4th May evening :
I am writing this having spent my last few days doing 'here and there' things. I have now packed my bags and am due to catch my plane at 9.15am tomorrow morning from Perth to London. I have an 8 hour wait in Bankok Airport so I will write up the blog for the missing days when I get there. C U later!
Drove over to Rae's for 11am. Did a little bit of teaching on the computer to show her how to put a picture into a document. Rae goes to a 'writing group' and wanted to add a picture of a rabbit to her latest piece.
Then I swept the patio and we threw away her old carpet and laid the new carpet which we had bought the other day. It looks very nice and bright and smart! We then had some lunch. Rae makes lovely leek and potato soup!
After lunch she taught me how to make her little material flowers (Fleur de Rae) and I managed to make two! I love them - quite fiddly to do but they are so pretty.
I drove back to the hotel and had a cuppa and a little rest, then later, I picked Rae up and we went out to South Perth at sunset to walk along the foreshore for a while. Then we had a lovely Chinese meal in a nice restaurant there.
Another lovely day with about 25 degrees blue sky with cotton wool clouds.
Location: Joondalup, Australia
Sunday May 1st MAY DAY
Picked Rae up at 10.30 and drove to Joondalup to meet up with my cousin George and family. We arrived after one hour on the Freeway north.
We all went to Burn's beach for lunch at the restaurant where we went a couple of years ago. It was a lovely day so we went for a short walk along the path overlooking the beach, watched the waves, smelt the sea! Then George drove us back to their house and we had a cup of tea while we looked at family photos and discussed family trees etc.
Rae and I left them at about 5.00pm and drove back to Perth. I dropped her back and went to the hotel.
It was lovely weather again. 25 degrees and a light wind.
Location: Perth City, Australia
April 30th Saturday
Lovely day again today mid 20s temperature
Decided to drive the car to South Perth and park it by the foreshore and catch a river ferry crossing over to the City. It cost 70 cents about 50p return. I caught the Blue Cat bus which is one of 3 cat busses which is free hop on hop off. I got off in the main shopping area and wandered and window shopped. I like the atmosphere. However I noticed that there were masses of sales going on and a lot of shops closed. There were street performers doing their thing and loads of people watching. There was one chap who stood on the shoulders of 2 men then did a knife juggling act another guy was trying to sing! I found my favourite place to have lunch but it had closed down ☹ so I found another nice little place and sat and had a cheese and salad wrap and a coffee.
I went in search of the shoe shop where I bought the best shoes in the world about 4 years ago. They were so comfortable white leather walking shoes and I could even put them in the washing machine! I had to throw them away about a month ago as they had really had it The shop was still there and still had the same brand so I bought another pair and got a discount! I shall wear them to travel home in. It was about 2.30 pm so I decided I had had enough and went to the bus stop. Bus was just arriving. They run every 15 minutes at the weekend and weekdays every 7 mins. So I hopped on, and went round the route and back to the ferry port.
On the journey back, a rather talkative lady came to sit next to me! I was very polite and slightly careful as I dont like to be bombarded but she seemed very nice and we chatted during the 10 minute ferry crossing back to South Perth where I think she was sort of hanging on in case I offered her a lift. (I didnt!) Nice to have the car here. I drove back to the hotel and had a lovely cup of tea and watched the sailing yachts on the river across the way from my balcony whilst typing this.
Going to have supper with Rae this evening and to show her my photos on the computer which we havent yet had time for!
Location: Perth and Freemantle, Australia
29th April - Royal Wedding day
I decided to go to Fremantle and look around the market and shops for the morning. So I took the freeway there, parked the car and wandered through the market stalls. In 2 years nothing much has changed and I bought a lovely summer hat and a few little things.
It was quite hot and I actually needed the aircon in the car. I wanted to get back for lunch to the hotel and made myself a tomato salad and to watch the waking up of the UK in London and for the arrival of the wedding guests. It all began at 2.30 pm Western Australia time.
At our 4.30 I drove over to Rae's and we watched all the rest of the day until 8.30 pm when the Balcony scene had finished and I tnen drove back to the hotel. It has been a lovely day. So pleased that it all worked out so well in London and that the weather stayed dry.
Location: Perth and Mundaring, Australia
April 28th Thursday
Today it is cooler than it has been but it is sunny and there are some amazing clouds in the sky, some are dark but most are like cotton wool balls. Rae wants to take me to go and see the reservoir which feeds the Perth and surrounding areas with drinking water. It is about an hours drive away to the east and up in the hills of the Darling Range. It is called the Mundaring Weir and was built between 1898 and 1902 to store water to be piped to the Goldfields and out as far as Kalgourlie. The start of the Golden Pipeline is here. It is an extraordinary feat of engineering and the weir is still functioning and the reservoir has a capacity to store 4,655 million gallons of water. However, because of the lack of rainfall in the area the water level has dropped considerably.
We arrived at about mid-day and went to the Mundaring Hotel to have a lovely lunch. This is an old original pub and was apparently used as a school while the building of the weir was underway. We walked around inside before having lunch. It was the place where David Helfgott, the pianist who was depicted in the film Shine, used to play to customers. There are several pictures of him around the walls. It was like going back into old England in Victorian times. Our lunch was an entertaining time with green parrots trying to get our left-overs before they were left-overs!
Hand feeding them on the table with pieces of toast
and then they picked up the chicken! Crazy birds (photos) Rae says they are called 28 birds. We laughed.
After lunch we went round to the old pumping station to see a display of the old machinery and an exhibition type museum. It all belongs to the National Trust. All the area around the reservoir is now very highly restricted to keep the water unpolluted. It is an enormous lake but the area really needs more rain to fill it up.
On our way back we stopped at an a viewpoint at the top of the Range and looked down over Perth. The City is a tiny spot on the landscape in the area round the Swan River and the Canning River which seems to be filling up with buildings and industry along with the residential areas all along to the coast. We sat and had a cup of tea from a flask that Rae had brought and then made our way down.
We arrived back in Perth, dropped in to the supermarket and Rae bought food for our supper and for tomorrow evening. I left her for a couple of hours and then went back to the house to watch a programme on TV building up to the Royal Wedding tomorrow and had a light supper together.
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
April 27th Wednesday
Last night we watched a couple of programmes on tv about William and Kate and the wedding. Everyone is buzzing about it here. So much speculation about the dress, the cake and all the getting ready stuff most of it was very interesting.
It started raining last evening. It was the first proper rain since January and it has kept on this morning.
I am going round to Raes for lunch. This morning she is having her choir practice. I started sewing the Union Flag! I cut up the Aussie flag ( hope nobody finds out!! ) While lunch was cooking we planted the little petunias we bought yesterday in the baskets and watered them in. Raes front yard will look lovely.
After lunch went to the local post office to post Jons birthday present and I posted him a phone charger and an adaptor for his phone and camera which I had left behind in Hepburn for him to use at the wildlife shelter. We called in to a lovely health food shop and then returned to Raes village.
The 'village' has about 160 units and are for those who are about 55 years old. They are bungalows with one or two bedrooms which are self-contained and most have a small garden. Some have garages and a parking space for visitors. They are set in the grounds with well kept gardens, a pond, a waterfall and a man-made river running through. There is a recreation centre with facilities for social events, and meetings, computer availability, snooker room, and a library. There is also a hostel in the grounds for those who are unable to cope on their own any more and this means they can stay in their own environment and still see their friends in the village and be looked after.
When we got back from the shops we walked down to the recreation centre at to have a look around and see if there were any interesting books in the library there for me to read during my next few days. I didnt find one so we then went round to meet one of Raes friends who lives in the village too. She is very talented and makes amazing patchwork things and beautiful embroidered cloths. We stayed for a cup of tea and had a lovely chat with her.
Then it began to rain again and we decided to have an evening at home. I came back to the hotel and have just cooked myself a little supper.
It is still raining! They need so much here to make it up. It has been so hot this summer and somebody said that they had had 50 days in a row when the temperature had not dropped below 30 degrees. It was about 24 degrees today which must seem cool.
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Tuesday 26th April another Bank Holiday day for Anzac Day
Great night sleep and woke at about 8.00am, l listened to the radio for a bit and then got up and had breakfast. I phoned George (cousin who lives in Joondalup) and arranged to go there next Sunday for the day with Rae.
Then I felt as though I wanted to give Rae a hand at home with a few little jobs. I gave her a call and she has lined up a few tasks for me! I drove over to her house and we had elevenses together then I took on the task of cleaning up in her garage which was a bit dusty and had a few leaves which had blown in. Also cleaned her shelves, cupboard top and roller door. The temperature crept up and the sky was beautiful bright blue. Rae told her neighbour (jokingly) that I was earning my lunch!!!! (I made a mental note!!) and staggered out of the dusty garage, sweating and wiping my brow! (that is for you Rae when you read this!!!!) Then we filled up some baskets with potting compost for the patio and Rae sowed some spinach seeds.
We had hot sweetcorn, salad, toast and tahini, finishing with a nice cup of tea for our lunch and decided to go to the shopping centre to see if it was open. Its called Garden City and is huge. Comparable possibly with the Guildford or Reading one.
I bought a suitcase with wheels for my return journey and will put my sports bag in main luggage as it is not on wheels. One or two other items and a couple of postcards which I intend to post tomorrow. Rae wanted a couple of things and we then went back to the car feeling as though we had done well!
Then we drove round to a massive warehouse like shop B&Q type thing but much bigger and bought some new carpet runner for her front patio and some petunias to put in the baskets.
It will look very smart!
After all that we both felt quite ready to go home and got back at 5. I came back to the hotel it is now 6.00pm and the sunset is just happened. Its a bit cloudy now looking over the Swan River but the temperature is still in the 20s and I am sitting on the balcony overlooking the river. I find it is a little noisy here because the main freeway runs right in front of the hotel. The railway runs in between the carriageways too, and at this time it is very busy.
I am going to go and cook myself an omelette for my supper and then I will drive back to Raes to watch her tv as there is a programme on tonight about the Royals and about William and Kate. I dont get that tv channel in the hotel.
I bought a large Aussie flag today which I am going to cut the Union Jack out of - and we are going to hang it up on Raes front patio on Friday for the Wedding Day!! (lol)
Will end here for the day as I am being bitten by mozzies.
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Monday 25th April Anzac Day ( In Australia and NewZealand Remembrance)
Early morning, then went back to sleep until 8.30! got up and had breakfast cereal and toast watched the Anzac ceremony going on on tv and then got dressed, sorted out some stuff and then put a washing load on.
In my apartment I have two bedrooms, two bathrooms one has an enormous spa bath, shower and the other is a walk in shower and has a washing machine and tumble dryer in it. I havent used the spa yet (havent really had time!!) There is a large long room with dining area and lounge with 2 sofas and a television. Then the balcony goes out from French doors from this. The kitchen is small and compact with fridge/freezer, cooker, hob, microwave, and dishwasher.
All the doors and windows have a mesh inner doors/windows so that insects cant get in.
When I was in Hepburn last week there were so many flies about still, but here in Perth I havent seen very many.
I drove over to Rae at about midday and then took her to a lovely spot on the Canning River where we found a favourite café. There were lots of people about as it is bank holiday here but I found a parking space and we sat outside at the café (under shades) by the sandy grassy bank on the shore and had a Caesar salad which was lush! There were lots of families out with picnics and barbeque things. There are community barbeques which anybody can use for a dollar! You just put the dollar in, it heats up, put your food on to cook and when you are done you clean up and off you go!!... obviously nobody is allowed to light fires because of the dryness and the fire risk.
After lunch we drove round to Applecross (suburb of Perth) where Rae and family had lived and walked along around an area which used to be a hospital but is now residential. There is a lovely retaurant there, a café and amazing childrens play area. The view from there over the Swan River is breathtaking. You look across to South Perth and the City beyond. ( photos)
We returned to Como and had a cup of tea and a half hot cross bun and I left to go back to the hotel. We are both in need of some quiet space sometimes which is great.
Now the sun has gone down and I have just spoken on Skype again with Lesley! Amazing that we can speak in real time and see each other being opposite sides of the world.
I have put my washing in the tumble dryer and am going to go to Raes for supper and there are a couple of tv programmes on tonight that I cant get on my hotel tv
we will watch it together.
It is so nice to be so nearby. It is only five minutes drive away.
Another lovely bright sunny day about 27 I would think.