Skip to main content



This week it is two years since I retired so it seemed like an ideal time to reflect.

Retirement In the lead up to retirement I was somewhat worried about what it would be like and whether I could keep myself happy and occupied.  I needn't have worried. I threw myself into all sorts of projects that have been hanging around for years - craft, the gardens, furniture restoration and now I am attacking painting the doors and skirting boards at Rose Orchard Haus.
There has been plenty to do - too much activity actually and not enough time to reflect, write and dream.  I must look into that.   
We have also not travelled as much as we hoped - medical problems, fires and coronavirus have all got in our way so it is whole year since we took our caravan for a spin! We hope to rectify that in July.
Coronavirus update We are now seeing an increase of visitors to regional NSW - just what the government ordered.  This week in our sleepy little town I have seen a number of caravans, more cars, lots …
Recent posts


As we settle into winter hibernation the world around us also seems to be settling into its new normal. While things in the country are now quite similar to before, we caught the train to the city this week where life is still very different - empty trains, empty streets, closed shops. It's sad to see or vibrant beautiful city so subdued.

At Rose Orchard Haus  Cosy inside, our mornings are moody with swirling mist which eventually pools into the valley leaving us with a bright sunny day ending in a lovely sunset. Each day I have been watching the setting sun which today has reached its furtherest point north and tomorrow will began its slow passage back towards the south.

At Burnbrae Winter's damp is making itself felt but small spots of delight are appearing with the camellias beginning to flower.

From the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars with their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great fa…


As protesting crowds toppled statues this week we toppled some trees and I contemplated the theme "Falling".

Falling trees We have been working hard continuing to clean up our bush block Whistlers Rest, hoping to finish it before the next bushfire season.  In the process I noticed a lot of the hickory wattles have died.  They are drought tolerant, have a lifespan of 30 years but are prone to borer attack which I think is the cause of their demise.  So my husband armed with his new chainsaw cut them down for me.
I also attacked the sprawling blackthorn (Bursaria sponosa). It was a very prickly job but and am now pleased with the more open parklike effect.

Pride comes before a fall
As I was thinking about falling I remembered "Pride comes before a fall"  on the snakes and ladders board we played with as kids. It was the stuck up guy tripping over that I thought was hilarious and remembered so well.
The game doesn't have it now but the original version was all about vir…


As autumn gave way to winter with frost on the grass most mornings,  the world gave way to ever increasing distress. This had me contemplating peace this week.

The peace of Jesus The message today at the Cathedral focused on Jesus' words in John 16:33  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 
Peace in change For the past 40 years I have sporadically kept a diary. This week I picked up one at random. It was from 2004/5 when I was at the peak of my corporate career - corner office, big pay, big responsibilities, long hours, lots of travel, and the crazy expectations that working in a sales organisation creates.  I was loving it and had big dreams but every now and then exhausted I wrote "I would really like to work from home writing".  

The sun set in on that job when the company was taken over and some months later I was retrenched. After weeks of searching is was clear…


Driving between Rose Orchard Haus and Burnbrae along the Castlereagh Highway this week had me thinking of the recovery from the recent triple troubles - drought, fire and COVID-19.

Much of the fire grounds are still looking desolate.  Normally I would expect the eucalypts to show new sprouts by this time, like on this tree below.

I am not sure whether the lack of sprouts is because they are a different type of eucalyptus or whether the fire was too hot.

All along the burnt part of the highway trees are being cut down (they have been working on it for months now). I can only assume it's because the trees are dead, going to die and/or are unsafe.

On a brighter note - the flocks and herds seems to be getting bigger.

I am not sure if this is because the sheep are easier to see on green grass than on drought dry land.

It is going to be a long road to recovery on all three fronts.


In NSW we are now free to roam any distance to visit family and friends.  This week I was delighted to drive to Mudgee. 

On the road is the always beautiful Windemere Dam which is looking a bit dry but holding steady at 27% full.

We are now looking forward to June 1 when regional holidays are allowed and campgrounds open.  We are hoping to be able to make a much postponed Sweet Wayfaring caravan trip to one of our regional towns.
Despite things opening up we are being cautious and preferring to mostly keep to ourselves only visiting quiet country shops and family and staying away from the city places as much as medical appointments will allow.
How are you planning to "open up"?

Shutting Down

As we slowly emerge from our coronavirus bubbles my gardens are doing the reverse, starting their annual winter shutdown.

Yes that is a fly at the top left corner of my shiny clean window.  Did you notice there were a LOT more flies this summer?  It is something to do with it being warmer and wetter this year.  The good news is that with the arrival of winter they will die down.

Likewise my gardens are dying down for the winter. At Rose Orchard Haus I was pleased to see the tree dahlia in flower this week.  While I enjoy these flowers this is also usually a signal that frost is on its way and the plant will soon be a black mess.  We have in fact had our first frosts but only managed to singe the leaves thus far.  The lovely lush lawn is browning off quickly now.

But the prize for the best seasonal shutdown has to go to Burnbrae, our Blue Mountians Garden, which was turning on its beautiful autumn display this week.