Thursday, July 15, 2010

Great Western Adventure: Part 4: Sofala

On leaving O'Connell and Bathurst we headed north to Sofala, an old gold rush town.

Sofala was a big gold rush area in the 1850s and later, and many of the buildings date from the 1870s.

Some of them haven't been touched since the 1870s, methinks!
Although there was a car parked out the front as if someone lives there ...

an old slab hut

rainwater tank

main street

But I could happily live in this cute cottage:

love the colours ...

Great Western Adventure: Part 3 - Jenolan Caves

From O'Connell we headed off one day to Jenolan Caves, about 1.5 hours drive south, through Oberon. The terrain changed dramatically throughout the drive - from hilly farmland, to conifer forest, to bush, to rainforest. It was a chilly day - the temperature didn't rise above 4 deg C and it was raining when we came out of the caves, then we drove through thick fog on the way home. But I can't remember Jenolan Caves ever being dry, it always seems to be raining there!

We first took the self-tour with audio commentary to the Devil's Coachhouse (above)
and Nettle Cave, and then took the guided tour of the Temple of Baal Cave.

There were so many amazing formations in the cave. Quite incredible.

They call this shawl formation the Angel's Wing and it is 9 metres from top to bottom but so fine that light can shine through it. Of course it looks much more impressive in real life!

Jenolan Caves has been a tourist destination since the mid 1800s, the buildings are very 1900-1920s and haven't changed much since then.

We all enjoyed the Caves very much. Afterwards we went to Oberon and visited the local handcrafts shop and a funny big empty coffee shop for afternoon tea.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Great Western Adventure: Part 2 - O'Connell

After leaving Lithgow and the Zig Zag Railway, we drove to O'Connell, about 20 minutes from Bathurst. O'Connell is a tiny historic village surrounded by farms.

We stayed at Warego Cottage, which we loved. It was so peaceful staying on a farm.

Lovely neutrals with beautiful pastel artworks by the owner.

Simple kitchen

Comfortable bedrooms

Living room view

Exploring the farm

We walked to the creek

A perfect end to the first day of our holiday.

Dinner was in the old pub, dated 1865, and was delicious.
The dining room had a logfire and old English plates above the picture rails.
We sat and ate, feeling as if we had just alighted from a Cobb & Co. coach in the 1800s.

Although we probably wouldn't have been eating Mexican Chicken Schnitzels if that was the case ...

Great Western Adventure: Part 1 - On the Road

We have just returned from a 10-day trip around New South Wales - a wonderful holiday. We stayed at 4 different towns or cities, and saw many, many more. Of course I took plenty of photos so you'll be seeing some over the next posts ...

We headed off last Saturday in chilly but sunny weather, taking the Bells Line of Road and stopping at Kurrajong and then Lithgow. We had lunch at a park in Lithgow, and it was windy and COLD! In fact that was our coldest hour of the whole holiday! I was afraid we were going to be that cold for the next ten days, but of course, we weren't!

The girls kept warm by playing on the equipment,

and I even joined in a little ...

The girls both had new DS games (actually, Emily's was 5 books to read, rather than a game) so their DS's were attached to them at times ...

Then we went on the Zig Zag railway, which is always good fun, before heading towards Bathurst.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Days

I thought this was a good thought:

I need to learn to keep a quiet heart. To trust that if God has allowed an interruption in my day, it serves a purpose. To believe that the time to finish what work I thought needed to be done will be given. To accept that he is diverting me from my "plan " to his greater plan.

- Karen Ehman in A Life That Says Welcome

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Crocheted Aviator Cap

School holidays begin tomorrow!

Over the next few days I expect to be out and about a lot in the cold, so I've been crocheting this cute cap the last two nights, and got it finished!

Well ... except for sewing in the ends :-(

The original pattern, once again from the Lincraft Crochet 2008-9 book is made from gorgeous Prism yarn, which unfortunately I can't wear, since it's wool. I tried the cap in various other yarns I had, but nothing but stripes would do! So out came the acrylic yarns from the $2 shop which I've got stashed away to make a wavy rug at some point ... and this is the colourful result!

I love it - but will I have the courage to wear it in public, I wonder???

It's very .... colourful and girly!

But .. I couldn't resist the allure of stripes
.. and the plaits ...

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Today a treelopper came to the door to offer his services. Before I knew it I had agreed for him to remove a tree, which turned out to be a privet (a noxious weed here). This tree has been dying for a long time anyway, and has been a nuisance.

Above you can see the tree, beyond the trampoline, and below, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can see the 'after' photo.

well, something like that. It was late by the time they left, so I didn't get a proper photo. But now sun shines on the trampoline and the clothesline will hopefully get more sun. Lovely for winter. Not so good for summer though ... but it had to be done.

And then ... he asked about the palm trees behind our house. You can see them in this photo from last April:

The previous owners planted palm trees, two rows of two varieties. One row went when we extended the house a little. We never liked them, they don't really go with the house and the leaves are dropping from higher and higher and are very heavy, I was afraid someone might be hurt one day. So ... they went too.

Eleven trees gone in one day! I should be horrified, but I'm not. (well I am horrified at how much it all cost, but not at the trees going!) I love a tree in its rightful place, but not in the wrong place. Fortunately our property is surrounded by many beautiful eucalypts, and we still have some trees of our own!

On the plus side, now the front garden is opened up a lot more and maybe one day we can have a beautiful new corner of our garden which I have wanted for years. Our veges and clothesline will have more sun all year ... so ... all good, really!

And for anyone who was wondering ... Laura tried her first ballet lesson this afternoon.
She loved it.