LIFESTYLE


Shifting focus, and other ambitions

And so another week has fled the scene and left May in its wake. How did that happen?? I’m glad you liked my big reveal and I’m even more glad that no-one gave me a hard time about my cross obsession. One dear friend commented that she is the opposite to me – she cannot have a cross anywhere near her. Now if you didn’t know this lovely friend of mine, you might wonder if she was a vampire – or is it garlic vampires hate? Either way, I totally respect a contrary view to mine and I love love love it when people do feel inclined to comment. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Thank you gorgeous Jane and others who sent me messages! On the subject of warm and fuzzy, I want to broach the delicate topic of technology as a way in to this week’s post. That’s because there is an exhibition on right now at the Art Gallery of NSW that you shouldn’t miss – The Photograph and Australia. For people like me, it’s very reassuring that the bulk of the exhibition is made up of shots taken over a one hundred and fifty year span, with often nothing grander than a simple box brownie. Why is it reassuring, you may ask… Well, because it’s nice to know that old technology is still viable. It means I am still viable. I may not know how to take a daguerrotype, but neither will any of my children and at least I know what one is and how to spell it. Trump. Problem is, I... read more

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... read more

Autumn tales of the Shoalhaven Incubus…

Autumn. The 19th century poet John Keats called it the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, which pretty much nails it for me. Mellow fruitfulness sounds so mouth watering and makes me think of plump pumpkins and slow roasted lamb and a Central Otago pinot…. And as for the mists, Berry does good mists. Actually, I do good mists too, especially after a good Central Otago pinot. Far now from the maddening crowds of a January USA, let’s go back to that south coast idyl – beautiful Berry. Everyone loves it, everyone tells me every time I say we have a farm there. “Oh, I love Berry!” But how many people know anything about its history? You know, there are a few parallels with Aspen that have made themselves clear to me in doing the research for this post. I know, no snow, more’s the pity, and no snow bunnies, or Zadig and Voltaire shops for them to shop in, no ‘the beautiful people’ jet set and their paparazzi entourage. But from its modest beginnings as a timber town, Berry, like Aspen, has in more recent years, turned from timber to tourism to turn a dollar. And, like Aspen, you need a dollar, if you want to buy land here. But like I said, Berry’s beginnings, too, were humble. That is, apart from a pretty un-humble guy called Alexander Berry, after whom the town is named. He and his brother David, that is. So who was this dude, Alexander Berry? I can tell you, reports about him differ, but the general gist is that he was a bit of... read more

THE FARM


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... read more

Autumn tales of the Shoalhaven Incubus…

Autumn. The 19th century poet John Keats called it the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, which pretty much nails it for me. Mellow fruitfulness sounds so mouth watering and makes me think of plump pumpkins and slow roasted lamb and a Central Otago pinot…. And as for the mists, Berry does good mists. Actually, I do good mists too, especially after a good Central Otago pinot. Far now from the maddening crowds of a January USA, let’s go back to that south coast idyl – beautiful Berry. Everyone loves it, everyone tells me every time I say we have a farm there. “Oh, I love Berry!” But how many people know anything about its history? You know, there are a few parallels with Aspen that have made themselves clear to me in doing the research for this post. I know, no snow, more’s the pity, and no snow bunnies, or Zadig and Voltaire shops for them to shop in, no ‘the beautiful people’ jet set and their paparazzi entourage. But from its modest beginnings as a timber town, Berry, like Aspen, has in more recent years, turned from timber to tourism to turn a dollar. And, like Aspen, you need a dollar, if you want to buy land here. But like I said, Berry’s beginnings, too, were humble. That is, apart from a pretty un-humble guy called Alexander Berry, after whom the town is named. He and his brother David, that is. So who was this dude, Alexander Berry? I can tell you, reports about him differ, but the general gist is that he was a bit of... read more

Frock and honk; peacock ponderings.

Right. Enough humiliation – thanks for all the support re the sheep and glad you had a good laugh at our expense. I’ll recover, even if my husband doesn’t. He’s making enquiries into sheep and adult children adoption programs as we speak. As for the sheep, they appear to be making their own enquiries into alternative living arrangements. Can you believe it! (that’s not a question) As it turns out, we have long suffering neighbours – and their long-suffering-ness has only just today come to light. They’re long suffering, and because this news is new, that makes me short suffering. But it is Suffering – capital S. As yesterday was Saturday and our youngest had touch footy at the crack of dawn (don’t coaches have a life! – that’s not a question either), then had her new job as a checkout chick at About Life, (where coaches should hang out instead in the early hours of saturday mornings), it was 4.30pm when we finally got down to the farm. As it turned out, we had just enough time to save a turtle, meet an echidna, and make certain observations, not all of them flattering, about the sounds made by pretty peacocks. There was also, unfortunately, time to make a rude discovery, re the freaking sheep. So this agenda item is the one I will tackle first. Emma and James were keen to see the made-over, celebrity-ready sheep, as they’d missed the shearing debacle and will only learn of our incompetence if they read last week’s blog. Step-Mum’s the word. So shimmying we went, down the new road behind the house in... read more