Well, it's more than 2 weeks since I arrived and life has been a real mixture - all good except for the fall from my bike which resulted in a lot of bruises and grazes but nothing serious. I look like a bit of a war casualty, but am still walking, riding, swimming as normal!
It was a loooooong drive to get here. Fortunately I had a friend for company who did all of the driving, so I was the navigator and the sightseer! We diverted from the Pacific Highway at Kempsey and came via Crescent Head, Hat Head and South West Rocks. What a pretty part of the world. I recommend the detour to anyone who has the time when they are driving north. We stayed at South West Rocks and had a magnificent breakfast at the cafe at the Trial Bay Gaol - which is no longer an operating gaol, but a tourist attraction.
My days since then in residence at Pottsville have been relaxing, warm and a nice balance between being eventful and quiet.
One day each week I've had a visit from my son Tim and his son, Oscar. Oscar is 11 months old and is just about ready to take his first steps. He stands up on his feet - far too wide apart, wobbles a bit and then plonks himself down on his bottom. But he crawls like a mad man! There's no stopping him once he sets his sights on where he's going and he thumps along at a pace. It's nice that Tim has the time to come down from the Gold Coast to visit me with Oscar once a week.
The first Saturday I was here I went to a planting day on the 100 acre property of friends who live at Palm Vale, near Murwillumbah. They called on all their friends and about 30 people turned up and planted 650 rain forest trees during the day. It was a sight to see. A bare hillside in the morning and covered with 650 little trees protected by 650 plastic sleeves by late afternoon. My job for the day was as a kitchen hand - don't laugh! My friend's 2 daughters were the cooks and we had to cater for the troops for lunch and dinner. They were well prepared, experienced, resourced and were very good at giving me specific instructions for my role. I was also the official photographer and will post some photos in the next post.
I've joined up with the local tennis club and am now playing tennis 3 times a week. Two mornings with the ladies and in a mixed group on Tuesday evenings. Am also cycling and walking and swimming from time to time. Lots of outdoor activity, so the sun tan is improving.
The local farmers' markets are full of delicious fresh organic produce and I'm enjoying going to different markets on different days of the week to stock up my fridge. I've also made friends with the local "What's Good for You" shop, fish shop and baker, and am picking up nice fresh supplies from them regularly. I also get my daily vegie juice at a cafe next to the paper shop - so sit and start the crossword while I'm having my juice.
Yesterday (Sunday 27th Sept) I joined the Bikes to Brunz ride for National Bike Week, and rode my bike with a group from Billinudgel (where there's a famous pie shop) into Brunswick Heads. The ride took about an hour and finished in a park with riders who had come from about 7 other directions. The town put on entertainment, food and lots of info and support for bike riders. They also launched a new booklet with information about cycle paths in the Byron Shire. It was a beautiful sunny day and a great day was had by all.
Oh! and in the first week I was here I visited the SWELL Festival at Currumbin Beach, near Coolangatta, where they had a whole lot of sculptures along the beach. It's a similar concept to the one held in November each year along the Bondi to Coogee walking path. Will also post some photos of those next time.
Well. There you are. That's life at Pottsville for the moment.