Miz Lizzie Adventures: Coast and country

I suffer from deep verandah envy.

That’s deep envy of deep verandahs, in case you were wondering about the ambiguity. Yesterday, we visited our friends down the coast a little. Dale is a blogging friend, and a while ago she and her husband made the brave leap from city life in Sydney to live permanently in their country bolt hole. Like any so-called idyllic setting, it has its downsides (30kms to the nearest bank/post office/supermarket, zero mobile phone signal, etc), but the sheer beauty of their surroundings, the peacefulness and the community around them are a worthy pay-off for these minor inconveniences. But what really seals the deal for me is their house. She’s a traditional Australian wooden house on stumps, high-ceilinged and with spacious rooms that nearly all open onto the verandah. And oh, what a verandah!

A great deal of their living is done there: working, eating, snoozing, Skyping friends, playing with the dog and simply gazing out at the green glory of their view. I adore that house, I would kill for that verandah, and I love spending time there, admiring the hard work they’ve put into the house and garden, the epic vegetable cage he has built to keep the marauding local wildlife out of the vegies, the enormous passionfruit vine with the biggest, shiniest fruit dangling from it that I’ve ever seen. All that…. It reminds why I first went to live in northern NSW, and why it’s still one of my most favourite spots on earth.

The air is full of birdsong there, and not much other noise, and though I was unable to capture the female Fairy Wrens that were hopping about and twittering loudly, I did manage a shot of this Eastern Spinebill feeding from the tubular red flowers of the grevillea. The sun caught his back at just the right moment, and his normally rather slatey blue back feathers gleam with iridescence.

And finally, no day here is complete without my walk on the beach. It was twilight when I got there, the moon was bright, the sky was clear and pristine, and the sun had just left the waves. I sat on a dead tree embedded in the sand and just absorbed it…

Today is going to be a moderately quiet day. We have some shopping to do, and are going to scope out the venue for this year’s motorbike rally in October, which is happening some 130kms up the coast from here. Miz Lizzie will wait in the sunshine for us to get home and for me to get tonight’s curry started…

Another beautiful day ahead. Life is hell…!


33 thoughts on “Miz Lizzie Adventures: Coast and country

  1. I too have deep envy of deep verandas. I love Dale’s for the wide planked floors, scrollwork, and entirely unpretentious furniture. The peace of the place comes right through your pictures.

    • katechiconi says:

      I wish I could communicate the gentle breeze, warm sunshine and birdsong… Those weathered boards in the floor are full of character, and they’re resisting all suggestions by well-meaning others to replace them with something nice and tidy and neat!

  2. knitnkwilt says:

    I could get used to living there!

  3. Chris S in Canada says:

    I have had that same kind of envy for years. What a beautiful extension to their living space.

    Here in Canada, even thought I am nearly at the most southern point, the big guy and I would only be able to get good use of a verandah for a limited portion of the year. So perhaps my envy is as much about where the verandah is geographically. Ah well, I guess I could sit out in my snow suit, couldn’t I?

    Chris S in Canada

    • katechiconi says:

      Perhaps you could have one of those propane outdoor heaters, and if you glazed one end of the verandah to keep out the prevailing wind, it might not be too bad…? But on the whole, I think you probably need to move to Australia!

      • Chris S in Canada says:

        We’ve been in this house nearly 15 years, it had not seen much love for a while, so there have been many things we’ve needed to work on. A porch or veranda just hasn’t been in the budget – so as much thought as I have put into it, I know it won’t happen. I’m OK with that.

        Think I’ll put my money (once I save my pennies – again) into a Miss Lizzie, if I can find one.

        Australia is a long-held dream, but by the time our duties to elderly family members have ended, I think it might be too late. I’ll just keep dreaming and reading your blog.

        Chris S in Canada

      • katechiconi says:

        We’ll just cross our fingers that you win the lottery or something lovely like that….

  4. First my question. What is “country bolt hole”? Don’t think I’ve ever heard that expression. Second, I would be in deep envy too. It was on my list of wants when I bought my own home 3 years ago. Mine is not so grand and we are packed in here almost shoulder to shoulder, but I have a verandah. I wanted people to come and sit a spell having a glass of wine or tea and chat a bit. I’m too old and infirmed to be living alone away from a community so I make the best of this. Maybe one day you can build one if you don’t have one. Keep on enjoying your travels though.

    • katechiconi says:

      A bolt hole is defined as:
      ‘A second home, etc. where a person can go to escape the stresses of everyday life.’ This house is in the country, as opposed to their former life in the heart of Sydney.
      I have an enclosed porch to one side of our house, but it lacks the character and spaciousness of this verandah. A place to gather with friends is always needed 🙂

      • Thanks for explaining. I guess we all have odd phrases. Mine is called a porch too. Covered but not enclosed. I so wish it was.

      • katechiconi says:

        Mine has wall to waist height, and then glass louvres to the roof. It’s on the sunny side, so lovely for winter sitting, but terribly hot in the summer. I suppose lovely half the year is ok…

  5. Haha… that downside is our upside… on good days. We enjoy our village, like being close but out of the bigger nearby town, and rarely miss its conveniences.
    It’s nice to see our humble place through other eyes and words. Thank you. You’re welcome any time.

    • katechiconi says:

      To each her own! I need to feel I’m not too isolated, and I certainly need to be closer to a fabric shop, hee hee! If I could have your house, but half the distance out, I’d certainly seriously consider it. Thank you so much for the lovely time we spent with you both, for the chance to meet Diesel Dog, and for the delicious lunch. We’ll see you both again later this year!

  6. Verandah envy. I get it now. I think I’d probably want to sleep out there as well. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I believe that sofa has seen some serious snoozing! But yes, I think over the years the verandah has been used for many a sleep-out in hot weather.

  7. […] of the talltalesfromciconia blog and her husband Mr C came for a visit yesterday, and has some lovely words to say and photographs to show on her blog about our corner of the […]

  8. Debbierose says:

    Wow definitely see why you are envious. Lovely

  9. nanacathy2 says:

    Oh I too have verandah envy. I love the ones shown in American films with rocking chairs. Worth moving house for. Have another great day.

  10. Now I have veranda envy too!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a harmless enough vice 🙂
      But you do have a very nice limery that fulfils some of the same functions… Sadly most of my outdoor spaces are too hot to linger in during the summer.

  11. dayphoto says:

    I suffer from a deep envy of your whole beautiful world! BUT!!! BUT I get to share with You!

  12. What a lovely place to live (and to visit). That is indeed a fabulous veranda. What a lush view!

  13. rutigt says:

    I fully understand why you love that veranda! Who wouldn´t 🙂 I wish I had one too!

  14. magpiesue says:

    You’re not the only one suffering from envy! And not just verandas!

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