It's prime real estate, we've been circling it for years.
A flat, elevated block with the kind of northerly aspect that unmasks the sky, unlocking a capacious blue to which future generations would be drawn for decades to come.
There are views of every peak, nutant natives brushing your cheeks, a seductive declivity with a siren song to steer the unsuspecting to the untamed escarpment, her lovely terrors (feral pigs and goats) swirling below.
Heaven and hell, all 'ours'.
Of course, we can't afford it, so we've been crossing our fingers in juvenile hope the anonymity of this scrappy patch of the planet will continue to shield our special spot from hungry eyes and modestly deep pockets until we can cobble together the requisite cash and proudly plonk a payment down on forever.
The mighty forces will come to our aid; the highway will become impassable with fog, black ice, ravens, marsupial avalanches, fires, pestilence (oops).
We may not have the funds, but we have faith and the tyranny of distance has been doing the job admirably.
Up until now.
Suddenly, there are enquiries.Blood-chilling enquiries giving rise to a FOMO we've never felt before.
FOMO is an entity; a belittling, bullying despot reducing us to number-crunching automatons engaging in a kind of dangerous rationalisation, which, if left unchecked, will have us bartering away common sense and security just for the sake of a slice of dirt (bewitching and beguiling as it may be).
Such corrosive frisson was exacerbated this week by predictions we should be expecting barbarians at the farm gate any day now, worse than barbarians; millennials.
A Regional Australia Institute report (TheBig Movers: Understanding Population Mobility in Regional Australia) says a diaspora of that priced-out species has been ditching the cities for homes in the outer realms.
In the five years to 2016 (pre-pandemic, so wait until that little push-factor kicks in), 1.2 million people moved "to and around" regional Australia and in that time, like super-charged boomer tree-changers - just more cunning, entitled and impatient - tens of thousands of millennials swarmed our sleepy hollows, realising life can exist, even flourish, in the soul-sucking vacuum beyond the orbit of a bulging capital.
And who can blame them for eyeing us off? Community instead of commuting, land instead of landlords, family instead of fumes, stars instead of bars, agriculture instead of aggro ...
Think happy Tess at Talbothays instead of sad Tess at Flintcomb-Ash.
But we fear millennials because we're no match for them, never have been. We're Neanderthals to their Homo sapiens.
Sure, when we first met in a smoky cave or an even smokier nightclub, we got along OK; some nights even better than OK (talk about bumping uglies) but in the cold light of day, we woke to realise they're just smarter, better looking and shrewder than us beetle-browed bumpkins could ever hope to be.
We just don't have it in us to compete. They win, they always do.
We've already been out-evolved by their tenacity and talent in the jungle of the workplace, in the teeming ocean of culture, across the dry savannah of sport, so to know they're now preparing to push us down the steep steppes of real estate is truly depressing.
And it's not that we wouldn't welcome these interlopers, we would, because we have to.
We'd line our luxurious main drags (Free angle parking? Booyah!) with palms upon their arrival. We'd let them win all the cooking ribbons at the show, the celebrity rounds at the trivia night, the hands of our comely daughters. We'd have them over for dinner and watch their polite faces contort into a palsy of confusion as we try to impress them with our vast, meretricious compact disc collections (admit it, they still sound the best).
We'd do whatever we could to make stayers out of them because anyone who lives in regional areas understands how important newbies are to knife-edge towns.
Big cities blithely self-perpetuate themselves every morning, while tabid country communities greet each dawn as if it's their last. A few degrees of misfortune is all that stands between extant and extinct.
American Midwest author Will Weaver spelled this out 30 years ago in his short story Blood Pressure about the domino effect of a town losing its doctor .... You lose your doctor, you lose your clinic ... you lose your clinic, you lose your families. You lose your families, you lose your school. You lose the school, you lose Main Street.
So, while we know it's imperative to lure young families to our one-horse towns, we'll comply with trepidation because whenever millennials turn up we seem to be turned down, tuned out.
It's not personal, just mortal.
It was with such a mien of self-defeat and masochism we last visited 'our' tenuous block, furtively reconnoitring the site in the early winter sunshine.
We stood at a safe distance and allowed ourselves to indulge in a hushed daydream of possibilities.
We drank in the serenity, marvelled at the ever-surprising Easter egg views and even discussed building materials (so much enduring granite in these parts), making mental notes of measurements, insinuating ourselves into the situation, if only for that afternoon.
As the sadness of accepting this place may never be ours slipped through us like a ghost, the kids wandered off to explore the safe neighbourhood, even bumping into a few residents their own age.
And that's the other thing about this rare block, the location may be premium but the neighbours are even better, good families; respected, established.
It's gross to admit, but we hoped just by owning land near such dug-in locals, a little of their status might rub off on us, not unlike anguine Alec d'Urberville who co-opted an old name belonging to a "crumby" girl's fallen family.
But we should've known better than to bring children on such a depressing excursion.
Despite the beauty of the place, its potential profundity was completely lost on them. Kids can't see past tomorrow and they just whinged until we took them home.
Cemeteries are boring, they said.
- B.R. Doherty is a regular columnist.