Tag Archives: sunrises

Time to catch up…

It’s been a while and a lot had happened in that time.

Stuart has been into hospital to have an ankle fused. He’s well recovered now, but still has another to be done. His op was very hard on me with me having to take on everything whilst he was completely non-weightbearing for 8 weeks which turned into 10 weeks because on issues relating to covid-19 and getting medical appointments etc. And as my mother will testify to, both my parents ended up stranded in Australia… what should have been a 6 week holiday turned into a near 6 month stay and instead of/as well as an Australian summer, they had an Aussie autumn and 2 months of an Aussie winter. Not too be sneezed at when you’re this far south and in an area that routinely sees -10°C and snow at least once or twice each winter…

But it has also been an autumn/winter of rain, and fantastic sunsets and sunrises. Since the drought broke back in February with torrential rain, washing away our gravel road in many places (something repeated the day my parents left! ), I now have a new photographic point to capture sunsets reflected in the dam. It has lead to some amazing pictures.

Sunrise this morning.

Like many, 2020 has not been a great year, (drought, bush fires, smoke and worst air pollution in the world at one point, torrential rains (100mm of rain in less than an hour when the drought finally broke), the virus, parents stranded here in Australia, major surgery for Stuart, a shoulder injury, my surgery postponed etc… ) but it has also had some good points as well (plenty of time to spend with my parents, plenty of knitting done, some fantastic sunrises and sunsets – we don’t usually see sunsets here, and the drought finally breaking. In fact we are due rain again today, tomorrow and the next day!

Sunset, just last week

As you can see, there have been some great sunsets to say the least.

We’ve also discovered a new cafe in Braidwood that thanks to the owner and chef being vegan herself has a great range of vegan dishes and most dishes have either a dairy free version or a vegan version available on request leaving me a choice of 5 or 6 dishes to choose from. Sadly only the 1 desert and I don’t like it (a fruit cake slice that tries to be everything. Gluten free, refined sugar free, soy free, egg free, dairy free, vegan and so on…).

We’re just waiting for the new Spring menu to arrive.

Strike that. We’re just waiting for Spring to arrive!

Christmas 2019

Christmas this year had a twist. An unpleasant twist.

It’s hot, much hotter than previous years but the evenings are normally cooler at this time of year. Not this year.

And usually once it goes dark, you can open the windows and doors and let cool air in. Not this year. In fact this year the only thing you’d key in would be smoke. And not nice smoke either.

So we started with a tree. Luckily we got the tree the day before the smoke became a problem. Until then the weather had been stable with the wind blowing in the prevailing direction and blowing the smoke out to sea. But the fires are now that big that they are controlling the weather, changing the wind direction, or in the evening as the air cools, the smoke is simply compressed and can only spread outwards. And whilst we are only 50km from one off the fires, it is rather ironically the fire twice that distance away, that is causing the problems with the smoke.

And so a new routine had started, and it isn’t a great one. Be play a game with the smoke coming in at night. How long can we leave the windows open before it arrives? Some nights it is not even a question. The smoke is there before dark, before it gets cool. Other nights we get 5 minutes of fresher air before having to lock up and swelter in the heat. And other nights we might get ½ hr. On the odd rare occasion, we get to leave them open longer, sleep is interrupted by the constant fear at the back of your mind. Needless to say my asthma had been giving me problems, but it does act as an early warning system to the smokes arrival. You just don’t get much warning and it had taken it’s toll on my lungs.

This was the middle of 1 day. A surprisingly cool day that we couldn’t enjoy.

We’ve taken to swimming or going to the cinema when we need to get away from the smoke. Swimming indoors is meant to be ok according to the health officials, but last time around, both of us were struggling with breathing. And a quick chat with other swimmers revealed almost everyone was having problems.

The Saturday before Christmas saw is at the cinema, like many others, hiding from the 44°C forecast that day. It hit 43.4°C at home. An unwelcome need record temperature.

It also saw the arrival of 3 bantam chicks. Another 4 were to follow on my birthday.

Christmas also saw the arrival of our first Brown Snake. Brown’s are one of Australia’s most poisonous snakes, though few humans die from bites. It is usually pets that die. As you can see, my smallest chook decided to prove that reason for me. She found things being thrown at her immediately after this photo. The Brown is as big as they come. It’s a fully grown adult and was huge. Miss Prim would have been nothing more than a snack. Luckily I managed to frighten her away, then I chased her into the chicken coop, where all of the others were hiding and locked them all in safely away from the Brown.

Christmas Day saw us starting having having pikelets served with lemon juice, maple syrup and some blueberries.

Then having one of our favorite salads. I had started it 2 days before, soaking the chickpeas. Then on Christmas Eve, very first thing in the morning, cooking the chickpeas in the pressure cooker. It would have been on the BBQ but it was smokey again. Then the salad was made up and allowed to marinate for 24hrs. We have found the flavour improves considerably if we do this.

Dessert was made on the day, along with a baked almond feta cheese which was delicious.

The pavlova was a huge success this year, actually staying in 1 piece until being served!

The Christmas photo of Stuart this year was taken inside because of the smoke and heat…

And his Christmas card from me…

Then finally, a mock mirage sunrise. Now normally these are only ever sunsets, but I caught this one through the smoke from the fires on once if the clearer days. Look at the last couple of pictures. You’re seeing the image of the sun twice!