Friday, July 6, 2012

Country kids-Melbourne days.

A few weeks ago I was reading a blog post, or an article, or something, about the city/country mix. About kids getting the best of both worlds. Bonfires and bush walks and mud stomping and vegie growing AND movies and shopping and cafes and culture. 

It occurred to me that it would be great to mix our world up a bit. That it would be fun to have a few days in town seeing the sights, doing the Melbourne touristy things and showing our girls a bit of the world we grew up in. 

One of the main reasons for choosing to move to Daylesford in the first place, was how close is it is to town. How accessible. So we packed up our city clothes, and drove an hour and a half down the road to Melbourne. 

We crammed so much into our four days in the city. We had a ball. 

We celebrated my grandad's 94th birthday.
We could not have felt prouder of Indi and her painting at the NGV.
We didn't do any farm chores.
We watched movies and I beat them all at bowling.
I didn't wear gumboots but clogs and city boots.
We ate every meal out and didn't cook at all.
We walked the dog at doggie parks.
We didn't light or feed any fires for warmth or for cooking.
We loved Brunswick street.
Indi tried and failed to convince me to wear tights with fire works on them.
We loved the strong water pressure and the bath that filled in a few minutes.
I didn't turn my computer on or look at my emails.
We camped on the floor of an unfurnished apartment.
We struggled with the traffic.
I was amazed that after 11 years I didn't have any Melbourne geography but Bren knew exactly where he was going at all times.
We didn't see any stars but we saw lots of twinkly night lights.
I couldn't drive in the city.
We only found a few op shop treasures; a few Meakin plates, a red cardi, a scarf.

We didn't have any other place to be but together.
We didn't find it easy to have a dog in the city.
There was a shopping centre just down stairs.
We couldn't get used to sharing walls with neighbours.
We didn't bump into anyone we know.
We bought them band hoodies at Victoria market.
We didn't have a TV, or a kettle, or a coffee machine.
I didn't feel so cold.
We spent too much money.
We carried keys with us always.
We didn't do nearly as many things as we had thought we would.
I cast off a beanie and started a Mara.
On the last night we didn't have any kids!!!!! (thanks D and M xx)

We had a ball.

It was such a great thing to do.

But coming home was the best. We fell in love all over again with the trees and the space and our newly painted white house and our Esse.

We came home, lit the fires, went for a walk through the bush, cooked dinner from our passata, our apples and our greens and slept so well in our own beds.

There's certainly is no place like home, but it sure is fun to go away and visit.

So how about you?
Do you have a bit of a city/country life balance?
Do you like to swap your city boots for your country boots (or visa-versa)?
What's the best thing about where you live at the moment?
Are you enjoying your holidays?

Have fun out there.



  1. we do like to go the city for a holiday. Busy loves it -she always wants to go on a bus, thinks it is the most fun thing ever. She thinks all the big buildings look like castles and wonders who lives in them. She asked often why there are so many people? where are the all going? We notice the lack of mud and dirt on our shoes when we are in the city and how cool everyone else looks and how daggy we feel! we notice the different races of people and how fabulously multicultural Sydney is. We want to expose Busy to the city stuff as much as we can but when we drive up our driveway at the end we are glad for our privacy, our space, our rainforest and our mud!

  2. Great photos Kate. We sort of did the opposite -took a day trip to Bendigo woollen mills and then on to Daylesford (looked out for you!!).
    And another day crossed town to be cool in Brunswick ! So much to see within reach - Next week will be beaches i think!

  3. I love being back in the city so much that at the moment I never want to leave. However we do love a good trip and my English gal loves the open spaces that our country offers.
    Best if both worlds is the very best indeed.

  4. I drove into the city the other day, did not enjoy not knowing where I was going tho!
    Loving these photos of you guys - especially the one in the mirror!X

  5. I LOVE a visit to the city! I'd love to spend a few days there, all of us. The boys enjoy the sights too, though they get a bit freaked out by the 'busy'! Looks like you've had such a great time, your photos have made me want to go now!

  6. Ha....we're doing the same thing, only the other way round! Can't wait to hear no cars, see stars, light fires and feel the freedom only space of the country can give you. Great pics :)

  7. Looks like you had an amazing time - I love how having even a small break can improve one's perspective.

    We're only half an hour out of Adelaide, so we're in that twilight area. Real country folk think we are townies, and all our friends in the city thought we were mad moving this far out! But my boys know where milk comes from, and they have seen the sky covered in stars at night.... so I hope that we are getting the balance right.

    However, for a holiday I'd love to go out bush for a while. Just to clear my head and breathe deeply.

  8. I would love to be able to live a city/country life. I'm so glad that I grew up in the country and that we moved around a lot. I can't imagine how different my life would be if I'd grown up in the city.
    Now, I like to visit the country but I don't think I could live there full time without all of the modern conveniences that I take for granted.

  9. Hi Kate, we're on the other side of Melbourne and 2 hours south east in South Gippsland, and we love mini breaks to the City, in fact we're going for a day-tripper tomorrow. We are making a long list of the fun things we like to do and will try to cram it all in before heading for home again tomorrow night ... pooped but happy. When we get home we notice the quiet, the air, the night sky, the slower pace.

  10. We have just done the same but we had to drive a bit further to get to Melbourne (from Broken Hill)! We all had so much fun hopping on and off trams and seeing the sights! None of is wanted to leave but you always appreciate home more after a break away.

  11. Indi has a painting in the NGV? is there a way I can see it online?

    1. It's in the Ian Potter gallery at Fed square.
      I have no idea if there is any way to find it online but I'll be sure to let you know if I find one.

  12. We are country people originally, so we take every chance to get out of town ~ even just for a day or lunch or something. I find that they key to living in a city is to not think of it as living in a city. Each city is made up of communities ~ find one you like and settle in. I like that the people at the post office and the shops and cafes down the road know us, just the same as when we lived in tiny outback towns. Have a great weekend! We're thinking of coming your way on one of the days. Might see you!

  13. Tights with fire works on them? Ouch!

  14. I know exactly what you mean! We too live in a rural area and our nearest 'city lights' are a good hour's drive away. I love to go there but boy do I really LOVE to come home again! BTW, is that a copy of the Circular Knitting Workshop that I spy in your post? I've just bought a copy and am loving it!!! xxx

    1. It is!
      Although I am being good and finishing my Mara before I get stuck into it.
      I'm pleased to hear you are loving it. x

  15. As you know we've just done EXACTLY the same as you. Take away food. Central heating (a button makes the house warm?) Shops. Public transport. A tiny weeny backyard. Train line beside the house. Traffic. Noise. Street lights. Walk on the beach. Loved it BUT so glad to be home. Spent 2 hours outside with the chookies in the sunshine today and swooned over all the snow on the big hill. Gotta love where we live.

  16. I'm guessing the post you read a few weeks ago was 'whole larder love' talkiong about his 'bush girls'. That post has been on my mind too.

    We have a great mix of 'city' and 'country' at the moment. We're mostly 'city living' but atleast once a week we spend a day or two at our new property. It's a good mix. Although I can't wait until its the other way around - with us spending most of our time in the country. Thats where we are happiest.

  17. that certainly is the best of both worlds.

    i would love a country/coastal retreat, with a pony .... hopefully one day.


  18. Hi there
    I really enjoyed your creative family portraits!
    Well right now we are exploring far north Qld in a bus so there's a lot of outside and bush and beach. I love that our daughter says the whole world is our backyard!
    Yesterday was a city day of shopping and errands and playgrounds and walks and ice reams and a festival
    We were all fried by the end! And today is a weary day.
    I am so grateful for the access to city and the retreat afterwards!

  19. It's funny, I have just turned my computer on to post a blog and thought I'd read yours first. I've just had 4 lovely weeks in a small town in Oregon (Hood River, USA) It reminded me a lot of beautiful Daylesford.Melbourne is just looking smoggy and too fast now. You were smart not to drive in this insane traffic!

  20. I've been loving your Instagrams from Melbourne!

  21. just done the same thing with our boys....scored a housesitting gig, toured all over the inner city...the kids love the tram rides....they got to see their first fireworks, their first fire twirler and their first person swallow fire...they got their first crazy person on a tram....their first genuine chinese dumplings and a fabulous middle eastern feed on sydney road....we did the drive in at coburg - can't talk this experience up enough really (kids are free till their 11)....master 2 could do whatever he wanted, we didn't mind and it was ace to be all curled up together under a important to have this life swap, to show our kids that there is more beyond the farm fence...master 2 wants more dumplings, master 4 can't pick his favourite bit of melbourne because everything was his favourite and master 6 is already planning our next nice to come home to our wide open spaces again, our familiar home, our animals & our in our little country town can sometimes get very cloistered....sometimes its nice to be reminded of who you used to be, how precious those old friends of yours are, how you love melbourne, and how you love to be far enough away from it for it to be a special place for your family....thanks, as always, for sharing

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