Monday 30 November 2015

35 years ago on Nov 30th

Today we celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. We got married in Johannesburg, South Africa.
We met 1 year before that when we both worked part-time in the function rooms at the Carlton Hotel in the city centre, me as a waitress and Jose as a barman.

The reception was held in a hired hall at the Italian Club in Bedfordview. My Mother baked and iced the wedding cake, as well as co-ordinated the lunch which was cooked by hired cooking staff.

And now here on our late 50's  living in Australia, 2 grown up children who have also followed their hearts...
It doesn't feel as if it's been 35 years for sure! Time just flies!!

With my parents at home
L to R -  Jose's Godparents, Jose's brother and sister in law, the bridal couple and my Parents

The best men and Bridesmaids (the two girls to the right - sitting and standing, are my sisters)

My Mother, brother in law, sister, us, my Dad and my younger sister

Tonight, we had a lovely dinner at Mosman's Restaurant, which is right on the river. Pity it was already getting dark by the time we arrived.
We managed to get a lady that was walking her dog to take some photos of us. 
I had forgotten my camera (very unlike me!!) so mobile phone had to do!

My husband and I in the middle and daughter in law and son on the sides.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Monday Mural - Kaleidoscope

While sorting my picture files of photos taken this year, I noticed that I had taken a photo of this mural in February this year when I went into the city to meet Iris, my blogger friend from Germany, and I still hadn't posted it.

This beautiful kaleidoscope style mural was painted by Perth artist Ian Williams. You can see it on the wall of the Central Institute of Technology on Aberdeen St in Northbridge.

If you would like to see more murals around the world follow this link.

Enjoy your Sunday, a big celebration in our household tomorrow...

Saturday 28 November 2015

Weekend Projects IV - telephone table to coffee table

Telephone table to Coffee table - Before and After
I had previously shown you this South African yellow wood telephone table we had in our entrance hall before it got replaced by an Ikea Besta unit. 
We've had this little piece of furniture for over 20 years and even though I didn't want to get rid of it, it was in need of an overhaul...

The unit in the entrance hall

I started by removing the top part that was just glued with wood glue, then I filled in the holes and sanded the whole unit. Because the filler was white in brown unit, I had to sand and sand and sand before eventually the unit could be painted.
I then spray painted it with a glossy white pain with a paint gun.

Sanding and sanding and sanding...

It now has a new visual and serves as a coffee table in the sitting room, while the former table has gone to the patio.

New visual - coffee table

The coffee table in my African style living room

I have thought about screwing a wooden top to the table in a way that would still enable us to open that door flap (where I can keep my winter sofa blankets) in the style used nowadays (see photo below), as well as making it fit in better with other surrounding furniture in the dining room and TV room that are darker wood, but that's a project for a later date. Right now it stays as is! 

White table with wooden top

I've already mounted my Christmas tree and put up a few other decorations through the house. 
I usually do my tree in the first few days of December, but my parents and a friend are arriving from Portugal on Wednesday 2nd and then we're off on a short holiday with them to the south of Western Australia on the 4th, so no time to do it later!
Still time to wrap the presents before they arrive...

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Miracles of Spring - Nesting birds

In our backyard doves and willy wagtails are busy nesting. 
I had hung a couple of coir baskets on the lemon/mandarin tree when I saw the rickety nests the doves build and they seem to have adopted "our nest".
The other day my husband noticed a tail hanging out of one basket, and when the bird wasn't there he climbed up a ladder to take a photo for me and I was thrilled to see 2 tiny eggs.

Mother or Father Dove on the fence

Tail peeking from the nest

2 little eggs in the nest

I had already showed you the perfectly round nest that the willy wagtail had built in the other lemon tree. The other day I saw the mother bird incubating her egg and quickly ran inside to grab my camera.
She doesn't like us to get close to the tree, as soon as pick lemons fallen on the ground she leaves her nest and starts flying around making angry shrieking noises until we leave the area. Sometimes another bird, presumably the father sits on the fence making the same angry noises. Very cute, defending their nest!

Wagtail sitting on  her nest on top of the egg
Wagtail on the roof

From my dirty kitchen window I took a photo of this honeysucker eating pollen from the Kangaroo paw plant.
(I used my mobile to take a photo as I didn't want to move as the bird might fly if he noticed movement, which he did once I returned with the camera - hence it's not a great photo!)

Honeysucker on kangaroo paw plant

Monday 23 November 2015

Monday Mural - Blue and Red

A mural by Chris Nixon, a Perth based illustrator and designer. This mural is in Nick's Lane in Northbridge and was painted in April during Form 2015. 

Linking to Monday Murals where you can check other murals from around the world.

Sunday 22 November 2015

World of Food Festival 2015 and a visit to the Governor's House

So much happening around Perth around this time of the year, I wish I could clone myself to attend all these interesting functions...
Even though it was as hot as yesterday, we still went to the World of Food Festival being held from 11am to 3pm, at the Government House Gardens, and met up with some friends.

There were about 35 stands with food from around the world, but our first port of call was the Portuguese stand. Then we had dessert from the French stand and the Dutch stand too.

There was also a small stage showcasing some entertainers - singers and dancers - from various countries.
Some of the food stands with Government house at the back

The Portuguese stand
Some older Portuguese men playing and singing traditional songs
Malasyan dancers on stage
We chose a shady spot facing the lakes and fountains down below to sit down and eat our meal and have a chat with some friends.

Our view of the gardens, lakes and fountains from our sitting area

At around 12,45h I heard someone announce that the Government House was open until 1pm. Since the house is only opened in special occasions, I jumped at the idea of visiting it of course!
Building of this heritage listed house was started in 1859 and completed in 1863.
Situated right in the center of Perth in St. George's Terrace, and is surrounded by 3,2 hectares of beautiful gardens. The house has 16 rooms on the ground floor and 25 rooms on the first floor. Just last week it hosted Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall on their visit to Perth.
Only some of the rooms in the ground floor could be visited, but I really enjoyed seeing the interior.

The gardens are usually opened to visitors on Tuesday's, Wednesday's and Thursday's between 12noon and 2pm, so you can take your picnic and enjoy the views.

Government house and some the the city's skyscrapers. The one to the left is the Perth city council
The grand ball room
Executive Council Room with pictures of former WA Governors
The grand dining room
In the Music/Drawing room stood a recent photo of Camilla and Charles
The ornate staircase leasing to the first floor, with a massive stained glass window
The swimming pool on the South side of the house
The Swan Bell Tower in the distance, as seen from the gardens

Hope you enjoyed the visit to the Governor's house and the massive gardens.
They are so well looked after, they must have loads of dedicated gardeners...
I think I will have to take my Christmas visitors there for a peep!

Saturday 21 November 2015

Miracles of Spring - Jacarandas in bloom

Jacarandas are native to Brasil and Argentina, but can be seen in many countries like Zimbabwe, South Africa, (with Pretoria being known as the Jacaranda City) and some Asian countries, as well as Australia. Brisbane was home to the first Jacaranda trees in 1864, which were planted in the city's Botanic gardens.
In Perth, many of the older suburbs have streets lined with Jacaranda trees, which start blooming each Spring and well into Summer with their trademark purple blossoms.
At the blooming season ends, the grounds under the trees are carpeted with purple blossoms.

The southern suburb of Applecross, even holds an annual Jacaranda Festival in November, which happened today, the 21st. I didn't go as it was a very hot day and I was feeling a bit tired, maybe next year!
The Jacaranda festival is held in Ardross Street, organised by the Rotary Club of Applecross, and has many stalls selling food, honey, nuts, Christmas cakes, jams, plants, arts and crafts, candles and green products. Entry is by gold coin donation ($1 or $2) which goes towards charitable organisations.

There's also entertainment and activities for children like face-painting, bouncing castle, clowns, etc. 

Photo taken last week

Hope you enjoyed the purple blooms and hopefully next year I'll be able to pay the Festival a visit!
Tomorrow we'll be going to the World of Food Festival where there will be a Portuguese food stall!  Hope they have something nice...

Wednesday 18 November 2015

NEIL you still ROCK

On Monday 16th, hubby and I went to see Neil Diamond at Perth Arena.

We took the train to the city (transport is included in the ticket price) and we saw hundreds of "oldies" on the train and joked that we were probably the youngest oldies there.

From Perth Central station it's a 5 minute walk to Perth Arena, and upon arrival we once again noticed it was mostly an older crowd queuing up to go inside.

Neil Diamond was very much part of our musical culture and he's also one of my husband's favourite singers.

The stage with lit up with a diamond shape from which he emerged.

Neil Diamond emerging from the Diamond

He joked that he had last been in Perth for a concert in 1976 and that Perth had only 1 building then, but it has grown a lot and was a beautiful city.

Almost 2 hours of non-stop singing from his old favourites to a few songs from his newest album from 2014, from which he sang "The art of love" (below from YouTube).

I loved "Brooklyn Roads" about his childhood and with background pictures taken by his Dad.

Singing Brooklyn roads

The audience loved when he played "Red, red Wine" and stood up to accompany him.
After almost 2 hours he introduced us to his 13 men (11 men, 2 women) band, thanked the audience and left the stage.
Hardly anyone moved and they all clapped and cheered and whistled....
He came back to sing another 3 songs, the second of which was "Sweet Caroline" for which the audience once again stood up and accompanied the chorus.

He didn't disappoint and although he's 74 he's still charming and still has that unmistakable beautiful voice.
We loved the concert!
My husband and I (photo taken by the people sitting next to us)

Listen to "The Art of Love" from Neil Diamond's 2014 album (from Youtube), a really beautiful song.


Tuesday 17 November 2015

Monday Mural - Rabbit face

This mural was in a courtyard of the State Treasury Buildings that were opened to the public during the Open House Perth last weekend.
I'm not sure if access to the courtyard was through one of the many restaurants, but I spotted the mural through one of the many windows through the corridors.

It was painted by Thai street artist Patcharapol Tangruen, aka Alex Face.
To see more murals around the world follow this link.