I'm compiling this post from the deck of our holiday cabin at Kiama on the Illawarra Coast of New South Wales and, frankly, there's no other place in the world I would rather be at this moment.
Hello February. Most of the kiddies are back at school and folks have returned to work after the holiday season. The roads are busier first thing in the morning, not that we're out there mind you, it's just that Peter and I can hear the stream of traffic going past our house from about 6.30am onwards. Ho hum, I yawn quietly as I pull the linen sheet up over my head before drifting back into slumber for another hour or longer. So are the days of our lives in retirement.
Every year, it seems, the festive season arrives faster than ever before. And this year is no different. Indeed, I can barely believe that it's just over three weeks until Christmas Day. Eeeks. Are you ready?! I'm not sure that I am, quite yet.
It's technically still September, as I compile this In my Kitchen (IMK) post for the first day of October. I will be travelling in the NSW Southern Highlands over the next few days and, as the new host of IMK, I wanted to appear a little bit organised. ☺
If you've been following my adventures on Instagram at all, you will be aware that Peter and I have only just arrived back home, after a whirlwind month of travelling in and around the New South Wales Southern Highlands, as well as the townships of Kiama, Gerroa and Gerringong in the Illawarra on the South Coast.
It can be said that both regions are distinctly beautiful parts of the world, and if one was looking to make a sea change or tree change, or take a short break from the world, then the Southern Highlands and the Illawarra should most certainly be at the top of the list of places for consideration.
In one of his Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, Bill Watterson quipped, 'The trouble with retirement is that there's never ever time to do all the nothing you want'. Once upon a moment, I would have scoffed at the mere thought, but now I can confirm that this is, in fact, correct. Life in retirement is crazy busy.
We're in the depths of winter here in Canberra and, on a minus five degree C morning, I can hear the delightful sound of frost crackling on the grass underfoot as I step outside to bring in the mail.
The wintersong chorus has begun at our place with sniffles and snuffles, muted coughs and the constant clearing of throats. Peter has a 'man cold', which he assures me is worse than I can possibly imagine - even worse than my trivial head cold, apparently. Serves us right for being brave enough to take our bicycles around the duck ponds on chilly afternoons, I expect. We did rug up, but clearly we weren't wearing enough layers. Himself always tells me that you cannot 'catch' a cold, but somehow I beg to differ.
It's a rainy autumn Sunday and there's sufficient chill in the air to remind me that winter is coming. I've switched on the heating for the first time, and in my kitchen there's a pot of smoked hock and lentil soup simmering gently on the stove.
Whoa now. Are you seriously trying to tell me that it's April already? If things in your part of the world are as crazy busy as mine, then you, too, will be wondering what happened to January, February and March. I'm already planning things for July - the middle of the year. I suppose it'll be Christmas before we know it!
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.