Ninety six hours – if you live in the southern hemisphere. Twenty four hours longer if you’re in the wonderful summery northern hemisphere.
A day away, wandering the stone buildings and history of Oatlands. A freezing day, a winter’s day, but a grand day out nevertheless.
Oatlands is one of Tasmania’s oldest settlements and was named after an English town of the same name by Governor Macquarie in 1821, becoming a military base for convict management. The convicts were assigned to nearby farming properties, and also run in chain gangs to erect the beautiful Georgian public buildings and private homes, along with the construction of roads and bridges in the area.
We ostensibly went for lunch, having spied a little cafe on our puppy-viewing expedition the week before. I found the name Feisty Hen to be intriguing, even more so because the cafe is secreted down a quiet little lane, with a view out its multi-paned windows to a small empty stone cottage and the rear garden of a stately Georgian home.
A pair of alpacas were only separated from us by a double row of espaliered fruit trees and a rosemary hedge.
The food was perfect for a freezing day – piping hot minestrone with fresh bread and butter, warmed mandarin syrup cake with cream and of course, hot drinks. Enough to warm the cockles so that we could wander…
I lusted after the wonderful garden ornamentation, after the honey-coloured stone, after the many formal hedges and Georgian features.
Curiously, we were walking down the wide main street and ran into our son who was heading to a lodge on one of the sheep properties for a Men’s Weekend whilst his baby son and wife headed for the Big Smoke for a Mums’ and Babies’ weekend.
It’s a small world…
I was honoured to receive a tremendous endorsement for Passage this week from the highly successful, best-selling international writer Cathy Kelly, doyen of contemporary women’s fiction.
“What a beautiful book about loss and grief and learning to live again…”
The first day of winter!
This year is absolutely flying and still we haven’t had meaningful rain. The domestic water catchment is right down and the village’s streets and public areas are dusty and sad.
We’ve been away for 10 days and our big garden and the coastal surrounds look terrible. Worse is that the garden and lawns are covered in a fallen leaf mulch. The mulch would be good if I could get the soil deeply wet first of all. But it’s not to be. We do what we can though – hand water and blood and bone fertiliser.
Remember the first time you watched a James Bond movie, then the second and third times and you began to realise that he liked Aston Martins. He also like a Vodka Martini ‘shaken not stirred’. He also drank anything from Bolly to La Fitte and liked a million other brands.
And there’s the crux of it – brands.
I haven’t uploaded for awhile, what with having my first cataract operated on and Easter etc, and I’m being very naughty and shoving a couple of extra images on board.
It’s incredibly dry here – no truly meaningful rain since last year. As I sit, I listen to a rabid west wind and the swishing of the sprinklers on the borders, desperately trying to moisten ground that hasn’t been touched by the gardener for over 14 days.