one + four = life (a little bit country valley)

a little bit country

On the road again heading through the country on the way to our next housesit. We stopped and visited family and friends on the way down the coast from Brisbane then headed inland from Sydney. There were a couple of cafes worth a mention on the way. A truly great find was Heart and Soul Wholefood Cafe in Grafton. Check out their Instagram here for some totally drool worthy food. If you are ever passing this way you seriously should visit this place. Next fuel stop was Bellingen. I love this town. If I ever get sick of living in Tassie I would move here. Lots of great places to choose from but this time we went to Hearthfire, an organic wholefood sourdough bakery and cafe. Sensational food. I was tempted to put our house on the market so I could move now! Also had a superb vegan degustation dinner at Thirlmere Rowing Club in Picton. Our friends arranged that one with the chef ahead of time and we got such a lovely surprise. Very imaginative and delicious.

Cheshire Cat tree

Came across these direction markers on a tree while bushwalking with friends Sally and John in Thirlmere Lakes National Park. Made me think of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland and this wonderful little exchange between them.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

I like to think this is saying something about how the destination isn’t always important. You just need to do something to continue on your journey. Don’t stress about whether you’re heading in the right direction, just get going!

Country Valley yogurt

Now you may think it strange that I would have a photo of some yoghurt here since I only ever cook vegan food at home. When I’m travelling I do eat some dairy. Not much or I get a rash. I even have some eggs if there are chickens to look after where we are housesitting. That’s when I know the chickens are happy ones and they get a chance to have fun out in the yard. Anyway, back to the yoghurt. It comes from Country Valley which is owned by our dairy farming friends John and Sally. I think if you are going to eat dairy you should seek out products from places like theirs. They have a small herd and also buy milk from other local farmers. They pay them a better price for the milk than the big companies would and they have a very small processing plant next to their dairy. Here they process the milk and make yoghurt, cream and cheese. The milk is also used in products like Pepe Saya cultured butter. I guess this is one of those situations where I am friends with people who have different views to me. I try to be vegan for compassionate reasons but I do come from a dairy farming family. I can appreciate the care that John and Sally take with their cows, the support they are giving to other farmers with small herds and the jobs they have created for young people in their local area.

Honey pot

How sweet does this little honey pot look? We stayed at Briardale Bed and Breakfast in Albury. It was so beautifully decorated and they had the most gorgeous little sets of crockery like this and other bits and pieces on display. Reminded me of my friend Deb and her little shop Blackbird and Briar in South Hobart. Deb sells pre-loved clothing, gently-used furniture, some of which she restores and paints, and charming curios for the home and garden. Sweet little things just like this honey pot. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are ever down that way.

Fish trap sculpture

There are great cycling trails in Albury and Wodonga. On one which goes along beside the Murray River there is a sculpture trail. This was my favourite sculpture. A fish trap. Once again not a very vegan thing! I just like the shape and the way the fish were swinging about inside. This sculpture was made from steel cable at the Aboriginal Men’s Shed at the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service. A nearby sign explained that it is of a funnel style fish trap that was commonly used by the Wiradjuri people of the local area. These traps were woven from reeds and could even be customised to trap specific fish. They also allowed smaller fish to escape, thus preserving the species for the future. This is an example of how we could learn a lot from the aboriginal people with regard to sustainable fishing. More information on sustainable fishing can be found at Label My Fish. This is a website set up by Matthew Evans who just happens to live nearby me in Tassie. You may know of him from the SBS TV show Gourmet Farmer.

A lack of internet access is slowing down my ability to do regular blog posts. I thought that while I was travelling I could at least attempt to do these one + four = life posts. That’s one week shown in four photos that sum up my life that week. The idea came from Pip Lincolne at Meet Me At Mikes. Anyway it looks like sometimes there will be gaps between posts and sometimes they will come in a rush!

4 Responses

  1. Ing Reils
    Ing Reils July 15, 2015 at 3:15 pm |

    Sounds like you are having some lovely adventures Sandra. I take a similar attitude with dairy and eggs – have both occasionally but only from “ethical” sources as I like to reward those who care for their animals (I like Barambah in Qsld and Elgars in Tassie dairy wise). That honey pot is gorgeous ! BTW, I think you’d really like “The Beet Retreat” – your lifestyle and that of it’s founder, Jan, are very similar and I know she is often seeking like minded souls to look after her gorgeous vegan retreat when she goes off hiking around the world – thought of you the last time I heard she was after someone ! (-:

  2. susan
    susan July 15, 2015 at 5:53 pm |

    I don’t care how regular the blogs are Sandra- just so long as you keep ’em coming. I really enjoy the experiences you have and your reflections on them

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