In early January, we went to the Cathedral Rocks National Park and it rained for the whole four days we were there. Camping in the rain is not very fun, although the kids had a great time riding their bikes through all the mud! We managed to keep the inside of our tents dry which was a blessing for sleeping, and we did a lot of nature walks, reading, and playing cards.
Cathedral Rocks National Park
One of the highlights was accidentally discovering a trout breeding facility that did self-guided tours. The guy who ran the place was one of those people who was very enthusiastic about his niche special interest. He introduced us to his favourite fish – a Murray Cod who followed the sound of his voice – and showed us around. When kid4 slipped over in the mud, he helped wash her off with a garden hose, and patched up her cut knee with a band aid.
We also enjoyed the walk to the longest/tallest waterfall in NSW, although it’s a bit interesting because it curls around a cliff and you can see half of it at a time.
I put a bunch of photos on my Instagram, which autoposts to my Facebook page, so you can check them out there.
After all the rain at Cathedral Rocks, we drove north through Grafton where we rented a very cheap motel room to get clean, do some laundry, and fill up the water tank in the trailer, before heading to the next camping spot at Black Rocks. The weather on the coast was completely different to inland, so we had several days of sunshine to dry out all our gear and generally have a wonderful time with the kid’s cousins, swimming in the ocean and in a river, and playing more cards.
Me (Renee Dahlia) at Black Rocks beach.
I read so many books while we were camping (the best kind of relaxing!). All links are Amazon affiliated. Highlights include: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel, Backwards to Oregon, Last Night at the Telegraph Club, and a re-read of Rachel Reid’s hockey series (again). Heated Rivalry: A Gay Sports Romance (Game Changers Book 2) must be one of the most re-read books out there (at least if you follow any romance bloggers on Twitter!).
But like the ad says: Wait, there’s more. We spent a week at home, as the older two kids had representative cricket games to go to, and we needed to sleep in our own beds, etc. It wasn’t all fun and roses, as our washing machine decided to die. It was under warranty so the people sent out someone, only to declare that the suspension rods were broken. What? And worse – they couldn’t fix it for two weeks. Let me tell you something… six people create a lot of laundry! I did the essentials at the laundramat, then we went camping again, so the washing maching problem could get ignored for a week.
This time we camped at Depot Beach, south of Sydney, with a group of friends. Most of the kids used to go to the same primary school, and now that we camp together each year, it’s become like a big group of cousins. One thing I really enjoyed this year was having live music. A couple of our friends are in bands and they always bring a guitar or two, so the entire week was filled with live music. Either an adult playing something well, or a kid having a bash, or someone teaching someone else. I’d forgotten how much I missed live music. Damn pandemic.
We came home to a pile of laundry, and still two days before the parts and technician arrived to fix the machine. Eventually, it was all sorted – and thankfully before school went back.
Now we are getting back into a routine – the kids are at school in person for the moment, the rep cricket team won the quarter final on Sunday, so we have (hopefully) two weeks to go with semis next Sunday and fingers crossed, the final after that if they win the semi. Their win in the quarterfinal this week was against the team who’d won the championship last year; and we’d expected a hard game, but managed to win easily which was thrilling.
I’m juggling family, my day job, and writing new stuff. What am I working on? A new mm series set around Gambledale Racing, a Formula One car racing team. I’m also doing a couple of regency anthologies later this year – and I still need to write one of those stories. The break away from the computer (and social media) was very refreshing and I’m keen to write and create new stories!
Until then, you can grab my latest releases – the Seraph’s Burlesque Club series – starting with Show Up.