Monday, May 21, 2018

Don't forget the camera!

A farm, a paddock for kite flying, a girl, dried up weeds and that golden end of a day. 

I've been wanting to share these photos, but I was reluctant because they weren't great. They were taken with my phone. It was one of those kick myself times, when I should have had the camera in the car. Just in case. Hindsight sucks.

Many times I have made a pact with myself to TAKE THE CAMERA. After this night, I have definitely changed my habits, and take the camera. Because you never know.

I went to coffee with a friend, which is weird to say, because I don't drink coffee. I had a pot of peppermint tea. She's a creative person, like me. We have great conversations about cooking, gardening, arts and photography. I never feel exhausted talking with her. Only uplifted and inspired. 

I talked about forgetting the camera. About not pulling over and taking photos when a view takes my fancy. Most of the time it's because I have the kids in the car, because my mind is on a mission to just get to the destination. She agreed, she used to do the same when her kids were younger. She even said that she does the same now, even though her kids are grown. 

Is it because life is so busy? 

Is it because I am only thinking of the end game, and not embracing what's happening right now?

I need to slow down. Do the things that make me happy. Fulfilled. AND take the camera everywhere!




   

 





Monday, May 14, 2018

Yallum Park homestead

Contrary to popular belief, usually those beliefs that go on in my own brain, I do manage to do shit away from the four corners (well six actually) of my home without the shitheads that relentlessly test my sanity. Namely, three kids, one who is an adult, and a equally childish husband. It is rare, and when the opportunity strikes, you can bet, I am jumping in the car like some sort of demented magician and disappearing.

I was under the impression that the Yallum Park open garden day finished at 2pm. So when I finished baking a sourdough loaf at 1pm and googled the actual times of a 4pm finish, I chucked on scarf, grabbed my camera and handbag and said, "hasta luego" to my people and dashed out the door.

Yallum Park is  an eight minute drive from Penola in South Australia's south east, gateway to the Coonawarra wine region.

The Yallum Park homestead is a Victorian mansion, built for John Riddoch between 1878-1880. John Riddoch was a Scotsman who had made it rich in the goldfields. It is one of the best preserved historic houses in Australia, boasting original wallpapers, 500 pounds worth of gold leaf trims, 11 Italian marble mantle pieces, cut glass door knobs and five acres of gardens, including 70 different types of conifers. 

Some of the noted famous people who haved stayed here are English novelist Anthony Trollope, King George V(when still the Duke of Cornwall), Adam Lindsay Gordon, and many other princes and political dignitories.

Along with the five hectares of garden, the house was also open for tours. The open garden day cost $8 per person, with a tour of the house and extra $10. I was not lucky enough to do a tour of the house, but caught a glimpse through the verandah windows of the well preserved bedrooms, with original carpets and furniture.

Yallum Park homestead and the way it has been preserved by the Clifford family is a credit to our region and is well and truly worth the visit if you ever have the opportunity.

I do love the drive to Penola, the trees that line the road are amazing and took a couple of photos along the road, of the gums making a cathedral arch, and the red growth of she-oaks on the way home. The afternoon light that made them more amazing is not justified in the last two photos.

I am ever so glad I took off in the car this day and saw it for myself. As I walked down the driveway and the house came into view, I was awestruck by it beauty. It is a vision and experience that can only be appreciated in real life. Breathtaking!



























Monday, May 7, 2018

Climbing Mount Schank

I love the area we live in. So many great day trips and things to do, and I am glad we go to see them.

One of the recent things we did was climb Mount Schank, and then proceed to walk to the middle of the volcanic cinder cone and climb back out again! My legs were screaming for mercy on the way back up from the centre, I'm sure they wished I would fall down and die right there. I made it and am so glad Izzy convinced us to do it. She bounced all the way and didn't tire AT ALL! If you do decide to visit, make sure you wear walking shoes and bring a drink bottle.

Mount Schank is about 12 km from Mount Gambier in South Australia's south east. It is part of Australia's first geo park, Kanawinka, which extends from Millicent in South Australia, to near Melbourne in Victoria. Kanawinka is a Buandik aboriginal word, which means 'Land of tomorrow'. 

It is the youngest of Australia's volcanos, erupting 5000 years ago, and rising about 100 metres from the flat lands surrounding it.

Mount Schank was sighted and named by Lieutenant James Grant in December 1800. Grant named it after Admiral John Schank, designer of Grant's ship, HMS Lady Nelson.

From the carpark, where there are toilets, a bbq and picnic area, it's a 15 minute walk to the rim. The views on the walk up, and at the rim are amazing. We could see all the way to the windtowers near Millicent, about 60km away, and to the ocean at Port MacDonnell. It was a drizzly day, so the views on a finer day would be absolutely amazing.

If you want to further explore, you can walk the 1.9km rim, or venture down to the floor of the crater, which we did. 





Summer could see a face in the rock. We think it's the fossilised remains of Jabba the Hut. Can you see it?




















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