On the Beach

Delia and Pat in Australia



So why “On the Beach”? After over 6 years in France, the time had come to move on. To view the blog of our time in France (in another tab) click here. There were several reasons and one was a hankering for the sea.   Delia spent most of her childhood living near the beach at Quinns Rocks near Perth and always longed after a beach. Whilst living in France we spent several holidays in Conti on the Atlantic coast south of Bordeaux where the beach runs continuously to the Pyrenees. We also discovered that Siena absolutely loves the sand in her paws and goes crazy when she gets a chance to run free on a beach. Also in this time of covid19, where, for the moment, Australia seems to be one of the safest places to be, whilst the rest of the world goes to hell in a handbasket… Neville Shute come to mind (I know “On the Beach” was set post nuclear apocalypse in Melbourne but…).

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Birthday shenanigans

Another birthday has come and gone. Another year of travelling around the sun. I had the fun to actually do some very different things for my birthday this year. I normally take my birthday, day off work, however this year I did not, however I did spend the weekend before my birthday doing wonderful things. Firstly on the Friday before my birthday, we met up with one of our friends from the UK, and a couple of her friends from Australia and went for a lovely walk at Whistlepipe Gully. One of Pat and my favourite walks in Perth, partly because we can take Siena and partly because the stream always seems to have water in it, which just makes for a lovely walk when it is hot. After the walk, we all came back to our place, just to give our friend a chance to have a look around as she hadn’t seen it. We have now been in the house just over two months. It feels longer than that, but we are already planning what is next to do (hint – it will be the garden next year). We then all headed over the Tranby House, which is one of the few National Trust properties in Perth, which has a fabulous café next door which overlooks the river. It is lovely to sit there on a nice day and relax. Lunch was fabulous and enjoyed by all. On the Saturday, after I had gone to see my mum

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My new grandaughter Mira is about 6 months old and I still hadn’t actually met her. So long overdue, Delia and I flew  to Brisbane, hired a car and drove north to Bargara. I still haven’t got used to the idea that everywhere in Australia is a loooong way. Perth to Brisbane is longer than anywhere in Europe from London. Anyway, four and a half hours and the latest Elvis film later we landed and made our way to the Ibis. Here I found out that we were supposed to collect our car half an hour ago but that the car hire was closed an hour ago. Apparently because our flight arrival was the same time as they closed we didn’t get the memo. But a phone call later and we re-arranged to pick up the next morning – my booking mess up notwithstanding. At 370km to Bargara (near Bunderberg) its was a tenth of the distance from Perth but around the same travel time. We did stop on the way for morning coffee and a view. From the viewpoint at Noosa Heads Carrying on with the drive, we inadvertently found ourselves on an un-sealed road (forbidden by our car hire apparently, but then so was driving anywhere with a flood risk – which meant a lot of our route). So on we drove, arriving in good time to settle in to our hotel just 5 minutes walk from Adam and Rashelle’s beautiful beach front apartment. Mira was just discovering

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We’re on the move – again

I’m sitting here in my red armchair (bought in the UK and always selected to move to the next place) looking up at a semi organised living/dining area in our new home. We have finally bought a house here in Perth. We are not actually in Perth but one of the inner-city suburbs and while there are mixed emotions, it is so nice to have a place that we can do what we want with. Unfortunately, we did pay more than we wanted to pay, but it was the only way we were going to get close to what we wanted. We have had the place for a couple of weeks now and I will admit I painted the main bedroom before we moved in. Partly because I could and partly because I didn’t want a blue bedroom. It’s now a pale pink and Pat can’t see a difference so glad I didn’t go with his choice 😊. Pat has spent the weekend constructing a shed, with the help of one of our friends. The instructions stated 2-3 hours, it basically took around 10! Partially as there were points of pulling the shed apart after they realised that something had been put together incorrectly. But we now have a workable shed in our carport. It’s not in the backyard as there just isn’t enough room in what is essentially a courtyard. The plan is to be here for a minimum of 10 years, it may be the forever home. But

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Lightscapes Perth

Winter is very much making its presence felt at the moment. We’ve had storms, coldmornings, lots of rain and even ice on the car windscreen. On one of these cold winter nightsPat, I and a couple of friends headed off to Kings Park to explore the magical world ofLightscapes. This was my birthday present to Pat and I’m really glad we went andexperienced this. We got very lucky with no rain and it was an experience. I don’t think thephotos Pat has taken do it justice as the atmosphere and music really helped shape theevent. If they come back next year I think we will return. My new job is going well, and I have applied for a permanent role (I’m currently onsecondment) in the new department I am in. We will see what happens. Mum has got herdrivers licence back- which she is very happy about. Pat and I are ramping up our househunting and have offered on a place but lost out to a higher bid. We’ve also been spending a lot of time over my sisters over the past few weeks as mybrother-in-law suddenly died. It really does make one aware of the shortness of life andmaking sure we truly live. I’m going to write a reflection about the stoic practice of mementomori – a Latin phrase meaning ‘remember you must die’. There are also some fabulous artworks called memento mori. Enjoy the photos below from the Lightscapes event. Until next time.

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Photo trip to Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island, located off the coast of Perth, Western Australia, is a picturesque destination known for its stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, and rich history. With its crystal-clear waters, limestone cliffs, and sandy dunes, the island offers a paradise for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. The adorable quokkas, friendly marsupials found only in this region, have become a symbol of the island. Visitors can enjoy activities such as cycling, snorkeling, and exploring historical sites, while the absence of private vehicles creates a peaceful and environmentally friendly atmosphere. Rottnest Island is a must-visit destination for those seeking natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and encounters with unique wildlife. Well, thats what ChatGPT says. What it didn’t say was that it was named by Dutch explorers who thought the quokkas were large rats. There are hundreds of them. They get everywhere, even under the tables in restaurants and cafes. Our group met at the ferry port, mid-afternoon on a Friday. The last time I went to Rottnest I was seasick and only had a couple of hours after recovering to explore. This time, Delia waved me off to enjoy a weekend without me whilst I sped off in the twin hulled ferry on a sea as calm as a mill pond. We were to share a number of 3 or 4 bedroom cottages, functionally appointed, shall I say. That evening we set off to nearby Bathurst lighthouse to take some shots of the sunset before fish and chips delivered to us on the beach near

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A Day at the Zoo

We finally got to the zoo. It has been a while since I have been to Perth Zoo (I think it was when I was back here in 2014?). Pat wanted to do this as his day out for his birthday so we did. After a leisurely start to the day (which included a full-cooked breakfast), we headed offin our little car to South Perth. One of the things I remember about the Perth Zoo is that we had these little squirrels running all over the place and that they had found their way out into the surrounding area. These squirrels (I know now to be Palm squirrels) are now nowhere to be seen. A little bit of googling helped, I found this article on the ABC News website (see here) which explains why they were removed and that their love of peanutbutter was their downfall. I digress, Pat and I got to the zoo around 11:00 and decided that we would get a tour around the Australian animal exhibit – these are for free which is great, however, no one could be found so we decided not to worry. We headed off on our own to explore, first the little penguins – they are always cute then into the water bird enclosure – where Pat was taking photos and got stopped by someone who worked for Sony (Pat has a Sony camera) some camera talk ensued and then we were on our way again, past the crocodile (not a

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Life Changes

Hello everyone, hope things are going well in your part of the world. I’ve come to realise that part of the reason that I don’t write much in my blog is I know longer felt that my life was an adventure which could be written about. I’m just back to everyday life. I then stopped and thought about things and realised that even though Pat and I had written out a list of days out and interesting things to do in and around Perth, we are not doing them. We went through our list and have assigned a month to each one, and at the beginning of each month we will choose a weekend and head off to do something different. May will be our first month and that is a trip to Perth zoo for Pat’s birthday. The rest of the list is below:Gravity CentreGiants of MandurahArt GallerySwan Valley winery tourWhiteman ParkObservatoryMatagarup Bridge climb and zip lineCaversham wild life parkPerth double decker tourist bus We’re hoping to get a least one of these done each month and really start exploring. The other thing we are hoping to do is once a month try a different restaurant. There are so many good restaurants in Perth that it seems to be a shame that we don’t go out to them that often. Granted they do tend to be on the expensive side but I think Pat and I need to be out doing things a bit more. On that note we

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March 2023

It looks like this is going to be a monthly blog While the mind is willing, the body is weak, and we have not been finding time to write our blogs. We have now fully moved into mum’s house, it is lovely to have our own bed, my back is very appreciative of this. We’re slowly finding our routine, but it does include a lovely walk in the morning for Pat and Siena as they head down to the local bush reserve. They have encountered the local kangaroos a few times. It is lovely to have that type of thing in the middle of suburbia. A little while back (read November last year) I posted a blog about unfinished projects. As a way of getting some painting done, I pulled a couple of small paintings out of my stash. They were sky backgrounds which I was experimenting with.  I’ve now completed them, with different levels of success, I do love the cherry blossom one, the other is ok, but not really my style. I’ve tried out this type of painting a few times, but just don’t think they are me. This weekend I’ve also dug out a couple of my sewing projects to try and progress, we shall see. For a little bit of biggish news, I’m changing jobs. I had a friend recommend a secondment to me (to another government department), it is at the next level up from my current role and I will be working for the

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February Moving.

Well this is different (with a slight sense of deja-vu) It has been a while, and a lot has changed.  Unfortunately, in January my mum had a fall and broke her arm.  I moved in to help and took some leave from work.  What did become apparent is mum’s memory is worse than I realised and that she shouldn’t be living alone.  So for now Pat and I (along with the dog and cat) have moved in.  We’re currently living in the back bedroom on 2 single beds – waiting for our stuff to be transported from our rental. It has been harder than expected, but we will get through it.  We’re thinking we will be here from 6 -12 months.  One thing we did realise, from the last time we stayed, is that we need the space that we occupy to feel like us.  To be our home with our things around us.  We have there started the process with the bedroom and ripped up the very old blue carpet.  With a dog and a cat, carpet is not a good thing.  We now have laminate down – not my colour choice but the hardware store was out of a lot of choices and the colour we chose was on sale as end of line, so it won.    We have also be clearing out one of the spare rooms so that we can set it up as our study and my art/sewing room.  It is taking some work,

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Sydney and beyond

New Years started with fireworks, literally.  Pat and I headed down to the river front to watch fireworks at 9pm.  It was fun, one of our friends walked down to join us and we watched 15 minutes of fireworks and then all went home.  I’m not a fan of New Years Eve.  We did however get woken at midnight by all the fireworks happening, which I proceeded to watch from my bedroom window and then back to bed to snooze as I was on a flight to Sydney the following day. New year’s day I boarded my flight and flew very quickly to Sydney – it was one of the fastest flights I’ve ever been on.  We obviously had a good wind behind us.  My friend – S – picked me up and headed to her home.  Neither of us had eaten dinner so we had a quick bite to eat and a catch-up and headed to bed. I thought the 3-hour time difference would be a bit difficult to adjust to, but interestingly it wasn’t too bad.  The following day as it was a Monday, we got up and headed into the city – not for the New Year sales but because I had never been to the botanic gardens in Sydney – despite living in Sydney for 2 years – and wanted to go.  It was a warm day, but lovely to walk around the gardens, we did find a café that was open and I had my

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