Bright Weekend


We used to watch the Australian version of the master chef cook show on Channel 10. One of those episodes some time back, was filmed at the Victorian high country. It looked so pretty and attractive. Conversations with friends confirmed we had to check it out and so on Friday morning Tress and I drove to Bright for the long Anzac Day weekend. Jason and Mel came along with us but drove separately in their own car as we had the little furry ball with us and I wasn’t sure they were up to being cooped up in the same car with him for 4 hours.

The distance was about 320-330 km away, north east of Melbourne. It took nearly 4 hours however – partly because once we turned off the Hume at Wangaratta, it was country road and partly also we (I in particular) have become accustomed to driving with much less passion and fervour speed wise. I have come to enjoy a drive without needing to floor the pedal. Maybe it is down to the simple vehicle I could afford – a Nissan X-trail cant gallop like a thoroughbred no matter how lead footed I become. Or it could be an age thing – the days of charging up and down a Malaysian highway doing speeds of up to 180km per hour are truly things of the past. Or maybe it’s the law. Hefty fines aside, the demerit point system is a great encourager of law abiding behaviour on the road.

We left home on Friday morning, just before 10am, and made our way to the Hume. Jason and Mel followed behind. We got to Myrtleford just after lunch, and made a pit stop of sorts. Myrtleford is only about 30km from Bright but we couldn’t check into our little cottage before 2pm anyway so we walked around in Myrtleford, had lunch, and basically took in the beautiful autumn colours of the high country. Towards 2pm we completed the remainder 30km of the drive and got to the cottage.

We had a pleasant surprise. Kaye’s cottage is only minutes away on foot to the town centre, and it was light, clean and airy. It has a beautiful little deck and backyard and a neat little sunroom which Scruffi could wander in. The kitchen too was clean, light and well kitted out.

The only snag was it was a 2 bedroom property and only one room had a double bed with an ensuite. The other room was a 2-single and had to use the property’s other – main – bathroom. I had written an email to Jason and Mel about a week before the trip reminding them of this and giving them the choice of room. They were either too busy or too polite but they never responded to the email on that point.

Notwithstanding this, once we got there they quietly – almost by stealth – opted for the double room with ensuite, without a whisper to us. Ah well, it wasn’t a big deal but for someone who regularly prided himself as “simple, straight forward” this (and other behaviours during the trip) suggests otherwise. It really was and is only a very small matter and it didn’t affect the trip in any way but I cannot deny it confirms for me, that no matter what we profess, reality in the form of actual conduct/behaviour always speaks louder than what we say over dinner tables or write on emails. I would have gladly acceded to their request to use the room had they raised it – like I said I even emailed them a week earlier stating this but they didn’t so much as whisper a word on the matter…

Well we got into Bright town after dropping off our stuff, walked to the town square with a pretty monument where wreaths were placed in memoriam of Anzac Day. The oak/maple trees around the monument were starting to turn shades of gold and red and it was a very pretty sight. We walked by the river, had a beer in the Bright Brewery, and checked out every pretty street. After a little while we started to look for a place for dinner but every decent looking place was booked out. We went back to the cottage and started looking at brochures to ring for reservations but it looked like other than pubs, all other establishments had been fully booked. So we ended up in a pub and had some pizzas, which were also pretty decent.

We went home that night and watched a DVD. “Beyond the Hills”, a Romanian story about abuse of a young lady in an orthodox monastery which killed her. Yet again, it showed how good intention alone can often lead to disastrous results. No one was patently malefide and yet a tragic ending was the result. The ending scene was poignant for me. As the monastery dwellers sat in the van looking into modern civilisation running – simultaneously as a “business as usual” basis as well as rebuilding/reconstruction – the background remains cold and wintery. As they stared into this scene, mud splashed across the windscreen, with the wiper not doing quite enough to clean things away. Great movie, although I doubt my companions enjoyed it.

What they clearly enjoyed were the other two movies we watched – one with Christian Bale in the Nanking massacre setting (Flowers of War) and the other is a Czech holocaust setting with a comedy of sorts thrown in, very cleverly. So a non-conventional foreign language movies weekend it was for us, away in Victorian high country. How very interesting, how very pleasant and memorable.

We got home late on Sunday arvo – just in time for us to watch the final quarter of Hawthorn thrashing the Tigers. It turned out my boss who is a big Tigers fan, was at the match with a few mates all of whom are Hawks fans. Poor him.

The coming weekend, Tress’ family will be visiting from Malaysia. I’m kind of looking forward to that, and sincerely wish Uncle Jin a great 60th birthday celebration.

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