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Retreating to the High Country

Updated: May 2, 2021

This week I celebrated another lap around the sun and to be honest I would’ve been happy if my birthday passed by with little fanfare. The preceding weeks had been busy and exhausting and what I was really looking forward to was to become reacquainted with my daily routine, long morning walks, pottering around the garden and maybe if I was lucky watching a bit of tennis.

On Monday morning I hit the road early, pounding along the back streets of the suburbs where I live and heading towards my destination of the Apple Store at a nearby shopping hub. I made an appointment with the ‘Genius Bar’, something I felt quite proud of. As a person with limited interest in and understanding of technology, sorting out a technical problem is something I would normally delegate to my significant other. This time however, I decided to step up myself, as taking responsibility in a space I would normally avoid would give me the opportunity to learn something new. I’d often been told growing up that ‘you can do anything you set your mind to’ and I was reminded of this as I was listening to one of the podcasts I regularly enjoy.


The premise of the episode of the podcast My Daily Business Coach I listened to, was ‘why we need to shift our mindset in order to keep improving in our business’ and how we can do this ‘by adding one three letter word to change a negative mindset into a positive mindset’. The word could be used in any context (not just business) to empower and encourage us to tackle the things we believe we are not good at. By adding the simple three letter word yet to the end of a negative sentence we could be encouraged to keep giving something we believed we weren’t good at another try. For example, instead of saying ‘I don’t understand technology’ if we add the word yet and say ‘I don’t understand technology yet’ this switches our mindset from believing we can’t do something, to believing we can learn to do something if we keep on trying. Hence my decision to make an appointment at the ‘Genius Bar’. You can listen to this inspiring podcast here.

Whilst not a business person myself, I often listen to a diverse range of podcasts that peak my interest in learning about things that I don’t necessarily understand. If you are interested in investing in the share market or kicking off a personal portfolio and keeping up to date with the ASX you might also enjoy giving my favourite Australian investment podcast Equity Mates Investing a listen. Hosts Bryce and Ren are relatable and fun to listen to as they banter between themselves and ask informative questions of their guests. They cover topics such as when to buy or sell a stock, minimise risk, and to think long term when it comes to investing. Two recent episodes I have enjoyed this week are Ep 339 with Expert Investor, Emma Fisher from Airlie Funds Management, talking about what shares she thinks are underrated, overrated and her personal investment strategy, and Ep 341, where the hosts discuss a few rules of thumb which make answering the question about when to sell a stock a little easier. You can find these two episodes here and here .


I did take the opportunity to watch a few matches of tennis played at the Australian Open, the most memorable being the quarter final match between our Number 1 Women’s player, Ash Barty and her opponent Karolina Muchova. Barty bolted out of the gates winning the first set 6-1 in around 20 minutes and was up a break in the second set when her opponent called for a trainer and took a medical timeout. After returning to the court the timeout proved to be a turning point in the game, shifting the momentum from Barty to her opponent, who then went on to win the game and deny our Aussie hero another shot at the championship. The game will be remembered not only because of this turn of events, but also because of the grace shown by Ash Barty in accepting that the game was played within the rules and that her only disappointment was in herself for letting the medical timeout become a turning point in the game. In my eyes Ash you will always be a champion.

Birthday Surprise

With my birthday looming and me hoping it would be quietly swept under the carpet, my significant other, who houses the most generous heart, decided to surprise me with a weekend getaway to the most magnificent Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley Resort high up in the mountains west of Sydney. We headed off on Friday morning, travelling in comfort before stopping along the way to warm up with cake and a cuppa at the Blackheath General Store.

A very decadent apple tea cake, Blackheath General Store

We travelled through the bleak mining town of Lithgow before departing from the main road onto an unsealed and winding bumpy trail that traversed down the side of the escarpment into the picturesque valley below. We were greeted at the pavilion near the gate into the resort where we left our car and climbed into a Jeep travelling the rest of the way into the 7000 hectare property traversing along a dirt road and crossing two pebbly creeks with crisp flowing mountain water, until we arrived at the central ranch and main building of the resort. We were greeted with Wolgan Valley signature cocktails before being escorted down to lunch in a casual dining room with views across the valley to the copper tinged escarpment and stunning scenery as far as the eye could see.

The food at the resort was exquisite, all dishes were prepared with fresh ingredients, many vegetables are grown in the fenced garden next to the homestead, whilst some herbs and spices such as wattle seed are sourced from the natural flora itself. Dishes are unique and created by James Viles, a chef previously known for his gastronomic genius at the two hatted Biota Restaurant in Bowral.

A selection of skewered fish, meat and veggies prepared by Chef James Viles

The natural flora and fauna is a highlight in itself, the property is abundant in bird life, including pretty little blue breasted fairy wren and swamp hens, and healthy kangaroos hopping happily around or lazing about in their natural habitat. There was an abundance of joeys as the kangaroos had prolonged their gestation period during the bushfires, waiting until conditions were improved and new growth appeared before giving birth to their offspring. Sadly many of the wombats were in poor condition and suffering from mange, a contagious parasitic skin disease transmitted when the wombats enter and exit the burrows.

Happy kangaroos at Wolgan Valley Resort

Another highlight of the weekend was saddling up onto two placid and well-trained horses, Marshmallow and Cruiser, and taking a trail ride around the property, whilst enjoying the views of the copper tinged escarpment bathed in warm sunlight, and observing the curious stares of many a kangaroo munching on tusks of green grass or perched quietly on there big feet. A red belly black snake hurriedly slithered off the trail and into the long grass as we approached.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the comfortable and enchanting heritage style villas dotted around the property with private pools and verandas looking out into the valley and stunning landscape in the distance.

Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley truly is a heavenly place where you can give yourself permission to press the pause button, a place of natural beauty and tranquility to rest, recharge the batteries, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and to live life in the slow lane, albeit for a few precious days.

Until next time may your days be both serendipitous and enjoyable.



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