Wednesday, June 22, 2016


A Real Manor House

June 11 to 13 was a 3-day weekend, celebrating the Queen's birthday. The weather was great, so Mum looked for somewhere new we could drive to. She found that Sunday was an Open Day at Iandra Castle, just over 2 hours drive away. Although Iandra is commonly called a castle it is not really one. It is more like a manor house with castle-type bits added. It is 26 km north of Young in central New South Wales. Originally it was the homestead of George Young's Mt Oriel Station. Built of reinforced concrete around 1909, the "castle" has 57 rooms. We spent a couple of hours there and didn't see every room. There is a chapel somewhere, but I couldn't find it because there were hordes of visitors and time ran out on us. There is also a separate building with stables, a blacksmith's shop, storage for buggies and big bullock drays, and living quarters for some staff upstairs. And of course there are acres of gardens and lawns.  I couldn't identify all of the fruit growing in the orchard; the Oldies wouldn't let me pick any for taste testing. The whole estate is on the NSW State Heritage Register. Definitely worth visiting if you are in the area on one of the open days.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Despite the Weather

Despite the absolutely lousy weather during the two tropical lows and Cyclone Xena, we did enjoy most of our holiday at the Warwick Fiji. The lagoon was beautiful in the two brief periods of sunshine. Dad even managed an hour of snorkelling; he says that the cyclones had mangled the coral, but the fish were magnificent. During the rainy days, Mum and I spent time in the lounge colouring a batch of stamped cards that Mum took with her, just in case. The restaurants (Yay! spelled it right) were great, far better than the buffets. As usual, we added some colour and class to dinner on a couple of nights. And sunsets from the terrace were among the best I have ever seen. In good weather the Warwick would be great.


Tuesday, June 07, 2016


Fiji Firebears

We found this cute little trolley parked under the stairs at the Warwick. The labels on it claim that it is a fire engine. With the weather being all rainy and windy, it didn't have to be used during our stay. But if it had been needed there was a crew ready for it - The Fabulous Fiji Firebears (actually 2 bears and a small cow, but Milkshake is an honorary bear). Scruffy and I are just big enough to turn on the fire extinguishers by jumping on the handles and Milky's job is to yell directions at the 2 husky Fijians who pull the trolley and aim the hoses. We practiced a lot and would have been right there if and ready for action if fire had threatened.


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