Sunday, October 26

What we did on our holidays - Day 1 ...

... on the flight to Melbourne we sit next to some band called Short Stack, and their 2 British managers.
They were such bebes, all pimples, bum-fluff and messy hair. I overheard one of them say to a manager. "I can get my mum to email it". So sweet, you just wanted to pinch their little cheeks. They did, however, dress the part, so very "rock an roll" (you have to say that with a London accent, with an ever-so-slight lisp). Black skinny jeans, studded belts, band-name t-shirts.
No, of course we didn't recognise them, we are old. We worked it out from (a) the look, (b) the cliche middle-aged managers and (c) blatant eavesdropping. It was fascinating, adorable and seriously funny (so serious).
Next stop Ballarat, not the direct route to our destination but I used to live there and loved it. It was the scene of our initial courting (a 1600km round trip for Mr Brown, undertaken once ever month or so). Being lunchtime, we stopped at the Art Gallery Ballarat as it used to have an excellent cafe. The place has had a bit of a refurb, the cafe moved and not so wonderful, fine for focaccia toasties and ok coffee.
I'd forgotten how extensive the gallery's collection is (to name just a few Von Guerard, Gould, Glover, Buvelot, McCubbin, Roberts, Conder, Streeton, Lindsay, Drysdale, Boyd, Preston, Tucker, Cossington-Smith, Dobell, Brack, Blackman, Perceval, Smart, Williams & Whiteley - you can view via the gallery link). Amazing for such a small place, the magic of gold money I guess.
My favourite, Thomas Flintoff's Henry F Stone and his Durham ox.We popped over to Lake Wendouree only to find it empty, the drought has rendered this lovely lake a paddock. People used to row, straight out of those sheds.
I used to walk around the lake a lot, watching the wind on the water, loving the bird life. This day, not a single duck was found. Nor a swan, not even at the spot where one of the bastards bit me on the boob - at this spot I believe, while I was triying to eat fish and chips.
And then to Hepburn Springs, where we discovered an old favourite, the Springs Hotel (that's a blackberry shot btw) is now the uber-posh Peppers Springs. Back in the day, Mr Brown & I used to drive up there for the Sunday Roast Special. $12 for the works. It was a magnificent feast, choice of beef, lamb or pork (or a mix - Mr Brown's choice, of course) and all the trimmings.
And then on to The Grande and that bath. Oh what a bath. Had it not been quite so big, so weighty, I'd have slipped it into my hand luggage and found some way of getting it home. Put to excellent use as you can see.For dinner - the Farmers Arms, another old favourite. I won the entree competition by selecting the Rabbit and Pistachio Terrine. It came with a mystery pickle which, after much nibbling and consideration by both, was finally identified as Watermelon Rind Pickle (it was the little fronds of pink that eventually gave it away). Amazing stuff, next moment I get I'm cooking up a batch of this magic pickle. We both chose the 21-day hung steak, so tender, so full of flavour, so meaty. Dessert? All I can remember was, it was great.
Then finally, to this ...Why can't our bed at home look like this? (I suspect because I'm the one who makes it.)


cookiecrumb said...

Oh, that bed is purty.

Anonymous said...

comfy too!

e said...

Sounds divine! Aren't holidays wonderful?

Anonymous said...

E - they are exactly that - just wonderful.

Pink Granite said...

How sad about Lake Wendouree!
Love the tub...
- Lee

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Lee - I know, you know they held the Melbourne Olympics rowing on Lake Wenrouree! Couldn't do that now though.