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Tag: caravan (Page 1 of 7)

What’s hot. What’s not.

Over at Loobylu, a blog I have read and admired since just before I began this one, Claire has been diligently posting once a day during September. This prospect fills me with both feelings of envy and exhaustion. I plan on doing that too… just not right now.

A few days ago [OK, by now it’s almost a week ago…] she did a “What’s Hot and What’s Not” list. And here’s mine:

Nature's Cuppa Tea Bags

Nature’s Cuppa tea bags. I am a diehard loose leaf teapot toting tannin queen. I turn my nose up at most teabags. These, however, are the business. They have some guts but aren’t too… Oh, anyway, they’re great. The loose leaf version they have is good too, but doesn’t last me long enough.

My new whizzer stick. I know several people, including two immediate family members, who swear by these things. The stick mixer. Mine (by Phillips – recommended by Choice Magazine) also came with it’s own little bowl attachment. It’s unbeaten for whizzing things in the slow cooker!

Spring. Not too cold. Not too hot. Just right.

My iPhone. Have raved before. Am typing this post on it right now. Swoonworthy.

The caravan. It has curtains, of sorts. It will be getting a bit more love before it’s second trip to Maldon. I am lying in it right now, snug in a West Preston driveway. It is a little home away from home – as well as looking adorable. Yay!

Barefoot Books – I love reading these to Small Z. The illustrations are always fantastic, and we especially love the Bear on a Bike

What’s not so hot?

Teething. Ow.

Eczema taking over my forehead for weeks on end.

Mosquitos.

Having to work instead of having a passive form of income that just keeps trickling in like that guy in that Nick Hornby book whose Dad wrote something like ‘Jingle Bells’ and lived richly ever after.

Potentially cool vintage caravan curtain fabric which turns out to be 100% fiberglass and intolerable to work with…just as M predicted…

Maldon Folk Festival 2009

Our trip to Maldon was great. The weather was HOT! It was a shock, as there was no gradual ascent to the heat, it just jumped from weeks of average-ish spring temperatures with lots of rain, to three days of about 30 degrees.

Occupied

We and our lovely camping companions had a good time, although we didn’t get to see as much music as I had hoped. I felt evilly thwarted when we made the effort to get to the Anglican Church on Sunday morning (I should have realised, right?) in response to an advertisement at a few places of acapella. So we showed up. And it was hymns. One at a time. Punctuated by god-speak. A less stupid person would have been unsurprised (that was E and M). M and I left, taking Small Z, who kept being ‘shooshed’ by devout looking people as she kept shouting ‘Mooosic? Where moosic?! DANCE! DANCE!!’

We tried again later in the day. Same venue. This time accompanied by Mr H & Son. It had been advertised as a gospel concert. WRONG! We tried to join in, but Mr H was rendered insensible by myself on one side hissing “Are we supposed to be singing ‘Bringing in the sheep’? or ‘Bringing in the cheese?'” and Jack (aged 8) on the other, asking, “Are we supposed to be singing ‘Bringing in the sheets?'” When he could speak, he told us heathens that it was ‘Bringing in the sheaves’ – a hymn that Wikipedia now informs me ‘is a popular hymn used almost exclusively by Protestant Christians’ – inspired by Psalm 126.6 – we left shortly afterward.

But aside from the above two paragraphs, the music we glimpsed was excellent, and it was great just to hang out with some other people and their small person for three days. It was good to just be AWAY. We got to tour the home of their friends who live locally and marvel at their chickens, their garden and their lifestyle in general. We attended several cafes and enjoyed kicking back in the late Sunday afternoon shade at the main stage. Beer was drunk, toddler tantrums were refereed and there was bushdancing (where there was also some impromptu napping)…

Conked out...

Each time we’ve been to Maldon M and I have delayed our return home by at least a day. This time we did it with E, D and Small E. We aimed for Malmsbury, but there was nowhere to camp – though we all could have camped in the bakery for a considerable time – the pies and custard tarts were delectable! On the advice of the girl who worked in the bakery we headed for Kyneton, where the caravan park adjoins both the botanical gardens and the river. Divine.

In Kyneton on the air mattress

It balmed my soul to spend a night surrounded by greenery instead of dusty hot bushland (sorry Maldon). We drank gin and tonics into the night, and probably for this reason, E and I had good sleeps. If I had known what I was going to have for breakfast I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at all – I would have lain there wide eyed in anticipation.

On a slight tangent, I had read in Epicure a few weeks ago about the foodies street in Kyenton – Piper Street. So, on the morning of Melbourne Cup Day, that’s where we headed, fingers crossed that somewhere would be open. Ladel was open, but they don’t do breakfast. Very kindly, they pointed us in the direction of Slow Living.

Oh. My. God. Let it be known that this is the site of the best breakfast I have EVER had. (Are you paying attention, foody cousin?) It was nothing grand. It was entirely organic. It was two poached eggs, happy bacon, chunky heavy rye, two tomatoes, some spinach. Am kicking myself for not taking photograph of it. It was expensive, as cafe breakfasts go, and it was worth every single cent.

Parallel play on the plaid...

Barwon Heads

The evening following our foray to Emerald, Small Z was hard to get to sleep. We tried. Then she was back up at around 8pm. M and I looked at each other. We had been invited away to Barwon Heads for Mung’s birthday weekend, but weren’t going to go as it seemed too far for just one night and my back was s-o-r-e.

A text came through from Mung asking whether we would be arriving that night or the next morning. M – who usually hates driving distances, tentatively suggested we drive down right then, arrive at around 11pm and wake up there in the morning – thus giving ourselves two nights away. I jumped on this plan.

We made a pact not to dither around getting ready and were out of the house, packed, with caravan hitched, thirty-five minutes later. I think that’s some kind of record. All hail the soothing power of the automobile – Small Z slept the entire way. *boggles*

As we drew near Barwon Heads, and the super cool 1950’s style holiday house that they had rented, M said that he was sure everyone would be asleep by now. No way! I told him, it’s only about 11’o’clock – they’ll be up knocking back a few beers. We drew up, got sorted, and M grabbed his four remaining beers like a Frat boy, and hared off to party. Returning five minutes later, mournful. They were all in bed…

Fishing
Fishing near the Barwon Heads Bridge
Luka. Running.
The morning after the night before

Boxing Day and Binginwarri

We had a lovely Boxing Day at Loch – a feast of wondrous proportions. Champagne. Splodge the cat. Unholy amounts of smoked trout, D’Affinois and soy and honey drumsticks. Followed by a cream cake. Small Z had a snooze in the caravan, and was delighted to receive a new book and some Thomas the Tank Engine shaped… PASTA?! Ha!

Small Z & Man-With-Beard's Feet
Boxing Day Rose
Splodge. The Boxing Day Cat.

People lingered until around 6pm, and Small Z and I retired an hour or so after that. I continue to enjoy waking up in the caravan – particularly at Loch where you can listen to birds and cows beginning their day. It’s nice to then tiptoe across damp grass to the house, where there is often a pot of tea underway. I particularly like the new windows in the bathroom that grants the reflected a sort of smoothed, well-lit, blemish free view. A lovely way to start the day…

We set off to Binginwarri at around 10.30am, hoping that Small Z would sleep. We stopped briefly at Korumburra op-shop, where they were having a sale, and then continued on, with Small Z becoming more and more fractious, translating into raised stress levels for driver M. I relocated to the backseat in an effort to alleviate both situations, and actually managed to READ Small Z to sleep by using a very sleepy boring voice… A feat that has never occurred before. Naturally this occurred two minutes before arriving at Roy and Kaye’s *groan* meaning there had to be a quick transfer from backseat to caravan bed…

We had been unaware that lunch was going to be awaiting us, and had several starving people cursing our lateness, in a friendly fashion. We stayed two nights, with each day hotter than the next and a tiger snake spotted on the final day. On the 27th (Happy Birthday Small Brother!!) we all ventured down to Port Albert, where we got some sublime fish and chips from the tarted up place near the pier. I remembered reading a review of it not long ago…

Little Earth Stories - Author. Beachside.
Small Z in Sam's baby swing

We left in the late afternoon on the 28th, after Kaye showed Small Z her first frog and we got to scope out the cousin’s squeeze (Hi KL!) We paused at Port Welshpool to give Small Z a run and to see if we could replicate the fish and chip experience of the previous day. We did! Go to the place nearest to the pier…It’s interesting that only a few days after this, there was an article in The Age discussing the rarity of fish and chip shops that were able to use locally caught fish.

Port Welshpool. On our way home

Sated by our food, we decided to call up Loch and ask if we would be able to stay the night on the way back. Glad we did – as it was dark by the time we got there and Small Z was valiantly hoicking her eyelids wide. It was a nice way to finish our post-Christmas journey. In the morning we made scrambled eggs and watched the first episode of Beachcomber Cottage on iView – he reminded me somewhat of Donal MacIntyre.

We arrived back home at around 1pm and I was thrilled to discover the letterbox piled high with all the books I had ordered from the Book Depository. Better late than never. I had warned the residents of Loch that their gifts were in the mail…

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