-school student.

There is hope.

Having invested a couple of hours in email conversations, my next decision was to simply get some fresh air – to clear my mind as I continue to contemplate my 2019 business plan (as adjusted by my experiences here in Australia).

Walking, people-watching and thinking, free from the interruption of technology as my iPhone steadfastly refuses to connect to the local 4G signal (I clearly should have done something before I left the UK but it has turned into a disguised blessing).

I walked along the Yarra River and then into Melbourne’s central business district, scoping out tomorrow’s conference hotel and enjoying a delightful time browsing in Melbourne’s biggest city bookstore, Dymocks.

Emerging with a short history of Australia and the latest Murakami paperback (to replace a hardback copy I left on a Flybe flight to Southampton), I began my journey back to the hotel, arriving just in time to say good morning to Annie back home and her house guest Mark Topley.

Back in my hotel room, a couple of hours of thinking and planning my next web site in Lucidchart followed, before a decision to stay in the hotel for dinner, watch a bit of TV and invest in a very early night.

So my indulgent free day turned out to be full of nice people and nice places.

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