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!
Autumn is just about my favourite season, particularly during March, when we are at the juncture between summer and true fall. The weather is absolutely Glorious (with a capital G). Crisp,cool mornings, which turn to balmy temperatures around midday. The days end with hot, sunny afternoons, and spectacular sunsets. Somehow, I feel more vibrant and alive now than at any other time of the year.
There are times when I feel like one of those old fashioned wind-up toys that happens to be stuck in high gear. Certainly, this seems to have been the case for the last several weeks, with my agenda and schedule marked 'all systems go'. Being so busy is somewhat ridiculous in retirement, but it beats the alternatives of being dead or going back to work, if you understand my meaning.
Hello there friends, how are you spending your holidays? Are you tackling all those unfinished chores at home - or lounging by a poolside somewhere in the world? Perhaps you are back at work already - refreshed and ready to face the challenges that 2016 will bring?
December is one of my favourite months of the year. Not only is it the month in which I celebrate my birthday, on Boxing Day, but it's cherry season and I can eat my weight in these delicious morsels of goodness. Among the best that I've ever tasted are the cherries from CherryHill Orchards in the Yarra Valley. One of Australia's leading cherry producers, CherryHill Orchards will deliver plump, fresh cherries to your door, or you can visit the orchard and pick your own. You'll also find them at a number of farmer's markets in Victoria and there's a pop up shop at QV in Melbourne.
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes; postcards and morsels from my travels; conversations with cookery writers
and chefs; and news on food, cookbooks
- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.