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Armidale - Part 3

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We explored the paddock beyond the pony yard. There's plenty of cattle poo but no cattle.

Poppy's Cottage

The hillock here has been described as an extinct volcano or a volcano plug, but Hubby thinks it's lava flow that met a bit of an obsticle. Over time it's hardened into basalt. There's certainly evidence of a lot of prehistoric volcanic activity all over the New England area. The gold and gems found in the rivers are evidence of that.

Bridie however was more interested in smells - rabbits and roos in particular.

Poppy's Cottage

She certainly needed her coat as it was frigid on the mornings we were there.

Poppy's Cottage

From the farm, the undulating landscape seemed to go on forever. Even though the wind was icy cold and the sky overcast, I loved the way the muted light played on the hills. It's almost European.

Poppy's Cottage

Armidale - Part 2

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On the property, there was an assortment of outbuildings, some like this barn, very rustic indeed.

Poppy's Cottage

The entire farmstead was fenced - to stop the dogs and poultry wandering off and the cattle wandering in!

Poppy's Cottage

The trees were winter-bare, and the air was certainly more crisp than that down the coast. Lucky we brought a lot of winter woollies. We certainly needed it.

Poppy's Cottage

Armidale - Part 1

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We spent the next few days in the Northern Tablelands town of Armidale. It's a big town, but its historic buildings gave it character, and the student population from the University of New England gave it life.

We stayed a bit out of town at Poppy's Cottage B&B. It's set on a small farm with an old farmhouse with a separate cottage for guests. Hosts Poppy and Jack were very welcoming, providing great breakfasts and even more sumptuous dinners.

Poppy's Cottage

Being a farm, they had an obligatory dog or two.

Poppy's Cottage

Lots of gardens, as well as a pet Shetland pony in the paddock.

Poppy's Cottage

We'll have a good ramble around the property in the next post.

Nundle

autumn, leaf
We've just returned from our road trip north, and over the next few weeks I'll be posting about it. We decided early on that we wanted to take our beagle Bridie with us, and so I did quite a bit of research on dog-friendly accommodation along the New England and Pacific Highways.

After an overnight stop in Singleton, we made our way north along the New England Highway, diverting for lunch at village of Nundle. It's a sleepy village that was previously a gold mining town. You can still fossick for gold and gems in its river, but being mid-winter it was way too cold for that. Instead, we visited the Nundle Woollen Mill, a working wool mill.

Nundle Woollen Mill

It had a good range of yarns and wool wear, as well as working pieces of wool making machinery.

Nundle Woollen Mill

I didn't buy any yarn then, but I'm thinking about it.

Southern African Grub

food
After a visit to the Australian Centre for Photography gallery, Hubby and I stopped for dinner at Lucky Tsotsi, a bar and restaurant specialising in food from Southern Africa. I'd never travelled there before, but Hubby had lived in South Africa for 18 months and wanted to relive his food experiences.

I didn't know much about food from this part of the world, and from the menu it's obvious that it's a real fusion of influences - European influences from the Dutch, English and Portuguese, Asian influences from India and Indonesia/Malaysia, as well as African influences.

Hubby had Mozambique Chicken, hot and spicy with Peri-Peri sauce that was a fusion of flavours from the Portuguese colonies.

Mozambique Chicken

I had Bunny Chow, which has no rabbit, but was a Malaysian-style chicken curry (they didn't even skimp on the chilli), served inside a hollowed-out bread roll! Hubby says it was because rice wasn't free available in South Africa in the old days, so the Malays had to serve their curries with the carbs they could easy access.

Bunny chow

We also ordered a side of Samp (corn) and Beans - two ingredients easily grown in this mostly arid region and most commonly eaten by the Africans.

Samp and beans

We talk about Australia as a place where fusion food rules, but Southern Africa is a place where fusion food is now ingrained in its culture.

The Saga of My Irish-Inspired Cardigan

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At the beginning of March I started on this cardigan. I had followed Kate Davies' blog for a few years but never had the courage to start one of her projects - many of them looked to complicated for someone of my experience. I only plucked up the courage this year, and decided to cut my teeth on the Bláithín (Gaelic for 'little flower') cardigan.

From Kate's blog posts I got an inkling that this cardigan was to be my most complex project ever, and after reading the pattern I knew I wasn't too wrong. It basically combined all the techniques I'd learned in the last 3 years, plus many more. Knitting in-the-round, short rows, provisional cast-on for starters, followed by i-cord bind off, insert pockets, Fair Isle colourwork, and scariest of all, steeking. That's when you cut your work in half to turn it from a jumper into a cardigan. Argh!

In the end, the cardigan took me almost 4 months to complete, with many trials and tribulations along the way. Luckily, it didn't turn out too badly.

My Irish Cardi

As a bonus, I'll even get some use out of it this winter! Note to self: next project will definitely be a short one.

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Gerringong - Part 6

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One final look at Boat Harbour and Gerringong. I like how the water on the rock platform reflects the rolling hills.

Boat Harbour

It really was a gorgeous day in a gorgeous place. Pity that all this is might be gone soon. I spotted a few paddocks that were up for sale for future development. In 10 years time Gerringong might turn into Kiama.

Gerringong - Part 5

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The rock pool was active with seagulls, but there were no pelicans this time.

Boat Harbour

And around the corner was a little rock swimming pool, although there was no one in sight on that winter's day.

Boat Harbour

Gerringong - Part 4

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On the south side of Gerringong town is Boat Harbour. It's a quiet little cove with a shingle beach, where fishermen go.

Boat Harbour

It's also surrounded by those glorious hills complete with grazing dairy cows.

Boat Harbour

Now that's the kind view I can look at all day.

Gerringong - Part 3

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Looking southward, Werri Beach stretched down toward the town of Gerringong.

Werri Beach

The surf here was roaring.

Werri Beach

So it wasn't unusual to see a surfer scouting out the best breaks. If I could surf I'd be out there too.

Werri Beach

Gerringong - Part 2

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Most people know Gerringong for the vast expanse of Werri Beach, so let's go and explore.

On the north end of the beach is Werri Lagoon, which at high tide flows into the sea. We had to wade to get to Red Cliff and its rock platform. The hills behind the town was a wonderful green after recent rains.

Werri Beach

It was a wild sea that day.

Werri Beach

So much so that the rushing waves set off these two mini blowholes.

Werri Beach

Gerringong - Part 1

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I like the Illawarra coast, and last week I got to visit the seaside town of Gerringong. Gerringong has always been the smaller brother of Kiama, a few k's up the coast, but with the coming of the by-pass it's about to get very big. I'm glad that I made this visit before it changed for good.

We took a little walk along the relatively new Kiama to Gerringong Coast Track to the other side of Red Cliff. Walking along the shoreline, Hubby told me that the cliff was made up of Permian aged sandstone, rich in iron (hence the red).

Werri Beach

Meanwhile, the rock platform below was made up of black basalt, meaning that there was volcanic activity here at some stage. Other local landmarks such as Bombo and the Blowhole are also made of basalt. It's spectacular when the swell is up.

Werri Beach

Last of the Orchids

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I received an orchid plant for my birthday in late March and there were still flowers two months later. They were certainly very photogenic blooms.

Last of the orchids

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Brooklyn Lunch Stop

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I took the train up on my May visit to Umina Beach, and got off at the Hawkesbury River stop (a.k.a. the village of Brooklyn). I enjoyed eating my lunch by the river, soaking up some sun.

Brooklyn Lunch Stop

Forgive me for my lack of posts. I haven't taken many photos lately.

End of Autumn

autumn, leaf
One last glimpse of some autumn foliage, this time in my front garden.

Autumn in Kingsgrove

By the weekend, much of this would be gone.

Autumn in Kingsgrove

Even though I have enjoyed the glorious, warm days of autumn this year (eating lunches outside on the patio in May is a bonus), I am looking forward to some cool winter days.

Autumn in Kingsgrove

Chinatown Wander - Part 2

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I wandered under Market City and into Paddy's Markets. First, there were the bric-a-brac stalls. I liked this selection of hats. The Panama hat is cool again, it seems.

Chinatown Wander

I was more attracted to the food stalls. This spice stall sold all kinds of goodies.

Chinatown Wander

But most fascinating of all was the fruit and veg section. These days it's dominated by Asian families.

Chinatown Wander

Fruit and veg businesses are known for their long hours, but even though I passed by in the afternoon these ladies were still fast and efficient.

Chinatown Wander

Chinatown Wander - Part 1

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It's interesting how shooting a roll of film makes you think more about what you shoot. Black and white film and processing is so expensive these days that I didn't want to waste too many shots if I could help it. I wanted to take some more interesting streetscapes, and inspired by Joan's recent shots of the city, I headed into Chinatown.

Chinatown Wander

The sights and smells certainly brought back memories. I went to university just around the corner and so frequently came down these streets in search of lunch. Although we certainly didn't have Emperor's Puff in my time.

Chinatown Wander

The street corner was still busy with students.

Chinatown Wander

This Irish salesman was a new addition though.

Chinatown Wander

Going Home

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For Bridie Beagle, a car ride is almost as good as a walk as one of her favourite things. She particularly likes car rides, so she was raring to go on the trip back to Sydney from Somersby.

Going Home

She liked the smells of the bush.

Going Home

And going around corners.

Going Home

She wasn't too happy when we closed her window on the freeway.

Going Home

And so was ecstatic when we came back into Sydney.

Going Home

Even the traffic and skyscrapers didn't faze her, as long as her window was open.

Going Home

Ah, to be a beagle...

A Bit of Autumn Colour

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I did see a bit of autumn colour on the Central Coast, courtesy of a short drive up to the hinterland village of Somersby. There were a few trees turning by the roadside that warranted a few shots.

Somersby Colours

Somersby Colours

It has been a strange autumn and even though it's still warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirt during the middle of the day, I dearly want to be able to break out the winter coats soon. I'll just have to look at more of these photos and dream on.

Somersby Colours

Somersby Colours

Somersby was also a prime spot for Gymea lilies. Unfortunately, it seemed to be the end of the flowering season, but I found one that still had its bloom. At four or so metres tall, they're truly spectacular flowers.

Somersby Colours

Goin' on an Easter Holiday - Part 2

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There were plenty of dogs and their owners enjoying the beach in the off-leash area.

Holiday Activity

We saw dogs off all shapes and sizes - fluffy terriers.

Holiday Activity

Playful retrievers.

Holiday Activity

Obedient labradors.

Holiday Activity

Our beagle enjoyed the smells, the digs, and the socialising.

Holiday Activity

All in all, a lovely afternoon out.

Holiday Activity

Little did we know that this weather was to stick around for another month - perhaps even longer!

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