The reason that we are in Victoria at all is that I have an appointment with a Melbourne-based professor. Fortunately, not because I am ill. Again, this meeting is in relation to research which I hope to entwine into my novel writing.
We chose a hotel that is within walking distance of her office, and that was just as well, as when we stepped out this morning we were greeted by a flat tyre. That is the third on Red Dwarf (our beloved car). One of the factors in our buying decision was that Hyundai offer a real spare – which at the rate we manage to flatten the tyres is just as well. You may recall I wrote about the last one in “My Dark and Stormy Night.”
Taking the part of the damsel in distress, I left Bill to deal with that, and went off to my appointment. I’d come across this professor on a “Who Do You Think You Are” episode, and being a nothing ventured, nothing gained kind of person, I took the liberty of emailing her my question. With the result that this very busy lady took time out of her schedule to talk with me in person, and to be very kind and interested while she was at it. Let’s see how what we discussed transitions into the novel. (I’m keeping “mum” on what it was about for the moment).
Anyway, we decided to fashion a road trip around that, and where we wanted to be next was a place called Bright. Of course we could have lingered in Melbourne, but we have visited many times before, so we were more focused on country places for this trip.
My appointment over, and the tyre fixed, I once more took the wheel to negotiate us north out of the city. We had one last call to make, and that was very close to the airport, so the drive was on easily navigable main roads with which I was reasonably familiar.
Here is what greeted me on arrival at Bolinda Publishing, the company responsible for turning my memoir, I Belong to No One, into an audio book, narrated by me.
After months of emails and telephone calls, it was wonderful to be able to meet the team in person, made all the more special because of the time of the year. Also in the foyer was their Christmas tree, made from – wait for it – Bolinda packaging boxes!
And to cap it off, Bolinda gave us chocolate. Dark chocolate, my favourite, mmmmmm.
Then I posed for a number of publicity shots under a wall mural of headphones. We snapped off a few on our camera too. I have included one where I appear to be gazing adoringly at Bill. That would be a rare angle 🙂 And in the other, I appear to be conducting, but probably I was just talking with my hands. I have a habit of doing that. Lethal whenever there is a full glass of red wine nearby.
Then it was time to head on to the next adventure. We headed north up the main highway, through Seymour, Euroa and Benalla. About three hours later, just before we got to Wangaratta – where we stayed the first night of this trip – we turned onto the Great Alpine Road and headed towards the Alpine National Park – which is somewhere in the big green open section on the below map.
Now we are in the High Country, part of the Great Dividing Range which stretches for several thousand kilometres along the eastern seaboard all the way up to northern Queensland.
We have never been on the Victorian side of the Alps before. The closest we got was on our road trip that followed the path of the Murray River, which rises in the Alps near Corryong.
To quote the tourist brochure – which is reassuringly accurate – Bright and surrounds are “an area of natural beauty, of mountains and rivers, lush fertile valleys and picturesque historic towns“.
The town of Bright, resident population around 2000 people, is 320 metres above sea-level (a bit over 1000 feet), and nestled in the Ovens Valley. The four distinct seasons are a feature. It is well-known for its magnificent autumnal leaf display, and its bright spring colours, but it is very pretty in every season of the year. As we drive in now, there are deep green pine trees on the slopes, and several varieties of European trees lining the streets.
Our motel is about 1km (a bit over half a mile) north of town. We settled in for the next three nights, and headed back into town for a look around and dinner at the local pub, The Star. That turned out to be the pub that Lord BeariofBow had talked about when commenting on my first post of this trip, but of course I didn’t remember that until just now 🙂 so I forgot to enquire whether his friends from the 50s, the Delaneys, were still connected with it. So I just checked on LinkedIn, and it seems the current owner is M&S Whelan Investments Pty Ltd. Sorry LordBeari :(-
Wednesday, 14th December 2016