Spring in in The Air
Considering all the rain we have had, it’s hard to believe we would have any sense of Spring. This is not the case though at the Dritmantis home in Galston. Two weeks ago two cute little lambs appropriately named Ebony and Ivory were born and only a week ago Shorn (excuse the pun). These cute frisky lambs are a delight to watch frolicking around in their green pasture. It brings new meaning to “Spring has Sprung”. Congratulations to the Dritmantis Family on their new additions.
Contributed by Debbie Amos images Tom Sacca from Infinite Media

Into Africa
When my husband and I decided to join a ‘group tour’ of Africa I wasn’t quite sure what we would be in for, but it far exceeded my expectations.

What followed was an epic journey in tiny planes, covering parts of Namibia, Victoria Falls, Botswana and finishing with a few leisurely days in Cape Town.

We hiked into the second largest canyon in the world, Fish River Canyon which was a tough 17km hike over boulders and dried river beds. The scenery in Namibia was literally out of this world. We flew over red deserts, white deserts, stone deserts and at times it felt like we were not on earth! We covered the largest sand dunes in the world in the Sossuvlei Desert. We were taught about the stars, constellations and planets in the special observatory and looking through the telescope felt we could almost touch them. Our helicopter ride over Victoria Falls and the sunset boat cruise on the Zambesi River was just sensational.

Next stop was Khwai Community area in Botswana and our 3 day safari which, at times, left me in awe as we got up close and personal with leopards, elephants, lions, (and cubs), hippo’s, zebras and many other animals. One of my highlights was listening to the sound of the lion roar in the still of the night only 20 metres from our tent!

We rode on quad bikes to the middle of the Makgadikgadi Pans, a huge salt pan desert and slept in a swag under the bright stars and watched the International Space Station pass over us. At dawn, we were awoken by the most beautiful sunrise before we jumped back on our quad bikes and headed back to join a family of Meerkats as they searched for their breakfast!

This holiday was energetic, beautiful and varied. The people we met, the culture and tradition we learnt will stay in our hearts forever. It has now whet my appetite for further travel to this amazing continent.

Steam Yard Cafe
The Steam Yard Cafe new owners, Michael and Christina are thrilled that they are officially threaded into our community and they sincerely appreciate the welcoming warm response from customers.

Thank you George and Brigette for your friendly and courteous service and for the care you took in creating each coffee, the extra love was noticed and appreciated. You will both be missed but, no doubt, with your 5 boys life will be still be busy. I am positive that Christina and Michael will consolidate your great work.

An Unforgettable Experience
Have you ever been to Tobruk Sheep Station at Maroota? If not, consider going there. My Mum, niece and I went yesterday and had such a wonderful and informative experience. Along with a group of about 60 year 4 children from Kenthurst Public School, a tourist group from Hong Kong and a young family, we met Tash and Bill ( and the other staff ), horses , dogs ,a cow, ducks, a cat and lots of sheep. Our leader, Tash was so humorous and an amazing Jillaroo sheep shearer.

With damper (of course with Golden Syrup ) and Billy Tea early, a full and hearty Aussie BBQ lunch, we were well fed.

My Mum is 89, my niece is 12 and I am in between – we three had a great time and all the school children and other visitors obviously did too.

I’d recommend you look up Tobruk Sheep Station online and book in to visit, or even Farm Stay there in the historic homestead . For me the day was a perfect place for a Stockman to visit! Contributed by Christine Stockman

Dural Toastmasters
Dural Toastmasters has just celebrated it’s 40th anniversary which is a significant milestone for any community group. Toastmasters is an International club which promotes the development of public speaking skills. When I was establishing my celebrancy business I realised that I should polish my speaking skills and so I became a member of the Dural Club. It was an invaluable experience as it not only supported my public speaking development but gave my confidence through practice. Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, 7 pm at the Dural Country Club. Toastmasters is a little like interactive theatre where you get to develop skills, confidence, establish friendships while being totally engaged and entertained.

20th anniversary
My husband, Peter and I have been together for 23 years and we recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. It’s funny how I always quote how long we have been together as opposed to how long we have been married…I just did it again. I am extremely proud of reaching our 20 year anniversary as our marriage is the second for both of us. We each had children within our first marriages, Peter had 2 and I had 5 so much of our married life has been traversing the blending of everything.

Peter is definitely the more romantic partner in our relationship and everyday he makes me feel loved and cherished but together we aren’t very good at acknowledging our anniversaries and some years the day has passed without either of us remembering. Even if we do remember we are not in the habit of gift giving or dining out.

This year was different for a start we both remembered….hooray. “I have a surprise for you”, “an anniversary gift to acknowledge 20 years of marriage”…….I couldn’t have been more delighted or excited by his choice, from behind his back he revealed ‘his’ and ‘hers’ matching plastic garden rakes, which he found at Bunnings for $8 each. I loved my gift and we laughed about simple treasures and simple pleasures.

Pete you are my everyday hero, thank you for your enduring love and support.

Presents from Patients
Since we opened at Round Corner two years ago (time flies!), we have been truly spoilt by some very generous patients. Out of their own pockets and gardens, we’ve received fresh produce including locally grown veggies, delicious honey and beautiful posies of flowers. We are even lucky enough to have a patient who brings something for us every time she visits, and it just brightens up our day. Once it was a box of pastries for morning tea (Dr. Roy got to them first, and tried to hide the evidence of his crime…but we found the crumbs). Our patients feel like family, and we are so grateful that we are lucky enough to be surrounded by such a thoughtful and friendly community. There is still some country kindness alive in the world, and we love it. Thank you for making us smile (couldn’t resist a dental pun!)
– The team at Round Corner Dental