Monday 31 October 2016

Monday Mural - Baby face

I found this mural in Cascais (Portugal), painted for Muraliza Cascais 2014,  by  Nuno Reis AKA Nomen. Check out his website to see other fascinating murals painted by this young man.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Sunday outing to Rottnest Island

 We were invited to go to Rottnest Island on Sunday. 
Rotto, as it is affectionately known, is located about 18km west of Fremantle, and was named by Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh, when he landed on the island in 1696 and saw numerous quokkas (native marsupial) and thought they were large rats, so naming the island "Rat's nest" (Rattennest in Dutch).

Even though the island is now considered a relaxing paradise for Perth residents, it's history has not always been rosy. After the British settlers established the Swan River Colony in 1829, the island was used as a penal colony, for military installations and internment camps for enemy aliens. Many of the island's buildings were actually built by convicts and now serve as holiday accommodation.
At the Royal Perth Yacht Club with the city of Perth in the background
On the Swan River leaving Perth behind
 We met up with the rest of the gang at the Royal Perth Yacht Club and left the port, with the Captain steering the yacht on the Swan River via some of the richest of Perth's suburbs.
Mosman Park, one of Perth's most expensive suburbs - the 3 storey house to the left sold for $57.5 million in 2009

 It took us about 1 hour on the river to reach Fremantle, where we went past the modern Maritime Museum building and then the green and red lighthouses on either side of harbour entrance.

Maritime Museum
  Once on the open sea we picked up speed until we docked in Thomson Bay on the east side of the island.

Approaching Rottnest Island

After putting down anchor we gathered around the table on the deck for a wonderful breakfast of croissants with cheese and ham, fruit, coffee and tea.
I had made Brazilian cheese bread (delicious cheese puffs) that I added to the breakfast table.

Afterwards the  younger crowd swam ashore, while the older ones were helped to the rubber duck boat to go ashore. 
The island was teeming with people who were enjoying the best Spring day we've had so far - 31C. We went to Dome coffee shop for a beverage and a chat and returned by rubber duck to the yacht. 

Getting the Rubber Duck ready to go ashore

 The various rubber ducks and water bikes by the eating zone

                                                             Island accommodation   

And for those who've never seen a Quokka, here is one eating out of my hand. They are so used to people on the island and unfortunately they also get fed a lot of rubbish...and believe it or not they also steel from people camping on the island, so all food must be securely stored away otherwise overnight they will eat it all!  But they are cute!!

After coffee we got back on the rubber duck towards the yacht, and when all was secured back in place we returned to Perth, having enjoyed a wonderful day outdoors with great company.

                     The Rottnest Express - ferry between Fremantle and the island

Image result for rottnest island map
                        Map of the island with Thomson Bay top right (from the internet)

Monday 24 October 2016

Monday Mural - Sailor Story

This mural painted by the Russian artist - Rustam Qbic - for Public Form 2016 in April,  in the Library building of Curtin University, Perth.
It's entitled "Sailor Story"  and you can see a lonely man on a paddle boat filled with books while battling the heavy seas, symbolizing the learning process and the forces that get in the way of learning.

Monday 17 October 2016

Monday Mural - Millo at Curtin University

Another mural at Curtin University, for Public Form 2016 in April.
This one was painted by Italian artist Francesco Camillo Giorgino AKA Millo in his traditional style of monochromatic designs with bits of colour.

As you can see in the photos, at first there was only a girl in a blue dress with a pink shadow by her side, but days later the pink shadow turned into another person when the mural was finished.

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

The mural now finalized.

Friday 14 October 2016

This week - cats, walls and insurance win


Last week I took our cat Shelley to the vet for a check-up, and as I was well aware the vet said she needed to lose weigh as she's obese. Since all 3 are overweight, I've decided to put all of them on this weight control food.

This Wednesday I took Fluffy and Shelley to be measured, weighed and photographed to get them ready for their weight loss program.
I didn't take Twiggy, as she's a nervous and stressed cat, so I weighed her in the bathroom scale and she just squirmed until I put her down! She hates to be picked up!

Fluffy weighs 8kgs, Shelley 7,8kgs and Twiggy +- 7kgs. Their ideal weight should be around 5,5kg and apparently it will take about 7 months of dieting until they reach their ideal weight!
Do you play with them, asked the vet nurse? Well, they hardly jump, they are 9 years old, not playful at all, only one of them will try and catch things I wave in front of him, the other 2 just look and ignore...   She said I should hide their cat kibble in toilet rolls or scatter their biscuits throughout the house so they search for it and take their time eating their meals instead of gobbling it all up in 2 minutes! 
This is going to be fun!!

Our boy Fluffy weights 8kg

Shelley weighs 7,8kg

Twiggy weighs about 7kg


I've also decided to do some minor make-overs at home - I swapped my dining room and tv room around.  Because I also wanted to swap the pictures on the walls, I had to remove the nails and patch up the dining room wall that was originally painted turquoise.
When I looked in the garage for the leftover paint I realized that I no longer had that colour.

Former turquoise wall

Off to Bunnings  (hardware store) I went, collected paint chips and chose a lighter tone - blue/gray called "Alpine Valley" from Taubmans. 
I've also painted the kickboards white as originally they were painted in a cream colour and that's something that's been bugging me!  I still have to do that for the whole house...

I still have to put up the pictures and move the couch against the wall.

Next Wednesday I'll be painting the formal lounge feature wall - going from yellow to gray - "Fresno Sky" from Taubmans. I'll post some photos when all is done and dusted.

Lots of bits and pieces to be done around the house and garden in preparation for our Christmas visitors.


Our home and contents insurance was up for renewal. Since lots of new companies have come on the market offering great deals, I thought I should phone around and get quotes. 
I got 2 new quotes for about $500 less a year than what we're paying now!!

Wow, that's a lot of money we could be saving, so I called up our Insurance company, told them about these quotes and after going up the rank, and because we've been with them for many years I managed a $500 discount. 
I also mentioned the fact that my husband pays less for his car insurance with another company, even though his car is worth 3 times more than mine, so again after a bit of figure crunching they also gave me a $300 discount on that! 

How about that, we just saved ourselves $800 a year!! I wish I had investigated that sooner.

Wishing you a great weekend ahead, with a photo I took tonight of Shelley and Twiggy cuddling on the footstool. It's not often I find them together.

Monday 10 October 2016

Monday Mural - Stormie Mills at Curtain Uni

This mural was part of the dozen of murals painted at Curtin University in April this year for Public Form 2016.
This one painted by Stormie Mills,  who was born in Wales but has been living in Perth since he was 3 years old.

When I went to take photos, I happened to see a quirky car and lots of people around it taking photos. I approached and also took photos and was told the car belong to Stormie Mills.
Cute, isn't it?

One of Stormie Mills signature figures

Wednesday 5 October 2016

My first visit to the Perth Concert Hall

My friend G was sick and unable to use her tickets to Friday's show of Perth's Philharmonic Orchestra at the Perth Concert Hall,  so she asked if I would like to use them.

I must confess I'm not a great fan of classical music but I know my husband loves it, so I called him and he said yes!

The Western Australia Symphony Orchestra (WASO) performance was conducted by a German conductor and with some pieces played by a French pianist, and the concert lasted just over 2 hours with a 20 minute interval. 
The second part last 1 1/2 hours which I thought was a bit too long and I struggled to keep quiet...I'm a bit of a fidgety person and like to do 2 or 3 things at the same time, so just sitting there quietly was hard!!  I was surprised to see some youngsters with their parents, although by the second part they were sleeping on their Mother's lap.

On the other hand seeing the orchestra live with the different players and their instruments was certainly a lot different that just listening to classical music on the radio and I actually enjoyed the performance. 

Photos or recordings aren't allowed except during the interval or just before they start playing, which is when I took these photos.

During the internal I noticed there were a couple of dinosaurs hanging from the ceiling of the Concert Hall. They were on loan from the Museum that is closed for reconstruction.

There is a restaurant at the Concert Hall where you can have a buffet dinner before the performance, and during interval there are a few bars in the foyer and you can even pre-order your drinks so they are ready at the interval.

We had left home far too early for eat dinner, so after the concert ended just after 10pm we headed to the Casino for a bite to eat, as in Perth not many restaurants have an open kitchen after 9pm. 
We had some Chinese share plates at one of the restaurants there and after walking through the gambling hall we headed home. It was a different evening for sure!

Have you ever been to classical concerts?

Crown Casino Hotel at night

Monday 3 October 2016

Monday Mural - Old Fishermen

Painted by Portuguese artist Frederico Draw , it was painted for "Cascais Muraliza 2015".
It's situated on the corner of Largo Dr. Passos Vella with Rua Latino Coelho in Cascais, Portugal. I think the mural could be dedicated to fishermen since there's an anchor between the two faces.

For other murals from around the world please check this link.

Saturday 1 October 2016

Bremer Bay - Fitzgerald River National Park

The house we were staying in, in Bremer Bay was in a quiet cul de sac, and as we were leaving home on Monday morning, the neighbour's chickens were in the front garden. 
I presume they must have been the ones that "gave us" the fresh eggs we had eaten for breakfast the previous morning

Fresh eggs and chickens

My husband got some old bread and started feeding them, but once they were full they crossed the road and back into their garden they went!
Feeding the neighbour's chickens

The National Park and wildflowers

So, after feeding the chickens we once again headed to the beaches to try and spot whales.
Some locals then told us that there was a pod of them at Point Ann, within the Fitzgerald River National Park, 65km east of Bremer Bay, which is a famous whale nursery.

I had also wanted to see the wildflowers, so we drove to the National Park and were lucky that all roads were opened. Apparently when it rains a lot some of the roads get closed. There is a $12 entry fee, money that you deposit into a trust box.

The different wildflowers were spectacular! 
My favourites were the white ones that look like fluffy cotton (first photo, top right) and the Hakea Victoria or Royal Hakea, which is native to that area of Australia (second photo, top left) and can grow up to 3mt tall.

Royal Hakea (top left)

Point Ann and the beaches

Point Ann was also an amazing spot with various lookouts over the beautiful turquoise water.  Again the beaches were wonderful!
Some people that were leaving said they had seen whales and pointed to the direction were they had seen them. We looked and could see the dark shapes under the water but they didn't surface and again it was too windy to stand there and wait.

 Quaalup Homestead

We hadn't eaten lunch at all, so on the way back to Bremer Bay we stopped at Quaalup Homestead, a big farm with an old house built in 1858, chalets and camping area and where they supposedly served coffee and German cake. We arrived there to be told by the owner that she hadn't had time to bake a cake and had no time to serve coffee either as they had many guests staying there...
What a disappointment, to drive off-road for about 10km each way and be told that!
Anyway, we were given permission to use the bathroom and to see the Homestead with some of the original furniture and farming implements scattered around the building.
And then off we went to Bremer Bay, starving and ready for dinner!

The homestead on the bottom right, some ruins at top left and old farming implements

Bremer Bay (bottom right), Quaalup homestead (in pink) and Point Ann (further up on coast)

Car tyre pots
And to conclude my post is a photo of flower pots made of car tyres, that were quite common in Bremer Bay gardens.  I certainly like the one with the bright red flowers.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend wherever you are. In Perth it's been a cold and windy Saturday. Our power was off for a couple of  hours this afternoon due to  storms.
On the news yesterday it was said that this first month of Spring has been the coldest in the last 45 years. Last year this time the temperature was probably about 10C higher!