Home and Away

3 May 2011
I had a wonderful time in the Blue Mountains. It was very cold for this sub-tropical girl but the only times I found it really uncomfortable was when I was going to bed or getting up again. Oh, and getting out of the hot shower. I thought I could live there but I doubt I'd be happy to, the traffic is too dense and mad and the people don't look at you. That is no way to live - I want to smile and say hello to complete strangers and not have them think I'm a nutcase; you can do that in Queensland. 

This is where I set myself up during my stay - Tricia's loungeroom.  I worked on the book almost every day, hence the computer. It was warm there with plenty of light.
I had to take this photo for our international friends.  We found these little fellows out at Rydal, in the show grounds. It was raining slightly, which is why the photo is hazy. There was a family of about 12 kangaroos grazing on the grass and they were a type I'd never seen before, with longer ears and a black tail tip.

Erecting the shed.

I am really pleased that Tricia has found her dream home. It's ideal for her - a small cottage that is interesting and charming with not too much upkeep. She has been really busy painting and fixing things, and two of her sons, David and Danny, have been helping her with the bigger things like erecting a shed and the heavier garden work.  I will be very pleased to visit there in the midst of Winter in years to come but I'll always be happy to come home again.

On the train, coming home, there were only eight other people in my carriage so we could all stretch out.

And speaking of coming home, just before I got on the train, Tricia, David, Danny and I went to visit the house Tricia and I grew up in, then we visited mum and dad's graves at Rookwood. It was a good way to end my visit. It was a fine train trip, with plenty of interesting people to watch and listen to, even though I was pretending to be busy with my knitting. I left Sydney at 4.30pm and arrived in Brisbane 14 hours later at 6.30am and there, waiting on the platform was, you guessed it, Mr Hetzel. We talked on the way home and I looked around the garden at my seedlings as soon as I got in, everything was fine, even the housework had been done. And Hanno had made the bed, although I shouldn't be surprised at that.He phoned me while I was away and said he left it the first day but didn't like getting into an unmade bed at night so he made sure to make the bed each morning. So not much had changed in that short two weeks, except ...

We had solar panels installed!  I'll write about this tomorrow, as I want to tell you about the ins and outs of it, but I'm really happy we have them after wanting them for so long.

So now I'm back - I'll be busy with the last bit of the book editing this week and then, even though there will be book work to do, it will ease off and I can get back to my simple life and all the bits and pieces I like to include in each day.  I have new books to tell you about, some new knitting and of course there will be updates on my favourite baby boy, Jamie and the soon to arrive Sarndra and Shane baby.

The view from the train, at 6.30 am, as we crossed over the Brisbane River - home again.

The following photos were taken when Tricia and I visited the Peppergreen antique and collectables shop in Berrima. I have to say this is, by far, the most interesting and fabulous antiques place I have ever been in. It is mainly antique and collectable fabrics, trims, old night gowns, aprons, quilts, table cloths and kitchenware of all sorts, including cutters, metalware, pots, glass, crockery and cutlery. I was so impressed by the clean and ordered shop. Unlike many antique shops, each category was grouped together so you could compare apples with apples. It was like an Aladdin's cave where the first large room opened up to another equally large space, then another and another; all of it was catalogued, labelled and beautifully presented.  The staff were friendly and didn't pressure us to buy but we did - I bought a vintage lifter-beater utensil and an old English washing stick - for poking clothes into the boiling water.  I'm going to use it as a small pastry rolling pin.  There were linen nightgowns there for five dollars that would be excellent for patchwork, we were tempted but didn't buy them.  If you're ever near Berrima, please go to this amazing shop, you won't regret it.

 A wall full of rolled up vintage and antique quilts.
 Glassware and crockery.
 Cups and saucers, ribbons and plates.

 Authentic vintage fabric and batting.
 Bottles and enamelware.

 Glasses, canisters, buttons and metalware.
Jewellery, ribbons and cake tins.

I've included the last of the photos taken during my holiday, I hope you enjoy them.  Each photo can be enlarged by double clicking on it.

Many thanks to everyone who sent emails and messages about missing me. I had a wonderful, and much needed break, but I'm really pleased to be back. I feel like I'm just starting out on the blog again and I have so much to share with you.


  1. Rhonda - it is great to have you back. I have missed your sunny voice in my inbox. Glad you had a nice holiday.

  2. Glad you had such a lovely time away. That shoppe looks amazing. Very cool.


  3. I love those quilts. Wish I could visit this shop.

  4. I'm pleased to hear that you're back and had such a good trip. No matter how much fun a holiday is, it's always nice to come home to your own bed :-) Jo

  5. Nice to have you back :) That place certainly looks worth a stop, though I would be worried about making a mess there as everything is so perfectly folded!

  6. Welcome back Rhonda.

    Beautiful Berrima! When I visited back in Sydney after five years in Queensland my sister, two of my girls and myself spent a magical autumn day in Berrima. That glorious shop was not there then alas!

    Cheers! Karen near Gympie.

  7. Welcome back Rhonda dear.

  8. Welcome home Rhonda, it looks as though you have had a wonderful time away...but it is always nice to curl up in your own bed again isnt it..........Suzanne.

  9. Welcome home Rhonda. Glad you had a great time. What a wonderful shop to visit and get lost in, but I wouldn't want to work in it - all those shelves and things to dust!


  10. It looks like an amazing holiday Rhonda, I am so envious of your visit to all that vintage loveliness.

    Jude :)

  11. Welcome back Rhonda, I'm sure it is lovely to be home again with your Hanno....What a lovely store to be visiting....I may just have to save my pennies and make a day trip.....I can't believe you were that close

  12. That looks like my type of shop - and it is so organised! So glad you had a lovely visit with your sister. I am looking forward to lots of new posts about exciting ventures, and I am sure you are looking forward to the book being finished at last.

  13. Glad you all cosy and back home.

    The Berrima shop is 10 mins from my home. I go there every week. Yesterday lashed out on old crotchet hooks(bone). I may have passed you.

    xo jill

    ps I must have missed the post to email separately about the dishcloth swap. So I did not get my act together to be on the list. I am doing more hours at the surgery so am a bit frazzled getting more organized. Sorry.

  14. Lovely Pictures....The Roos are Eastern Greys...We too get about 11 each day on our front lawn!

  15. Welcome back Rhonda we missed you.
    I agree with you about the people not looking at you. As I was reading your post I said to myself," people aren't like that in Queensland" and lo and behold I then read what you had written. I go to Melbourne quite a lot and the people there are the same and they too, look at you like you are a nutcase if you strike up a conversation with them. I have to say I did have a laugh at this


  16. It's interesting that you say people don't interact with strangers in the Blue Mountains. I moved to Katoomba from inner Sydney six years ago and loved the way people smile and say hello.

  17. Hahaha!
    My sister lives in Qld and she is a nutcase too.
    She loves to talk to complete strangers.

  18. Oh my gosh. I think I could move into that shop. I certainly wouldn't dare go in with a full purse!

    I've never been to Australia and though all the beaches and sights sound wonderful it has been your photographs and stories that I have read over the past few months that have really made me want to make the big trip.

  19. Welcome home Rhonda! Those pics...sigh...what a wonderful shop!! So glad you had a lovely time away, and I'm looking forward to your new posts! :) Love, Tina xxx

  20. Lovely to have you back Rhonda, but I'm glad you had a good holiday with you sister too !

  21. Holidays are nice but there is no place like home (to quote Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz)! Welcome home Rhonda.

  22. We dropped our son's mail off today in a provincial country town, and the neighbours would not make eye contact...Thank heavens we live in the country....

  23. Oh my goodness! That shop looks wonderful :) Glad you are back and so happy that you had a fantastic time visiting!

  24. Great to have you back! Missed reading and learning from you but glad you had a lovely time!
    LOVE the pictures of the antiques shop!


  25. Monique Elisabeth from The NetherlandsMay 03, 2011 11:51 pm

    Hi Rhonda, I'm glas you're back safe and sound.
    It looks like you had a fantastic break.
    That shop you mention looks so wonderful. I haven't seen anything like that before.
    Good luck with the last work on the book. I can hardly wait !!
    Have a great day.

  26. Glad for your vacation time. It sounds like you are refreshed. We all need that from time to time :) Love the shop you visited, and the photos of the Joeys and the Brisbane river. Beautiful! Your sister's place looks very comfy, too

  27. Hi! Sat down to eat my lunch in front of the laptop today & decided to check up on D2E. What a lovely surprise to find you back. Sounds like you had a wonderful vacation but it must be good to be back home with Hanno. What I wouldn't give to be browsing among the treasures of that shop! I'm sure I would have been tempted to buy way too much.

    Tricia in NH

  28. So glad you're back and that you had a wonderful time. Looking forward to hearing more about little Jamie and seeing your washing stick. I have a tiny pudding stick, but no washing stick.

    Diane in North Carolina

  29. Kangaroos!!

    And welcome back!

  30. Oh my gosh! I know exactly what we are doing this weekend now. Thank you SO much for posting about this shop :)

    Katie x

  31. Well, that shop has been on my mind since I read about it, I rang my cousin who lives near there to ask if she had finished with my bottling outfit....I got to go in that shop, and it was so stunning, it took my breath away, I was totally speechless for quite a while.and when I was talking to the ladies about the vast collection, I mentioned your visit.....they remember you well, and said you were a lovely lady....I too took lots of photos to put on my blog.....I did lash out and buy a Cheese Tryer, which she said was the only one they had had come through the store, being so hard to come by, I just couldn't leave it there.....Thank-you so much for sharing your visit to this wonderful shop.



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