I have had a lovely week enjoying all the loveliness of the South Coast in Autumn. We have new calves on an almost daily basis in The Lane, the veggie patch is finally giving me beautiful ripe tomatoes and an abundance of heavy shiny eggplants, leeks and heirloom beetroot and I have a beautiful new fire and the beginnings of an en suite bathroom! What more could a girl ask for…..
Some small visitors were delighted by Bailey and she in turn loved them and had a wonderful old time careering around and around the garden chasing them and playing tug of war .
Ben and Isabelle in a love triangle with Bailey……
She is growing like a weed and becoming quite cheeky. I love her best when we go for a walk and she veers from one side of the lane to the other scampering through puddles and nipping at the tall grass. She leaps ahead of me – not a care in the world – with her ears flapping as she runs through the tall grass in the paddock and then drops down in it so I can hardly see her, just as if she was playing hide and seek. Nothing like the exuberance and carefree nature of a puppy to make you feel good about life.
I don’t feel quite so in love with her at 5.30 in the morning when she decides that her day begins and I drag myself out of bed to let her out of the house. Ironically that was the time I used to have to get up in Sydney to go to work and I used to moan about doing it 3 times a week – now I’m doing it EVERYDAY!!! I think the time is close to relocate her bed from the laundry to the outside where we have a very large storage cupboard on our side veranda which is protected and safe but where I can leave the door open and she can help herself to the great outdoors when she feels the need.
Our new Jetmaster fire has arrived in the nick of time as the evenings are starting to get chilly. The boys had a fair bit of drilling out of bricks in the existing chimney to make it fit but I absolutely love it and despite it not being “real” it gives a lovely atmosphere as well as throwing out a lot of heat, being instant and with a remote which I can activate from my bed – bliss!! I have a mantelpiece to finish it off that I intend painting this week. It was a bit of a bargain but only came in white so armed with some sandpaper and a tin of black paint I intend to transform it into a vision of beauty to complete the vintage look – hopefully it will look as if it has always been here!
Before, During and After installation.
The mantelpiece awaiting transformation
Day 1 of the build arrived and Scott, Mathew and James arrived with all their bash and crash gear and proceeded to strip our adjoining room to it’s bare walls and floors within a very short period of time. Luckily I had been invited to a book launch and lunch in Mollymook so I left Bailey in their tender care and scarpered.
Phil and Karen had organised my ticket to the book launch of Paul West aka The River Cottage Australia guy who we so enjoyed watching last year when we were still in Sydney just dreaming of our future life in the country. His story was a bigger version of our past 3 months and hearing him talk now about the hard work (but great reward) involved in growing your own food it really resonated with me. As I looked around the room and later started talking to people at our ‘long lunch table’ I was so happy to be involved in a community that values the simple joys of growing and cooking your own food. The South Coast really does seem to have a large proportion of foodies and on our table alone we had an apiarist who fascinated us potential beekeepers with his tales, a vineyard owner (Cupitts) who makes her own cheese, a couple of girls from Ulladulla who were in the process of applying for the next round of MKR and of course our very own Phil and Karen Riley who are now breeding pigs, cows, chooks and have just sent off for their first beehive. It is very rewarding to be surrounded by people who think the same way and know exactly how frustrating farming (however small) can be. The lunch was at Tallwood which is a great little restaurant in the strip at Mollymook with some talented young chefs. Today they cooked 3 courses from the book and all 3 were very well received. 1. Veggie Pakoras with minty yoghurt (my personal fave and recipe in kitchen section) 2. Coq au Vin with green beans, labne, shallots and almonds and 3. Hazelnut Syrup Cake with candied oranges and creme fraiche. Not a bad way to spend a Monday……….
When I came home from the lunch I was amazed and pleasantly suprised with the progress that the Bash and Crash boys had made. I LOVE building and renovating, it’s always so exciting to see something “become” the vision you’ve had in your head and even at this early stage it is starting to come alive – not just a few sketches and brochures. The Block meets The Meadow!