Bonfire of Insanities…

Bonfire of Insanities…

Tell me you missed me. I missed me!! You must all be thinking I dropped off the perch and you’d be right, I did. But I did for a good reason and now I’m back and I’ve got some news for y’all. You know how I keep going on about how I don’t know what kind of a blogger I really am? Travel? Lifestyle? Farmer? General Guru on anything and nothing?… Well, I’ve decided to formalise my undecidedness by starting a new website that doesn’t pretend to be just the one thing. And you know what I’ve called it? www.henrietta.co I’m not just the one thing – I like to be all over the shop. So now when you want to read farm stuff, that’s all that SoCoFarm.com will be about and the rest of my ramblings will spill over onto my other site. It’s almost ready. When it is properly ready (ie, when I finish doing what the queen of all things internet, Jenna Black, has told me to do so that she can fire it up), you will be the first to know and you can, if you so choose, subscribe to the site in addition to SoCo. I hope you do. I hope you don’t just abandon me out there in cyberspace talking only to myself because let’s face it, that would be embarrassing. And lonely. And who said tragic?? The new site will be a combination of blog posts, commentary, and some more creative stuff to tickle your fancy, should you require any fancy tickling. In particular, I have been working on a collection of...
Winter is coming….

Winter is coming….

Is that June I hear knocking at the door?? Is 2015 half spent??? Is the darkness coming??? You know, it’s quite a curious thing that just when you start bleating about how time is cheating you out of a happy, relaxed life, and how can the year already be half over, and God I miss summer…. stuff can happen that makes you actually feel pretty blessed that it is rainy and cold, and that it’s nearly June, and that you’re alive and kicking. I have had three such things happen to me this week. I’ll do this chronologically. As some of you may already know, Mothers Day didn’t end well for a certain member of my family. We’d had a beautiful picnic up at Leura Cascades in the Blue Mountains (biting, cyclonic wind aside, oh how we prevailed), and following a warming hot chocolate at the groovy little Leura Garage cafe later in the afternoon, we then sallied forth on our two and a half hour drive home. The road was a car park. Good thing it wasn’t Husband’s Day, as I did not listen to a word of complaint about the traffic and ‘why do we have to do this every year’? It was MY day, and our tradition is that my beautiful children make a gourmet picnic and we take the scrabble, a rugby ball, and other assorted amusements, like wine, and we stretch out on picnic blankets in what has to be one of Sydney’s prettiest parks. Autumn’s golden parade flutters winsome against a backdrop of stoic green native bush, and the mountain air is brittle...
The Cross Lady

The Cross Lady

I spent the first three posts this year posing as a travel blog, and had intended the next three being a history of Berry blog. UNTIL…. my very clever and savvy daughter pointed this out to me. ‘You’re not a history blog, Mum. People get sick of history!’ Well. That there just took the wind out of my sails – I was Endeavouring to enliven the story of our past for the purpose of Enlightening the likes of exactly her! What is the youth of today coming to? ‘Well, what do you think I should write about this week’ I enquired of my bloguru. ‘Easter, Mum! ’. ‘I thought I wasn’t allowed to ‘do’ another history blog – Easter was LAST MONTH!’ With the website being down, I’ve got all out of whack, but that hardly explains India’s suggestion. I had however, prepared a blog post with an Easter theme and at the risk of losing all of you right here right now, I’ve done an edit job so as A. not to waste it, B. not to waste the bloguru, and C. because it’s a nice foreword to my great reveal – that I’m The Cross Lady. So let’s get on with Easter…. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking how absolutely bizarre it is that at this time of year, when we commemorate the pretty gruesome murder of and consequent resurrection of someone we culturally believe to be the son of God, we give each other brightly wrapped chocolate eggs reportedly delivered by a beneficent bunny. On the surface of things, every bit of that situation is discombobulating (such...
Cruising California in juggernaut Hank

Cruising California in juggernaut Hank

Last week away, then we’re back to business SoCo. I didn’t post last week because I was away – not sure if you’ll want to hear about that particular week of clean living. Nothing fun happens when you’re deprived of coffee, tea and wine. Mostly because you’re in bed snoring by 8pm. Yup, thought you’d be bored. I was in two minds about leaving Aspen – I loved it, but there is always an overwhelming sense of gratitude I feel when a ski holiday comes to an end and none of my family do. Come to an end, I mean. To intensify this, on our last night, Hugh and Emma showed me a photo of where they had been that day. They handed me a phone to look at the photo. After screwing up my whole face, like I was in the teeth of a blizzard, to try to see the damn thing – and failing to distinguish the photo from my own hand, I had to capitulate and go and find my glasses. Intuitively, I knew that whatever these two madcaps were wanting to share with me, it was going to be big. And it was. As the thrill of their day crossed from the phone to my eyes to my consciousness, the bags started packing themselves. This is the photo. “back country risks include death’. I figured that if Hugh and Emma had found their way to the back country to dice with death and I hadn’t known that that’s where they were – then it was time to leave before I killed them. So off we...
Aspen – the Panic revisited.

Aspen – the Panic revisited.

Week three of travel bragging – you up for it? I hope so – ‘cause this time it’s Aspen. Aspen. Playground for 1. rich-bastards, 2. Australians and 3. rich-bastard-Australians. Heaps in all three categories. If I was worried about the cultural experience my children would miss out on traveling in the US, I didn’t worry enough. I mean, half the bloody neighbourhood was there. In fact, apart from the dulcet tones of a few kiwis (don’t worry – it’s no Bondi), the dominant accent one hears in this tiny town is none other than the dinky-di. We flew in to Denver from Washington, and spent the next four hours of our lives watching the Colorado landscape whizz by the windows of our mini bus transfer to Aspen. Yuck, you might spontaneously say out loud. But you must understand, I am known to be a nervous (did I say neurotic?) nellie when it comes to small planes, and will avoid avoid avoid wherever possible. In fact, when they invent a bus road from Australia to Europe, I’ll be on the inaugural trip. Front seat. However lame that seems, you may remember that there was a fatal air crash at Aspen airport in January 2013. I remember it well because it was the day one of our kids was due to fly in from LA to have a week on the slopes before heading home from a US uni exchange. How does a mother take that news? She does not. India wisely followed my strident instructions, flying instead to Grand Junction from where she caught a bus up the mountain. And...
Punishment in the Capital.

Punishment in the Capital.

After the harrowing experience of SoCo going SoLo in SoHo (should have been the post title), the following three day stint in Washington DC had me GLUED to my husband’s side. That gallant hero, that two undies and a toothbrush tower of a man! Feeling pretty lucky in the capital, I was. We took the train from Penn station to DC and despite my plans to use those three hours of rather blurry, dull scenery to write, instead I snored. I mean I slept the entire journey, like some old cynic. I was bitterly disappointed in myself. However, it did mean that I arrived energised and eager to explore the eminent environs of E-merica’s national capital! Yip-eee!!! When we first mooted the idea of a few days in Washington, the kids let out a collective, sonorous groan, as though we had suggested a three day tour of the library archives of some suburban municipal council. It occurred to me then, that for them, the beat between NYC and Colorado was always going to be a challenge. A filler. A treck… On the effusive recommendation of a friend, such sustained demurring fell on deaf ears. I told the spoilt brats that if they wanted to travel in the States, some idea of the history, culture and politics of the place would make the difference between a good trip and a great opportunity. You think my ears were deaf. Their idea of an American experience was a good shop and a good ski – throw in a burger from In and Out (well named – more on that later) and you’ve...