Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Nearby our new home for the next 12 months while our house is being built is "Hanging Rock". It's infamous reputation comes from the book, Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay and published in 1967. In 1975, Peter Weir directed the film of the same name.
Victoria's hot summer has turned the grass to chaff but gives a strong contrast to craggy greys of the stump in the foreground and the volcanic rocks of Mt Diogenes (Hanging Rock) - Green Gum trees separate the grey. (from my iPhone)

As a child when my father owned a race horse, I have vague memories of attending the Hanging Rock horse races that are now held on both New Year's Day and Australia Day. My memories are of chasing grasshoppers all over the picnic ground and climbing the Rock. Horse racing has been run at Hanging Rock for over 100 years and its popularity continues to this day.

Hanging Rock is 718 metres above sea level and was named Mt Diogenes by Melbourne Surveyor Robert Hoddle in 1844. It is because of Hoddle that Melbourne's streets have been designed on a grid with wide streets. It's ironic that the street named after him (Hoddle Street) is one of the most traffic jammed street in Melbourne. Another source (other than Wikipedia)  tells me that it was Major Mitchell that named it. Maybe someone out there could inform me of the correct source.

The public reserve is heritage listed and all sorts of flora and fauna can be seen. Wildlife include koalas, wallabies, wedge tail eagles, kookaburras, possums among the many Australian native animals.

Today the reserve is also used for international outdoor concerts with Leonard Cohen, Rod Stewart, Bruce Springstreen and the Eagles delighting us Victorians. I'm sure once we actually settle in at our temporary house at Kyneton, we will have many more stories to tell of the local area.

I think we might enjoy having Hanging Rock on our doorstep.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

We're Moving Out

Our kitchen cupboards have never been so tidy and clean. I hope the new owners appreciate  the time I've spent making the place welcome for them. It's a matter of personal pride - isn't it?
We are moving out. Now only 11 days before the house is bare and we are living in the regional Victorian town of Kyneton until our new home is being built in the village of Trentham.

The car is packed full of memories of 33 years. Bruce the bear joined the family before Andrew, our first son was born. Both boys enjoyed rolling all over his fluffy body. He comes with us to the end of time.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Minimalist Christmas

Yep! That's what it is, a very minimalistic Christmas. Our two boys are overseas and our usual open house Christmas breakfast is cancelled due to the relocation operation to the country. I'm sure we will get our festive mojo back next year when we move into our (very) new home.

Having said that, I had my work breakup, we celebrated a friend's 60th birthday today and had Sue's brother and sister with respective spouses around for gift giving, eating and drinking and lots of laughter. The festive mojo is still lurking in the background.

Tomorrow My daughter Carly, her partner Sharn and Sharn's parents from the Gold Coast QLD join us for Christmas Lunch. It will be a great day.

So that is what I call our minimalistic Christmas (check out the Chrissy tree - its absolutely anorexic) for 2015. Sue and I wish our followers a very, very enjoyable and safe festive season and good health for 2016. If you can achieve both those goals, you will be very rich.

Thank you for reading whoever you may be out there.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Kyneton - Home to be Soon

We can't tell you how many times we have been back and forth to the central highlands of Victoria but recently it seems to be on a weekly cycle since we bought the land at Trentham and took out a lease on a rental property in Kyneton while our house is built.

Today we took another car load of bits and pieces to Kyneton, set up a guest room bed which will be our room until the BIG move early next month. It was hard work on a Victorian summer's day so we thought we would shout ourselves to a nice cold beer before returning home to Mentone, Our Home on the Bay.

We may need to change the name of our Blog next month with the relocation.

The hotel in its earlier form became licenced in 1852 to service the men on their way to the nearby goldfields od Castlemaine and Bendigo amongst the many other smaller towns that grew from the Victorian goldfields.

Note that our Citroen C4 enjoys a cameo in this photo.

The beers we had were at the Royal George Hotel - with a choice of 16 craft beers and ciders on tap. They organise a Brewer's Club and also a Beer School. We checked out their menu. 12 hour slow cooked lamb, crispy pork belly amongst the menu with some great local wines. They also have a local's Thursday night meal for $15.00 mains.
Early this year they were awarded Melbourne's radio station 3AW's Pub of the week.

I think we might like living here while our house is built.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Life is getting back to Normal

What's normal, you might ask - but life is getting back to some sort of normality. We are now drawing close to settlement of our house sale and this weekend I cleared a heap of rubbish into our fourth skip over the last three months..
This was the garage cleanup. 33 years in one house - yes, you do collect a lot of garbage in that time.

The mattress hides all below - I'm a very efficient packer if I do say myself
One of the lovely things about moving after so long in one "HOME" is that you find so many lovely memories from the past. Our boys, Andrew and Mitchell are now 30 and 27 respectively. As I was cleaning out their bedrooms, I found their school graduation bears.

This house - (more of a home) has been a place where our two boys and my daughter from my 1st marriage call home and they still do. Today I cleaned, vacuumed and packed the contents of both boy's rooms.
Memories that I felt could not go in the skip. How can you throw away a lifetime of memories.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Little Boxes

Everywhere we look, there's boxes all around the house.  We thought that getting the house all spiced up and going through the auction process was stressful - HA!

Try packing up 33 years of belongings - that's kitchenware, books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and many other things that you'd forgotten existed.

We are moving over the period of three weeks however the big removalist truck comes in on the 11th of January so we still have time up our sleeve.

Here's a little song about little boxes from Pete Seeger but I'sure he didn't mean cardboard ones.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Where too from here?

We are just starting to get our life back since the sale of the house. It's been a few weeks now and our house is returning to being our home.
There are no more open for inspection days where we had the house looking as though no one lives in the place. For the last month the house has had to look like a display home.

This is the plan of the house that we hope to start building in the new year.
Recently we had an appointment with a builder in the regional city of Ballarat before driving over to Trentham as we were invited for lunch and then to Kyneton to view three rental properties. Today we sign a 12 months lease on a rental house. We expect it will take to about 10 months for our new home to be built.

Looking at rental properties was quite depressing. The first that we looked at seemed to suit our short term needs however we were open to other possibilities so we viewed another two. It proved that it was a good idea as the first house, although not perfect does seem to tick many boxes in the short term.

With three bedrooms, a 2 car garage and a good sizes shed at the back, there will be enough storage space. It will be interesting living in the town that was on a list of choices initially. Kyneton is only 22 kms from Trentham and our block of land. We timed how long it would take to drive from Kyneton to my office. It took 45 minutes as opposed to driving from our home in Mentone to the office which can sometimes take up to 1.5 hours.

The move will create some future activity for the Blog - "Melbourne - Our Home by the Bay" may become, "Living in the Country".  I expect their will be renewed activity on the Blog with so much more to excite our new life. Kyneton and the surrounding region is littered with history. many of the towns between Melbourne and Bendigo were stop-off points to Victoria's rich gold fields. Most were a day's walk apart for those seeking riches of gold.

Today we are off to see our financial advisor to see what he has to say about our new found wealth after selling the house. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with for our future retirement.
We also pick up the keys for our rental property today and then visit the builder to start the the contract process for our new home in Trentham.

It should prove to be an interesting day.