I'm home again!

6 June 2013

I left Tricia's on Tuesday morning after my nephew Daniel poured warm water on the windscreen to get rid of the ice. It took about an hour to get to Mudgee where I had a couple of cups of coffee with my good friend Susan. We had a lot to catch up on; it's been too long since I've seen her. I spent the afternoon driving to Armidale and arrived there after dark. Having registered at the first motel I found, I showered and fell into bed, and then lay there for a few hours unable to sleep. The overnight temperatures were minus zero again, and again I had to pour water on the windscreen before I set off in the morning. The car was so warm and cozy but outside I could see sheep gazing on frozen grass. I was pleased to see the sun rise. After a long and tiring drive, I drove into our driveway around 2.30pm. Hanno was waiting in the garage and after a long hug, we walked inside to share the happenings of the previous week.

 It was cold outside.
Sunrise just north of Armidale.
Tricia phoned when I was on the road, I pulled over and saw a moving mass in a paddock. It was a few hundred sheep being herded by a dog and a farmer on a quad bike.
 The little town of Merriwa NSW.

I'd been looking forward to seeing Tricia and meeting everyone at the workshops but it turned out to be much better than I'd anticipated. Despite some setbacks with the hall, Tricia organised hot drinks and food for all of us and together with the food brought along by several of the women who came along, we were well fed and satisfied. Thanks Tricia and thank you to everyone who brought food to share.

This is the Sunday group. From left, standing: Brad, Alyce, Ally, Corinne, me, Petra, Virginia, Rhonda, Rose, Lydia, seated from left: Alison, Marilyn, Erin, Joy and Leanne. 

Tricia is really keen for me to organise more workshops in country towns but I'm not sure of the interest. I'd have to have a couple of towns close to each other and there would need to be about 15 people at each event. If you think that would work in your town, email me and we'll see what we can do.

Here we have some of our Saturday group, from left: Michelle, Cathy, Larissa, Christine, Sam, Michelle, Nadia and Chantel. 
 Saturday group again broken up into knitting and crochet groups.
Saturday group, with two ladies not yet named: Allison (Rabbithorns), who is a mod on the Down to Earth forum, with Michelle and Nadia, Michelle is obscured and Dru in the pink stripes.
And Saturday's crochet group: Tessa, who is another mod on the forum (Teekay), Chantel, Sam, Tricia, Cathy is next to Tricia and Larissa is in the foreground with back to camera.
 Concentrating on their crochet: Ally, Alyce and Petra.
Tricia with her crocheters Erin and Rhonda.
A small group didn't need a crash course in crochet or knitting, they watched the composting video: Alison, back to camera Corinne, Marilyn and Brad.
Rhonda in the middle of her very interesting demonstration of spice blending and roasting.

And what can I say about the workshops. Of all the workshops I've done, this weekend was my favourite. There were so many people there whose names I knew, who I felt I'd already met and when I eventually did, I felt an immediate bond. It's there you know, that invisible thread that connects all of us. I felt it very strongly at Blackheath. We share a way of looking at the world that isn't so common nowadays and when we sit and talk there is a common understanding.

Along with around the table discussions about cleaning, preserving, freezing and housework, I made up a batch of laundry liquid and the other Rhonda showed us all how to blend and roast spices for curries. Tricia taught some ladies how to crochet and I taught some how to knit. Those who didn't do either watched a video on how to make compost and operate a work farm.

 This was my view of the Sunday group as we sat around the table discussing this and that.
The as-yet unseen man sitting behind Rose is her husband Tony. Tony helped in various ways during the day and took some photos. Thanks Tony.

Thanks to everyone who presented me with a gift. I appreciate homemade gifts so much and shall treasure those I received at Blackheath. Thanks to everyone who spoke so kindly of me and who whispered such kind words in my ear. Thanks to everyone for sharing their own stories, it was very moving and inspiring. For me, and I'm sure everyone who heard those stories, it brought us closer together and confirmed that we are indeed sharing an enriching and significant life journey.