But my father had a bee in his favourite floppy cotton hat, about buying what was mostly a bush block on the remote Rose River, one valley to the east of the King.
And both parents reckoned I needed a partner to do it with which was certainly sensible.
At the time I knew Chottie, at her instigation, had broken up with Geoff while they were residents in Deakin Hall at Monash University. At the time I didn’t know that it was quite bitter and in was several decades later that Chottie told me, Geoff had burned all her love letters.
The reason Geoff’s name had come up as a strong possibility to be involved in our pioneering enterprise, was that he yearned at Monash to be a farmer and instead had ended with an economics degree and a teller’s job in NAB’s North Melbourne branch.
I don’t remember first meeting Geoff but we got on well and were both keen to face the challenge of turning useless bush into vibrant farmland. We were quite different though: he all extrovert enthusiasm, me a painfully shy and diffident 23 year old.
In mid-winter 1966, we took over the farm and launched into milking 40 odd cows, inherited from the previous owner. At the same time we prepared to plant potatoes in a new to the farm enterprise on its rich river flats. We were flat out and so it went for the next six and a half years.
I was the one who knew farming and Geoff was the one who knew people and particularly young women who seemed to swarm into the valley. A year or two later, we’d each acquired more knowledge in the other’s specialities and were spending time with two kindergarten teachers based in Everton, who were also good friends. Convenient too because we only had one workable ute.
It was a huge growing up phase for both Geoff and I; to clear trees we bought a large second hand bulldozer and learned to drive it and in Wangaratta, thanks to a grandmother’s inheritance, I learned to fly.
By the early 1970s the farm was going well and we had added cattle and sheep to the enterprise. But a major kerfuffle in my family’s finances meant the farm had to be sold.
After a couple of years Geoff married and became an accountant while I tied the knot too and joined Stock and Land as a journalist. But we drifted apart and didn’t really start being connected again until three or four years ago.
That happened because Deakin Hall celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding and Chottie and Geoff found they could at long last put their emotional differences behind them and attend. As a result they and their partners have dinner in Melbourne every Grand Final eve and I have been drawn in too, sometimes with a partner, to the same celebration.
So come Friday night, we’ll enjoy a not too boozy restaurant meal and Geoff will again I’m sure, tell me that the Rose River period was the most enjoyable time of his life. Me too - probably.