Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Travel: Wine and quilts at Mittagong

We haven't had a Sunday drive for a while so when my quilting teacher, Carolyn Sullivan, told us she had a quilt in an exhibition at a winery, I thought what could be better than visiting both his and my favourite subjects on the same day.
We hopped onto the new-ish M7 expressway and headed south, I haven't been on this road before, it cuts out loads of traffic and lights but, like all expressways, is SO boring
on the M7 heading south

In no time at all, we were off the main road and on the dirt track to Bou-saada Vineyard at Mittagong.

the road to Bou-saada Winery, Mittagong

Bou-saada Winery, Mittagong

We had stopped at Mittagong RSL for lunch but found that we could have had lunch at the winery.

Bou-saada Winery, Mittagong

Bou-saada Winery, Mittagong

here are the quilts and a corner of the gallery

Wine and quilts

Outside the grape vines were looking very green but the rest of the countryside was brown and dry, we saw cattle and sheep on farms picking at what looked like dead clumps of grass in red earth paddocks. On the news last night was an article on how the farmers are getting $600 per steer and we are paying $2000 in the supermarkets for the meat.

Bou-saada Winery, Mittagong

We found this little group of gnomes having a game of cricket, with the bush fires still around Sydney I won't jinx these little guys by mentioning Ashes.

Cricketing gnomes

Bou-saada also grows proteas

Bou-saada Winery, Mittagong

Bou-saada Winery, Mittagong

I went to look at the quilts while he had a wine tasting at the cellar door...I came out just in time to see the credit card being handed over for a carton of wine......mmmmmm, now where have I put that brochure about the embellisher machine......

we then cruised on to Berrima but I might do that one later.
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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Blue Mountain fires

As I've been uploading the shadehouse photos to flickr and writing the last entry, I've had the radio on, the bushfires raging in the Grose Valley of the Blue Mountains has again jumped containment lines and is threatening the small towns of Hazlebrook and Linden. It started 10 days ago from lightning strikes in inaccessable country.

The sky over Sydney is brown with smoke and the wind is hot and fierce.

So far no properties have been lost but it's getting closer to built up areas.

...and the native animal losses we will probably never know, except for those who are found with burns.

It's not just the Blue Mountains, there are about 60 separate fires being fought around the state.

Summer in Australia isn't all surf and beaches.

reports on the Sydney Morning Herald site

The tale of the cats and the shadehouse - part two

When you take a break from blogging for whatever reason it’s hard to get back into the swing of things, you think of things to blog about but feel a need to play catch up first, and so it keeps being put off.

So having left you all with part one of the cats and the shadehouse, I know you have been on tenterhooks waiting for the rest of the story.
Haven’t you.....say yes or I just won’t be able to go on....

We were offered an old shadehouse framework which was once in my sis-in-laws back garden but had been dismantled years ago and was taking up needed space.

frame arrives

It arrived with no instructions, brother in law gave us a vague notion of how it went together but it soon developed into a giant meccano set as we measured and imagined where the bits belonged.

meccano set

But where do the cats come into it I hear you ask?

A friend showed me the purpose built cattery that her daughter had installed in their backyard to give her Siamese some outdoor time.

It had a sort of raised mesh tunnel linking the sleeping quarters to the enclosed outdoor yard. It is after the style for sale here - these don’t come cheap you’ll notice, this girl paid about $2000 for hers.

Well, our little brats already had their garden apartment but I thought of linking it to the shadehouse with a raised run to give them some extra space…..not that they are particularly energetic, they spend most of the day in a prostrate position, it was just my guilt feelings for locking them up, guilt fed by looking at this site and thinking how hard done by our kids were in comparison.

First we had to find the right spot, not easy, we don’t have a lot of space, so we decided it should go here, my favourite spot for a chair, book and coffee.

the site for the shadehouse

One of my concerns was that I didn’t want to lose the big birds nest fern

birds nest fern

There was also an old melaleuca which had a lovely twisted trunk that I had been ducking under for years and would probably need a trim.

melaleuca before

When we measured, we found the melaleuca was in for the chop – this is not a sight I want to see in my garden very often – Tom the toolman with chainsaw in hand.

melaleuca gets the chop

space cleared for the shadehouse

We eventually had a relatively clear space, I tied up the birds nest and removed everything else that I could, then came the fun and games.

My husband has a *thing* about asking people for help, he’d rather struggle on his own with me holding up my end. Massive great sheets of weldmesh are not light and they sure don’t manoeuvre easily, we were able to carry the walls around into position but the roof had to be lifted on by going up and over the pool fence…..it was a stinky hot day, there was even a little local scrub fire, so the smell of smoke was in the air as well.
But..we did it...without too many injuries, minimum swearing and we are still talking to each other...

shadehouse frame

By this stage I was thinking bad thoughts about the cats.

Merlin inspected the space then went back to bed.

Merlin inspects the new shadehouse

Two little frogs inspected the space and decided they liked it.


It was then I decided it was for me and the frogs

I divided up the staghorns, replanted the bromeliads and the tree fern was happy to have its corset removed.

shadehousereplanted the bromeliadstree fern

We went to Bunnings and bought nice little table for two.

new table

and early morning sunlight with coffee is just wonderful

early morning sunlight

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