As you might know our lovely gardens and grounds at Treechange Callignee were burnt out by the devastating Bushfires that swept through Victoria on the first Saturday in February and I know I keep mentioning this to various people but this experience really has changed our lives……No more beautiful peaceful green surroundings where you can lose a whole morning gazing at the huge variety of birdlife flitting amongst the trees…..No just sad old burnt out trees and no birds.
Anyway I got to dreaming about other gardens I have had in the past where green was the prominent colour, and one in England came to mind. A house I lived in for about 5 years in Buckinghamshire and where I first acquired a real love of roses. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the rose garden at the rear, just this snap I took of the old house when I was last in UK a couple of years ago. (Below)
Other gardens then came to mind in the UK, Ian’s uncle Jimmys’ rear walled garden in Yorkshire. He has delphinium growing down to an art. (Below)
I recalled the garden and lawns around the large old house I lived in for 3 years in Surrey. I used to mow that lawn and try to achieve the desired chequer board pattern but alas never quite managed it. The photo below was taken 2 years ago when we called by to see if it was still there.(Below) I remembered the over whelming green of the back garden and stream that flowed through the bottom of Ian’s cousin Callums’ home….where children (and the young at heart adults) can paddle in icey flowing crystal clear water, dodging the large trout and ducks. The trout are only allowed to be fished by a member of royalty and to take one would still be regarded as poaching. These trout are so tame it seems you could catch one by hand, and although they look like eels in the photo they are in fact trout.
Finally, I remembered the garden of our friend Roger whom we visited at his home in Portugal with flamboyant bougainvillea spilling out on the pergola over the outdoor table and lush green lawns surrounding the refreshing swimming pool.
Who can blame me if my thoughts turn to these past green delights.
I have mentioned this little town in a previous post and it continues to be a favourite place to visit.
Port Albert in the early 1800's was the busiest Port next to Melbourne in Victoria. 2000 people lived within a 4 mile radius of the town. However, when the train line to Sale was introduced shipping to Gippsland took a backseat to the safer passage of goods via the railway.
The Sea Museum. (below) Streetscape 1. Showing the historical pub, the oldest continually open pub in Victoria (below)
Streetscape 2. Shows the old Customs House that has been turned into a Cafe. (below)
Footpath. This shows the General Store which has also been turned into a Cafe. (below)
Cafe and General Store garden with a magnificent ornamental grapevine.(below)
It's great to feel like cooking again even if things aren't very creative.
Funnily, I can't remember what we ate for the first few weeks after the bushfires. It's all a blur.
I remember we cooked a curry and some friends came over to the Melbourne place on the first Friday night. I remember thinking at that time that it was great to do something normal again.
I know we ate out and had take away quite alot...maybe that's why I can't face a shop bought roast chicken at the moment.
Back to Basics:- Roast chicken legs and roast vegetables, including stuffed aubergine.
Lamb chump chop, peas, mashed potato and pumpkin. I think this would have been the most common meal of my whole childhood. Meat and three veg. Still healthy enough I suppose and the pumpkin, peas and potato would have been home grown by my grandfather.Tomatoes (market bought) and grilled aubergine with fetta drizzled with EVOO and sprinkled with fresh basil.
Spagetti Bol with peas.
Flake strips with stir fried vegetables and sweet and sour dipping sauce.
We had a retaining wall, covered in Ivy, hardly noticable.
Now we have the Great Wall of Callignee.
How tired you must be of hearing about "the builders" and how tired I am of them.
It's just his way of talking:
"This job has been huge and cost me alot of money"
I then physically start to hurt from the guilt he is putting on me, because our place was burnt and the insurance company hired him???? I know I shouldn't but the trauma of the whole thing has set up an automatic response in me.
"The truck lost the load of steel off the back coming up the drive because it's so steep"
More guilt, because my driveway is steep and the load on his truck wasn't secured properly???
"I am trying to do the best for you but there is only so much me and my wife can afford to contribute to this job"
"I am sorry the other damage occurred but we had to get a crane in for the steel posts"
More guilt for the breaking of our pathing by the crane, by now the hole in my stomach is huge.