We’ve arrived home to The Meadow after a wonderful fun filled week with our close friends Baz and Kathy in Forster. It is a home away from home for us after 20 years of staying in the area, first with our kids at Smugglers Holiday Park and later in holiday houses strewn around One Mile Beach which also happens to be home to Cam’s Dad, Col. We love our trips North as we feel very connected to the area and Cam even has some sort of country membership at the One Mile Surf Club which means we join them early in the morning for a walk of the beach and a swim followed by coffee on the veranda before everyone poddles off to work. It’s a wonderful lifestyle and an easy one to get used to. Drinks on Thursday and Sunday afternoons at the surf club sees a huge turnout of an eclectic group of people who are all lovely and welcome us ‘blow-ins’ a couple of times a year! They have a wonderful new surf club with a huge veranda from which you can see the dolphins swimming in the breakwater as they patrol up and down the beach and further out to sea at the right time of year you may see whales breaching – a magnificent sight if you are lucky enough to witness it.
Needless to say the chocolate button LOVED the morning ritual and the beautiful warm water (about 24 degrees) made an early morning swim very appealing. She met at least 20 dogs every morning as they promenaded up and down the beach and met little fluffballs who were rather alarmed at her enthusiastic welcome, whippets who ran circles around her and big boofy dogs who were just happy to say hello and have a sniff!! She couldn’t have been happier and it left her pleasantly exhausted every day. She really has a bad case of FOMO however and she hardly relaxed thinking she may miss out on some of life’s pleasures if she shut her eyes even for a second!
We had some great lunches and dinners and especially enjoyed a newcomer to the Forster scene – Hamiltons over at Tuncurry which is perched over the water. A great bar with a menu to match and a very relaxing venue for just about anything you can think of!
Forster flora is fairly tough to cope with the salty sea air, it’s funny how a car or your window frames can rust up here within 18 months but the flowers flourish! The tropical hibiscus, frangipane and bee attracting grevillea are in full throttle even in early Autumn and we enjoyed their last hurrah before winter.
Some shopping at Coasting Home, my fave shop in Forster, a tour of all the 2nd hand shops to look for wedding finery with Kath and a special celebration for Pop Col who was initiated into the sub branch of the RSL (an honour for 1st and 2nd world war veterans only) and who proudly showed us his medals and told a few stories of the old days and before we knew it the week was over. We discovered new beaches and walks and enjoyed relaxing with our old friends and together with many many bottles of wine and way too much wonderful food it was all in all a very relaxing and happy week.
All of a sudden we were back in the truck and we were heading home via the Hunter Valley and an overnight stay with our friends Sue and Steve who run a winery with some accommodation called Thalgara. The whole region was very dry and had that Australian summer bleached palette that I love so much, a somewhat stark and sometimes harsh beauty unique to this part of the world but Thalgara has a wonderful dam and a deep vine covered veranda which together with a cheeky chilled wine or two kept everything feeling lovely and cool.
As so often happens when travelling I am always full of inspiration and plans to do MORE when I get home. Shall I learn how to play an instrument – perhaps go back to the piano or the guitar, will I finally put those paints to paper or do that photography course? Life seems to be full of endless possibility after a holiday but an hour after being home the list seems to be of a more practical nature – washing, weeding,mowing and before we know it we are back into our old lives. This time I intend to keep some of those holiday promises though and make time for something new or creative and see where it takes me! Just START Suz I say, and so I will…………..
After playing with everyone and everything Bailey was totally tuckered out and she looked very cosy and contented in the back of the truck on the way home, sleeping for the entire time curled up with her head on our pillows!!! A good break from the routine for one and all.
One contented puppy dog.