Monday, August 14, 2017

Small changes


This is the first week I have been at home as a retired person. Everyone wants to know how it feels! Well, it feels relaxed, joyful, playful and free! 

The week has included some volunteer work.

I have been to two music concerts.

I have had dinner with friends in a pub. 


There aren't any roses in the garden to smell, but I find I am drawn to the slanting morning light as it breaks through the clouds of a winter Perth day. 

I am sleeping better and I have been recovering from my ear infection quite nicely. 


If, despite all forecasts, the afternoon turns out to be fine, DH and I can enjoy a walk around our lovely local lake which is now brimming with water for the first time in years. This picture has a black and white splash in it -that is a black swan among the reeds. 

I don't think I have created a routine for myself quite yet, and perhaps I still feel a bit like I am on holiday, but this retirement thing feels luxurious at the moment.

In the quilting sphere I have cut out and started sewing a very special memory quilt. Too early for much in the way of pictures yet, watch this space. 



Thursday, August 3, 2017

Blue Mountains and Victorian get away


We had a get-away for a few days in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. We were on the way to take care of the grandchildren in northern Victoria, and thought we would piggyback a few days on our own-just DH and I -first. DH had never been to the Blue Mountains but I had been several times. It seemed like a great opportunity to revisit the holiday we tried to have together in Melbourne a few months ago, when poor DH came down with pneumonia. This time we wanted to enjoy each other's company and do some sight seeing together.

We flew to Sydney and took the train up to the mountains. With our Seniors concession on the Opal card, it was less than $3 to travel over 100 km! Much more frugal than hiring a car, and easier on the environment too. 

DH found us some great accommodation in a B and B in Katoomba. It was a bit of a walk uphill to the town centre each night for dinner, but an easy walk back. We told ourselves we were walking off the calories! 

 The weather was so kind to us! In the middle of winter we were blessed with sunny skies, even though it was very cold. The bushland and scenery are rightly world famous. There are hop-on, hop-off bus services which ferried us to the best locations for the views.



When not looking at scenery we enjoyed exploring the towns of Katoomba, Leura and Lawson. 



The Carrington Hotel in Katoomba is a stately old hotel with amazing architectural features like this wonderful glass in the closed-in verandah. We didn't stay here, but DH and I had cocktails in the bar on two separate occasions. 

Many businesses were were celebrating Christmas in July (we were there on the 25th July!). 


We visited the Norman Lindsay gallery.  The Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge is the home of the Magic Pudding and displays the work of artist and writer Norman Lindsay (1879-1969). Lindsay was a controversial artist for most of his life and a walk around the extensive art in the gallery shows what the staid 1960s Australians would have struggled with- his pictures are often full of bohemian and pagan images, and usually have lots of strong and naked women! His second wife Rose was his model, muse and manager -I think she was a pretty strong woman in her own right. 


His bush block is a wonderful haven, dotted with his sculptures. We had lunch in the cafe there.

On our return to Sydney we had a few hours to let DH revive his memories of the sights before boarding the train to Melbourne (we booked a sleeper) where we met up with a dear friend before taking the coach service to Rochester. 

Going by bus and train was a real pleasure. Everything worked well, and we were treated with courtesy and friendliness. 





After a few days of babysitting our lovely DGD (5) and DGS (3) we have lots of lovely memories of fun times together. We played outside a lot because even though the nights were cold, the days warmed up quickly. There were bikes and trampolines and games of imaginative play, and making fairy gardens and so much more!

It was a great trip but we are now back home and my new slower retired life begins. I have got the bread rising right now, and am enjoying getting back into the routines again.