It’s only the first week of December, and I’m already tearing my hair out! To be honest, I’ve never been that jazzed about Christmas, yet here I am doling out punch for distant cousins and hunting down a very specific variety of Danish fetta for my mother-in-law. The whole thing doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, either. A great start to my summer holidays… not!

My secret way of getting through it all is window shopping for out-of-town holidays that I might be able to take come January. My first criteria for a destination is that it feels like a world away from the inner city, while not actually being all that far away from Melbourne. Long-distance travel is way too much of a hassle for me to contemplate right now. The second criteria is that it be somewhere that allows me to completely unplug: I want gorgeous surroundings (both natural and within my accommodation), nearby rainforest, and – to heck with it – a day spa. I can take or leave the wi-fi.

In line with this selection criteria, I’ve been reading up on places to stay along the Great Ocean Road – to be precise, I’m looking for luxury apartments. Lorne is sounding pretty excellent at the moment. It’s such a beautiful spot and, by the looks of it, there are some rather nice places to stay down there. My sister is always saying I need to fit more time near the ocean into my life; maybe this is my moment to finally take her advice.

It’s decided, then- I’m narrowing down my search to beachside accommodation in Lorne. I can see it now: blue sea and sky as far as the eye can see by day, and rooftop cocktails by night. The only issue remaining is figuring out how to tell hubby that I’ll be saddling him with the kids for several days. What? You thought the family was coming? No way. They’ll be thanking me for being so selfish when I return reinvigorated and ready to tackle another year of shenanigans.