Thursday, 26 March 2015

We Love our Coffee

Sponsored by Adam's Coffee Espresso
- the best place in NSW for coffee, bacon and egg rolls and much more  Facebook

Friday, 20 March 2015

Wirrimbirra – Home of the White Waratah

Yes, there IS a White Waratah and it can be found at Wirrimbirra Sanctuary in Bargo NSW.

Wirrimbirra is a flora and fauna sanctuary of over 200 acres of preserved native bushland. The area was originally part of what ws known in colonial times as the 'Bargo Brush' but known and frequented, much longer by the traditional aboriginal peoples including the Dharawal people

The White Waratah is just one of the many unique flora found in the area. A beautiful Dharawal legend tells the story of how the Waratah became red (See the story below)

The volunteer run sanctuary is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of Australia's unique flora and fauna with the focus being on environmental and wildlife education.

Koala Day

As part of its commitment to wildlife education it will be holding a Koala Day on Sunday 12th April 2015 between 10.00am and 3.00pm

Visitors will be able to meet and have photographs taken with a Koala between 11.00am and 12 noon. Talks on the day will feature the dangers Koalas and their habitat are facing.

There will also be Kids Painting Competition featuring Bargo Billy and a jumping castle.

For further information please contact Wirrimbirra Sanctuary,
3105 Remembrance Drive, Bargo
Tel: (02) 4684 1112 Fax: (02) 4684 3120
Bargo is situated in NSW, 94 km south west of Sydney and 3k. off the F5 freeway, between the Picton and Mittagong exits.

Legend of the White Waratah
Our story begins with Wonga the Pigeon who used to live in the bushland with her mate. They would spend their time on the floor of the forest gathering food and had a rule never to get out of one another's sight. They had to stay below the trees because they knew that in the land of the sky lived the Hawk - their deadly enemy.

One day when Wonga and her mate were out looking for food they got separated. Wonga called out to her mate but there was no reply. After searching around the lower branches of the forest Wonga decided that the only hope of finding her mate before dark would be to fly above the trees. She flew towards the tree-tops and into the clear blue sky and started calling for her mate.

Eventually Wonga found her mate way down beneath her but not before the Hawk had spotted her. He had seen Wonga and was hurtling towards her with his strong beak piercing the air. Hawk caught Wonga with a crushing grip from his great brown talons tearing her breast open as he hauled her upwards. Wonga desperately tore herself free from Hawk and plunged downwards towards the forest below.

Unable to fly, she landed bleeding and broken in a patch of waratah bushes. Her blood trickled down onto one of the white waratah flowers. She tried desperately to reach her mate by dragging herself from flower to flower staining each of them a deep red with her blood as she went. Eventually Wonga lost her battle with life and died as she laid upon the waratah bushes.

This is why today most waratah flowers are red, coloured by the blood of Wonga the Pigeon as long ago she flew from flower to flower in search of her mate. Sometimes, although it is very rare, it is still possible to find a white waratah just as they were back in the Dreamtime.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Tea's Terrific (and not just as a drink)

My friend Deborah and I are both English born so we do love a good cuppa and our favourite brand is Yorkshire Tea  (yep, that’s a free plug)

Tea is rich in antioxidants and a relaxing and satisfying hot drink but those little bags on string and the leaves themselves can perform some wonderful remedies for your looks, in your home and out in the garden. It’s not just black tea that has benefits. Green tea and herbal teas are included here.




Beauty, health and first aid

Puffy eyes

This one has been around for years and it still works. Relieve tired eyes by placing cold wet teabags on them as an eye pad for about 20 minutes. It will reduce the puffiness and it great if you have been a teary. It is the tannins in the tea that make it work.

Cool sunburned skin

Most of us a conscious of what an extended time in the hot sun can do to our skin but sometimes we do get caught out. To relieve the stinging pain of sunburn (or other minor burns in the kitchen) some wet teabags on the skin will help. If you have really over done it put some teabags in a bath and soak the pain away

Reduce razor burn

Just like sunburn a wet teabag will soothe razor burn and also those painful little nicks.

Poison ivy

Use a teabag or cotton ball dipped in tea to help ease a poison ivy rash.

Bath time

Green Tea teabags in your bath will make your skin healthier.

Perfume sachets

Love the fragrance of your favourite herbal tea? Keep it with you all the time by making a perfume sachet. Keep your used teabags until you have about three. Open them and spread on newspaper or paper towel to dry and use inside a sachet.

Smelly feet

Plop a few tea bags in a bowl of warm water, put feet in and let the bags do their job for about 20 minutes (I hope my son is reading this!)

Get the grey out

I must admit I haven’t tried this one but if you do let me know if it works. Your own hair dye can be made with tea and fresh herbs. Here are the instruction I found: Into 1 cup of boiling water add 3 teabags and a tablespoon each of fresh or dried rosemary and sage. Let it stand overnight, strain the next morning and put into a clean chemical free spray bottle. Shampoo hair, rinse and spray on the tea mixture evenly and thoroughly. Make sure you are not wearing clothes that can could be stained by the mixture. Do not rinse, simply towel dry. In understand it may take several treatments to finally get rid of the grey.

Conditioner for dry hair

Use a litre of freshly brewed tea to rinse your hair after shampooing

Shiny Hair

Use herbal teas in the same way for extra shine and a fresh fragrance.

Drain a boil

Got one of those horrible boils? It can be drained overnight by putting a wet teabag on it.

Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums from a tooth loss can be painful for a young child. A teabag made wet with cool water placed on the tooth socket will sooth the pain away.


Rinsing your mouth with hot peppermint tea with a couple of pinches of salt added will ease toothache.

Pain from injections

That overseas holiday coming up might be wonderful but if you have to have vaccinations before you go you might be having second thoughts. It is also very stressful when your little one has to have its childhood vaccinations. Hold a freshly dampened teabag over the needle site and hold it there gently until the pain eases.


Rose Fertilizer

Used tea leaves or teabags sprinkled around rosebushes as a mulch during summer. It will release nutrients into the soil during watering and aid their growth.

Pot plants

Placing some used tea bags at the bottom of the pot over the layer of stones or other drainage matter will help your plants retain moisture and also infuse nutrients into the soil.

Feed your ferns

Water indoor plants with the remains of your teapot particularly ferns

Enhance your compost pile

If after all this you still have some tea left add it to your compost. Better still brew it a good strong pot and pour onto the pile. It will help speed up decomposition and attract acid producing bacteria. 


Timber furniture and floors

Make a great cleaning cloth by boiling 3-5 teabags in 1 litre of water. Allow to cool, dip in soft cloth, wring out, wipe over furniture and buff dry with another clean soft cloth.

Get that sparkle back into mirrors

Use the same method as cleaning furniture

And one final tip

To create that “antique” look for white garments or lace put 3 teabags to 2 cups of boiling water and allow to steep for 20 minutes. When cool soak the fabric for about 10mins adjust the time to the desired darkness