I turned another year older on Sunday and to celebrate we went on a mini holiday to the Central West region of NSW. We rented a holiday house on a farm in between Bathurst and Orange where there was nothing but pastures, blue sky, and the sounds of cattle mooing happily to one another. It was a long weekend that almost didn't happen, thanks to an ill timed throat, sinus and ear infection on my part. The morning of my birthday I felt slightly better (thank you antibiotics!) and so off we went.
The house was warm and comfortable overnight so it was a surprise to wake up to a heavy frost on Monday morning. The kids were awake and playing (loudly!) at 6am so I took advantage of being up early and headed outdoors. It was crisp and icy out there so early, but the sun was warm and the frost melted away fast. The best thing about the country is the quiet. That morning there was nothing for miles but me, a big blue sky, and the sound of my boots crunching through the grass.
One thing I wanted for my birthday was to get away from the rush that has been our lives lately, and slow right down. We had three televisions in the holiday house but we decided that the kids would be screen free. They inevitably asked about the TV when we arrived, and I told them things were different in the country and it only played the news! A bit of a white lie but it worked.
Instead of watching TV we made up puppet shows using their teddy bears that had the children crying with laughter. We got the kids out of bed after dark to go outside and look at the stars. We organised a much anticipated "midnight" feast and played lots of music.
We drove through little towns and made a detour to Millthorpe. After a picnic in the old cemetery we played a game of "who can find the oldest gravestone" and Jemima and I disturbed an enormous snake that was snoozing in the sun. Ben won the game (1890) despite not being able to read, which was met with much amazement and congratulation by Jemima. The kids loved these little things, having mum and dad play with them and be silly. It's something we need to work on incorporating into our every day lives I think.
And then of course there was a whirlwind tour of the Op Shops in Bathurst and Orange. I found some amazing things including some 1960s clothing with the tags still attached! I'll be writing about those later but here's a photo of some Pyrex I found for $1.50 each.