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Issue 4

Breeze magazine

Jun/Jul 2012


Inspiring people, beautiful homes, craft, gardening, recipes and more...




A cosy French restaurant, winter in the vegie garden, cooking with pears and mastering the ‘granny square’!



Thank you to Kristy Garner of Bada Bing Photography. Shot at Amazement, Wyong Creek NSW

COPYRIGHT Š Breeze magazine. All rights reserved. Copyright of articles and photographs remain the property of Breeze magazine or of the contributer and may not be reproduced without prior permission.

Issue 4


Breeze magazine

Winter and Issue 4 are arriving simultaneously! We hope that both are happy arrivals – June is typically a beautiful month here on the Coast. Thanks to everyon who submitted autumn photographs. They are fantastic! After our bumper food issue back in April, this month sees us return to a range of lifestyle content. We chatted with some fascinating locals, including multi-medalwinning Paralympian Liesl Tesch, star juggler Cody Harrington and singer/ songwriter Israel Cannan. We visited a fabulous restaurant in Wyong, and fun adventure park Amazement. We also have cooking, craft and gardening for you as well as a rather fascinating home.

We welcome two new regular contributors this issue – Vanessa Tecklenburg with a regular recipe feature and Chloe Webb covering local music for us. We also congratulate our wonderful sub editor Jen on the birth of her beautiful daughter Evie. And we thank Gordana for stepping into her shoes and guest-subbing Issue 4.

Until next issue!x


Lisa went on holidays but still worked for us. See the results on p. 144. She also shot features on p. 54 and p. 124. Lisa Haymes is a Central Coast-based photographer and artist. She graduated with distinction in photography at the National Art School in Sydney, also studying experimental drawing and architectural theory. She has travelled widely and worked in television, publishing and advertising. Visit Lisa’s website Follow Lisa on Facebook

Find Vanessa on p. 35 and her delicious recipes on p. 96 UK food and travel writer, Vanessa Teklenburg, moved to Australia three years ago. It took over two years before she and her family found a little piece of home on the Central Coast. When she isn’t playing with her boys in the garden, cooking in the kitchen, or discovering beautiful ingredients, she’s writing about it all on her blog Finding that place called Home. Visit Vanessa’s blog Follow Vanessa on Facebook Find Chloe’s interview with Israel Cannan on p. 92 Chloe Webb is a young music journalist based on the Central Coast. With an intense passion for the local music scene and for upcoming artists, she has been busily compiling an impressive portfolio since the age of 14. She has had published articles for Reverb Magazine and Purple Sneakers.

Kristy trained the lens on a few things for us this issue. See her work on p. 12, p. 22 and p. 35 Kristy Lee and her Bada Bing Studio reside in the sea side village of Saratoga on the Central Coast. She has always shared a love for the arts, dancing, teaching music to high school students, selling artworks of various mediums and of course communicating her love for the world in all its glory through photography. Visit Kristy’s website Follow Kristy on Facebook

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12 Liesl Tesch

66 TrouvĂŠ at Terrigal

22 Cody Harrington

over to you


76 Autumn photos

35 Amazement


54 The Jewellery


92 Israel Cannan



96 Pear recipes

124 The good life

104 The Little Frog



142 Granny squares

116 Winter gardening

travel 144 Ngaruawahia



Are shutters really worth the money?


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Liesl Tesch

Liesl Tesch is one of our most decorated sportswomen and an old hand when it comes to international competition, having competed at five Paralympics and achieving two silver medals and one bronze.

Liesl will be back for another crack at gold this year in London, but there’s a twist. Having represented her country in wheelchair basketball for over 20 years, she has decided to give the court a miss and take to the water. The Central Coast-based high school teacher isn’t completely new to sailing, having grown up near Lake Macquarie and done a bit of sailing as a young girl. But a chance invitation to try out for a Sydney to Hobart race team, and the fact that Beijing silver medallist Daniel Fitzgibbon was watching the resulting documentary, led to the extraordinary opportunity to swap sports whilst remaining at an elite level. And all at a career stage when many would be contemplating retirement from the sporting spotlight!

Breeze people

Photographs by Bada Bing Photography




Fitzgibbon has been more than vindicated in his decision to take on a basketballer as crewmember – they won their first competition in the 2011 World Cup meets and went on to take home bronze in the 2011 World Championships. This year has seen more medals come their way and the general consensus is that they are a good chance for London gold. Liesl’s amazing career has been the result of what should have been a severe setback when she was just 19 – a bicycle accident that left her in a wheelchair. Her recovery set her on the path to become not only one of the most driven and competitive sportswomen, but also a passionate advocate for disabled sports around the world. It is hard to think of Liesl’s physical disability as a negative when you see what she has made of it, for herself and others. If five Olympics and numerous World Championships aren’t enough, Liesl was also the first woman in her sport to play professionally. She has played in the European Men’s Wheelchair Basketball League in Spain, Italy and France. Many countries don’t have a women’s league and this is something that Liesl is committed to changing. She has been instrumental in setting up women’s leagues in England and in Europe, as well as in disadvantaged areas where the social value of disabled people coming together to play sport can prove invaluable. Often there are no services or facilities at all for these people so


bringing them together and then giving them the opportunity to do something both physical and fun can be incredibly empowering. This has been such an important mission for Liesl that she and a likeminded friend, and able-bodied wheelchair basketballer Jackie Lauff, have combined their skill sets to create a non-government organisation that is committed to bringing sporting opportunities to all, especially those living in developing countries. The result, Sport Matters, was officially registered in September 2011. The wonderful thing about sports like wheelchair basketball is that they are inclusive sports, as shown by Jackie who is able-bodied but developed a love of the fast-paced sport while at university. And she isn’t alone. The attraction of the sport means that physical categories become irrelevent and barriers are broken down. However, Liesl definitely hasn’t left basketball behind. She’s keeping a close eye on the court action in the lead-up to London. In the meantime though, she and Dan will be on the water, trying out the very promising new SKUD 18 skiff they have just taken delivery of. These boats were specially commissioned for the two-person Paralympic

competition that debuted in Beijing. They are incredibly adaptable, creating a very level playing field for sailors across all levels of physical ability. They were designed by two Australians (along with an Argentinian naval architect) and are built by an Australian-run company based in Indonesia. The term SKUD stands for SKiff of Universal Design, which again brings to mind the work of Jackie and Liesl with wheelchair basketball in that universal design is inclusive; it’s design for everyone, not just the able-bodied or the disabled. It might be argued that ablebodied sailors already have plenty of options but design that can bring the two groups together in fair competition is pretty exciting stuff.

The change from ball to sail is still allowing Liesl to indulge her other love – traveling. She has journeyed to over 50 countries over the course of her career. And she is relishing the challenge of mastering a new discipline. In between all this she manages to teach Coast kids geography and improve the life of countless others less fortunate than herself. Leisl is already incredibly accomplished and successful but we’ll still be cheering her on to win gold at the upcoming Paralympics.

Get behind Liesl and Dan! The Paralympic Opening Ceremony is on the 29th of August and the sailing events are on in the first week of September. For more information


FIND OUT MORE... SPORT MATTERS, the organisation set up by Liesl Tesch and Jackie Lauff, uses the power of sport to change the world. Through their shared love of sport, they have the fundamental belief that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity in their community, as a fundamental human right. Sport is well-recognised internationally as a low-cost and high-impact tool for development and a powerful agent for social change. It is a culturally accepted

activity that unites families, communities and nations and brings people together. Sport Matters is dedicated to using the power of sport as a tool to achieve specific development goals in Australia and overseas. These goals might be in the areas of health, education, economic development, disaster, peace or the environment. To learn more and to help this worthy cause, click below for the website.


Good Luck!

Breeze people


In 2010, a Woy Woy schoolboy seemingly came out of nowhere to win the prestigious World Juggling Federation’s junior championship. Meet Cody Harrington. Photography by Bada Bing Photography



Cody Harrington was just 15 when he won an

all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to gun it out for the World Juggling Federation’s junior title. The World Juggling Federation was formed by Jason Garfield in 2000 to promote juggling as a sport and bring it to a wider audience. To do so, Jason had to come up with a way to find the best jugglers in the world. He hit upon an invitationonly championship, invitations being decided via a video competition. Cody decided to enter so he set about coming up with routine and, having taped it, sent it off. A month before entries closed... How much better, he wondered, could I be in a month’s time? What followed was four weeks of madness with Cody getting very little sleep and very little schooling as he tried to master the extremely challenging new routine he had come up with. Cody freely admits that today he probably couldn’t accomplish that routine as it took so much hardcore training to achieve.


He managed to get his new tape in just days before the competition closed, and then came the tense wait for the results. Cody didn’t expect to be chosen, let alone to receive the news that he had won, and would be flying with his father, Danny, to Las Vegas, all expenses paid. It was like a dream for the teenager. Not only to win the initial round, but to be in Vegas with so many amazing jugglers, many of them his childhood heroes. The only problem was that Cody had a little secret. He had pretty much been left to his own devices to practice his routine in the lead up to the Vegas trip. On the flight over, Danny Harrington asked his son whether he’d been practicing and if all was fine with the routine. He received an innocent “yes”.

Without mentioning it, Cody had decided he was going to win this competition and also decided that the way to do that was to increase the technical difficulty of his video routine. But as the plane left Australia he still hadn’t mastered it! He arrived in Las Vegas and was soon a little dazzled by the bright lights and star jugglers, almost forgetting that he had a job to do. When the day of competition arrived Cody decided that he’d just get out there and do it. He was quietly confident because he had something of a secret weapon. This Central Coast kid, who played cricket and golf and hung out at the beach, had circus performers for parents. In fact, although Mum and Dad had retired from the Big Top some years before, Cody


had been regularly performing in his cousin’s circus, Weber’s Circus, most weekends since an ankle injury had put an end to his dream of opening the bowling for Australia. So there was one thing that didn’t phase Cody at all ¬ performing in front of an audience. So out he went, in front of his peers and idols, and “killed it. Blew them out of the water”. There was one error in an otherwise faultless routine – when Cody spotted a hero of his in the audience and momentarily lost concentration. To watch that title winning performance you would think he does that routine every other day, he looks so relaxed. {This is odd. Is he now talking about his performance in Vegas? There’s no lead up to it at all} Today, Cody is something of a juggling legend but his day job is that of a Year 12 student. He has decided to complete his schooling despite there being no doubt at all that his future is in juggling. He still spends his weekends with the circus, working on his showmanship. He leaves on Friday afternoon and makes his way to wherever Weber’s Circus is

performing. Cody also performs with his Dad who owns Piccolo’s Party, a local entertainment business. He would love to travel and take his juggling to Europe where it has a much higher profile and there are more opportunities. But for the next few months it’s school books and running away to the circus on weekends.

FIVE MINUTES WITH CODY HARRINGTON Sport juggling was introduced by Jason Garfield (founder of World Juggling Federation). Jugglers are athletes – we train for hours each day. It’s hard work! It is quite stressful sometimes too, if tricks don’t work out as planned. You need good endurance, strong focus and the inspiration. Sport juggling focuses more on the techniques and patterns – it is 100 percent more skillful. You have representing attire (representing your country), and you walk out on the competition arena and perform your routine in front of jugglers, judges and television cameras. Sport juggling is what I focus on, but I mix both together – the circus performing part with the harder technical tricks. So juggling isn’t just the clown on a unicycle juggling three balls.

Winning the championship has drastically changed my life. It was a really amazing but different experience being on television and seeing myself in local and nationwide newspapers. I loved every minute of it. And I love performing when the expectations are high. In ten years time I’d like to see myself traveling around the world, performing in new places. I’d love to be able to say I’ve performed in front of 10,000 people, and that I have a successful routine that wins competitions and one that I can travel the world performing. The best things about growing up on the Central Coast are the people and the location. Especially when I have to perform in Sydney or Newcastle, it’s in a great position to get everywhere. I love the Central Coast.




FIND OUT MORE... Weber’s Circus was started in 2006 by Cody’s cousins, husband and wife team Natalie and Rudy Weber, who are both from well-established circus families. It is a smaller circus which concentrates on performance, with acrobats, trapeze artist, clowns... and Cody performing his amazing juggling, of course. Acts include the Wheel of Death and the vintage Russian Swing, which dates from the 19th century. Domestic animals are used – miniature ponies and an amazing troupe of dogs. The current show has a South American theme. Weber’s Circus regularly comes to Gosford. Keep an eye on their website to see when Cody will be performing locally..





Breeze places


Amazement Vanessa Teklenburg takes her family to a brilliant natural playground for children and adults in the Yarramalong Valley. Words by Vanessa Teklenburg Photography by Bada Bing Photography



‘Bunny World is open!’, ,

hollers Gennie. Her warm voice is heard everywhere and my four-year-old leaps over to the rabbit and guinea pig enclosure. There, he takes turns with another little girl in fondling Cricket, the guinea pig and three ten-day-old baby rabbits. It’s kid heaven everywhere you look. Frizzle hens and their chicks run for shelter underneath the barn, and another little army – Silkies, this time – scuttle around the herb garden. While the kids are trying their hardest to get a good look at the curls and the balls of fluff, we stumble across beautiful white geese standing guard under a tree outside the farmstay.



A Muscovy duck takes us past the Hen Hotel. The Colonel, a fine plump specimen of a turkey, wanders close by and stands head to head with my 17-month-old, who wants to investigate his wrinkly red wattle. The Colonel seems just as intrigued and follows him about, edging away if his hand comes too close, but sticks around for a fit of toddler giggles. Meanwhile, we’re told we can let ourselves in to see Blackie, an adorable miniature pony, who loves a good brush. We’ll come back later for the sheep race, but first there’s fun to be had in the Lilli Pilli maze and on the ‘bounciest ever’ spring-free trampoline in the games courtyard. The café in the Barn lures us in, and while we wait for our food, Archie, Gennie’s English pointer, comes to greet us. ‘Peter, my late husband, used to call him an English pointless,’ Gennie says, ‘but he’s rather good for silky ear therapy. Stroke his ears and he makes everything all better.’ We eat zucchini fritters made with eggs from the Hen Hotel, and tomato bruschetta that have a nice kick from homegrown chillies. It’s fresh, zingy and full of flavour. Desserts are an absolute treat, with homemade crumble and bread-and-butter pudding. This is exactly what I want to eat with my family if I haven’t packed a picnic. It’s the sort of food I cook at home. What’s so good, though, is that picnickers are more than welcome to bring their own and sit in the barbecue area.


It’s 12.30pm and Gennie announces the start of the sheep race. Children gather with their parents to watch Nellie, Lamb Friday and Lamb Sunday race along through tractor tyres. It’s a real spectacle and tremendous fun – for young and old – with lots of cheering from Gennie and the kids, who were very happy to feed the sheep (and all the other animals) afterwards. Watching Gennie having a ball with the kids, chatting to everyone coming in, getting involved with the activities makes it all look pretty effortless. She’s a wonderful character. Sadly, her husband died suddenly last year and it’s been a struggle ever since. ‘The everyday maintenance is relentless, and I can’t afford to pay people to hedge, mow and feed the animals,’ she says. ‘I can’t go out, because I have to be back to put the chickens to bed, and once everyone has left, it’s very lonely.’ Peter and Gennie Engebretsen bought the 16-acre property in 1999 but didn’t open it to the public until late 2008. ‘Apart from a trial five weeks in late 2005, it took us that long to get it up and running,’ Gennie says. ‘It was a never-ending battle with the council. We almost gave up in 2007 before a $100,000 grant gave us some courage. But the floor alone for the barn cost $40,000 and we had to spend $60,000 in plants for the mazes. Luckily, I had a brainwave to get TAFE student builders in to help build the barn.’


‘It was portaloos and a simple tea and coffee urn for a few years – we couldn’t get running water. But on Boxing Day 2011, we opened the café and it’s been a huge success.’ The idea to create a special day out for families started with Peter and Gennie’s very popular giant Ned Kelly maize maze in 2006. ‘We wanted to build a place where families could go and play and run around, where they could spend time together and relate to each other in nature - not at the movies or in Westfield,’ Gennie says. ‘Spending several hours together in nature can really lead to magic,’ she continues. ‘It’s quite extraordinary watching the children as their fathers join in the quiz trails. It’s really important for dads here, because families who play together stay together. That’s what Amazement is all about.’ But for now this magnificent place is up for sale and Gennie wants to go back to her life as a creative artist and actor. She was Deirdre Chambers in Muriel’s Wedding and she’s had major roles in Packed to the Rafters, All Saints, Stingers and Home and Away. Gennie’s talent is also in storytelling performances for children aged five and over with stories such as Kate and the Magic Milking Stool and the African Spider. ‘What I’d also love to do, once I have clean fingernails again, is write a book on Archie’s stories,’ she says. ‘It might be called Archie’s Diaries!’



Gennie hopes to sell to someone with a heart for families and relationships, someone who can take it to the next level. ‘My heart is still here and I wish I could just hang out with the people that come and visit. But I’m also fairly hooked on being an actor.’ After we wander around the ponds and spot the elusive crocodile, the four of us grab a two-seater trike and ride past horses and paddocks to a place where Christmas trees grow and liquid ambers sing with brilliant autumn colour. There’s so much to see and so many opportunities for families to explore, whether it’s discovering a child’s delight in baby chickens or doing a puzzle in nature. Just make sure you catch the magic before it’s too late.

To enquire about the property, call Peter Elliott at Central Coast Select Properties on 0412 223246

To enquire about Gennie Nevinson as a storyteller, visit : Gennie Nevinson as an actor:




Friday in June is FREE ENTRY. Enjoy all the mazes, animals, puzzles and more. The cafe is open for home-cooked food and coffee.

AMAZEMENT 170 Yarramalong Rd, Wyong Creek NSW (02) 4353 9900 10am-4pm: last entry 2pm Open all year round on weekends, public holidays and NSW public school holidays. Group bookings can be made for non-school holiday weekdays. Adults: $16 Seniors: $12.50 Juniors (3-16): $12.50 Under 3: Free Family Pass (2+2) $50




Idyllic Country Retreat There is a very sweet cottage on the Amazement property and it is available for farmstays. It accommodates up to 12 people comfortably in 3 bedrooms with two sofa beds in the living areas if you need them. There is a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, generous living and dining areas, lovely verandahs and two bathrooms - one with a big bath. Reverse cycle air conditioning and a combustion stove keep you cosy year round. You supply your own bedlinen, towels and food. But do take advantage of the fact that the barn cafe is now open for breakfast Friday, Saturday and Sunday The tariff covers a family of four people and you are free to enjoy all areas and farm activities at Amazement during your stay. Find contact details on the previous page.


Breeze people


The Jewellery Workshop Tucked away in Terrigal is a literal treasure trove, owned by Jane Quinn. Photography by Lisa Haymes



Jane Quinn’s love affair with jewellery began many years ago with earrings. She started making jewellery quite seriously until youthful wanderlust intervened.

Born and bred in Manchester, Jane set off to see the world and ended up in Melbourne. Her move to the Central Coast ten years ago was a recapturing of times past in two ways. Jane had found herself longing for a warm and sunny seaside town, like those she had done seasonal work in as a girl, and she also took up jewellery making again. A chance meeting with Suzanne Posa at a local market not long after moving to the area was the start of a close friendship, and also of a renewed interest in the process of making jewellery. Suzanne had started the The Jewellery Workshop in Terrigal – a retail jeweller but also a fully equipped workshop. She started offering classes and Jane was a keen student. Nine or so years on, Suzanne was making the move to Queensland and it seemed a natural thing for Jane to take over the business.




Things are fairly laidback at The Jewellery Workshop. The threehour classes are flexible and what you make or learn is up to you. Many people go along to their first class to learn the techniques. To do this, Jane has a range of projects that cover many of the techniques and can be finished within the three-hour period. Simple silver cut-out pendants and plain silver rings are popular choices. Many pupils also come in with a particular project in mind. These can usually be accomplished as the techniques you learn can be applied to a huge range of jewellery. There are good savings on buying a block of five classes, which is perfect for creating a more precious piece. Often people are looking to repurpose jewellery that they no longer wear or that has been left to them. You can take your old jewellery in with you and, in most cases, melt the metals down for reuse and reset any stones.

It’s a fabulous way to take out the frustrations of the day as you hammer, drill, saw and set fire to an uninspiring piece of metal. The large polishing machine is the light at the end of the tunnel and reveals the shiny reward after all that bashing. Techniques are not that hard to master. Once you have mastered them, the Jewellery Workshop becomes more about the equipment and the cameraderie of fellow makers. As well as the expert advice of Jane and her offsider, part-time jeweller Chris Bowden. Many people seem to become hooked after that first class, so there are regular friendly

“hellos” as long-term students turn up to solder or polish an ongoing project. Jane can supply a choice of metals and gemstones for your creations. She has a good range available at classes but can order in special requests too. Prices are very reasonable and, when combined with the tuition cost, making your own jewellery is still an economical option. Classes are popular with groups, including hen’s outings, but it is just as welcoming for individuals. Jane and Chris are generous with their time and knowledge, and there is something very rewarding in wearing a beautiful piece of jewellery and knowing you made it.

The Jewellery Workshop is also a retail jeweller, selling a range of watches and jewellery, including some exquisite pieces made by Jane and Chris. They do jewellery repairs and also take commissions, designing pieces to your specifications. Classes are $75 for three hours or $250 for a block of five classes. Follow The Jewellery Workshop on Facebook


Shop 5, 50-52 The Esplanade, Terrigal, NSW 2260 Tue - Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 0404 652 562

SPECIAL BREEZE READER’S OFFER CLICK to receive a three hour class for $50. A saving of $25!




Breeze shopping



Shop 2 & 3 Crown Plaza Pine Tree Lane, Terrigal (02) 4384 5159

Trouvé At Terrigal is a beautiful shop filled with delicious things. Sue Fairbairn has put her years as a home decorator and stylist to good use when deciding to open a shop. Everything that is stocked feels like it is the best of it’s kind. The shop has an overall feel that combines French Country and Hamptons style but many items would make stunning feature pieces in a modern interior. Sue sells large pieces of furniture, beautiful linen and fabrics, a gorgeous new range of loungewear, crockery and cutlery including the iconic French “Bee” glassware and a large selection of smaller gift items. Trouvé At Terrigal is perfect for a browse or when you know you need to find a special “something” for someone. Sue and her lovely sister, Jenny, are always happy to help. Or just pass the time of day!

Follow Trouvé on Facebook and Pinterest!




Villa Maison Hamptons cane chair $789.00 European “Long Island” cushion $229.00

Deshabillé robe $149.00 Sequin wool blend scarf $89.00 Necklace with pearls $156.00 Necklace with cross $139.00

Imported cushions $64.00

Voluspa candles $55.00

Glass dome $69.00 Aluminium cake stand $115.00



Towels imported from Portugal $12.00-$99.95

DeshabillĂŠ lace v-neck long sleeve Tee and brushed cotton PJ pant $79.00 the set

Faux peony $29.00

mrs. darcy flower cushion $69.00 Glass vases $22.00-$32.00

Bianca Lauren tea towel $24.95 French “bee” glassware $9.00-$39.00


Amphora style jar $94.00

Table runner $54.00 Hand embroidered napkins, set of four $70.00 Apples $7.00 ea

Crellini linen teatowel $24.95 Measuring cup $12.95 Cookie jar $52.00 Salt jar $22.00 Cuisine $16.00 Pear $7.00

Faux orchid $42.00 Etched glass jar $24.00

Susie M necklaces $189.00

Five minutes with Sue Fairbairn How long have you been on the Coast? We moved from Sydney to the Central Coast 20 years ago. How did Trouve come about? As a young girl I had a passion for design. My Father was a handbag designer and I used to love working with him in his business. From a very young age I would find myself browsing the local wallpaper and fabric shops in my spare time. I fueled my passion over the last 19 years by working as an interior decorator advising clients on furniture, fabrics and home decorating. This has all been leading me to a point where I realised what my focus should be. So after much thought I decided that is was time to start believing in my dream and I opened my store Trouvé at Terrigal in December 2010. What is the idea behind the store? I wanted to share with my local community my passion for all things beautiful. Tell us about your favourite decorating styles. Many of my decorating inspirations come from France (French Country, Vintage) and the Hamptons Seaside. I love to create cosy spaces with a hint of relaxed sophistication for relaxing and entertaining with family and

friends. Trouvé at Terrigal is a homewares store that specialises in beautiful soft furnishings, giftware, bed and loungewear and decor for your home. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to bring these styles to their home? Creating beautiful spaces is all about finding your own style. I usually advice people not to listen to everyone around them and style with your own heart. What are the best decorating tips you’ve picked up over your career? I have learnt from my years in decorating to always choose your fabrics first when decorating a room. My advice to my customers is never stick to much to one theme, you need a style that is timeless. What are your favourite things instore right now, and why? My favorite items in Trouve at the moment are Deshabille Cream Dressing gown (I where mine as a gorgeous long day cardigan. Exquisite towels from Portugal. Vintage collectables (old perfume bottles, wire baskets). Voluspa Candle in Baltic Amber. Bianca Lauren Table linen.

Autumn photos


Lisa Haymes



Jenny Ashurst



Narara Joanna McGrow

Kathryn Jewkes

Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year to photograph. Beautiful coloured trees, crisp, clear skies. Love it!


Lucas and Logan Melodyann Alce

I lay under this tree soaking in the dappled sunshine, as it broke through the huge branches of a gorgeous old liquidamber on a farm at Wollombi. I was totally mesmerised by the vivid red and as I stared up I got lost in a scarlet dream.... On my way to stay in Wollombi recently, I screamed at my husband to pull over!! This scene was incredible just on the side of the road near Mangrove Mountain. The kids got out and we all played in the leaves, and all got touched with a little ‘yellow fever’

Melanie McHale

Matcham Michael Hruby

Karmel Baker


Autumn canopy Michelle Astill from Inzane Images

Fence line autumn Michelle Astill from Inzane Images



Owen Milne

Russell Clarke

Food always best describes the seasons.



Shannon from La Bella Vita Photography

Samantha Astill

My daughter Charlotte brings the fallen autumn leaves to life.


Breeze music

Israel Cannan

For Central Coast musician Israel Cannan the past few years have been quite the expedition. In 2010 Cannan decided to busk his way around Australia, embarking on a threemonth, 20,000 kilometre journey, visiting over 120 towns across the country. Along the way he not only connected with audiences but gained inspiration for his album Walk, on which Cannan wrote, recorded and played all the instruments himself. Now 2 years on, following the success of Walk, Cannan has travelled to the UK, where he has been gracing prestigious stages and supporting some big-name acts from the likes of Passenger, Matt Corby and Sarah Blasko. He has also been busy working on a new album. Breeze caught up with the vagabond and home-grown hero himself for a chat about his travels, tunes and home.

Words by Chloe Webb Image by Tim Williams Photography

It seems you cannot sit still! How are you enjoying seeing the world? I love travelling I always have. I travelled around Australia before I ventured anywhere else and I think if I wasn’t a musician I’d still be traveling just simply because of that fascination I have with it. You’re a Central Coast local what was it like for you growing up here? Yeah, I love the Central Coast. I know a lot of people don’t, and some who live there just want to get out but I really love it… And I think I love it so much because I’ve travelled elsewhere which has helped me to appreciate just how good it is and the beauty of it. So every time I go away, I always miss home and I see that as a healthy thing. It’s good to have somewhere you enjoy coming back to. I spent my early childhood in Killcare, which is sort of out of the busyness of the Coast. So I grew up surrounded by National Parks and Beaches and it’s just beautiful. I spent roughly seven years there and we’d walk through bush trails and go build cubbies, which was awesome for any kid. Then I always had family around the Bateau Bay area so we’d spend a lot a time up at Crackneck. Would you say you have a highlight of the Central Coast? I wouldn’t say I have a single highlight but I really love the fact we have such beautiful beaches. You can pretty much jump in the car, go for a shortdrive and find a beach and have it’s almost to yourself.




What are your thoughts on the growth of the music scene within The Coast? It’s coming along well, I think the Coast has always been the Coast in terms of not having as many music venues as Sydney or Melbourne but I think because of that a lot of local musicians spend a lot more time honing their skills and writing songs. There are a lot of talented people on the Coast and hopefully more venues arise to accommodate that. Otherwise a lot of that talent sort of moves on into Sydney and then sort of Sydney claims them, which is fine. Sometimes you’ve just got to do that, but there’s definitely a heap of talent there and it’s just a matter of accommodating it. I hope in time that happens. Who should we be listening too? Locally, I have a lot of mates who do some pretty amazing things and a lot of them I’ve done shows with. I really like… Mike McCarthy he’s a great local act, Taylor and The Makers are good mates of mine and they’ve got a brilliant sound, Sea Legs who are starting to do some really cool things; Also Jacob Pearson is another one to really look out for he’s got just a certain tone in his voice that’s really nice to listen to and I can see him doing big things. So yeah, if you’re on the Coast they’re the ones to be looking out for.

You recently released a demo of the new material and it’s sounding really promising. How are you feeling about it all? I started writing those songs on my first trip to London last year, and it’s coming along really well. I’ve been working with Alex Lloyd, who is actually my brother in-law and is incredibly talented himself. He lives over there now and has a little studio and he is producing the new release. So, I’m at that point now where there are a few more demos to lie down and we’re still not sure whether we want to release as an album or as an EP. But either way I’m really happy with the progress, my writing and how it’s all going creatively. I’m pretty pumped.

preview the new album


Who are in your top 10 live acts? It’s kind of clichéd but the first gig I ever went to was Pearl Jam that was pretty great. And I got lucky last year when I was given free tickets to see Eddie Vedder‘s solo Into The Wild Tour at The Civic Theatre in Newcastle. We were front row so that was just awesome. Another gig I really enjoyed was Coldplay. In terms of entertainment that was pretty unbelievable.


FIND OUT MORE... Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are just a few of the ways Israel Cannan is gathering a strong following. Rather than follow a more traditional path, Cannan is one of a growing number of musicians who are using social media to reach a wider audience. As well as travelling extensively to try out his material on the streets, Cannan has kept fans in the loop with performance dates, pictures, videos of gigs and samples of new music.

He played all the instruments on his album Walk. Cannan also wrote all the songs on the album. In 2010, Cannan set off with his acoustic guitar on a trip around Australia. Wanting to test out his material on the road, as well as connect with people he met along the way, Cannan’s trip was a 20,000km odyssey. At the end of the trip he recorded Walk.

London came calling soon after and Cannan, armed with this new material, set off for the UK the following year. He quickly booked shows and festivals at some of the best venues, wowing audiences with his heartfelt melodies and powerful lyrics.

Israel Cannan regularly plays local shows when he returns home, including shows at Lizotte’s Central Coast “Cubbyhouse”. Keep an eye on his Facebook page and website, and the Lizotte’s gig guide.




Breeze recipes



by Vanessa Teklenburg Welcome to Breeze’s new recipe section, brought to you each issue by Central Coast-based food and travel writer, Vanessa Teklenburg. Visit Vanessa’s blog for more recipes and stories and follow her on Facebook.


Pears can frustrate even the mildest of temperaments; as hard as a walnut shell one minute and the next you have a swarm of fruit flies hanging around. But catch that point of juicy, sweet tenderness, and you’ll very quickly forgive them. The Packham pear, most people’s favourite, is a handsome shape and when ripe, the skin turns from green to yellow and the flesh becomes deliciously sweet and soft. I eat them as they are from the fruit bowl, watching them day in day out so I get

Photography by Nick Brand

them at their peak of ripeness. When I have several that are ready to eat, they get added to salads, lending incredible flavour, especially when combined with a tangy blue cheese. A pear will succeed more or less in any recipe that asks for an apple – crumbles, pies, tarts and sauces are all splendid dishes for pears. But there is one treatment that the pear can handle much better: poached. In fact, poached pears is one of the greatest dinner-party desserts, and extremely versatile to boot. Poire Belle-Hélène

is the all-time French classic where the pears are cooked in a vanillainfused sugar syrup then served with a blanket of silky rich chocolate sauce. But instead of an elegant centrepiece, we’re going to say hello to winter and its chilly evenings with warming crumble and custard. A green salad with goat’s cheese and pear makes a speedy supper, and the kids will love these pancakes with coconut chocolate butter. Just get them to keep a watchful eye by that fruit bowl.



Pancakes with coconut chocolate butter and pears --Serves 4

100g plain flour 1 tbsp caster sugar pinch of salt 2 large eggs 300ml milk 1 tbsp melted butter, plus extra for frying TO SERVE: 3-4 ripe pears, sliced and cored coconut chocolate butter


1. To make the pancakes, put the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and gradually pour in the milk, beating as you go until the mixture is smooth. Add the butter. 2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Pour a few drops of melted butter into the pan and swirl it around. Pour in a ladleful of the batter,

swirling it around quickly. As soon as the pancake starts to colour, loosen the underneath with a palette knife and flip to cook the other side for a few more seconds. 3. Turn out onto plates and quickly top with spoonfuls of decadent coconut chocolate butter and slices of sweet ripe pears. Watch the coconut butter soften, then fold the pancakes, and just close your eyes...

NOTES Pancakes are so easy to

make. I’m hooked on Cocopure’s coconut chocolate butter, and once you add some fruit, you have an impressive dessert. You’ll find Cocopure at the Avoca Beachside Markets. Try the cashew butter for a great healthy snack to have on fruit. The chocolate butter, with its blend of organic virgin coconut oil, raw cacao, agave nectar and vanilla, is sensational. Kids will love it spread on toast, or straight from the jar - like mine do. Visit and download a copy of their new Pure magazine. Find out why every kitchen should be using virgin coconut oil and make your very own raw chocolate! DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD







Goat’s cheese salad with pear and walnuts --Serves 4

4 small goat’s cheeses, at room temperature slices of sourdough bread, toasted, to serve FOR THE SALAD: 2 ripe pears, halved and cored small handful of mixed green leaves, such as lamb’s lettuce and watercress 2-3 tbsp good olive oil 1 tbsp cider vinegar small handful of walnuts, roughly chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the salad, slice the pears, then toss with the leaves and the rest of the salad ingredients. Season well and place a handful on four plates alongside the goat’s cheese and warm toast. Eat straightaway.

NOTES It’s often a relief not to

have to bother with cooking, which is why a simple cheese and salad course is just the thing for when you’ve overstretched yourself. Convenient, but it relies on the very best ingredients. An industrial, supermarket-grade goat’s cheese, mediocre bread and rock-hard pears just won’t cut it. Visit the Avoca Beachside Markets and bag one of the exquisite goat’s cheeses from Leaning Oak, then swing past La Tartine for one of their finest loaves of sourdough. DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD


Pear and raisin crumble --500g pears, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks 50g caster sugar 50g raisins FOR THE TOPPING: 200g plain flour 100g unsalted cold butter 110g raw sugar 75g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Put the pear into a baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar and raisins. Sift the flour into a bowl and rub the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles crumbs (or blitz in a food processor). 2. Stir in the sugar and finely chopped hazelnuts. Spread the crumble mixture over the pear and pack it down quite firmly to give you a crisp topping when cooked. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve the crumble warm with some eggy custard.

NOTES I buy Over the Moon

Jersey milk at the Entrance Farmers’ Market whenever I can. It’s like liquid gold. I think it’s exciting to buy milk and cream straight from the dairy. Old-fashioned, full-cream milk that hasn’t been homogenised or diluted, from a single familyowned farm that doesn’t use pesticides or man-made fertilisers is beautiful. That’s just the milk. Once you taste their cream, you won’t put anything else near your crumble. To make a custard, pour 150ml cream and 500ml full-fat milk into a pan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until it comes almost to the boil, then remove from the heat. Whisk 4 large yolks and 125g sugar together until thick and pour the milk and cream over, whisking all the time. Pour the mixture back into the pan over a low heat, and cook, making sure you keep stirring, for 10 minutes or so until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.




Breeze restaurant

The Little Frog Wyong

The Little Frog Situated on a busy strip in Wyong, The Little Frog is a quaint French restaurant you might almost miss. Take one step inside and in an instant you’re somewhere else entirely. With French music playing and French posters and pictures on the wall, it feels warm and comforting. The Little Frog claims to be “a taste of France in the heart of Wyong” and it certainly delivers. Gordana Trifunovic Located on the main street, opposite the railway station, The Little Frog’s central location means it’s perfect for commuters wanting a pleasant after-work dining experience. Or for those wanting to sample its great wine range, the train ride from Gosford is a short 10-minute journey, so you can leave the car at home and enjoy a truly French experience. The new owner, Nishant Maroo, bought the business in December 2011. He was drawn to the place and also to the challenge of revamping it. It was originally opened by the people behind Le Chat Noir in Terrigal 5 years ago and was pretty successful, but since they sold it two years ago it has struggled a little to find its feet. Keen to breathe new life back into the place, Nishant quickly brought on Simon Leese as Head chef. Simon has previously

worked at restaurants such as Onda, Sea Spray, The Balcony, and Craigieburn Peppers Resort. With so much experience under his belt, as well as having trained under a French chef, Simon revamped the entire menu. One of the misconceptions about French cuisine is that it’s overly complicated. Simon’s aim was to create a modern approach to French cuisine, creating dishes that are unfussy. At The Little Frog, the focus is on fresh local produce and simple flavours. Simon plans to change the menu seasonally so there will be new additions every three months. There are a variety of dishes on the menu but two of the most popular mains are the Canard a l’Orange (Duck confit leg with rare seared duck breast, served with spinach and pine nut roulade and orange


Clockwise from top left. Deux fois cuit fromage bleu soufflé (entreé) Twice-baked blue cheese soufflé with light cheese sauce and poached, red wine pears. Ventre Rôti de Porc (entreé) Crispy-skinned, slow roasted pork belly on cauliflower puree with salardaise potatoes and cider jelly. Canard à l’ Orange (main) Duck confit leg with rare seared duck breast served with spinach, pine nut roulade and orange and pear syrup. Côtelette de Porc avec la Pomme (main) Mandary Creek pork cutlet with honeyroasted pumpkin, wilted spinach and glazed apple. Served with crackling chards and apple cider jus.


and pear syrup, $37) and the Cotelette de Porc avec La Pomme (Mandary Creek pork cutlet with honey-roasted pumpkin, wilted spinach and glazed apple, $32). Don’t be put off by the fancy-sounding French names. Both of these dishes were simple yet hearty and flavoursome. The portion sizes were large and both dishes were the ideal comfort food for winter. The desserts are unmissable. We tried the popular Martini Chocolat (Chocolate martini with valhroane mousse, four nuts brownie with chocolate ice cream, cream and pistachio dust, $12). This is truly heaven for chocolate lovers and it’s no wonder people keep coming back for this.


A new addition to the menu is a buffet dinner which is from Tuesdays to Thursdays from 6-7pm. At only $25, it represents great value and is perfect for commuters coming off the train after work. The Little Frog will also be offering buffet breakfast (7-11am) and buffet lunch (12pm onwards) on Sundays, both $25. However, the focus is not just on the food. The Little Frog offers a boutique wine selection. Their wines have been handpicked by consulting viticulturist Ian Craig, formerly winemaking in the Hunter and now based in Newcastle, and features French, Australian and New Zealand

Gâteau au fromage (left) Baked banana cheesecake with pecan nuts, caramel sauce and sugar shards. Martini Chocolat (right) Chocolate martini with valhroane mousse, four nuts brownie, chocolate icecream, cream and pistachio dust.

On the 15th June they are having a Wine Dinner with Ian Craig, a 4-course meal with matched wines for $85. See contact details at the end of article.




wines, plus their own house wine. These aren’t wines that you’ll find at your local liquor store either, as The Little Frog has made the extra effort to source different labels for their diners. Another unique offering at The Little Frog is live entertainment. There is a French singer every last Friday of the month and a pianist on Saturday nights. Nishant is hoping to get a full bar licence so he can expand the restaurant to include a wine bar and lounge, offering people a place to come just to enjoy a drink in the evenings. So if you’re keen to try something a little different, why not visit The Little Frog for a taste of France on the Central Coast.

The Little Frog is at 66 Pacific Highway, Wyong To book, call (02) 4353 4444 or you can book online by clicking the website link below.




Winter Gardening



People often think the vegie garden is an unproductive place in winter but this simply isn’t true! Adam McCall and David Braunstein from Adam’s Garden guide us through cold weather vegie gardening.

Although the weather can pose a few different challenges, there are plenty of crops that can still be grown, and plenty of jobs to do to maximize garden productivity come springtime.


n our area, with a coastal temperate climate, green leafy crops provide the mainstay of the winter vegetable gardens. There’s quite an assortment of crops that will grow successfully from May through to August/September, although they may be slower to reach harvest.

Winter in the vegie patch...

Our plantings have included many brassicas: cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, a Savoy-type of cabbage, and a lovely red cabbage as well. We also have spinach, two varieties of rocket, a beautiful mixed lettuce range, several varieties of kale and some snow peas which the kids love. Winter is also the best time for growing alliums – we have onions, garlic and leeks growing. Although growth is slower, winter can make gardening easier because we’re not dealing with extreme heat or moisture. Plus many pests, like white cabbage moth and green looper, have hibernated, making it less of a challenge to grow many plants. There is definitely no reason for the vegetable garden beds to be empty through the cooler months.

Outdoor heating Often in winter lack of sun can be an issue and this can be the test of your garden planning. Don’t struggle to grow without sunshine; and do find ways to enhance what sun your vegie beds get. Simply use a two-litre plastic drink bottle as a mini greenhouse, or cloches, for seedlings.

As winter crops reach maturity, they will particularly benefit from a dressing of fertiliser tea. Fertiliser tea is a soluble fertiliser made from natural manures, containing no harmful chemicals. Because you are feeding leaf crops, it’s important to remember to wash the vegetables when harvested. There are some things in the vegetable garden that you don’t want to eat!


Comfrey Comfrey is a large plant with thick, furry leaves. It is one of the plants in the garden that particularly enjoyed our wet summer and autumn. The result is a crop of very healthy bushy comfrey plants. Comfrey can be used as a green fertiliser (simply chop up the leaves and place them on the garden), as a compost activator, or as a liquid fertilizer (‘comfrey tea’). As a soluble fertilizer, comfrey is mineral rich and in particular contains copper, making it useful to spray on plants that might be susceptible to fungi and virus attacks. Use as a preventative spray in winter. For example, it’s often used to avoid leaf curl on fruit trees. To make Comfrey Tea, fill your container with large comfrey leaves, broken or chopped up with secateurs. Add water to the top and leave it for


at least two weeks or more until the leaves rot down. Dilute the mixture 50/50 with water or use the rule of thumb guide of diluting it to weak tea colour. Pour around the roots of your plants. It is also a great treatment for plants during summer.

Just starting out? Find out how to establish a no-dig garden with just a click!


Root Crops The root crops in our vegetable garden were planted in late summer into autumn to provide a harvest throughout winter. Along with the carrots, we are also eagerly awaiting some parsnips. We have also been pulling our beetroot crop as a winter vegetable and have been using these as winter roasting vegetable. It’s best to weed many of these crops by hand to avoid disturbing the precious roots. Take the opportunity on sunny winter days to keep on top of the weeding. This is particularly important with onions and garlic – these plants hate having their roots disturbed, so take extra care.

Think outside the garden bed when planning

your winter crops. You can recycle many household items as containers for growing plants. Here we used old boots, perfect for individual beetroots, and Adam prepares an old chest for planting with leafy greens. One great advantage of container planting in winter is that you can chase the sun, ensuring your plants have the best of growing conditions. And with a little thought you can come up with a conversation piece too!


To the plate Seasonal food nurtures the body with much needed nutrients and energy. It is no accident that we look for warm and hearty soups and curries in winter, while nothing beats a salad in summer. Food eaten in season tastes better and delivers more flavour and nutritional value. Seasonal food is also good for the environment as it is likely to have travelled far less than out of season food from the other side of the world.

1. Heat the oil and fry the mustard seeds

Winter food is full of earthy, comforting root veggies. We asked our friends at Garden2Plate café in Hardys Bay for a winter recipe using beetroot and here’s what they cooked up for us.

and the fenugreek seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the curry leaves, onions and green chillies. Lower the temperature and stir in the chilli powder (this avoids burning it the chilli powder).

Beetroot Curry

2. Add the beetroot cubes with a good

500g beetroot, washed, peeled and cubed 1 tablespoon oil ½ teaspoon mustard seeds ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds 1 sprig curry leaves ½ onion, finely chopped 2 green chillies ¼ teaspoon chilli powder ¼ cup milk ¼ cup water 1 ¼ teaspoon salt

pinch of salt. Add the water, cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes or until cooked.

3. Once the beetroot is cooked add the milk and cook for a further 10 minutes.

4. Stir well and serve onto a dish. Garnish with fresh coriander.


Based on the Central Coast and also servicing Sydney, Newcastle and Hunter Regions, Adam’s Garden have extensive experience in all forms of landscape design and construction. We also have

expertise with drought resistant native garden designs, NSW coastal plants, permaculture and organic edible gardens, all of which add value to our client’s projects.

Landscape architecture and design Edible gardens and permaculture Organic gardening workshops

0411 968 005 135 Scenic Road, Killcare NSW 2257 follow Adam’s Garden on facebook


Breeze homes


The good life

Creating a simple lifestyle that is all about family, community and nature. Photography by Lisa Haymes



Situated among the trees in Hardys Bay is a “higglety pigglety” cottage that has remained almost untouched for the last 30 years. It is the home of Central Coast-based architect James Fraser and has been in his family for four generations. James’ great-grandfather bought the home in the 1940s, retiring there from Leichhardt. The property passed through the family, with his son (James’ grandfather) also retiring to this tranquil spot. It’s as his grandfather’s home that James knows this place and, with his purchase of the property, little has changed from the days when he lived here as a small child while his parents built a home at Green Point.

The name of the house, Marie June, is of tragic origin. A granddaughter of James’ great-grandfather, Marie June was a showgirl at the Tivoli Theatre in Sydney – a music hall that included slightly risqué performances. In 1945 Marie June, aged 23, died after a fire broke out in the dressing room. Her grandparents moved to Hardys Bay the following year and named their new home after her. Despite being a sad tale, it enhances the family links woven into the fibre of this home.

Over the years the house has stretched back into the hill as well as down the slope. As things on the property have ceased to be needed or have broken down, they have been left in-situ to slowly “compost” or to evolve and be repurposed. An outdoor “dunny” has become a storage shed and an old tank stand becomes a platform for a wicker sun lounge.



After growing up on the Coast, James left for Sydney and then London. On returning to the Coast for his grandfather’s 100th birthday and to spend time with family, James has embraced a set of values revolving around a simpler existence and quality of life. James has a deep admiration for his forebears who made do with so much less than we typically have today. In moving into this home and resisting any temptation to bulldoze or modify to accommodate 21st century life, James has discovered a deep connection with both his family and this sloping plot they have occupied for almost 70 years.

What was a side verandah now forms James’ cosy living room. Note the window held open with a hammer. Furnishings are a mixture of ’60s pieces, makeshift solutions and modern items, including two photographic print cushions by Lisa Haymes. Children’s books, figurines and a scale model chair prototype by James form a charming still life. This new window is in the place once occupied by the old airconditioner. The airconditioner broke and a window was born. James loves the juxaposition of old and new. Much of his crockery and cutlery was already in the home. He has added beloved pieces such as the black, white and red tile by local artist, Monique Auricchio.


Usually the main room of a home is a living room with a television surrounded by seating. With no television, the main room, with its lovely cast-iron fireplace, accommodates tables and seating for both entertaining and projects. Among the very few changes James made to his grandfather’s home was taking up the garish ’70s carpet and removing the musty window dressings. This has revealed beautiful floorboards and given the rooms a clean look, not to mention stunning, uninterrupted views from the large bay window – a clearly discernable ’70s addition.

Overleaf, left to right:

The rooms are sparsely furnished, with just the necessities for making life comfortable. The artwork is Business by Australian artist, Matthew Tome. The painting was bought with a legacy from James’ Nanna. The colours reminded him of her. In front are two ’60s recliners with their original upholstery. The floor of the house changes level constantly as it meanders up and down the slope of the block. The bentwood chair is awaiting surgery to its seat.


The Good Life. In James’ words. In many ways coming to live in Marie June has made me aware of living simply, in a way that is more akin to the lives of my grandfather and my great grandfather. Those generations somehow managed to live with a lot less and value what they had a lot more. After years living and working in central London, spending hard-earned money on the offerings of a big busy city, a return to home on the Coast has made for a simpler and, in many ways, richer life. NO TV: If it is one thing I do not miss it is TV. Yes, there are some good programs but how many times it is too easy to switch on and too hard to switch off. In its absence I re-direct my time to things like cooking and eating well, reading good books and giving attention to creative energies, which are currently furniture design, ceramics and the occasionally painting – usually while listening to music or the radio. Without TV I also get to sleep early and wake up early.

The kitchen is mostly unchanged. James has removed the lino from the floorboards and added a large blackboard front to the pantry. The blue cannisters were made by his great grandmother from empty tea cannisters, painted blue and featuring decoupaged dogs! Next to the fridge is a {Antique/ vintage? Otherwise what’s the point of saying it works perfectly?} coffee grinder which still works perfectly.


NO CAR: I drive, occasionally borrow or rent one if needed, but I live without a car. I am a committed cyclist. My love of cycling began in London – the fastest and cheapest way to get around town. Now working locally and being able to work from home certainly make this more possible. Once you have a car, it is too easy to use it all the time. Rather than making one weekly trip, you make daily trips. Rather than a taking a walk or jumping on a bike, you pick up the car keys. Cars are seductive things. I like to imagine how our towns might be if cars were less available. And slowly things are changing. Cycling is on the increase and carshare is becoming more common. I think places where people move around without cars are nicer, safer and more social places. On top of that, the savings I make from not owning a car can buy me round-the-world tickets each year and that works for me. FEELING THE SEASONS: My old house has very little heating and cooling. Some people would think there is not enough light in that old shack, tucked away under those trees. Yes, it does get cool in winter, something that took me a while to get used to. Now, I actually look forward to the change of seasons; the ritualistic unpacking of the heavy woollen jumpers, the thick socks, an extra duvet on the bed, the hot water bottle and yes, the trusty old Ugg boots. For me, this is more special than


flicking the a/c switch on the wall to get the room to the same old temperature so you can wear the same old clothes all year round. In summer, Marie June is a great house; with windows wide open all season, thongs at the door. I can cook and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner on the BBQ out on the verandah – at this time of year it has all the nice aspects of camping with all the comforts of home. The house’s thin walls and ad-hoc style somehow melts into the outdoors. THE GARDEN AND MY CHICKENS: Growing things has been new for me and a huge learning curve. After living in small flat in London, having a garden and watching things grow from seed is an amazing experience. As a member of the Bouddi Organic Co-op, I get regular vegie boxes, so I concentrate on mainly growing herbs. My four chooks – Rocket, Pip, Salt and Peppa – are great for cleaning up scraps and I have fresh eggs every day! So many people seem to build these big houses with big driveways and big garages for big cars... {Just be careful of this line in case you feature a real estate ad with a big house, big driveway and big garages!} and it is nature that gets squeezed out and lost from people’s lives. There are all kinds of birds, and resident possums and bandicoots and I recently spotted a little wallaby by my front door. These are good things to have in your daily life.

The main bedroom is possibly the oldest part of the house. James has left the walls the soft lilac his grandmother loved. The photos, right, show the house in the ’50s and then after a major renovation in the ’70s, which built in underneath the house and made some structural changes to the main space upstairs. The happy toddler is James, during the year he spent at the house with his parents.


THE INTERNET: This simple life is not all low-tech. Through the internet, I can work with clients in London and stay connected to distant family and friends while being tucked away in my quiet corner of the world. It keeps me connected with the world in a way that is more engaging and less consuming than the offerings of TV. For instance, it facilitates the easy working of our Vegie Co-op and my online shopping. I am looking forward to the NBN arriving shortly and seeing how that high-speed world further contributes to the possibilities of big ideas in this slow speed life.


James’ grandfather, formerly a motor mechanic, left many tools in the shed. James is slowly figuring out what each one is for...

James is learning to pot, under the tuition of his mother Helen, an accomplished ceramicist. James’ parents built a home at the rear of the large block some years ago, so it’s a quick walk past the vegie patch for lessons.



“To live in a way that feels right for me, it is attached to family, community and nature with more time to ‘do’ and ‘make’ my life in the way I want to.”


Breeze craft


How to master

the granny square

I will freely admit that the title is misleading. I am a long term knitter but had never been able to figure crochet out. It seemed sort of the same... just one less stick. It wasn’t until I sat at a friends kitchen table and she took me through it step-by-step that I started to get somewhere. I sat at the that table for hourse and hours doing the same stitch over and over. That stitch was the treble. It’s still pretty much the only crochet stitch I have tried but that’s more because I can’t stop rather than that I can’t progress. What I was making with my trebles was a granny square. You will have seen them covering knees when you were young - usually made up into smallish squares of multicoloured wool and then joined (often with black wool) to form a blanket. They can look rather like licorice allsorts. The kind I like to make is just one continuous square. You can change colours to create stripes or an edge but it is a fully formed blanket that grows incredibly fast. They are sometimes called afgans for some reason unknown to me. THE BOWER BIRD PROJECT

So here is what mastering the granny square entails - a quick overview and a link to a video that you can watch over and over again. Get yourself a hook and yarn. I like something finer like a 4 ply and a 3mm hook. Cotton works up very nicely. I find it easier to catch with the hook too. Take comfort in the fact that once you learn the stitch you just continue around and around, never changing. And it is incredibly addictive. You can make gorgeous baby blankets in just days. Over to the link with a last word of advice. If this video with it’s teal wool and hot pink hook is too offensive to watch, check out The Bower Bird Project. They are based in Gosford and hold all sorts of wonderful craft classes. And now it’s over to Beth...




Breeze travel


Ngaruawahia N.Z. Central Coast-based photographer, Lisa Haymes, shows us around her family’s home town of Ngaruawahia. The stunning scenery in this corner of New Zealand might just explain Lisa’s extraordinary talent for capturing the beauty of her more recent home, The Central Coast. Words and images by Lisa Haymes


Ngaruawahia (pronounced

Narra-wahia) is a “blink and you’ll miss it” town with a population of approximately 5000 people. It is an hour south of Auckland and 20 minutes north of Hamilton, in the Waikato region of New Zealand. Those who know the North Island of New Zealand, and the drive from Auckland to anywhere south, will be familiar with this pass-through town, probably never stopping, eager to get to their destination. But there is more to Ngaruawahia than meets the eye. I grew up in Hamilton, and thought I would quite like to live in Ngaruawahia one day. As a teenager I used to drive here and sit along the riverbank thinking how beautiful it was and how perfectly the town sits in that space. The kids running around with huge smiles, and bigger spirits. And with bare feet in the middle of winter! Such hardy souls...

The town features basic shops, untouched by development. The town centre seems to have remained untouched and is picturesque.



“As a teenager I used to sit along the riverbank , thinking how beautiful it was.� The town is located at the junction of two great rivers - the Waikato and the Waipa.


As a child the only way to remember how to spell Ngaruawahia was an acrostic poem: “Nine Girls Are Running Under A Wharf And Here I Am!� When our relatives from England came to stay it became our standing joke to the grandparents, aunts and uncles to get them to pronounce the name. Of course they never could. I didn’t end up living here, but my parents now live close to Ngaruawahia, on the other side of the river and it is where Mum brings the dog to the vet, does some shopping and occasionally gets a bargain at the local Charity Shop. Mum and Dad have a couple of acres, under the Hakarimata Range. Sheep, chickens and a beautiful abundant vegetable garden and fruit trees give them a diet of healthy self-sustainability many would be envious of. On the day of my recent visit, our meal consisted of everything off the land. Coming home for me is now about coming here, not to Hamilton.

Sheep, chickens, fruit trees and a beautiful, abundant vegetable garden settled under the Hakarimata Range.

“Coming home� now means a beautiful property across the river from Ngaruawahia.

TURANGAWAEWAE MARAE The reason I love to come home here is because of the location of this quaint town. It is situated at the junction of two great rivers, the Waikato and the Waipa Rivers. These rivers were once major canoe routes for the Maori, and then later for the European settlers. It is also situated under a mountain called Mount Taupiri. This mountain watches over Ngaruawahia. It is a sacred mountain and contains Waikato’s most significant Maori burial ground. The earth in this small part of New Zealand feels rich in history. It is beautiful to look at because of the rivers accompanying the town, where I am sure there are many stories to tell.


Ngaruawahia never seems to change. Another reason this town feels so rich in history is because of the Turangawaiwai Marae, which is home to the Maori King. The Marae provides a meeting place for Maori communities for celebrations, bereavements, meetings and learning forums. The marae has hosted many dignitaries and world leaders, including Nelson Mandela and HM Queen Elizabeth II. It is open to the public once a year during the regatta in March. The name means “a place to stand”. Autumn is the month I love to go home. The colours refresh my memory. New Zealand in Autumn is alive. It is not too




Turangawaewae Marae

The Maori King Movement, or Kingitanga, arose amongst Maori tribes of the central North Island in the 1850s to establish a role similar to that of the British monarch. It was an attempt to achieve an even footing with the colonial government and stem the selling of Maori land. It was also seen as a way to unite the Maori peoples and preserve Maori law and culture.

The Turangawaewae Marae contains the beautifully carved Mahinarangi meeting house and also Turongo House, the Maori monarch’s official residence. The buildings date from the 1920s and ’30s and are a fascinating blend of western Arts and Craft and Maori styles, including extensive carving inside and out.

Today, it is a non-constitutional role with no legal power. The current king, elected in 2006, is Tuheitia Paki.

Turangawaewae House opened in 1919 as a parliament house for the Kingitanga.

Turangawaewae House


cold, although a little frosty in the mornings. Feijoas hang from the trees, ripe to be picked and enjoyed. A lot of homes have a Feijoa tree in their backyard, and the fruit is in every supermarket and fruit shop. I love a Feijoa. It is a bright green, juicy and unusual fruit. You can buy these at selected fruit shops on the Coast. The place I can get them from occasionally is the Growers Market in Kincumber. They are grown in the Mangrove Mountain area of the Coast.

The Hakarimata Range and the autumn colours of Ngaruawahia. Part of the range is protected as a scenic reserve and there are several walks with stunning views of the Waikato Plains below.




Feijoa cake with cream cheese icing --75 g butter 1 cup mashed feijoas 2 eggs 1 cup brown or raw sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence ½ cup milk 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups plain flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice 1 teaspoon baking powder


CREAM CHEESE ICING 200 g cream cheese 200 g icing sugar 1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon lemon juice

3. Sift the flour, spice, and baking powder and add to the feijoa mix. Stir well to combine.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. 2. Melt the butter and stir in the feijoa, eggs, sugar, and vanilla essence. 3. Warm the milk and stir in the baking soda. Add to the feijoa mixture.

3. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes. 4. To make the cream cheese icing, beat the cream cheese until soft. Add the icing sugar, butter and lemon and blend until smooth.



Hamilton is also situated on the beautiful banks of the Waikato River.


GETTING THERE There are many flights daily from Sydney to Auckland with airlines such as Virgin Blue, Jetstar, Qantas and Air New Zealand. Ngaruawahia is an easy hours drive from Auckland or just 20 minutes from Hamilton.

WHAT TO SEE Ngaruawahia is in the lush and verdant Waikato region. Despite the fact that it was once touted as a possible capital city for New Zealand (due to its importance as a steamboat port) it is now a sleepy, small town, perfect for a day trip. Enjoy a long walk around the town, taking in the beautiful riverside scenery of the two great rivers, the Waikato and the Waipa, and the Hakarimata and Taupiri ranges.

The Marae is open to the public one day a year on the Saturday closest to the 17th of March. On this day the annual Ngaruawahia Regatta is held which includes a parade of traditional war waka (canoes) and a race on the Waikato River. This event has been held since the 1890s and attracts big crowds. Hamilton is a vibrant and beautiful riverside city, with abundant accomodation and restaurant options. It is the perfect point from which to explore the Waikato region which, along with the attractions of Ngaruawahia, also contains boutique wineries, the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the RIngs movies, Waitomo Caves aglow with glowworms, some great surfing at Raglan and, of course, stunning scenery.

The Hakarimata Range has several scenic walks and is a good place to see native flora, including the quirky bush daphne whose leaves are all different sizes. It is only found in the Waikato area and flowers briefly in spring. Fauna includes many forest birds. There are stunning views from various vantage points.



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