Welcome back all!

Well, we have been quite busy around here and things have been a little tricky, but have worked out for the best…

But before I get into that I want to congratulate a wonderful friend Cr. Gareth Ward, who has been pre selected to run a the Liberal candidate for Kiama. Well done sir, you do so much work and are such a genuine and honest person (yes a rarity I know), you deserve this and all the best of luck.

Last weekend we headed off to Sydney for a friend’s wedding and to catch up with some long lost family…

The car is still not back on the road (hopefully it will be by the end of today). They have had trouble sourcing the part for the power steering unit and are waiting for one to arrive from Melbourne today, it does not take long to fit, so maybe tomorrow at the latest we hope.

The wonderful man from Hertz organised me a very nice VE Commodore to head to Sydney in and we decided at that point to take the cats with us… We were to drop them off with friends but decided at the last-minute to keep them with us…

On Friday our great friend Liz and her son Sebastian came out to Cowra to stay at the new house to supervise the carpets being laid. We met her at the bus stop and had lunch, then dropped her at the house and headed off to the “big smoke”.

It was a lovely 4 hr drive over the Blue Mountains via Annies icecream at Bathurst to Parramatta where we stayed at Liz’s place (house swaps are great) and as the wedding was to be held at Lachlan’s in Parramatta Park it was a perfect arrangement…

All the cats except for Chloe took the trip quite well… She had a little accident in her carrier so we took care of that and all went well… Although Dave now calls her the ShamWow cat. Poor baby did not even seem worried when she got bathed and washed… I think she was just grateful she did not have to clean it up herself…

We spent Saturday searching for a particular hair clip (french twist clip) that I wanted for the wedding, for some reason no one uses them anymore so we searched Westfield Parramatta for hours to find it, people in Sydney are so different to out here, most were just rude and not helpful, others indifferent… we finally found them I bought all the ones they had, then went for some lunch and went back to the house to get ready for the wedding.

And may I say, it was the best wedding I have ever been to…

Not too formal where you sit looking at your watch trying to find the earliest time you can leave and not too informal that you have a “urgh” moment… but a fun, joyous and beautiful celebration of the joining of two amazing friends and their families… The bride looked stunning and the groom looked very handsome in his kilt. Dave even got up and danced… See miracles DO happen.

The meals were wonderful, a BIG thankyou to the bride and staff of Lachlans for thinking of me, as I have coeliac disease there is so much I can not eat, myself and another guest were well catered for with “safe” meals that were just as good, if not better than the others and when one of the girls at our table admitted to being vegitarian, there was no problem in getting her a meal made on the spot. Excellent service and really nice staff. The weather held out and the marquee was lovely. By the way Claire, the seating at tables 1 – 3 was perfect… I think everyone else at the other tables should have been just as happy, you did a great job, oh and the DJ rocked… very cool music selections… Rosina and I did a lot of chair dancing…

Oh and I love bagpipes. The piper was excellent…

Although I feel I must share one of my favourite photos from the wedding, Dan was not even aware I took it which makes it even better.

The next day we had breakfast with our good friend Patrick at Mars Hill Cafe in Parramatta. This is where Dave and I had our first Date… it must have been destiny, we only had one coffee each, but sat there talking for 5 hours… LOL… It is now one of our favourite places for coffee and a chat… If we ever moved back to Sydney it would be close to there.. Sunday mornings with great coffee, newspaper and the best youghurt and fruit I have ever had would be divine. We had a great time chatting and catching up on the last few months with Patrick before I headed off to visit with my cousins.

I have not seen my extended family in 24 years, except for Aunty Judith and her kids when mum passed away 4 years ago. I had been what was considered the “black sheep” as I left home young and had the kids and according to mum “disgraced them” so mum and grandfather told me, I was not really welcome…

I have no idea of what the stories were that got back to everyone else and it took me a long time to come to peace with the fact tha the stories that were passed down to the rest of the family were only vaguely close to the facts in that my name was mentioned and that I probably would not get to tell my side or even have it believed so I moved on, it hurt – a LOT, but as a doctor once told me, “you have to let it go or it will destroy you, accept it for what it was and move on”, so after a lot of tears, years and heartache I did.

But me being me, you can imagine my joy and surprise when my cousins husband contacted me via facebook and agreed to catch up. I have to say I was nervous… terrified actually, yes I know they do not bite, but I was told they all hated me… It turned out to be a lovely time and we got to chat and catch up, I was not surprised when Beth was listening to what had been happening with me over the years to hear her say “that’s not what we were told” … I think there wil be a lot of that over the coming conversations… I really do dread to hear exactly what was said… I am not too sure I want to know…

So the upshot of it is, I do have extended family and regardless of what I was told or what they were told, they are pretty darn cool and I am so happy to have them back in my life. Hopefully now I will not feel quite so much of an orphan… and we can get to know each other.

Too soon it was time to head off and get back to pack and leave Sydney, we picked up the cats, Lawn mower, whipper snipper and chain saw, fed Liz’s pets and headed down to Yarrawarrah to another friend’s place to pick up some of the plants we had to leave behind when we moved as there was just not enough room in the truck… Once again a big thanks to Ali, Robbie and her family for doing a great job babysitting the plants, we will be back soon to get the rest, I promise.

We got home around 1 am and cleaned up the ShamWow cat again as she had another accident, unpacked the car and headed off to bed and collapsed.

Yesterday we headed back into town to have a look at our new carpets. They look GREAT, and to see Liz and Sebastian off back to Sydney, was sorry we did not have more time to spend with them, but next time it will be better… My thoughts were with Liz on the trip backas Sebastian got car sick on the bus on the way in and that was just not pleasant for the poor little man or Liz for that matter, so hopefully the trip back was better for them both.

Looking over the weekend it was awesome! So happy to see everyone, but as always glad to get home.

Dave is starting his new role with Centrelink any day now, we are just waiting for his clearance to come through and we hope to move into the new place this coming weekend… YAY…We discovered that we have had an awesome weather change here the last week or so, the nights get down to 2.5° and the days are in the early 20’s… fab… time to get the warmies out… lots of snuggly cats in the bed at night and crowded in front of the cat heater… Yes they have their own heater, they hog ours too much… LOL… and I confess they are just a “little” spoilt.

So this brings me to todays recipe, as the weather is getting cooler here in Cowra I decided it was time for a nice hearty Pumpkin Soup.

Mim’s Pumpkin Soup.

1 kg peeled diced pumpkin

2 Gluten Free Massel chicken stock cubes

4 large peeled diced potatoes

1 cup milk

125 ml thick cream

2 chopped onions

2 crushed garlic cloves

enough water to cover

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup diced chives

Heat olive oil in a large pan, add onion and garlic and stir till soft and golden, add the potatoes and pumpkin and stir until a little brown on the edges…

Add enough water to cover the veges and then add the milk and stock cube. Stir really well to get the browned bits off the bottom of them pan (they make it so much tastier) and simmer for 45 min till veg are really soft and mushy.

Blend all till smooth and add cream, return to stove and simmer through for 5 min.

Serve piping hot and sprinkle with chopped chives.