As Paul’s wonderful stretch of long service leave enters its final weeks and as the school holidays slip away, I’m finding myself desperate to make the most of every last minute of precious family time we have available to spend together.
Yesterday we returned home from four days spent down south in Denmark. Four days of slowing down and soaking in the magic and beauty of this town, a picturesque retreat where the forest meets the sea and where our hearts feel at home... a place that we all love and that I know will be a part of our future for many years to come…
Arriving on Sunday afternoon, the air was brisk and had a definite feel of autumn. Chillier temperatures than we’d left in Perth called for jackets and beanies and the lighting of a wood fire, a nightly ritual which created a cosy atmosphere in our little cottage as it continued to glow well into the night. Winter pyjamas and slippers made an appearance and morning snuggles in bed together were enjoyed.
Days were spent visiting favourite haunts, exploring the stunning forests and farmland and simply relaxing. Nights were spent soaking in the peace and quiet, sipping on tea and nibbling dark chocolate (wine and dark chocolate for Paul). After dinner and with the girls tucked in bed, we would read. The only interruption to the silence was the crackling of the fire. It was refreshing to experience such stillness as opposed to nights back home spent in front of the television or with my laptop nearby.
One of my highlights of this visit was the delicious lunch we enjoyed at The Lake House… a winery with not only a stunning view and gardens, but also with exquisite food and wines. Paul and I shared a tasting plate, filled with such amazing produce and paired with such flavoursome condiments, that I’ve been singing the praises of that dish ever since…
Grace’s highlight was without a doubt the Denmark Animal Farm where we spent most of Tuesday morning. We were all pleased to see that the missing koala who had escaped from her cage when we last visited had since been returned to her mate after a neighbouring farmer heard her cries in the bush one kilometre away.
It was so sweet watching the girls interact with the farm animals. Camera in hand, I snapped away as Grace gently embraced joeys and lambs. She exuded such confidence feeding even the larger animals such as horses and alpacas, and tenderly stroked guinea pigs and kids. In stark contrast, Sophie was petrified of pretty much every animal except for the chickens and the camel. As we encouraged her to feed the sheep and pat the rabbits, she would answer with a stern ‘NO’ and spent most of our two hour visit with a furrowed brow, clinging to Paul’s shoulder, a look of definite concern on her face.