6 June 2013

I'm home again!

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.



  1. Goodness, your workshop looks like a wonderful time! There is something lovely about spending time with like-minded ladies!

    I am glad you are back, I missed your posts. :)

  2. Looks like a wonderful group of people and it would have been great catching up with your sister. I admire you driving all that way by yourself...I am not the long distance driver...1.5 hrs on the freeway to the coast is long enough for me. I know they would have appreciated you driving all that way. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  3. It looks like you had a great trip and very productive workshops. I would love to be able to attend one someday.

  4. what a fabulous post, I've been waiting all week for this, it must have been a very memorable weekend for you all

  5. Dear Rhonda,
    So glad you're home again! Hope you had a good rest-- even with all that driving which is very impressive- what beautiful photographs. The workshop looked wonderful, relaxed and friendly.
    Helen in the States

  6. I love getting together with women, I am always impressed with how much new knowledge I come away with. Like my dad says, you should learn something new every day even at his age. I live down south and am surprised at how cold it has been where you have been travelling, we are still having mild days and little rain. Lovely photos, it is nice to travel but always nicer to be home.

  7. g'day rhonda
    glad the 'vacation' & workshops went well & you are safe & sound back home
    thanx for the wonderful photos of your journey too that sunrise is absolutely gorgeous!

    have a great weekend

    selina from kilkivan qld

  8. Photo of the frosty morn is truly wonderful, we don't have any that severe. Thank-you for sharing your trip.

  9. Gosh Rhonda, what a lovely time you and your workshop invitees had. Wish you could come to the UK and do one here, I'd be along like a shot!

  10. It was a great weekend. I hope other people add their towns as places of interests for future workshops - a great day to be had!!!
    I went home feeling very inspired after spending a day with some wonderful, like-minded people.

    It was wonderful to meet you, Rhonda!

    xx Nadia

    PS: The laundry liquid is fantastic, Rhonda! You were right - no greasy film that you generally get with commercial cleaners,

    1. Hello Nadia! I am really pleased I had the opportunity to meet you too. Keep making the laundry liquid. Email me if you have any problems.= with it, or knitting.

  11. If you're ever making your way down to Melbourne I'd gladly attend a workshop!! :)

  12. It sounds like it was a successful gathering, congrats. As exciting as that can be, I know there's no other feeling like pulling into your own drive, seeing your Love there waiting for you and "after a long hug..." strolling inside to share your experiences. There's No Place Like Home!

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

  13. Great post! I love stuff like this!! I really love the photos, too. BEAUTIFUL!


  14. how nice that already are.
    It is a pity that so far are very welcome such a meeting.

  15. Hi Rhonda, it looks like everyone had a great time.
    Lots of great thin gs to learn. Wish we had workshops like that here in The Netherlands ; )
    Have a great weekend.

  16. A lovely post Rhonda. Beautiful photographs of your car journey. I could feel the cold! Looks like you had lovely groups of people at your workshops. Always nice to be back home.

  17. Lovely photos! Looks like a great time was had by all but I do wonder if Brad could have tried the knitting too :).
    Cheers, Robyn

    1. Robyn, I'm pretty sure Brad could knit already.

  18. It is alway exciting to go on a road trip but coming home is the best. Your picture made me wish for a group such as you photographed.

  19. So glad you got home safely and the trip looks lovely. Thanks so much for coming down to the Blue Mountains and sharing and teaching. It was so much fun to meet people. Tricia is a love and she's so talented. The quilts she brought to share were so beautiful. Many many thanks and hugs!

  20. Bit late with a comment, but, what a wonderfuld weekend I had at the Blackheath workshop! So good to meet face to face with some of the beaut people that follow Rhonda's blog. Corine, thank you for the gift of handmade soap and your loaf of bread which was truly delicious, Nadia, thank you for your home baked treats - what was left on Saturday, was gladly eaten on Sunday. Rhonda, (the other Rhonda)your plum cake was fantastic. There were some cookies and other goodies but I don't know who was kind enough to bring those, but thank you.
    Thanks Ladies, I enjoyed your company and send love to you all.
    Patricia Margaret.
    P>S> sorry I'm not the greatest crochet teacher but hope some of you continue to crochet. XoX

    1. Thanks for commenting Tricia. Many of the ladies loved meeting you. I brought the dishcloths I was going to give you back home again. Never mind, I've knitted two more and will post them all to you.

  21. Looks like you had lots of fun!! Love the community coming together.



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