It’s two days before winter and the weather has not failed us - six degrees, cold sleety rain and the outside chance of snow. The autumn leaves on the street are turning to a thick wet soggy mush blocking the street drain. It’s time to hunker down and stay inside.
The cats have occupied the study chairs - I had to chuck Lucy off to write this - and show no interest in venturing outside. Too damp, too cold.
Yet, I love living here on the edge of the mountains stuck between the flat Murray plain and the Alps. It reminds me of the time in the mid eighties I lived in Radnorshire in Wales, stuck between the rugged Cambrian mountains and the rich flat lands of England.
I havn’t been back to Radnorshire since I left, except once in the nineties for a little holiday that was a bit of a disaster - I came down with the flu, and that was that, holiday abandoned.
Until I moved to Beechworth I hadn’t thought much about my time in Wales, it was only one damp misty winter morning shortly after we moved into our house when I heard the church bells that I was reminded of rural Wales.
The resemblance is of course an illusion - I strongly suspect that mid Wales has never experienced a string of forty degree days in summer, but in autumn and early winter it holds, even down to the small towns and sometimes quirky cafes, and old country department stores that somehow have hung on, sometimes changing, sometimes staying more or less the same.
And of course, like mid Wales we have just enough isolation - not enough to put off tourists, but remote enough that people come to stay, rather than visit, which of course has a beneficial effect on the local economy.
As I said, I havn’t been back for nearly thirty years, and I’m sure that a lot will have changed. However that’s not really the point, it’s more that the things that I liked then about mid Wales - the small scale of things, the comparative isolation still hold true for this corner of North East Victoria ...