I love this time of year. It's a time for curling inward and making a nest where you can reflect and recharge. There's cosy places t...

I love this time of year. It's a time for curling inward and making a nest where you can reflect and recharge. There's cosy places to be, big wide skies and for the brave, crisp mornings to crunch across frosty verges.

katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com || Carcoar Rugby Club field on a frosty winter day

While my days close to home have been more heavy dew than a crunchy, silvery frost, there have been blanketing fogs hovering just above the inland waters and in the folds of the valleys I pass through and over on my commute to work. It's dark when I leave, and when I come home, but now the Winter Solstice has passed, week-by-week the sun pulls closer and I spy a little more light toward the coast as I watch for the morning's ferry to round the point.


I WENT TO... Carcoar, in the Central West of NSW. The town is described as Australia's most 'intact historic village'. It's about 30mins from Bathurst, which makes it easily accessible from Sydney and I reckon the place is about to take off as a country destination to visit. The Royal Hotel is being refurbished and I heard on the village grapevine a new chef is about to start there. There's a cafe on the corner of the main street about to open and a lovely homewares store and workshop venue across the road, with a cute coffee nook adjacent.

I ATE... While visiting Carcoar, we made a reservation at Tonic, in nearby Milthorpe. As you can imagine, the menu makes the best of the regional produce and I am always blown away by how good the dining is in this part of Australia.

Equally well known for its use of seasonal produce is Bells at Killcare. We ate here earlier in the month courtesy of a Christmas gift, and it was such a treat to cosy up with a glass of wine and three beautiful courses.

The two dining experiences got us thinking about all the really memorable meals we've eaten, mostly because as beautiful as the food and experience was at Tonic and Bells at Killcare, a few weeks later when trying to recall the dishes we'd chosen, neither of us could remember each course.

Rather, the memorable meals of years past was often because of who we were with, the occasion or the place.

I OP SHOPPED... I made a couple of dedicated op shopping trips this month to update my winter wardrobe and, boy, was I handsomely rewarded for digging through those op shop racks. I've worn most of my finds now, including this glorious Ken Done jumper and am having a lot of fun mixing them up with what's already in my closet.

I MADE... a committed effort not to start any new projects and concentrate on what's half done and waiting to be finished. Last night that saw me weaving in the ends of a knitted vest and knitting one of the two armhole bands. I've got another band to knit and some seaming to do and that one will be done. There's a whole other knitted cardigan that I've been putting off finishing, mostly because of the enormity of the band that needs to be added around the front and across the neck. It's nearly 200 stitches. Sheesh.

I READ... I have a bedside table groaning under the weight of books, all of them with bookmarks sticking out in places, but I've not managed to finish anything this past month. I need to pick one up and just keep at it, then move to the next, then the next. 

MOVING UPDATE: We're housebound and won't be moving to our little unit any time soon. The quotes to repair everything in one go are sizable, and there's a bunch of other family reasons we're not making the move just yet, or perhaps never. For the moment we're renewing things to a livable standard to put the place back on the rental market. It's a blow, but it's the way we've decided to go.

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  1. Oh those restaurants Katie! I could happily sit down and enjoy and meal and a glass of wine at either of them right now. Stay warm.