Christmas was low-key but lovely. We gathered for family lunch at my parents’ home, and enjoyed a delicious meal, with everyone contributing something: my brother-in-law made a light entree of asparagus and smoked salmon; for main course, my niece and nephew made a selection of salads; BIL baked a ham; and my mother baked a fish stuffed with mushrooms and other yummy ingredients.
For desserts, my niece made mangoes in countreau, and my Christmas pudding came out of the steamer without falling to pieces!
All in all, a very pleasant day, and wonderful to spend it with my family. On Boxing Day, we had lunch with my sister and her family at the hotel we were staying in, then visited my friend of many years, Alison and her young daughter, then had a light dinner (prawns and avocado) with my parents.
Our three days in Canberra were quite busy, visiting family and friends, so there was not much opportunity for taking photographs. We travelled back to Armidale over two days, exploring some back roads, and breaking the journey in Mudgee. Unfortunately there was a great deal of rain while we were driving on Saturday, producing some local flooding in Bathurst as we were driving through there – although a couple of feet of water wasn’t a problem for our Landcruiser:
Yesterday we stopped in the small town of Coolah for morning tea, and were pleasantly surprised by the café that’s opened since our last visit. Like many small regional towns, Coolah faces economic struggles, and the café’s decor wasn’t as polished as Sydney standard, but the service and food were better – including a proper tea pot for my tea!
From Coolah, we took a winding dirt road through one end of the Liverpool Range, near the Coolah Tops National Park, and through Pandora’s Pass on to the Liverpool Plains:
Then through Quirindi, Werris Creek, and Tamworth, picking up our dogs from the kennels at Arding on our way back into Armidale. The dogs were pleased to see us – Jaffa, our Princess Dog, trying hard to convince us that they hadn’t fed her at all while we were away – but her plump tummy gave her away!
Now we’re home, and settling back into routine. Gordon has this week off work, and is planning to do some bushwalking with our friends as well as some jobs around the block. I’ve got a book deadline to meet – so for the next three weeks, my computer and I will be in constant contact!