Go South, Old Man

So anyway, here I sit, in the taproom of the Bright Brewery in the town of the same name, Bright, in High Country Victoria, miles from anything of consequence to the sophisticated digerati of Old Sydney Town.

Bright, in winter, is a ski town. Just round the corner there are a bunch of skifields – Hotham/Dinner Plain and Falls Creek being the main suspects. In summer, the place is packed with food and wine tourists, cyclists, paragliders and other sundry fly-bys. The town, in large part, lives on the leisure dollar and is in fine fettle for it. We’re at the end of ski time right now, and approaching the great influx of mountain bikers and their ilk.

So, aside from being a gentleman of leisure, why am I, of all people, here?

Well, it’s like this. Sydney is not really pushing my buttons any more. Which is to say it is pushing my buttons, but in the wrong order, and with a surliness that borders on aggression.

Some time ago I declared an ambition to move away from Sydney’s bright lights and instead buy a place in the country, where I could become a hermit and just ride my bike all day. At the time, this seemed like an absurd idea. I’m a software engineer. A shambolic software engineer but one nonetheless. There are no jobs in small country towns for software engineers. And so it remained a pipedream. A touchstone with which to keep myself sane. Don’t let it get to you I’d tell myself. Soon you’ll be able to buy a small boutique hotel in the countryside from which you’ll be able to conduct cycling tours and write increasingly irrelevant blog posts about stuff like firewood and feral deer control and growing chillies in a cold climate and rescuing idiots who can’t install snow chains.

And then I got a job – and absolute corker of a job – at a company that embraces the concept of remote working.

Wait what?

Yes, my current job, within some constraints of sanity, lets us work from wherever we happen to be right now, as long as:

a) We get the things done we’re meant to do
b) we’re contactable over the usual channels and
c) We can travel to a major city hub in a reasonable manner and
d) we’re not manning an Antarctic research station or a lighthouse in the Sunda Strait or in a capsule bound for Mars or anything crazy like that.

So now I can move to the country

And so, we return to the taproom of the Bright Brewery, Ovens Valley, High Country Victoria.

I’m here to look at a house.

It’s a rental. I’m not buying – yet. I’m heading down for probably a year, to see if I can cope with it. As a man who has chucked his toys out of the pram during a weekend in the country because he couldn’t find his favoured crossword, I am treating this with due caution. I may go insane, I may love it, I may find it workable yet insufficiently stimulating. Either way, this is what I’m doing and this is the first blog post in hopefully a series of blog posts outlining how this project goes. I might even do a mini podcast. A treecast, if you will, documenting the process of shifting a long-term city dweller to a small country town in Victoria.

Who knows, it may even be fun.


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