Drizzly rain. Woke feeling tired and lazy. Off to work on the CBX, which is blowing an increasingly large amount of blue smoke these days… A large infusion of money will be needed sometime soon.

The plan was to arrive home, pack and leave. Everything went according to plan. Dropped in to work on the way past to pick up a little wine delivery — forty-two bottles! — then off into the east towards Jeetho…

Traffic was a snarl out towards Pakenham — Friday night commuters, hurry home from the pub, wet roads, hooting, swerving, cutting each other off. Petrol-heads with garbage-bin size mufflers and those oh-so-cool blue lights on the bonnet.

We drove into Loch at . A sign pointed to the Royal Hotel on the right, so we hurried in to order dinner before the kitchen closed. Nothing much was expected, just dinner in the pub — a pleasant surprise — two fantastic chicken parmigiana meals, overflowing with mashed spuds, pumpkin and coconut, and assorted other vegetables. All this and a comfortable seat in front of the fire in a cosy pub!

Several relaxing beers later we phoned up Marko and Lesley. As expected, the other two had been late, and their 7:30 departure turned into 8:00, then 8:15… When we rang they were sitting in a drive-through McDonalds. We laughed, from the comfort of the pub, and ordered another beer to wait for their arrival.

I’m glad we had arranged to follow them from Loch to Jeetho! The phone instructions seemed complex, and the roads narrow, dark and wet. “You’ll see an old farmhouse off to the right” takes on a whole new meaning on a pitch-black country road. We made it, slithered up the muddy drive, and unpacked in front of the fire. There was the obligatory ten-minute tour of the house — a strange place, originally built by a retired sea-captain, it had numerous bedrooms, a ballroom and various other parts. Sometime in the 20th century parts had been demolished, what remains is smaller in total, but all built on a grand scale.

Bedrooms were allocated and beers were opened. We all sat and chatted for a while, then crawled off into our respective bedrooms — Jo and I lost the coin toss and had the room with two saggy old single beds. Actually there was no coin toss, the other guests where more bossy than us…


Loch, Jeetho