We made it!!

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Wow – a whole year in The Meadow!
It’s gone so fast, we’ve learned so much and we’re still married!! That’s got to be a plus right???

It’s amazing how quickly a new way of life can feel like home when it’s the right move. I popped up to Sydney yesterday for a Specialist appointment (and those of you that know the struggles I was having last year will be as thrilled as I was to learn that I now have almost normal lung function – I am just nudging the lower edges of normal – and that should mean less drugs if I continue improving ) and I decided to take the train up which I can thoroughly recommend . A beautiful scenic trip and an opportunity to read my book and relax all for the princely sum of $17.60 return!! I parked at the train station all day with no meter or parking ticket required. The train took me right into the middle of the city where I went a little crazy for a couple of hours buying new trainers (Bailey has ruined all 3 pairs that I own – just chewing the backs so they don’t fit properly around the ankles any more…) and soaking up all the new shops in Pitt Street Mall. Zara Home has finally landed in Oz and it brought back memories of shopping there every day for a week when we stayed in Barcelona! I was far more disciplined this time round and settled for a lovely sushi lunch with Tom instead. The choice of food overwhelmed me to be honest as we are pretty limited down here. So after loving the noise, the chaos, the choice of food and shopping I hopped back on the train where I was met by husband and hound at Gerringong for a walk along the beach and some local fish and chips – what more could a girl ask for??2016-01-08 04.57.17

We’ve decided to try and see a new place each week, weather permitting. There are so many terrific places tucked away along the coast and into the hinterland so that’s our aim for January. Kiama was our first hit and what a great little town it is. Scenically blessed with it’s coastline and together with the lovely old architecture along the main street and it’s cosmopolitan mix of homewares shops and cafes with modern Australian menus it’s well worth a visit.

Could you be anywhere other than Australia with those Norfolk Pine Trees???The Blow Hole and Lighthouse at Kiama2015-12-27 10.39.31Deer Willow is a gorgeous shop full of eclectic and unique items to tempt your shopping dollar.
The beautiful old Post Office at Kiama.

It’s rather unfortunate that I got a beautiful Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas – something I have lusted after for years – especially when making all my cakes and desserts with a small hand held mixer (6 minutes of beating with that thing and you have serious boredom no matter WHAT music you’re playing to try and distract yourself). Unfortunate, not because I’m not ecstatic to be the proud owner of such a gorgeous thing, but because I now want to experiment with it and bake a gazillion things at the exact same time that I am attempting to lose some excess squidginess. As my ‘fat’ clothes are now ‘snug’ I can put it off no longer so I am thinking maybe I can eat super healthily 6 days a week and on the seventh I can make something with the Red Baron, then Cam can take the excess back to Sydney to share instead of leaving it here for me to eat the leftovers!

2016-01-05 09.36.45The Red Baron – truly a thing of beauty!!

Our ‘girls’ are starting to get quite brave now and travel further and further afield every time we let them out into the garden. Two of them are institutionalised and pretty much refuse to leave the sanctity of the chook pen despite their buddies clucking with joy as they scratch around in the mulch surrounding the apple trees. They seem to look longingly out at them but no matter how hard we try to encourage them they either can’t work out how to join them or they are the ones that escaped previously in a bad electrical storm and are now traumatised ?? I feel sorry for them because they are missing out on the joy of being truly free range chickens.2016-01-03 11.01.23We continue to explore the region – Shoalhaven Heads is an off leash area for dogs which means it’s on our radar with the Chocolate Drop. She loves the still water – so much easier than swimming against the surf and will retrieve a stick countless times before showing the slightest sign of losing interest. It is a great area for kids, kite surfing as well as fishing and is a little bit like going back in time to the 80’s. Simple fun never goes out of style.2016-01-09 16.09.30Tranquil Shoalhaven Heads.

As our 1st years house warming gift to ourselves we have got 3 crepe myrtle trees arriving this Friday. They are ‘advanced’ although only 2 metres tall and they will provide us with some shade on the western side of the house that we will then be able to underplant with the longed for hydrangeas. Hopefully this will all be looking established and beautiful by D Day for the Engaged One. I’m sure once the guests are on their 3rd drink they wont even notice the surrounds but I’m aiming for a perfect day for the Princess – garden design included!!

crepe myrtle

With all this thinking going on in my brain, shower time has become even more important – When I saw this I was pretty sure someone had been eavesdropping on me……….

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