A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Thursday, 31 October 2013


This is how my day panned out today:
0700 hours wake to an aching body and an episode of vertigo even before lifting my head off the pillow. Drag myself out of bed and drink a glass of water with the teeniest pinch of Celtic sea salt to counteract the vertigo.
0715 hours yoga nidra 
0745 hours load up the washing machine with another lot of what seems to be never ending dirty laundry which, I remind myself, will have to be pegged up indoors to avoid it smelling smokey.
0800 hours turn the sprinkler on the thirsty herb and vegetable patch because, despite a sprinkle of rain in the past 24 hours, my plants seem forever needy for water in this climate of low humidity, high wind and high temperatures. 
0845 hours make myself an affogato...sort of entree breakfast.  Follow this with half a fresh pineapple and freshly picked blue berries. Turn off water sprinkler.
0900 hours call my Grand daughter's school to see if they will accept a box of thirty copies of my sister's self published children's book: Ursula The Flying Unicorn. 

 I'm informed that they have been inundated with donations and I would  be better off taking them to the Baptist Church in Springwood.  The Salvation Army has agreed to host a toy drive initiated by an out of the area school and will be delivered to the church tomorrow.
0930 hours Shower
1000 hours Move carved Jack O'Lantern pumpkins outdoors in preparation for tonight's Halloween Trick or Treat.  Poor pumpkins are melting before my eyes after being carved out by Mr Honey Pie for a party last Saturday. They are quickly approaching their use by date. Into the car, I load books and  funnel web spider (discovered on driveway last Sunday by Mr Honey Pie).  

Lock up house and head off to Baptist Church to drop off books to be donated.  Meet some lovely people at the church working their little hearts out to help anyone affected by the recent fires.
1130 hours Arrive at Mum's house to meet up with mystery person which Mum had informed me about at 2145 hours last night when she phoned to asks if I can be there when they call this morning.  Meet Mum, she still doesn't know who is calling in this morning...thinks it's someone from Sydney Water.

1205 hours Man arrives at Mum's house.  It turns out he is a property developer who is looking at buying up land affected by the North West Growth Centre. Not quite what I expected but quite helpful all the same.  Although bad news is that Department of Roads and Maritime Services are cutting up Mum's land so badly that the developer is not interested.
1245 hours lunch with Mum at a cute cafe (a church-to-cafe conversion) not far from Mum's house.
1330 hours drive to Windsor to drop off above mentioned funnel web spider, 

drive up the mountain, quickly shop for individually wrapped chocolates and lollies, rush home, invite Daughter and Grand Daughter to dinner.  Eat cake while I make up twenty trick or treat lolly bags for expected trick and treaters later on in the evening.

Happy to report...some little neighbours arrive, attempt to scare us out of our wits, collect some treats and leave happy, with little Miss Six joining in her very first Halloween Trick or Treat Adventure.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Happy Birthday Gorgeous Girl

Little Miss Five Turns Six....and a return to some sense of normalcy...by celebrating with a crazy tea set.

Linking to 

Monday, 28 October 2013


Little Miss Five, who turns six tomorrow, returned to school today - her first day back since being evacuated because of the fire on Thursday 17 October.
I was on school pick-up duty today.
So, for me it was the first time I've seen the devastation.
It is going to be a long emotional journey for so many.
Over two hundred homes destroyed, over one hundred damaged and in such a small pocket of our community.
Fifteen families at the school lost their homes, two of my Grand Daughter's classmates' families included.
We can be thankful that no lives have been lost.
The realisation of just how close the fire approached the school is beginning to dawn on some of us .
Hugs are free flowing in the main street of our little village.
Everybody knows someone who has lost a home.

Back at the school the car park is still littered with blackened leaves.

The fire approached the school from the school's entrance preventing the children and staff from walking out the main gate.  They walked away from the fire toward the back of the school and exited along a side street which later saw homes attacked by the fire.

Little Miss Five, almost six, has told us repeatedly that she saw 'the scribbly gum was burning'. It seems there was more than one gum tree burning.

Our community has a  new sense of what it means to be a Superhero. 
As of 17 October 2013 - if you live in the Springwood, Winmalee and surrounding area our Superheros don't wear capes, or masks or fly or perform superhuman feats.
Our Superheros wear  hi-viz protective clothing, our Superheros drive trucks and fly air-cranes and helicopters.
Our Superheros hold children's hands, walk or drive through smoke and flying embers.
Our Superheros are Mums and Dads, Brothers and Sisters, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Neighbours and Friends and Teachers.
Our Superheros rescue pets, feed the hungry, clothe the ruined, comfort the traumatized, accommodate the homeless.
Because of our Superheros, our community will be buoyed, sustained, strengthened, carried, propped and cushioned through the days, weeks and months ahead.

A big enough 'thank you' cannot be expressed to our newest Superheros.  


Thursday, 24 October 2013

One Week Since Evacuation

Are we over the worse?
If there's one thing I've learned since we moved into the Blue Mountains twenty five years ago, is that major bush fires are never extinguished quickly.  I'd say the average length of time it takes for a crisis to be over is fourteen days.  This is just my own estimation.
My first experience of a Blue Mountains bush fire was in 1994 when a fire originating in Mount Wilson reached Faulconbridge three days later. At the last minute, a wind change saw the fire devastate Winmalee and Hawkesbury Heights.
Another memorable fire began on Christmas Eve 2001.  That fire was extinguished two weeks later. 
All I can say is that we are over the worse for the moment.
Temperatures are predicted to be much lower over the next few days.
I have returned home.
Last night Mr Honey Pie and I had dinner at the Gilroy Hotel at St Leonards and when the chef heard we had come from the Blue Mountains showered us with extra treats.
This morning I treated myself to a solo breakfast on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour.
I haven't posted photos over the past few days...simply because it  hasn't been practical for me to do so.
Tonight I downloaded photos off the point and shoot camera only to see that most of the shots are of photos taken of our home contents...a reminder should we need to make an insurance claim. 
Thankfully,it hasn't come to that.
I have spent the past two days in Tony Abbott country. 

Yesterday, Little Miss Five, my Daughter & myself enjoyed the yarnbombing at the Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre.
It's a little worse for wear from being exposed to the weather for some months now but still able to capture a five year old's imagination.

I just love this knitted caterpillar creeping up a yarnbombed lamppost.

I should mention that this year celebrates the fortieth birthday of the Sydney Opera House.
Ironically on the 20th October, while many fire fighters tackled fires all over New South Wales,  Sydney's public sang happy birthday and cut a birthday cake for the Sydney Opera House's fortieth birthday.

By pure co-incidence, this morning, while I ate breakfast with the view of the Opera House before me, my sister called me on my mobile phone for an update.
When I told her where I was, she told me that at that very moment, Princess Mary of Denmark was touring the Opera House.
Well...I was a little too far away to see the royal party...but here is a photograph anyway.

On my return home this evening...the ambiance of the lower mountains had certainly taken a turn for the better.  The eeriness I felt earlier in the week was no longer evident.
The skies were as beautiful as what you can see above and the temperature so low that extra layers of clothing are needed, but the plumes of smoke are still plainly visible.
The most evident reminder of just how close the fires still are, though, would have to be the helicopters and air-cranes that continue to buzz the bush land nearby.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Day Seven

It feels surreal...a much used statement in my community now. 


  1. 1.having the qualities of surrealism; bizarre.
    "a surreal mix of fact and fantasy"

 It is the most fitting word to describe how I feel at the moment. 

Now seventy odd kilometres from home I feel like I'm on a movie set...if a flying saucer was to hover over Circular Quay (my view to the left) or a mushroom cloud appear over the Sydney Harbour Bridge (directly in front of me), I would not at all be surprised....shocked yes, but not surprised. 

And - a new word has been added to my vocabulary: mega-fire.

In the words of our state premier Barry O'Farrell; 
"we prepare for the worst, hope for the best".

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Day Six

All very quiet here at the moment.
Rain is expected.
Unfortunately, along with it may come high winds and lightening.
The next twenty four hours are cause for some concern.
I'm doing a cat evacuation this morning and then heading off to the city to stay with family.
To all my New South Wales friends and followers keep safe.
As you would know a thirty day state of emergency has been declared for all of New South Wales.
My grateful thanks to all the rural fire services personnel and volunteers who have worked tirelessly and continuously since this emergency began.
I'm feeling guilty about leaving...like I'm jumping ship.
But last night I attended a community meeting at our local Rural Fire Brigade and listened as one officer told the meeting that the best way to help was to prepare our properties as best we could and to leave early rather than later and have to be rescued.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Day Three

Looks like we're in for the long haul as far as the bush fires in the Blue Mountains go.
We have packed our overnight bags and some irreplaceable belongings, along with essential paperwork into our cars and we wait...
There has been NO activity in our area...very disconcerting, it is too much like the calm before the storm.
The smoke haze has the effect of twilight...all day long, and the light is very harsh  on our eyes.
Just after lunch we drew the curtains and switched off radios, computers, etcetera because we were feeling bombarded by all this information about the fires.  Maybe not good...but I think we are at enough distance to get out should everything suddenly go pear shaped.
So far there are almost 200 homes destroyed just in the Linksview Road Fire (Springwood/Winmalee/Yellow Rock).  Another fire is burning further up the mountain and another in the Lithgow area. If the Linksview Road & Lithgow (State Mine) fires were to join up...I think the work apocalyptic comes to mind.

I've added a link to Gary P Hayes Flikr Page for images of the fire.


Friday, 18 October 2013

Smoke Screened Moon

After yesterday's 100 kph winds, scorching temperatures and low humidity, today was like a jackpot.
Temperatures in the low twenties and very little wind meant none of the devastation witnessed yesterday.
None the less, today,another school needed evacuating and the fire, finding a new route, threatened homes above the area affected yesterday.
My Daughter, Grand Daughter and I took temporary relief from the media onslaught by driving down the mountain to do some shopping which had been delayed because of yesterday's incidents.
Our Little Miss Five said yesterday was the scariest day of her life. 
At school, the children literally left their half eaten lunches behind, their back packs too, and walked three kilometres with their teachers to the safety of a local shopping centre.
There, Donut King served the children doughnuts and Coles distributed bottles of water and cupcakes as well.
Their school's principal lost the family home.
I have this instant found out that friends of ours are overseas and we're pretty certain they have lost everything.
Our youngest Son's friend's family home was totally destroyed, along with the sister's wedding gown...she is getting married tomorrow.
Another friend...we haven't heard from.
Our Daughter's friend lost his home, he and his girls have nothing except the clothes on their backs...
And here I am...totally safe, with all my belongings, all my family, and I feel so bad to be able to say this...

Thursday, 17 October 2013


My what a day...Little Miss Five was evacuated from her school due to a bush fire which burnt down a building on the parish grounds. Our family waited for six hours to be reunited with her at 8 p.m.
The entire school was evacuated to the local shopping centre where the kids ate doughnuts and drank bottled water.
We are so grateful for all the teachers and staff did to keep our children safe and for the emergency services' bravery.
We are just beginning to receive news of friends' houses that have been destroyed by fire. Some streets have lost up to ten houses.
We, luckily, were not in the direct line of the fire.  But even from where we are...it looked pretty scary.
Thankfully, the weather is predicted to be a little more kind to us tomorrow.

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