Each time we visit the Bega Valley it feels like we are yet another step closer to our dream of moving back to the east coast. We always spend some time checking out the realestate – driving around houses by the sea, bumping down dirt roads looking at land. Some of the houses are instantly checked off the list. But the land – oh I can always imagine great things for the land :-)
One piece we looked at these holidays was the perfect distance from the town and hospital – many huge and beautiful gum trees, hills worthy of the Sound of Music, lush grassy fields with big boulders tumbled here and there, a sparkly dam. By the time we’d pulled up, I’d chosen just the right spot for our straw bale house, planted the flowering plums along the drive, and built a little wooden jetty on one edge of the dam with places to sit and a row boat so that Julian can take for me for romantic little rows across the water whilst I hold a parasol :-)
Abby, however, was more fixated on one of those boulders under a distant tree. “It’s a dead cow,” she declared. “Rubbish!” I said, “It’s just one of those boulders. “Yeah, a black and white one with legs,” she replied, sharpening her focus on the binoculars. “It is not!” I insisted, “How could there be a dead cow!” “Well, there is,” she winced, and passed the binoculars. She was right. It was definitely a dead cow. We couldn’t decide whether that was a bad sign or just one of those things. This is the country after all. We crossed our fingers that the nearby farmer was about to discover his dead cow and moved on to the next address.
The other lovely aspect of visiting is our growing friendships with some of the locals, especially one of Mum’s neighbouring families. An IT dad, a craft-loving mum (Shauna), three little boys, and all great beach lovers – such fun! And this holiday, after a lovely long rainy-day lunch with them, Shauna and I hit the local yarn store for supplies for an impromptu crochet lesson. Even more fun!
Mum had just the right pattern – a granny square blanket in the Molly Makes Book of Crochet and we spent a lovely couple of hours mastering the crochet hook, chains, and eventually a granny square.
Shauna is a natural – very persistent, heaps of enthusiasm, and a keen eye! We practiced and practiced – I would slowly do a round, pointing out each step whilst she watched – maybe do it again. Then I pulled it out, passed it over, and Shauna would try. It worked really well and by the time she headed home, she had one complete Granny Square and another started. We were all on a crochet high!
And she hasn’t stopped! Each night, a new granny square pops up on the Instagram :-) and should she run into any complications, she can always pop across the road to Mum who will be able to set her back on the right path. Even nicer, she can pop back across the road and sit on Mum’s front porch, with the beautiful Sapphire coast before them, and they can work on their projects together. Sigh – such envy!
Just as the dead cow boulder was probably a sign that that wasn’t the perfect block of land for us – I can see signs in everything – I do declare that this lovely afternoon of sharing and making with the neighbour was DEFINITELY a sign that there are great things to look forward to we too become happy residents of the beautiful Bega Valley. Shauna, Mum and I are especially looking forward to woodwork classes with these great women – Two Sheds Workshop :: Woodwork for Women – with a view to making our own Adirondack chairs.
Just imagine the fun we’ll have – not just meeting more great people, learning all those skills, and making our own beautiful furniture – but then all the hours we will have sitting in them with our stitching. On a jetty, overlooking a dam, with no dead cows in sight.