The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Running away
The guest house, Mt Victoria, NSW
I'm ffff-rrrr-eeeeezing!There are times when I have to get away - when family, work and home just becomes overwhelming and I have to say "that's enough. I have to get out of here."

I wish I could be more spontaneous with these declarations, but, since I'm a responsible, practical person, I plan for the weekends that I "run away." This weekend was one of those long planned-for weekends, and I decided that the Blue Mountains were calling me.

Dan and I spent our honeymoon (all three days of it) in the Blue Mountains, and I fell in love with the area at first sight. While the flora and fauna are uniquely Australian, the culture is mainly United Kingdom-ish. Spending a weekend at Mt Victoria was like a quick trip overseas, even though it's only two hours or so from Sydney.

View from Perry's LookdownWe divided our time between taking in the natural beauty of the area, and taking in the quaintness of the towns along the railway line. Dan loves digging into the local history, as he was a part of it as a train driver back in the 1980's when there was the last well-known snow storm. He was delighted to see a photo taken of the trains, all snowed in, on the fourth of July, 1984. He was there that night.

As for me, I loved browsing through the area shops. I bought several tin toys, reminiscent of my childhood, to add to my toy collection. I am going through my second childhood, and I think I actually giggled when I found a wind-up robot that I used to play with, as a kid. The robot shot sparks through its eyes as it precariously walked across the counter in the shop. I had to take a tin robot home with me.View from Perry's Lookdown

We shared Yulefest dinner with other guests at the old guest house where we were lodged for the weekend. The guest house is the kind of place that rattles with ghosts of a bygone era. Its Arts and Crafts d├ęcor reminds me in ways of my grandparents' house and I feel a bit lost that I don't own anything that once belonged to my grandparents.

Mulled wine flowed at dinner, which was populated mainly by retired and elderly women. There were a few token men (Dan loved being surrounded by noisy, bubbly women) and a token child, and the conversation was free and funny. I felt like the baby of the group, if it hadn't been for the presence of an eight year old girl. (It's usually the opposite in most social settings.)

Dan and Melanie at Yulefest dinnerSeveral of us seated together were immigrants to Australia, and we laughed over how we misunderstood several Aussie expressions while getting used to the country.

"As far as I know, a schooner is a kind of ship - not a type of beer glass."

"From where I come from, a stubby is something obscene."

The guesthouse dining room all done up with Christmas decorations"He told me to 'hang on', and I kept looking for a coat hanger and asking where I should hang it," (this misunderstanding from a Parisian woman who regaled the evening with tales of her marriage to her 'uncouth' Aussie ex-husband.)

Dan and I were half frozen for most of the weekend - but loved every minute of it. Sometimes you just have to run away and forget about responsibility for a while. The best part of this? I came back home to positive family news. Maybe I should run away more often.
posted by Melanie O. at 4:09 PM -
  • At 10:25 PM, Blogger gardenbug said…

    You don't have anything from your grandmothers? I have some things that I will send you...just little stuff. I'll let you know when the package is ready to send.
    I am glad you had a good vacation...and...I remember the robot.

  • At 8:22 AM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Isn't it funny how much influence grandparents have? There are things that I see now that just "jump out" at me. Anything that has that honeycomb tiling (like they had in the bathroom), red upholstered furniture, old typewriters, bakelite phones, Tiffany style lamps, chenille bedspreads, or Jasperware dishes (remember how she used to use them as ashtrays? Oh, the horror!)

  • At 10:47 PM, Blogger Kanani said…

    It sounds like a wonderful and much deserved weekend, Melanie. I'm glad the two of you got away.

  • At 2:55 AM, Anonymous irishnomad said…

    Deadly weekend; careful, otherwise you might end up running away too often.

  • At 11:12 PM, Blogger Karen said…

    I needed a little runaway of my own last weekend....instead of going anywhere though, I stayed close to home. And it was wonderful. It's good for the soul to check out once in a while! Glad you had a great time.

  • At 5:31 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    This is sad... after this week, I'm ready for another long weekend away. Aargh! W*rk is a 4-letter word.

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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