Monday, July 11, 2011

A Memory Maker of a Weekend in Sydney Australia

Hi All
I have just had the best weekend.  Quite often our weekends are all over the place, because Mr Beach House works on Saturday and sails on Sunday and I have to tell you I hate that he is only around for little snippets of the two days.  A bike ride with the kids here, a quick coffee there, but the planets aligned perfectly this weekend.  It's high Winter here so the boat building business is almost in hibernation and even though he sailed on Saturday, I was busy with the Beach House Brats at my mum's.  So what if we have slow cash flow, who cares, we spent the whole of Sunday together as a family and it was such a luxury for us.  I even found myself thanking him this morning for a great time!!!

Now Mr Beach House navigates the world by way of its yacht clubs and so taking him into the geographical centre of Sydney, where there is no coast line, let alone any yacht clubs of note, makes him very nervous.  But yesterday I insisted.  You see he is off to San Francisco in a few months for a regatta, so I am playing the 'you've got to spend some time  with the family before you go off on your bachelor lifestyle' card.

I absolutely love Australian history or any history really and so we visited Old Government House in Parramatta. I hadn't been there since I was a child.  A very dear friend told me the other day that her family never went anywhere when they were kids,  no picnics, no family adventures and it really made her sad.  That really inspired me to make some memories with my own children this weekend. We picnicked by the Parramatta River, on simple fare amongst these lovely views.

I remember saying to Mr Beach House this feels very French to me.  What was not French about it, was that we  were not permitted to take any photographs inside this lovely home, even though we had a wonderful private tour with a gorgeous volunteer.  The French have so many gorgeous antiquities, that to me, they are much more open about how people are allowed to love them.

Old Government House was only saved because it was leased by a school for 50 years.  They boarded up much of the beautiful features and it has only been by luck that they have been saved.  I have to tell you it was thrilling to be standing in the room where the Rum Rebellion was born and where other important political decisions that shaped this nation where taken.
If you want details of how to get to Old Government House in Parramatta and what to do there, go here
It definitely worth a visit.
There is even a night ghost tour once a month and on Halloween.

So that was my Sunday, as for Saturday it was a fabulous day as well.  I picked up the Beach House Brat from his grandmother's.  She gave me a leave pass and looked after the kiddos, whilst I went off to photograph a whole suburb...... but that is another post altogether.

When I arrived home, I challenged my mother to make a Winter garden posy.  I still call her house 'home', as it was the one I was born into.   So with one of her beautiful pieces of living art in mind, I waltzed around her garden to find anything I could, that would make a pretty bouquet.

This is a beautiful indigenous made basket that mum has had forever.  It has held many things over the years, but on Saturday it was fresh produce from her Winter garden.
I chose a beautiful vase that she bought many years ago at a jumble sale.  The under side just said 'hand painted'.
This is what my mum came up with.  She was a flight attendant from Melbourne in the 1950's, but based in Sydney.  She used to organise her roster so that she would end up in Melbourne to do a floral course one day a week.  I asked her why she did the course, when she was already living her flying dream.  She replied that she had ambitions of becoming a florist but it never happened as marriage and kids got in the way.  I can however, remember mum always having beautiful home grown flowers throughout the house as I was growing up.

Even the chairs are upholstered in a floral print here in the back ground, so they were and continue to be everywhere in my childhood home.

And that dear reader, was my memory maker of a Winter weekend.  One that I hope to replicate often and not forget in a hurry.

Today I am linked up with


  1. It sounds like a wonderful weekend. Beautiful photos!

  2. I enjoyed reading about your winter weekend in Sydney. Your mom is talented at flower arranging. What she created is so pretty.

  3. govt house looks like a nice spot. the flowers in the basket are beautiful and i especially love the 1st photo!
    cheryl x

  4. What a pretty place. Looks like everyone had a good time. Beautiful flowers, and children!
    Dropping by from Met Monday. I'll hope you'll come see the nursery I helped create for my first grandchild.


  5. Your mum did a beautiful job arranging her flowers. I love the first photo, too.

  6. What a lovely family weekend, I love weekends like that too. Your Mum did a gorgeous display with the flowers. Have a great week Carolyn. Leahx

  7. I does sound like a lovely weekend, I miss those days, now my children are older they do things with their friends now... although we are all off to see Harry Potter soon together x

  8. Your pictures are so gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing a part of your beautiful country.

  9. What lovely photos, Carolyn - hope you're having a fabulous week.


  10. What a beautiful weekend! Days are always better when they're spent with those you love. Gorgeous flowers, by the way.

  11. Absolutely gorgeous post! I love the photos! And you're so sweet thanking your husband!

  12. My family also like to visit Australian history or any history, and because of it we went Old Government House in Parramatta. It is full of greenery.

  13. This looks lovely! How wonderful for you to be able to spend such a great time with family - the flowers are lovely - children are precious!

  14. How interesting. In 1871 my Great Great Grandmother was accommodated here with her family after her husband George Henry Rowley carked it - he was the Magistrate at Hartley Courthouse - had a massive coronary "at the bench". Previous to that he was the Magistrate at Berrima - you know the old gaol and Court House in the Southern Highlands?

    He gets a mention here -

    " Governor and Lady Mary FitzRoy visited the country districts in order to acquire a personal knowledge of the wants and capabilities of the part of the country visited. On November 12, 1846, they paused with their suite at Hartley on their way to Bathurst. Lieutenant-Colonel Mundy, a member of the party, describing the landscape from the Pass of Victoria wrote: "The valley on the left looked dark, desolate, and wholly uninhabited; on the right lay the smiling Vale of Clwydd and the little township of Hartley, upon which the road drops as gently as could possibly be contrived by human art.

    "Ere we reached this highland hamlet we came upon a considerable body of horsemen, who, saluting, his Excellency with loud and hearty cheers, so astonished our horses, if not ourselves, as nearly to drive the whole cavalcade over the precipice. In a cloud of dust, and with wild huzzas, they closed around us, and bore us away to the Court-House, where the usual duel of address and reply was instantly and warmly engaged in by the authorities of the place and the Governor. As we drove down the hill, with our loyal and uproarious escort galloping alongside, an individual spurring at my elbow suddenly disappeared, horse and man, over the edge of a rude bridge into a watercourse below. Not one of his townsmen pulled up - no one even looked behind; my servant however dropped from the carriage and ran to his assistance. The indifference of his companions was at once explained. He was only a negro!",_New_South_Wales

    1. That is so awful, but typical of the period.

      Funny you are descended from magistrates, Freddy's Great Great Grandfather was a magistrate in Goulburn around the same time. They also had a land grant in Neutral Bay and built Redlands House, now the school, Redlands. Sadly the house was pulled down.


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