Are we there yet??

As we enter week 13 of the build I am both at ease with the familiarity of it and full of the desire for it to be finished. It is like a crazy race to the finish line as both the builders and ourselves are going overseas in 2.5 weeks and we all want those loose ends tied up so we can relax and be tourists. I think it will all come together at the 11th hour as these things do. This coming week should see lots accomplished with the bathroom and laundry being installed and the outside hopefully being restored to a garden (of sorts) instead of a building site. The indoor painting will be pretty much finished which means the floor can then be laid and then we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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I actually wouldn’t be fazed at all except we have committed to holding our son’s 30th birthday lunch here for 30 of his nearest and dearest and they in turn have rented properties for the weekend celebrations so I want it to be nice for them and especially for the birthday boy. We may have to have our camping heads on and move the lunch indoors if the weather doesn’t co-operate but whatever happens I’m sure everyone will forgive the unfinished decor and a good time will be had by all.

The past couple of weeks have been spent in a joyous spin of events with the Engaged One being home for a flying visit which incorporated her Hens Weekend and a jaunt to the Big Smoke to try on dresses and generally organise things for her big day. She may have only 2 days here before then so it was important for her to get things sorted out as much as possible this trip. Despite our lack of facilities (after being away for 4 weeks the last thing she wanted to hear was that we didn’t have a working laundry….) we had a lovely time and she got some much needed connection with nature, a reunion with her friends and a sibling catch up dinner in Sydney. She is now back in Honkers on the 43rd floor of her apartment building and enjoying all that cosmopolitan HK can deliver. The sadness of leaving has been overturned by a wonderful job offer which would keep her in Asia for a couple of years but would provide an amazing opportunity for a passionate young journalist.

The hens weekend was fun. It was so good to see the girls again, I haven’t seen some of them in years and as happens with old friends those years just melted away and  it was is if school was yesterday instead of 10 years ago!! They all went to a lot of trouble, none more so than our lovely host Leanne. She owns Watagan Grange, a thoroughbred Spelling & Agistment Farm in the Hunter Valley and volunteered to host the weekend there which was very generous of her. The bridesmaids did a grand job of organising themes and events that they knew Loz would enjoy and the beautiful weather and scenery took care of the rest! A big thanks to all involved for making it such a special time for Lauren.

Meanwhile back in The Meadow I am enjoying walking on these crisp sunny winter days, it has been rarer than I would like due to my list of renovation tasks but it always simultaneously calms and inspires me when I step out into the surrounding countryside with The Chocolate Drop by my side. We have lots of new animals for her to meet and greet and they are all quite young and inquisitive, coming right up to the fence to say hello.

The garden is totally confused at the moment. My pear trees lining the drive have a mixture of autumn leaves, winter berries and now spring blossom all at once! Usually that wouldn’t happen for another month so goodness knows when the spring bulbs will pop up and the summer veggies demand to be planted – things have gone slightly crazy!

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We had a lovely evening in Milton on Friday where we met our friends for dinner before heading to the gorgeous old Milton Theatre to see The Australian Bee Gees for a selection of their greatest hits.  The Milton Theatre is an intimate 212 seat, historic theatre which has been fully refurbished. The theatre is completely run by volunteers and the council maintains the facade which is listed. I wish we had something similar in our little town – I think it would be very well supported by locals and visitors alike. The evening ended with the entire theatre up and dancing in their seats and down the aisles, those guys had SO many hits and wrote SO many songs for other people that became hits, they were really prolific songwriters. Was it weird that in the middle of an enjoyable evening in the middle of the Australian countryside I thought of those people that died enjoying a similar kind of night at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris? Such is the ripple effect of terrorism that we think this way. Maybe it is because I am flying into Paris in just over 2 weeks and once again the real world will come into play. It is so easy to forget we belong to the global community when we are tending our veggie patch in The Meadow…….

We finally had a free day yesterday to tidy up the garden and we started by burning off a whole load of building debris and plant material – cheaper than tipping it that’s for sure. As we organised our bonfire we noticed this….

A huge stash of eggs! We thought the reduced numbers of eggs we were getting was due to it being winter but instead the girls had discovered a secret snuggly little cave to lay their eggs in – there was at least 30 in there if not more! I will have to do a more thorough search next time the numbers dwindle……!!!

I am hopeful that in my next blog post I will have a completed house to share with you and then I can start to look forward to my little European trip and sipping chilled prosecco on the shores of Lake Como. It’s a shame I have completely run out of time to address the fact that I may need to pop on a cozzie whilst staying with friends 30m from the beach in the south of France. I may have to buy up big on kaftans and mumus at the airport.

Sadly this is only too true……

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I did have a few diet and exercise fuelled weeks a month or so ago but apart from walking and going to Pilates I haven’t done a thing since.

It’s been more of a case of….

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aaaaarghhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!

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