It had been a long but very pleasant day's journey, through 3 states; about midnight Friday the Spirit of Tasmania ferry would have brought me into Victorian waters, then the Saturday car trip from Melbourne across to Naracoorte, South Australia. I felt stiff from the hours behind the wheel, and light-headed as you do when finally the noise and movement of driving all day finally deposits you safely under the canopy of a large, shady pepper tree.
I opened the car door and knew I was in SA by the sounds alone.... parrots..... in the huge, sprawling gum trees and bottlebrushes along the banks of the creek bordering the caravan park. It is as distinctive a sound as any I know and so reminiscent of 20 years at Mount Osmond, Adelaide. Now, sitting here at the round table, in one of those boxy cabins with a sagging bed and simple but adequate set of facilities, the sun is setting on the cheering voices I just heard as a siren signaled the end of a local, Saturday afternoon footy match nearby ..... and the parrots are beginning to find their roosts for the night.
The air is still and cool and I think of my pretty little house in Tasmania and how far away it feels..... almost like another country. There, you cannot walk so easily through the bush, it is much thicker and more varied and dotted with ferns and lichen and boggy reeds. There, the birds in my garden are smaller, darting here and there and people get very excited when they see one parrot! There, the air tonight will no doubt be much colder, already it will be dark and home fires will be well lit for the evening. There, the shops will still be open! But it is nice to be in SA, where all you need in the evening is a jumper, even if everything does close half-way through Saturday afternoon.
Luckily I still have enough of Sophie-the-cow's milk left for my coffee tomorrow morning. Luckily I still have some of my home made rye sourdough bread and some of Karl's honey, Annette's chooks' eggs and some Tassie butter for breakfast. Luckily I still have one serve of risotto made with veg from my garden, to heat up tonight for dinner, plus the last of a box of salad greens from my garden.
Luckily, I have some luxurious home made soap from Kim, Gavin's gorgeous wife, which I am going to christen in the shower in a moment and, best of all, I have some of Gavin's fabulous home made parmesan cheese for that risotto! Oh lalalala! Gavin's cheeses are destined to be famous..... mark my words!!
It was a hop, skip and a jump from the ferry this morning to Gavin's house, near Melbourne, at 7am but I managed to get lost... twice! But the welcome was warm and wonderful and I soon was sitting down to a hot, English breakfast; my donation being 2 large mushrooms from the bags at my place, a loaf of my sourdough bread and a basket of Lady in the Snow apples from my tree.
It was so good to be there again and see all the new creations Gavin is working on. Seeing the new dog, Teddy, getting to know his way around and playing with Holly made me resolve to get 2 dogs as soon as I can find some with the right vibes, when I get back home. The story of Pickle is for another day....
Tomorrow is Mothers' Day. I will see my mother and I will be having lunch cooked by Hugh ..... I can't wait!
.......Hugh has started at a new restaurant..... Aria... Greenhill Road, in the old ETSA building, which is now very smart apartments.... with parking spaces saved especially for Porsches....
I was treated to a taste of the future for this newly revitalised restaurant..... Italian, with flare..... locally sourced, top quality ingredients..... today a casual meal cooked by Aaron and Hugh for their mums and relations. Oh how wonderful it was, after arriving in Adelaide only an hour before, to sit on top of the world and eat a feast, with my wonderful son Hugh and his new work 'family'.