Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Splendid Sampler 2 - Sewing Circle

The block that I have finished this week was rather fun.  It looked like there was curved piecing, but it was actually applique.  A nice easy way to achieve the same effect.



I'm linking up over at The Splendid Sampler. Pop over and see what the other ladies have created.

Monday, 11 March 2019

This, That and Every Other Little Thing

It's been quite some time since I have done a random post of odds and sods, so now's as good a time as any, seeing I have downloaded all the photos from my phone.  

Where to start?  I suppose the garden is as good a place as any.  It's been a shocking season, what with the heat and dry weather.  Mind you, compared with so many others ours hasn't been too bad.  There have been a few flowers to delight.


The tiger lily, or "triffid" as Mick likes to call it, back in January.


One of our dahlias is now finally flowering, after all previous blooms have withered to nothing.


The bees and lots of other bugs are enjoying these flower heads on a succulent.

There has been a distinct lack of bees this summer, however, in the last couple of weeks, as the weather has cooled a little they are back in the garden.  I even saw a blue banded bee the other day.


Our zucchini has not been producing either, with the fruit not being pollinated, but, once again, in the last couple of weeks we are now picking every day.


Tomatoes not ripening has also been a common problem around the traps this summer.  We get just a few little ones each day.  The thing is, these little round tomatoes are supposed to be Grosse Lisse!  The Romas are more normal in their size.  However, there is definitely no glut to use to make sauce and relish.  Just enough for general use.


See this tangle in our back yard.  Well, last year we discovered that our raspberries are an autumn fruiting variety and that you cut them back to nothing over winter, rather than leaving them for the fruit on the second year canes.  It's amazing how quickly they grow.  The bees are loving them at the moment.  


We are getting a couple of handfuls each day now.  Yummo!  There are big bunches hanging everywhere.  So far, we are getting more than the birds.  I think we will have plenty to freeze, or maybe we will just enjoy them as they come.  I just love the way raspberries squeak when you eat them.


Who needs to go out for brunch when you can sit down to banana pancakes with yoghurt, raspberries and maple syrup on the back verandah.  Best of all, you don't even have to get changed out of your jarmies.


We are also roasting our tomatoes and zucchini with other yummy veges and fresh herbs from the garden.  So good.



Mick is never one to be idle, so he has decided to tidy up the garden around his trailer parking spot.


Before


Before.  There is a grevillia, box and raspberry taking over and looking very untidy.


Behind the garden there is our little potting shed, which I never got around to blogging about, and our potting shelf.  In a nutshell, there was a large bottle brush in this dead end corner of the yard next to the shed.  It died in the severe frosts and dry winter we had in 2017.  Mick offered to build a chook shed and get us some chooks, but I declined and suggested a potting shed.  It is only the height of the fence, so can't be seen from out of the yard.  It really tidied things up.  Back to the garden....


That looks better already. A couple of plants were moved and an area marked out for another water tank. A stepping stone path and step has been made for access to the potting shed.  We are just waiting for our tank to arrive before progressing further.


It looks like he has the garden building bug.


This is on the southern side of the house and will have a small weeping cherry and loads of daffodils, so should look good for spring. This was taken this afternoon, so there is still a bit more work required.



The weather is being rather varied, as is usual at this time of year.  On Sunday we had our first fog, and what a pea souper it was too.  Quite surprising, seeing that it is so dry.


We are still four weeks away from the end of daylight saving, and the mornings are getting very dark already.  This was taken at a quarter past six in the morning over a week ago.  Most mornings when I go on my walk now the stars are still very visible.  It is also fresh some mornings, with the temperature below 10 degrees on a few days.  I'm not looking forward to having to rug up, but that will come soon enough.

Mind you, we are still getting some days up into the thirties, so quite a mixed bag.  Rain has been somewhat lacking again, but then autumn is normally our driest season.


Don't you love this vege garden I walk past.  It is down the drive to a battle axe block.  So clever, and very productive.


I take a photo of the sky most mornings. 


I never tire of the different moods.


February saw the start of Swap Meet season and we had a stall at the Bathurst Swap at the beginning of February.  We forgot to take any photos, but we sold quite a bit more of our "stuff" and it was a nice social time to catch up with people.


The following weekend was the Swap Meet out at Newbridge, a small village about half an hour out of town.  We decided to take our baby camper trailer out behind the car and stay overnight.  It wasn't the best weather for camping, as it blew an absolute gale all night.  Mick had the camper tethered to a fence post.  It also got cold.  After days of temperatures in the high thirties, we got down to six degrees!!! We didn't pack a lot of warm bedding, but fortunately, we had a couple of crochet rugs in the back of the car, so were quite snug.  Others froze, as it certainly wasn't the weather anyone was expecting.  It did turn into a beautiful day for the Swap Meet.  We did OK out there as well, decluttering some more "stuff" and making enough to cover the costs of our weekend out plus a little bit.  That has to be a win.

We didn't set up our stall until the Sunday morning, rather we visited the local craft shop and bought some local honey and a couple of books and then went to the village pub for tea.  We were expecting to enjoy regular pub grub, but no, they had an Italian menu.  Apparently, a couple of Italian chefs come up every few weeks.  How lucky were we.  The food was delicious.  Not only that, when we were chatting with the chef, he told us that they were having a five course Italian night in early March.


Fast forward to Saturday night and a group of us ventured out to indulge.  It was so good.  The food was delicious and the atmosphere nice and casual.  There were about a hundred people there, but there were no delays or fuss.  I do hope they have another similar event again in the future.

So, that's about it for now.  It has been a busy time, but that is the norm coming into Autumn and will continue to be the case for the next little while.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Out and About Again

A few days after our trip to Cowra I heard an interesting snippet on the radio that prompted another day of exploring last Sunday.  

We headed west again, passing through Cowra, and then travelled for about another hour to the little town of Grenfell.


On our way we noticed a nice silo complex and wondered if it won't be long before we look for silos in the raw, rather than those that have been painted.

Once you travel towards Cowra you can really notice a change in the landscape, leaving the higher Central Tablelands behind and moving into the Central West Slopes and Plains, a warmer, flatter, dryer region, being primarily cropping and grazing country.

We have visited Grenfell quite a few times before, even staying here a couple of times with motorcycle events. However, it has been a while, and this time we could just explore at our leisure.

Our reason to visit Grenfell was, in fact, to see the town's silos.  The news article I had heard was that the silos are currently being painted by Heesco, the same artist that painted the ones at Weethalle, the first painted silos that we saw.  It would be interesting to see them in the process of being painted.


The silos were easy to find, but, we were wondering if we had the story right when we saw the above from the main street.


Yes, we did.  You have to drive down a side street to the rear of the silos to see the art.  Unfortunately, no work was happening on the day, but you do expect the artist to have a day off.  Apparently, the whole process was to take about three weeks and this is about two weeks in. You can read a little about it here.


The owner of the silos and local produce store is paying for the artwork, as he gave up trying to get government grants to assist. It is really effective, especially as the detail is being filled in, like the silo on the right.


You don't realise how big they are until you stand right underneath them.  You can see here the amount of extra detail on the silo on the right.

After we had had our look at the silos it was time to explore the rest of the town.


Like all places, the silos are along side the railway line, and the railway station was right next door.  This pretty little station has been undergoing restoration and conservation by the Lions Club for the last 30 years, following the demolition of a similar one in the district at that time.  It has been such a worthwhile project.  Let's have a little wander around.


The railway line is long since closed, so it is a rather peaceful place.


I love the iron verandah brackets and old signs.


You couldn't see inside, as all the windows were frosted, but the front entrance was rather grand.


The area in front of the Railway Station is a picnic area and free camp, complete with a new amenities block that ties in nicely with the railway theme.  Campers are just requested to make a donation.


Next door, in the old goods shed and an old railway carriage is the Grenfell Men's Shed.  This was the first ever Men's Shed that has started a world wide movement.


We were taken with this unusual sculpture out the front, featuring a canon, plough, axe and hammers.



Once you read the inscription behind it, it all made sense.  Very clever and thought provoking.


There was also another large sculpture depicting the main reason for Grenfell's existence.


Next it was time to wander up and down the main street and find some lunch.  It was a hot day, bit not too hot to be wandering the street.  There are some really beautiful buildings.  The former Exchange Hotel is now boutique accommodation and occasionally has a shop downstairs open.  


We have visited the Albion for lunch on a motorcycle ride some years ago.  A lovely old pub.


There is always patchwork inspiration as you wander historic streets.


Grenfell is famous as the birthplace of Henry Lawson, the poet.  I had to sit down and have a bit of a chat to him.  Each June long weekend Grenfell hosts the Henry Lawson Festival.  We've been saying we must visit for as long as I can remember........one year..........


Being a gold mining town, founded in 1866, there are some lovely old buildings in the main street.


I love the eagle on the top of this one.

Sadly, there are  many empty shops, which seems to be the norm in smaller country towns these days, but there were also some lovely shops selling quality products.  Surprisingly, they were even open on a Sunday.  The little community craft shop sold the yummiest Anzac biscuits.


The Post Office with its town clock was rather impressive.


As was the little Salvation Army Citadel.  Yes, there was a Sallys op shop in the main street, but not open on a Sunday.

Once we left town we headed towards Goolagong and Canowindra.


I love seeing little country churches in the middle of nowhere.


The little St Pauls Church in Goolagong has just been sold.  It was listed for $99,000.00.  Have a peek at the link, as it is rather beautiful inside. What a bargain, if you wanted to convert it and live in a quiet village.


As we travelled along we were struck with how very dry  and desolate it is.  While we received some storm rain a month or so ago, there has been nothing out this way.


We were surprised at the number of willy willies that we saw.


These are just a few that I could get a photo of.


There would have been a dozen or more.


As we neared Canowindra there started to be a few paddocks of irrigated lucerne.  What a contrast those paddocks make.


And finally, as we neared home, back on our beloved Central  Tablelands, we noticed the first signs of autumn, with the poplars starting to change colour.  Soon there will be wonderfully coloured trees throughout the district.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable day out and, of course, will have to return to visit the completed silo murals.....maybe visiting the Henry Lawson Festival at the same time.  We'll see.