MONDAY SEPTEMBER 5 MARONG
Usual morning – me rising about 8am and John sleeping late.
While walking Couey on the lead around the park, got talking to a man working on the gardens. Told him how attractive and well kept I found the place. The poor man said he was constantly battling rabbits that come in from the surrounding farmland and dig up newly planted shrubs to eat the roots. Given all the surrounding grass, that rather surprised me.
I said that, from my perspective, all the park needed to make it perfect was a fenced dog run area. Pushy? Well, maybe they hadn’t thought of it? He seemed to think it might be worth considering, but said that we could walk Couey through the residential section (that says no entry except to residents), to the paddock at the back and throw the ball for her there. Very nice of him.
Left the park at noon to meet daughter at her workplace in the centre of Bendigo. The drive in from Marong to the city was really pretty. Forested areas alternating with farmland, from Marong to Maiden Gully – an outlying sort of new suburb development – then more treed and farm lands. The built up city area really only extends about three kms in this western direction.
Mining dump area beside Calder Highway
I seemed to recollect from some long past history study, that the rich gold reefs found from the 1850’s on, extended in a roughly N-S direction and that was the way the early gold rush settlement developed. There was still much evidence of these beginnings about the place, in more than just locality names. We passed large mullock dump heaps as well as the occasional mine poppet head.
Old mining area only 3kms from city centre
At work, daughter was there on her RDO to take part in a blind pie tasting test, to determine the best one to buy for a future function, and she’d invited John – with all his pie eating experience – to join in. There were two pies from local bakeries, one from Aldi, and a Four and Twenty one. Rather surprisingly to me, the first choice of the majority of the tasters was the Aldi pie, with the Four and Twenty one second.
There were some great shops in Bendigo and daughter had a favourite where she bought many of her clothes. I’d been hunting for a while for an outfit to wear to son’s wedding, and not been able to find anything I liked in shops around our local area. I was really trying to avoid going into central Melbourne or one of the mammoth shopping complexes for same. So daughter took me to her favourite outlet, not far from her work. The sales lady there was most helpful and I ended up buying not one, but two, outfits. I suspected daughter who encouraged me, may have an eye to borrowing one of them at a future date.
Trying on outfits
I did love the manageable scale of Bendigo’s shopping areas – and traffic. Maybe one day….
We’d left Couey tied outside the shop, because John wanted input to the clothes decision making. She complained loudly whilst he was still visible, but lapsed into silent and sulking mode as soon as he was not in sight. Handy to know.
I bought a wrap for my lunch, the pie eaters being too full for any more. Then went to daughter’s for coffee. After that, we all drove to grandson’s school, in two cars. He’d commenced Year 7 this year at a fairly new school, on the outskirts of town. I was most impressed with the appearance and behaviour of the students at get-out time. Very tidy and mannerly. The buildings were excellent – interesting and innovative, heavily into open-plan learning areas and flexible spaces. High tech. Beautiful landscaping. Schools had come so far in the couple of decades since I worked in them. We heartily approved of the place.
We continued on back to Bus, Called in at the Eucalyptus Shop at Marong. Bought some laundry powder, lemon myrtle oil for my scent burner at home and wash liquid for the dog’s bedding. Received two “free” jars of local pickled onions as a bonus. John was happy – he eats lots of these.
Met daughter and the boys and S’s mum at the Marong Hotel at 6pm, to have a counter tea together. We’d heard good things about the meals here and were not disappointed. It was a pretty standard pub bistro menu but the food was, mostly, very well done. John had flathead and chips – often his choice at such places. I had a modern take on a souvlaki, which I found a bit heavy on the leafy greens and a bit light on the lamb. The other adults had parma and schnitzel, which they enjoyed. The boys had pizza. The younger one is a fussy eater, but does eat pizza. The kids’ food arrived first, which we appreciated. It was a very pleasant time together.
We were back at Bus in time to watch Australian Survivor.
After that, we had a serious discussion about the pros and cons of selling up at home and relocating to Bendigo. There are both, and no decision was reached. But there was no rush to make such a momentous change.