In another strange twist of my recent life I find myself temporarily dwelling in Rosebud, down the Mornington Peninsula.
For those not familiar with the area the peninsula is a popular holiday destination, particularly in the summer. I grew up taking summer holidays down here with my family, though generally further down the peninsula. You could do a rough graph of prosperity by measuring how far down the peninsula you holiday. At one end there’s probably Safety Beach, McCrae, and probably Rosebud all at the northern end of the peninsula. The premium areas are a lot nearer the southern tip of the peninsula, and are pretty posh – Portsea particularly, but Sorrento too.
When I was not yet a teen I think we had holidays in Rosebud, then Rye, a step up. As dad’s career progressed we found ourselves holidaying every year in Blairgowrie, which is the next suburb north of Sorrento. These days Blairgowrie is pretty trendy, but even in those days it was a good place to be – not so crowded, some better shops and restaurants, and closer to the best beaches. We spent much of our holidays on Gunnamatta beach, which is a ripper.
So much for the potted demographic appraisal. I’m here outside of holiday season in something that might be kindly described as a studio apartment – basically one largish room inclusive of a kinda sorta kitchenette. There’s a sink and a mini fridge, but no hotplate or oven. Electrical appliances are the go. There’s a bathroom of course, which includes a bathtub, but no laundry facilities. I’m meant to be here for a month, but it might be a challenge, especially for Rigby – it’s not set-up for the likes of him.
These days it’s very clear that Rosebud is the bogan end of the peninsula. There are some decent cafes, but there’s also a whiff of the feral if you wander down the wrong street. People live here outside of holiday season, but it’s still very familiar from my childhood.
Like all along the peninsula there’s a lot of tea tree – it becomes more plentiful as you go north. Many of the houses are weatherboard, and quite a few fibro holiday houses – that too changes as you go north, with some spectacular homes further down. It seems in my brief time here that a lot of retirees live in the area, many of them screaming along in their electric perambulator thing (my time is done when I need one of them). I guess they’re drawn by the cheaper real estate and the sea air.
We’ll see how I get along. I actually got offered a place in Sorrento free of charge, about 5 times bigger than this with pool and spa, and Sorrento village about a 4 minute walk away. They were happy to allow Rigby there, but, no fences. So that was that, and here I am.