Grange and The Milky Way

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What a beautiful week of sunshine and warm but not too hot weather we’ve had. This is the perfect time of year for an early walk along the beach or an afternoon walk along the river with The Chocolate Drop. She is never happier than when she’s running full pelt along the sand and leaping into the surf to fetch a stick or a ball. We have started taking her to Shoalhaven Heads as it’s a leash free beach and she gets to socialise with other dogs which is so important. She’s actually a bit of a sook, after initially showing unbridled enthusiasm and literally dragging me to say hello to a dog she will then be quite submissive, even with a smaller dog, until she’s 100% sure they are going to be her friend and if there is more than one dog she is like that kid in the playground that just looks longingly on from the sidelines until they invite her to play! The kite surfers have been enjoying the conditions too and sometimes we can have 4 or 5 of them out there making a colourful sight for us walkers.

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It was Nowra Show this week and our very talented neighbour was up to her elbows in flour, butter and sugar as she cooked up a storm to enter cakes, relishes and chutneys into the show. She had a few practice runs and we were the lucky recipients of the overflow from the Muller kitchen. These scrumptious little morsels didn’t last very long and we have a yummy boiled fruit cake tucked away for later too. She came away with 5 x 1st and 5 x 2nd prizes and can continue to hold her head up high in the local community !!

Our dear friends from Sydney finally made it down to The Meadow for a visit and brought along their daughter Viv. It was especially nice for her to see some of the countryside as she lives in the middle of London for most of the year but her job as an Opera singer has enabled her to spend the last couple of months at the Sydney Opera House in a performance of The Pearlfishers and she enjoyed a well deserved weekend off on the beautiful South Coast (she especially enjoyed hanging out with our chickens ).

So after a quick tour of the house and garden we retired to the veranda for happy hour and a catch up on life in the big smoke before dinner. Greg surprised us with a special treat when he opened a box to reveal the bottle of 1984 Grange that Cam had given him for his 60th!! It was everything you would hope for and I just wish I had known and I would have concocted a more elegant meal to accompany it!! We enjoyed brekky at Gerroa the next morning, I just love that little town – it’s like going back in time to your childhood and has the most charming feel. A beach house there is on the wishlist!!

I couldn’t resist showing our city guests the amazing starry night. With not a cloud in the sky it was a perfect swathe of black velvet sprinkled with a million stars. All the usual culprits were there but as your eyes adjusted to the darkness the entire milky way revealed itself too. As usual I was reduced to feeling like a little ant in the scheme of things and just marvelled at the enormity of our universe. I wish I had the right kind of lens to take an accurate photo of what we saw but these will give you a pretty good idea!

I realised this week that I should get my act together ahead of the proposed renovation of the back of the house. After being in Council for 2 months I’m hoping the development application will be approved any day now and then we will sit down with the builder and the architect and work out our plan of action. As the renno includes a kitchen, bathroom and laundry there are a fair few decisions to be made!! After spending hours researching online and getting rather depressed at the cost of all the kitchen appliances I lust after, I just ended up ordering a mirror for the new bathroom instead! Things have to start somewhere folks…!!

I am having a slight design blip that you may be able to help me with??

The kitchen is to have a new window installed to open it up to the back garden and the deck area. We will be able to harness the cool southerly breeze in the summer and be connected to the entertaining area too. We thought a hatch type window would be a good idea, with a nice wide ledge outside doubling as a bar or just somewhere to sit and chat while I’m cooking. The bit I’m unsure of is do we have a bifold window or a single window that lifts up on a giant hydrolic hinge thing. There will be cover thanks to a small skillion veranda attached to the extension so do I really need another ‘roof’? I do like the clean line of it though with nothing getting in the way of the ‘bar’ and out of the way of sticky fingers! Just a bit concerned it may be a bit too modern for the age of the house. The other option is to have some sash windows that can also be opened just a little bit if necessary for a breeze rather than the whole thing?


After my crazy resident mower smashed into my Anduze french style urn (one of a pair of course!!!) and reduced  it to smithereens I have to re-pot my buxus plants into something nice and maybe move it to the front door where no ride-on mower can touch it. There is a beautiful garden shop/nursery in Bowral that I am going to visit this week and I know I will leave it inspired to clip my plants into perfect balls of topiary. I still struggle with my tendency to formalise my garden, it’s a style I have always loved but since my move to the country I have really tried to be more open and flowy with my garden – embracing curves and less structure but it’s a constant battle with my OCD symmetrical side! Maybe a couple of these will keep me happy…..

2016-02-04 08.39.33As we approach Valentine’s Day and all the hype that entails we thought we may make the most of some of the local events. Our friend Nikki is having a degustation dinner at her cafe/restaurant on Saturday night and at $75 for 5 courses and BYO that’s a winner! Silos winery is offering a cinema under the stars experience on Sunday with Romeo and Juliet being shown and a picnic basket and bottle of wine available to the loved up participants. Let’s face it – anything with Leo in it is bound to get the girl’s hearts racing!

So my lovely people, have a wonderful week full of sunshine and love and remember at all times to stay in touch with your inner child…..



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