Paradise has a name ... Riverbend


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Sunday, March 31, 2013

You're always welcome to come down to the "Haus Win"

Haus Win (or 'wind house') is Pidgin for a garden or summer house in New Guinea where it is a simple bush material structure in which one may cook, sit around the fire and talk the day away.

Here at "Riverbend" Cottage it's all about sitting around, chatting, reading, or quietly relaxing in the cool breeze coming off the river while staying out of the sun.

So whether it's a bit of company you want or a bit of peace and quiet, come down to the "Haus Win". You'll find an easy chair to sit in, a book to read or a board game to play, and a hammock to fall asleep in (or, if you feel energetic enough, you may use the stationary exercise bike or the rowing machine).

And there are always several dozen ducks to keep you company - or one of us, if you're unlucky ☺

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Easter to you all!



There's only one "Riverbend" Cottage which means there's only one lucky couple to spend Easter here.

However, to all you others who have been or are planning to be our guests, we wish you a very Happy Easter and we look forward to welcoming you to "Riverbend" Cottage in the future!

Your hosts
Peter & Padma & Malty & Rover


Beautiful lies

from left to right: Siegfried, Heike, Padma (holding Malty),
Andrew, Alison, our Cottage guests Maggie and Clayton


Riverbend feels strangely empty after our guests Maggie and Clayton left this morning. They were kind enough to sign our guestbook. This is what they wrote:

"I am lost trying to find the proper superlatives to express our gratitude in sharing your private space at 'Riverbend', Peter and Padma Goerman. Two short weeks on the edge of the Clyde River became a reality when my wife Margaret accidentally discovered your 'Piece of Heaven' on the net. What a discovery!

Peter, you and Padma are truly special people that we are so glad that we had the opportunity to encounter in our travels and help us enrich and expand our minds around worldly issues.

We were treated royally during every day of our stay in "Riverbend Cottage" (just like royalty). Peter, your help in getting us settled in, launching our power boat in the Clyde River, getting to know the challenges of anchoring our boat with significant changes in water levels due to dramatic tide variations (unusual for us) and then learning the ropes rowing your tiny, unstable dinghy to and fro, from jetty to the boat and from the boat to the jetty.

The coup de grâce that will stick with me for a long time will be 'dunking in the Clyde River'. Padma and Margaret had a great laugh over that untimely experience! I have a great respect for that small dinghy now.

Padma's cooking and treats were unreal. Sure beats eating out in 5-star restaurants. We never expected to be fed by our hosts. And such delicious treats!!!

Besides my dunking, I leave with some fabulous memories of catching one fish in the Clyde (a legal-sized flathead) and we devoured it at suppertime. And then all those fresh oysters that I peeled off your pier under the jetty. Swallowed them straight off the half-shell and also had two (2) feeds of fantastic oyster stew!!!

Enough said - no more bragging. Thanks so much!

                  Clayton & Margaret Legault,
                  Geelong/Australia and Kingston/Canada"


We took our guests mountain-climbing, treated them to several film nights, had a day out with them at Ulladulla, and showed them the Moruya Markets. However, methinks it was the Canadian maple leaf that we pinned to the Cottage door that did the trick! ☺

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tonight's cultural event at "Riverbend"


Tonight's movie screening at Riverbend's Cinema Paradiso is based on a novel by Somerset W. Maugham set in England, Hong Kong, and China of the 1920s, and is a beautifully written affirmation of the human capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.

Its title refers to Percy Shelley’s sonnet "Lift not the painted veil . ." which reads,

Lift not the painted veil which those who live

Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,

And it but mimic all we would believe

With colours idly spread, --- behind, lurk Fear

And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave

Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.

I knew one who had lifted it --- he sought,

For his lost heart was tender, things to love,

But found them not, alas ! nor was there aught

The world contains, the which he could approve.

Through the unheeding many he did move,

A splendour among shadows, a bright blot

Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove 

For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.

Unfortunately, some of the most memorable lines in the book have been left out of the movie.

His lips moved. He did not look at her. His eyes stared unseeing at the white-washed wall. She leaned over him so that she might hear. But he spoke quite clearly.

'The dog it was that died.'

She stayed as still as though she were turned to stone. She could not understand and gazed at him in terrified perplexity. It was meaningless. Delirium.




(Kitty asking Waddington) 'What did he mean by saying: the dog it was that died? What is it?'

'It's the last line in Goldsmith's Elegy.'

Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog

Good people all, of every sort,

Give ear unto my song;

And if you find it wondrous short,

It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man,

Of whom the world might say

That still a godly race he ran,

Whene'er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,

To comfort friends and foes;

The naked every day he clad,

When he put on his clothes.

And in that town a dog was found,

As many dogs there be,

Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,

And curs of low degree.

This dog and man at first were friends;

But when a pique began,

The dog, to gain some private ends,

Went mad and bit the man.

Around from all the neighbouring streets

The wondering neighbours ran,

And swore the dog had lost his wits,

To bite so good a man.

The wound it seemed both sore and sad

To every Christian eye;

And while they swore the dog was mad,

They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,

That showed the rogues they lied:

The man recovered of the bite,

The dog it was that died.

        Oliver Goldsmith


Climb Every Mountain

This morning, our Cottage guests Maggie, Alison and Andrew set off with Padma to join two girls from Batemans Bay's Bodyworks to climb Pigeon House Mountain.

The climb to the summit of Pigeon House Mountain, named by Captain Cook in 1770 Pigeon House Hill, is becoming an increasingly popular activity with over 8,000 people making the effort each year. From the top of the mountain there are magnificent panoramic views of the rugged cliffs and gorges carved by the Clyde River and its tributaries. Dominating the view to the north-west are two elongated plateaux of Byangee Walls and The Castle. On a good day, coastline stretching from Point Perpendicular in the north to Mount Dromedary in the south can be seen, making the walk a most rewarding experience.

There are two roads that lead off the Princes Highway to the Pigeon House Mountain walking track.

1. At Milton, turn into Croobyar Road

2. Approximately 3kms south of Burrill Lake into the Wheelbarrow Road.

3. Travel another 27kms or so to the car park and picnic area at the start of the track.

The Carpark

Padma climbing the stairs to the top

At the top; from left to right Maggie, Padma, Andrew; in the foreground the two girls from Bodyworks (Alison took the photo)

Alison missed out on the group photo so here's one of her by herself

The walk to the top of Pigeon House Mountain and return takes about 4 hours. This walk can be divided into four stages:

Stage 1: A steep climb of 800m from the car park to the first cliff line and the National Park boundary. The track follows a steep spur through a forest of Black Ash with an open understorey. The rock types of this first section are metamorphosed Ordovician sediments that are about 490 million years old (give or take a year). The first sandstone cliff line is early Permian, which is about 250 million years old.

Stage 2: A flat walk of 1km from the top of the first cliff line to where the sandy track starts to climb again. Many wildflowers can be seen in spring and summer. Common plants are the Wattle and the Hairpin Banksia and many heaths.

Stage 3: A steep climb of 500m takes us to the famous ladders. Initially, the sandstone soils support heath and sedge but as the track climbs, the soil gets deeper and clayier allowing taller, denser vegetation to grow. Towards the top of this stage a wet forest grows where the Pigeon House cliff line provides shelter from the sun. Lyrebirds may be seen or heard here.

The views from the top are magic!

Stage 4: The summit of Pigeon House Mountain is reached by climbing a series of steel ladders attached to the cliff face. This peak is the southern most remnant of a once extensive sandstone plateau stretching north towards the Shoalhaven River.

... and as they say in the commercial, "But wait, there's more!'


Monday, March 18, 2013

Australian culture

Our Canadian guests are partaking of so much Australian culture, they've extended their stay for another week.

Last night's culture shock at our very own Cinema Paradiso was the screening of The Man Who Sued God.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Gone nuts!

Padma (far left) and Maggie (far right)
stocking up on nuts at the Moruya Markets


We took our Canadian guests Clayton and Maggie to the Moruya Markets and shouted them lunch at the local bowling club.

In the evening it was Movie Night when we imparted some Australian culture by screening The Castle.

I'm proud to announce that Tell 'em they're dreaming! has now become part of Canadian English.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Our Canadian guests

Maggie & Clayton, a very nice couple from Kingston, Ontario in Canada, are making the most of the fresh oysters and fish, freely available from the Clyde.

They've "caught" dozens of oysters already but the fish are a little more elusive. However, as they're staying for two weeks, they have lots of time to get a decent catch.