This weekend we put in some serious family bonding time, travelling down the Great Ocean Road, to a remote farm property near Johanna Beach. A family love-in, if you will. With no wifi, and no 3G coverage. Yeeeek.
When we arrived late Friday afternoon, we were greeted by the farm owners and their beautiful cattle dogs Charlie Brown and Zach. They took us on a tour of the property, and encouraged us to use the produce as needed.
After 5 hours of togetherness in the car, all that space and fresh air was like a tonic to the soul. I was just a little discombobulated, when I found I couldn’t access Instagram to post a picture of the kids with the dogs.
We were shown to our wooden cottage with views of the serene hills dotted with cows, sheep, and the occasional kangaroo. Ah… the serenity. And yet, I quickly worked out that if I stood on the balcony with my arms outstretched, I could sometimes get enough reception to refresh my Facebook feed.
We also met a very opinionated sheep called Barbara, who was well-trained in the art of voice projection.
In the morning we were hounded out of bed by kids eager to check the nesting boxes for breakfast eggs and feed the sheep. So off I trudged – sleepy, make-up-free and clad in sensible footwear. I made sure my phone was securely in pocket, ready to capture the picking, plucking and gathering activities. Annoyingly however, the sheep were unable, (or just unwilling) to divulge any secret wifi hotspots.
We took to the road again Saturday for some obligatory sights – the Apostles, Port Campbell beach, and a cheese farm. All beautiful. And along the way, I checked my phone and found the sky hadn’t fallen in on social media.
Back at the farm that evening, we opened a bottle of sparkling for an anniversary toast, and took in the stunning view together for a few minutes. But when Cam returned to cooking the dinner, and the kids went checking for eggs (again), I found myself walking 500 metres up a hill, to post this pic to Instagram.
The farmer looked at me like I was a little bonkers, as I waved down to him – glass in one hand and phone in the other. Maybe he was right.
After dinner (and handwashing of many dishes) we all sat together on the couch and indulged in a bit of Winter Olympics heckling and local cheese eating. Now this was quality family time. We turned in for an early night, while the fog rolled in and a gentle rain started on the iron roof. Arguably the best sound around.
All in all it was a spectacular weekend away from my laptop. And if it wasn’t for bloody Barbara and her nocturnal exclamations, I could say it’s the most tranquil few days I’ve had in as long as I can remember.