Saturday 20 December 2014

Happy Christmas and New Year

To all my blogging friends, I wish you a wonderful Christmas with your families and may 2015 bring you health and happiness.

I'll be taking a short break to prepare for the usual Christmas Eve dinner at our place - this year there will be 20 people around the table, and will return in the New Year, hopefully a bit more refreshed after taking a short break from work.
Christmas Day the weather prediction is for 35.C, so it will be a good day for the traditional Aussie Christmas when people flock to the beach and then have a seafood barbecue and a delicious Pavlova.

Enjoy the following pictures taken of some of Perth's houses decked out in Christmas lights.
Some people collect donations for a Charity of their choice when you visit their street.

Here is a link for decorated houses in the Northern and Southern suburbs of Perth -



Thursday 11 December 2014

Murals in Leederville

On Saturday, when I went to the Leederville Christmas Carnival, I came across some interesting murals.

The first one, I saw when crossing the footbridge from the train station over the Mitchell Freeway, and it was unveiled in June this year.
Painted by Perth artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers, located in a building at 50 Oxford Close, and it's entitled " The Giants View" - a double play on the view you get from the footbridge and the painted people looking out.
I can't believe I had never seen it while driving past on the free way though, maybe because I'm concentrating and not looking sideways...

In this post I have a photo of another of his murals in the city of Perth.
The Giant's View

The view from the footbridge at Leederville Station, with the mural on the right and city buildings in the background

While walking around the Christmas fair I came across this gigantic mural painted on the walls of the Luna Cinema building on the corner of Oxford and Vincent Street in Leederville.
It was already getting dark, so I didn't get a very good image, but the mural is magnificent!

Painted for the Christmas festival by Australian artist Fintan Magee, it shows three figures carrying heavy loads on their backs - depicting movement and displacement regarding Immigration in Perth's history.
From his site I see that he always paints giant murals.

Two weeks ago when I went to Angove Street in North Perth (suburb next to Leederville) to buy the homeopathic medication for my cat Baby at HAMPL, I also came across a couple of murals I hadn't seen. 

This next mural painted by another Perth artist George Domahidy - is on the corner of Angove and Daphne streets in North Perth. 
The owner of the building, Hank Ekamper, shared the costs with the Council of Vincent. Finished in February 2014, the mural depicts the trams that used to run down this street in the olden days. 

Another mural painted by George Domahidy, also in North Perth, on the corner of Angove and Woodville streets, was for the Angove Street Festival in October 2013, and was also partly funded by Hank Ekamper, the building's owner. (I read somewhere the total budget for this mural was $4000).

And to end this post, is the photo of a mural I saw at the Leederville Christmas Festival, at 140 Oxford street, painted by Graphite Crew on the walls of Unison clothing.

It looks like the Northern suburbs have a lot of interesting walls that we don't get in the Southern suburbs...

An interesting selection of murals and some very talented Perth artists too.
What do you think?

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Christmas fun in Leederville

Leederville, a suburb just north of Perth's city centre was on Sunday 7th December alive with the annual Christmas Carnival.
For the first time I attended this huge Christmas fair where 70,000 visitors were expected, and I was really impressed at the enormous amount of tents set up in the main closed off streets of Leederville.

The rows of food tents along one of the streets

There were 250 stalls selling from take-away food to arts and crafts, vintage and recycled goods, gourmet food, and stalls selling Christmas goodies. 

There were 8 stages through the venue with different types of entertainment, chefs had cooking demonstrations, camel rides for kids, a funfair for kids too, artists painting walls....

This Space Man made some weird sounds - space age music maybe?

Father Christmas on his bike rode around the fair
A Gym bus for the kids

Camel riding for the kids

We had a very tasty Spanish Paella

You could also cycle for your fresh fruit juice...

Friends of ours had a stall selling Cork products from Portugal - "Corker" , with handbags, hats, iphone cases, wallets, etc., a unique product in Australia.

At 8pm, they had about 5 minutes of fireworks and then the streets Christmas lights were lit up. It was time to catch the train back home. (The Leederville train station was a 5 min walk away)

Photo: >> Well that's the  Light Up Leederville Carnival done for another year! We hope you all had a great time! Photo by @jhbarker
Christmas lights lit up in the streets of Leederville

I had a lot of fun going to the Christmas fair, and hopefully next year I'll be able to go again.

In my next post I will post a few photos of some new murals I came across at the fair.

Almost two weeks to Christmas and I'm still so behind with my preparations... Hope your Christmas preparations are coming along well. 

Monday 1 December 2014

Anniversary Weekend

My 34th Wedding anniversary was on Sunday 30th Nov. I had wanted to have a little party like I usually do, but first of all our backyard is under "construction", as we're building a deck, the grass has been removed, there is soil everywhere....
Secondly, I have been under a lot of stress with my cat  being sick and with me spending so much time syringe feeding her, a couple of hours daily, I have hardly had time to look after myself or the house...

My husband and I on our 34th Wedding anniversary, with the Governor's house in the background
So we decided we would join our son and daughter in law at the "World Food Festival" being held at the Gardens surrounding the Governor's house in the city, at lunch time, and then in the evening my husband and I went to dinner at an Italian restaurant.

The Govern's House and huge garden

The fair was quite popular, I had never been there before, and for the first time there was a Portuguese tent selling  "Bifanas" a type of sandwich with pork meat, "Espetadas", a traditional recipe of meat kebabs from Madeira and of course the much loved "Pastel de Nata" or Custard tart.

Unfortunately they had run out of the tarts, so we joined the long queue at the French tent to order some Crepes. They were very popular, as the waiting time to get your order was around half an hour, but they were worth the wait!!

The French certainly had the most stylish tent with a red carpet leading up to it, the chefs wore chef's hats, a nice printed menu, nice display shelves for French products on sale...
All very professional.

Red carpet treatment

The chefs wearing their stylish hats

The Crepe Menu - sweet or savoury

The Dutch tent 

Another thing I came across in the South African tent were some fizzy drinks I hadn't seem for ages, like Fanta Grape, Cream Soda and the Grapetiser (you can buy Appletiser in some shops in Perth - fizzy apple juice). They also sold Boerewors (South African sausage) and biltong (dried cured meat, like beef jerky).

I'm not much of a soda drinker, but I had some Grapetiser

The grounds at Governor's house

There is a lake, fountains and ducks in the gardens

PS - I'm pleased to say that my cat "Baby" seems to be making some slow progress.
Last night I put her in her basket and took her to bed with me and while stroking her nose she started purring. Today she miawed and she followed my husband to the garden and sat next to him while he did some work. 

Maybe the homeopathics are starting to slowly work. I hope so, as I was about to give up on Saturday...

I still have to syringe feed her, but today I bought a "Nutribullet" at Big W, so that I could puree real food like chicken, kale, pumpkin, etc to give her so she can get the vitamins needed for good liver function - like vitamin E, K and B12, and hopefully she will put on some weight and eat real food, instead of just getting the tinned pureed cat food from the Vet.

So I'm able to relax a bit...

Thursday 27 November 2014

Cat troubles again!

It's certainly been a Annus Horribilis  for my cats, and for my wallet too with all the vet expenses!

After having to put down "Mommy" in March due to a dog attack, and a few days later, "Fluffy" was also attacked by a dog, and then "Twiggy" was attacked by a cat in 
April, this time it's "Baby" who has been very sick.

Baby in 2012

It started in September when she stopped eating from one day to the other. 
I had no idea cats couldn't go without food for long as they get a condition called "Feline Hepatic lipidosis", when the liver converts body fat into energy.

So after 3 days without eating I took her to the vet, who said she was jaundiced, which could be seen in the green tinge to the whites of the eyes and greenish gums.
She took some blood for testing and antibiotics were prescribed.

The tests showed her liver enzymes and bilirubin were highly elevated, indicative of liver disease, and a probable cause was given as "the cat might have eaten something poisoned, or a plant that was toxic, or come into contact with some other toxic". 
I don't use toxic sprays in my garden or around the home because of my cats, I'm quite "green" with my home cleaning products, but I presume she could have gone into the park across the road, or a neighbour...

A day or two later after some stressful syringe feeding she started eating again.

She had lost an enormous amount of weight for a cat - around 800 gr - in a period of about 2 weeks, as she was only eating 1/3 of what she would normally eat. She's just skin and bones now!

I contacted a Naturopathic vet in Perth, who recommended I give "Baby" some milk thistle tablets to help with liver regeneration. This is good for people too, specially for people who take lots of medication or drink heavily.

Baby seemed to recover and for about 2 months she was ok, eating normally, etc.

Then suddenly around the 20th of November, she stopped eating once again!
For 2 or 3 days I syringe fed her, with a special "recovery tinned food" from the vet.
This time it was even more stressful, she would scratch me, she looked scared, her ears were flat, her eyes bulging, ever time I came with the syringe close to her mouth...
I usually needed my husband's help to hold her, while I wore garden gloves so as not to get scratched and had a couple of towels dry and wet to clean her up, as she spit half of the food out.

On Saturday 22nd November I took her back to the vet.
The jaundice was back, and new blood tests revealed the levels were high again.
The vet recommended Baby do a scan, which was booked for Wednesday 19th, so a cause could be found for this problem.

The sonographer brought a portable machine into the vet clinic, the cat was given a mild sedative so she could have her belly shaved, but she was still very alert and not at all happy with the the fact she had to lie on her back with 4 people holding her while the sonographer did the scan.
The scan showed she had a blockage on her bile duct to the liver, the mass could be cancerous I was told, but only a biopsy would be able to confirm it was a lymphoma. 
The vet suggested I could take the cat to a Veterinary Oncologist and get his opinion on what type of chemotherapy could be done.

I'm no medical expert, but I know chemo destroys the bad cells as well as the good cells, so I'm not too keen on that type of treatment, and also I just can't afford to go through the expense of chemo for a cat, plus the stress the animal would endure (as well as stress to me).
I told the vet I was keen to rather try Natural therapies and she agreed I should give it a go.

So after I got home, I researched on the net to see what was available in natural therapies.
I know the Naturopathic vet in Perth has some cancer treatments she describes on her website, but they are expensive. 

A lot of sites recommend the Indian spice "Turmeric"as a cure for cancer, but when someone (or the cat in this instance) has a bile duct blockage it shouldn't be taken! This is because it's a liver supporting herb which encourages bile production, so contra-indicated as the obstruction prevents the bile getting through.

Then I came across a site from a shop in Perth - HAMPL - that sells homeopathic medication for pets and ships all over the world.
I sent them an email describing my cat's ailments and I got a reply suggesting a couple of herbal medications she should be on.
Today I picked up those bottles from their office and I've started Baby on them.
The main one for the cancer is Cat's claw, plus other liquid drops for liver detox and lymph detox. They included a booklet - The Natural Animal Health Guide - which is very informative and has suggestions for a natural pet diet.

Once of the main problems for liver toxicity according to both homeopathic vets I spoke to, is the fact that the dry and the tinned food we feed our animals consist of a whole lot of fillers - such as corn, wheat, sugar, salt, Omega 6 bad oils, and a whole lot of other rubbish.

Apart from the food, we poison our animals with various annual vaccines (not in my case, as they only got their baby vaccines), flea sprays and flea collars (don't use them either). 
All of the above are responsible for a whole lot of problems with our dogs and cats, from - skin allergies, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney and liver diseases and finally cancer.
Our animals aren't meant to eat carbs, they're mainly meat eaters.

So I'm now slowly changing my cat's diet from tinned food to a raw diet.

Baby stopped eating again yesterday, and today I had to syringe feed her, but I'm hoping the drops will make her feel better again and she gets her appetite back.

Baby - healthy and slightly overweight

Baby resting in bed with a shaved belly

What are your feelings about Chemo for pets? Have you used homeopathic  meds for your cat or dog? Were you happy with the outcome?
I'm really putting my faith in these, as I don't want to lose another cat, but these last months have been a bit stressful...

PS - December 2014

Baby is slowly recovering, the homeopathic medication which at first I felt was actually making her worse, as she just vomited daily (maybe that was the detox process), actually started helping her feel better.
I still syringe fed her for another week or so and eventually one day she just went to the food bowl and started eating a little bit on her own.
She now seems to be hungry all the time, I discovered she loves tinned sardines, and she has put on about 900gr in 3 weeks.
Considering she had lost about 2,2kg in 2 months, she still has a big to go to look like her previous self. Although she doesn't need to put on all the weight she had before, as she was a bit overweight.
I'm glad she is better and happy and my faith in the homeopathic medicine has been rewarded.

Friday 14 November 2014

Perth Christmas Festival - the lighting of the Christmas lights

The Perth Christmas festival started today with the turning of the Christmas lights in the City centre.
So from today until the end of the year, there will be plenty to do around Perth, from Christmas markets, to food markets, to Carols....just pick your favourite event and enjoy yourself!

Tonight was actually a last minute thing - a friend called me at around 5pm to ask if we would like to go and watch the show, she was already in the city and could keep some chairs for us at the venue in Forrest Place

The crowds sitting, standing and on the balconies of the Myer building
Before the lights were turned on

The event started at 6pm, but we got there at around 7pm, having taken the train with my husband, and joined my friend and her group just in time for a kids Christmas play, a speech by the Perth Mayor - the Honourable Lisa Scaffidi- and then at about 8,30, more than 100,000 Christmas lights and decorations were lit by Santa on his sleigh.

The Perth Mayor

The city was full of parents and kids keenly enjoying the show with Santa and his elves, the Christmas Kangaroo (oh yes, he exists in Australia!), the balloons, the silver streamers and fireworks and of course the lights.

Santa departs on his sleigh after switching on the lights

Christmas stars projected on the Australian Bank building

The Myer building all lit up with thousand of lights                      

After the show we all headed to a restaurant for a late night dinner.
By the time we took the train home at around 10pm, the trains were still packed with parents and kids and others who had just gone into the city for some late night shopping.
An enjoyable and different evening!

And I've just realised that it's less than 6 weeks to Christmas and I've got so much to organize still! Hope you're more organized that I am!!