This year for my birthday my desire was to head for Daylesford. Haven’t been there for an age. Probably not since 2006. Odd. In that time the price of renting a house for a weekend appears to have increased significantly (as have the cafes). Which was fine with me – we would use my small caravan.
A few of the usual suspects were rounded up and braved the very cold night/s in tents with varying degrees of success. We were at Jubilee Lake Caravan Park, somewhere I had picked online for its seemingly picturesque qualities. I wasn’t disappointed. It was gorgeous. There were ducks, peacocks and waterhens. And Mr H even went angling in the lake and alleged he had caught a redfin that he’d had to return due to its smallness.
My other Daylesford aim was to attend the farmers market on the Saturday and the normal market at the station on Sunday – my actual birthday day. Woo hoo! Two markets, two days – and I got to do them both because it was ALL ABOUT ME!! Yah! Saturday morning D&E and Small E hit the Farmer’s Market with us, leaving Mr&MrsH and Jack to finish frightening the fish. We assumed we would catch up with them in town, not realising that Vodaphone, in their wisdom, decided to exclude Daylesford from their coverage and render them uncontactable.
The Farmer’s Market was satisfying. And the food at the Breakfast & Beer Cafe was excellent, albeit wildly overpriced. When it says ‘cured salmon, hash brown, Holy goat curd, rocket, Wallaby creek lemon oil‘? and you think they have left the ‘s’ off ‘hash brown’? They haven’t. It’s one hash brown. Surrounded beautifully by the other small decorative items. Just so you know.
M had dashed up the street for funds and took rather a long time. After eating we decided to head back to camp to see if Small E or Small Z would deign to sleep. Yeah. We actually tried. And from that time onward, Small Z began to resemble a tiny grenade rather than a tiny person – liable to go off and decimate her surrounding area at any moment. Ack.
We did some roaming around the playground and lake and were happy to see Mung, Rach and the boys arrive. Woo! Each time I see Rach her hair is a different shade and she has different roller-derby stories to tell. We spent inordinate amounts of time trying to come up with excellent roller-derby names like Violent Crumble, Hurtle Myrtle, ummmm – oh, my one is Princess Die…. More fun than thinking of baby names!!
We lit the fire early, thank goodness, because as soon as the sun eased down you could feel the air snap. Lovely M, before the little ones had gone to bed, busted out a divine birthday cake and candles and we all sang Happy Birthday. That’s where he had nicked off to while we were at the cafe. And I’m not kidding about the cake. It was awesome. MrsH surpassed herself and somehow managed to cook bangers, mash and greens for everyone that was assembled?!? And maintained her composure throughout?! I was awed by this, as I personally couldn’t imagine anything more stress inducing.
Dinner was finished off with several people on toasted marshmallow highs. Jackson. The fire was warm, the company was crackling and the night was clear. Lovely. At around 2am our slumbers were besmirched by Small Z screeeeaming that she wanted, NEEDED a bottle of milk. Right NOW. At home we might not have been so responsive, but with other people nearby in tents? M and I ran around the campsite in various states of undress looking for the bloody bottle. We found it, and peace reigned.
Sunday morning. Happy Birthday ME! Small Z and I defrosted ourselves under the shower, trying to keep the water restrictions in mind. Back at the camp MrH busted out the champagne and orange and I figured that the unborn could tolerate some celebratory breakfast juice. Small Z cranked out the first of many meltdowns and we all buzzed about tidying up prior to marketing. I drank tea.
I received some lovely presents – some Grown Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream from M, who knows I covet it and would never buy it for myself…
Also Truth by Peter Temple, Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy, When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, and the Lisa Miller cd Morning in the Bowl of the Night from my Dad and Mgs. I gave my dad the Peter Temple book for his birthday a few months back, but required my own copy due to its excellence.
Mum and T both donated to my beautiful BOOTS (instantaneously relieving my credit card woe)!! and also gifted me a spa voucher for a facial and pedicure or massage….divine. A gorgeous little tea set compiled by MrsH with the tiny teapot having its own warmer, a little glass milk jug with ‘tea’ written on it and a handpainted cup (yes, she got to trawl the fun places in Daylesford, just like I will do when MY offspring are aged eight…) and I received an excellent tea towel for the caravan from Rach – the words ‘tea towel’ don’t really do it justice, because it is super-cool.
Off to the market. Yes. Well. I got to see half of it, marking off in my head the things I wanted to go back and explore, before Small Z had to be forcibly removed from the honey stall after tasting more honey than was polite. Rolling on the pavement then ensued while I folded my arms and waited it out. Passersby shook their heads in sympathy…whether for me or her, I wasn’t sure. Someone said, “She even looks cute while she’s screaming!” in tones of admiration. Cliffys for restorative hot drinks – it is such a lovely place to sit, especially on a cold morning.
Another tantrum punctuated our walk back to the car. We then met the others (minus Mr&Mrs H and Jack) at the wondrous Chowder Cafe. As soon as I’d arrived at the caravan park and had seen a brochure about this place it had been my birthday lunch destination of choice. Chowder. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
I am not going to keep going on about the tantruming. Finally peace reigned and I was able to each the chowder I craved. It left me wordlessly happy. Mmmmmmm. (See?)
After we had all imbibed, the guy at the cafe started asking everyone in the place questions from the Sunday Age quiz. We contributed admirably – there was one question written precisely for me: What was the name of the person who created the character of Simon Templar? Hello? Which Saint books DON’T I own?! Excellent.
We headed over the road to a shop that appeared to sell mostly hats. DJ got a grey one, while Small Z and Small E tried some on before heading out the front into the garden and autumn leaves…
The drive home seemed to take DOUBLE the amount of time than it had to get there. Small Z stayed awake the whole way, and due to fatigue, M and I had to stop at her first ever Golden Arches to get him a coffee and myself a double tea-bagged tea. She was SO thrilled by the play equipment – the tunnels and most of all the HELICOPTER that she now keeps an eagle eye out of the window for other similar ones… which I suppose is indicative of successful marketing.
Update: Small Z has emerged from tantrum phase (I hesitated to type that) and we are much comforted. For now.