Sunday 25 January 2015

Grow your Blog challenge 2015

For the  third year, Vicky is hosting a "Grow your blog" party, Check out her blog at - 2 Bags full blog, helping us all to get more followers and enabling us to follow other blogs that could be to our liking.

For my new readers I will start by introducing myself:
On the 8th of January, it was 8 years since my husband,  our son and I moved from Portugal to Perth, Australia, where we love to live.

I was born in the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique, and have since lived in South Africa, Germany and Portugal. 

I work part-time as a Practice Manager in a Medical clinic with 4 other receptionists, and I love my job, although it can be quite intense and stressful at times!

 I started blogging in June 2011, because I enjoy writing, and as a way to record my travels, crafts, recipes...and also to meet with other bloggers.

I have been gluten intolerant for about 4 years, and try to eat the "Paleo" way, which explains why I follow a few Grain free bloggers.

I am on a quest to be more aware of the environment, use less chemicals on my body and house, so I make my own washing liquid for the washing machine, and use vinegar, baking soda and lemon for cleaning around the house, as well as making my own lovely soap

Try these recipes, they are easy, don't take long and you will feel so proud of yourself .

I enjoy crafts although I must say I am a bit of a procrastinator and haven't done much in way of crafting or painting for a while. 

My other interests are travel - we have our tickets booked for less than a month's time to go to Amsterdam where my daughter and her partner live, and Lisbon where my parents, sister and other extended family live.  We will be having a big 30th celebration for our daughter, with our family and friends in Portugal.

I also enjoy stamp collecting, postcard collecting (I joined Postcrossing last year) and I like to research my family tree.

Postcard collection box

I have 4 cats now, my eldest cat "Mommy" died just under a year ago, and a few weeks ago her daughter "Baby" was diagnosed with cancer, and I'm trying all sorts of natural therapies to see if it she can recover.      

Here she is in this photo sitting inside a small box when she was a bit bigger, she has recently lost half her weight... 

I enjoy doing arts and crafts and a bit of sewing, but unfortunately I have been far too undisciplined to do anything in the last year or so...

At the moment I have 72 followers, some lovely virtual and not so virtual friends spread around the world, but it would be nice to increase my regular readers.

I thank Vicki for her efforts, and you can now hop along to 2Bagsfull -  with about 400 bloggers having registered you will for sure find a couple of blogs to your liking.

And of course I hope you "follow me" too and enjoy reading my blog.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Fremantle and an update on my cat Baby

It's been a busy start to the year for me, with lots to do around the garden - we have been renovating it for a few months, a little bit at a time when it's not too hot...

Then there's my sick Cat - Baby - who was again admitted to the vet hospital for 2 days just over a week ago, suffering from dehydration due to vomiting. It was confirmed she suffers from a cancerous bile duct obstruction to the liver and her prognosis is poor without a very expensive operation or chemotherapy...

Two days later she managed to escape from my husband while resting in the garden. This was close to sunset, and we looked around for her for a few hours, went to the park across the road with flashlights, looked under every bush in our garden, and nothing!

I was devastated and tearful when she didn't appear the next morning and I thought the worst had happened - she must have fled to die off alone somewhere!
That evening when my husband returned from work he went around the 10 houses or so that comprise our street and no one had seen the cat. 
On the second evening our son and daughter in law came to dinner and as we opened the door when they were leaving at around 10,30 at night, there stands Baby drinking from the water bowl I had left outside! You can't imagine my relief...

I quickly gave her all the meds and syringe fed her. About three days later she started eating on her own again. She is still thin, but is eating reasonably well. I'll carry on giving her the homeopathic drops and all other natural cures I have been researching, such as baking soda with honey, beetroot and carrot juice...
Hopefully something will work, if not I have to accept defeat and let her go in peace...

Baby sleeping in a new spot she found - a side table in the living room

On a brighter note, last week I took an overseas visiting friend to Fremantle for lunch and for a walk around some of the city's interesting spots.

She was fascinated with Kakulas Sister, an old-fashion grocery store that sells some of it's wares by weight - flours, dried fruit, beans. They have articles from all over Europe and a great selection of teas, coffees, olive oils.
They are located in a building that formerly housed the Princess Theatre built in 1912. 
Inside, in one of the corners the original wallpaper was kept, which I thought was a very interesting way to show the buildings former life.

The corner on the top left where the wall paper was kept

Lovely planters made out of pallets are seen around the shopping areas of Fremantle

A few blocks away in Point Place I spotted this mural called "Art Noveau Style girl" painted in October 2013 by ArtbyDestroy

Next to the Many6160 building (in Kings Square) that I mentioned in this post from October last year, I saw these cement posts that had been artfully painted in various colours. They were certainly elevated from a boring traffic blocking device to a work of art. They were painted by Horatio T. Birdbath in 2012.

After a lovely lunch we walked to the harbour, so I could show my friend this amazing statue dedicated to the Fishermen. You can read the story in my post about Public Art in Fremantle.

Fishermen's Statue

Have a lovely week and hope you enjoyed seeing a few more of Fremantle's highlights.

Thursday 1 January 2015

2014 - My Year in Pictures

This is a month by month picture round-up of highlights of my year 2014.

If you click on the highlighted links you will be able to read more about those events on the actual posts.


The month of January started with a visit to the  WA Museum where there was an exhibition honouring Perth's fashion designer Aurelio Costarella  on his 30 years in business.
Just outside the Museum a "fake beach" beckoned people to relax and get into the holiday mood.

Fake beach outside the WA Museum

In January, I also flew to Adelaide to visit my husband who was working there.

The Brighton Jetty Classic  was on at Brighton Beach, which included fun events such as Swimming, Carnivals, stalls, entertainment and wonderful beach sculptures.

Brighton beach - sculptures on the beach

In the suburb of Glenelg, there was a fund raising event for the "Heart Foundation" with huge "Love" letters in metal, and you could donate $10 in exchange for a heart locket where you could write a message to your loved one, to be hung on one of the letters. 
A novel and at the same time fashionable idea.

Love lockets to raise funds for the Heart Foundation


The year of the Horse, which started on 31st of January was  celebrated by the Chinese community in Chinatown in Northbridge. Food stalls and entertainment attracted over 50 thousand people to the festival.

Renovations continued in our house with the removal of the old air-conditioning unit in our former dining room, now sitting room. Finally I managed to put up some of my African themed paintings on that far wall.

Before and after from dining room to sitting room


For my birthday, on 2nd of March, my husband, our son, daughter in law and I, took a day trip to Margaret River (about 260km South of Perth).
We had a lovely lunch and stopped at a couple of beaches to take in the views.

On the way back we stopped in Dunsborough and came across a beach festival with music and art on the beach.

Unfortunately the month of March was a tragic month for our cats - 

On the 5th of March we had to put down "Mommy" with internal injuries, after she was attacked by the neighbour's dogs.
Then a few days days our  male cat "Fluffy" disappeared for a few days and when he returned he had also been injured on his hind leg. He was operated and recovered within a month or two.

Mommy had to be put down
Fluffy after his operation

From the 7th to the 24th of March, the 10th Annual "Sculpture by the Sea" exhibition was held at Cottesloe Beach, with an estimated 220,000 visitors flocking to  see the works of over 70 artists from 12 countries. 

The $50,000 prize was won by Japanese sculptor Hiroyuki Kita for his scultpure - "Like a flower swaying in the wind".

Like a flower swaying in the wind
The People's Choice Prize of $2500, plus the Kid's Choice Prize went to "Wave 1", by a WA artist, Annette Thas,  a sculpture that looked a bit like a soccer goal covered in thousands of Barbie dolls!   
Wave 1


For the first time the FORM Public art festival, was held in Perth, and it proved quite popular.

A few building walls  and some laneways in the CBD and in Northbridge were enlivened with "graffiti art" done by more than 40 national and international street artists like the renowned ROA (Belgium), Phlegm(UK), Stormie Mills  (Australia), Gaia(USA), Pixel Pancho (Italy), Jaz (Argentina), Kyle Hughes-Odgers  (Australia), Vans the Omega (Australia), Anya Brock, etc.

by Anya Brock

Maya Hayuk (USA)
works by ROA (left) and Phelgm (right)

At the end of April I went to Adelaide for Easter, as well as for the last time, as my husband would be returning home soon, and also came across street art in Glenelg.
by Vans The Omega

In Adelaide I visited the Art Gallery of South Australia, and South Australian Museum.
All are located on North Terrace, and entry is free  (you can donate a gold coin if you wish) and they are open from 10am to 5pm.

Half buried house by Perth artist,  Ian Strange 

The Island - by Sydney artist Ben Quilty, winner of the Archibald prize in 2011
Twiggy had to be kept in a confined space so as not to stretch her stitches


Just before going to Adelaide, our cat "Twiggy" had been operated to a wound in her belly,  probably caused by another cat.  After her mother (Mommy) died she wouldn't come into the house and was petrified of any noises, so she slept outside. 

Unfortunately I hadn't realized something was wrong until she stopped eating for 2 days and wouldn't move out of the same chair she was sitting in.
My son and daughter in law stayed at our place to look after the cats and Twiggy was supposed to have her stitches removed a couple of days after my arrival back in Perth. he Saturday before my return, my son called me in a panic as Twiggy's wound seemed to have disintegrated and she had a gaping hole just below the suture line. 
I urged him to take her to the vet immediately, but the vet called me to say the tissue below the sutures was rotten and she needed another operation involving skin transplant and they didn't have the expertise for that. 
She put a tight vest of bandages around her, gave her antibiotics and suggested that I take her to the Vet Hospital on my return on Monday.
Twiggy was operated on the Tuesday after my return to Perth, at the Waves Vet Hospital, no skin grafting was necessary as she had plenty of skin around her fat belly to enable them to stretch it over the wound, and I'm glad to say she recovered within a month. She has now become very frightened and prefers to be indoors.


On Mother's Day, my son and daughter in law took me to Fremantle for lunch.
There I spotted this sculpture on the brick walls of the Norfolk Hotel done by Portuguese artist/sculptor  VHILS
I also came across another painting by ROA on a wall across the Fremantle Markets.

Australian Numbat by ROA


Foundation Day was celebrated on the first Monday of June, and we joined the celebrations at our local community area at the Kent Street Weir Park.

Some more revamps around the house, this time to our bedroom, with a new wall colour, furniture moved around, new curtains added and a few more decoration details.


I went into the city centre with my son and daughter in law to go to watch the Winter Lights Festival in St George's Terrace, where some buildings were very creatively  illuminated. There was also an Ice-rink by the Cultural Precinct (near the Museum), where in January there had been a beach.

At the end of July my husband finally returned home from his work/project in Adelaide.


We went to see a concert - Queen with Adam Lambert at Perth Arena and loved it and the new Perth Arena building was great too.
Adam Lambert with Queen
Perth Arena

I started a series about "Public Art in Perth", showcasing the best statues around the city of Perth.

Kangaroos on the Terrace
Ascalon - in front of St George's Cathedral
The unknown photographer
Der Ruffer in the Cultural Precinct

The Pineapple by the Perth Arena

The Cactus in Forrest Chase in the city

Footsteps in Time - Hay street


During the whole of September Kings Park celebrates the "Wildflower Festival"
This year the star attraction was "Eva Bloom" - a gigantic pink silk flower, 6mt wide and 3mt high!


We were invited to the inauguration of our friend's new small business opening at MANY6160 in Kings Square, Fremantle. They sell cork products imported from Portugal, from handbags to bean bags.
Many 6160 houses  whole lot of artists and start up small businesses.

Corker products
Anya Brock pictures


For the third year Perth participated in the "Open House" event, celebrating design, architecture, interiors, etc and showcasing the most important public and a few private buildings in Perth.

My first visit was to -108 St George's Terrace, in the city centre, previously known as "West bank tower" until 2009 when the bank vacated the 20 floors they occupied.

108 St George's Terrace

I  joined a tour to visit some of the murals painted during the Form Public Street Art in April this year. It was interesting as we got some info on the artists and the murals, most of those I had seen during my visit to the Form Festival in April.

Mural by Pixel Pancho
Mural by Beastman and Vans The Omega

The Perth Christmas Festival started with the turning on of the Christmas Lights in the city on 14th November, and we joined some friends in the city to watch the show.

CATS - For the third time this year another cat was sick!
In September "Baby" was diagnosed with liver problems, after she stopped eating for a couple of days.
After antibiotics and "milk thistle" given to her by a Homeopathic vet, she recovered, but by the end of November she stopped eating again and after a scan I was told she had a Bile duct obstruction, possibly cancer. She lost 2,2kgs in 2 months and was very weak. 
I opted to treat her with homeopathic medication, but the first few days it felt as if she was actually getting worse and I was considering having her put down. 
But then, one day she just started purring and I persevered with the syringe feeding and eventually she started eating on her own again.
She is slowly recovering, she has now put on about 900gr in the last 3 weeks and I'm glad that I believed in the power of alternative medicine. I just hope the recovery is permanent!
A healthier Baby

We celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary on 30th November and spent the day visiting the World of Food Festival, being held in the Governor's Gardens in the city centre.
It was the first time we attended this fair and loved trying out new flavours.


Went to the Leederville Christmas Fair, a festival of food, arts and crafts and Christmas goodies.
I also came across this gigantic mural painted by Australian artist Fintan Magee.

The year ended with my traditional Christmas Eve dinner at my house with a group of friends, and then New Year's Eve was spent at the Portuguese Club in Fremantle with good music and Portuguese food.

I wish all my readers and blogging friends a wonderful 2015, with health, peace and happiness!

I look forward to having your company again next year.