We live in the middle of a wind tunnel and there is no worse time of the year than now to be living here. As we are surrounded on 3 sides with open paddocks there is no protection from the infamous Westerly winds. I’m pretty sure The Man of the House was only half joking when he told me to phone Raine & Horne and put it on the market the other day. The comment came after a night of us being woken by what sounded like a raging river bearing down on us and a huge scraping of our (heavy) furniture as it was dragged by 90km winds across and off our veranda to be found lodged in our hedge 60 metres away. Nothing like being outside at 1 am and then again at 3 am to move various bits of our life to a ‘safer’ place on the easterly side of the wraparound veranda. It looked like a junkyard out there the next morning with everything piled haphazardly on top of each other. My solar lanterns that had been a happy reminder of the wedding have gone, no doubt they will be found, glowing orbs in the cow paddocks, causing some confusion to our four legged friends over the next days and weeks or until the next big puff of wind comes along, together with a couple of our cushions that are also MIA…..
Nothing is suffering more than the garden. It has literally been months now since we had a decent drop of rain and the ground is like rock. Despite a constant cycle of hand watering things aren’t happy and although it is Spring and supposedly the time to prepare your garden it’s an almost impossible task right now. Going to the nursery is never a cheap affair but at the moment I might as well just tear up $100 notes for all the good it’s doing planting new things. Last weekend gave us a beautiful day with no wind and I got stuck into some serious mulching only to have it now blown to the four corners of the world on a blustery westerly wind. Sigh………..
It did make for some interesting seas though, whipping up the usually calm-as-a-millpond water around Kiama. The waves were breaking very high and we were covered in spray as Bailey and I walked the coastal path, eyes streaming with the cold wind and looking like something the cat had dragged in with wild hair and about 4 layers of clothing to keep the cold out! It didn’t help when I thought back to this time last year when we were lapping up the golden sunshine in Lake Como whilst sipping Aperol spritz….bring on Summer please!
Luckily we had a mini break from the weather last weekend which coincided with a visit from the boys to celebrate Fathers Day. We even managed to have Happy Hour on the veranda and an after dinner bonfire in the garden. One of his Daddy Day gifts was this fab book by Stefano Manfredi espousing everything there is to know about the pizza which will come in very handy.
In preparation for the brickie (who was going to make a base for the new pizza oven) we had to lay a little slab of concrete so using a few of the tools that had been languishing in our shed, the help and knowledge from a couple of mates and Cammo in his usual supervisory capacity, we ticked off our section of the job ‘to do’ list.
Then one morning we saw a puff of dust on the horizon and 5 Utes barrelled down the lane to implement stage 2. It was a whirlwind of men in beanies measuring, cutting and laying bricks and 5 hours later it was built and they were gone! The final hurrah occurs when the pizza guy comes down and installs the oven, fingers crossed it all goes according to plan and fits like a glove. Time to start perfecting my pizza base recipe – any favourite tried and true versions will be gratefully received folks….
It has been a fortnight of technical difficulties. Firstly we lost all our free to air TV channels and put it down to the windy conditions and then one night as we sat down to dinner half the lights went off together with what remained of the TV. Candles were lit and conversation ensued but we realised how much of our daily life was influenced by power and what we could and couldn’t do without it. 24 hours later our lovely local Sparky arrived to save the day. He was rather bemused however and after much scratching of heads and following of wires under the house they discovered it was something in the garden that was causing the problem. The only power connections we were aware of passed the test leaving us with only one possibility…..the septic!
A small dark shadow passed over their faces at the realisation they were going to have to “go in” and after they drew straws as to who dug and who opened up the cover they got to the task briskly. Thank goodness it wasn’t a hot summers day and they found the culprit quite quickly. They most definitely do earn their fees!!
No sooner did the house start running smoothly again when we got a call from Vietnam to say our girl was unwell and had been diagnosed with Dengue Fever. Another mozzie borne disease similar to malaria, this time from a daytime biter which can catch you unawares if you’re not drenched in some form of DEET based product (usually it is dusk/evening that you load up on this to avoid the onslaught of the microscopic assasins!). Two days later she got worse and was ambulanced to hospital where they are giving her IV painkillers and fluids as well as regular blood tests and some much needed healing sleep and assistance to sit up/shower etc as she has been unable to do this for herself. It’s one of those tropical diseases that you have to Google and then wish you hadn’t, but I know she is in the best place and in good hands and we must trust she will turn the corner and start to feel better soon. I am making a flying visit there on the 18th so I will hopefully be able to help her recuperate and give her some Motherly TLC.
These little buggers can really make you feel sick.
To top everything off I found our new black chooks AWOL in our veggie patch having a great old time munching on our lettuce and spinach and scratching up my new seedlings! As there is no way they can actually get to it through the fence we surmised that their only way must have been ‘up’ and therefore it was time to trim their wings to keep them both in a safe environment and away from our dinner. After a reassuring cuddle Farmer Cam gave them a little ‘haircut’ and we have had no trouble since.
So all in all I think I’m glad this last week or two is over and we can look forward to some nice windless Spring weather, working appliances and a functioning pizza oven in the next few weeks. I’m off to be a Mum and hopefully our patient will be feeling a lot better and we can enjoy some nice time together..!! No doubt there will be the obligatory Chinese takeaway in The Meadow while I’m gone, together with a furtive trip to KFC (and a certain chocolate drop who will “help”with any extras) and evenings packed with finals footy to be enjoyed completely guilt free. Bring on Mother-Daughter chats, Vietnamese iced coffee, beautiful fresh salads fragrant with herbs and some sunshine!!