I CAN absolutely vouch for this op-shopped and hand knitted ensemble for bushwalking. Jeans are restrictive and cold. If they get wet, they stay wet for ages. A flannelette shirt is warm but not so warm that when you start to sweat up the inclines it's uncomfortable. Being made of cotton - and worn in like this one is - you just roll up the sleeves and walk on. This vest is called the hikers vest. It's fitted so there are no cold draughts. Either layer over it or strip it off if you get too hot. The whole ensemble cost me about $10, a far cry less than what you'll pay at an outdoors store. And crawling around to take photos in the damp, foggy climes of Gloucester Tops, I reckon it served me just as well.
I WENT TO… Mount Victoria and walked the Grand Canyon walk in the Blue Mountains National Park as well as explored some of the smaller walks around Mount Piddington.
There was a road trip up to Nundle to visit the Nundle Woollen Mill, with the return trip through Forest Way to Gloucester to walk in the Gondwana rainforest of Gloucester Tops in the Barrington Tops National Park.
A second road trip was to Young, stopping to explore the off junk store or op shop along the way.
I ATE… A fair amount of country pub meals, so much so that by Young I couldn't bear to face another chicken schnitzel. While there were a couple of places that came highly recommended in Young, they weren't open and a chance was taken on a rather dodgy looking, as well as empty of customers, Indian restaurant. It was a case of not judging a book by its cover. Tandoori Fish served up the best Indian banquet I've had in years - and cheap too at $50 for two entrees, two mains, breads, rice and condiments. Young's Kettle and Grain cafe, tucked away behind the Lambing Flat Museum was also a top find. The smokey, home-cooked baked beans with eggs and Parmesan was my pick of the menu.
Another notable country recommendation was The Fox Den, at Gloucester, and closer to home, Hardys Bistro in the old Killcare corner store.
I OP SHOPPED… in country op shops, though I was pretty restrained. A shirt, a handful of dress and knitting patterns, a couple of cooking pans to use over the campfire and two small, quaint wooden dolls came home with me.
I MADE… I have more than 50 Kendall Koalas packed and ready to travel to Nepal with me this month. I personally only finished three, but the wider Girl Guide community has done Kendall proud.
Aside from packing felted softies I've started on my biggest knitting challenge, to date. It's a Jenny Kee picture knit. I bought balls of seconds wool at Nundle Woolen Mill and am about 10cm into a pair of socks - the smallest pattern I could find to test my picture knitting patience. They're going to take some time. I haven't quite got the hang of pulling the yarn across the back. Any tips or tricks will be gratefully accepted.
I READ… I am headed to Sri Lanka, for a holiday, and Nepal to attend a conference in about a week's time. All my reading has been related to either of these two excursions and mostly the latter as conference papers start rolling in thick and fast.