Peas flowering

I’m not sure if we are going to get any peas before it gets too cold.

They don’t look as happy as our summer peas.

But we have some flowers.


It’s dark when we get home now. The winter months are hot (cold) on our tail.

There is a chill in the air.

Snowing somewhere?

I first took my daughter skiing when she was four.

Flying into Queenstown we were greeted by The Remarkables, snow covered, towering behind the airport and crisp snowy air.

We jumped into our hire car, put on Justin Berber, made a beeline to the supermarket, filled the car with food and headed off to find the cabin. A wee bit terrified.

Before we headed out toward Cardrona we drove into town to say hello to Queenstown. Beautiful lake, bustling street mall, bare trees, warm shop lights, cold, exciting.

With brave hearts and Justin Beeber, our backing track, we headed off to find our cabin. Up the Crown Range, down into Cardrona.

Up on a little ridge, snuggled into a private corner of rugged high country beneath the beautiful Cardrona snow covered mountain we found the cottage. Complete with a little creek and forest!

Our little hearts relaxed. Safe.

The house. Perfect. Cosy.

We filled the fridge.

Lit the fire.

Unpacked our clothes. Set everything ready for an early morning skiing adventure.

Cooked a yummy dinner. Could it be that the food tasted better down there?

Snuggled watched a DVD. Dare I tell you that I pulled out my knitting? Okay, now in heaven!

He he, I’ve knitted since I was a little girl, I recall at primary school someone calling me Grandma! In fact I quite like crocheting too 😃.

Precious memories, when I was pregnant, the evenings after work, comfy on the couch with my feet up, knitting my daughters baby blankets, but I diverge, today I’m wanting to take you skiing with us.

The next day, beautiful blue sky, perfect!

Not sure how it would work, but with the knowledge they had a childcare centre on the mountain, off we went.

It took us a little while to figure it all out but finally I got my little girl, with all the ski gear she needed, checked in and safe and sound in the hands of her instructor, Lorna. My brave daughter, so cute decked out and ready to hit the slope.

Me, I was now free to ski my heart out! Quick, to the snow!

The icy cold on the chair lift, alive. The cold air whipping my face and filling my lungs on the way down, happiness.

Tired, I love to find a quiet spot in the sun on a pristine patch of snow, nibble on almonds and sultanas (or vegemite crackers or chocolate), surrounded by sparkling snow, mountain fresh air and a sea of snow covered mountains. Easier to remember to breath up there?

I headed back to the resort to have lunch with my little girl.

We filled our tummies with warm food and then out we went to find the sleds.

He he, now that is fun, sledding with your four year old! Sore stomach!

Then it was time to return her to the daycare, more learning how to ski on the little slopes.

Back to the mountain for me.

Since then we’ve found a snow covered mountain every year, jumped into our snow gear and kicked on our ski’s.

My little girl came up with me on the mountain on our second trip, on the chairlift at the end of the day, I have a video of her zooming down in front of me, no poles, like an expert!

The last three years she’s spent whole days with me, no lessons. Just us and the mountain (and chairlifts of new friends).

We have named the little monster that sometimes appears, the abominable snowman. She usually appears if the slope looks too steep or hunger or fatigue sets in. But before long the little abominable snowman is laughing again after she’s been fed or fired snowballs in my direction.

We’ve built snowmen and given them sultana and almond features.

We’ve enjoyed hot chips and meat pies in the warmth of the mountain cafes.

The days finished snuggled warm in the cottage in front of the fire.

Always sad to say goodbye to the mountain and the cottage.

’til next time.

Have a wonderful day!

Ripening Tomatoes

Our tomatoes are ripening.

On our window ledge.

Waiting for the red that means sweet and delicious.

When I was growing up on the mountain, we went to a tiny country school in the next valley.

We would clomp down the mountain in our gumboots and, careful not to slosh water into our boots, wade across the creeks. All the while watching for any little passengers, leeches, “quick can you get it off!”.

The dusty gravel road to school took us across several old wooden bridges. They were made up of hefty sleeper like planks butted up against each other, bolted into place. As I write this I can hear the sound of the bus hitting the bridges at speed and feel the vibrations.

Our teacher loved music and sport. When he first started, we’d play sport every afternoon after lunch. Every day! Outside. Heaven. Playing rob the nest, Aussie Rules (football), soccer, softball, cricket…

And music? He played the guitar and taught us songs, “Horse with No Name”, “Sandman”, “California Girls” (though we changed it to “Collins Creek Girls”), “Muscrat Love”, “Christopher Robin”, “Di Di Di Di”…I loved the singing. I’ve always loved to sing.

Our school, little and country, maybe 25 children?, kindergarten to year 6, large grounds, surrounded by huge luscious camphor laurel trees, with an ‘out of bounds’ forest down the back (that we’d play in anyway). The front gate, in those early years, I remember an arbor with a ratty climbing rose that hadn’t climbed very far and the cement footpath that lead to the front entrance of the little weatherboard school, first opened in 1918.

There was a little fish pond on the left as you walked toward the school (covered with chicken wire) and a large tree, its canopy had a weep, a beautiful pink/purple flower and big fat rounded love heart shaped leaves that started their life folded perfectly against each other down the spine and would open with age. I remember a goanna up that tree one day and our teacher going off to get his gun.

At that time the school had a verandah and inside, a wood burner, “don’t stand too close or you’ll get chilblains”. A pile of shoes & gumboots at the entrance.

There was a school house, where the teacher lived, up the ridge a little, across one of the playing fields.

One lunch, I think I was about 9 years old, I walked out of the class room to the front steps, and there at the bottom of the steps, on the cold hard cement, was one of the boys with blood pouring out of his mouth.


Not a sweet and delicious red. A scary red.

I didn’t take a breath, I just ran (to get the teacher from the school house). Or was it flew? I didn’t know I could move so fast.

Watching that little girl running in my memory, my heart tenses, I choke up and tears sting my eyes.

Words tumbled out on top of each other when the teacher came to the back door. And we quickly headed back to the school.

There was no one at the bottom of the steps.

We went around the back of the school to where the water fountains were, he was leaning over a bubbler, some other children were hanging around but they quickly made themselves scarce. The boy looked up from the trough. He smiled.

I felt confused.

He’s okay now?

I know words were spoken but they all jumbled up in my brain.

It was a trick?

Fake blood. What was that? There was such a thing?! Where did it come from?

I know all was being answered with the words coming out of his mouth, one minute loud, the next quiet, and then no sound at all but his lips still moving, the world didn’t feel steady.

But it did slowly sink in.

Fear turned to mortified embarrassment.

Enough adrenalin pumping through my little body to last a lifetime. Maybe that’s why I have never felt the need to jump out of an aeroplane?

The saddest part of this story is that we lost this friend, at just sixteen, a terrible motorcycle accident on their property. I wasn’t there, but if I was, I would have done the same thing, run with all my heart and soul to get help, my legs would have found that same mysterious power to move at a speed not usually possible.

He was a trickster and cheeky. He made people laugh. And scared the jebezzies out of them!

He told me once he didn’t need to learn to sew, “when I grow up I’ll fix my clothes with a stapler”.

It was a sad day when we lost him.

Favourite moment at our house this morning. My daughter put on “Eye of the Tiger”. We turned it up loud (and even louder). I followed her moves. Her smile and laughter filled me up (he he, to bursting!).

Wishing you a wonderful day!