Weekend Coffee Share… 17th July, 2018.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

This week, I’m retracting all my boasts about the balmy warmth of a Sydney Winter, and will let you know you’d better bring a big thick woolly blanket when you come to visit me this week. Indeed, last night, I not only dug the scout blanket out of storage, I put a beanie and woolen gloves on before going to bed AND jacked my electric blanket up to high. It only warms the bottom side and cool air was chilling my head through the window and one blanket and a doona were no longer enough over the top. I think I saw that it was actually 18°C today. So, you probably take me for an absolute wimp. However, the houses here aren’t central heated or prepared for the cold and are better suited to letting out the heat. That’s great for about 10-11 months in the year but then there’s that last month of Winter that really reminds you you’re alive and Winter isn’t such a myth after all.

So, what have you been up to?

Last week, I headed up to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains West of Sydney to stay with a cousin. We’re not exactly first cousins. Rather, we’re what I call “family history cousins” and my 4 x Great Grandfather and her Great Grandfather were brothers who came from the island of Islay in the Scottish Hebrides. I contacted her recently to fill her in on all my discoveries of bigamy, divorce and other intrigues, and she told me a cousin had dropped off two albums of photos dating back to the 1880s and invited me to stay. I was off. Didn’t need to be asked twice. I don’t like leaving people without a name, especially when such old photos are so rare and precious.

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A page from the historic family photo album showing Angus Rutherford Johnston & James Campbell.

Blackheath is in the Upper Blue Mountains and Sydney-siders have called it Bleakheath due to its “freezing” temperatures for generations. Blackheath locals call themselves “Blackheathens”. They sound like a dangerous bunch but are actually rather harmless. Indeed, there’s a strong creative community thriving in the area, along with an outpost of one of my favourite bookshops: Glee Books. Yes, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I spotted that and of course I bought a stack more books despite having piles and piles of books back here at home that I’ve never read.

Above:A family visit to the Paragon Cafe in 2011.

On the way home from Blackheath, I stopped off at Katoomba, which is home to the Three Sisters, a famous rock formation. However, since it was school holidays and I didn’t want to go into a full frontal assault with the tourists, I didn’t head down to the lookout and simply planned to buy some chocolates from the famous Paragon Cafe. However, much to my horror, the cafe closed about 6 mouths ago. I am seriously hoping the place re-opens. It’s been there since 1916 and with his historic art deco wood paneling features classical icons, it’s a relic from a by-gone era.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to cut our coffee short as it’s getting rather late and I should get this up before it’s too late.

How was your week? I’d love to hear from you!

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

 

3 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share… 17th July, 2018.

  1. maxwellthedog

    It’s been so hot here that I don’t recognize what the word “cold” even means any more. Sounds like you had a good trip. I’ve been in the Blue Mountains a number of times and always enjoyed my visits in that very scenic area. Great photos, too!

  2. NorCal Zen

    Oo wow! Old photos in that kind of quality is a rare treat. It’s interesting to know more about your roots. I found out a great deal of new information about my own family last weekend, from one of my cousins, and her boyfriend. I appreciate knowing more about my past. I sounds like you had an amazing time.

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