August 24th, 2020Just sayin’…
We would be out walking at 7am with the dogs and never saw a soul. I often remarked to Kyle that I had thought country folk were early risers, but not in our neck of the woods.
Being Frankston born and bred you would think I would have no fear, but the stillness of the country and the darkness at night was quite scary, and we spent most of our early weekends on the Calder heading back to the noise and streetlights of suburbia.
But, after a while, and after we had cut the lawn to a manageable level, and put aviary wire at the bottom of all our farm fencing to keep out snakes, we relaxed a little. (Yes, we later realised we may have trapped the snakes in the property or, perhaps, that a snake could actually slither over a foot of wire.)
Anyway, move forward 15 years and, until the pandemic anyway, we were finding it harder and harder to exit onto the main road – because of all the cars. And if you drive around Glenlyon you will find many homes have popped up on all manner of formerly vacant land.
And when we made the trip to Melbourne, by about Gisborne we would start with the familiar refrain of “they’re coming”, as we watched more and more houses being built and the suburban creep head towards the Central Highlands.
And now they are pretty much here, or ready with cash in hand to buy their dream property and move to the country. The flip side of the pandemic is that Melburnians have realised they can work from home and no longer have to hold off on their dream life – looking out over meandering cattle, listening to laughing kookaburras and now and again, hopping on their ride-on.
We talked to quite a few real estate agents this week (see page five) and they all say they are in touch with people ready, as soon as lockdown ends, to make the move. Some have already sold their city properties, others are in the process. Some have bought properties sight unseen, other than a Facetime tour.
And that is all well and good. I love this region and totally understand that others want to come here. I hope they fall in love with all the same things I did – the people, the quirky shops, the fantastic restaurants, the friendly service, the pubs, the festivals… But then a little selfish side of me wonders how many we can handle? Everyone who lives here, well most of us, appreciate that we need visitors to survive, but we all breathe a sigh of relief on a Sunday night as they make their way back home to Melbourne.
Now they will be a permanent fixture. Sure, not thousands, but hundreds more – and that’s just looking at estates happening in Daylesford and even little old Glenlyon. But even if it gets a bit busier, would we move on? No. Because, as everyone we talk to asks, where would you go? We love this region and all it offers. I guess, like children, we will just have to learn to share. Just sayin’…