Tonight I enjoyed hot, fresh pizza from a wood-fired oven — in the company of a great group of people! I was delighted to drive to the outskirts of Warburton this afternoon to share in a pizza party at a friend’s house.

Pizza coming out of a wood-fired oven, Warburton, Victoria, November 2013
Everyone brings their toppings of choice, and we each take turns making our own pizzas and cooking them in the outside wood oven.

Although we haven’t been to this part of Victoria before, I knew quite a few people at the gathering from other community events or festivals. It was lovely to be surrounded by friends and friends-of-friends after camping by ourselves for a while.

Rolling pizza dough, November 2013
Tallan starts his own pizza by rolling a ball of dough into an extra-flat base.

Willow Hankinson, November 2013
It's wonderful to be able to catch up with Willow again! I first met Willow at the Rainbow Gathering where Elijah was born.

Willow Hankinson, November 2013
When the pizza dough started to run low, Willow prepares some from scratch in the kitchen, and keen girls help with the kneading process.

Ann Roberts, November 2013
This is Ann's house that is opened up for the pizza party. She's so welcoming to us, and it's lovely to be able to spend some time getting to know her!

While the grown-ups talked, the kids played in and around the house. Although it rained during the evening, the kids’ spirits weren’t dampened and continued to play in the big yard, even jumping on the trampoline in the rain! Ann has amassed a beautiful collection of toys for her children, and our girls loved playing with the animal figures, so they stayed inside.

Simon Oats playing the bell drum, Warburton, Victoria, November 2013
Musician Simon has a turn on the bell drum. Whenever we go into someone's house, I like to introduce this instrument to the occupants. It's so easy to play and sounds beautiful.

I particularly love to hand the bell drum to percussionists, as they play it so well! Simon is a talented musician and storyteller, and his work can be sampled on his website, including a range of great folktales.

It’s been a great evening, and I’m so thankful for the invitation that brought us to this beautiful part of the Yarra Valley. Thank you, Ann, for opening your home to all of us!