How lovely to have our friends from Forster, Wayne (Baz) and Cathy come and stay with us for a few nights. We haven’t seen them for about 8 months and it was great to finally show them the new house and some of the surrounding areas. They are the best sort of friends – happy to relax, drink wine and chat about old times (the two Waynes go back to their early 20s when they both met working in a ski resort in Switzerland) and equally happy to roll up their sleeves, don the tool belt and attack our never ending “To Do” list!! Many thanks to Baz for helping Cam fix the chain fence around the veggie patch that one (not so small any more) chocolate dog was using as a gate…..!! Cathy and I attacked the weeds and then she very kindly mulched them for me as the mulch is one of the things that send my lungs into crisis – all that dust in the hay bale I presume.
The boys being boys with power tools
Cathy being a champion mulcher..
and SOMEONE not being much help at all….
They also helped us move our beautiful old Butchers Block into our kitchen to create an extra work surface and a more sociable environment. I really missed the kitchen being part of a living area and as the rennos are on hold for now this has really helped make the kitchen a bit easier to hang out in – a couple of stools from the garage and a bottle of wine and everyone was in there within 10 minutes having a chat with the chef!!
It didn’t take long for us to love it!!
The Butchers Block was originally located in our local Butcher’s shop in Epping where Sam had his very first job at age 11 – he used to wash up all the meat trays etc in the back room and he learnt a lot about having a work ethic and also about life as the three young Butchers in their late 20s chatted as they worked about EVERYTHING!!!!
In between our working sessions we did manage some R&R. The boys went to a salami and sausage making day in Wollongong with our mate Phil. Sam (84 and as bright as a button) ran the day in his garage and after a 9am start the boys were quite surprised to see the beers appear at 10 and sambucca shots at 12 – maybe this is the trick that the Italians have to getting their entire family and friends to their tomato bottling and sausage making days!! Luckily a pig had already been dispatched (one they had prepared earlier…!!) and the boys just had to learn how to bone the meat and make some great spicy pork fennel and chilli sausages as well as a huge amount of salami (all made to Sam’s secret recipe..) A really informative and fun day rounded off by Sam playing his accordion while everyone had a glass of wine! Thanks to Phil for organising it all – I’m envisioning a similar day at Claydon Park at some stage with one of his Berkshire pigs.
Baz the Butcher….
Phil mixing up the secret recipe…
The salamis ready to hang
Sam 84 years young…
Cathy and I used our day to have a girly shopping trip to Bowral via Kangaroo Valley, It was a perfect Winter’s day – cold and crisp with blue sky and sunshine and we loved pottering around the vintage stores looking for some furniture finds for the house. We saw some delicious things but I’m definitely going to have to work for a few months before I can go crazy. We had a lovely lunch in the new Harris Farm markets in Bowral which had the most beautiful produce and flowers, it felt more like Spring with all their colourful displays.
So many beautiful things…
We managed to tear ourselves away from the garden long enough to drive up to The Cambewarra Lookout which I had been told had an amazing view of The Shoalhaven. We were not disappointed and the beautiful bird life was a bonus. We could actually see our house from up there too – funny to think that people would have been able to go up there and see our house now for 119 years!! There is a lovely little cafe up there serving breakfast, lunch and delicious devonshire teas with tapas and wine on Fridays.
Great view from The Lookout.
Crimson Rosellas and a King parrot.
As always it was lovely to be with our old friends and especially nice to see the “old mates” together again. I must be getting sentimental in my old age but this photo warmed my heart…
Off for a walk…
Before they arrived I came back to find a little surprise gift at my front door. Despite making a couple of calls I haven’t been able to track down the anonymous donor but it’s obviously one of the chocolate dog’s fans…..
Going to smell rather posh after her next bath…
Our beautiful Bailey starting to grow into her paws