Google “the art of living well” and you will end up with all manner of unhelpful philosophical quotes from the like of Aristotle and Epicurus. The statues of these antiquarians tell a tale of a life without prunes or basic roughage.
For example “The greatest good is to seek modest pleasures in order to obtain a state of tranquillity” which is fine if you are into “modest” and “tranquillity”.
For those of us seeking a bit of immodesty and self-indulgence the answer does not lie with the philosophers of old. Today’s world is all about pressure.
Let’s assume you have a partner and possibly a ‘noise with dirt’ (a boy) and a ‘sulk with an iPhone’ (girl). You have both done the heavy lifting to build a home and raise the family. Painfully you have come to realise you are not an LBGT, green, indigenous, muslin, minority refugee with a stuffed boat now working for the ABC and thus have little standing in Australia today.
For you discretionary time is at a premium. The weekends are an unpaid Uber blur of children’s sporting activities where you are probably paying for them to aspire to the standards of behaviour of a Nick Kyrgios.
If you plan to survive into dotage you need to schedule some down time. I can hear you saying that the family/job/pets would not survive without you. The reality is of course that the sun will continue to set, the moon will rise and Trump’s comb over will still be the biggest cover-up in the Whitehouse since Watergate.
So if you really want to embark on the discovery of “the art of living well” turn your mind to a calculated escape and discover that there is some sanity left in the world.
You will need to find somewhere to stay and this needs to be within a couple of hours drive. Thus the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is simply a no brainer. Forget the idea of an air b & b or similar as so often it can be be suburbia in a paddock. Someone’s 1960 investment property with plastic Gladioli and International Roast with all the excitement of tired magazines rejected from a dentists waiting room. There may be no one to greet you and you will still have to cook and clean which makes the whole exercise pointless.
Hunchy Hideaway has five self contained cottages in a delightful rainforest setting. Each cottage is located to ensure privacy, with elevated private walkways up off the forest floor, bringing nature to your door and spiriting you toward your own secluded hideaway. Light the fire, slip into the double spa, surround yourself with candles and forget the world.
If you want to live well choose from the best. Grab a quality cottage with hot croissants at 8am. The bed linen will not be off cuts from a discarded sail from the Endeavour and smell like a crucial from the Fleming Institutes mould laboratory. The bathroom soaps will not be Solvol nor the toilet paper ‘500 wet or dry’. There will be plenty wood for the fire and it will be set, ready to go. There will be fresh flowers and a sublime breakfast for your indulgence and proper coffee not those packets that look like cheap condoms.
Oh, and turn off the iPhone. Stephen Spielberg said that “It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have thoughts or a daydream…” Make it a tool, not a taskmaster.
You will meet the people who own your cottage and who take enormous pride in creating legends. Their objective being to have you come back, to make their place your place.
Terrace of Maleny Seafood Restaurant is considered one of the best seafood restaurants in the region. This restaurant comes alive day and night. With spectacular views of the Sunshine Coast mountains and coast line; guests are indulged as they enjoy the views while dining on delights from the sea. Terrace of Maleny is open Tuesday to Sunday for more information visit www.terraceofmaleny.com.au
There are brilliant restaurants to discover. Forget the diet as no one has satisfactorily explained to me why those who work in health food shops always look so unhealthy.
Seek out the fine wines from our award winning vineyards. There will be restaurant transport so you can dine and wine and get back safe but be smart enough to avoid a hangover (the wrath of grapes) when you sleep in late the next morning.
There are walks and parks, views and waterfalls guaranteed to re-energise and re-invigorate. Wonderful local produce to take home and extraordinary galleries to amaze you. Fall in love with a special piece of original artwork. Take it home to bring light and joy to remind you to return.
“The Art of Living Well” starts with a mindset that it is “OK” to reward yourself for the sheer guts and toil it takes to hold down a job and bring up a family. If you get that then it’s time to enjoy some quality time together. To quote Grace Hanson, “Don’t be afraid your life will end – be afraid that it will never begin!”
Article written by Angus Richard for Oct/Nov Edition of Come on Up