Sitting at the kitchen table, all we can hear lately on weekday mornings (and all day long) is the sound of earthmoving machinery and trucks excavating the centre of the road, making way for the light rail, which is said to be coming one day. We long for some quiet, so an invitation to enjoy a short break in the countryside is most gratefully accepted.
"Which side of the Danube would you like to be on, Buda or Pest?" Peter, the patron saint of bookings, asked, when he was planning our itinerary. He had never been to Budapest, and it had been more than a decade since my last visit, so we sat down together at the computer and poured over the map of the city on Google Earth.
'Just look at the "picture-skew" view from our balcony,' Peter exclaimed, as he drew back the curtains in our room. He had been longing for us to stay at the Sebel Harbourside in Kiama - among his favourite hotels in the region and one he had frequented when travelling as a Search and Rescue Training Officer with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. 'I love this place, it's such a nice hotel' he added. 'And wait until you see the outlook from the breakfast bistro!'
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.
Travel writer, Susan Kurosawa, once described the summer holiday as ‘the most sacred of Australian rites for those lucky enough to while away a few weeks by the beach’.
I have always been a details person and 'have an eye for it', particularly when it comes to real estate and property. In a former lifetime, I worked as a property manager and have seen close to a thousand or more properties of all shapes and sizes. More often than not, it is a delight to walk into a home and see the love that the owners have poured into it. This is certainly the case with Laurel View farm stay at Burrawang in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
Being in my 50s, I seem to have reached that stage in my life where I have everything I could want and need, and I rarely ever covet anything.
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. ☺
'When you return from dinner at the Inn, do please come and sit by the fire,' our host at The Robertson Hotel, Con Kotis, reminded us. It was surely a welcome invitation on a chilly winter's evening in the Southern Highlands.
'There's a hotel that's a little bit cheaper, but it's further away from the CBD,' said Peter, as we were perusing various web sites looking for accommodation ahead of my visit to Adelaide for Words to Go and Tasting Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.