If there’s one thing that can make a visit to a friend’s place sound more grand and exciting, it’s a house with a name. I love it when people name their places of residence – it automatically confers an air of personality and character upon said residence. For proof of this, please consider the following examples:
Last weekend, I went and stayed at my friend’s house.
Last weekend, I returned to Halfway Farm.
Out of the two, aren’t you more intrigued by the second one? Doesn’t it have an air of mystery to it? It sounds as though there’s a story hidden amongst those words, possibly involving ginger beer and extremely smart dogs.
In reality, there was champagne and an echidna upon my return to Halfway Farm, second home to my friend (and former boss), the Halfway Quilter.
The Chef and I started our adventures before we even reached the farm, taking in the treats on offer at the Old Gippstown Markets and following a trail of country op shops that had either closed down or re-located. Also, it was hot. Quite ridiculously hot.
Despite the over-enthusiastic levels of heat, we decided to have a look at the Fiddlehead Festival, which was just down the road in Yinnar. None of us had been to the festival before and, as a result of our ignorance, we merely brought ourselves and our hats. Those in the know also brought their own chairs and, frequently, some sort of tent or shading device. We will be part of this elite group next year, should we return. As newcomers, however, we contented ourselves with attempting to stay in the shade as we toured the food and craft stalls and listened to the music coming at us from all directions.
Once back at Halfway Farm, I was plied with champagne. It was delicious champagne, as far as I remember. Hours slipped by and a cool breeze turned up to keep us company. While people in Melbourne were sweltering, I was running inside to fetch a cardigan.
In the morning, the valley was filled with fog and it was cool enough to go for a walk, taking in the sights. In the case of my friend and I, there was much photographing of the sights, too.
All too soon, it was time to return home, via power stations and antique shops and bakeries boasting the best pies around. Weekends really are far too short, when you get right down to it, although they certainly sound more magical when you spend them at a place called Halfway Farm.