A birthday present, like all gifts, can be inspired. And in turn it can inspire. Gifts of experiences can be enjoyed, remembered and savoured for years.
My husband, John, turned 80 a month ago. Our family gave him an inspired birthday present. A voucher for a mini-holiday came in a card. The voucher entitled him to two nights for two people at the wonderful Inn Mahogany Creek, near Mundaring in Western Australia. The package included dinners for two on two nights.
I am lucky my husband chose me to be the other person to share his present! That way, I also enjoyed the experience without even having to turn eighty. Hopefully, my turn will come!
We spent a couple of days in the hills of the Darling Scarp, an hour’s drive from home. Without the prompting of the birthday present, we might not have thought to investigate the area ourselves. We’d driven through many times when my sister, Elizabeth Worts and Peter lived in Dowerin. And I’d been to the places before, but John hadn’t because he lived in the country most of his life.
We explored the little towns and villages near Mahogany Creek. Mundaring. Chidlow. Sawyers Valley. Glen Forrest. Parkerville. The John Forrest National Park. We walked. We talked. We ate wonderful food in the old inn building, sitting by a log fire by candlelight, watching the rain running down the windows.
John and I shared childhood experiences. How our parents used to take part in the ritual of the ‘Winter Sunday Afternoon Drive’. How we enjoyed being with our families, perhaps singing in the car, walking around different destinations. My mother always brought a freshly baked cake.
In summer, my family’s destination was the beach. But in winter, we drove to the dams and weirs and waterfalls. We sometimes picnicked at Mundaring Weir. Dad always knew when the water was about to overflow. When it happened, the overflow was spectacular.
The dam was later built higher. With the new walls and decreased rainfall in Western Australia, it is unlikely we will ever witness another overflow of the Mundaring Weir. The dam storage for the Perth metropolitan area this morning was 25.1% capacity
On our little holiday, John and I pondered over our leisurely meals and while we walked and drove. We wondered why we had not thought to explore more locally as we grew older. We travel and get to know nooks and crannies in other countries other parts of Australia. It seems odd we haven’t gone out to see what is so close to home.
As a result of John’s birthday present
- We have decided to spend more time exploring places within a few hours drive of home. We will revive the ‘Winter Sunday Afternoon Drive’ ritual.
- Treat ourselves to more mini-breaks
- Go on train trips to Kalgoorlie and Bunbury and places in between
Thanks again everyone involved! for wonderful birthday present and the inspiration to enjoy more experiences.
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