Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Rochester 1

I drove the quickest route to where we were staying in Rochester to visit Step Mother and her partner. About half the trip was freeway at 110 km/h, 70.. We stopped off at Calder Park truck stop, with so many chain takeaway options available. We bought very unhealthy deep fried chicken and dreadful coffee. 

After the town of Kyneton, we were off freeway and on serious country roads. I was out of practice with driving along hilly, winding and narrow country roads at 100 km/h/60. I was somewhat stressed, with the sat nav being unhelpful. I should have used my phone and Google Maps. There were showers of rain and at one time torrential rain that caused me to slow down. But we made it almost within the 2.45 suggested hours.

How nice! The Motel owner upgraded us to the best room.

Tradie and ABI Brother were staying overnight at Step Mother's, so around 4 we drove 15 minutes or so to visit Step Mother. She is now 85 and her partner is mid 90s. At the back of the house down a few steps is an informal area with a large table and chairs and we and my brothers sat there chatting with Step Mother's partner who is hard of hearing. Even though it was not even 6pm, both of my brothers were drunk as skunks. ABI had his voice at the volume he used to use to make Mother hear him. All voices were raised to speak to Bill. We were chatting for well over an hour, with no sign of Step Mother although we could see she was sitting at her laptop computer at a desk sitting in a chair. She mostly reposts pretty flowers and scenery to FaceBook. Later she said she heard our voices and was surprised we were there too.

Well, I am here to see her, so I must. She was by then lying nearly flat in the lounge room watching horse racing on the the tv. She doesn't gamble, so I wonder why? She has bad spinal arthritis and in constant severe pain. R and I chatted a bit to her, but she seemed distracted by what was on tv.

As soon as it was polite, we fled, reapplied our lippy at the motel and drove for a minute or so to the Shamrock Hotel. R ate a nice beef burger and I chose the entre serve garlic prawns with rice and salad. The salad had the most amazing dressing, one I have never tasted before. Six prawns were plenty for me. The tucker was delicious.

Once back at our room, heavy rain pounded down on our roof. Tradie Brother said 12mm overnight. but there was more earlier. 

R slept for 11 hours, exhausted. Here are a few photos, mostly from the first day. Rings at the pub for you to hitch your horse?

I can't say the interior of the hotel was lovely, but the exterior wasn't too bad. 

Our room had a spa bath. 


Yeah, ok. Clever, but is Doin Time still an operating business?

The doorway to our motel room. The hatch to the right of the door is to deliver breakfast on a tray. It was sealed up. But breakfast could still be delivered with a knock at the door. 


The pewl darling, the pewl. 

I tried for an arty photo of dew drops sitting on grass leaves. Bit of a fail. The don't glisten as they did when I saw them. 

32 comments:

  1. Glad you are back. I find talking at a shout for the hard of hearing exhausting.
    I do hope that Step Mama warmed to your visit later.
    And yes, capturing the glisten of dew drops is challenging. We had rain overnight and I might try myself later. And expect to also fail.
    I like the horse ring on the power pole.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks EC. Yes about hearing. Why don't people get hearing aids? The basic ones which are adequate are free to those who are hard of hearing.
      It's a bit said when you see a perfect scene but the camera won't capture it.
      The horse ring was actually on the hotel verandah support posts and the were a few of them.

      Delete
  2. I used to visit the local hospital regularly until the floods happened. My favorite cafe there was Kit Cafe that shut down since the floods too. A lot of people never returned to the town after that. It is quite sad. That hotel is heritage listed site and I never got to see the interior. At least you got a spa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roentare, if Kits was in MacKay Street, perhaps it is now the The Cafe Rochester. I guessed in advance that you would know Rochy or is that Rochie? The Shamrock is nothing special inside but does have a terrific exterior.

      Delete
  3. Stalker
    I thought you must have been driving the length of VIC when I began reading…and the fried chook and coffee was a desperation stop because you were famished .But no it was only Rochester! Once we took a wrong turn off driving back to Adelaide …and ended up on the Calder highway ….we needed bad coffee and fried chook but being vegos, the chook was a no no ! I think we had rice crackers nuts and water in the car and a cup of tea !
    At least the fried chook would have been temporarily tasty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stalker, it felt like we were driving the length of Victoria. We are not used to long drives. The fowl snack wasn't too foul. The bad was the coffee. We didn't buy from the expensive coffee shop, because we know it isn't good. We bought from the machine in the service station, which is usually ok. It wasn't in this case. R chucked half of his away and mine was so boiling hot, I left it in the car until until our next stop.

      Delete
  4. The two most difficult aspects of dealing with elderly relatives are deafness and the beginning of dementia. Even if you loved the relative dearly in earlier years, somehow you need to muster the patience of a saint now.

    Saint Helen finds the weekly family lunch exhausting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deafness is a huge issue Hels. My mother ended up deaf in the last couple of years of her life and it made things so difficult. Step Mother possibly has mild dementia in that she has become anti social. I am sure you don't have make the family lunch now.

      Delete
  5. It's good to see you back here. You were missed.
    The motel looks quite swanky with the spa bath and pool garden. Quite welcome after a tiring journey I expect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks JayCee. The accommodation is quite standard for an Australian country motel. In the past, they could be quite dodgy. We were quite happy when we reached the motel and discovered it was quite nice.

      Delete
  6. It is exhausting to hold a conversation with someone who cannot hear well. Just ask my husband.

    Does your step mother show signs od dementia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debby, if I asked Tim, would he hear me?
      Yes, she does have signs of dementia. I think she has already been diagnosed.

      Delete
  7. It is good of you to all go to visit your Step Mother even if it is exhausting for you.
    I hope that you had a good soak in that tub!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, it might be the last time we will see her, which is pretty sad. She looked after me from the age of 16 to 20. We did use the spa, which I will mention.

      Delete
  8. The motel reminds me of many here with the original holes in the wall for breakfast and dodgy showers but spa baths and up to date split systems for cooling.
    A good country pub meal cannot be beaten.
    I hope Stepmother appreciated your visit. Has she been in your lives since you were a wee lad?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merlot, our shower was ok, albeit with a water flow restrictor.Pub meals here are great, but UK pub meals are even better, and cheaper.
      Yes, Step Mother looked after me from 16 to 20. We got along well and had a strong connection.

      Delete
  9. Did you take a nice dip in the pewl, darling, or was it just too wet out with all that rain misery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No darling. It wasn't heated and had things in the bottom of it.

      Delete
  10. Doin' Time does look like a Wild West jail. How far is it from the hitching post?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does indeed Kirk. It would be a two minute walk from where you leave your horse to getting your spring fixed.

      Delete
  11. Ooh! A spa! Did you have a nice soak in it?
    The hotel verandah looks nice. Your dewdrops look more like tiny hail stones.
    It seems step mother didn't want to be socialising, perhaps because of her pain?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, we did actually and it was a bit of a laugh. No doubt socialising is hard when you are in pain. I know that from personal experience. That adds to the mix. It was hard for us to know what to do.

      Delete
  12. The verandah does look good, love those like that.
    Seems a good trip, I'm used to driving on windy roads. Seems you had a good visit Andrew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret, I remember your very windy roads. It takes me one trip to regain the skill, as I had on the way home. It was nice time away.

      Delete
  13. That's a long journey to spend time with someone who wasn't feeling sociable but I'm sure she appreciated your visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JB, it was like paying respects. She did thank us for coming.

      Delete
  14. Sounds all very family obligation filled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TP, that was the reason for the trip but we did have some other things to do.

      Delete
  15. You did your duty but obviously no applause, but I applaud you. I am mindful of that aging thing where routines (as in Stepma) cannot be broken and guests virtually ignored.
    That old hatch for delivery is quite interesting. Not wanting to interrupt the "in flagrente delictos?" made me chuckle.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WWW, haha. I do recall days a very long ago when action could happen first thing in the morning.

      Delete
  16. Well done for driving on country roads in bad weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, I used to do it all the time when I was young. It just took a while to regain confidence.

      Delete

Call me a cynic

City of Melbourne took a vote on calling for a ceasefire in Palestine, motion lost. I am not sure it is within the remit of the City of Melb...