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It takes us an hour to get to our mechanic. You might think this is crazy and wonder if we’ve considered the benefits of seeking a local mechanic after moving house… but he’s a really good mechanic. He never treats us like idiots who don’t know how to car and he tells the best stories about how he fixed our vehicles when we go to pick them up.

And once, he sent me a text with a photo of my cabin filter because it was literally covered in the A-Z of Interesting Winged Insects That Got Sucked Into My Engine.

So even though we no longer live five minutes away, we keep going back.

This leaves us with a dilemma: do we take two cars and do two return trips? Do we head back home via train, bus and one incredibly vertiginous walk? Does the owner of the car simply spend the day hanging around until the job is done?

If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know I love a low-key adventure, so the answer will not come as a surprise: we caught a train and decided to go somewhere.

Well, technically, our first order of business was breakfast (pancakes with whipped cream and berries = winning).

Then we caught a train and decided to go somewhere.

I would have brought my camera with me but I’d already packed my book it as I happen to be reading an inherently enormous book, there was no room for my poor camera. Plus, every time I put my camera in my backpack, I lose some small part of it, so I made do with my phone.

Fortunately, I have a Sony Xperia phone and if there’s one thing Sony does well, it’s cameras. I have it on manual settings (of course), which means I can control white balance and exposure compensation and it’s quite good at shallow depth-of-field, too.

While we’re on the topic, here’s my number one tip for mobile phone photography: NEVER ZOOM IN.

Seriously, don’t do it. Just get closer to your subject or crop it later on. Any time you’re tempted to zoom just a little bit, please think of me and my disappointed face and resist that temptation.

No. Zooming. On. Phone. Cameras.

And now that I’ve had my small rant, I suspect you might like to know where we went. Our train network resembles a squashed spider with every line heading into the city, meaning we had to go to the city just to catch a train back out to a different place. We took a train out to Brighton Beach and Sandringham, enjoying bay views and a little wander along the beach.

It all looked a bit like this.

Adventures in Public Transport - Art & Life

Adventures in Public Transport - Train 01

There’s only one thing to do when you come across a painting like this.

Adventures in Public Transport - Train 02

Adventures in Public Transport - Sea Floor

At first I was annoyed about the people in the photo below – they took forever to move out of my shot and forever to walk away. In the end, I liked the way they seemed to be taller than the tiny city in the background, so I forgave them.

Adventures in Public Transport - Tiny City

There’s a stunning band stand (apparently, it’s a band rotunda) in Sandringham, but did I get a photo of its amazingness? No. I took a photo of the ridiculous amount of stairs instead because, as a concert band member, all I could think was how annoying it would be to lug all the equipment up and down those stairs.

Adventures in Public Transport - STAIRS

Adventures in Public Transport - Stairs

In the past, we’ve approached this time with frustration – “great, a whole day wasted!” – but now we’ll be using it as an excuse for new adventures. In fact, we’ve already planned our next one and I’m counting down the kilometres until my car is due for its next service.

What do you do when you’re stuck without your car for the day? Let me know in the comments below!

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