Remnants of a Rainforest

Robertson Nature Reserve
Robertson Nature Reserve

It was windy and cold today, however plenty of sunshine and beautiful clear air. We thought it would be wonderful to go up to the highlands on a day like today. To drive up Macquarie Pass was no problem. Here is what it says about this pass in the Wikipedia:

“Macquarie Pass is an eight-kilometre-long section of the Illawarra Highway passing through Macquarie Pass National Park. It was opened in 1898.[1]

Macquarie Pass links the Southern Highland town of Robertson to the coastal town of Albion Park, descending the Illawarra Escarpment via a very narrow bitumen roadway, which has several single-lane sections and is mostly two lanes with double “no overtaking” lines. It is in the Shellharbour local government area.

This section of roadway is very steep, and contains a large number of hairpin bends, resulting in buses and trucks needing to reverse on some of the bends. The pass is quite notorious for accidents due to its nature, and drivers and riders are required to be cautious.

After heavy rain, the Macquarie Pass can be closed due to flooding on the top half of the pass. Cars and motorcycle riders may opt to use Jamberoo Mountain Road between Robertson and Jamberoo, while trucks are advised to use Mount Ousley Road (Southern Freeway) and Picton Road as an alternative.

The road is very popular with motorcyclists on weekends and public holidays. The Shellharbour and Wingecarribee Councils and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority have therefore published a safety brochure entitled ‘Motorcycling Macquarie Pass.'[2]”

We reached Robertson and decided we would first of all have an early lunch with one of the famous Robertson pies and a cup of tea. The pies were delicious as ever. We have frequented this PIE SHOP in Robertson for over fifty years. The pies there are really special. Peter had a pepper steak pie and I had a beef curry pie. A hot cup of tea with it was lovely.

In the Wikipedia it says that the road is very popular with motorcyclists on weekends and public holidays. And so it is. At the pie shop for instance scores of motorcyclists had just arrived for a well deserved break. The eating section of the shop got pretty crowded after a while for lots of other holiday makers with children on winter school holidays had also arrived. The shop did a roaring business with their pies.

Near the railway line and near what used to be Robertson station is the little bit of rainforest which we had not been visiting for decades. Today was the day. We got ourselves reacquainted with it. There is a round-track of only about 600 m. We walked along it and felt like being in another world.

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Earlier in the morning on the way to Macquarie Pass we stopped at the Marshall Mount Dance Hall. Our daughter Monika liked to go to their dances nearly forty years ago. Looking at the hall today Peter recalled how he drove to this hall on a Saturday night to pick up Monika and her friends after the dance had finished. We noticed today also a building next to this hall which used to be the Marshall Mount Public School.

We did a little detour through the country side where we noticed some ducks crossing the road. All in all we had a lovely day on this beautiful sunny winter day with gusts of wind that felt very cold.

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On this coral tree were already some flowers appearing. Does this mean spring is not far away any more?
On this coral tree were already some flowers appearing. Does this mean spring is not far away any more?

Sunny Days

Caroline and Mama Uta
Caroline and Mama Uta sitting outside towards the end of summer

This photo was taken a few months ago when Caroline had been at our place for a visit. We were sitting behind our house for morning tea. Peter and I always love to have a cup of tea outside enjoying a beautiful sunny day in our backyard that is overgrown with trees. We just love to sit under these trees and listen to a variety of birds who usually chirp happily close by. It is such a peaceful place. We always call it our little paradise.

Caroline and Papa Peter
Caroline and Papa Peter
This is what the table looks like without the table cloth.
This is what the table looks like without the table cloth.

We are in the midst of winter now here in Australia. After a long rainy period in June, the month of July is promising to be full of sunshine. However the nights are extremely cold. All the rooms in the house are extremely cold too, not just during the night but during the day too unless we put the heaters on. We usually switch our electric heater only on in the rooms we happen to use for a while. The warmest room is usually the computer room for it is small and does not require a lot of heating to get it comfortably warm.

Outside in the sun it is much warmer today than inside. So, naturally we had morning tea as well as lunch outside.  We sat there for quite a while, absorbing the lovely sunshine and listening to the birds. How lucky we are to have such a lovely spot behind our house. As I said, we feel this is our little paradise! 🙂

Needlework – Handarbeit

I mentioned recently that as a child I didn’t like ‘girly’ things. And in a post that followed I said that in 1944 I was taught some knitting and mending at school. That year I also liked to do  needlework in the presence of Aunty Ilse. I was nine years old then,  going on ten. Come to think of it this must have been about the only year when I did learn a bit about needlework. Any other year I totally shied away from doing anything like sewing or knitting or embroidering. I just wasn’t interested. It is a fact that never again during all my school years was I required to do such work again.

Mum would always sew a lot of things for us children. When she was at her sewing machine she was not to be interrupted. She wanted to be able to concentrate on her work. She would sit all day at her sewing machine until the garment at hand was finished to her satisfaction.

The winter 1943/44 was rather severe especially in the open countryside. We lived there because of air-raid attacks over Berlin. Mum had sewn us warm winter coats and hats to match. In the following picture you can see what we wore to keep out the cold.

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I and my two year old brother with Eva T and  her father looking on.
I and my two year old brother with Eva T in the middle and her father looking on.

Mum did sew the coat I’m wearing, also my little brother’s outfit. Mum also knitted the hats and gloves.