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