I love that we can organise this sort of feast in less than a day. After a few phone calls we had a time, the location and everyone was going to bring something along (mostly from their own vegetable gardens). Aren't the best parties spontaneous? I also loved that one of our friends parents were visiting from Andorra, so we got to meet them, and our other friends had some visitors from France so they came too. We got to the hut early and swept out our bedroom moved in the picnic table, laid a cloth and put out some cutlery and plates and that was that.
So what did we feast on? Slow cooked then bbq'd lamb shoulder (so good we have to do it again this weekend), hummus, beetroot dip, cucumber, mint and yoghurt salad, radish and zucchini salad, green salad, olives, zucchini, tomato and cheese salad, and pitta bread. We drank bubbles and home brew beer. The five dogs lay sleeping in the shade around us. Alot of the conversation was in French as more than half the guests were fluent. I only know a few words but that didn't matter, it was fantastic to hear it, and either a hand gesture or translation allowed us to understand eachother!
We moved onto a cheese course (Tasmanian of course) and then thought before dessert a little mid afternoon walk was needed. Rob had cut a path in the long grass to the dam, so the five dogs all got to cool down and chase sticks and then shake muddy water all over us.
Moving back to the table we had my birthday cake, Maggie Beer's cumquat cake from Maggie's Harvest. Unfortunately we didn't take a photo. But it was a beautiful thing. A dense vanilla cake with a filling of sauterne soaked dried cumquats and the most amazing orange scented buttercream icing. We decorated it simply with a a few leaves, flowers and fruit from our cumquat tree. The table went quiet as we ate.
Afterwards we sat outside in the late afternoon sun on folding chairs, drinking tea, chatting about our orchard or the wedge tailed eagles swooping in the trees. This is what it's all about really for me. I said to Rob afterwards, I was so happy and relaxed, and it was a perfect afternoon in terms of weather and company, and he was in total agreement.
Nearly exactly four years ago we parked next to a for sale sign and walked up a simple bush track that opened up into the north-facing slope of pasture that is the block. Nigella ran ahead porpoising her way through the long grass. We knew we wanted it straight away. This was where we wanted to build our home. I know I shouldn't be so attached to physical things, and especially after the last few weeks of great loss of property to flood waters in Australia, I shouldn't let it dictate my happiness. But Rob and I planted our hearts at the block then. Sorry for the sentimentality, but it's true. It's been hard not to live there right away. Sunday was a glimpse of what we dreamed four years ago, a little hut, in which we could welcome friends and family into, and share a meal together. I can't wait for the hut to be finished. Hopefully it's not that far away now.
The builders have been busy last week, finishing the frame, wrapping the hut up in blue insulation and all the wiring has been put up for lights and power. Rob took these photos through the windows one evening.