Welcome to the hottest April in Australia’s recent history. With temperatures still consistently in the high 20s/early 30’s during the day we are yet to enjoy the spoils of Autumn. Visions of warmer clothes and less salads have gone out of the window along with the weather records and it is only in the evening when the temperatures get down to the teens that we get an inkling that the seasons are about to change. Sadly we have just experienced some really bad bush fires on the outskirts of southern Sydney, coming way too close to houses and putting the fear of God into everyone. It was all the worse as it was deliberately lit. What possesses people?? Because it is so late in the season our BIG GUN of firefighting ‘Elvis’ had already been dispatched for summer fire duties in California three weeks earlier and wasn’t available. Elvis had left the room yet again. (Elvis is a humungous water carrying helicopter that has the capability of putting out big fires in hard to get to places.) We all love Elvis.
Needless to say the garden is also thoroughly confused with no leaf colour changes so far and my eggplants and tomatoes are still happily producing loads of fruit in denial of the calendar telling them that they should be done and dusted for the year. I was lucky to be able to salvage some of my apples from the mixed onslaught of parrots, caterpillars and a distinct lack of rain and picked the few remaining good ones to eat in crumbles and pies – well that’s a slight exaggeration, maybe I have enough for one of each? As the weather is currently more suited to ice cream I decided to freeze my crop to pull out when the home fires are eventually blazing!!
The flowers on the other hand are loving this whole balmy April thing and are having a last hurrah, filling our garden with colour and my heart with happiness! The camellia hedge that we planted 18 months ago is thriving and we have a beautiful palette of colours between them and the roses, even the hydrangea and gardenia are still blooming and I love snipping a little selection to pop into the guest rooms at the weekends for people to enjoy.
A lovely old home on the outskirts of town has recently been sold and the entire contents went to auction last weekend. I don’t think I have ever seen a normal house so full of such amazing artworks, sculptures, persian rugs and interesting furniture. Every single room was packed with fabulous original pieces, including huge aboriginal canvases, work by famous artists including Picasso and David Bromley, Chinoiserie, modern art and just about everything in between. The sculptures were wonderful and sadly beyond my budget but the entire property was jam packed with people eager to see and maybe buy a little piece of what they fancied. The lady owner, who looked as wonderfully eclectic as I had hoped, was selling up her country property and moving to Sydney harbour and a view across the ocean at Manly. I am sure part of her must have been torn with selling her huge collection but she was full of enthusiasm for her next stage of life and I really hoped she had a very successful day at the auction.
My walking buddy Maryan and I decided it was time for us to attempt to walk to Drawing Room Rocks, a craggy escarpment between Berry and Kangaroo Valley and accessed by a narrow steep path that has amazing views over the surrounding countryside. This rather serious sounding sign greets you at the start of the track and it turned out to be hard in the steep sense but easy in every other way – not too many choices of paths to take or river crossings or jumping over large boulders, just a steady incline with lots to look at along the way. An elderly man did fall off the edge necessitating a helicopter rescue just before Christmas but if you stay on the path all is well. Worth it all for the view from the top and how lucky are we to have all this on our doorstep!
We made it!!
Our little choccy dog aka ‘The Flash’ has lately been channelling her inner greyhound as she has discovered she loves to sprint! More to the point she likes to race. Specifically she likes to race our car. As soon as we turn into our lane she jumps up to the window and makes these special whimpering pleading sounds with her nose pressed hard up to the window (rather annoying!) until we stop the car and let her out. She then takes off like the wind, running at full stretch and at roughly 40km per hour down our 800 metre lane to home! She turns her head to check we are racing her and loves nothing more than turning into our driveway first, leaping over the cattle grid and meeting us in the garage, looking pretty chuffed with herself. It’s great to see her so excited to run and it’s a great offset to the times she ‘relaxes’ for hours on the veranda in the sun!
So life poddles along and it’s hard to believe we are coming into our 4th Autumn in The Meadow. I forget how much has changed until I look back on this blog from the beginning. It has certainly been a wonderful diary for us, reminding us of things we have forgotten along the way and how our journey to the country has unfolded. There are only a few things that make it less than perfect, the biggest of which is the traffic noise. After living in the middle of the inner city of Sydney you wouldn’t think we would notice a bit of traffic noise and we certainly don’t miss the planes but ironically it is the very nature of our location in the middle of the open paddocks that means we can hear the traffic when the wind is blowing in a certain direction and it’s a little blot on my near perfect existence! A new road is promising more noise absorption with its highly technical new surface but we won’t know if it’s true until it’s in operation so in the meantime I try to block it out choosing to concentrate instead on the beautiful sounds of the fairy wrens darting in and out of our rose bushes, punching way above their tiny bodyweight in songs that carry above and beyond that of the pesky traffic! Check out their song here…
So now with Daylight Savings finished and darkness drawing in around 5.30pm our thoughts turn to snuggling up in front of the fire and heartier food, a glass of rich fruity red in hand or bracing walks in the cold, bundled up in jackets and boots before returning to some home made soup with veggies from the garden. Sadly it also means that the never ending football season has also arrived…………
Guess I’ll be seeing the Man Of The House in about 3 months then………!!!