More News from Somewhere…

What a chaotic week. Between being exhausted and having wonderful friends help me fend off the Black Dog, it’s great to be able to put my feet up, savour some lovely roasted veggies, knit and read. (Short stories this time, something I haven’t done in years and the last lot of short stories I read – I believe – were by Angela Carter…)

So where was I last post? Oh yes… Wollongong. I was taken to the famous and delightful Diggies for brunch, and the weather could not have been more perfect. The surf was tantalising, but not doing much for those optimistically hanging behind the breakers on their boards. But bikinis in the middle of winter was something I found amusing. I must be in Australia!

A "Sunrise" at Diggies - one of their famous juices
Enjoying the sun and surf on Sunday morning

When I think of the weather and where I was last weekend, and the very wintry day we’ve had in Wellington today, I have to chuckle. The wonders of international travel.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Because the weather was just so perfect, Kylie drove me up to Flagstaff Hill so I could see Port Kembla, the WIN Stadium (home to St George Illawarra), the steel works, Five Islands, and various Aboriginal settlements. One of which, is believed to be tens of thousands of years old, when the ‘Gong was about 20km inland. We watched the container ships cross the horizon, yachts go out, and fishing boats come back in…

From Flagstaff Hill
The Wollongong breakwater and wharf
A fishing boat returns, with seagulls flocking behind it.

Then, we went up to the Mt Keira lookout to survey the Illawarra and escarpment. It was spectacular. Not too big, and not too small…

Looking northwards up the Illawarra coast

By this time Kylie was really starting to sound poorly after the freezing night at the rugby and the hectic week she’d had. So we returned to play with dogs, introduce me to Downton Abbey and this season of Masterchef Australia. Downton Abbey was surprisingly good. But I don’t miss owning a tv. Not at all.

But all good things must come to an end, and on the Monday we ambled back up to Sydney to see where Donna works and the famed wall of Rowan yarn, before dropping me at the airport to fly home. (They stock Liberty fabric as well, which is pretty, but I’m all about the yarn.) And what a beautiful wall of Rowan it was. See?

The wall of Rowan

Miraculously, no Rowan found its way home with me, but 3 skeins of Colinette Jitterbug (in Aegean, Fire and Vatican Pie), and some Debbie Bliss Andes (Alpacky and Silk in sage) did. As well as my 2 skeins of gorgeous Knitabulous SWS in a midnight blue. I may not have bought clothes this trip, but I think I did very well in the stash enhancement department. Just in time for the TdFKAL too…

All in all, I was ridiculously lucky. I had no issues flying with the ash cloud, and the weather was beautiful. I missed the torrential rain they’d had before and the cold snap that happened after I left. Not to mention the chaos the ash cloud created around me. It has, however, taken me until this weekend to catch up on my sleep, and I still have 3 repeats of my Hemlock to go before the endless casting off begins.

But to important things. Next weekend sees the beginning of that glorious Grandest of Tours, Le Tour de France, and with it, the 5th annual TdF Knit Along. For the fourth consecutive year, I’ve entered the King of the Mountains category, with 4 very impressive mountains (Works in Progress) to finish: My Old Port and Nimue (which I probably won’t get done, but this’ll get them very close to FO), and my second Kells and Temperance socks. They’re all cable knits too! I’ve only just realised this. Haha! This appears to be the year of cables and slip stitches for me. Love it. I am eagerly looking forward to the 3 and a half weeks of sleep deprivation and long nights watching the live stream. And Alpe D’Huez returns for the last stage of real racing (bar the time trial and parade into Paris). So awesome.

So I bid you all a good evening, and in the spirit of yarn and cycling, I leave you with a picture of the Calico and Ivy bicycle…

à Bientôt!

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4 Comments

  1. stunning pictures! kind of nice little place we have here! its been a lovely sunny weekend this one as well, which is most considerate. ive decided not to join the TdF KAL (deadlines being death to WIPs) but i am really really looking forward to the race, and seeing what you manage to finish!

    1. I usually try to finish at least one thing during the tdfkal to prove a point to myself. So yeah, these are all pretty giant WIPs in their own right (well, all but the Temperance), I’m curious to see what I finish too…

  2. I am going for yellow in the TdF this year, weeeeeee! Very excited!

    Didn’t you have fab weather in the Gong! Great photos!

  3. I love the little touch of French at the end of the post! And now I want a glass of juice…

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