Winter in Gippsland can be a somewhat variable affair when it comes to weather. It certainly gets wet and cold, but can also be wonderfully warm and sunny on the odd days. Being such a hilly area where we live, winter mornings often bring a rolling fog that blankets the low lying areas like a fluffy sea. The sight is quite wonderful and something I always looked forward to seeing, but rarely did, when we travelled from Melbourne to Gippsland on one or other of our camping trips. There’s something surreal about seeing a valley shrouded in fog, with hilltops poking out from the sea of white.
Well over five years ago, we finally became tired of city life and started a search for a place in the country, to get away from the Rat Race. Our once ‘rural’ suburb, was now a boiling and roiling sea of humanity, and it was just getting worse every year. We started to look at all the possible options and constantly kept a lookout for opportunities in rural townships. Then, two and a half years ago, we found a small country town that was only an hour and a half from Melbourne (but seemed like a world away), was close to family and had relatively easy access to major services and facilities. It was time to say ‘Goodbye, City Life’ and hello Mirboo North, so green acres here we are; well, it isn’t quite Greenacres and the locals are a tad more sophisticated than those you’d find in Hooterville.
As a bit of a foodie, I always like to use fresh produce whenever I can and try to buy good products, while still aiming for value for money. Unfortunately, Australia is now said to be one of the most expensive places in the world for food products, which doesn’t surprise me at all. One reason for that I believe is due to our supermarkets, especially the big two, Coles and Woolworths, with their virtual duopoly, who have managed to create a shopping environment where you can be guaranteed of generally the worst and most expensive fresh produce imaginable. Sometimes I swear that their vegetables come from the last decade, freshly dug up from the Antarctic, considering how quickly they spoil within days of purchase.