Oh Tasmania, you temptress. I know we haven't seen each other for almost 20 years but you are still as wild and beautiful as I remember.
My wee laddie and I spent 5 days with our lovely friends on the coast. It was action packed and relaxing all at the same time. Our accommodation (see top photo and weep)had views of trees, bay and mountains and is still being decorated as I write.
We looked at land that Abuelo and I have contemplated buying; spent hours there imagining inhabiting it - a great thing to be able to do.
We explored an abandoned mine tunnel - there's Alan giving the kids a Heads Up and answering important questions (If you see a spider bigger than your head, don't poke it etc...)
We celebrated Jo's birthday - a most delightful and generous hostess and friend.
We skimmed rocks and marvelled at the creatures on the pebbled beach near their house; oysters, mussels, star fish...
We drove through bucolic pasture land and ate fantastic cheese.
We had a beach picnic in a little cove with rocks for three rambunctious boys to scamper over, and sheltered sunny sand on which the ladies could knit and drink tea. We did do some rock climbing ourselves though I would hardly call it scampering....
And we let the kids throw themselves down acres of sand dunes which was one of my boy's highlights - that and flying over the ocean, which yes, at 47 I still find a wondrous adventure myself.
And now back to the city and the remainder of the school holidays, which are warm and slow and free of routine.
May you too be thawing out after this long winter, and sleeping in a bit longer than usual and drinking plenty of tea.
The photo above reminds me of one my recent dreams. Not because of the fire. But the light. I crossed a ledge over a river. The ledge was covered in bits and pieces - of furniture, clothing, books, ornaments...I had to step carefully to cross without falling. I wasn't nervous because the light was so beautiful. Night with warm glow like this. And my husband below, appearing out of the baths, waving up to me. When I joined him below I told him of my crossing and he said "I had the same dream."
Because of this lovely fire we stayed outside all day on Sunday, over lunch and dinner. It's enough - a warmer day, warm flames, simple food and some visitors - to keep us going to the end of this winter.
Big beautiful, things happening in the garden at work (I'm a volunteer one day a week but Abuelo runs this project).
Magnolias give a burst of colour in the winter morning sun, which gave itself moemntarily to theatrics on the North facing wall.
When it is too cold to venture out, we gather to knit and drink chai and watch JT perform the admirable and all together too rare task of hand writing tour invitations.
Our loungeroom may be the darkest room in the house but it is the cosiest since I moved my desk and bits and pieces to the newly painted studio. When there is sufficient sunlight I will take a photo. It's a lovely space.
My wee laddie and I have a weekly hot chocolate at our favourite cafe, and inspect op shop finds.
In the midst of an all time chilly winter, particular activities are a must;
a winter festival - the best yet, and a beautiful Bunjil eagle to lead the way, made by some very creative parents
walks in the forest to splash in mud and listen to birds and breath the clean mountain air
a row down the river, or a walk along its edges when the sun dares to shine
a window seat in a sunny cafe with laptop and a good friend, make business admin more attractive
knit and crochet anything one can think of - a tea cosy, to keep those endless cups of tea at approved mid-winter temperature.
and seek further to perfect the loaf for verily it is the comfort of our winter table. Mara's mentoring has had the desired outcome! At last, after years of hit and miss bread baking and a fortune spent on organic sourdough...finally...I am making our own. I have managed to keep Neville (my lovingly named starter) not only alive but in tip top condition, and the whole process is now a wondrous adventure rather than an arduous chore with an uncertain outcome. The loaves I am making are a rye/unbleached white flour mix, with a more ciabatta texture (wetter dough). I will stick with this recipe for a while and then start experimenting with other flours and grains.
How are you spending this chilly winter? Or are you in the midst of a warm summer where you are?