We have been on a road trip around a small part of Victoria, almost all of Tasmania and two wine districts in South Australia. We covered a lot of ground, saw some wonderful sights, ate some magnificent food and drank lots of good wine and coffee, but it is so good to be home. I was able to indulge my cottage fetish in a big way and, before I knew it, had filled my camera's memory card. I found myself deleting pictures of the countryside so that I could fit in just one more cottage. While none of these pretty homes look anything like my own house, they all reminded me of home and the warmth and love behind the front door so that some days I actually felt quite homesick. Every time I photographed another cottage I wondered about the people who inhabited it and hoped that they were all living the picture perfect life which their homes conveyed. Of all the cottages we saw, my favourite would have to be this one and I didn't have to wonder about the inhabitants because we were lucky enough to stay there with the most generous and hospitable friends. D is a born home-maker and has created the cosiest nest imaginable. As a thank-you, a door stop from The Cut Cloth didn't seem to be enough, but it certainly looked right at home in its new surroundings.
The main reason for our trip east was to attend a formal dinner for an old friend's birthday which was held in a small Victorian country town hotel. The food and wine were memorable. A five course degustation menu included such delights as mussel chowder, smoked eel and proscuitto; blue-eye, creamed leek, cauliflower, macaroni and crab gratin; confit duck, duck liver parfait, puy lentils, parsnip, plum sauce; smoked rack of lamb, chorizo, tomato, borlotti beans, green olives; sauterne croissant bread & butter pudding with poached winter fruits. All were accompanied by superb wines to complement the food. Back at home, as I sip on my chateau cardboard, I can only dream of such magnificence.
It is so good to have a break from the routine of day-to-day life. I have come home with renewed energy and my head is full of new ideas. However, for now it is time to come back to earth. The garden has become a jungle and it is time to prune the roses. The last time I counted I had over twenty of them and I have only a very tiny garden. There is a lot of sewing to be done and new products to be created. I feel that the months to come will be exciting and full of promise.