But I actually had a fabulous time.
I was listening to Sara Groves in the car on the way and the song came on 'I believe in a blessing I don’t understand. I’ve seen rain fall on the wicked and the just. Rain is no measure of his faithfulness. He withholds no good thing from us'. That was well-timed and reminded me that the bible always refers to rain as a blessing and provision from God, not as a spoiler of holidays, and we certainly needed it in Canberra, so I wasn’t to complain. (The rest of that song is also worth listening to as I have blogged here).
I drove up to Moss Vale, then went on to Robertson for a look about, before doubling back to take one of roads down through Fitzroy Falls to Kangaroo Valley, which was just so picturesque. I poked around the quaint village of Kangaroo Valley for a while before taking Kangaroo Valley Road over to Berry. That’s a narrow, winding road of slightly treacherous nature in the wet, but I quite like that kind of driving and it was worth the scenery. Then I went in to Berry for a short look around before checking into the B&B I had booked, which was just perfect. It was the cheapest thing that came up on Stayz when I was looking, but was unexpectedly delightful. This is my room (as a bonus they gave me the ensuite room), and the chair by the fire that I spent many hours in, which was exactly suited to my purpose.
On Wednesday morning I went in to Berry Village and poked around, thinking it was going to be the worst day weather-wise. Berry has many nice shops that I popped in and out of. I wasn’t intending to “shop”, and there were a lot of expensive home wares and gifts, but I managed to find a few things to buy regardless (that weren’t expensive homewares). Then when I felt like I’d had enough of walking about in the rain I went back to the B&B and just sat in that chair and read and did some “therapy” on myself for the rest of that day, and added some paper to that fire when I had finished with it.
On Thursday morning I decided to just drive over to the coast, and took a little walk at Seven Mile Beach, parked and watched the waves crash on the headland at Gerroa in the rain, then drove back along to Nowra. When I reached Nowra it was really pouring and driving down the main road was uninspiring, but I pulled in to a nursery, found there was a Salvation Army Store down behind it, then stopped at a Mission Australia Store I passed and enquired about an old wares shop I’d heard of and went there, then when my feet and a lot of the rest of me was soaking wet I went home again to the fire and my fire buddies (see photo – the cat was hilarious).
Thursday night I came back in to Nowra and had dinner with Philip and Lyn Miles and collected a painting that I had bought from Philip, that he had had I an exhibition, which was exciting. I had a lovely evening with them. They are interesting people who previously worked as missionaries in Japan for 15 years (and while they were gone Philip stored his enviable book collection at Matthias Media when I worked there and I used to raid it). Philip now paints, as well as doing pastoral work in an Aboriginal Community Church and is also a Lego modeler – all things cool! – and there was interesting conversation to be had, including discussion of the nature of art and inherent good versus status good etc. I was inspired.
Friday I just headed off back the way I came and stopped in at Fitzroy falls for a look at the waterfall (once again it was spitting rain) and the old wares shop, then pulled in at Goulburn and bought an old mirror that I had seen the previous weekend and decided to buy if it was still there for my kitchen. (I bought way too many old things that I hadn’t intended on buying really.)
I really enjoyed myself and the time to just pause and reflect and read away from usual life (you can do these things at home, but for some reason you don’t), with a few hours of sight-seeing thrown in each day. I’m definitely going to do it again. You could do it as a retreat or planning weekend (if you are one of those people who makes such plans) with a friend who was happy with the same arrangement and get together for dinner or some such thing, which would be nice. (Because the B&B didn’t provide cooking facilities going out in search of dinner was the one thing that I didn’t particularly like doing by myself.)
Since returning I have prepared and delivered my youth group class, and am now ready for home improvement week!