Thursday 19 October 2017

Sculptures in the Garden

We had a lovely day out on the Saturday before the Bathurst car races - about two weeks ago.

We had heard on the radio about Sculptures in the Garden at Mudgee.  Apparently when the owner of Rosby Wines attended art classes in Sydney some years ago her class mates lamented the lack of opportunity to exhibit their works, and she suggested they could use her garden.  The rest, as they say, is history.

We started our day by visiting the local markets in Mudgee and having a coffee in the local brewery.  All very civilised.

We weren't sure what to expect at the sculptures, and were pleasantly surprised to see the car park absolutely packed.

Mick was intrigued by this sheep constructed from chairs used in concrete slabs.

The vege garden contained several smaller works.

This little bunny was one of my favourites.  See the red dot.  Well, we arrived at about 11 o'clock and a heck of a lot of the works were already sold, which is wonderful for the artists.

This echidna would be welcome addition to any garden.

The guinea fowl would be very low maintenance.  The chicken wire used to create them is perfect, giving a very good representation of their speckled feathers.

There were quite a few of these aggies dotted around the garden, also made from concrete slab chairs.  They would be a lovely addition to a garden, extending the flowering season all through the year.  The water feature in the background was rather tasty too.

I loved this little flock of chooks.  Very low maintenance.  I must say that the way the sculptures were positioned throughout the garden was very well thought out.

The historic homestead was a lovely backdrop.

The verandah was another display area.

Isn't this so effective.

Back out in the garden there were sculptures of all types.  Some were very impressive and on a large scale.

While others were simpler.  These rowers were one of Mick's favourites.  We were talking to the artist and this was the first time he had attended.  When we left he had sold four of the six sculptures he had exhibited.  A very happy man.

This was another of his works.

There was so much work and skill in this work.

There was entertainment and if you wished, you could do some wine tasting.

I love the way this little fellow was chatting to the pigs.

What a lovely setting.  In the radio interview the owner of the garden said the outlook was just paddocks of dead grass rather than the ocean or anything more dramatic and that she had emptied their dam trying to keep the garden green.  She did a lovely job and the dry paddocks were somewhat dramatic.  It really was a delightful backdrop.

As we kept on our wander we saw these clever wooden horses, which looked great in front of the fence and paddock.  It turns out they were made by year 5 and 6 children.

We entered the next small paddock past the red door to find a whole different section.

There was a whole section of works created by the local school and preschool kids.  It was so bright and colourful, with lots of kids enjoying them.

All funds raised on the day go to the Guide Dogs, who brought along some pups for the kids to meet.  By the way, it only cost $5 to go along to the exhibition, which we thought was very reasonable.

Back to the grown up sculptures.

He tried, but he didn't manage to push it over.

Mick is always intrigued by gadgets, so this sculpture with moving parts caught his attention.

By now it was time for lunch, so we found the stall selling lovely fresh Thai salads, once again all funds going to the guide dogs.  The pelicans were our companions sitting under a shady tree.  They were very well behaved.

Behind them, in the pond was the only sort of shark I want to be this close to.

There were quite a few heritage buildings, creating a delightful background.

Birds should be very happy to find this in a garden.

So stylish.

There are some very creative people, using such a variety of materials in their art.

On our way out we came across the most expensive sculpture.

You could add the horse to your space for $46,000.00

The least expensive works were these little birds at $35.00 each.

No, we didn't purchase any sculptures for our garden, but many people did, including many items that were rather pricey.  However, one spectacular, original sculpture in a garden would really make a statement.

I hope I haven't overloaded you with photos, but we had such a lovely day and there were so much to see.  We will definitely mark the date in our calendar for next year. 

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Reconnecting in July, August and September

I seem to have slipped up on my monthly Reconnecting posts, so now is the time to get back on track.

As Kris from Tag Along Teddies would say, grab a cuppa, this is a bit of a long ramble.

It has been a bit of a roller coaster time over the last three months, what with one thing and another.

I didn't give a reason at the time for our unexpected return home from South Australia in early August.  Well, Mum, who is in her late eighties, got sick.  Nothing terribly serious, but certainly worrying at the time, which was only exacerbated by the fact that we were a few days away from home in another state. She is now much better.

To cut a long story short, after many convoluted phone calls we were able to have Mum admitted into emergency respite at a local nursing home.  She should have been in hospital, but there were no beds available due to the severe flu outbreak.

After she returned home to her unit two weeks later (she has been living in a retirement village for the last twelve months) she found that she missed the reassurance of having someone on call when she needed assistance at any time of day or night.  As a result we applied for a room in the residential aged care centre next door to where her unit is. 

To our surprise she was allocated a room just two weeks after she applied and has now been a resident for just on a month.  The facility had a whole new wing added two years ago and she is in that new section.  The building is beautiful, the staff lovely and caring and the food is great. To our delight she is settling in very well.   She knows quite a few of the other residents, including two of her best friends.  We have taken over a few of her special pieces of furniture and china to make her room more personal.  It is looking rather lovely and homely. 

There are heaps of activities on offer and she is getting involved in whatever is going.  She isn't one to want to miss out on things.  I was somewhat gob smacked when I saw her reading a novel.  Mum has never really been a reader, but she has already read a few books from their library.  Of course, her knitting and crochet have gone with her and tomorrow she will attend their knitting group for the first time.  She will be right at home.

So, after that explanation, onto our wrap up:


I did read one book while we were in the caravan.  "The Waddi Tree" by Kerri McGinnis which I bought at the Molong Markets.    It was an enjoyable read.  When we were going through all our books I discovered I have two more of her books.  They seem to be autobiographical.  I've kept them aside to read.  I hope they are good.

Other than that, I have started to read "The Orchard Thieves" by Elzabeth Jolly in my lunches, but haven't had much  time as yet.  It was another book from our many boxes.  I can't say that I'm really enjoying it, but I'll keep plugging away and see how it ends ups.  Fortunately, it is a fairly slim volume.


Well, we nailed that!  Just to recap, we headed off on our motorcycle ride around Australia, only to have to return home due to the bike breaking down.  We had a great trip up the east coast and even travelled 80kms further inland from Charters Towers than we have been before!

We then hooked up the caravan behind the ute and headed to western New South Wales and South Australia, which was a real exploration.  Gosh, we enjoyed it.  We were just getting into the laid back way of travelling when we were so rudely interrupted (just joking). 


Not much at all.  I made some zippy pouches and an ipad sleeve before our trip, but that is about all.  

I had high hopes of having a finish for One Project a Month for September, but it didn't happen. Back in August 2014 I pieced a Drunkard's Path Quilt at a retreat at Nundle (can't rush things now) .  I machined the binding on at Chooky's in June this year. There is just under 10 metres of binding to hand sew down.  I've got half way, so there may be a finish by the end of this month.  We'll see how we go.



The Ikea display cabinets were built and boxes unpacked.  More organising, as such, is still required.

We got rid of all those boxes of books.  I'm sure a few went that shouldn't have, but I can live with that.  I look at what I kept and some I wonder at, but that gives me scope to fine tune things in the future, keeping in mind that we want to contain our collection to the shelves in our little sitting area.  

We now have a spare room with a double bed.  I still have to go shopping for linen and sort out the wardrobe, but it is a massive improvement on where we were.  Other things just happened to interrupt us lately.

Mum!  Now that took some organising.  We had to organise her health and care, the nursing home, and now we have had to organise to empty her unit.  This was a little easier than it could be in that her house was sold at the end of last year and a major clear out occurred then.  However, it is harden in some ways, as what was left was more important.  It is difficult getting rid of so many things that you have grown up with.  We threw out heaps, things that have served her well over the 55 years since she married, but have now reached their use by date.  I can't fit my car in our garage at present as it is full of Mum's possessions.  We will have a garage sale soon to reduce a lot of it.  I do need to sit and go through things properly and assess what to keep, what to donate and what to chuck.  There are so many family items, so I also need to create an archive of some sort for family.  It is just a matter of determining what to keep and what to let go of.  Wish me luck.

So, now, despite having done some organising, it is a case of one step forward, two steps back.  We'll get there.


Not a lot here really.  With all that has been happening, we have just been taking life as it comes.

I did, however, do lots of cooking before we went on our caravan trip.  Biscuits and slice for morning teas, as well as soups and casseroles for dinners.  It worked really well, and is something we will have to try to do each trip.  It makes life easy, not having to find supermarkets or somewhere to eat all the time and of course saves quite a lot of money.  


Continuing on from previous months, I haven't been on my bike at all.  They went to South Australia with us, but the weather wasn't really conducive to cycling.

My three days a week at work has now kicked in properly.  The extra days off have been a blessing, allowing time to run around getting Mum settled.  I'm looking forward to when life achieves a new normal and there will be some time for home things on those days off.  Our time will come.

The major new experience this time was navigating the Aged Care system - My Aged Care, which is the main port of call for many things, DVA, Aged Care Facilities, setting things up to allow me to assist Mum with more day to day dealings, obtaining a disabilty parking permit, etc.  There is a whole new language to learn and so many acronyms to get my head around.  It certainly has been a steep learning curve, but one that many have been through and understand, I'm sure.


Our trip up the east coast on the bike was made so enjoyable by being able to spend time with friends that we don't see often and to also meet Jenny in Townsville for the first time was a bonus.  Friends really are wonderful.


Our trip to South Australia was a nice little taster of caravanning in the slow lane and we can see that it is be something we can really take to, although we were pretty confident about that anyway.  Hopefully we will have a bit more time in the van before too long.


It was nice to wind down on our holiday.  It takes a few days for us to stop racing around, but by the time we were in South Australia we were definitely in holiday mode.

Also, it has been so good having the extra days and time to spend with Mum.  To be able to attend appointments and not be feeling that you need to rush off to do something else, or get back to work makes such a difference.  I think we will get to spend more quality time together from now on.

There you go!  If you have made it to the end, well done.  It has been an interesting three months.   Hopefully the next three will be a little less dramatic.

Tuesday 10 October 2017

A Day Out

We often go away somewhere on the October long weekend, but this year Mick was scheduled to work, so no plans were made.  As it turned out, they were finished their job nice and early and he didn't have to work after all.  This allowed us to join some friends for a motorcycle ride on the Monday.  On the bike three weekends in a row.  That is very unusual.

It was lovely just tagging along for this ride, rather than having organised it.  It also meant we travelled on a couple of roads we don't usually use, which is always good.

Our first stop was at Rylstone for morning tea.  As always, the main street was busy and there were other bikes.  These three were rather tasty.

We continued on our way via the village of Louee.  You know you are getting close when you pass under this old railway bridge.

I had fun sitting in the side car just snapping away with my camera.  The road was really rough and bumpy, so I took loads of photos, working on the assumption that some should turn out OK.

Our destination was Mudgee, with its iconic clock tower.  The town features as the backdrop in the TV series Doctor Doctor, which is showing at the moment.

Both Rylstone and Mudgee had many of their businesses festooned in pink for Pink up my Town for the McGrath Foundation.  This building looked particularly lovely.

We called in at this for our lunch.  We had a delicious meal sitting in the shady beer garden.

We returned to Bathurst via Hargreaves.  Once again I just took loads of happy snaps.  

There are lots of interesting old buildings along the way.

It is ideal motorcycling conditions with lots of twisties.

It is harsh country and extremely dry for this time of year.  It should be looking nice and green by now.

When you see a row of letterboxes like this you wonder where the houses are.  Obviously they are tucked away in nice quiet spots.

We came across quite a few of these steep road warnings on our travels.

Yes, it is harsh country.  However, it is this harsh environment that breeds some of Australia's best super fine merino.

We had a brief stopover in the historic village of Hill End.

I finally got a photo of our bikes, but wasn't able to organise to get everyone together.  So be it.

Not quite one tree hill.

This old house marks the turnoff down the Turondale Road to home.

As usual, we bring up the rear on a ride.  Notice the roo on the road.  There was heaps of roadkill.  A sign of the very dry conditions, as wildlife seek some green pick in the table drains.

It is nice to cross an old timber bridge, as there aren't many left.

And to finish off, the obligatory windmill photo.

It really was a great day out.  The weather was perfect for riding, the scenery was spectacular, we ate well and the company was enjoyable.  You can't get much better than that.