Deakin Country on Cup Weekend


I came down with a lurgy sort of a cold several weeks ago. It built up to a coughing episode and about a week after it started Tress picked it up and we’ve been sort of passing the baton between the both of us. I got to a point I was quite tired out and was looking forward to the cup weekend we had planned some weeks before.

On Saturday morning, we packed and took off with the little guy. We headed north west up Ballarat way, and got there just on around noon. We got to a mall sort of joint, picked out an shop with outdoor seating so we could have the little fellow with us while we had a bite. After lunch we headed to our lodgings, which was a small one-bedroom unit with a façade that says it was previously a butcher shop. The owners preserved the façade, so it was charming.

For the next 3 days we chilled out and had some much-needed rest. We were both still coughing though so I quipped we were at Coughs Harbour…

Ballarat was the seat of Victoria’s wealth more than 150 years ago. The gold rush which reeled in untold riches in various parts of NSW and Victoria, had this beautiful town as its epicentre. The beautiful buildings are a legacy of this wealth and after spending a day at Sovereign Hill, we walked through the town the next day, taking in these opulent buildings and its surrounds.

At the back of my mind, I am constantly reminded the town was also the launching pad of Alfred Deakin’s career. I was at the end of the book that is his biography by Judith Brett so I brought the book along to finish it while we were in this town (city). I worked my way through the last 50 or so pages and on the morning we were leaving to head back to Melbourne, I took my time through the final few pages, savouring the occasion of reading this founding father’s last days in the city he grew up in and represented in Australia’s inaugural parliamentary sessions.

We got back early arvo, unpacked, headed up out to lunch, and came back to complete the unpacking before settling down to watch the race that stops the nation and gave us a 4-day weekend (albeit with a day’s annual leave on Monday). We saw “Rekindling” win, watched the trophy presentation and then took the little guy out for yet another walk. He had looked happy throughout the trip, with twice daily walks through open fields in cool to cold conditions. He was bouncing about in each of those walks, and running freely in a soccer field just down the road from the “butcher’s shop”. Tress and I were very pleased to see him happy.

This morning as a colleague and I eased our way back to work after a 4-day weekend, that colleague remarked that it would be 6 weeks and a bit left of work before Christmas. So I hope I get to plough through these 6 weeks without any more ailment – and enjoy another break, this time even longer and with Kiddo and Mic towing along. Noish.

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