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At the beginning of this week, my partner Keith said to me, “How would you like to go to dinner in Mudgee on Friday?” This, an invitation to go away for the weekend at short notice, to meet some other practical needs but also to have a much needed break and change of scenery.

Usually needing weeks of notice for such things so I can plan ahead, my eyelids fluttered and I came up with a few reasons why maybe it wasn’t a good idea. Some of these were real. Once sorted through, we booked a guesthouse a few days in advance for the weekend and headed out of the city on Friday afternoon.

It was lovely to be leaving the city. We hit the city outskirts and climbed the mountains, making our way through fog and the sound of bellbirds as we wound our way west.

1 Fog and bellbirdsBefore too long we were heading towards our destination as the sun was going down. The open landscapes darkened as the sky turned into blue-grey dusky-pink tones making a back-drop for the shadows of trees.

2 Sunset en route to Mudgee We arrived about 7:30pm to find our beautifully warm and inviting guesthouse with every detail in place, like bush flowers on the centre of the enormous dining table.

3 Flowers on arrival 2We headed out shortly after arrival for the promised dinner date, ending up at a wine bar with a rustic and modern feel. We immediately enjoyed settling in after our travels with music, great food and good local wine.

3b Friday night outThe next morning we woke to find out more about where we were. We found a clear open landscape with the bluest of blue sky days waiting for us.

4 View next morning_1903 5 Blue sky gumtree_1907Our hosts cooked us eggs benedict with mushrooms and the most divine hollandaise sauce and shortly after breakfast we set out for a further drive of two hours to Coonabarabran. We drove through many small country towns like Mendooran and Dunedoo.

Driving through, the local Mechanics Institute Hall at Mendooran founded in 1935 caught my eye. So lovingly cared for, it stood in stark contrast to many of the other faded buildings in town. The Mechanics Institutes were the early forerunners of technical and trades education and my great, great, great grandfather was a founding member of one in Goulburn.

6 Mech Inst_1918 7 Mech Inst 2_1921





















There were signs painted on the sides of buildings evoking times past surrounded by growing grass and weeds.

8 Goldenia tea_1928We headed back to Mudgee and a late afternoon winery visit, tasting organic wines and sharing a grazing plate of fetta cheese, olives, prosciutto, rocket, sun dried tomatoes and crispy bread. There was an exceptional organic rose of the most pure colour especially when contrasted with the bluest of skies.

9 Rose in vineyards_ 10 Rosemary blue sky_1952We returned to our abode in the shadow of mountains to the sun going down and the opportunity to quietly enjoy the guesthouse all to ourselves.

11 Returning and chess sunset_1955 12 Sunset doorway _1965 13 Chairs_1969 It was the most precious weekend and I feel rejuvenated. It made me realise how much  a change of scenery can stimulate the senses and be an invitation to relax, reflect and be open to new opportunities. There’s a time of transition coming up again and I’m ready to embrace it now with a calm heart.

15 sunset doorway 2_1975With much love and thanks to Keith for the invitation and dinner date and for so often knowing what I need and how to get me there. x