'My dear, dear aunt,' I rapturously cried, 'what delight! what felicity! You give me fresh life and vigour. Adieu to disappointment and spleen*. What are women to rocks and mountains? oh! What hours of transport we shall spend! And when we do return, it shall not be like other travellers, without being able to give one accurate idea of anything. We will know where we have gone - we will recollect what we have seen. Lakes, mountains, and rivers, shall not be jumbled together in our imaginations**; nor, when we attempt to describe any particular scene, we will begin quarrelling about its relative situation. Let our first effusions be less insupportable than those of the generality of travellers.'
'How so? What will facilitate such recollections?' queried my aunt, yet not wishing to quash my enthusiasm.
'But that is where you muse upon unsavoury topics for base and common effect? I shall not be be in close association with any of that!'
'It is true. I am a bad person. ...But, how good do I look in this dress and bonnet?'
'Most of the hair is hidden. This I find pleasing.'
'You are too kind.'
'It is not my kindness that is in over-abundance, monkey boy!'
And from then on we sat in silence; myself driving, and my aunt content to haughtily let the scenery wash past her.
* My latest song "I left my spleen in Echuca" is out now.
** not true, four days later, for the location of Narooma.
How did that happen?
We stopped in Bendigo for coffee, a walk in the park, and the Chinese museum and garden. The centre of Bendigo looks like an inner suburb of Melbourne. All it's main buildings must be of the same age - I really liked it.
The Chinese Museum was spectacular. It is jam packed with excellent artifacts and exhibits. It's only 120k or so to Melbourne, so even if you only go to the museum it would be well worth the drive.
Lunch was in a quite pretty town called Daylesford which holds a similar place as Berry does to Sydney. Both it and Berry pale in comparison to Beechworth and, particularly, Bright. There was a black swan, and this makes Caroline happy. And as I have always said "A happy aunt, is a good aunt" which is not pithy in any way, but they can't all be gems.
The rural countryside gets very pretty, with Caroline comparing it to New Zealand and me with Devon.
She wasn't comparing me with Devon. I was comparing the red earth and greenery to Devon. And even if she was comparing me with devon to tease me for being the towering pillar of hetero man meat that I am, I wouldn't have listened to her insane ravings either.
Planet Blundstone (soggy)
Torquay. The Night-time Rhino restuarant (i think).
No, it was Midnight Rhino.
Appropriately for the namesake of an English sea-side town it was raining when we arrived.
Caroline says that terns wear bicycle racing helmets.