Monday, January 29, 2018

Eden Escape

We’re home from a lovely long weekend at our friends beach house in Eden.
A few days immersed in salty air and water have recharged our batteries, leaving us ready to face the first week of the new school year. Cocora Beach was as beautiful as ever...calm and quiet save for a few raucous seagulls. We spent Friday afternoon swimming in the shallows.

Both boys are competent swimmers now and loved learning how to body surf in the teeny waves that seemed to sigh rather than crash into the shore...although they seemed to think they were monster waves that elicited squeals of excitement with each approach. 

On Saturday, after another morning at the beach, we lunched at the Seahorse Inn on the opposite side of the harbour and explored Quarantine Bay on the way home. We came across the largest stingrays I’d ever seen in the wild. They were feeding on the fish offcuts tossed back into the water by fisherman. It was fascinating to watch. Jack was keen to befriend the older boys fishing off the boat ramp, eagerly helping one chap with his catch of mullet. He so desperately wanted to be like the big kids and seemed so little and next to them.

In the afternoon Shannon napped and I curled up with a book and a glass of wine, listening to Harry tinkling on the piano and Jack in the garden vainly attempting to catch a lizard. 

Dinner Saturday night was at Drift in Snug Cove. 
We hadn’t tried it before but it’s a confirmed favourite now! The decor and atmosphere were fun and family friendly, with a view looking onto the wharf. The boys settled on mini cheeseburgers and fries while the Husband and I indulged in the house platter and a dozen oysters, half Kilpatrick and half Chilli, Ginger and Lime. They were utterly, UTTERLY divine, washed down with a refreshing mojito and glass of rose.

Sunday’s drive home along winding country roads was a bit of a revelation to me. I’d always thought the rolling green hills around Candelo were pretty but it struck us for the first time that it was the area and community we both want to eventually move to. Finally we can put a location into our long term dream. Hurrah! 

Normally we would drive straight through the tiny town as it’s not very far from Eden, but this time we stopped for coffee at the Candelo General Store and Cafe and I’m so glad we did. It’s utterly gorgeous and serves the best coffee and cake.

I’m always so completely chuffed (though never surprised) whenever I come across vibrant, thriving hubs in  rural communities. 

This long weekend was such a lovely way to round out the school holidays, time to dive back into the fray of school and routine. 

xx Em

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Poachers Pantry

This time five years ago my world was flipped on its head with my breast cancer diagnosis.

I’d turned 36 two days before and suddenly I wasn’t able to see myself making it to 40. It was a fiercely frightening time. But thanks to the hell that is cancer treatment and sheer dumb luck, I’m still here, very much alive at the ripe old age of 41. And celebrate my birthday and simultaneously flip the bird at cancer, we took a drive out to Poachers Pantry this morning for a spot of brunch.

Its been a few years between visits and the cafe has undergone a bit of a transformation in that was lovely before but its grown into a really gorgeous space including a thriving kitchen garden. 

Brunch was as divine as ever...

To the boys great excitement two helicopters landed in the nearby paddock. They were delivering a few patrons to the you do. We went and had a sticky beak at the choppers after we do. 

Then we continued stickybeaking about the property for a bit before heading back down the tree lined drive toward home.

Such a beautiful morning. I’m so grateful to be here to enjoy it with my Littles and my Love and I’m certainly not going to leave it so long to get back to this gorgeous place. 

Xx Em

Friday, January 12, 2018

Catching up to Summer.

Belated Happy New Year Lovely Peeples!

I’m late to the party again, a thousand blog posts have been constructed in my head but none put in print since last spring. I’m sorry, my bad! I haven’t made any resolutions this year but I AM hoping to be more consistent with this blog.

It’s been a lovely summer holiday so far.
Early December meant that I was in my foodie zone making hampers filled with home made vanilla extract, cranberry sauce, hazelnut dukkah, chilli cashews and a variety of preserves. 

I think we made at least half a dozen batches of gingerbread and the house smelt of spices for weeks...oh my giddy aunt it was yummy! 

I didn’t do anywhere near as much sewing compared to previous years. It was a deliberate decision to reduce the crazy amount of stress that usually comes with the season. I did a couple of ragdolls for two of the Littles in our circle and experimented with some hoop art. 

It felt nice to pull back a bit and enjoy the lead up to Christmas. 

Christmas was a coastal affair with my family at Anna Bay. 
We woke to perfect beach weather on Christmas Eve. The boys explored rock pools with their cousins, paddled in the dingy, discovered tiny jellies on the sand and my brother took them snorkelling for the first time. 

The afternoon consisted of nothing more strenuous than taking a nap, reading books, drinking wine, chatting over a cheese board and constructing dessert. 

The kids kept watch for santa doing the lolly round on the local fire truck and were rewarded for their patience...just as the heavens opened.

Christmas Morning was all about the kids which is just how I love it!

Tim and Margie created a fabulous summer feast for Christmas Lunch and it was soooooo goooood!

An inevitable food coma ensued! 

The rest of our visit was spent just kicking back and hanging out together. 

We had to say goodbye and head back home just after Boxing Day to take care of our feathered and fur babies. 
I’m so glad that we got to spend time with my family, even if it was only for a few days. Thanks for being such marvellous hosts Tim & Marg, you out did yourselves, again!

Since then we’ve just been hanging out at home, pottering in the garden and occasionally venturing to the pool or the park. Harry spends a lot of time making little films with his new Lego train set using the Stikbot app. Jack is currently obsessed with all things dinosaur and I regularly find myself his captive audience, made to listen to every little bit of Dino trivia that he can recall.

The veggie patch is thriving us an abundance of corn, cucumber, salad greens, carrots, apples, pears, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, kale and garlic. The tomatoes are finally beginning to fruit so we might also get a decent crop from them too, before the first frost arrives. Wandering about the garden in the cool of the early morning is such a pleasure. 

Feeling very grateful for what we have right here, right now.

Til next time...xx Em.