Last weekend I had the joy, and it was joy, of getting out and about with a great bunch of ladies from work. It began with an idea, a notion of having an outing...then came the planning...the choosing a date and time...where to go...what to see....the hire of a minivan....who would drive, how many to travel.....

There was so much involved in the planning...but suddenly the day was here and we were off.

We began with a stop at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and ice creamery  ...hmmmmmmmmm......chocolate.....ice cream......did I mention chocolate?

Then it was onto lunch at  Meletos at the Napoleon Cider. Lunch was amazing! Because there were 12 of us we were able to get the banquet....everyone was impressed. The food was so good, and there was so much. The only complaint was that we forgot to take doggy bags---yep it was that good!

Tastings was then the order of the day, and much cider was delivered to the bus, only to keep the chocolate company of course!

Back in our trusty vehicle (water is good in an engine!) we made our way to the Yarra Valley Dairy, where so many of us bonded over cheese. Which of course was added to our tally of take home delights.

Then forward we went...to Rochford Wines....for some it was time for more tastings. Others climbed turrets, bought odds and sods and settled for a coffee in the shade.

Home time, and we had to stop by Domaine Chandon ...we had to...it was on the way home. There was no way out of it....by this stage it was a case of survival. Some bravely had another drink, others, after a wander around the gardens, found a cool place and settled for some quiet reflective time.

The day was drawing to a close, we did venture home, via the Seville Water Park - at this stage most were unwilling to move. Only four brave souls walked across and bared our toes (but it was lovely!)

All too soon we were delivered safely home. The day was over. We were tired, loaded down with goodies, and still smiling. It had been fun.

And the next day I began to note down snippets- characters I had seen at these venues.

The elderly couple eating their meal with barely a word spoken, so focused on their silence.

The young couple, obviously very close to first date, hand in hand, both too unsure to say exactly what they wanted to do next.

The married couple who whinged and bitched at each other, no he didn't want a drink, it was too hot for coffee, why did she want to taste this, hadn't she had it before, she knew what it was like...but walked off hand in hand.

It was a reminder that ideas are everywhere...stories are never formed in a vacuum. We see and hear things every day...some of them appear to be nothing, a sound, a voice, a phrase we over hear. But over time it percolates, it brews and becomes something so much bigger.

I still remember reading about Roald Dahl and his notebook- the phrase 'do something about chocolate'.....we all know what story this became.

Ideas often start small (like an acorn) ---and a day out is a great way to recharge some batteries.

And of course to have fun! Here's to many more.



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