Six years ago we drove to the Victorian coastal town of Portland. Not sure why we decided to go there for a break, because it was a bit of well……we won’t make a trip there again. Kim was heavily pregnant with our first child and we knew it would be the last time just the two of us would get away. Two kids, four house moves and six years later we finally have a chance to get away sans children. We headed west to Dunkeld in the Southern Grampains. There isn’t much to Dunkeld, and if it wasn’t for the world renowned Royal Mail Hotel not many people would head there as a destination. The food here is stunning, and the last time we ate a 10 course degistation with matching wines it cost about $600. No shit. Luckily it was in payment for photography work I had done for them. This time round however we opted to stay in the renovated bluestone stables out at the original homestead. It’s such a stunning place. A bit harsh with the elements but it’s peaceful and full of history.

We did a whole lot of sweet f#$k all. Actually I took some things with me to do that I don’t normally get around to but need doing. So what does a bloke like me do for relaxation? Polish hunting boots and clean pocket knifes. Yes odd sounding but these are important tools to me and they need to be looked after. Kim on the other hand we more mainstream in her approach with a bit of reading, crocheting and catching up on world affairs by diving head first into a Mad magazine. We sat fireside warming ourselves most of the time, only with breaks to BBQ a monster Steak sandwich, to top up the vino and grab more cheese and dips.

In the mornings I’d walked down to the creek spotting kangaroos, foxes, hares and finding patches of Stinging Nettle that I decided to pick for a soup….or maybe a pasta (I had gloves in the Jeep, these are not advisable to pick gloveless).
It was a brilliant stay in our TV-less, limited mobile reception wood fired stone cottage. It’s back to reality now, but what a nice little break it was. There are a gazillian photos I took. Here are a few.

MT Sturgeon rises out of the ground marking the southern tip of the Grampians.

Like peeling prawns, crushing walnuts and peeling potatoes I like the monotonous tasks. Polishing knives is one of these odd jobs.

Oh and polishing boots….

This fella was neighing at us at out on the back paddock, so we fed him apples.

This is the monster BBQ’d steak sandwich. Sexy huh!

We did a great deal of this.

and this….

used a pile of this…

did a bit of writing….after I ran out of old pocket knives to polish….

picked some of this…

spotted some of these bouncing about…

The ground has plenty of aptly named ‘buck shot’ gravel

I wandered around the sheering shed, the grand old homestead and generally got lost in the natural beauty.

Our backyard view…