Trip FOUR to OZ. October 2016 to November - Perth, Australia

Perth, Australia

Molly's Blog Tuesday 27th September 2016. Two weeks today David & I depart from Newcastle Airport for Perth, via Dubai flying with Emirates airline. Clothes etc laid out on spare bed, bit of a mess but organised. All the last minute things to do, bank, post, police, key holders, security, etc. We have a long list. Reaching excitement point now, looking forward to seeing Sandy & Wendy & their newly acquired house, they move in a week before we arrive! The weather is warming up there now, whilst here at home this morning is very dull, kitchen is dark & a temperature of 13deg, feeling autumnal. Sunday 2nd October Cases partially packed, still chaos in the spare room! Nights getting colder, down to 2 degrees, dark just before 7pm, autumnal changes, high winds a few days ago as a result debris in the garden to clear. Sandy & Wendy have acquired a house, keys too! Very exciting. They have been packing, moving boxes, then the big stuff will be professionally moved. Wendy off to Sydney this am to start induction course for her new job. Looking forward to hearing all about it. This week to come will be busy for David & I with final things to be attended to. Down to days now! Monday 10th October Just after 7pm, cases packed & ready to go tomorrow. Bernard phoned to reassure us that he will arrive to collect us at 9am in the am. Sandy is in Sydney & Wendy in Melbourne! Sandy returns from Sydney to Perth about two hours before our flight is due!! Hope no delays. Tuesday 11th October Well, the day has arrived! Prompt at 9am Bernard arrived to pick us up, all ready for the road, David got up at 06.30. Message waiting from Sandy to wish us a safe journey, how lovely. He sure is the greatest! Damp, raw am with a heavy shower on the way to Newcastle, good run down & an enjoyable chat with Bernard. Checked in, coffee & croissant to keep us going until late lunch on the flight. (We paid for a special business class offer for the leg to Dubai). Wow!!! Never before have we had the pleasure! Boarded first with the wealthy!! David had a panic & thought he had lost his passport! Bit of a sweat but found it in a safe place! Business class is comfort itself, the leg space is something to enjoy, we are side by side in our own wee cubicle. Because of this style of travel, had to have a G&T, don't usually have alcohol on a long haul flight - dehydrates. We have so much space in front of our BC seats, we could get up & dance! Going to sip my gin now & reflect on how it must be to have money to allow such a cushion of comfort. 12th October 01.20am Dubai airport. Travelling BC is the way to go! Feet up, quiet & comfortable. Did not sleep but rested for an hour or so. Proper meal with real cutlery & napkin. Next leg of the journey we will have to put up with economy again, oh dear. Feeling tired & it's only 10.30pm UK time. Transferred to terminal via BC bus, very plush. Only a few other people as the rest all on the first bus! An elderly man opposite us on the bus said he was travelling to Melbourne & on to NZ where he lives. Scotsman from Ashburton who knew Alan Lochhead! He left Eyemouth as a young man & has lived in NZ 65yrs! Alec Thomson. Amazing! DUBAI airport in the early hours of the am is heaving with travellers, the airport concourses hard to negotiate while trailing a case. I shopped at the Clinique shop for eye shadow but they did not have my colour, instead the chap serving me gave me a travel make up bag containing just what I needed, for nothing! That is how to shop in Dubai.... Had a Costa Coffee & spent 3hrs just wishing the next leg of the journey over! 00.35hrs departed Dubai on the mighty A380, biggest passenger aircraft that holds about 500 passengers. The departure lounge was bursting at the seams with seats for about a third of passengers. Boarded ok into, yes, economy class, bit of a comedown! Take off delayed by 30 mins, airport busy. Taking off we watched on screen the runway ahead & it took the whole length to get this hulk in the air. Quiet & smooth, we have aisle seats opposite each other, 10 across in our section - this plane has two decks!! Watching a Sam Neal film in NZ about an orphan boy, sad & very funny, called Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Currently 01.30am GMT, have not eaten for over 9 hrs, feeling tired & weak!! Meal not too bad, usual airline meal, with water this time. Rested with blinkers on but too much passenger disturbance, at least five people & a child coughing in the seats beside us - woman next to me 'full' of the cold!! Another meal, pecked at potato, tiredness not w more than hunger. This leg truly is a marathon, current time is 08.20 GMT been up & awake for 26 hours with three to go. Not long now.... 09.50GMT. Perth 4.50pm. Due to land in 25 minutes, Yeeha! Just found out this aircraft has 27 crew on board! At last nearly there, excited now, Sandy will be watching for us!! Landed smoothly on time, took an hour to get through immigration etc & as usual my passport would not scan, lost my place in a huge queue to get to an immigration officer rather than a machine! 500 passengers is a lot to process & Perth airport seems overwhelmed. Out of this area & through... to a sea of faces & out popped Sandy heading towards us, that was great! Out in to the warm evening, 23 deg at 7pm, 15 minutes later we arrived at 2B Jackman St to the new house. It was lit up & looked very nice indeed, big square house. Did the grand tour, can see why Sandy & Wendy liked the place. Four bedrooms, all with new carpet, 2 ensuites & a bathroom. Kitchen living area spacious & light, it will be lovely when they get settled in. We had to lift the mattress on to our bed & make it! Quite a few boxes to unpack. We went out for a quick bite at a Vietnamese place down the road, ideal. After 32 hours on the go it was good to shower & take to bed at 10pm. 13th October Thursday Both woke up at 8.45am! Never heard a thing all night, not one plane. Sandy was at work but returned at 11am to take us to Manning where the VW Golf still was. Sandy went straight back to his office & we drove to Applecross for a am cappuccino! Did grocery shopping at The Good Grocer there & headed back to Willagee. In the afternoon we drove to Garden City at Booragoon to register for Medicare. Got back, Sandy came home from work & then we spent two hours cleaning & unpacking a few things. The garage is full of boxes! Ate out again in Northbridge, nice drive to the city, Perth looks fab at night. Went to Papa Rich, Malaysian restaurant that we like, good food. Back home, shower & bed. 14th October Friday Good nights sleep, I woke up at 7am, thought about getting up but fell asleep again, until 10am!! After a shower felt less zombie like. David shopped at supermarket & I did a big pile of ironing. Sunny am, about 20 degrees & quite windy, very pleasant though. In the afternoon we both walked round a few blocks in Willagee, the further away from Jackson St the more varied the houses, some fairly undesirable! The suburb is described as 'up and coming'. Jackman St is fairly high up but over the hill is when nothing much has changed since 1960's. Good to get the sluggish legs going after the long journey & clear the head too. Have felt more tired today than yesterday. Sandy got home just after five pm. For two hours we did more cleaning & unpacking before heading to the airport just before 7pm to collect Wendy. Planned to eat later, scrambled eggs & toast to be easy. Met Wendy at a very busy airport, hundreds of cars all queuing to get to the 'pick up' point - on the way an Aussie bloke in a very smart 'top of the range' Holden ute lost his temper at a taxi driver who squeezed in front of him! He was shouting loudly using amazingly colourful language! We had a good laugh!! Met Wendy who seemed very happy to be back to Perth & to see us all there to greet her. Back home, David scrambled eggs, very good on toast. Bit of a chat, shower & bed. 15th October Wendy got up after 6am, think she was keen to get on with some unpacking. We all spent the am doing just that - David & Sandy shuvved 6huge boxes of books in a cupboard under the stair. I unpacked kitchen stuff & put it all in to the kitchen larder. Wendy was upstairs also unpacking boxes. Just after 12md we left for Manning to do the final clean up before inspection on Tuesday, stopped for a snack on the way at a pasti bar. At 'Manning mansion' as we nicknamed the house, we set to work. Over three hours of intensive work done, David cleaned & gardened the back patio, Sandy & Wendy cleaned inside the house while I weeded, swept & generally tidies the front of the house. Two palm type small trees, like pandanas palms at the front shed leaves & make quite a mess. A long bed of plants edging the drive were weeded & cleared, the drive swept - all very physical hard work. Sandy & Wendy appreciated a team of four which halved the job for them. The owners left a list which rather annoyed us, however if the property is not left to their liking they can withhold $2000 deposit!! Or a portion of, this seems the way they make money!! We even had to hose the white garage door that had six small marks of fly ****!!! Gave us a laugh!! Home via The Good Grocer, more stuff to unload from the two cars, OMG!! The day was very windy, heavy rain shower in early am, temp got to 18deg, cool in the wind. Going out for a meal tonight!! Meal at Ria Malaysian Kitchen, great food. We shared three dishes of beef, chicken & vegetables. Very popular place, big queues. Enjoyed chat & a huge surprise from Sandy & Wendy - they handed us an envelope & in it were four tickets to Andre Rieu concert in Perth on 3rd November. Wow! That will be something! Home tired after a busy day. 16th November Did not sleep all that well, woke up for about 3hours. Got up at 8.30am, breakfast & off to Manning for the final burst of cleaning & tidying. By midday we finished and the place was spotless with a seedless & tidy garden. If they don't get their $2,000 deposit we will be very annoyed. Wendy wanted to go to Fremantle this afternoon to join the 400th Dutch celebration of the arrival of the first explorer Dirk Hartog. Interesting & worth looking up. Wendy met a few of her Dutch friends & enjoyed an hour there. We wandered around enjoying the harbour etc, loads of people around. Sunny but a cold wind. Cup of tea at Cappuccino Strip, famous street with shops, cafes & posers! Some amazing cars & bikes drive past only to be seen!! Home, ironed while Sandy prepared & cleaned the BBQ ready for use. We enjoyed tasty sausages with onions, pepper, courgette & chips! 17th October Did it again! Woke at 1am, fell asleep at 5am. David woke me at 10.30am! So not me! Skipped breakfast & got a made up roll at The Good Grocer for lunch. Sat at The riverside in sun but chilly wind to eat it. After that we went to Garden City to get house keys cut, do food shopping & I got some mousse for my hair. Waited for David 45minutes, wondered where he was! Bought a hot water bottle at a pharmacy on the way home! We came here for heat!! I walked for almost an hour round the streets of Willagee, got home to find Sandy & Wendy both home from work. Wendy enjoyed her first day at work in the new job so that was good. Sandy BBQ chicken wings & drumsticks while David sautéed potatoes & Wendy made a lovely salad with avocado & pine nuts. Red wine was good! I spent the evening wrapping presents for Melbourne while Wendy went early to be just after 8pm! Sandy fixed a few things & got the TV wired into action. Got some ironing done too, all very domestic. Diana rang on David's ph, she & Murray are coming down next week to take David out for lunch, very good of them. 18th October Much better sleep, woke at 9am, still must be jiggered. Quieter in Willagee than in Manning, can hear Leach Hwy traffic faintly & no airport traffic. Breakfast, made picnic & off to Kings Park. Nice am, sunny& warm to be about 21degrees. To our delight there are still wildflowers in fresh condition, so many lovely colours. Took my Canon 7D with three lenses, one the macro. Spent about three hours wandering around enjoying the warmth of the sun & taking photos. We see some different plants each time we visit. At the water fountain & pond there were two lots of duck with ducklings, a pair with 8 & the other with 13!! Australian Wood ducks, just looked up the species. For dinner David cooked beautiful salmon coated in Harissa & flour with lemon, pan fried in ghee, with basmati rice, snow peas & carrot. Enjoyed by all. Wendy was tired, she did not have one break at work today, not ideal, sure this adds to tiredness, she. Went to bed at 8.30pm. I packed case for Melbourne, most stuff anyway. Now have a heater in the bedroom, maybe the house being empty for a while has chilled it through, so cold. Have decided to keep my Canon 7D, rather than leave it here in Oz. Cannot bring myself to part with it yet. 19th October Cool, cloudy with sunshine, only 20 deg. Another night with 3hrs awake! It was the same last visit, took about 8 days to feel normal & sleep ok. Tomorrow I need to get up at 6am to get flight to Melbourne leaving at 09.45am. David & I drove 7 minutes away to Bicton, nice place by the river. Had a walk along the front admiring or not, some of the large houses that loom over The River Swan. Picnic by the river in a cold wind, cloud came over so after lunch we drove home to get washing in. There was a wee spot of rain, sun appeared soon though. Shopped at Booragoon, noticeably there are many Asians now in WA & large people! Australia has taken over the USA at the top of the obesity scale! Perth's population has reached 2 million, it was 100,000 in 1969!! Bit different 40+ yrs ago. 20th October Nice crisp sunny am. Off toMelbourne today. Alarm off at Six am! Quick shower in preparation to lea e at 07.15 am, however.... Sandy greeted me with ' have you read your emails'? Flight now going via Sydney!! Oh dear, departing from Perth later at 10.35am, arrive Sydney 17.45pm ( 14.45hrs Perth time ) Leave Sydney local time 18.30 hrs, arrive Melbourne 20.05hrs, FOUR hours later! Bugger, however at least I am on a flight. More leaisurly breakfast with the family! Bid farewell to Sandy & Wendy as they left for work. David & I left in loads of time for the airport, ready anyway - could have had another half hour in bed! Nice smooth run to Perth airport, Terminal 1. Cheerio to Paw & off in to the departure area. Checked in myself using the label & case scanner, case off to somewhere, hope to God it's Melbourne! Very smart airport now, done up in the last three years. Settled in for an Aussie 'flat white' with a crunchy flapjack & reviewed the situation. Rang Jane on mobile & landline but no one home. Hope she gets the message?? I did forward the email from Virgin Australia with flight changes. Can only hope they don't arrive at Melbourne airport for 5pm!! Now 09.10hrs, will toilet & head for departure area 48. Took off at 10.50, bit late. Aisle seat next to a ? *****ian young man! Well, very black. Soon after take off, just after 11am, food served - I had a Thai beef curry with rice & a chic mousse!! Might as well eat now, might not get anything for a while. Watching a documentary about the A Aboriginal Community & how they lived & now live in remote areas in the north. They now get Government money but nothing to spend it on but rubbish food. No jobs. Their culture does not 'do' Western style. Aborigines share things, now that money is given to them this is not so easy. They buy Western stuff, rubbish gathers, they never had rubbish before - what they took from the bush went back to the bush. Now cars, metals, plastics etc all gather in huge piles forming atrocious sites. Western food causes problems too. Interesting Documentary. This trip to Melbourne is calculated to take from door to door... just over 12hours, instead of 6 hrs!! Bit long!! Eyes drying out! On Airbus A330 - 200! Landed in to Sydney bang on time. Had 45mins to connect to Melbourne. Found the gate & phoned Jane, she laughed at my round tour of Australia to get to Melbourne! She & Maggie are going to meet me in the baggage area. Texted David to inform. On an A737 -800, no in flight entertainment this time. No worries, got plenty to do like, have a cup of tea, comb my hair, loo & land! Both flight sat in aisle seat, good for getting out to toilet. This flight is full of commuters, you can tell. 7.45pm, due in five after 8pm BUT... 1st officer has just announced a 20 min delay !!!!! Due to busy airport, I am destined to get to Melbourne!! Jane & Maggie will be so fed up !! Left Sydney after a 20 minute taxi. One hour & 15 to Melbourne. LANDED at last!! 20 minutes late. Out to baggage area where public can meet & greet & THERE was Jane & Maggie!! Fantastic to see them again, looking great. We trundled out of Melbourne which took some time because some major routes were closed off. The city lights were stunning, how huge this city is now. An and a bit down the road chatting all the way, of course! So much to catch up with. Nellie phoned while we were on the way & said 'oh well, we will see you in the am... Super smooth freeway all the way to Mornington. Arrived about 10.30pm. Unloaded Maggie from the VW Caddie car, big car that accommodates Maggies wheelchair. Upstairs & to much surprise... Jude jumped out, followed by Trish then Nellie!!! What a shock! Wow, it was fab to see them. I had fruit toast & tea while we all chatted. Some reunion!! The house is beautiful, lovely high ceilings, newly built, even has an elevator. My room & Janes are downstairs both with ensuites. I had a VERY welcome shower after unpacking my case. Had to get organised. Meeting at Nella for am coffee. Jane going to waken me at 8am with coffee. Sent messages to Willagee, the Manning rented house inspection awaits a result! Now, if I can get to sleep after all this excitement?? My Perth clock says 21.30, here in Victoria after midnight. Been a very long day, 18 hrs since I got up this am. 21st October. Melbourne. 13degrees, wet & very miserable! Did not get to sleep until after 2am! No wonder after the day I had plus excitement of the evening! Jane woke me with coffee just after 8am, I was sound asleep & so tired. Got up, showered, breakfast & Nellie, Jude & Trish arrived for coffee about 11am. It rained heavily all day! Trish & I even ventured out for a walk that lasted about 15minutes, just so cold & unpleasant. The house is just beautiful, so spacious & pleasant, big too. Trish & I watched golf in the afternoon from Malaysia, KL. At 6pm, Chris, Pete, Clare, Pierce, kids, Pip, Penny kids, Grace was 19 today, this was a wee party for her. Jessica is in ShanghI while the boyfriend/partner is down here for a few weeks. Jane poached pheasant & roasted chicken, the family brought salads, dessert & birthday cake. Great way. To entertain. Enjoyed chat with everyone. They all left before 11pm, tired, blog & sleep would be good. Never felt warm all day, so cold!! It is 13 deg & only a wee bit of heating upstairs for Maggie. We would have full central heating on. The ground floor is very cold. Enjoyed the day though, pity about the weather, restricting when it comes to walking & exploring. 22nd October. Woke up in a cold sweat!! Could not get to sleep, cold so got a blanket out the wardrobe. Breakfast, then Polly arrived. She was staying with an ex nursing friend not far away. Good to see Polly, 18 years since we saw each other. After Maggie was dressed & ready to go. We left to go for coffee with Nellie & to see Nellies new house. What a cold, miserable day, apparently the coldest October day here for 6yrs, big low going east, heavy rain++. Nellie's house was very nice, almost a smaller scale version of Jane & Maggie. We ate rolls etc for lunch & enjoyed the chat. About 2pm, off again along the road about 15 minutes to see Robin & Bill. They have a very nice house with a big swimming pool, also quite a big garden with gum trees. Again chats & afternoon tea of huge scones with jam & cream!! Trish & I took the dog for a brisk walk between torrential showers, it got down to 8 deg, & in Perth it was 29 deg!! Unbelievable contrasts! Enjoyed seeing Robin & Bill after 30 years!! Came back to Jane & Maggie's, watched a horse race where a famous horse has not lost a race, think it was called Wix or something similar. Nellie took the Lenehans to Mass at 6PM! Jane, Maggie & I set the table etc for tea. Drinks, chat & into Robins lasagna that she made for us all, accompanied with wine of course. Good chat around the table. All quite tired so off to bed a bit earlier, like 10.30pm. See what the weather is like tomorrow, hope for a decent walk. Eating with no excercise not good!! 23rd October Another night with a few hours of not sleeping! No effects really during the daytime, keep active & busy anyway. Sun out & dry!! Had breakfast & headed out for an hours walk along the esplanade, really enjoyed being out & briskly walking. The coastline looks rugged with natural bush along the way, Turned back & walked down on to the beach where the 'bathing huts' are - we call them beach huts. Popular & painted in bright colours, bit like Brighton! Before lunch The Lenehans & Nellie arrived, we all set off in two cars to tour the south of the Mornington Peninsula. All the way to Sorrento we passed through small towns populated with some very nice houses, some holiday homes only. We lunched in the Continental Hotel, I had bangers & mash, we went Dutch for the bill, $24 each. No alcohol, just water. Wandered along & looked at some very attractive shops, can see why people are attracted to the area. In to the cars & then down through the National Park area to reach the former Quarantine Station. https://nepeanhistoricalsociety.asn.au/ history/quarantine-station/ See online details of a very interesting history. Cold in the wind but pleasant, temp 14deg. We left Sorrento to drive up the east coast of the peninsula, quite different to the other coast. Rural, green & slightly reminded me of the green hills in New Zealand. There are stock farms, horse studs very popular, big time racers too. Really enjoyed the winding roads with open views all the way to Mornington at 5pm. Lounged over a cup of tea, Jude & I used Maggie's massage gadget that has five balls rolling around electronically, very soothing! Jane made vegetable risotto which we all enjoyed. After tea we looked at photographs that Polly brought with her, bit of reminiscing. Trish has golf booked for us tomorrow am at 11am, forecast reasonable. 24th October. Mornington Up at 8.30 am, sunn out, to be about 18 - 20 degrees. Trish arrived to pick me up just after 10am, we had a tee booked to play golf at The Mornington Golf Course. Off we set & Trish got lost with the sat navy on too! She kept driving up a street where she thought was the way, while the radio blaring at the same time!! Played 18 holes in pleasant temperature but cool soft wind. Enjoyed the course, great views over both coastlines. Undulating, Trish used a buggy while I walked mostly. Played ok but putting was very difficult to get used to rapid-fast greens! The fairways were patchy with weeds, no distinguishable edges on fairways or greens. Pleasant day, Trish talks the whole time, even while you address the ball, not used to that at home. We enjoyed date scones made by Chris for a snack as we played. Home at 3pm, cup of tea & a shower. Chris & Pete came for pre dinner drinks, enjoyed sitting around all having a reminisce & a laugh! We had dinner of chicken rissoles with baked potato wedges & salad - super meal. Ice cream & fruit for dessert. We all had our fair share of beer & wine! Jane put on 60's music that we sang in our days in Perth, what a hoot! Jane & Jude dancing was hilarious. Nellie took her guests home just before 10pm, Jane & I finished the night by playing Shirley Bassey's 'This is My Life' ! Jane used to belt this out when we flatted in Perth, WA! 25th October. At last a warm day, 22 degrees, sunny & very pleasant. My bedroom even warming up! Breakfast & out along the shore to walk, no jacket/waistcoat required, very pleasant at 09.30. Late am Jane had some pharmacy stuff to collect for Maggie. The Lenehans were going south to visit a friend until late afternoon. Nellie came for lunch, heated date scones. Instead of an afternoon nap we all drove to Mt Martha & walked along a boardwalk nature trail, Maggie in the electric wheelchair- easy for Jane who can control it from behind. Nice trail, bird song especially. It followed a creek so the boardwalk took us over marshy undergrowth. Very pleasant, must have walked a mile there & back. From 5pm, The Lenehans returned, bit of chat followed by a beer. Jane made the most tasty fish with baked oven chips & salad. She rolled The flatfish in flour & seasoning, flash fried in oil & butter until brown. The potato chips she first sliced, dried then put in an oven bag with oil until ready to add to a tray & bake. After dinner we played a game that the Lenehans gave to Jane, Maggie & Nellie as a gift, quite good it was too, forgotten the name. Early night, we'll sort of to get ready for tomorrow, Jane's big day! 26th October Mornington. Jane's big day! Jane is 70 today! She woke me at 8am with coffee, I was dead to the world after not getting to sleep until nearly 2am, so annoying. Greeted Jane with gift & card, she was delighted with it. Quick breakfast & while Maggie was being showered & dressed I set off on my am walk. Took the same route today except further, over an hour later got back to the house. Must have walked nearly 4mls. Nellie & The Lenehans arrived just after 11am dressed ready for lunch out at Kirks Hotel. Maggie' brother John had driven down yesterday from Tokamore 4hrs away, he arrived along at the same time. Big guy John with a heart of gold, had not seen him for 30yrs! Johndrove us to the pup in his huge Toyota ... big V8 job, top of the range. Daryl & Pat arrived, 15 yrs since they stayed with us, saw them 2yrs ago in WA. Daryl has had prostate cancer & still not out of the woods. Pat is looking small & old, both 76 now. Robin arrived without Bill, he came later to the house. Pete & Chris, then Glenys & David Bower, they live in Melbourne, Glenys was one of the nursing gang from long ago & came from Leongatha. All chose & paid for our own meal, John & Maggie paid for all the drinks!! I had a chicken dish with so much chicken, would have fed 4 people. Daryl proposed a toast to Jane, all enjoyed a good chat, very happy meal. Back at the house we enjoyed Jane's birthday cake, sponge backed by Chris, 4 layer with passion fruit cream, quite light & delicious. Not much more drink taken, more tea & water. After most folk left except John, we all had fruit toast, plain toast & tea. Chat until just before 9pm. My back was sore sitting on upright chairs all day. Ready for bed. Spoke to David briefly, two missed call from him, but by mistake. They were having pre dinner drinks! Cold again tonight, forecast not great for my last whole day here, tomorrow. Must remember to check in online tomorrow for flight on Friday late afternoon. Hope to sleep tonight.. 27th October Good nightts sleep, woke early at 7.30 am. Breakfast then John came along for am coffee before heading off to Tokumwal about 10.30, four hours drive, north of Melbourne. Good to see John, ( Maggie's brother) who I met years ago too! I shot out for an hours walk, got back & straight into the car & off to Chris & Pete's. Their house is very nice with a garden of native plants & shrubs. We met the other girls there then set off with Chris as our tour guide. Chris & Pete were employed by the Myers family for four years & lived on their country retreat called the Elgee estate. Myers stores are a family owned store in every city around Australia- founded before I was here in 1969. Chris was housekeeper to Mr & Mrs Myers when they visited The Mornington Eastate. The family have several huge villas in Melbourne in Toorak. Mrs Myers now has dementia, while Mr Myers is mentally & physically fit. Nice couple apparently. Chris contacted her former colleagues to allow us access to drive through the property. 400 acres here but more elsewhere- the daughter owns a farm too nearby. Beautiful grounds with amazing fencing, got photos. Views over the ocean in the distance, just a quiet area of rural Mornington Peninsula. There are cattle, Black Angus & the rare Spanish breed of ... horse breeding too, 90 horses approx! We saw several mares with foals. There is an art gallery in a shed where Mr Myers houses Aboriginal art/paintings. They have a huge collection in Melbourne Chris told us. The main house is modest in size with a lovely garden & the most amazingly large eucalyptus tree loaded with nuts. Light lunch was at The Myers winery/restaurant nearby, wine, food & a shop with very expensive items. Trish treated us with white wine from the estate- the son had a huge commercial vineyard locally & produces very nice wine. After lunch we toured up the east coast, again more lovely views. Called in at Flinders, harbour, pier & a great view. Warm in the sun, reached a good 18-20 deg, still got a jumper on. Got back to Mornington at 5pm, Penny & Maggie called in for a wee while, Chris & Pete too, drinks together. Jane cooked a superb spaghetti bolognaise for dinner, some of Jane's birthday cake for afters. We played Rummiekub again, very competitive! Good fun. Later tonight, the girls left at 10.30pm, tired & so to bed... Maggie was watching ladies Asian Tour Golf. 28th October. Mornington Good sleep, woke at 7am. Have to check flight to Perth. 28th October Woke at 7am after a good sleep. Shower, Strip bed, pack & breakfast. Planned to walk before anyone appeared at Jane's. Finished breakfast just after 9am, Penny was calling in to say cheerio about quarter to ten, however didn't appear until an hour later. When she did she stayed until after 12md, then Trish & Polly appeared. Trish left with a friend at 12md for the day, Nellie, Jude then LO & behold Pete arrived!! Jane told them " McGoo needs to go out to walk for half an hour" ... so I did. Felt warm by then, beautiful temperature about 18 deg. Only had a brief walk, shame. Back for a bite of lunch, Nellie brought rolls which we had with various filling, including King Island Brie!! The Kirk family produce this VG Brie, best ever tasted in fact. Said farewell to Nellie & Jude & left to travel to the airport at 14.10hrs, usually an hours journey. Polly was flying to Brisbane just before me & had arranged this so that only one journey would be required for J& M. The traffic was incredible the closer we got to the city taking just under two hours to Tullamarine Airport. This coming weekend is The Melbourne Cup, big weekend on the Victorian calendar. Many families bail out of the city for the weekend, Public Hols, they go north or south. Poor Jane & Maggie would have four hours of driving just to see us off. Very sad to say goodbye to Jane & Maggie, they have been so generous & kind to us all, have had a great week with old friends, laughing, reminiscing, eating & drinking!! The families down their are lovely folk, always so pleased to see me, I felt rather special. Jane said I was 'the icing on her cake', that was nice. Jane has a lot to do caring for Maggie 24/7, she would have it no other way. Now that they live nearer to most of the family there can be more assistance. Sisters Chris & Robin, Nellie of course, nieces & Pete. Close family. Maggie' brother John is always there too, even though 4hrs drive away, he would do anything for these two. Now that I have travelled to Melbourne I feel sure this can be repeated, even five days would be fine. David & I could both hop across to Melbourne. Jane & Maggie will not be doing any more flights, or long drives. Now in the air, on my way DIRECT this time! Going via Sydney was a long haul, 12 hour day whereas today will be approx over eight. Should be about 7 -8 hrs door to door. On an Airbus A330-200, smooth with inhouse entertainment. To take 20 minutes longer in to a head wind. Text David before takeoff- he knows I am coming! As soon as we landed I phoned David, he was getting a ticket at the car park, dropped it & lost it!! Found the baggage area, took a while for my bag - as usual. David was there at the back, public get in this area in aperth too. David had to speak to the ticket officer to get another ticket, then we couldn't find the car - good start! It was 10.30 my time, 7.30pm WA. Sandy & Wendy were shopping for shelves in IKEA. Nice to get back to Willagee, tired & weary. Had a cup of tea, showered then Sandy & Wendy arrived home. Bit chat & so to bed. 29th November. Willagee Slept off & on, time adjustment is a bit difficult, my back is sore too from travelling. Not cold, it was 23deg in Perth yesterday, Sunny am, looking forward to a long walk!! Breakfast & off to Leaderville for cake & coffee, to celebrate Wendy's birthday. We shared two different types as the sizes were enormous - vanilla lime custard slice & apple crumble pie. Sandy wanted to go to Melville to look at a canoe display so David & I called home briefly on our way to Cottesloe for a walk. We all met there, had a cup of tea after the walks, home & just as we got home & heavy shower of rain. David & Sandy launched in to a curry making session, it smelt very good. I did some ironing while Wendy was doing things upstairs. She wanted furniture moved too, chairs out the living area. Dinner was very, very good. Chicken thigh curry, made with spices from Amazing Malaysian recipes, served with sautéed courgette & mustard seeds & basmati rice. Very enjoyable meal. All tired, my time clock is obviously in Victoria's time. Takes a few days to adjust maybe. Shower & so to bed. 30th October. Willagee Best sleep yet. Breakfast on a lovely sunny am, grand for all my washing. Until 11am the house, garage & garden was a hive of activity. Sandy & David were transferring stuff from the garage to the garden shed, unpacking boxes of tools etc. Bikes, swag, outdoor stuff, quite a collection to stow away. They nipped across the highway to Bunnings - Australias equivalent to B&Q to get some fixings for the shed & garage walls. Wendy was hosing & cleaning the patio furniture. I did a huge pile of ironing. At 11am we decided Sunday was a day to enjoy too so we set off to go for a walk at Bicton, by the river but... on the way we stopped at a very nice cafe for am coffee. We had scone, cake & muffins. The walk started at the car park at Bicton taking the walking path alongside the Swan River. I took photos along the way with my Canon 7D of bush, flowers & of course boats on the river. We walked as far as Walter Point where there is a spit across the river, favourite spot of ours. Black swans & river birds populate the area. Back to the car the same way, must have walked about 4mls. Got back home well after 1pm for lunch, rolls & salad. Afternoon, busy again. Sandy continued sorting out the garage & shed while Wendy continued with various tasks. David spent the afternoon visiting South Perth where there was a Jaguar Demo/display of some kind, this had turned out to be worth a visit. He sat in two of the most recent TOP models! Think he quite liked that! He also shopped for food at The Good Grocer on the way home. Dinner was again another tasty meal... Sandy BBQ chicken wings, Wendy made salad & oven chips. Sandy assisted David & I with a few iPad problems like Kindle sharing & email issues. Early to bed, tired after a busy day. 31st October Getting warmer, temperatures to rise as the week goes on. Sandy & Wendy off to work, we got up earlier. David did shopping while I hoovered & mopped everywhere. Changed sheets, washing dried in no time. This is the day Sandy & Wendy are having lunch with The King & Queen of the Netherlands who are visiting Australia. Dutch residents of Western Australia for over three years could enter a draw to be picked for the occasion, 200 people. They are lunching at the Sandalford Winery up the Swan Valley which is at the foot of the Kalamunda Hills district. They are coming home at midday to dress for the occasion. 12MD both came home, changed & off to meet the Dutch Royals. David & I had lunch & left at 2pm to drive to Bicton for a walk. When we dot there the 'Fremantle Doctor' was in full force. The wind was quite chilly too until we reached the walking pathway alongside the river. Walked for an hour then home via the cafe we visited yesterday. Cup of tea & an Empire biscuit, good. While there Hilary rang, hard to hear her for music & traffic, she suggested meeting on the 9th for lunch. Scott rang at the same time but David missed the call. We spoke later when we got home. Scott's son Michael gets married on the 12th Nov so all excited for that. He plans a visit to Scotland Christmas 2017 with Lachlan & Ewan & stay with us at Christmas. Sandy & Wendy got home about 7 pm having had a very enjoyable day with Royalty! They shook hands both the King & Queen & exchanged only a smile! They seemed to have had a pleasant day & some of their Dutch friends were there too. David & I had cold meat with salad & potatoes for dinner, accompanied by a Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc. Sandy & Wendy arrived home about 7pm cold & tired. We chatted a bit & headed for bed just after 9pm. 1st November Big day in Australia.. The Melbourne Cup. Even though this famous horse race is held in Victoria every other state joins in celebrating the day. People dress up, women as though they were going to Ascot, men in suits. David & I spent a few hours in the city over the lunchtime period & even watched the race on a big screen. Champagne parties were being held in city squares, pubs & restaurants. In Victoria it is a Public holiday. The race winner gets £2.6!! Not dollars. The horse that won - jockey won it 16 yrs ago & the owners fifth win! He must be a wealthy man. The first race was run 156 years ago! On the way to the city we drove to South Perth, walked to the ferry terminal & caught a ferry across to the new Elizabeth Quay. This a developement on reclaimed land to create a ferry terminal & temporary moorings for visiting boats. The project is ongoing with hotels & apartments still to be built. There. Is a spacious recreational area for various things, like & enjoying an ice cream! We walked over the new new footbridge. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabe th_Quay Back over via the ferry, called in at the fish shop & Dan Murphy's liquor store. What a size it is too, the shed is the size of an aircraft hanger full of booze! Temp today was 24deg, very hot in the sun while we were in the city. 2nd November. Perth While David shopped I changed duvet cover, aired & hung out other stuff. Warmer am, washing dried in no time. Made a picnic lunch & headed of to Cottesloe via Peppermint Grove to see what has been done to the river front houses in the last year. Wandered round the block & got chatting to a plumber. He grew up in the north island of New Zealand. Tall thin very pleasant man who shocked us when he told us he was 82! Did not fell like retiring. He & David were comparing growing up during the war & how they grew vegetables & had very little. Interesting half hour, we could have gone on for longer. He was telling us about the owner who lived in the huge house where we stood. He owned vineyards, selling wine all over the world, owns houses in USA, Canada, London & France. Had our picnic at Cottesloe & a wee while in the sun, got too hot, no energy for a walk even so we came home for early afternoon tea. The temperature by then was 29deg! Getting warmer, Saturday's forecast 35deg!! David was watering the grass back & front of house using the reticulation set up. For dinner pork Cumberland BBQ sausages that we bought at The Boatshed. 3rd November Lovely morning, again! Blue sky & no clouds. Spent from 11 am at The Perth Zoo, enjoyed it very much, only 24 deg so ideal for wandering around. The big croc has a new enclosure with its own pool, he/she was lying at the edge not moving an inch! The dingo was not to be seen. Good walk from the Boathouse car park 15 mins away. Back home just before 4pm to shower & get ready for the concert tonight. The concert was super!! Finally included the West Australian Pipe Band playing Amazing Grace! We were sitting 71 steps up to row Y!! There was no Z so we were up in The Gods! The Perth Arena is huge, used for tennis, basketball & concerts. Sound was not quite loud enough & the large screens not too visible for us. We walked ten minutes or so back to where the car was parked, got home 11.30pm. Wendy very tired. Sandy, David & I fine, really enjoyed it all - tremendous night out, loved it! 4th November Up at usual time, Sandy & Wendy off to work before 7.30am. Wendy even had a walk before leaving. We breakfasted, washed & hung out clothes, made a picnic & headed off before 10 am!! Drove to Trigg beach via Fremantle so that we followed the coastal route, very nice too. Beautiful day with a lovely even temperature. Had coffee at a Cafe that Sandy recommended, obviously a very popular place as it was very busy. We ordered & sat outside missing by minutes a wall being demolished beside where we sat! A lorry drove out from behind the cafe & took a bit of the wall away! They were tidying up as we arrived, we thought it was builders! Spent an hour or so on the beach, walked for a mile at least along the beach & back to a rocky area where we got shelter. After our picnic lunch David said to me to look behind- here was a big lizard at least 18" long sitting five feet away from me! It was having a look then started to approach me.... I threw my banana skin to divert him!! Took a few pics before he headed off back to the rocks. Home via the butcher & Woolworths. Sandy arrived home from work with a new kayak!! He did tell us that he was about to purchase one but had to wait a week for Wendy to approve! Quite a laugh. Sandy always dreamed of kayaking along The Blackadder, Whitadder or The Tweed! Now he can kayak along The Swan River in the sun. It is luminous green, easily seen with all the kit to go with it, looks like a lot of fun. We are going to have the official launch tomorrow & name it Das Boot!! After a film that Wendy's dad frequently talked. I cooked the meal, bolognaise & David did the pasta, enjoyed by all. All tired & so to bed about 9pm, I wrote my blog & read. David slept! Another pleasant day. 5th November. Forecast 37! All had breakfast together & planned the day. Priority? To launch the kayak! We headed for Fremantle between the bridges but on the south side. Pleasure crafts were out in abundance, all heading up & down the river. This area was fairly sheltered for the kayak, Sandy taking first go & heading out like a natural. We all had turns & enjoyed being on the water going solo. The temperature was beautiful, hot on the shore but lovely in the breeze out on the river. David got close to the big ferry The Captain Cook Cruiser, bit of a rocking over the wake! He made it back with Sandy's wallet in his pocket too!! Sandy & Wendy's Dutch friend Ann arrived, she too had a go! Vince, her husband was at a corporate cricket match & would rather have been with us She said. We returned home for lunch & to avoid the midday heat for a few hours. At 4pm we all went to South Beach at Fremantle for a swim in the sea, fist of the season for S& W. it was really good, once we got in, water quite warm really - played with a ball that does not sink, good fun. Hoards of beach goers now that it had warmed up after cool spring. Warmed up suddenly! Back for shower & preparation for cooking. Sandy & Wendy went off to get steak for the BBQ, I will have a snag as not keen on steak. The BBQ was good, Wendy made a lovely salad to go with it, good tucker! After that we played Rummikub, Wendy has played it since she was ten. Good brain teaser with numbers. 6th November. Out for breakfast! Good place down at Fremantle. I had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon & tea, big portion & good value. After that we had a few hours at Peppermint Grove by the river & of course the kayak. Was more windy that usual for 11.am approx, but we all took turns & paddled around the moored boats. The wind increased to the point of being a bit much so we took ourselves to Cottesloe Beach via Bunnings & Woolworths to get plug adapters & something to snack. The breakers at Cottesloe were huge, surfers & even kayakers out enjoying rough conditions. We sat for a while in the shelter of Cottesloe House, sun was burning. Home by 3.30pm. Showered, did some tidying of room then ironed while Wendy Facetimed her parents &when Sandy & David went off to IKEA to get something. Polly phoned just before dinner, had quite a long chat. Sandy BBQ chicken wings, cooked a Jamie Oliver spiced rice while David cooked corn on the cob. Good meal, enjoyed by all, again. After dinner we all did some internet browsing, emails in a quiet hour. 7th November Perth We decided today would be a day out in to the WA wheat belt. New Norcia being the main destination 132Kms from Perth. The route we took was the Northern Highway to first stop Bindoon where ... there happened to be the home to a famous bakery! Bindoon is 90 Kms north where agriculture varies from traditional cattle, sheep & goat farming. Wineries, citrus, olives, honey, dried fruits & cultivated native flora. We saw a sign for Bull-Riding!! Bindoon The temperature in the car increased the more inland we drove, it reached 28deg at New Norcia & felt it too. The flies come out in force as you go inland, they are maddening nuisance. The trucks that travel along the highway are huge & go like mad! One we reckoned had 58 wheels! Wheat had been harvested, some paddocks still to be finished, did not see any combines or balers. Cattle, Black Angus, Brahman & the very odd Merino sheep. At New Norcia we found a spot under a tree to park the car, somehow get the picnic into the car avoiding flies & preventing them entering the car!! We picnicked IN the car with the windows closed!! Bloody flies! After lunch we found the visitor centre & acquired a map of the Australia's only Monastic town. See the link below & read all about this -: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Nor cia,_Western_Australia We wandered around & got 'the feel' of this home to a community of Benedictine monks since the town site was founded in 1847, today New Norcia continues to be a living expression of 1,500 years of monastic hospitality. Interesting indeed, especially as the current book I am reading is about The Lost Children who were sent to Australia as child migrants ending up in remote parts, one was Bindoon. Theses children were used & abused leading miserable existences & believing there parents were dead. The stories from these children in later life are horrific. See below an excerpt from an article on this story..... Bindoon Boys Town: it sounded like an adventure camp to the pale-faced youngsters who emerged blinking into the sunlight at Fremantle, in Western Australia, after their six-month voyage from Southampton. Among them was Laurie Humphreys, looking forward to his new life in the "land of milk and honey", where food was plentiful and children rode to school on horses, so he had been told. It was September 1947, and the SS Asturias had just docked in Fremantle with 147 boys and girls, the first to arrive under a post-war plan to empty overflowing British orphanages and repopulate the former colonies with "good white stock". Humphreys and other boys were dispatched to Bindoon, an isolated institution 60 miles north of Perth, run by the Christian Brothers, a Catholic lay order. The first shock was the desolate landscape; the second was the place itself, an abandoned farm property. It was the boys who were to build Bindoon, and children as young as 10 were set to work, constructing schools, dormitories and kitchens. They hacked at the ground with picks and shovels, and mixed concrete by hand in the blazing heat. Those unable to cope with the back-breaking labour were flogged, sometimes until their bones were fractured. But the routine thrashings – meted out for "offences" as trivial as bed-wetting or stealing fruit to supplement a miserable diet consisting mainly of bread and dripping – were not the worst of it. Sexual abuse was rife at Bindoon, and the boys dubbed their religious guardians the "Christian Buggers". This grim regime was presided over by Brother Francis Keaney, 6ft tall and 17 stone. "I guess you could call him a sadist," says Humphreys, one of an estimated 10,000 British children sent to Australia between 1947 and 1967. While Bindoon was especially brutal, conditions there were replicated in numerous other institutions, and for decades the "lost children of the Empire", as they are sometimes known, have been lobbying for official recognition. Last week they finally achieved one of their goals, when the Australian government announced it would offer them a formal apology, similar to the one delivered to the "Stolen Generations" of Aboriginal children last year. L It has been a long time coming. In 1998 a House of Commons select committee described the migration scheme as "Britain's shameful secret". An inquiry by the Australian Senate in 2001 heard stories of rape, abuse and cruelty, including children scrambling for breadcrumbs on the floor and a boy being forced to shoot and skin a horse he considered his only friend. Almost as shocking was the deceit that had been practised on children who had been robbed of their country, roots and identity. "We were told we were orphans, that we had no one," says Mick Snell, who has bleak memories of Dalmar House in Sydney, managed by the Methodist Wesley Mission. In fact, Snell had been given up as a baby because he was illegitimate. Other children were placed in care by impoverished families. Jean Costello spent 10 years in St Joseph's orphanage in Perth, run by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy. She, too, believed herself an orphan. Like many child migrants, she returned to Britain in the 1990s to try to trace her family. She learnt that her mother and father had lived well into their 70s. By that time, though, both were dead. Although children were also shipped to Canada, Rhodesia and New Zealand, Australia became the favoured destination after the war. The young immigrants were cheap to house and a good source of labour. And, importantly, they were white. As the Archbishop of Perth declared in 1938, at a time when Australia was desperate to boost its population: "If we do not supply from our own stock, we are leaving ourselves all the more exposed to the menace of the teeming millions of our neighbouring Asian races." The apology has been welcomed by some. "You have no idea what this means to me," says Snell, originally from Yorkshire. "All I want is for them to admit it was wrong, and for my kids to be able to understand me a bit better." But to others, it means little. "I wonder how they think making an apology can right the wrong that was done," Costello says. "They turn your life upside down, they deprive you of ever knowing your mum and dad." Many former child migrants, who were as young as three when they were transported to the other side of the world, are still profoundly affected. Some never formed adult relationships; others are alcoholics. John Hennessy, a former Bindoon boy, speaks with a stutter – a legacy, he says, of being stripped naked and publicly flogged. "A lot are starting to top themselves," says Snell, who admits he found it hard to show affection to his six children. In recent years, Snell has been afflicted by nightmares. "I sleep in a separate bedroom because I'm afraid I'm going to swing out and maybe hurt my wife. I dream I'm back there and I'm locked up, being verbally abused and whacked. I wake up in a cold sweat." The worst thing about Dalmar House, which was infested with rats, and where he got up before 4am to milk the cows and worked until dark, six days a week, was the loneliness. "You had no one to turn to," he says. No one showed the children any affection – unless you count the outsiders who turned up to take the younger boys out for the day. Snell remarks: "I know for a fact they were rock spiders [paedophiles]. The kids that were involved, they didn't like talking about it." Humphreys believes the British government should apologise, too. So far, it has only expressed "sympathy and sincere regrets", although it has helped to fund airfares back to the UK. Britain claims it thought it was sending the children to a better life. "But they didn't do too much checking once we got here," says Humphreys. At Bindoon, the threat of violence was ever present. The brothers carried a strap consisting of four pieces of leather stitched together and a metal weight. Humphreys recalls one particularly vindictive man who "gave me one hell of a hiding" after he tried to protect a younger boy. There was no teaching at Bindoon, and he knows several former inmates who still cannot read or write. Aged 14, he worked as a truck driver. All that sustained the children was each other. "You had good mates, and we were all in the hardship game together. And you knew nothing better. You knew nothing of love and affection. I can't recall being given a Christmas or birthday present until I was married." After Costello left the orphanage, she had a breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The transition to a world where "you can go and clean your teeth or wash your hair without asking permission" was too difficult. Anyway to continue..... MLH Blog... From New Norcia I drove back taking a different route south back to Perth. You can cruise along at max speed of 110 on some sections of the route. Very enjoyable, rolling country begging to dry up at summer approaches. It must be unbearable when the temperatures reach above 40 + deg. Tough people. Sandy made Yorkshire pudding with smoked salmon, boiled beetroot & sautéed courgette, very good. After dinner Sandy & David headed for the garage to build more shelves. 8th November David & I went to Fremantle where he visited the Maritime Museum & I wandered around taking photographs. The reason to visit the museum was to see The Dick Hartog Plate. See below details Wikipedia... Hartog Plate or Dirk Hartog's Plate is either of two plates, although primarily the first, which were left on Dirk Hartog Island during a period of European exploration of the western coast of Australia prior to European settlement there. The first plate, left by Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, is the oldest-known artifact of European exploration in Australia still in existence. The original dish was returned to the Netherlands where it is on display in a museum. A replacement and additional dish were subsequently discovered on three additional visits over the next 200 years. Contd.. There were two cruise ships in port, one just leaving. The other was a P&O ship doing a round the world cruise. Picnic lunch at South Beach, too windy to walk on the beach. Pleasant evening with Sandy & Wendy, we had roast chicken thighs, chips & a lovely salad. Sandy made rice pudding for dessert with chocolate & orange flavours, very good. 9th November. Today we hear who the President of The USA will be... We were to meet Hilary at 11.30 at her house, we did & it seemed very strange going to visit & no Iain to greet us. Hilary looked well & seems to be doing ok 4mths after he died. We chatted for a while then Hilary announced that she was taking us for lunch to a 'place that we liked'..... The Sitella Winery!! We have been there twice with Iain in the past & thought it was great. The restaurant looks over the Swan Valley with vines below, beautiful setting. We all had three fish pie with potato on top & vegetables- really good. Dessert was a work of art on a plate! Tasted good too. Strawberry in a basket or rhubarb jelly thing, forget the name. Glass of white wine, a long chat, all most enjoyable. Back to Hilary's at 3.30, just having received news that Donald Trump has won the US Election!! We could not believe such disastrous news, God help The World is all we can say!! The man is an arrogant idiot. Home at 4pm. I walked for an hour to shake down lunch! Cool wind but pleasant. Forecast tomorrow is rain, shame as Sandy is taking a day off to have a day trip somewhere with us. 10th November The world is reeling at the USA election result... Donald Trump? Really?? How on earth could a man like that become President of the worlds most powerful nation!? The morning turned out very nice, sunny with a pleasant temperature. Sandy was doing a few garage chores, with his new shelves. We left just after 9am & drove to Mt Lawley where I flatted in 1970. Iona, Third avenue, Mt Lawley cannot remember the flat number. Before reaching Mt Lawley I should have mentioned having coffee at The Gordon St Cafe, originally it was a garage - neat place! Big she'd converted in to a very popular eating place. We enjoyed a coffee & think we might have breakfast there before we go. We walked from Mt Lawley 1km to my old Mt Lawley apartment, somewhat aged & very plain after 46 yrs!! Cannot believe that. Mary, Jane & I enjoyed flagging there until Mary & I left for Darwin. Good times, but for work Mary & I got the bus to the RPHospital at 05.50am to start a 7am shift. Seemed ok because mostly the sun was shining! We worked full time so not much time for the beach. We got rolls & picknicked in a park nearby before getting in to the car & driving north to Hilarys. We wanted to visit the aquarium there. Enjoyed the run north diverting through some suburbs to look at houses, Floreat was lovely. Nice houses with trees & established gardens. The new northern suburbs with giant houses lack something, all too new maybe. The aquarium was well worth a visit, good value & a lot of interesting species. Sharks, stingrays, all related to the seas around Western Australia. When we came out of the aquarium it was cold, wet & windy. Cup of tea at The Dome before heading back down the coast & back home. Very unfortunate day for Wendy, she lost her job. The recruitment agency that employed her did not provide adequate training, put so much pressure on her to achieve impossible targets, the guy in charge was unreasonable. It was unjust. Wendy's confidence is shattered. Ps We heard today that the male lion at Perth Zoo had died, he was elderly & looked frail. 11th November Remembrance Day Woke early. Wendy was up & in a relaxed mood, think she might be relieved to be free of such Inefficient, unhelpful people to work with. David shopped for rolls etc while I hung out washing & did odd jobs. We left with a made up picnic just before 11am for Kings Park. We got to the park at 12minutes after 11am to find The Remembrance Ceremony was taking place. Managed to get a car park & join the crowd to watch the rest of the ceremony. The wreaths that were laid around the memorial pool that has water from five oceans, were beautiful, a lot of them had West Australian wildflowers. I took a few photos before we left & had our picnic on a grassy bit nearby. After lunch walk around the park, some of it through bush & back through some botanical areas. A concert stadium that has been erected for an event tomorrow night was being tested for sound that nearly burst our eardrums! Afternoon tea before leaving for home, got back after 4pm. Wendy was home from spending a while with her friend Ann. Sandy got home at 5.30pm, quick shower & all off down to Northbrige to eat at the. Vietnamese restaurant that we like. Got there to find it almost full, got a table & we all had Vietnamese soup which has different meats, I had chicken, Wendy duck, David & Sandy had different beefs, the soups are substantial with loads of vegetable, herbs, mint & noodles. Very healthy, tasty & fresh food. After this we headed home via Leaderville for ice cream! David & I shared a dark chocolate & sour cherry, delicious! Wander round the nice bookshop across the road before heading back home. Enjoyed the evening, good fun night out. 12th November. Wilbert's 76th birthday! Must send him an email. Breakfast while Sandy & Wendy shopped, had hair cut & a walk at Bicton. They were up very early. Later in the am, with made up picnic, we set off for South Perth to a 4x4 wheel drive show by the riverside. This was for outback travelling, camping, 4x4vehicles, caravans, etc, big event with hundreds there. The day got quite warm, had to drink plenty & wear a hat. Enjoyed sitting in various vehicles, inspecting caravans, testing garden swing chairs & many more things of interest. Seemed to see a noticeable number of big people there, don't know why. Left the show ground at 2.30pm, quite weary after 3hrs of walking around. We parked the car & took the ferry from South Perth across The Swan River to the city, for an ice cream!! That was really nice, ferry a bit choppy as the wind got up. David & I had strawberry with chic chips & mango & passionfruit ice cream, hard to bear!! Back on the ferry to the car & home for a blessed shower. David cooked lovely seared fresh salmon, with asparagus & mash potato. Game of Rummykub after dinner & I won the first game!! Tired so off to bed just after 9pm for feet up & a read. 13th November Great day out. First, after breakfast we were straight down to Bicton with the kayak at 9am. Beautiful am, plonked the canoe on a lovely wee sandy beach then all took turns out rowing on the river. There were lots of boats out this am, so warm in fact had to sit in the shade. Coffee later at the cafe up the road, freshly made scones with jam & cream!! Long black coffee, just for a change, quite strong but hotter than a flat white. Lunch at home before heading for Fremantle where we were going to join a Captain Cook cruise boat & head for the city. Last year we sailed from the city to Fremantle & took the train back. This time we sailed upriver in fabulous sailing conditions & light. Must have been 28 deg approx. Lovely indeed. Boats out enjoying quite a breeze, took loads of photos. Really pleasant trip with Sandy & Wendy. We saw dolphins, about 3 or 4. Wendy arranged with friend Anne to meet at Elizabeth Quay. She was there waiting to greet us & she drove us back home to Willagee. David & Sandy went back to Fremantle for the Kia Sportage. Dinner was lovely too, BBQ Cumberland sausages with rice & salad- Wendy makes terrific salads, dressing with olive oil & white wine vinegar. We looked at the moon tonight because it comes closer to the earth every 70 yrs, tonight was the night. Super weekend. 14th November To be hot!! 38 deg & it reached 38.5!!! Felt very hot compared to the recent temperature

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