Category Archives: travels closer to home

Beyond the city walls but still in Oz.

The girls get a turn at Duckmaloi :)

By complete coincidence one of my old university friend’s close friend booked Duckmaloi* for the long weekend. And when my friend made the connection she rang mid week and said come out and join us on Saturday night.

Duckmaloi River

Serendipity. One of my favourite words in the English language.

Duckmaloi River

A gang of eight girls from all walks of life … clever, funny, welcoming and wise.

The kind of wise that only a few chapters of life can grant you.

girls out walking

Thrown together in a house full of slippers, warmth and laughter.

Duckmaloi Park Guesthouse

Duckmaloi Guesthouse

Frosty nights and big long walks. Red wine and chocolate. Cups of tea and conversation.

Duckmaloi Valley

I can’t tell you the last time I had a couple of days away with a group of women.

Duckmaloi River

And I have to admit I was a little nervous heading out to the guesthouse. These girls knew each other well. They had a shared history. But Saturday became Sunday. And Sunday became Monday. And somehow … over the course of a night that became a weekend … strangers became friends.

Duckmaloi Guesthouse verandah

And I feel very lucky to have been a part of it all. Thanks girls xxxxxxx

How very special are female friendships? Where would we be without them?

*Duckmaloi Park Lodge is in the Duckmaloi Valley about 10 minutes east of Oberon, on the western fringe of the Blue Mountains. It was built by Steve’s grandparents in 1940, as a guesthouse. Steve’s brother Gerard runs it thesedays as self contained accommodation. In a particularly pretty valley amidst rolling hills reminiscent of Irish countryside it sleeps 15 and is a great place for a getaway with friends or family. One of the girls was saying it’d be great for book club weekends or even as a writer’s retreat. Normally it’s the boys who are out there for golfing weekends so it was good to see the girls give it a run 😉

If you like this you might also like …

Duckmaloi revisited … because that’s where her story began

Duckmaloi … yes it’s a place


A Sunday drive to The Zin House in Mudgee

I’ve been looking forward to sharing The Zin House with you.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing it first hand myself.

Set amidst the Zinfandel vineyard of Lowe Wines just outside of Mudgee, I knew it would be special.

the zin house kitchen reflected in old mirror

The Zin House is the new restaurant of Kim Currie, a highly respected chef in our part of the world. Together we’ve been creating The Zin House brand and website over the past few weeks.

zin house menu

If I had a restaurant I would like it to feel like this … long farmhouse tables …

the zin house interior

Everything on the menu proudly sourced from regional producers, friends, from the farm and organic garden …

zin house menu

Food so fresh it needs only the simplest preparation…

ryolstone olive oil

touches of pink

Food that tastes like real food. Butter that tastes like real butter.

the zin house courses

Warm autumn tones, an eye for art, soft light …


Beautiful wines, a generosity of spirit … from the heart and on the plate.

Unhurried. Just as a weekend lunch should be.

museum room and persimmon tree

I knew it would be special Kim but I had no idea it would be quite so lovely.

kim currie cooking at the zin house

Well done girl. Not a bad effort for a kiwi 😉

The Zin House
329 Tinja Lane,


How about I paint you a river …

I am missing my little girl.

Who is not so little anymore.

Fish River

Do you remember the fairy castles we built on these banks?

river rocks and she oak roots

I wonder if you would still climb me a treehouse …


Or swim me a summer …

Mist on the Fish River

So many new adventures lie downstream and I am filled with a wave of missingness.

river painting 1

So even though you couldn’t be here.

river painting 2

I thought I might paint you a river.

river painting 3

And maybe, just maybe, you might smell the woodsmoke in the cold night air and drift off to sleep with dreams filled with the sound of running water. And maybe, just maybe, you might not feel quite so far away.

Happy Easter hon xxx

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