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Showing posts from October, 2018


Breakfast room, Burnbrae I really enjoy a leisurely breakfast in bright morning sunshine. A book I have read recently On Reformation Sunday I was reminded of this short Christian book I have ready recently.  First Wives' Club by Claire Heath-Whyte. It tells of the stories of six reformation wives including Katie Luther, Katharina Zell and Idelette Calvin.  I like reading about domestic history and with this being about women of faith with famous husbands during tumultuous times was extra interesting to me - so different from the 3Cs (careers,  comforts and carefree life) I have enjoyed. A good easy read.

Native flowers

Brachyscome I have been neglecting to show the delights of the bush garden, partly because I have been busy in the other two gardens but also because of the drought there has not been the expected spring wildflower display for the past two years.  Since there has been some recent rain I decided to scrounge around their normal haunts to see what might have been persuaded to flower.   Pea flowers, climbing and crawling but not with their normal bounty. Little white flowers Some bright spots of yellow. And the loud hum of bees made me look up and see the gum tree is in flower.


Goldsbrough Buiding, Pyrmont I was in the city again last week when I noticed this building.  It's so very different from the wide-open mountain, forest and rural views where I live but nontheless it has it's own charm when basking in the same sunlight that bathes us all. A poem for today My favourite Australian city poem is  William Street by Kenneth Slessor with this memorable line "You find this ugly, I find it lovely."

Cantata 79

St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney We attended our city church today and I was hoping the jacaranda would be in flower but was disappointed to find it isn't quite there yet.  The service, on the other hand didn't disappoint.  It was Reformation Sunday with the choir performing J.S. Bach's Cantata 79. Reflection: The cantata begins with this chorus - Psalm 84:11 "God, the Lord, is Sun and Shield The Lord gives mercy, mercy and glory. No good thing will our God withhold from the Righteous, the Righteous."

Bush bird

Red Wattlebird I haven't shown much from our bush block at Clandulla so here is one to improve the balance. There are always lots of birds out there but I often don't have to time to sit patiently and capture their images.

Old Stuff 16

Gulgong The old gold town of Gulgong does a great job of keeping their shops true to the historic era.  The result is a bit like Soveriegn Hill at Ballarat but is a real functioning town rather than a theme park.  Empty shops are used to display museum items.

Lake View 2

Lake Windemere Here is a new view of the lake on the road to Mudgee.  The trio of birds are pelicans.

Things American

On the weekend I spotted an American flag flying on this very British Morgan sports car. A street in Bathurst was lined with Morgans as part of the 60 years celebration of the Morgan owners club in Australia.  My husband loves looking at old cars to we went to Bathurst to see them. A book I have read recently After last week's choice I realised the my reading of American literature seemed to be lacking. Pulling up a number of top 100 lists on the web I found this to be true.  So this week I decided to expand my American literature list and read  The Great Gatsby  by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The writing is superb, capturing the era, lifestyle and characters in wonderful detail and with great reading ease.  Unfortunately I didn't like the characters, their lifestyle or their story but still count it as a worthwhile read. Here's my list of American literature books read - currently a mere 11% hit rate. The Great Gatsby (F Scott Fitzgerald) To Kill a Mocking Bird

They're back

The roses are back in bud with lots of blooms appearing now at Rose Orchard Haus. I am so happy.


Poppies I have been delighted to find poppies appearing all over the place in the grass (I dare not call it lawn).  I didn't see many of them last year.  Either the weather has suited them better this year or possibly I didn't mow them down because I have been a bit slow with getting the mowing done. The funny thing is the section of the garden which I have designated to be the "meadow" (and hence will be rarely mowed) hasn't got any of them. A poem for today To Autumn by John Keats Even though it is the wrong season for Australia right now I always think of these lines in today's poem when it comes not cutting the wildflowers when mowing.  "Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook  Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers."


Driving to Mudgee this week I noticed the vines are now beginning to sprout. Reflection: John 15:5 New International Version (NIV) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit”

A different rosella

Eastern Rosella I showed Crimson Rosellas a couple of weeks ago. This week I got a photo of the Eastern Rosellas. They have a similar size and shape but different colouring to crimson rosellas.

Old stuff 15

I spotted these suitcases outside an antique shop in Lithgow on Saturday - very vintage smart and cool.  When I left home I had a cardboard one more like the brown one at the back but a nice bright red. I've still got it in the storeroom, currently stuffed with abandonded craft projects. Must get to them sometime soon and decide on their fate.


Bird House Wall, by Ludwina Roebuck, 2016  Extravagant use of colour in this whimsical mural seen in Lithgow. I have learnt that as a retiree I can afford to be a little more extravagant - with time. Jumping on a train for the pure fun of doing and seeing things is something in the past I reserved for summer holidays. While we were in Sydney last week we also caught buses and trains to visit a lady from our Kandos church who is in hospital a long way from her friends at home.  In the old days the time and logistics would have been too much trouble.   OK it uses up time but whatever we were going to do with it can usually move out to another day because there are no pressing deadlines (like there were in business).  I love it.

Contemporary themes

80HZ: Sound Lab, developed by architect Thomas Wing-Evan in collaboration with State Library of NSW Last week I was surprised to see this new installation outside the state library. When you go inside it you can choose an artwork and it turns the image into music - which I think is a rather odd concept though I love the structure.  I admit I am often mystified by contemporary art. A book I have read recently Given the recent fuss about sexual assalt claims I decided to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I had seen the movie but not read the book.   This one has been on occasion banned in American schools for all sorts of reasons but I think it's worthy of an adult reading even though it's written in a deceptively childlike voice.  

Green tunnel

This is a photo from our sun room window at Burnbrae - what a difference a couple of weeks makes. The snowball flowers towards the back are currently green, they will turn white soon.

More spring delights

Blackheath Railway Station Despite the grey weather it was a lovely train ride to Lithgow on Saturday. Along the track we saw old-stye cottages, spring blossom, fresh lime green leaves, azaleas and rhododendrons beginning to flower, as well valley views and our lovely native forests. A poem for today Spring by Gerard Manly Hopkins


Pho 68 Vietnamese Restaurant Lithgow It was another grey day yesterday. It's hard to feel inspired to do things when (while I am thankful for the rain) all I want is for wintery weather to go away for the year.  I could have sat around and read a book or knitted but we decided that I could still do that on the train and have moving scenery thrown in.  So despite having travelled to Sydney three days in a row we decided to jump on the train again yesterday and go west to Lithgow for lunch. Reflection: Luke 13:29-30 New International Version (NIV) Jesus said "People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

City Birds

Pigeon Since it was raining here today which seems to send birds into hiding I am running with another ubiquitous city bird.  We went to the city so often this week it felt like we were commuting again! This is not a great shot but like most things in the city it was scurrying about.

Old Stuff 14

I have decided to rename my Friday "Vintage" posts to "Old Stuff" because it wasn't always Vintage. It was sometimes antique, classic, new masquerading as old or even just plain old junk.  This place in Gulgong has a wonderful old fence with beautiful wisteria in bloom and heaps of old junk in the back yard.


After Sculptures in the Garden we headed out to Gulgong for afternoon tea.  The orchards by the roadside were now in blossom.  I think this will be the last of the blossom photos for this Spring, and now I am already looking forward to the Summer cherry harvest.

On art, angels and writing

On the weekend we went the Sculptures in the Garden which is an annual exhibit at Rosby Wines near Mudgee.  This one Fallen Angel Feather by Tobias Bennet was my favourite though it's hard to pass by the tree trunk behind as a wonderful sculpture done by the hand of nature. A book I have read recently Thinking of angels I have on my bookshelf Wrestling with your Angels - A spiritual journey to great writing by Janet Hagbert. That's not the book I read this week but I do enjoy books on writing so this  week's book is The Memoir Book by Patti Miller. 15 years or so ago I attended a life writing workshop by Patti at Varuna Writers House. As I am essentially a technical and marketing writer is was nice to explore a different form of writing.  I drafted a memoir then and won't be reworking it any time soon. As Patti says towards the end of this book “Writers are endlessly hungry to learn more about writing. We think, talk, read, about writing because it is t

Vege bed

The old garden bed on "pear terrace" has been full of weeds ever since we came here - my plan was to demolish it and perhaps set up vege beds in a different part of the garden.  This week I figured that wasn't going to happen any time soon so why not weed it and plant it out with seeds and seedlings. Perhaps in time we will have some produce.

Artisan on Lewis

We have spent a lovely couple of days simply enjoying ourselves.   Artisan on Lewis is a delightful cafe and artspace in Mudgee.  I really liked the exhibition by Anjee de Terreau that they are currently showing. A poem for today The poem that always comes to my mind when thinking of poetry and art is My Last Duchess by Robert Browning. "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall ..."

Glorious rain

These are pear petals that have fallen into container now with an inch of water because we have had a wonderful couple of days of rain. Reflection: Proverbs 16:14-15 The Message (MSG) "An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives; you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that. Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives; they’re like spring rain and sunshine."

Crimson Rosellas

Crimson Rosellas This week's bird shot is another easy one to catch even though Rosellas are quite skitish.  These beautiful birds frequent all three of our gardens.  I found these this afternoon at Rose Orchard Haus.

Vintage 13

At the opening of the heritage rail line at Kandos last weekend they had market stalls and a display of old cars.  This was my pick, the vintage shape and because turquoise is one of my favourite colours.

The wait is over

Food court, Sydney Central Railway Station In September 2015 there as a fire in the Central Station food court and it was closed down.  Just about ever since then it has been boarded up with signs saying "Coming Soon".  We have been waiting and waiting and last week were thrilled to see it has reopened.  Since we pass through Central station frequently and Blue Mountains trains typically run only once an hour it is nice to be able to grab a bite to eat some times.  Very happy.

Spring city

Martin Place We were in the city last week and pleased to see the hard grey surfaces softened with spring planter boxes. A book I have been reading I finished Tess of the D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy last night.  I read Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd for final year school English.  I remember thinking it moved along very slowly and disliked it for that.   I've obviously changed, I enjoyed the slow pace of this novel though I was sad with the ending.  Interestingly it has something significant to say in the #MeToo era so this one won't be banned.


Dutch Iris My sister told me that people put #blessed on just about anything on instagram.  I just checked and they sure do, 100 million posts and still counting. I am reading Tess of the d'Urbevilles at the moment and noticed this paragraph "The irresistible, universal, automatic tendency to find sweet pleasure somewhere, which pervades all life, from the meanest to the highest, had at length mastered Tess."  Looks like people have been feeling #blessed since at least 1890s. Either way I feel blessed today because spring is springing along wonderfully at Rose Orchard Haus.  I might have been bewailing the lack of daffodils this year but there is plenty else to please. Here's what's happening in the garden. Apple Blossom, which is just coming out Freeias everywhere, what a divine fragrance Hyacinth, wonderful fragrance here too.  Also bluebells coming out. The small pear tree is in full blossom, the other is beginning to flower now t