Saturday 10 July 2010 – Berrima

Catching up on some earlier weekend walks

This is going to be the earliest “weekend walk” I post here. Once again, it’s more of a drive.

On Saturday 10 July we travelled to Berrima to meet my sister, Fiona, and her family for a picnic lunch. It was the middle of the school holidays and the day after Dac’s birthday. I’d been unable to get to Sydney for my niece Amy’s birthday on 15 June, so this was our chance to catch up “halfway”. I was pleased when we reached Berrima in a mere two hours – even more pleased to be able to get out of the car, straighten up, and stagger about.

This is an interactive map: if you click on the B pointer, close the resulting information window, and zoom in (plus sign) about 6x, using the pan arrows to keep Berrima in the middle of the map (all this is easier than it sounds), you’ll see the streets of Berrima. We’d arranged to meet in the first little park on the left. Dac and I arrived  from Canberra at almost exactly the same time as Fiona & Co arrived from Sydney, but they stopped in the main part of the town to look for a bakery. Meanwhile, Dac and I wandered around near the park, where there were numerous antique shops and galleries.

I enjoy looking at old stuff but, as with markets, I hardly ever feel inclined to buy anything. All those years with no money! It’s only four years since I stopped spending all my “disposable” income on cigarettes, so I’m still not used to voluntary spending.

Also, it’s hard to accept that things that were commonplace in your childhood are now antiques! Household items from the 1950s have scant appeal for me because of my memories of the time. Born in 1950, I found it a grey, oppressive, uniform decade, and the design spiky and try-hard. (The opposite of hyggelig!)

By the time we’d looked at a couple of places, Fiona had turned up, with Coco in tow – a friend’s dog they were minding for the holidays. Coco is the sort of dog that makes people stop in the street to say “Awwwwwww!” I thought he was very sweet, with his smiling face and little coat and fluffy tail, but he wasn’t happy out of sight of Fiona, as we discovered when we took turns minding him so she could go into a pottery shop.

(It was a very nice pottery shop and I very nearly bought something. Outside with Coco, I contemplated the fact that everyone – visiting pet and all – wants Fiona’s attention all the time.  Including me, of course. It’s hard work and she is mostly very gracious about it, which I suppose is one of the reasons everyone wants her attention all the time.)

Eventually Ricky arrived, with Amy and Daniel, and we had our picnic in the park. It was a chilly day and kept trying to rain, but we managed to finish lunch (mostly provided by Fiona) without getting too wet.

Amy & Coco; Amy & Fiona; Dac; Ricky & Daniel

Lunch in the park

Clockwise from top left: Amy and Coco; Amy and Fiona; Ricky and Daniel; Dac.

The next thing was to lay hands on a cuppa. Tea for me, cappucino for Fiona, and assorted cold drinks for everyone else. (Weirdos!) After a few misunderstandings, and a bit of chasing the dog, we assembled outside a cafe over the road. This is where Fiona revealed the birthday cake she’d made for Dac.

Dac and Fiona with the birthday cake Fiona made for Dac

Dac's birthday cake, made (and cut) by Fiona

It was a chocolate mud cake with white chocolate buttons, and it was delicious. Fiona does professional cake decorating, so it was very nice of her to make this one for Dac. Wisely she hadn’t made it in the shape of, say,  something out of City of Heroes, because we lost no time in devouring great chunks of it.

Amy with Coco, Fiona & Val

Amy with Coco, Fiona & Val

After cake and cuppas, we decided to have a look round in the main part of Berrima. A couple more photos before we went:

Daniel, Val & Fiona; Daniel & Coco

Daniel, Val & Fiona; Daniel & Coco

There are many shops in Berrima, contained in many charming old buildings. The last time I was there, many years ago with Fiona and Helen, we went into the gift shop at the gaol and one of the prisoners tried to chat Fiona up. He was a Frenchman and so perhaps accustomed to being regarded as romantic, but in the circumstances it was a tiny bit scary!

The children were interested in the old-style lolly shop, but my attempt to join them in there was short-lived – it was very crowded, and I don’t cope well with being bumped. Berrima is a very popular place. Outside the lolly shop:

Daniel, Amy & Ricky in Berrima

Daniel, Amy & Ricky in Berrima

We had a more pleasant time in Bramber Cottage, looking at assorted pretty things. As usual, I couldn’t make up my mind to buy anything. Rest assured I’ll be blogging about it if I ever do!

Three o’clock came round and I needed to hit the road. Two hours to Canberra – any later and I’d be driving in the dark. Apparently I have incipient cataracts: certainly I don’t see as well in low light as I’d like to. They’re not bad enough to fix yet. :-/

It’s always hard saying goodbye to my sister. She’s one of the lights of my life and it would be really good to live closer to each other – or for me to be a better traveller.

Val and Fiona

Val and Fiona

On the way home, Dac and I decided to stop at Collector for afternoon tea. My friend Jo had said there was somewhere nice in Collector. “Send her a text and find out the name,” I told Dac. He fished my phone out of my handbag and sent off a message – unfortunately to the wrong J. Soon we got a reply from Julie, politely unmystified, saying there was somewhere nice in Collector, but she and Carl couldn’t remember what it was called.

So we left the highway at Collector anyway, and the first place we came to was The Daily Pie:

Situated in the relic of an old ‘Golden Fleece’ roadhouse in the Village of Collector, New South Wales, Australia, The Daily Pie is a Cafe / Pie shop with a difference; – encased in decorative Metal Art.

– from the blog about the creation of their cafe. They also have a website.

It was a fortunate choice: excellent pies in interesting surroundings, and a good cup of tea as well. I was particularly taken with the polished concrete floor, patterned with swathes of oil and rust from its days as the floor of a garage.

We were home before dark, and in good time to feed the always-importunate pusses. Some time later a text arrived from Jo, saying that the Collector cafe she’d mentioned had closed down.

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