The Retreat

Before the Bun-Scare, I had spent three days here at the vineyard, awash in my own space. Only animals to look after.

Pinot Currawong

My list of things to do was attended to. I paid bills that had been languishing and actually sorted out my tax for this year, which took me more than half a day. I realised too that buying a block of land in the middle of town involved expenses I had not really thought of.

The fact that I have to pay for the privilege of water merely being available to the property without having used any – or having a tap at all – was rather shocking. I had hoped to be entirely offgrid, having to pay no one for anything. It’s those regular payments that are the death of any longterm cruising.

Anyway, knowledge is power, so I spent some time figuring out unavoidable annual expenses, and as depressing as it is, at least now I have a handle on what I need to try and overcome. Both of the Smalls were desperate to come here with me and it was hard to resist their pleading. Both wanted to come without the other; Small Z citing a ‘lack of one-on-one mama-time’ because: school. Small DB because she wanted to cook, look after animals and bake things in the oven at whim. Both wanted to have a break from the other. Problem was – I really needed a break from both of them.

In getting through much of my list I don’t feel like I have stuff hanging over me, which goes on to allow me to just make stuff. Used to my excellent insulated teapot on the boat, I found that – although a lovely buttery yellow – the teapot here cooled faster than I could drink my tea. Last night while watching the Joan Didion documentary I free-formed (I can’t believe I can legit use that word!) a tea-cosy. My first successful one!


I brought along my new sewing machine, and although I find it a little bit baffling still, I used it to fix my decaying linen PJ trousers… I upcycled a ratty cashmere jumper of DB’s, and also polished my new boots with some beeswax stuff I got ages ago at the Yamba Farmer’s Market…

Dirty Boots
Dirty Boots
Clean Boots!

A day or two before I turned up one out of the dozen eggs that a fat black chook was sitting on – hatched!! Hello little Racing Stripe Chick!

I made suspect reparations to a broken wineglass…

And took Maggie (and Gary – but this is Maggie) for walks… I love pretending to be a dog-owner.

I probably ate too much of cheese that was not my own. I basically drove to the shops on one occasions, but other than that I was fairly self-sufficient. These are just the eggs I left behind!

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