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Showing posts from September, 2018

Be encouraged and know hope

Anglican Church, Ilford We sure get to worship in lots of different churches these days.  Today the Rylstone-Kandos congregation met at Ilford, which is a very small town and farming community about 20kms from Kandos. We had a lovely service reflecting and praying during this time of drought.  The spring green is deceptive, the drought continues and even when it breaks will take time for the farms to recover. Reflection: Psalm 147:8 New International Version "He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.


Sulpher-Crested Cockatoos Didn't have much time to chase birds this week so settled on another easy one.  There are always cockatoos around the garden at Burnbrae.  They chew on the pine cones and snip off twigs and during the fruiting season take a bite out of every green plum before throwing it away and trying another.  These ones were part of a larger flock settled on the grass in the park over the road.

Vintage 12 - Studio progress

My Writing Studio For my "old stuff" post of the week here is a progress shot on the transformation of the old chook pen (aka hen house or chicken coop) into my writing studio.  The roosts, feeding trays, nesting boxes and entry hatch removed, new ceiling and windows put in, a good clean up and now a nice lick of paint. Last time my sister visited she turned up her nose and said "It smells" so I have been busy making sure it was in better shape for this inspection.  When I look at the picure below (when there had already been a lot of progress) I guess I can see why she had trouble seeing my vision. It will be a while before we transfer more furnishings from Burnbrae to be able to finish setting it up but in the meanwhile there are plenty of other jobs to be done elsewhere.

An outing

Bowral NSW The weather has turned cold and grey again so rather than sitting around home feeling dull like the weather we decided to go on an outing. We took the train to Bowral to see their annual tulip display. After taking in the tulips we had lunch in one of the many, many cafes in the town, visited a couple of bookshops then did the 4.5 hour trip home again to Lawson - a lovely day out.


That's my sister sitting in the sunshine on our new deck at Rose Orchard Haus.  I used to have two sisters but one passed away some 20 years ago. There was an 8 year spread in our ages but our birthdays fell one day after another which when we were kids meant three days of feasting because Mum insisted we should each have our own special day. My sister, like me, has recently resurrected her knitting skills.  But unlike me she has grandchildren so can satisfy her craving by creating lots of little jumpers. A book I have read recently In honour of today's topic I decided to reread a book on my bookshelf. Sisters: six Australian writers explore their joys and frustrations of being a sister - edited by Drusilla Modjeska.  I remember not particularly enjoying it first time round and on second reading it didn't improve.  However the essays by Helen Garner and Elizabeth Jolly were good at conveying the joys and annoyanced of sisterhood.    This also reminds me of another


Spring at Burnbrae builds to its beautiful best around 22 September every year and this year was no exception.  The cherries are in full blossom, the neighbour's huge crab apple turns on its full display, and the maples are in fresh new leaf.  I also noticed the first azaleas are flowering, a clump of clivias in flower under the lilipillies and the photinia on the southern side is in full flower since last week's round up. I just wish the weather would settle down though ... very chilly today.

Serene waters

Dunns Swamp, Wollemi National Park I thought I would show you one more image from Dunns Swamp. A poem for today The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats. I love this poem.

Dunn's Swamp

Dunns Swamp, Wollemi National Park Dunns Swamp is a very popular camping spot with 80 campsites dotted among the trees, rocks and beside the water.  I was therefore surprised to find we were almost alone being mid-week, however I expect most of those sites will be occupied on the long weekend.  Reflection: John 14:27 New International Version "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

At the swamp

Purple Swamphen My sister has been visiting from Queensland this week so we took the lovely drive out to Dunns Swamp which is on the Western border of Wollemi National Park, about 30km from Kandos. Dunns Swamp (Ganguddy) is at the headwaters of the Cudgegong River, created when Kandos Weir was built in the late 1920s to supply water to the cement plant. I grabbed a shot of the swamphens as my bird shot for this week.  I will show you a photo of the "swamp" tomorrow, it is not a swamp but rather a lovely lake.

Vintage 11

Old shop, Gulgong NSW We have been busy all week so decided to reward ourselves with a nice drive this afternoon.  Went to Gulgong, an old gold town about 90kms from Kandos.  It is joyful driving around the countryside at the moment because it currently all dressed in spring green,

Lake View 1

Lake Windemere This is an early warning, you are going to see regular shots of this lake.  It is on the road between Rylstone and Mudgee and I love it.  The wonderful thing about lakes is how their water levels rise and fall and the water reflects the light and mood of the day. Yesterday was a grey day, next time I drive that way it may be quite different.

On fruit

I got up early enough this morning to catch the pink sky.  This is the view to the west, the sun hides behind the big mountain to the east for an hour or so longer.  In this photo you can also see the orange tree, the blood plum in flower and the pears and walnut not yet blossoming.  With a potential bounty of fruit in season you will understand my choice of book for the week. A book I have read recently A Year in a Bottle   by Sally Wise -- how to make your own delicious preserves all year round.  I live in a back-in-time house and do things in the slow lane these days so a book like this is good for dreaming of what I could do but not what I actually do. I draw the line at preserving other than the very easy task of freezing the excess.  It's citrus season, I could make marmalade.  But truly when you actually make jam you realise how much sugar is in it and hence know it is to be eaten sparingly. If I made jam I would have to give it away.  Why do that when I can just as re

Waking up

The first mow of the season done, the joy of watching Burnbrae garden wake up and the wonderful fragrances - daphne, wattle, violet and more.


I think I am solar charged, the sunshine and warmth of spring brings on a buzz of spring cleaning.  I am so happy this week because I have cleaned and oiled the verandah at Burnbrae.  One job down a zillion to go. A poem for today I wracked my brain for a different verandah poem but I could not go past Country Town s by Kenneth Slessor for this memorable stanza "Verandas baked with musky sleep,  Mulberry faces dozing deep,  And dogs that lick the sunlight up  Like paste of gold – or, roused in vain  By far, mysterious buggy-wheels,  Lower their ears, and drowse again." I'm looking foward to summer when all the cleaning is done and I can doze away warm days on the verandah.

Sunday drive

Neville Road Clandulla We had a free afternoon so it was time to reintroduce an old custom -- the Sunday drive A Sunday drive involves picking a road, any road, and just mooching along seeing where it leads.  Neville Road has nice grazing properies, an olive farm and other lifestyle blocks all with lovely views of mountains in every direction but it was the wattles that caught my eye. Reflection: Matthew 7:13 New International Version "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it."

Little birds

Silvereye I was keen to get a Saturday bird and was pleased to see Silvereyes in Burnbrae garden this morning but was not fast enough with my camera.  Out at Rose Orchard Haus this afternoon I found some here too and with a bit of patience snapped one. I also captured this small bird but I don't know what it is. Can anybody help me?

Vintage 10

I've been to the city again this week and saw these barristers - set me wondering about the value of the vintage fancy dress.


My retirement project to finish a jumper I started 10 years ago is done!  Those lace panels drove me nuts so I left them off the back and sleeves, a good decision.  Now I am finished my fingers are itching to do more .... knitting is addictive.  There was a wonderful passage in My Brother Jack describing how the women kept on knitting things way beyond what was needed. I will resist -- fortunately the weather is getting warmer anyway. I found instagram addictive too so have shut down posting there, stopped looking at Facebook ages ago and on retirement my addiction to email looked after itself as I hardly get any messages any more.  Now there is plenty of time for spring cleaning.

Animal Farm

Near Ilford We drove over to Bathurst on the weekend. What an amazing difference a couple of days of rain made!   The hills were now covered with a sheen of green.  Hand feeding the animals will have to continue but it's a great start. A book I have read recently We caught the train to the city yesterday and while I am still reading the Helen Garner book I mentioned last week it's rather big to lug around so I decided to choose a short  classic to download to my phone.  At my husband's suggestion I read Animal Farm by George Orwall.  I saw a documentary on North Korea last week, a lot of parallels there.

The show continues

The spring flower show has moved onto the plum at Rose Orchard Haus.  There is still no sign of daffodils in this garden but the hyacinths have at last decided to flower. My 'chook pen' writing studio at the back is getting closer to completion. I will start painting it soon.

More Spring

Mudgee NSW The street trees in Mudgee are lovely to behold. A poem for today Loveliest of trees by A.E. Housman OK I know the trees in Mudgee are not cherries but that doesn't make them any less lovely

Spring is here

St Mary's Mudgee I think sandstone buildings make the perfect background for flowering trees. The weather is getting warmer, the gardens a coming awake and our prayers have been answered with good falls of rain and thunderstorms this week. The verse below turned up in my daily bible reading this week, it made me smile. Reflection : Zechariah 10:1 New International Version "Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone."

Brown Cuckoo-Dove

Brown Cuckoo-Dove This week's bird shot  is of a Brown Cuckoo-Dove taken a Burnbrae.  It will be a few more weeks before we see leaves return to the trees so I am making the most of grabbing shots without having to contend with leaves.

Vintage 9

Reality check - an old fashioned wood burning stove comes with serious old fashioned cleaning! I have been having trouble getting the oven hot enough for anything other than very slow cooking.  I knew the problem was exacerbated by the oven flue knob being stuck at half way and not being able to open a little flap to clean the soot off the side of the oven.  I needed help but didn't know who.  Google didn't help. A friend in Queensland showed her wood stove on Facebook and one of her friends commented.  That friend was from Mudgee (a nearby town to here) and he clearly knew lot about wood stoves.  The upshot is that I made contact and he came to my rescue this week.

Tea with a view

Megalong Valley The rain forest drive gives way to farmland where you will find Megalong Valley Tea Rooms. We enjoyed the view a delicious slice of apple pie and cream - made to the same recipe as they used on the first day of trade over 50 years ago.  

Natures Art

Coachwood Glen Nature Trail, Megalong Valley We went on a drive down Megalong Valley on the weekend and I took quick stroll down the Coachwood Glen track.  I like this track because it is a rain forest walk without going down a zillion steps that have to be climbed back up again. A book I have read recently Last year I read   Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner and enjoyed it.  So when I saw her collected non fiction  True Stories  when we were doing our annual Christmas book buying spree I picked it up. I am only now getting around to reading it and will be a while getting through its 600+ pages but what I have read thus far I am enjoying immensely.  I enjoy reading personal essays.

Spring Flowers

David Jones Spring Flower Show 2018 Spring has arrived.  There is still not much happening in our gardens but at David Jones city store their magnificent annual spring flower show is in full swing.  I took it in while we were in the city for a medical appointment yesterday.  There were lots of people like me absorbing their beauty and snapping photos to the tinkling notes of the piano.


Junction Falls, South Lawson Park We were delighted to have guests stay over the weekend.  It was their first time at Burnbrae so we did  a bush walk along the waterfall circuit which is down the bottom of our street. A poem for today Under the Waterfall by Thomas Harday


Making toast in the back-in-time house just like my mum used to do. I had forgotten how lovely bread toasted over hot coals tastes. Reflection James 3:5 New International Version "The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark."

Satin Bower Bird 2

This is the female Satin Bower Bird.   I showed you her mate a little while ago .  He has now moved all his blue objects to his new bower.