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.

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