Well it’s hard to believe but we have been here for half a year now and we are really starting to feel part of things. This week I am sharing some of the local landmarks that make up my new life. I still pull over to check out gorgeous little cottages which I spy when I’m driving. I hop out and take a few furtive pics and hop back in as if I was a private investigator on a job!!
Gorgeous in Gerringong!!
Everywhere I look I see a potential photograph or painting especially at this time of the year when the bare trees are silhouetted against the sky or the fog hangs low like a blanket over the fields or as puffs of cotton wool nestling in the hills. The magnolia trees are in full blossom and the flame trees are just starting to show off their huge red flowers and, being the chilly part of the world that we are, the camellias and rhododendrons are also doing their thing. Maybe we notice things more in a Winter landscape than in Spring when everything is in full throttle.
Despite the cold and the wind my gardenias are still thinking they are in the south of France and are in full flower with more buds forming every day!
Berry is full of tourists every weekend, and increasingly mid week as well – as this is a destination equally popular in the winter and the summer. There are loads of houses available for rent for short stays and lots of people come from the city for a country weekend complete with open fires and cosy local restaurants. If nothing else, people stop for a break on the big drive south or north and one of the most popular destinations is the famous Berry Donut Van!! When I told people in Sydney I was moving here the most frequent comment was ” Oh that’s where that donut van is” and although I am yet to visit it (I’m a bit scared I may love it and form a bad habit) the rest of the world has no such qualms.
Other things that attract people to Berry is the quaint main street with a couple of iconic pubs and a some interesting shops.
The bustling high street!!!
Great local deli
A cool shop with a lot of interesting stuff
The hub cap pub…..
Our daily life goes by in a flurry of feeding the chooks and collecting the eggs (we’re still getting 7 a day despite the cold weather), harvesting the veggies and thinking of new creative ways to use them all, taking Bailey for walks along the lane and stopping to watch the cows with their new born calves, some days there are as many as three!! They only get a couple of days with their babies before they are taken away from them so I am always hoping that they get two beautiful sunny days together where life is grand before it all gets turned upside down……
There are a few things happening in the house. Our new 14 seater oak table was delivered yesterday and we have are-arranged our dining room to accommodate it. Luckily it is an extension table so most of the time we will have the smaller version on display. Our old table has become a servery bench which will be very handy on those big red letter days like Christmas and Birthdays when we have a house full. We will be giving it a work out in a few weeks time when Sam has his annual birthday lunch with some of his closest friends down here. The boys will make a weekend of it and have rented some rooms at the Berry pub to handle the overflow. It will be nice to have a large crew in the house and we are planning a big country lunch.
Our library has been signed off on and should be started in the next few weeks. Michael – a local cabinet maker – is doing it for me and incorporating a pull down bed for those times we need an extra bedroom. He is keen to tie it in to the history of the house and as it is going to be in the main sitting room of the house we feel we need to give it a bit of heritage love to stay in keeping with the features. This is the working drawing to give you an idea……
The week ended with the boys arriving for a quick getaway from Sydney. We christened the new table in the dining room with a nice log fire and with some braised lamb shanks and veggies from our garden (including Lucy’s first ever brussel sprout which she loved!!) and a treacle sponge pud with custard, all washed down with several bottles of red!! This family portrait (including dogs) was duly whatsapped to Lauren in Honkers so she could feel included. The weather was surprisingly mild at 20 deg and if it wasn’t for the wind (!!!!!!!) we would have ended the weekend with a nice walk on the beach at Gerroa and lunch out but that will have to wait until Spring I’m thinking!! I’m now off to Bunnings to buy wedges for the windows to stop them rattling….wish me luck!