As you can see the location was, once again idyllic although the slightly brown caste you can see in the distance is smoke from the somewhat controversial practice of cool burning which some argue helps to forestall the catastrophic fires that the area has experienced in recent years.
With the right eye, even the silver gull who is a tireless scavenger and an absolute pest if you want to eat fish and chips peacefully by the sea can be appreciated for the beautiful creature that it is.
Margaret took charge of my entertainment while Leon was at college and what a wonderful job she made of it. Visits to the local wool shop, friends and relatives, I was never short of someone to talk to and best of all, a lot of these women are the most talented crafters so I was treated to looking at wonderful examples of their quilting, needlepoint and knitting.
I was also invited to the monthly fund raising lunch at the local parish church. Oh and by the way said Margaret, casually, they'd like you to do the after lunch speech. Splutter... Shall I talk about my knitting? I offered hopefully. Oh no, she said. They like a slightly more meaty subject than that - can you talk about mental health services in the UK. Blimey, I thought - this is getting me back in the swing for work just a couple of days too early.
As it turned out, it was easy to find enough to talk about a service I feel passionate about and the women were warm and interested and asked a lot of very pertinent questions. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, the lunch was excellent - and I think they let me win the raffle...
On the way back, Leon stopped and let me visit one of my favourite wool shops - the Jolly Jumbuck. They sell some of the most beautiful naturally coloured yarns as well as some very nice hand dyed skeins. I'll admit that I did indulge but I can't show you as when I packed up to head back to Melbourne it soon became clear that there was not enough room in my rucksack for everything so as we speak it is wending its way, at exorbitant cost across the seas to Blighty. It really is worth it!
In knitting news I have to admit that even on a road trip, monogamous knitting is not possible. There are times when it is not very sociable to knit a more complicated pattern so I cast on for another Damson, once again in Wollemeise, this time in shades of blue and green as my reserve project. I l=love the way this pattern is shaped, it makes the scarf so easy to wear that I wish I had half a dozen - although right now I will settle for two.
Next time will be my final post from Australia after which I will be telling you abut what I have been knitting these last couple of weeks.