Dad finished his contract in Eildon this week which gave me a great excuse to go home. Home as in the mountains, not the sea where I live now.
I haven’t lived in this town for 12 years, but as soon as I crossed over the spur and saw the towering trees, on a road just as crazy as the Great Ocean Road but lined with trees and cliffs instead of water (with a much higher speed limit) I felt like I was on my way home. I truly believe that home is surrounded by mountains and trees, and not the ocean – It’s just down the road from where I live, yet I haven’t actually stepped foot on a beach in ages.
Its funny how you go back and everythings changed but at the same time, nothings changed. The trees are bigger, my old front fence has been moved, the copse of trees around where we buried Stubby has been removed (I wonder if they dug her up), our neighbours mini golf course is all grown over and hidden by tress, but it still feels the same, instant calm.
When I got to town yesterday I wandered into some shops, and even 12 years on, people remembered me. I think what I miss most about Eildon is that it is a community – Clifton springs is full of faceless nameless houses, but in a town like Eildon, everyone remembers and knows you if not your family. (It probably helps that Dad is erm. A character). If you lived in Eildon and didn’t leave your house for a week, it feels like SOMEONE would notice and come and check on you. I feel like when I’m in Clifton Springs, I could not leave the house or talk to anyone for a month and other than people wondering why derby work isn’t getting done nobody would really notice. Actually scrub that, someone from derby would notice because without 3 refs they can’t scrimmage.
Dinner at what used to be Obriens pub (and I can’t break the habit). No Jameson in sight but they had that lovely strawberry and lime cider so I drank that instead, then back to Dads house to sit by the fire in the lounge and read. I miss having a real fire, heaters just aren’t the same. I like the woodsmoke smell and the natural heat the fire kicks out, and theres nothing better than sitting next to a fire reading, or just relaxing in the glow from the flames.
Today I got to catch up with one of my oldest friends and her two amazing kids (I think I’m in love with Charlize’s big gummy smile*) and hung out and talked crap for a few hours, some of it was remisicing, but a lot of it was talking about what we want to do now and in the future. She is one of the most amazing people I know, strong in ways I never could be.
After that I went to visit the cemetary to pay my respects to some lost friends and family. To be honest, If i were to be buried anywhere I would choose the Darlingford Cemetary. Its on the hill up near the spillway and is one of the most serene places I’ve ever been. The cemetary is filling up fast, there were a few years when I’d visit and nothing would have changed except for the color of the leaves, but the population is aging and there are more and more headstones appearing. Its almost split into two, the newer headstones and an area of old headstones with rusted iron fences and barely legible engravings, some of which were relocated when they had to move the entire town to make the lake bigger (and one that used to be on the top of the hill behind my house).
As I was nearly at the Spillway, I then decided to go check the level of the lake – which was lucky because when I parked the car (about 1.5km away from the cemetary) it overheated… This was the view I had. The waters up over 80% and the fullest its been in years. It was an amazing sight, as I recall when the water was lapping the top of this spillway (They have since made slightly higher walls)
While I waited for Dad I was lucky we’d packed for the drive, and had a boot full of beer. I can’t think of a more beautiful place to break down, on a sunny day AND have a beer.
We limped the car back to Syd and Chris’ and while Tex and Dad looked at the car I went for a walk along the river and just chilled out in the beauty that is this area. Syd and Chris were our closest neighbours, this is a photo from their front drive, the house in the distance is where I grew up. Also the road thats the intro scene from Houseboat Horror (also filmed on our neighbours houseboat)
I’m pretty sure the universe wanted me to stay longer and thats why the car broke, but I have been reminded that If I want to get away and be neutral and just relax, I can always go here. And hang out with old friends and get away from anything I want to. Its not hard to find an area with no phone reception. Some days I see this as a massive plus. Also I totally owe Joey a night filled with booze – I mean nobody else gets to call me Sare bear.
*Note: I am not getting Clucky.