Raising our children in the Blue Mountains has been a glorious physical environment for our daughters and now our grandchildren. It was no great thinking on our parts. We were economic refugees from Sydney like many others who couldn't afford to buy a house near our childhood homes. We bought the old mountains house inspired mostly by the backyard which had a birdbath and a tree house (since fallen down). We have lived here for 24 years. Rosie was five when we arrived, our only child, and she wandered the huge garden saying “I don't believe it” over and over as if something magical had happened.
Anna came squalling into the world the day before Rosie's tenth birthday. It was a home birth and the midwife nearly didn't make it. Ian was all gloved up and telling me he could do it, he had seen the videos, he'd be right but later he said he was shit-scared. When Anna was born she looked identical to Rosie. Looking into those dark grey eyes, as they stared into mine – it seemed as if time collapsed. Rosie was there, and later, when Rosie gave birth to her first child Lilli, I was there. I think that the experience of seeing her sister born, gave Rosie courage in her own birthing.