It was a little bit last minute - but the holidays were rapidly drawing to a close and we had to get away. We filled the car with a tent, blankets, pillows and good things to eat then headed off to catch the next ferry. Destination :: Bruny Island.
As soon as we boarded the ferry, it felt like a holiday. We parked at the bow and the ocean spray splashed over the barrier and onto our faces. The children squealed with delight whilst my cares washed away. We were on our way for a three day camping trip.
Our camp spot was at Jetty Beach, a good 70 minutes drive south from the ferry. A gorgeous beach, with calm shallow waters, and walking tracks through the bush. The peeps spent most of the time at the shore, collecting shells, building sandcastles in the soft white sand or scrambling over the jetty ruins. Only heading back to camp to fill those empty bellies. We fried sausages and haloumi and mushrooms then squished them between soft white bread, adding a squirt of homemade tomato sauce. Then we scorched marshmallows on our little gas cooker and drank hot chocolate. Then the three of us squeezed into our cosy tent, filled with pillows, quilts and knitted blankets, and lit a lantern and candles to keep it bright. We fell asleep to the sound of the wind whistling through the trees and the birds settling down for the night.
A blissful three days away, on my favourite island, with my peeps was just what the doctor ordered. Before we left, I was feeling tired, cranky, run down and, well, flat. Walking barefoot along the sandy beaches, I had the overwhelming feeling of restoration. How precious to have some time and space away from the routine and chores of home. To find the time to think, to dream, to have fun and to reconnect.
Restoration was what we needed. I'm so glad we found it.
Part of me wishes it was the end of summer, because it would bring the drenching rains known as the autumn break. Goodness knows we need it.
The truth is, a lot of the trees were scorched in the recent heatwave that bought high temperatures and fierce winds. The leaves have blown off the plum trees, dried clusters of fruit hang off the currant bushes and some apple trees have turned up their toes, perhaps they've even carked it, but hopefully they've opted for an early hibernation. They've all been given lots of long soaks to revive their parched roots, but we'll have to see if they bounce back next spring.
It's not all doom and gloom of course. There are some tomatoes in their way, sunny sunflowers, lots of beans that I'm hoping to dry and use over winter, and a delicious crop of crunchy cos lettuce to eat now.
We've one more precious week of the school holidays, and once school goes back I plan to devote some much needed time and energy to the garden. Hopefully I'll be able to whip it back into some sort of respectable shape with more mulch, liquid feeds and a bloody good weeding (which are still thriving in this hot dry summer!)
In the meantime, the peeps and I are heading off on a mini camping trip. I can't wait to get away and spend some down time with them. Too early for the autumn break, but nonetheless a break of the midsummer kind.
I must admit I've had quite a crush on the work of stylist, photographer and author Pia Jane Bijerk for some time. There is something so dreamy and ethereal about her work. Something intangible. It's beautiful.
This month I couldn't believe Pia had listed my blog in her Country Style column. *faints* Oh my! What a delightful surprise.
The least I could do in return was contribute to Pia's new project, a self published book titled Little Treasures :: Made by Hand.
It's such a sweet concept. In Pia's words
Imagine if I could create a book, photographing and cataloguing each unique object, writing a little about each person who made and sent the gift, sharing links to their websites so others could also buy their beautiful creations or find out more about them. It would be a collection of little treasures, connecting creative souls around the globe. I thought, Yes, this would be the most wonderful way to say thank you…
Pia is using a crowd funding site to raise money to publish her book, if you'd like to help the details are here.
There are so many sweet rewards for supporting the project for as little as $10.
I love crowd funding and have supported many projects. It's so gratifying to see creative people making their dreams come true and knowing you've played a small part in making it happen.
:: making wedding cakes to help out an amazing friend
:: swimming lessons, every day for two weeks at the local pool
:: drinking peach agua fresca when it's too hot to eat - you can find the recipe on justb
:: exploring mofo - so much fun, such as....:: watching under water drumming...tina havelock stevens was incredible!
Wish you were here!
There's been a lot going on around here lately. I seem to be running from one thing to the next. Some highs and some lows. Happy times and sad. My girl turned ten (!) We celebrated Christmas with good food and good friends. I felt like I ran a marathon prepping and working for a friend at the Taste Festival. And MoMa keeps going from strength to strength.
But for the most, it's hard to think about anything much than the devastation that has hit our island. So many homes lost to intense bush fires. So much devastation. Heartbreaking.
The flip side is the incredible show of community spirit as people come together to help those in need.
Humans are amazing.
Humans are amazing.
The camera sits forlornly on the table. Not used much lately. But then amidst all the goings one, there was a moment I photographed with Hugo. After a friend gave us a huge bucket of cherries from his tree. I took them and I sat with Hugo on the verandah and we ate those cherries. As the cherries stained his clothes, I taught him an important life skill. That is, to spit the pips over the railing.
I sat and looked down at what's left of my garden, at the shrivelled leaves on the fruit trees, the wilted berries and the dead brown grass. All decimated after 40 plus temperatures, crazy hot winds and no rain for weeks. Not a drop. I try to feel grateful that I still have a garden. Plenty don't. I do feel grateful but it is still hard nonetheless.
So I sit with my son, spit pips over the railing and life seems perfect for a moment. I forget about the bad stuff, breath in the moment, remember the good and finish that bucket of cherries.
Feeling incredibly lucky really.
Feeling incredibly lucky really.