A weekend retreat

Posted by in Adventure Tags: , , on December 2, 2014 0 comments

Last weekend, I took an extended weekend away, as my oldest son had a day off from school to end Year 7 and start Year 8 the following Monday. My youngest son had been desperate for a friend to come to our lake house for a year, and finally we were able to get one of his friends to come. We were blessed with beautiful weather, not so blessed that the authorities were draining the lake at a rate of 5000 gallons a day, which whilst the lake area received over 80mm of rain in the past 10 days, the water level was dropping.

IMG_3799 This is the lake at over 90% full, as it was this time last year…


IMG_5207 This is the lake this year at about 81% full, it’s a closer shot in, because the lake is that little bit further away… in fact it’s shoreline is about 100m further away from my front door. You can see the yellow sandy edge in the background showing you how much more empty it is. 🙁

But still, the lake was still warm enough to swim in and have fun with the kayaks.

We arrived at the lake just as the sky grew dark on Thursday night, so I couldn’t show our friends our fabulous view.  We were all exhausted from the drive up, and crashed early. Friday morning, I woke up to get some work done, admiring my view on the front deck, then took my dog Dexter for a walk around to a friend’s house. I came back and made Canadian pancakes for all the boys. My friend and I drove into town, which is about 15 minutes away, for some supplies to cover us over the weekend. The boys went around to the BMX track, and then went kayaking and swimming. They widdled wood, played kick to kick soccer, and very occasionally, played on their iPads (as I have limited internet at the house, because we’re hardly ever there, and it’s more for my work and emergencies than downloading/uploading, playing games, etc). We made some Thai wontons and did more sitting on the deck, watching the world go by. We met up with some other friends and before we knew it, it was wine-o-clock. My beautiful country friends all gave me birthday presents, which was lovely and unexpected. We decided to have a grazing dinner of the Thai wontons, homemade sausage rolls, yummy ‘Fromage d’Affnois’ and water crackers, some honey soy chicken wings and lots of sparkling hit the table. When I think back, the food – Asian BBQ, French cheese and Australian pastries didn’t exactly complement each other, but still, they were all delicious, and all made with love.


The next day, we all woke up a little seedy. My friend was waiting for me to walk Dexter, but I just didn’t get out of bed. We made some more Canadian pancakes for the boys, and I had an friend egg and bacon role, which was perfect for my hangover. My friend and I sat on the front deck for a few hours drinking coffee and peppermint tea until we felt back to normal. I took my friend for a little drive around the town, to show her the extent of its beauty… we went up to the lookout, around to the swimming hole under the bridge, showed her the picnic point, the caravan park, and up around the back streets. She was in awe of how much there is to do in this little town of around 120 people. By mid afternoon, we all had a go at the kayaks, including Dexter. My friend and I went in the double kayak with Dexter up at the helm. Our steering didn’t really compliment each other, and we eventually headed straight into the trees and toppled the kayak, however Dexter managed to stay on board. We were pretty far out (about 400m off the shore line), so my friend jumped back on the kayak and paddled back, while I enjoyed a lazy swim back. It’s so peaceful out there… We eventually headed back inside and had showers to freshen up. My friend had to go home, but she left her son for the extra night. Another local friend popped his head in the door, with a bunch of hand-picked flowers and a birthday card for me, which was very sweet. Makes me feel very loved in my little country town. (I have a picture of the flowers on my Instagram account suzyjbrown).

That night, we went to the local fine dining restaurant with a Scottish couple and had a fun time. The food is always beautiful there.. I had a 4-flavoured roasted salmon fillet, which was lovely, the others went the pork belly, lamb cutlets and the beef ribs. I was eying off the trio of chocolate for dessert, but no one wanted to join me.

We ended the night at my friend’s house playing a ‘Who Am I?’ game where you stick a name of a celebrity on your head and try and guess the name by asking questions that can be answered with Yes or No.

The next day, Sunday, we cleaned up the house, before one of my local friends took the boys on the speed boat for a go on the donut and a swim. They had a ball!

It was so good to have one of my Melbourne friends come up, and my son to have one of his friends up too. They can now appreciate what I love so much about my lake house and how I would dearly love to make it home one day because of the fabulous community, the relaxing nature of it all, my gorgeous view and the calmness it gives me… and make it a real writing retreat.