Lordy, lordy, it’s the last day of January and I haven’t shown off half the people and places I thought I would. I feel like Willy Wonka at the chocolate factory gates, urging the golden ticket winners on: “Hurry, please! We have so much time and so little to see. Wait a minute — strike that! Reverse it! Thank you.”
Today’s planned outing was to Mulberry Hill, the Baxter (or Langwarrin South as some cheeky landgrabbers believe) home of famed artist, Sir Daryl Lindsay, and Lady Joan Lindsay, also an artist but best known for her writing, including Picnic at Hanging Rock. However, Mulberry Hill is open only for a few hours on Sunday afternoons and it’s 37 degrees with a nasty hot wind outside, so I’m bunkering down inside with my internet connection instead.
Many historic properties pepper the area including Sage’s Cottage in Baxter, McCrae Homestead and Coolart Mansion, but I also wanted to show you the property of one of Langwarrin’s most treasured residents, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. Dame Elisabeth opens Cruden Farm several times a year and my timing was out by a week to sneak in during a jazz festival.
There’s a whole region along the southern flanks of the Mornington Peninsula I haven’t covered, mainly because of the difficulties travelling around the area during summer and my weekends have been evaporating so quickly of late. One place I adore is the Point Nepean National Park at the tip of Portsea, firstly because it has among the prettiest ocean views you’ll ever see and, secondly, because I used to have custody of the master keys to more than 200 hectares of fenced-off land and we’d go four-wheel driving during work hours through the tracks and sand dunes (I swear it was all in the name of checking boundary fences). A battle raged for years whether to sell the former Commonwealth-owned land for conversion into luxury private developments or donate to the Victorian State Government and the land is now in the State’s hands.
I also wanted to go to some of the burgeoning markets, but my favourite day is the Mornington market on Wednesday, and I now work on Wednesdays. I missed the weekend markets this month as I have been so tired by Friday night that I’m less than functional by lunchtime on Saturday, when most markets are winding down. Here, have a box of fresh local produce instead. The asparagus spears are already in my tummy.
I suppose it’s back to being cranky. I’ll work on that soon. Right now my washing machine has taken my doona captive and I can’t find the bloody instruction book to unlock the door and get it out — what is a water outlet fault anyway? It sounds costly.
Crank-o-meter: but wait, there’s more!