This week has seen a bit of preparation here at number 80. For the puppy, for the next lot of planting in the veggie garden, for the new ensuite build and for winter! After the odd cold day we have had a glimpse of what is to come once the weather turns. Our neighbours have mentioned several times the bitter westerly winds that blow in the winter and we are half dreading it already. We have arranged for a new Jetmaster fire to be installed and hopefully it will be delivered next week. The beautiful Autumn days we are experiencing now are just delicious and as this is nearly the last week of daylight saving we are making the most of the long days and the darkish mornings (much easier to sleep in a bit if it’s dark!!) We are also aware that our life will change next week with the arrival of Bailey as she will be like a small baby, waking early and needing to be taken outside straight away for a bit of toilet training!
We have been like impending parents – getting her sleeping area all spick and span and buying all the paraphernalia needed for a dog. We are now the proud owners of a bed (high sided to protect her from those pesky westerlies everyone keeps talking about) and with a removable cosy base cushion so she can feel all snuggly. Also a collar and lead (matching pink and brown stripes – so chic she wouldn’t look out of place in Paris….!!) a couple of non spill bowls for food and water and a little toy to play with (in the hope she will leave my garden beds alone??). Then we have the poop bags which are colour co-ordinated with the little zip bag they come in which can attach to the lead and a brush to keep her coat all lovely and shiny. Now all we need is her and the “To Do” list that she comes with telling us all her food requirements…..
The builders are all ready for the start of our ensuite installation. I have been collecting paint charts, stone samples for bench tops and have a new found knowledge of close coupled toilets and water volumising showerheads, semi inset basins (as opposed to semi recessed) and the horrendous price of anything that looks like marble – even if it isn’t!! I have been almost banned from the kitchen shop in Nowra where I have been going to check out all the different samples. They keep asking me if I want them to quote the job (as they are in competition with my guy) and until they do, they can’t sell me any samples – I’ve just about worn out my welcome there I think. Of course the build looks like starting the same week we get the puppy so it will be a full time job juggling everything but hopefully it will be worth it in the end.
I had a day off mid week to go and visit my friend Leigh in Kangaroo Valley. She is in the middle of creating a 2-3 bedroom cottage out of the old dairy on her property and she is trying to get it all done in time for her wedding which is being held there in less than 2 months. Needless to say her stress levels are pretty high right now! It is all looking rather gorgeous and I’m sure everyone will be in such awe of the beautiful views they are not going to notice any ‘unfinished business’ renovation wise! Everything is lovely and rustic and her son Sam’s paintings are dotted about everywhere lending a uniqueness to the property (it is available for holiday rental on Stayz – http://www.stayz.com.au/accommodation/nsw/south-coast/kangaroo-valley/144525 )
Sam’s paintings create a lovely eclectic feel to the house….
While I was in the village of KV (I popped into the bakery for a coffee and walnut cake to share for morning tea) I happened upon a lovely little shop with a very french air and found some beautiful toile cushions and a fabulous coffee table book which I am really enjoying reading called “A family in Paris – stories of food, life and adventure” which just about sums up all the things I love in life!! You really DON’T have to be in a big city to find beautiful and unusual things to buy!
I finally got round to walking along the Shoalhaven River – there is a lovely walking track that follows it along for a kilometre or so and as it’s fairly flat I have it earmarked for a nice walk with the pup!
Further up the river is Bundanon – described here by Wikipedia- and it has the most glorious views over the river and surrounding area. Lots of weddings are held here and in the summer you can take a picnic and sit on the lawn and listen to a string quartet which sounds just gorgeous!! Now I just have to talk Cammo into it……
“Bundanon is a large home near Nowra, New South Wales, Australia. It was the home of the painter Arthur Boyd. Bundanon started as a single-storey weatherboard structure built circa 1840. In 1866, a two-storey sandstone house, made of locally quarried stone, was built immediately in front of the weatherboard house. The sandstone house features timber verandahs and is now listed on the Register of the National Estate.
Bundanon was donated to the people of Australia in 1993 by Arthur Boyd, who believed “you can’t own a landscape” and wanted to share the place that inspired him so much with everyone, along with the adjoining property which was owned by the Artist Sidney Nolan. Under the control of the Bundanon Trust it is open to the public every Sunday from 10:30am to 4:00pm. It also contains an educational centre and part of the property has been set up as a constantly evolving studio space for artists and writers. There are currently four studios with attached residences and a writers cottage which are offered meritoriously to a select group of talented individuals from all over the world. Pulpit Rock, a significant rocky outcrop visible from Bundanon, features in a number of Arthur Boyd’s paintings of the landscape.”