Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Nundle Here We Come

After work yesterday we left home for an early start to our weekend in Nundle for Girls Day in the Country. The weather wasn't nice and sunny, with the interesting hills behind Rylstone being shrouded in cloud. 

I was looking forward to seeing the big cliff going down into my favouring Bylong Valley bathed in beautiful afternoon light. Maybe next time. 

Our destination for the night was the little village of Bylong. The setting is rather picturesque. There is a popular rest area there with plenty of room for camping. There were two other vans there as well. 

The neighbours weren't too noisy. The only disturbance during the night was coal trains in the distance. 

Another view of our campsite. 

We had to stop and take another photo as the area is so scenic. 

While we were stopped we noticed a cave high up in the cliffs. The Valley is littered with caves. 

We even got to see one of the coal trains.  

Yes, we waved to the driver and he waved back. We lost count of the carriages at about 75. 

We enjoyed a picnic lunch at Wallabadah. There is a pretty picnic and camping ground near the creek. It would be a nice place to camp overnight. 

The campground is right next to the First Fleet Memorial Garden.  The camping fees go towards the upkeep of the garden. 

Firstly there is a list of everyone who came out on the First Fleet. 

Then there is a plaque for each ship. 

Finally each passenger on a ship is listed on tablets. It took one man five years to carve all the names. I found my two First Fleet ancestors. 

We finally arrived at Nundle at about three o'clock. It was a very leisurely trip up. 

I've never seen the mill running on my previous visits, so it was good to see this time. I may have also purchased a cardy. There is nothing like wool to keep you toasty warm. 

The grounds of the mill are nice too, with an interesting old Chev truck similar to the one my grandparents had.

Wool presses were also a work of art in the past.

And that just about filled up our day. We are now settled in at the caravan park. The weather is cool and we had some gentle rain in the early evening. 

I'll leave you with the rainbow we saw at tea time. I wonder if there is a pot of gold at the end of it?  You never know, as Nundle was founded because of gold. 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Guess What?

It was a bit exciting here this evening.....

We had some rain!  A big storm went across town. We only got the edge of it, but that wasn't such a bad thing. We did receive 6mm of rain, which was better than a poke in the eye.

This where Mick and Joey are at the must be the first game of footy for the year.  I really think Joey is a big footy fan, as whenever Mick sits down to watch a game he is straight onto his lap.

I'll just leave them to it.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017


While preparing my last post I came across some random photos from February, so thought I would share.

We bought two hanging petunia plants on the chuck out table at Bunnings on Boxing Day.  They looked fine, but had now flowers on them.  We then spent quite a bit on pots and potting mix and hoped for the best.  They started flowering about a week later and haven't stopped since.  As long as I keep the water up to them they thrive, even in the extreme heat.  They have filled out beautifully.  Once it gets cold we will move them further under the roof for protection and hopefully they will last till next summer.

Our little border of alyssum are looking lovely and surprisingly, have handle the hot weather well, despite being on the western side of the house.  We'll certainly plant them again.

There have been more stunning sunsets.

Years ago we bought an indigo plant, also known as summer wisteria.  It is hardy but dies down in winter.  We moved some into our little garden at our in between house and then moved it again.  We are happy that it has survived and now is finally flowering.

On Friday, when I went to the Post Office to collect the mail there was quite a racket.  It's not every day that you see sulphur crested cockatoos sitting on the church steeple in the middle of town.

The sky was looking rather ominous looking over our house on Sunday, but we didn't get anything out of it.  You can see here how our back garden has filled out.  The beans are growing well on one side of the arch (blackbirds destroyed the other side).  They are flowering well, but unfortunately aren't setting any beans.  I've been told that can happen in extreme heat.

One Saturday I walked down to get the papers and the sun was just coming up.

Just a bit further along it had changed to silver.  I never tire of watching the sky.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Reconnecting in February

Here we go again, checking up on how I went with "Reconnecting" this month.  You can see how I went in January here, and my original vision here.

February this year will be memorable for the weather.  We have had a maximum of 41.5 degrees C.  That is a full degree higher than any previous recorded temperature.  On the other hand, we have had a minimum of 4.3 degrees C.  That is quite a contrast. There have also been quite a few windy days.  No wonder the poor garden is suffering.   Therefore, we have spent quite a considerable amount of time watering.  The tanks off the shed are now empty, waiting for some decent rain.  I think it has nearly forgotten how to rain here.  We have only had about 13mm for the year so far.  There was a short sharp storm in town this afternoon, but we (being a whole 2kms away) had 0.3mm.


I have read nothing further of the Tim Winton book.  Not a word.  It is sitting beside my desk at work waiting patiently for me to have a free lunch break.

As I suggested last time, I picked up something a bit more exciting, a Dick Francis book that was sitting on the shelf. A quick, light read and now the book will be moved on.

We have boxes and boxes of books (okay nearly a room full of boxes) that need going through and then we will be getting rid of the majority of them. In among them are quite a few classics that have sat on the shelf for years, but I have never read.  Dad was not in favour of reading any fiction, so I missed quite a few of the basics, like "The Wind in the Willows".  For such a book worm, I've never read it.  We have had this copy for over 30 years.  When we first got together, one day we were at the tip and there were boxes and boxes of books being thrown away.  It was nearly the entire library of a local boarding school and this well used volume was amongst them.  We were selective to start with and then just loaded boxes into our car. Anyway, I digress.  I'm half way through the book and it is good to finally read it, as there are so many classic quotes and characters, although you could not exactly call it high brow (but then neither am I).


Not so well this month.  OK, we had two quick trips to Windsor, but they weren't really explorations.


Not so well, once again.  Just a couple of more butterflies.  I'm going to use the same weak excuse as last month.  We are spending so much time outside....watering, watering, watering.


The only thing this time was the Bathurst Swap Meet at the beginning of the month.  We only had a little stall, but we got rid of a bit more stuff.  Yes, there was even a little bit of fabric.  Every little bit helps.

I sold my old pushbike "Flash", who doesn't look so flash any more.  I was happy that she was bought by a man who restores bikes.  He is going to hang her on the wall of his shed. (Instead of her hanging in the roof of ours.)  I was sad to see her go, but it is definitely for the best.  I'll tell you all about her one day.  She was special.

I just remembered I also tidied a couple of kitchen cupboards, to fit in more preserves.

Oh, and I sorted a lot of paperwork in the office......but lots more to was a start.


Being summer, we have had our usual onslaught of tomatoes, so we have made  "Grandma's Tomato Sauce".  Well, not quite her sauce this time, as I made it on the spur of the moment and thought I had all the ingredients, but actually didn't.  There was only a splash of malt vinegar left, so it was made up with white.  Oops, not much brown sugar left and no reserve packet, so white had to make up the difference. I only had red apples, not grannies and only red onions.  Oh, and I accidentally picked up the Cinnamon instead of the Cayenne, so it has both in it.  I suppose the end product was still influenced by Grandma's recipe.  Anyway, it tastes just fine.

Now that we are in town I no longer have a plum tree and it seems wrong not having home made plum jam in the cupboard, so when I saw some nice dark plums in the supermarket we had a jam making episode.  It turned out rather well too.

We ended up with 11 bottles of sauce and 10 jars of jam.  Yum.  That should see us through for a couple of years.

There were still more tomatoes, so there is quite a sizable batch of pasta sauce in the freezer as well.  All of this was achieved in one week.  Not too bad.

Unfortunately, the extreme heat has knocked the tomatoes about, so we are waiting for a further flush to come through.



This was a big surprise to me.  

You see, Mick has a dicky knee and cannot walk very far at the moment.  However, he has been able to ride his pushbike without pain and apparently it is good for knees.  We got chatting and then went shopping.....

Meet Olivia.  

I never thought I would have another push bike.  I would have liked a pretty girls bike, but Olivia has many more gears and wonderful suspension in the front forks.  Oh, how bikes have changed in the last 36 years since I bought a bike.  She is a nice compromise.

I thought she was black in the shop, but when she is in the sun she is actually a really deep metallic purple.

Boy, am I out of practice!!!  We went for a ride of about 3kms on the first morning.  What looked flat, was actually a very gradual rise...all the way home.  

That afternoon we went out again.  Just up the road we found some blackberries.  So home we rode and returned with buckets for picking.  

A lot of them were rather dry, but we were able to get enough to have on ice cream for a couple of nights. Anyway, after that my legs ached something terrible and I was just a tad (OK very) saddle sore. Hopefully, it will get easier the more I do.  It is rather embarrassing how unfit I am.  Oh well, baby steps.

Mick is now planning a bike carrier to put on the caravan.  It should be nice to take the bikes away.


Yes, we have spent time with good friends.  It is always nice.


At the beginning of the month we took our van down to Windsor to have a little bit of work done on it.  The weather was cool and damp.  So very different to home at the time.

We made a nice day out of our trip, enjoying a late breakfast at our favourite cafe.

We returned last weekend to collect the van. 

Once again the weather was cool and damp.  It drizzled over the mountains both ways......and of course stopped as soon as you got west of Lithgow.


I suppose, making an enjoyable time of our trips to Windsor fit into this category, but February hasn't been as relaxed as January was.  We both have been busy at work and the weather has been rather taxing.  That is just the way it goes.  Each month is different.


It is interesting having a theme for the year.  Yes, I do think about it and hopefully will continue to do something in each catergory each month.

Friday, 10 February 2017

We have been working on a lot of our garden, but haven't paid too much attention to our undercover entertaining area.

When we moved in we plonked some existing pots in the corner and that was about it.  Shortly after we bought a couple of hanging pots at a church fete and hoped they would survive the winter.......they did.....bonus!

This area has been annoying us and recently Mick decided it was time to do something about it.  He's being toying with the idea of a water feature for some time, but hasn't been able to decide what he wanted to do.

We trawled through Pinterest ideas of gardens, looked at what we had around the place and formulated a plan.

Firstly decide on the shape and area.

Then, to make a water feature.

This was created from three flower pots that the previous owner had left in a corner of the garden.  A bucket was placed in the bottom pot, after sealing the drain hole, a small pump installed and a mesh frame made to sit the second pot on.  Another frame was made to sit in the second pot and finally a mesh top in the top pot.  Thread a pipe up the middle and attache a small fountain fitting.  Cover the frames with decorative stones and see how it goes.  Not bad.  Certainly a lot cheaper than buying a water feature.

Next, build a galvanised sheet pan for everything  to sit in, keep it tidy and prevent damp.  

Then find more pots in the back of the garden and pot them up with shade loving plants.

Fill the gaps up with stone and all done.

We're rather pleased with how it has turned out for a budget makeover.  The plants were by far the most expensive part of the whole exercise.

Now we need to turn our attention to the other end of this area, but that will have to wait until we get some spare time.