While the Cats Away, the Mice Did Play, Weemila – 8th February 2019

After a little sleep in, we walked to the main house from our granny flat to see what plans were afoot for the day. We walked in to find just Nigel there who told us that Ali and her mum Jan had gone into town. Jan is in her early 80’s and still plays tennis twice a week – she puts many of us to shame. So they had gone in for the tennis and a few other tasks.

Nigel had been given strict instructions by both of them to rest as he has a medical condition that tires him out. Well, you can guess what we said to Nigel about that!! If he was up for a bit of fun we were there to encourage him – while the cat is away, the mice will play!

They had had some very strong winds a few days back and one of the trees had lost a substantial limb. Nigel was quite keen to cut it all up and get it to the Resource Reclamation Centre- give us a break – it is a bloody dump. So like three very recalcitrant children we grabbed the barrow, big limb cutters and hand saws and headed down to the bottom of the property where the poorly tree was. We did take a seat for Nigel to sit on to have a rest but basically let him go for it.

He was like a kid in a lolly shop. Nigel use to be an Admiral in the Australian Navy so was very structured in how we were to disassemble the branch. Fraser meantime was keen to get out a spreadsheet and set up a Ghant chart. Di just went In all guns blazing. Between the three of us we tore the limb away from the tree and hacked it all up into sizes that would fit in the trailer to go to the dump. It took two hours to do the job and we went back up to the house and were sitting down for a glass of water when the two girl’s reappeared. Think we looked awfully guilty as straight away they wanted to know what we had been up to. Ooops!!!


It was a fun morning and Nigel deserved his midday nap and us our little siesta. We loaded up the trailer with all the detritus and Fraser and Jan took off to the dump whilst Di did some washing and helped around. We had a tour of the garden in the afternoon and we especially wanted to go and see the Wollemi Pine that Nigel and Jan had planted about fifteen years ago.

The Wollemi Pine was only known through fossil records until the Australian species Wollemia nobilis was discovered in 1994 in a temperate rainforest wilderness area of the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales, in a remote series of narrow, steep-sided sandstone gorges 150 km north-west of Sydney.
This location is still undisclosed to the public.

A propagation programme made Wollemi pine specimens available to botanical gardens, first in Australia in 2006 and subsequently throughout the world. When we were in St Andrews, New Brunswick back in September 2018 visiting some gardens there, they had a Wollemi Pine growing which blew us away. In Australia, potted native Wollemi pines have been promoted as a Christmas tree.

We had a cracking thunder storm come over about 5.00pm which rattled the winds and lit up the sky. One clap of thunder brought out a few frightened expletives from a few of us.


We put on our glad rags as we were heading into Robertson to Pizzas in the Mist which has won many awards for their, what else, but stone oven cooked pizzas. Nick meantime had flown from Brisbane to Canberra, picked up his British racing green coloured Jaguar which had been stored at a friends there and drove up to Weemilah. Actually, he was running late and had to meet us at the restaurant.

What Nick wasn’t aware of was that whilst in Canberra we met up with his friends Chris and Paul who were storing his car for him. We made very serious suggestions that we should swap Suzy Suzuki for Jerry Jaguar. Nick always goes on about how good it feels to really drive a car and boy did we have just the vehicle for him to experience that “oh, what a feeling”. Poor Chris and Paul were looking aghast as they felt responsible for the care of Jerry, so we put them out of their misery.

When Nick turned up at 8.15pm we got to enjoy a superb meal and great company. Six very tired bodies got back to Weemilah to just collapse into bed.


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