Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tin House near Trentham

The Tin House we discovered on a drive from Trentham after showing friends our block. That is after we had a glass of bubbles (Sue) and a full bodied stout (me) at our favourite drinking spot (the Colibban Food Store).

The Tin House is on a road that we have not previously travelled before but that's the intrigue of the Central Highlands of Victoria - every new road is a new discovery. Again I played with the settings on the iPhone for the close up shots of Tin House. Just love those rusty tones on corrugated tin - Iconic Australian Bush.





The property was under guard by this RAM protecting his harem. He stared at me with that "are you feeling lucky punk" look. Time to move on I thought.

Ewe Lookin' at me?



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pictures of Kyneton

I carry my camera and/or iPhone every where just in case there is a photo opportunity. Today was one of those cases. There so many instances of opposites when absorbing the sights of our new environment. We probably notice things more than the locals. I always started to look at our own environment during those "Our Home by the Bay" blogging days after getting home from our overseas trips. We would see home with new eyes.

As I returned from my morning ride, I stopped at a property on the outskirts of the town. I'd always admired the driveway with the conifers bordering the gravel surface. It reminded me so much of parts of Tuscany. As I was taking a photo, the owner was driving out and I told her how her property brought back memories.
She said that the previous owners were in fact Italian and that if we would like to see beyond the driveway, to knock on their door for a tour. How nice. I don't think that would happen in Melbourne!!

Just across the road from the house was the iconic Aussie bush property that local painters and photographers search for - as I do. This one may or not be inhabited but on the same land is a collection of goats and alpacas which are in great numbers in our region.

Much more to come now that I'm retired - every day is an adventure.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

It's My Time Now

This Friday, I retired from work - 19 years with Australian Clothing Company and prior to that 12 years with Cash's. How's that for consistency? One could say - didn't anyone else want you?
At this age I didn't know what retirement was. How far have we travelled in life.
So far we are the lucky ones and hopefully we now do what we want.
Work has had its ups and downs but mainly ups. The rewarding part was the close business relationships both inside and outside the organization. Ours is a small company but that is what made it special. We had names, not numbers.

I had a philosophy about success - realize your use by date before others do. I had reached that stage and it felt right to retire. I turned 66 this April, one year after our official retirement age, that's if we choose to. The age of 65 is also our opportunity to apply for the pension.

After I announced that I was going to retire I found people were asking what would I do with my time as if I would get bored - HA!
Let me count the ways...............many of my retired friends wonder how they found the time to work!!!
This may have been the start of seriously considering retirement. Sue and I travelled back to France and spent 7 weeks with our friends in the Loire - all retired. Their lifestyle made me envious and inspired me to plan my retirement.
I thank you all so much - you know who you are.
So, where do we go from here? Firstly on Monday I don't need to shave or get up to go to work BUT, I'll be up to enjoy a bike ride in the country, then I'll begin to write the first words from my research of my third book.
Sue and I have the new house project on our block in Trentham that will take much of our time over this year.

Do other retirees look back on their past life or do they look forward to the future - I think you move on to the new experiences while nurturing those precious past memories.

On with the show and a resurgence of this Blog. (I promise)

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Renovators Opportunity

Behind the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Trentham, there's a hidden piece of history. A building that survived the fire that almost destroyed the hotel, sits quietly nearby on the same property. You see it as you wander out to the beer garden.




Saturday, March 26, 2016

Around Every Bend, There's a New Discovery

Around every bend there's a new discovery.
After living in Bayside Mentone for over thirty years, thing become same, same. Living here in Victoria's Central Highlands, every drive, every bike ride hits you with new discoveries. 

Only last Wednesday I dropped off the car for some minor work. Our nearest Citroen specialist is 40 kms away so I normally put the bike in the car and ride home. On this occasion I decided to take an alternative road and discovered an oasis in the parched land of the Castlemaine/Chewton district. I decided that I wanted to show Sue some of the delightful scenes that I discover on my morning bike rides so this Friday afternoon I retraced my ride in the car. She was quite astounded by what see saw and sat on a raise piece of granite taking in the peacefulness of the lake, the ducks, the people in kayaks and also chatting with the passing walkers. Yes, people stop for a chat in the country unlike city people who are in a rush to somewhere else. (We were them until recently)


The Expedition Reservoir was formed during the 1860s to supply water to the Forest Creek water wheel battery used to crush the quartz about 10 kms further down the gully. The name came from the Scottish Explorer's expedition through the area. Major Thomas Mitchell's discovery of the area as you can see from the map below takes in the town we currently live, Kyneton. Mt Macedon nearby which he named and the area of Castlemaine/Chewton.




When we were at the reservoir some local cyclists informed us of a quartz crushing battery and how to get there - we took the road, a corrugated gravel path that took us deep into the rocky, desolate forest of the past gold fields of the 1850s to discover the ruins of the structure you see below.
The water wheel was supposedly the largest in the state with a diameter of 72 feet.





I'll try to get more of our discoveries on the Blog but for the time being, we seemed to be just absorbing the drives that bring a new discovery around every bend.