Sunday, January 30, 2005

How the holiday is shaping up

The story so far...

Half of my holiday is gone, but that does not send me into a funk. One, that means I still have half my holiday to go. Two, I like my job and always look forward to going to work. Lucky me!

The first week was great, got some things done at home, did 4 aerobics classes, and managed some Slipper Days too. Doing an aerobics class in the morning and then spending the rest of the day at home dressed but wearing slippers instead of shoes still counts as a Slipper Day. One afternoon we drove to the city and for the first time watched a Jacques Tati film (Playtime) in a cinema, after years of watching his films on video. Seeing it in the cinema was such an eye opener, there are even more visual messages to be seen that we've never noticed before. What a master he was. Afterwards we walked all the way to New Quay to eat at the wonderful Mecca Bah.

Drove up to our place in the country on Friday and that evening did a tour of some historic sites where there used to be pubs from the Gold Rush days. Interesting, and there were still some ruins to be seen, but it was the lovely setting sun on the countryside, especially viewed from the Pennyweight Flat cemetery, which was so enjoyable. Saturday was busy, with the morning taken up with a visit to the Chewton Market and then the Fryerstown Antique Fair. Didn't buy anything this year but we go mainly for the funky atmosphere.

On Saturday afternoon we went out to Bendigo, explored an old goldmine which was really interesting. It was really starting to heat up then, so the next stop was an old bank that is now a wine bar. Had some refreshing drinks in the cool courtyard. Dinner was a few doors down at another old bank, now the Whirrakee restaurant. Wonderful food - we'll be back!
Again, the scary drive home, trying to avoid kangaroos on the roads.

Sunday is where things started to go wrong, namely with a tooth. Survived on painkillers until Monday morning when I just turned up at the dentist's office before official opening time. Fortunately he was there and got me on the road to recovery. Are people aware, and really thankful, for the marvel of modern day dentistry? I would not have liked to experience a root canal job in the old days, but aside from the length of the procedure itself, it is not daunting, nor even painful. So let's hear it for the dentists, but especially for the really good dentists, such as our incomparable Peter Nipe. Years ago when Ben was little and had major problems with his teeth, Peter was recommended to us as being a good dentist and great with kids. What a huge understatement that proved to be!

So now I have started to mend and feel myself again, plus Dad is here now. Things are looking up! And next week we have Port Campbell and the Great Ocean Road trip to look forward to. More on that another time.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Yippee! Four weeks off!

Just started my annual leave, and am really looking foward to having lots of slipper days (see previous post) , catching up with some gardening, sinking a few coldies with Dad when he comes to visit, reading lots of books...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

2005 - getting off to a laid back start to the new year

What with us being on leave and the boys often not surfacing until noon or later, it's pretty quiet around here. That's if you tune out Mel's sawing and hammering - he's building us a Japanese style tea house in the garden. But we have managed to have some lazy relaxing days, especially up at our place near Castlemaine.

We celebrated New Year's Eve in Bendigo. After a day of successfully avoiding the heat (went to an art gallery and the fascinating Chinese museum, both wonderfully air conditioned, art gallery also providing a convenient cafe for lunch), we had drinks in a nineteenth century bank that has been converted into a wine bar. Then on to dinner in one of the oldest pubs left from the goldrush era. After that was the obligatory fireworks, viewed from a hill conveniently located right behind the pub. Then the not so good part: a 30 minute drive from Bendigo to Castlemaine in the dark when you have to be on the constant lookout for kangaroos which aim for the car. It's happened to us twice, near our property, and the car has come off second best each time.

Castlemaine was pretty quiet between Christmas and New Year, which is what we like about it, despite more and more people being drawn to the area, very popular with the arty-farties and/or retirees. Speaking of which, we're starting to plan for the possibility of moving to Castlemaine when we retire, and have even starting looking at some houses ('way overpriced since the housing boom here), and what we might build on our land, the more likely scenario. We're thinking of building the half the house we built nearly 20 years ago, as we know that layout and construction worked so well for us.