OPINION: Parade takes a lighter look at life in Bathurst and surrounds

IT’S funny what you can find when you get off your regular, well-trodden path.

SNAPSHOT: Another beautiful scene from inside Machattie Park's Begonia House. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

SNAPSHOT: Another beautiful scene from inside Machattie Park's Begonia House. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

That was Parade’s thought when he went to visit a family member at their new home near Orange on the weekend.

Parade has driven the road between Bathurst and Orange so many times over the years that he now does most of the journey on auto-pilot, barely looking at anything except the tar and the oncoming traffic.

So it was a real thrill to turn off at Lucknow and plunge into the picturesque back roads – framed by rolling hills and autumn trees – on a quest to find his family member’s newly-purchased farmlet.

And when he did find it, it was a gem: a cute country homestead with a rambling garden, an extensive vegetable patch and some chooks wandering about.

Perhaps it was the weather, perhaps it was the hot lunch that was awaiting Parade, perhaps it was the laughter from the kookaburras in the trees.

Whatever it was, Parade was struck by this thought as he sat out the back of the house and watched the kids play on the swings tied around the branches of the trees: how’s the serenity?

Playing chicken for photo shoot

PARADE wasn’t the only guest at the farmlet lunch on the weekend.

One of the other guests, a Sydneysider who now lives in the Blue Mountains, enjoyed her trip to the country just as much as Parade, but she wanted a digital memento of the experience.

Eyeing the four chooks as they scratched about in the grass and ran up and down the sloping back paddock, she declared that she wanted to get a picture taken of herself holding one of them for her Facebook page.

It proved easier said than done.

The kids were given the job of catching one of the chooks for the photo shoot, but the feathered ones were understandably reluctant to be picked up and carried to the selected site.

Parade has never seen someone trying to herd cats, but he reckons what he witnessed on the weekend was as close as you can get.

And the Facebook photo? It didn’t happen.