… in which she discovers the gentle art of random weaving and decides that she’s not quite the basket case she thought she was.

It has been a long time since I’ve had that lovely feeling of being lost in the moment…

Completely absorbed in a simple pleasure

… facing only the simplest of choices

… sitting quietly

… engrossed in the gentle art of making something.

But that’s exactly what I was lucky enough to do this week at a random weaving workshop with south coast artist Harriet Goodall.

Throughout the preceeding week the boys (and various friends – yes you know who you are) had been teasing me relentlessly about my forthcoming basket weaving workshop.

There had been plenty of snickers.

Well you can snicker all you like my lovelies…

because what I knew and you didn’t, is that Harriet Goodall is not your average
basket weaver.

I knew a little bit about her through mutual friends who put together this video for Country Style magazine and when I heard that Sophie Hansen at Mandagery Creek Venison had snagged her to do a workshop, I jumped at the opportunity.

What I didn’t realise, is that Sophie has this fabulous background as a magazine editor and now showcases local producers in her own blog Local is Lovely. She is also a beautiful cook and spent the day – ever so quietly in the background – preparing lots of deliciousness for us all to enjoy.

So it was a good recipe for a great day.

Good host, good food, good company, in a pretty location surrounded
by snow covered hills.

But back to our weaving ….

What I love about Harriet’s work is its organic nature.

It’s relaxed and loose.

And in a world full of mass produced plastic and rubbish, the idea of learning how to take pieces of nature and craft them into something functional is very appealing.

And sure enough, as promised, within a few short hours we had all produced our own unique baskets from bits of flotsam on the floor.

I had this vague idea that I might create a woven fairy castle to hide somewhere
in the garden …

A fairy castle with its own deck.

I’m not quite sure what I ended up with.

But I had the most beautiful day, lost in the moment, creating it

… and I think the fairies will still approve.


Two old things in a junk shop and a story from Malta

Steve and I have been together for quite a while now and throughout the years, apart from our shared and tragic passion for Survivor, there is another big element in our lives which gives us enormous pleasure.

Second hand junk shops and auctions.

Oh sorry Steve. Did you think I was going to say something else?

It doesn’t matter where we are in the world, if we spy a dusty, overcrowded
treasure house of junk, it’s just a given that we’ll dive in and take a look.

Happily losing ourselves in the moment, searching for our own specific treasures.

Until I hear “Marg Marg Marg!” and the moment’s broken and I’m dragged off
to look at some piece of crap really interesting stuff that Steve has found.

One day I sent him on a mission to buy a cheap second hand microwave from an auction.

He came home with an antique divers helmet.

Only it turned out it wasn’t antique. It was Copper Art. ahhh that still makes me laugh.

More often than not we come out empty handed.

It’s more about the pleasure of looking …

and imagining ….

and admiring old things that were made by hand and made to last.


Old things that have had a good life … but have still got plenty of life left in them.

A bit like ourselves really.


Apparently Aaron at Bathurst Mart has been asked to sell this statue of Joseph many times over the years but he told me this lovely story this morning of why he’s hung on to it. He was a little boy in Malta when the Germans were bombing it and his father placed a statue of Joseph on the roof of their home and prayed to it every day to keep them safe.

He has a picture of their house standing tall while everything around it was flattened.

His mum said it was luck.

His dad said it was Joseph.

So just to play it safe, Aaron has his own Joseph looking down from high above his office.

It’s a bit hard to tell whether it’s working 😉

Anyway this was a rambling way to say that one of the nice ways to spend a wintery Saturday morning in Bathurst is to go poking around the many antique and second hand shops we have in town. If you spot a couple of nice old things, make sure you say hello.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever come home with from a second hand store?
One of my favourites is a vintage, French enamelled enema pitcher which I now use to keep all my kitchen implements in  🙂


Thanks Aaron for letting me wander with the camera this morning. Bathurst Mart is located on the Vale Road (the road to Goulburn) just on the outskirts of town.

Baby calves and winter colours from Oberon

Steve has been regaling us with stories of the baby calves out at his mum’s
farm over the past few weeks…

So I sent he and Maddy on a little photo assignment yesterday.

Oberon is about 40 minutes from Bathurst and much higher. It’s one of the coldest
areas in our part of the world. Bloody cold! But very pretty.

Coming from the coast this world was so different to where I grew up.

Yet it’s where my boy is most at home. So in his element.

He knows every calf and every mum.

Is that cute or what!



Photos: Maddy x

Pulling out the pretties

A last night together before our little girl heads back to uni.

Roast lamb in the oven and Gran down for a game of cards.

An excuse to go in search of pretty things.

The lovely sound of teenagers fighting in their rooms.

A chance to pull out old favourites – decades old.

I quite like frayed…

… precious but not too precious.

… special but not too special.

Just a little passing moment

Got to grab them when you can!

Quiet thoughts on a frozen friday morning

We’ve had a week of great sadness…

Sadness that we’ve been carrying for months

The sadness of losing a dear friend

A joyous man who loved life more than most.

We’ve brought our little girl back from India a couple of days early.

She arrives today.

I’m hoping Steve will light a fire tonight.

We’ll break out the red wine …

… and treasure our here and now a little bit more than we would normally do

because that’s what he would want.

Hope you do the same xox

… not even a flock of crapping pidgeons can dull her spirit of adventure

I went exploring where I probably shouldn’t have been exploring today.

And I turned a corner where I probably shouldn’t have turned a corner.

But look what was waiting …

I nearly missed it through the cracked windows.

Bathurst was at her colourful best this afternoon …

… and this is one of my favourite little precincts.

It’s the area behind the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, a beautiful building built in 1876 which housed the original Bathurst Public School.

Thesedays it’s home to the internationally renowned Somerville Collection and the main headquarters of Bathurst’s resident pidgeon population.

Warren Somerville spent a lifetime building up one of the world’s leading private collections of fossils and minerals.

And then he donated it to Bathurst.

As you do 🙂

It’s gobsmacking. Not just the extent of the collection but the fit-out of the museum itself is stunning. But that’s not for today. Because today we’re outside … enjoying some sunshine

… strolling in amongst these old buildings of red brick, so typical of their time.

Taking in the angles and the lines and the textures.

On the lookout for bomber pidgeons ready to drop their load.

… stealing away for just a little while.

… catching the last of the sun on a cold winter’s day.

Don’t judge a garden from your kitchen window

We’ve had two days of beautiful rain (which makes a pleasant change from ice), yet from our kitchen window, the garden looks sad. Well perhaps not sad, but quiet and withdrawn.

…but I stepped out from the cave this morning with a cup of tea and took a wander …

We always tend to think that the little Japanese maple is at her best in autumn

but I’m wondering if that’s so

because when you catch her with no clothes on

when she’s just stepped out from a shower

wearing nothing but a pair of earrings …

ooo la la!

But the thing is, she’s hidden from our kitchen window because the crepe myrtle steals the show…

and it’s pretty hard to compete with this

Still … take some time this weekend to look in the shadows

You might see something that you least expect.

Have a happy one. Stay warm xx