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18 July, 2011

Charleson Farm and the Triple M Adventure

Sometimes when you're drinking with friends the topic of 'best' comes up. Best movie is a fun one to talk about while drinking, as is favourite actor/actress or good TV shows. I find when I'm having these sorts of conversations I get a myriad of suggestions that I should follow up on, yet never do. Despite 1,001 people suggesting I watch Dexter and myself stating "I'll give it a chance", I never do, and it gets relegated to the pile of things I'll never do, for better or worse (I'm told it's REALLY good).

But back to the original topic, one 'best' came about that sounds simple enough, but you don't hear that often. Someone in the group asked 'what was your best holiday?' Immediately a slew of arguments emerged, with the overall theme being that the question was very subjective. You could have the most relaxing, but it wouldn't necessarily be the best. You could have the trashiest, and it wouldn't necessarily be the best. And so on.

I have the privilege of not even having to take all these facets into consideration. I already know what my best holiday is. I'll call it, Charleson Farm and the Triple M adventure.

How did this escapade come about? Through furious organisation by friend 'A'.

Back in the day, we had an email chain of a group of friends that included friend 'A' and a bunch of people from both Sydney and Melbourne. We had all come to know each other via my perennial reference Inthemix, and exchanged banter on an ongoing reply-all chain. Talk had come to a head, and the topic of a big get together was mentioned. Friend 'A' ran with it. From researching, to getting interested parties to contribute, to arranging who was cooking what on each night.

It was a formidable task getting a dozen of us to get our shit together, and friend 'A' performed admirably. Soon enough, we had a destination, Charleson Farm.

----Aside, holy crap! A quick Google Search just revealed that there's a video of the place!

Anyway, now that I've painted a vivid picture of what the place looks like, here comes another complicated logistic. The place was outside of Geelong, myself, friend 'A', and friend 'B', all lived in Sydney. We had to fly or drive down there.

'A' crunched the numbers and it turned out cheaper to drive. Our names all begin with 'M' - thus the Triple M adventure was born.

Now I knew these guys fairly well. After all, we'd been exchanging email banter for a year or so, and I'd recently relocated to Sydney with some help from 'A' and 'B' as well. But still, this was a 12-hour drive we were looking at, each way, and even the best of friendships can unravel being in such a close proximity to each other. Add to that, 'A' and 'B' were a couple, and I was looking at a potentially tough journey.

I got the extra time off, and we departed early Thursday morning. They picked me up and we were away. The mood was buoyant and we all knew we were in for a treat. There's certain rules that one should adhere to when travelling with people for such a long distance, and for this journey, the rulebook was thrown right out of the window.

There was a temperature gauge in the car. It told the temperature. It was cold outside. The gauge reflected this. Fascinating stuff. At least it was to 'A' and 'B'.
"Hey 'A', look at the temperature - it's 4 degrees".
"Hey Marshy, you see that? It says it's 4 degrees", said 'B'.
After about half an hour of this shit, I'd had enough.
"Hey guys, why don't you talk about the temperature more."

And it was on.

While I wouldn't say the 12-hour journey consisted of temperature references exclusively, these two went out of their fucking way to let me know about the weather at every point of the journey. First of all, these guys didn't know me that well, that I'd let them get away with this shit. Secondly, these guys knew that fact and ran with it. These were friends for life.

We arrived at Charleson Farm, and it was like the opening scenes of Big Brother where they arrive at the house. We ran from room-to-room, marvelling at what we'd scored. The next order of business was to put on the fire, put our legs up, and revel in resplendent, blissful peace. While I was new to my job, there had been a lot of stress with the loss of an account, and it was good just to switch off and forget about it.

And that's what it was like until the Friday night, a relaxing time of doing nothing. Every time I thought about checking my phone, I didn't. And it felt good.

The next phase of the holiday was like a slow-release birthday present. As time ticked over, the rest of the dozen started arriving. Each time a new member arrived it was exhilaration and joy as we hastened to show them the surrounds and where they could put their things. This was our holiday and we fucking owned it. There were high-fives and pats on the back all round.

Once everyone arrived we drank and were merry, and good times were had.

Saturday was the calm before the storm. During the day we bided our time, some ate, some started drinking early, others cooked and cleaned, but all knew it was game on once the sun set. We were in an isolated part of the world with DJ decks, accomplished music aficionados, and the perfect mindset.

I can't go into details about what went down that night, that would be outside the spirit of it, but let's just say there's video evidence and if it ever saw the light of day there'd be some members of the group that would null and void their chances of ever getting into politics.

The recovery day was all it could be and more, we snuggled with doonas and watched old movies like The Goonies and The Lost Boys. One of our friends even made a delicious zucchini soup (something I always considered an oxymoron). The holiday wound down and by the next morning everyone pitched in with cleaning the place up.

The trip home had a different mood to it, it was one of kinship, there was less talk, and more comfortable silence. The clincher for me was when I was dropped off and instantly missed my companions, and then gasped with pleasured surprise when my phone beeped and it was them thanking me for an awesome time.

I've been on holidays since, and I'm sure I'll go on holidays that will be better in other ways, but Charleson Farm and the Triple M Adventure will be hard to top for me.


I recently went back to Australia, and without realising it, spent a night partying on with a good half dozen of the members that we holidayed with that time, when it was realised it didn't come as a surprise. It was good times with good friends.

Oh yeah, and the temperature gag? It still lives, just check out A and B's JurkTurtle blog and scroll down to the bottom.

Yeah, very funny guys.