Long Time, No Post…

I’ve got no excuses so lets not talk about the fact that it’s been about 15 months since my last post…

So what I have I been up to in that time? Well last I wrote I mentioned that I was going to be doing a road trip to New South Wales . I did do it and it was awesome.

It was autumn when I travelled and the colours were amazing. There were heaps of road works happening – not surprising given the state of some of the roads! I didn’t realise the strong Celtic connection that was in some of the places I visited – not to mention Australia’s own ‘Stonehenge’. But the main reason I did the road trip was to visit Gostwych Church – which did not disappoint, it was stunning. The road to get there though was a bit dicey – quite the adventure that is for sure!

Note – lots of photos in this post, just click on them to make them bigger

I also went up to Toowoomba for a couple of nights, which coincided with the Carnival of Flowers they do each year. This event draws a lot of people each year so I went at the start of the carnival and just went to one or two places including the awesome Laurel Bank Park – which had flower beds with the shapes of dinosaurs made out of flowers – it was really quite cool. Of course no trip to Toowoomba is complete without spotting some street art.

Now that I am writing everything down, I realised that I did actually do some stuff in the last year – sometimes it takes writing things down to realise you haven’t sat at home for a year doing SFA! So another thing I did was go jacaranda hunting. Most of the time I leave this kind of thing too late in the season but last year the season actually lasted quite a while – I went to Toowoomba near the end of November and found some really good trees in bloom (the photo with the house is from that trip). I also went a bit further afield – one day I did an 85km round trip to a couple places, it was totally worth it though!

For my birthday last year I spent a few days up on the Sunshine Coast – which was pretty cool until I got food poisoning & couldn’t leave the hotel room. Which was totally ok because I had the biggest TV I had ever seen in any accommodation I’ve stayed in over the years. Definitely a memorable birthday!

Christmas came and went – lots of presents for a certain 3 year old and lots of family time, which was awesome. I decided though, that I needed to do something for New Years. I am not a party person at all so I decided to take myself on a wee overnight trip and went 221km away to a town call Stanthorpe. It is a rural town located in the Southern Downs of Queensland, just north of the New South Wales border. I had driven through here on my way to my NSW road trip in April 2021 and knew they had a few murals around town so decided to revisit. On the way back home I decided to take the scenic route – or as us Kiwi’s call it a “tiki tour”.

On the 28th February 2022 three things occurred – it was my niece’s birthday, it was the anniversary of my father’s funeral and New Zealand announced they were removing quarantine for New Zealanders returning … so I promptly booked tickets, a bit apprehensively because the last two trips I had booked had been cancelled on me. There was quite a bit of stuff I had to do before travel – download my international vaccine certificate (didn’t know I had one!), have a negative PCR test within 24 hours of travel, and fill in numerous forms with various amounts of information – coming back to Australia was pretty much the same deal so technically I had to do all that twice. Also when I arrived in NZ I had to do two RAT tests and provide info to the Ministry of Health. I was only going home for a few days and with the amount of tests I had to do, I really feel sorry for those who have to do tests every day!

But… I WAS GONG HOME!!!!! For the first time in over 900 days I was finally going to see my mum! My sister was going to be there at the same time too, along with her daughter and granddaughter, so it was good to catch up with them as well as other Christchurch based family – the ones who didn’t have covid that is. I spent most of the time with mum (annoying her most likely haha) but I did go to a couple of places around town – it was so good being at home for the first time in ages but it was also like I had never been away. Such a weird feeling but I am so glad that it is so much easier now to get home again.

Since then I haven’t been anywhere really, except a Saturday drive to the whoop whoops (countryside) a couple of Saturday’s ago. I just felt the need to go for a drive – didn’t realise it was going to be a 5 hour drive. I was exhausted by the time I got home! It was a gorgeous day though, and got quite warm for a winter’s day. It started because I felt like going to this antique shop on the way to Toowoomba and ended with me just taking the backroads.

And that brings us to today… I am currently planning my 50th Birthday trip (how did I get to be 50!) but that is another post for another day. I will really try not to go 15 months next time!

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