Coffee Catch-Up #21

If we were having coffee I would tell you that instead of coffee today we were having champagne to celebrate Inspiring Max turning 3 recently. Wow! I can’t believe how quickly that time has flown. When I started I knew nothing about blogging or where this journey would take me but I am so glad I took the plunge and dived head first into the deep blogging pool. I have learnt so much and love the sense of community out there in the blogosphere.

I love it when I connect with new blogs. My geography has also improved as I discover someone from a small country or island I didn’t know existed has visited Inspiring Max. Thanks for being part of my world and I hope our journey continues to deepen.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about our recent visit to Copeland Tops State Conservation Area, just outside Barrington Tops National Park. We walked the Hidden Treasure Loop Track, a 2 hour bush walk through a dry rain forest. The area is an old gold field and is scattered with old mine shafts throughout, so it is essential to stick to the path or risk serious harm or death. The highlight of our walk was Hidden Treasure mine entrance. Despite it being sealed up, with the help of flash photography we could see the old quartz seams that had once held gold. It was quite spectacular in its natural forest surroundings, but I wouldn’t have wanted to walk that distance to work every day.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I am enjoying working in my garden at our new house. I have always wanted to develop a vegetable and herb garden, but I’ve never had the time to devote to it. Now with only working part-time and not having children to run around my time is my own so I’m hoping to prove I have green thumbs. This week I began by making a herb garden, which so far is going well. I also bought a modern version of the Yates gardening guide to help me prepare for Spring planting. As Winter starts in Australia next week I’ll be planting soon enough. I am interested in any advice you may have of things to do or not do when growing my produce.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about King Street Boutique Motel, the accommodation my husband and I stayed at on our recent trip to Gloucester. It was created from one of the old homes of the area and contained a communal lounge, dining and kitchen area with 4 rooms on each side of the communal real. It was great value and our fellow travelers were friendly. Our room also had a little verandah that overlooked the driveway and from which you could see the  mountains in the background.


If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world? Let me know in the comments.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up


During our trip to Canada my husband and I spent what felt like hours studying and taking photos of flags. Their history interested us greatly and it was so different to our Australian flags. Our biggest problem was getting the wind right to get one flag to fly perfectly. So image our surprise when we looked up and saw these four flags perfectly aligned in the Old Port, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Opposites

In opposition to the modern trade of your usual busy Chinese shopping mall,  Beijing Road Pedestrian Mall, Guangzhou hides a well-kept secret, layers of China’s original trade route the Old Silk Road. Only discovered in 2002,  the remnants over 3 dynasties – Song, Ming and Yuan are encased in glass and I found them fascinating to study and ponder. I remember hearing about the Old Silk Road as a child but I don’t think I realised how much action these roads had seen since the seventh century or the Old Silk Road’s true impact in opening up the world as it was then. Now I understood why I loved reading Marco Polo when I was in primary school as it really was describing a history so different from anything Australia had ever known.



U – Uralla

Uralla is a small town on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, which was established in 1855. The town’s name is Aboriginal and means meeting place. As it happens Uralla is also mid way between Sydney and Brisbane via the inland route.

On our recent road trip we hadn’t planned on stopping long in Uralla, however as we got so distracted along the way looking at the waterfalls, we needed to stop here overnight. This turned into a blessing as we then ended up investigating this interesting area the next morning. And what amazing Australian history we found — the secret gem, McCrossin’s Mill Musuem is situated across the road from Thunderbolt’s Statue. The building is a recently restored 3 storey flour mill built-in 1870 by Samuel McCrossin, one of the first settlers to the area.

Some of the treasures we found in the musuem included:

  • A series of nine paintings by Phillip Pomroy called “The Death of Thunderbolt”, based on the account of Constable Alexander Walker — the detail in these paintings was fascinating
  • A display of farming and household equipment from the early pioneering days
  • A relocated Chinese Joss House form the local Rocky River Gold Fields
  • A display to Australia’s first world champion — rower Edward Trickett
  • Letters home to mother from World War 1 by a local war hero
  • Local goldfield information

These beautiful decorative gates were created by concrete man Antonio Perez Martinez in 1960.

Thunderbolt’s Life and Death Exhibition

Edward Trickett, son of a convict and Australia’s first world champion, a sculler died in Uralla.


T – Thunderbolt

Captain Thunderbolt also know as Frederick Ward was the last of New South Wales bushrangers. In 1863, he escaped from Sydney’s Cockatoo Island prison and began terrorising the high ways and byways of the New England region. Thunderbolt protected himself by living in the massive granite boulder outside of Uralla where he could see for miles. Known as the gentleman bushranger because he never shot anyone and at times shouted his victims drinks, Ward was shot and killed by Constable Alexander Walker on the 25th May 1870 at Kentucky Creek.

Thunderbolt’s Statue in the centre of Uralla

Thunderbolt’s Rocks

Thunderbolt’s Body and the Table he was laid out on

Thunderbolt’s Grave




Fly On The Wall

If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

Owing to my curiosity I was unable to decide on just one moment to spy on—too many options.  Instead I choose an acrostic poem with my various ideas—some are a little out there but the knowledge gained from each experience would have been amazing.

Flying with Amelia Earhart across the Atlantic Ocean as the first woman to go solo

Landing on the moon

Yellowstone’s super-volcano last eruption in 1350 BC

Observing Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel

Normans adventures and conquests

Titanic’s last day

Historic occasion of the Berlin Wall coming down

End of World War II

Womans movement development in the 1970’s

At Gander, Canada the day all planes en route to USA were forced to land there because American airspace was closed as a response to 9/11

Listening to Martin Luthur Kings “I have a dream” speech

Lunch with the royal family just being themselves—no protocol or formalities