The calm before the storm

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Except I don’t feel so calm.

At least every other night I am waking at 3 am on the dot with a mind buzzing with the details and minutiae of the impending renovation. Did I order this door, that window, choose the right flooring, allow for the correct amount of drawers in the kitchen, when is the right time to arrange deliveries from Sydney and where the hell am I going to put them all as well as wondering how I am going to cope with no kitchen for 2-4 weeks and of course that eternal question of HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY FOR IT ALL!!!!! So tedious and of course I always seem to fall back asleep just as the early dawn light is stealing through the bedroom windows and then I either wake up late and behind schedule before I even begin my day or wake up on time and am Mrs Cranky Pants!!

Anyway we are launching head first into it all next week and I know once it’s finished it will be beautiful and what the old dame deserves (the old dame being the house, not me thanks….) We have a 3 month window before we hope to host our son’s 30th birthday here……fingers crossed….

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I try and sit outside and tune out at least once a day and feel much more serene looking up into the newly bare branches where these little guys have a great old time chattering away and dipping and diving as they chase each other through the garden.

I did have a lovely weekend last week when the boys came down for a belated Mother’s Day celebration. On the real day they had a pressing appointment at a major sporting event. A corporate box was at their disposal and it was too good to refuse apparently! We decided to stay at the house and have them cook for me! The best part was that they planned the menu, bought all the ingredients AND cooked it! Perfect. Tom was given the job of buying all the ingredients and caused quite a laugh when the recipe asked for banana eschallots and he came back with a packet of banana chips!! Fillet of beef and bananas – I don’t think so!!

Afterwards we had a lovely bonfire under a million stars

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The chook house got a complete spring clean ( or should that be Autumn??) with beautiful fresh clean hay and scrubbed laying boxes etc and they seem to love it, scratching it all up into little hollows to lie in and preen! We are still getting 6-7 eggs a day so they must be feeling fairly contented although they are still looking a bit patchy with no re growth of those moulting feathers in sight.

An overnight trip to Sydney for bookclub ended up  giving me a perfect kitchen plan after I mentioned how despondent I was with the one currently being planned. It just didn’t feel like me at all. My wonderful friend and interior designer Leigh (www.leighholt.com.au) knocked up an entirely new option for me complete with drawings in 3 hours. We chose the paint colour, bench top and general concept and now I am really happy with the way things are going. Having a great architect and a great builder sometimes just isn’t quite enough and an interior designer can fill that all important middle bit, to look at the way we actually live and provide you with the practical design ideas to achieve it. She is so good at looking simultaneously at the details and the overall plan and I have total faith that it will all come together beautifully now.

We had our friends from New Zealand come to visit this weekend. They are in the chocolate/cocoa game too and it’s been wonderful to welcome them to The Meadow and share some nice quality time on the veranda nattering over a cuppa and discussing a million insignificant things . The weather was picture perfect, blue skies and a balmy 24 degrees, making it perfect for a walk along the beach and almost too hot to sit on the veranda. Crazy for this time of year and I’m guessing it will all go to pot the minute the builders arrive and start demolishing the house! Murphy’s Law!!! Nicki had been on a chocolate making course in Melbourne for 3 weeks and came bearing gifts of her achievements. They were visually beautiful and we demolished a few after dinner – yumminess indeed. So much effort goes into these works of art, I have a new found admiration for the length of time and the amount of steps that goes into each individual chocolate and I can see why the good ones cost what they do!

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 A vino and cheeseboard overloooking the Shoalhaven River.

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2 men and a dog enjoying the deserted beach.   20160522_103239

Brekky in town for the whole crew!

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So as the days become cooler and shorter and the inevitability of rain increases (we’ve had none for weeks and weeks now) we plunge into the renovation and all the joys that that will bring! We have a great builder with a team of nice blokes so hopefully things will go well and I will eventually start sleeping through the night again…..

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