APRIL: Tomato and Granny Smith salad with red onion, mint, coriander and EV olive oil drizzle. BBQ trout with pistachio, lime and cracked pepper. Baby yellow capsicum garnish.
DECEMBER: Garlic pearl and cherry stuffed trout with Bashi's chunky guacamole. This was so delicious we did it again for Christmas! See below:
Friday night 21:30, 16th September
I was standing in the kitchen and heard a funny crackling sound. I looked at Coral as we could hear a crackling whoosh followed by a big thump that shook the house. All in all it was fairly quiet. Gordon didn't even hear it, standing beside the TV.
The shake of the house was what told me that it was a tree fall and I knew it wasn't too far away. Quickly, we grabbed torches and went out to investigate.
By night we ascertained that Coral's car was okay, the only damage would be superficial, the nursery was basically a write-off and then our attention turned to the Hiluxury. After climbing through a mess of branches, leaves and massive limbs I managed to torch right around my precious 1996 dualcab ute Toyota Hilux buried underneath it all. So far, so good, although we would have to find out for sure in the morning.
Yet, I had to get to the market by 6:30 in town.
At first light I surveyed what I could and took photos. I counted my blessings that at least I had most of my plants packed away in The Peu (the irritable and whimsical 2005 307 Peugeot) and market trailer. Any other day and all my plants would have been in the nursery! Plus The Hiluxury still looked like it was okay.
After showing photos to those at the market I received two very kind offers of help, The Hiluxury was in need of a rescue and my chainsaw was badly in need of a service. More rain is expected this week and without the Hiluxury, we may become isolated by mud and/or floodwater!
So Saturday afternoon the cavalry arrived, in the form of Phil with chainsaws "Eric" and "Big Pedro" (actually I never found out Big Pedro's name ... I made that one up, but I decided to dub him that!), plus Justin and Leanne with their chansaw. Within the hour we had the Hiluxury freed and amazingly unscathed, just a few minor scratched and two very superficial dings! No broken windows, not even a punctured tonneau cover and running just fine!
Monday morning, Joey arrived to help with the rescue and recovery of much of the nursery. A few expensive trees are gone, some are recoverable but unsaleable and others are actually okay after a bit of pruning, repotting and restaking.
All in all we were very lucky and we have the bonus of a massive Red Stringy Bark that we would like to cut into slabs for our kitchen bench, some good sized posts for our front gate and plenty of firewood for the next few years.
The busy bees of Loomberah Gold
Press play and read:
Before the dawn the wind is nigh
Hills fringed all aglow
Up early, breathing in and sigh
Last night now long ago
Ah, moon camped far behind me now
Turn and face the east
Dawn chorus birds are friends I know
A hundred fold at least
Warm and close I clasp my tea
Koel calls out again
Rooster crows to waken me
With finch, magpie and wren.
HETHER MILANE - May 2015
The sun is just rising, into an almost clear sky, after the shower of rain last night. Its golden arms reaching high, between the last little puffs of cloud, as if stretching and yawning as it wakes from its slumber. Oh, how the earth smells refreshed as those fingers of light reach out and touch it.
The air is warm, but the leaves are cool, as I nestle amongst the branches of my cherry tree. The carefully pruned branches are shaped like a goblet around me and I am surrounded by bunches of dark, shiny fruit.
Tucked away in my own little world, my tree is enclosed in the dark mesh of shade cloth that keeps my bounty safe. My basket fills quickly as I deftly twist and pinch the stem nubs, collecting handfuls of delicious fruit.
A King Parrot lands in the Chinese Pistachio high above and 'peeps' loudly, as though demanding I take off the cover and let him in. Below, I hear my chooks 'brrrk'ing, hoping to pounce on any that I drop. Yet, even those are safe.
Outside the cover I hear insects buzzing, and I am relieved that this simple mesh keeps out the fruit fly.
We had hail a few weeks ago, after days of terrible heat. We've had wind too, and blistering sun. Yet my cherries are perfect within my dark mesh room. Firm, plump, juicy and sweet.
My basket is full!
How rich am I?!
After joining our little Writers' Group in Tamworth I have received an enormous boost in confidence about my yet-to-be published book "The River", it has also encouraged me into ploughing further through the next book "The Falls", and then finding a Painters Group yesterday has inspired me to get out the old brushes and have a go at painting the image for the cover of "The River".
A huge THANK YOU goes to the following people:
Greg, the first person, not in my family, to read "The River" and give me some wonderful feedback. He devoured it in two days and his enthusiasm for the book has got me beaming with pride. To be told that it was destinctly Australian, had good character depth, the scenery was so well written he could visualise it and that "The River" could be the 'next big Australian hit' and that it would even make a 'great movie' was enormously uplifting.
Lynn Newberry, aka Anne Rouen, came to our Writers' Group meeting on Saturday and allowed us to ask many questions, especially on how to get started and how to go about getting published. Congratulations to Lynn on winning the Silver Medal in the 2014 Global Ebook Awards!
One of her many pieces of advice was to start a blog on a web page. So here I am! I am in the process of ticking off her other helpful pieces of advice too.
Lyn, another member of the group, who is currently reading "The River", has also sent me some feedback already. At just over half way she told me today that "You must/can be very proud of yourself! I agree with Greg about [it\ being an Australian Great & a movie!"
Hether MiLane was born in Canberra and has grown up with an appreciation for the bush, nature and all things beautiful on this Earth.
She now lives at "Gunagulla" Loomberah, NSW with her very clever and loving husband Gordon Garradd.
Close to Tamworth she has found the country spirit in the characters that she meets and enjoys the many hugs from friends every time she goes to town.