Roses have never lost their appeal. One of the most anciently revered flowers they have been cultivated for centuries throughout the world and are still considered one of the most romantic and beautiful plants to grow. They are also amazingly hardy which belies their soft velvety petals and despite being susceptible to various bugs they manage extremes of weather be it very hot or cold and can even survive our wicked westerly winds. So what’s not to like?? I do manage to tear open my arms on their brambles when I’m gardening but there are even thornless varieties nowadays if that becomes a problem. I’ve toyed with the idea of a climbing rose over the front veranda – surely the epitome of every country house – and if I could find my perfect Pierre De Ronsard pink climbing rose I may well be tempted to plant 2 on each side of the front steps to frame our front door. In the meantime this is one of our original roses which has been planted here for many a moon, I have no idea what the name of it is but it is beautifully put together!!
So just like roses many things that are “old fashioned” are back in favour. As my friends become grandparents I’m seeing a lot of the old names coming back into vogue. Our neighbours new grandson is Vincent Albert and another has a Gordon (already fondly known as Flash!) Our young neighbours have a Sid and representing the girls we have Florence and Olive! To the young parents these are interesting new names but for those of us over 50 we hear our grandparents names, I wonder how long it will be before Enid and Herbert are again common names???
It’s not only the old names but the old way of life that is being embraced by a new generation. It’s never exactly the same 2nd time round but there is a definite trendiness to cooking from scratch, growing your own produce, even making your own cleaning products from common household items rather than the smorgasbord of chemicals in commercial products. Recycling and Upcycling are the new black and sewing, knitting, home made pickles and chutneys and home brews are all embraced not just by the older generation but also by young families. Backyard chickens and even the odd goat or sheep are commonplace. I saw the funniest sight whilst walking along the river the other day when I saw a guy kayaking with his pet goat beside him!! Apparently he rescued him from a shelter and now he goes everywhere with him rather like a labrador! A goat would be nice for the milk and cheese but would be disastrous for my garden and the new saplings and plants so for now I’ll just stick to chooks!
Something old that will probably never be new again is the old Nowra Sailing Club. It was the company store that sat alongside the Nowra wharf, which was built in the 1880s. Before river blasting secured a safe navigation passage for steamers all the way to Nowra in 1903, goods were offloaded at Greenwell Point then sent by land to Nowra. As road and rail links between Nowra and Sydney were improved, reliance on sea transport dwindled. By the mid 1940s, the wharf and its associated sheds were no longer used to transport goods.They became home to the Nowra Fishing Co-op until 1964 when the Nowra Sailing Club applied for a lease over the building and wharf. After surviving all those years it burnt down suspiciously two weekends ago despite the best attempts by firefighters to save it. A lovely old wooden structure, it has been under water several times in the big floods and had always survived to fight another day but this time it looks like it will be replaced by a more modern building, it is still up in the air if it will be another sailing club, a museum or maybe even a waterfront cafe. Another little bit of history gone.
Someone asked me if I could post some recent pictures of our house the other day and I hope they enjoy this little selection. I am certainly spending a lot more time indoors with the recent cold snap (and because I’ve had the lurgy now for 10 days) and I really appreciate the coziness of my home although it is 100% better when a log fire or two are burning. It’s dark by 5pm, even the chooks are all snuggled up on their roost by then and we have found ourselves eating earlier and have gone into hibernation mode somewhat!
So I guess it was good that we got shaken out of our little winter routine with the arrival of Tom and his mate Alex for the weekend. It was the first time Alex had been down to our neck of the woods and the boys did some local exploring before we all ventured out to our favourite Two Figs winery to show him the view and enjoy a cheese platter and some of their wines. Home to a dinner of comfort food and a huge bonfire under the Milky Way, very simple but THE BEST way to end a day if you ask me! The weekend was rounded off with a lovely lunch with our friends listening to some live music in the sunshine at yet another winery – Mountain Ridge (how lucky we are to have at least 5 decent wineries near us, all with super views and increasingly with various options to dine.) I must say that winter in Australia is pretty fabulous , at least while the sun is out. People from overseas are always surprised at how cold it can get here but living near the coast we are luckier than those over the mountain range where they are experiencing overnight temps of 0 to -5 together with heavy frosts. I’m so glad we get to enjoy four definitive seasons here as each one has its plusses and minuses with different food and activity choices with each season and by the time the new one comes around we are usually ready and waiting for it!!