Monday, 16 January 2017

Monday Murals - The Eagle

Going through old photos, I found this mural that I had photographed in July last year around the Scarborough beach area (a suburb north of Perth).

It was painted by Paul Deej, a Perth based artist and illustrator.

For other murals from around the world please follow this link:

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Our Christmas & Boxing Day

We got back home from our trip down South on the 22nd December, just in time to start preparing our Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas lunch, as were hosting about 20 people at each event.

This year I had lots of helpers - my daughter had the task of wrapping presents to put under the tree and she helped make desserts. The men helped with setting the tables outdoor, putting up some lights on the patio and they too helped in the kitchen. Plus our friends always contribute with food and drinks which is wonderful as I don't have to stand for hours in the kitchen making everything.

On both occasions we sat around the table for hours enjoying each other's company and eating far too much...I talk for myself, but I'm sure everyone feels we eat too much on these occasions!

Our Christmas tree with the presents
Our serving table with salad, lamb stew, cod fish in cream sauce, ham and potato salad
Table with Desserts - the cold desserts were added later on, but I forgot to take a photo

My baby grandson, at just 4 weeks attened his first Christmas suitable dressed for the occasion.

On Boxing day, 26th December, we went to Mandurah (a suburb about 70km south of Perth) for lunch with friends.
Some of the crowd braved a jump into the canal bordering their newly built home, others swam in the pool.

The brave souls who jumped in the cold canal waters
Before leaving we drove around Mandurah to show the family this picturesque suburb - a lot of houses and apartments are built around man-made canals - The Venice of Perth.

We stopped for coffee in the town centre but the weather had suddenly turned windy and gray and we returned home.

Mandurah canals

24th to 26th Dec

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Place of Love - The Great Southwest of WA

The day after my brother in law and son in law arrived from Europe we set off on our 4 day road trip to the South West region of Western Australia. My daughter had already arrived the week before.


Situated about 250km from Perth, Yallingup (Place of love) was close enough to Perth not to involve too long a car trip and also happens to be one of the prettiest areas of Western Australia and the visiting family were happy to get to know it.

From L to R: Approaching Yallingup with houses on the hill, the beach, surfboard statues, jeans used as planters on a balcony, another beach in Yallingup, surfer statue.


We stayed in a country cottage just outside Yallingup - quiet, relaxing and with birds and kangaroos visiting the open garden every day, it was idyllic.

From L to R: The cottage front and back (with family), the bushy area, the main bedroom, a visiting Kangaroo and our car packed to return home.


Located just 13km from the town of Dunsborough (10km north of Yallingup), you can find
the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse on the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. 
Built in 1903, it is surrounded by the Indian Ocean on 3 sides. 

There are paid guided tours to the lighthouse, departing every 30min, but we chose not to go up and just walked around the base of the lighthouse. There's also a free museum with the maritime history of the area and a coffee shop. 
Even if you don't go up, as  the Cape is 100mt above sea level, you have panoramic views over the Indian Ocean.
During September to December you might be lucky and spot the migratory whales swimming past. 

The Cape to Cape 135km hiking trail starts here and ends further south at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta. The entire trail can take 5 to 7 days to complete.

From L to R:  Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, flowers in the area, the family


One of the beaches in the area is the iconic CANAL ROCKS, with an various granite rocks 
forming a canal. There's a wooden bridge across to another granite rock on the 
other side of the first canal.
In stormy weather the waves crash again the rocks and churn through the canals making for
an amazing spectacle...just don't go swimming then!  
I saw some youngsters jumping off the bridge rails into the water and then swimming with the current. It seemed like fun, not that I would be that brave!

From L to R: the bridge at Canal Rocks (1 & 2), Waves again the rocks, fishing boat, a swimmer dives into the sea from the bridge, my daughter reading on a rock.

On the eastern side of the road leading from Dunsborough to the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse,  we visited SHELLEY COVE, at the end of Bunker Bay road (first 3 pics on next photo). 
It's a secluded beach with lots of granite rocks on the sand and at sea, and a limestone cliff on one side.  
The water looked very calm, but with so many rocks at sea could make for dangerous swimming, the sand is made of pebbles and shells. There were some inviting picnic tables under shady trees.

Further down the main road to the western side we visited SUGARLOAF ROCK at the end of Sugarloaf Road. In the middle of the ocean stands a rock which I presume was named after Sugarloaf in Rio de Janeiro as it has a similar shape. It's home to the Red tailed tropic bird, that nest on the rock. 

Back on the main road and we took Eagle Bay Road on the Eastern side where we decided to stop at EAGLE BAY BEACH for a swim and a snack. The beach was almost empty and it had the most amazing calm turquoise waters. Although the water was too cold for me the rest of the family went for a dip.

    From L to Right - top: Shelley Cove (1, 2 & 3), Sugarloaf Rock.
From L to Right - bottom: Eagle Bay (1 & 2), Meelup (1 & 2)

Further south on the western coast, closer to the town of Margaret River and about 30km from Yallingup, we also visited the beaches of Gracetown and Prevelly.


This pretty small beach town with about 150 houses, has seen a few tragedies - in 1996, nine people who were sheltering from the rain beneath a stone overhead died when it collapsed over them.

I had recently read an article about the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of this tragedy and was able to see the memorial erected in their honour.
In 2004, 2010 and 2013 three surfers also died due to great white shark attacks.

Top: Gracetown memorial to the 9 victims of the 1996 tragedy. Bottom: Gracetown houses perched on the hill and beach below.


This whole southern area has lots of wineries, breweries and gourmet products like cheeses, chocolates, ice-creams, nougat, fudge, jams, olive oils, etc. 
We stopped at a few places to have a taste and buy a few things to bring home, but of course being gourmet they are usually expensive (at least I thought so).
We again visited our favourite winery - Laurance's and bought some wine. 
I had previously mentioned this winery and it's beautiful rose garden, statues and bathrooms.


On the interior, just north of Margaret River is the small cow-themed town of Cowaramup.
The day we visited it was very hot, and apart from going from cow to cow taking photos - being December they were mostly dressed in their Christmas best - we bought "Two fat cows" ice-cream to cool down. Don't you love the name?


On our return home we stopped in Busselton, famous for it's 2km long jetty. At the end of the jetty is an underwater observatory, which I visited a few years ago.

The main beach had some fun event going on, and we just sat in one of the beach coffee shops and had something to eat and drink before getting back on the road.

With close to 250 photos taken during the 4 day visit, I had trouble choosing the best photos, hence the overload of picture collages, so you get an idea of what we did and saw during this trip.

Hope you enjoyed the ride, even though you didn't have to leave your chair and swat away the hundreds of flies we had to contend with!

           Map of Southwest WA) -  From Busselton (north east) to Prevelly (southwest) -  places we visited are marked in purple with the road traveled in dark blue.
(copy of map from Geographe bay tourism)
19 to 22 December

Monday, 9 January 2017

Monday Mural - Friendship

After a short Christmas break I'm back with the Monday mural.
This is another mural photographed in Cascais suburb of Torre (Tower), when I visited Portugal in May last year.
It was painted by the group YouthOne.

For more murals from around the world please click on this link

Friday, 6 January 2017

Christmas Holidays - Spirit of Anzac Centenary Exhibition

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

My daughter, son in law and my brother in law have just gone back to Europe, after having spent the last few weeks with us, so I've busy showing them Perth's best attractions.


The day after my daughter arrived, both of us went to see The Anzac Centenary exhibition at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. 
Entry was free but had to be booked online, which I had done a few weeks before her arrival.

For those who don't know ANZAC - stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
On the 25th April 1915, the soldiers that formed part of the Allied expedition to the Gallipoli peninsula (Turkey), became known as the ANZACS. Hence Anzac Day is celebrated on the 25th April every year.  (thanks Elizabeth for the reminders to explain the name)

When I visited Albany last December with my parents we didn't visit the Anzac Centre there as the entry fee was very steep, but I think a lot of the material exhibited here might have been similar to what was on show in Albany.

It was extremely interesting to see the exhibits and to read the war stories, it's just sad that nothing seems to have been learned from all those wars, as there seems to be a few wars going on in our Globe, when they just bring so much sadness, loss and devastation to the countries involved.


The story of the poppies shown in this picture began as a personal tribute by two Australian women - Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight to their fathers who fought in World War II.
They set out to crochet 120 poppies to plant at the Shine of Remembrance in Melbourne in 2013. After a social media campaign and support from family and friends,the project grew to over 300 thousand hand made poppies. 
These craft poppies have been "planted" in various war related memorials all over the world, including these displayed at the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Exhibition.
You can read more about this project here.


Another interesting story on display was of Eliza Jane Downey, a nurse from Boulder, WA, who corresponded with 6 soldiers serving with the Australian Imperial Forces. 

More than 100 postcards were exchanged giving an insight into the lives of the six men while on active duty in World War I.

Below you can see a postcard from Joseph Jackson, a 19 year old serving in France, where he writes on a postcard from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris - "this is a very nice place, but not to be compared with Boulder", showing their innocence and love of their country and town.
 (Boulder is a small town about 600km northeast of Perth).


In the foyer of the Exhibition Centre was this gingerbread Christmas Cake - house and trees, made by a team of pastry chefs, using 100kg of flour, 800 eggs, 50kg of honey, 40kg of marzipan and 1500 hours of labour. Truly magnificent!!! 

Hope you also enjoyed the Anzac exhibition.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas & New Year

My daughter arrived from Amsterdam last week to spend 1 month with us, and tomorrow her partner and my brother in law will join us too.

We'll be quite busy showing them around Perth and surrounding areas, and with Christmas approaching at break-neck speed and still so much to do....I don't expect that I'll have much time to blog.

So, my dear family, friends, and all my wonderful followers I wish you have a wonderful Christmas and that the New Year brings us all Peace, Health and Happiness!

I'll leave you with some Christmas photos taken this week.

Some of the city decorations

Decorated houses in my neighbourhood

This ginger bread house and Christmas tree was at the Perth Convention Centre.
Make by a team of 7 pastry chefs, it used 800 eggs, 40kg of Marzipan, 50kg of honey, 100 kg of flour  among other ingredients, and it took  them 1500 hours of labour!!
Not to be eaten...but enjoyed!!

 Happy Christmas everybody! See you next year.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Monday Mural - Petrol station

One of the murals painted in building 208 at Curtin University for FORM, in April this year.
Painted by Perth artist Jessee Lee Johns.

As with some of the other murals painted during this time I was able to catch the artist at work.

For other murals from around the world please follow this link:

The complete mural

From start to end...