A Word A Week Photo Challenge: Industrial

Port Kembla, circa 1982

Sunset at Port Kembla, circa 1982

The Word A Week Photo challenge is done by “A Word In Your Ear” (http://wp.me/1pmcV). Check out her blog, great photos and stories.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Home


Being born in New Zealand, a part of me will always belong there, but I have lived in Australia now for more than half my life, so that is where I call home.

I still remember an eerie, uncanny sense of un-ease for months, actually years, after I first moved here. I always felt somewhat unsettled when outside and wanted to go inside or under trees or something. It took a long time before I recognised that I even had this feeling and longer still until I realised what it was.

It was caused by a sense of vulnerability or exposure to something. Yes, part of that was my pale, freckly Nordic skin panicking at the harsh Australian sun, but there was much more to it than that. The feelings were caused by the sky. There is a reason this is called Big Sky country.

I’d grown up in a young, folded land, where shade and hills  were never out of sight; where a primal sense of available shelter was always with you. Where the sun was your friend, not a seering foe to be reckoned with.

The photo above was taken on one of my road trips in Australia and captures the sense of a big sky – for me at least, which is my sense of what distinguishes Australia. This may not be the only place with big sky, but big sky is Australia.

20-20 Vision

Its not often that events conflate for one’s benefit. However, such has just happened.

You see I got married on exactly the same day as some friends of ours. This happened unawares to us both, even though we did know each other at the time.

Recently our twentieth anniversary loomed so we arranged to go away together to celebrate. As it happened, DenMar Estate in the Hunter Valley was having a midweek special, covering the very day, and had a spare two bedroom villa. You beauty!

For dinner, the owners of DenMar (Marie and Dennis) suggested the nearby Botanica restaurant. All dressed up, we were chauffered by Dennis to Botanica, allowing us the freedom to partake. Botanica turned out to provide a very nice meal, suitable for such an occasion. Afterwards, a call brings Marie to chauffer us safely home again.

The next day we had planned to go cheese and bubbly tasting, followed by a light Tapas style dinner nearby. However Marie reminded us that our package included a lunch / dinner with included bottle of wine per couple and a wine tasting of the Estates own wines. You beauty, again!

So after a morning of cheese tasting and bubbly busting we returned to DenMar mid afternoon for our tasting and meal. What a treat! With each of their wines we were presented with a specially matched, sensational canapé. The wines were very pleasing too, adding to the enjoyment.

Unfortunately we then had to choose just one of the wines to have with our dinner. We settled on the 2009 Pinot Noir while our friends chose the 2010 Cab Sav. What followed was an amazing display of cullinary skill by Marie. We should have realised the canapés were no fluke as they were all picture (and taste) perfect. The dinner was amazing, and the wine just set it off to perfection.

So we were treated to a wonderful second anniversary dinner in our own private restaurant. Thank you Dennis, thank you Marie. It was truly a wonderful break for us, making an anniversary to remember for a long time.


Flaked Salmon

Brandy snap, ice cream and strawberries!

Brandy snap, ice cream and strawberries!