Friday, October 12, 2012

We're going to the country

One of the better things about sharing life with kids is that they have ideas. Sometimes these ideas develop into plans. They say "Can we make damper over a fire these holidays?" and before you know it you find yourself in the country mixing self raising flour with salt and water, collecting sticks from the garden, rolling dough into snakes to create damper lollypops. 

We almost always holiday by the seaside so going bush was something new.  I haven't been Daylesford way for over a decade. But since every artist and their dog has done a tree change to the area I wanted to get a sense of its appeal. 

While most people will say they take holidays "to relax" what that actually means is anyone's guess. I like to unplug (no problems there thanks to Vodaphone's patchy mobile coverage). I like to read and potter about with the kids in full view. With Mogsy, my twin, and baby Feliks along for the ride we needed space. At the forefront  of my mind was finding a house where I wouldn't feel crazy from the close proximity to a baby not yet mastered the art of sleep. And it needed to be open plan. Believe it or not it wasn't that easy to find a house large enough to needs our needs – three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Clicking through properties on Take A Break I found a lot of small and cosy and a few fit for a scout troupe (sleeps 10!). Then I saw Ellura. Now here was a homestead. See that cultivated garden? Beyond that lies peaceful age-old forest. 

I've never really understood the appeal of "country" style. While the decor was not exactly to my taste I didn't mind too much. After all, I  was in the country. It was clean. The beds were firm and made. And what I responded to was the warmth – of the hosts who had left us a welcome hamper of eggs, milk, bread and chocolates and a few bunker essentials, the pot belly fire lit in anticipation of our arrival and early spring sunshine.

We fell into an easy rhythm. Cups of tea in the kids bedroom early in the morning. Excursions – into town, Hepburn Springs for play and carbonated water, the Chocolate Mill – usually in the afternoon. Did I want to move somewhere nearby? Not my dream. But I could visit at least a few times a year. That would be fine.

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