I had a medical appointment in Sydney and so the day after the fires we travelled down and were diverted because of the fires.
We passed near them and could see smoke on the horizon clearly visible
I had been bitten by a red paper wasp the day before and had a really painful and itchy arm, but was advised not to take an antihistamine as it could affect the sleep study results.
And connected all the cables and belts,
And monitored me overnight.
Next morning I was woken at 5.30 am and allowed some free time to go downstairs ( along with all my electrical monitoring equipment attached) to get some breakfast.
We had a lovely dinner at the motel to celebrate Valentines day and very early the next morning headed north out of Sydney towards Newcastle.
We called past our old house on the coast, now earmarked for demolition or removal and had a coffee with our old neighbours. It was great to catch up. They gave me a few bromiliads to bring up to the farm .
We visited the bee keeping supplier and purchased some more frames for our bee hive, then headed to Medowie to purchase 60 kgs of tomatoes that we had pre -ordered.
Our next stop was to a jar and bottle supplier at Rutherford to restock my supply of sauce bottles, jelly jars and a new line of jars for me to try a few new things.
What a total shock to us as we travelled up through the area of the recent fires. The absolute blackness and starkness of the landscape where the fires had passed through only days before.
These fires were devastating , taking homes, properties, stock and sadly we have also heard a precious life of a person working on this fire.
We saw many trucks of hay brought in to feed the surviving stock and saw many groups of stock sitting and standing lost in their blackened paddocks.
After returning home, we got busy and started to sort out the tomatoes that I had brought home with us.
I started with doing
With the tomatoes I had left I did another 14 smaller jars of crushed tomatoes and a double batch of Quetta ( a spicy tomato style relish/chutney. It is an old recipe from the "Coronation Cook book" compiled many years ago by the CWA.
Our neighbour had lost a few ducks and the other night Brian found this fellow slinking around our turkey yard thinking he was going to pick up another tasty feed.
Sadly this is a necessary part of our life, Brian doesn't like to kill needlessly, but our poultry flock are very important to us.
We have had a really extreme summer, very hot extended periods with little or no rain. Our poor farm is truly suffering.
Hopefully it will turn around soon and all will be well again.
Take care of you and yours until we meet again,