Thursday, June 16, 2011

To the country

Poor Mother. She loved her Sunday drives with the late step father. She has had a few drives since he died, courtesy of we descendants, but she wants one every Sunday.

If I am to do something for Mother, I have to consider R, my work times and what days off I have off and other social engagements. I had a glorious Saturday. We had an early brunch out with the Bone Doctor and Little Jo, came home, saw them off, and then took the car to go shopping. Back home and it was only 1 o'clock. I played on the computer, watched some tv, dozed, R cooked a nice dinner and I was in bed quite early.

Sunday I did not have to work, but I did Monday and have to go out for dinner later as well. Ok, we will we take Mother out Sunday.

We arrived at Mother's about 12.30 and lo and behold, Tradie Brother and two of his three were there too, Chainsaw Niece and Dreaded Nephew.

Tradie Brother ignores his personal health matters until they become intolerable. So Aussie bloke like. He had a large infected lump on his back and he asked Chainsaw Niece to lance it. 'S'cuse I', I said. 'I'm going inside'. Apparently the lump had no head and Chainsaw Niece refused to touch to it.

This is a situation when Nanna Fud suddenly switches to being a smart Mother. She rang her doctor and when the doctor said he could not see Tradie Brother before a certain time, she protested and insisted. Given Mother is such a good customer of said doctor, Tradie Brother was fitted in. The doctor wanted to give him a course of antibiotics, but Tradie Brother insisted on the lump being lanced. The doctor did so without a local anaesthetic also at Tradie Bros insistence and prescribed antibiotics.

The family despatched, we headed off with Mother to Tarago Dam, or Reservoir. When I was a kid and we lived not too far away, we always pronounced it TaRAgo. Now it seems it is TARago. It was part of Melbourne's water supply, then switched off but now reconnected.

Firstly we stopped at an apple orchard in Garfield for lunch. It was not a flash place, we had a pie, a drink and a cake, but there was lots of local produce and it was warm enough to sit outside in the winter sun.

I had thought about having lunch at a hotel, either in Garfield or Bunyip, but the idea of sitting in what are usually dingy hotels in the country did not have a high appeal. I did come across a couple of nice looking, and a bit on the expensive side, places in Jindivik.

I had checked my map, Day trips from Melbourne within 100 miles, and Jacksons Track which takes you to Jindivik was shown as a dirt road. Fortunately that information was as out of date as miles are. Going via Jindivik was the scenic route to get to Tarago Dam, and scenic it was. After turning off the freeway, we drove for a good while along a valley of farmland and then we started to climb.

We stopped at Jindivik and what a lovely town it is with fine views both north and south. The Barn was one of the aforementioned restaurants and it had a nursery attached. The nursery was rare and unusual plants and they really were. Mostly they were from South Africa I think. The had some absolutely cracker large urns. There was a kind of a metal fence/gate for sale, at $1600. Mother couldn't get over the price. I will say the prices generally were over the top. The restaurant part of the barn looked very fine and I kind of wished that going there was our day's outing.

On to Tarago Dam. We did not investigate thoroughly, but it seems to be locked off to those other than hearty walkers. It had the feeling of being a bit of a work site.

We journeyed on to Neerim South. I thought I would remember Neerim South from my childhood but there was nothing familiar at all about the town. It is clearly a go ahead place though and it smelt of money. After a visit to a gallery, we took the quick route back to the freeway at Drouin West and home, dropping Mother off on the way.

Robin Hood Hotel at Drouin West was a large two storey hotel and probably even a relic back then but it fascinated us when we were kids. It burnt once or twice and now is a hotel/motel. But Robin Hood seems to have become a place name now. Here are some photos of the day out.

The apple orchard where we had lunch. The apples had finished and the remaining ones starting to dry out and rot. The birds were still quite interested in them though. There was a huge variety of apples for sale within the shop.

A sculpture greeted us in the car park at The Barn in Jindivik.

Labertouche in the distant with some burning off underway. Labertouche was badly affected by the 2009 bush fires when the blaze escaped from the Bunyip Park State Forest. We could see burnt trees upon the hill tops and unfortunately signs of burnt forest having been clear felled.

It's a cow I suppose.

Pots, pots and more pots.

I assume that is the township of Drouin in the distance.

As politician prove, pigs can fly.

Onto Neerim South. I don't think it is a chicken and egg argument. The war memorial would have been there first and the roundabout added later. Pity to isolate it so.

The rolling hills of Neerim South. Fine houses squat upon the distant hills.

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