Australian Country Style Magazine has been a constant source of inspiration over decades.
My bookshelves are groaning under the weight of so many back issues, but I cannot bear to part with a single one.
The stories have become part of my own history.
I have dogeared quite a few articles and tucked them aside in the hope of following up on ideas and destinations.
I highly recommend it as a travel guide! Seriously. The places I have discovered off the highway have been some of the best times of my life.
My husband & I had a wonderful trip to Tasmania five years ago and the highlight was staying in a beautiful stone cottage on the coast near the Freycinet Peninsula all because of an article I had spotted and tucked away.
I have dreamed of horseriding in the high country of Victoria or the snowy mountains ever since I was a teenager.
A few years down the track now and I wondered if I would actually be able to walk for a week if I hopped on horseback!
I am chuffed to say, not only did my bones hold up, but my muscles didn't ache after half a day in the saddle. I am sure it had something to do with the horses. They were a dream to ride.
When I booked in for a special workshop this month, I also made it a priority to book a special experience for my children & I to share together. Horseriding in the high country of Mt Bogong.
We drove 12 hours to make it to the property Spring Spur for our Bogong Horseback Adventures in time to stay the night. We jumped out of bed early to hop on our horses and ride before we had a hightail it to the next destination later that afternoon.
I read about the Baird family a few years ago. It was a pleasure to meet them and to experience their beautiful property, the horses born and bred and trained in natural horsemanship and see what they have poured their lives into these past 30 years. It was inspirational what a family can do together! What a team. We were made to feel very welcome.
Clay Baird, above, saddled up and ready to lead.
It was the most perfect clear spring day. You could just glimpse snow on Mt Feathertop through the picture windows. Below is our lovely accommodation on the property.
I loved meandering through the smaller towns off the main highways and showing my children some of my favourites. Kyneton, Daylesford and Trentham are so interesting I just want to wander and gaze and absorb the lovely details.
Even though it was after hours, I wanted to show our aspiring chef the famous bakery we had heard about. We shall have to taste the sourdough another day! Clay Baird is actually quite a cook. He shared some stories of his travels with Daniel over dinner which was a bonus for my young son.
Next up will be....the workshop!