Out and About in Berry

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There is a lovely tea shop in Berry called strangely enough The Berry Tea Shop and last Friday I met up with my friend Leanne for a girly morning tea complete with beautiful home made scones, jam and proper thick cream. Choosing a tea to have wasn’t easy as there are LOADS of choices. I finally went with the wonderfully named Iron Goddess of Mercy tea and it was really enjoyable. I have been meaning to branch out from the standard English Breakfast and Earl Grey for ages and now I really have no excuse with so much choice right down the road!!

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My sister had already discovered this place online from the UK and arranged with them to deliver me a gorgeous teapot and 2 huge cups and saucers as a house warming present so I have everything I need to start experimenting. This shop also sells the most fabulous quirky teapot cosies the like of which I haven’t seen since my days in the UK!! Together with their yummy cake selection I think it’s my new favourite place to meet!!

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Now I’m not sure how many of you know, but our house is called Germania. It initially irritated the hell out of me – it just seems such a harsh name for such a lovely old house. Before we moved here we thought we would rename the house. Cam really wanted to call it Lochiel after the Scottish area his ancestors hailed from. I came up with all sorts of flowery names like Meadow View, Jasmine Cottage or even The White House as everyone refers to it as that white house at the end of the lane – but what happens if we want to paint it a different colour one day??? As we have tried to embrace the house as it is instead of inflicting too many of our designs on to it, we haven’t rushed into any name changes and as it turns out it is actually a valid part of the history of the house apparently. The house was built by Charles Lamond whose grandfather John Lamond sailed from the Scottish Highlands (see there is a Scottish link after all) on the ship John Barry in 1837 arriving in The Shoalhaven area and working on The Coolangatta estate before being granted his own selection at Worrigee where he worked as a bacon curer in his father’s factory. After the death of his wife he married his German housekeeper, built Germania and ran Ayrshire cattle for milking at Meroo Meadow which was then a large farm. Many of his descendants still reside in The Shoalhaven region and several remain involved in the dairy industry to this day.

     So folks – do we keep the name or not?

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The library saga is (almost) over. After 5 months we finally have it installed and functioning!! It isn’t an all together happy ending however. Michael the cabinet maker is a consummate perfectionist. The reason it has taken so long is his attention to detail and also the fact that they have never made a bed in a cupboard before! On their first effort in installing the bed mechanism one of the hydraulic springs sheared off and we had to get a replacement from Sydney. That delivery ended up in Orange instead of Berry (got the wrong fruit) and it took a week to arrive down here. When they came to install it the second time they discovered they had been sent the spring for the wrong side. Swear words were exchanged with the Sydney store and one of their staff ended up driving down at the weekend to hand deliver the correct part!!!!Needless to say I was very happy to come back from work yesterday to see their truck in the driveway in the knowledge that I was finally going to get my completed library/spare bed. Apparently they had been there for 4 hours as when the final spring was installed the cupboard would not now shut properly…..aaaaagggghhhh- what else can go wrong on this job?? They did everything they possibly could but I had to tell them to pack up and go home as looking at it for the 10000th time wasn’t going to change anything. They are going to call the technical people and see if they have any ideas but at this stage I am just happy to have it in and working despite it bulging a bit on one side! Here is a pic of it before the final fitting problem….

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The boys came up for a flying visit on Saturday. They both had a desire to get out of town and breathe in some country air and to relax. Combined with a bit of Mum’s cooking and some of Dad’s wine they were happy bunnies and Bailey was ecstatic to have another couple of eager throwers of the ball for her! I am so happy that we are within an easy drive from Sydney so that the kids can pop down on a whim – it is a lovely drive once you clear Heathcote and it was a huge part of the reason we searched for a new home within a couple of hours of Sydney.

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Happy Hour with my lovely boys.

Garden wise the onions and the garlic are harvested! We are very happy with our first crop although I can see why the ‘gardeners’ were advising me to thin out the onion crop as some of them were planted too close together which didn’t give them enough room for the bulb to spread out and grow properly. This means lots of them look more like giant shallots than onions. Others are beautiful and  ginormous  and I think they will last us for ages. Unlike other veggies, you have to pick them when it’s been dry for a while with no rain and then you clean them all up and hang them for a few weeks to cure them. It’s quite a faff but worth it in the end I think. Luckily we have some rafters in our potting shed perfect for hanging bunches of onions and garlic despite banging our heads on them when we go in to collect the eggs. Goodness knows where I shall store them once they’re ready, I shall have to investigate an onion storage set up!!




And sadly a good man was lost this week – RIP my lovely Ken, I will think of you every time we have a camp fire.

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