It’s been about 4 years since we have had a day/night off from parenting (February 2011). Sure, we have had days off separately and Martin a night or 2 as well but not a night or day off together. And as much as we love our kids a day of being grown ups without snot, whining, nappy changes, small people disputes, constant requests for food, slobbery kisses and choking cuddles has been desperately needed for quite some time. Our wedding anniversary this year fell on Easter Sunday and we had a wonderful day with guests, a gourmet breakfast and lots and lots of eco conversation but we had been eagerly awaiting yesterday since about a week before Easter.
What was so special about yesterday? Well, a very dear friend offered to take our kids to her place for the day and give us a day to ourselves. 🙂 Then earlier in the week she upgraded us to first class and offered to take the kids, all 3 of them, overnight. 😀 It meant that she and her husband were caring for 6 kids under 6! Well, we ummed and ahhed for a day or so as it’s the first time Allegra has slept away from home and Orik too (he is still breastfeeding) so it wasn’t something we could just say yes and not think about. We decided though that it was well worth a try and plans were set.
So, with permission to be adults for a day with no little people around whom to navigate we headed off for lunch at Captains Creek Organic Winery, located about 30 minutes drive from Ballan in Blampied. They also grow many of their own fruits and veggies and the rest of their food is sourced locally too. I’m not a drinker so I got stuck into the verjuice which I must say is absolutely delicious, either straight (almost like drinking a dessert wine without the alcohol) or mixed with mineral water for a very refreshing spritzer style drink. Martin tasted the local wines but is a fan of the slightly warmer climate wines like Shiraz (Sirrah) so opted for a Heathcote Shiraz which, although not organic, was delicious (yes I had a sip 😉 ). We shared a pumpkin soup and a whipped feta and Captains Creek olive platter for entree and then the tasting plate for two for our main, with deli meats from just outside Trentham, cheese from Ballarat and the rest from Captains Creek farm. I had a decadently large slice of hazelnut chocolate cake to take away for dessert too and we’ve come home with a bottle each of wine and verjuice. Eating a meal like that without the kids was a most satisfying experience. We didn’t have to share! 😀
After I had dropped the kids off earlier in the morning I’d swung into Garden of St Erth in Blackwood on my way home, grabbing a louquat tree, more broad bean seeds and a book (more on that book later 😉 ) and had asked about a Ballerina Apple tree as I would have liked very much to buy one for my Mum for Mothers Day (which is today in Australia for those that celebrate on different days) and although they didn’t have any they suggested visiting Newlyn Antiques which also boasts a heritage apple nursery (and other plants too of course) which I figured I would visit at some stage. Well, as we drove to Captains Creek via Mollongghip (the back roads) I saw a sign saying 5km to Newlyn. Well, being so close we couldn’t pass up the opportunity and having a husband that
tolerates my frequent changes of plan loves my spontaneity we popped in there after lunch. Well! A gorgeous old cottage built around 1857 by Cornish immigrants (my family, the Varcoe’s, are of Cornish descent from the Newlyn area too 🙂 ) absolutely full of everything from old tools, mirrors, paintings, cup and saucers, cutlery, books, toys, furniture and more and what appears to be a church and hall further filled with cutlery, crockery, furniture and other wonderful treasures like a Vietnam army officers uniform (Warrant officer I think), a collection of tobacco pipes, jewelry, clocks, crystal-ware and so much more. 1800’s to 1950’s! Simply wonderful. 😀
After we gorged ourselves on old wares we headed out into the nursery. Well! I must say that one of the most beautiful times to visit a nursery with apple and pear trees is in Autumn. The colours in that garden are spectacular! And I use the word garden loosely as it was a wonderful hybrid of nursery and garden all mixed together. And heritage apples too! I even saw medlar apples in fruit on the tree. 🙂 And a cider apple too! 😀 Bare rooted trees will be available from about 3 or so weeks and I have been assured by John that if I return in about 6 weeks I will be able to see their full range of bare rooted trees including Ballerina apples. I have their information sheets to work through and decide which I want and not much time in which to plan it out. Apples will be the main fruit trees to go into our food forest garden, with some of the stone fruits, pears, figs and olives too. John and Fay stock them all! 😀 I am one VERY happy shopper and the best bit is, I haven’t spent a cent… Yet!. 😛
After 2 glorious hours we headed home, without a ballerina apple sadly. They did have 2 in stock but they’re in rather large plain terracotta pots and I’d prefer to pot up my own in a pot suited to their decking area where the tree will live, so I’ve spoken to Mum and told her that if she is happy to wait for 6 weeks I can better source her gift and at a fraction of the price too. She knows that money is tight these days (for us all hey). She is looking forward to the anticipation for the next 6 weeks though. 🙂
Once we arrived home Martin fired up Ignito, his new converted old hot water tank wood heater he’s bought for the shed but who is still standing in the garden, in order to cook some spuds in jackets for dinner. I fried up some bacon on Ignisa and with some raw organic butter and kefir cheese and we ate our dinner whilst watching The Breakfast Club before bombing out for an early night. I call that a perfect date night. 🙂
No photos sadly, we were having too great a time to stop and think to take any.