Wednesday 30 November 2016

36 years ago...

On a rainy Spring day in Johannesburg, we got married surrounded by some family and friends. 

Thirty six years later, 2 kids, 1 grandchild (exactly 1 week old), a few white hairs (me), a lot of white hairs (my husband), wrinkles and a few more kilos (both of us) and here we are celebrating our love.

Hopefully we will be able to celebrate this date for many years to come...
Tonight, we will go out to dinner.

L to R - my Mother, brother in law, sister, hubby, me, Father, younger sister

Monday 28 November 2016

Monday Mural - colourful house

Painted in 2014 for Muraliza Cascais, by artist Paulo Arraiano, on the side and front of  a house in the centre of Cascais (Portugal).

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

Wednesday 23 November 2016

We've been promoted to grandparents!

Hello dear friends:

Most of my family, and some of my close friends have already heard me shout my news, since I first heard it this morning...but for all those blogging friends that haven't yet heard, here are the exciting news:
Our first grandson, Joshua was born this morning (23rd November) at 9,40AM, with 3,440kg and 51cm.

After a long labour, Mom and Baby are doing well. I've already visited him twice in hospital today, where my daughter in law will stay for another day.
We are so excited to have a little baby to spoil.
My parents living in Portugal are super excited to have a second great-grandson born this year.

And we finally feel we are entitled to use the mugs we were given as a present when the pregnancy was announced.

Monday 21 November 2016

Monday Mural - African Queen

Another mural from Portugal, painted by Ivo Santos aka "Smile" on the side of an apartment building in the residential area of Torre, Cascais. 
I couldn't find out anything about the artist but I presume he might have been born in one of the former Portuguese colonies in Africa. Isn't she a beauty?

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

Friday 18 November 2016

Open House Perth II and Food Festival

As promised in my last post, here are some more venues that I visited during last weekend's Open House Perth.

3. City of Perth Library

The new Perth library is a super modern 7 storey round building, situated behind Cathedral Square, in Hay street, and inaugurated in March this year.
I'm glad I had a chance to visit it, as the interior is really amazing!  Covering an area of 3,500m2, and each floor is targeted to a different audience (if I can describe it that way!) - adults library, children's only floor, young adults floor, meeting rooms and multi-function room, History centre floor.  Free Wi-fi is available and public use computers too.
The ceiling that can be seen from the adults library floor was painted by Andrew Nicholls and called "The Isle is full of noises".
There is a terrace too with views over Cathedral square, Perth's city hall and even the Swan River. The children's area that can be seen on the photo on the second row has trees, bean bags and a roof with a view.

4. State Buildings

Also in the Cathedral Square Precinct, on the corner of Barrack st and St George's Terrace, are the State Buildings, a 19th century building that used to be Perth's Post office.
It lay vacant for 2 decades and after extensive remodeling it opened about a year ago as a high-end retail and hospitality centre. 
On one side of the building is the entrance to a 48 room boutique hotel - Como - The Treasury, recently voted second best hotel in the world by Conde Nast travel magazine.
On top of the hotel is a glass box rooftop restaurant - The Wildflower.
There are a myriad other small restaurants, beer and wine bars, boutiques, chocolate makers, flower shop...

Como- The Treasury and The Wildflower restaurant in the rooftop glassbox
5. Curtin University - St George's Terrace hub

Originally Perth's Boy's School, this is the oldest government school building in Western Australia. Built in limestone was constructed in 1854 and resembles a church, although the bell tower and spire have been removed.
Last year Curtin University transformed the building into a central location to provide course information to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The main hall is also used for public exhibitions.

Inside the Curtin University Perth hub

6. His Majesty's Theatre

This Edwardian Baroque theatre constructed from 1902 to 1904 during Perth's gold rush, is situated on the corner of Hay and King streets and seats over 2,500 people. 
When constructed, it Australia's biggest theatre and was one of Australia's first reinforced concrete building too.
After an uncertain future, it was bought in 1977 by the West Australian government who undertook a 3 year refurbishment.
I didn't go inside the performing hall as there was a long queue, so only took photos of the entry hall.

And after hours of walking I was feeling tired and famished...and it was time to get to the World of Food Festival that had started at 11am and would end at 3pm.

World of Food Festival 2015:

Government House

Held at Government House Gardens in St George's Terrace, by the Consular Corps of WA, this is a free annual event that features food stalls of traditional cuisines, cultural performances, petting zoo, children's games and face painting.

Gardens, Zoo, Games, Dancing, Food stalls

AND THE BEST WAS....I got to hold a little joey. My husband bought a Belgium waffle and a young girl there was holding him and I was asking questions and she asked if I wanted to hold him.
Of course I did! He 3 or 4 months old, was being cared for during a year in a foster program as he had lost his mom.
Apparently he slept in the girl's bed and was fed bottled milk 4 times a day, and hated being left alone in the backyard, as he considered himself part of the human family.


And believe it or not, after having had our late lunch here, my husband and I walked about 15 minutes  towards Elizabeth train station to return home, but decided to take a detour and have a refreshing ice-cream at Elizabeth Quay.

An so ended a wonderful and informative day...I don't know how many kms I walked but I walked many kilometres all over town and my feet were killing me!!!

View of Perth CBD from Elizabeth Quay
And to end it all - a refreshing ice-cream

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Weekend Decor and Open House Perth I

It seems the closer it gets to Christmas and with the weather getting warmer there are more and more activities happening in Perth. 
This past weekend we had Perth Open House, where over 90 venues were opened to the public for free, there was a Cheese Festival on the weekend too and on Sunday there was the World of Food Festival.
On Saturday I stayed home doing a few refurbishings at home, so I only managed to go to the city on Sunday...  I need a clone!!

Around the House & Garden

I bought some material with blues and grays to recover the seats of these two chairs, but that was a quick do - just unscrew the seat, cut the material and staple to the bottom. Voila, now it fits with the new decor!

On the left the old, and on the right the new material

I have also finally re-purposed  this old wooden frame with a poster I didn't want - spray painted the frame white, stapled the backing board and with a glue gun, glued a few shells and other beach stuff I found on the beach ages ago. It now hangs on my backyard wall.


My husband and I pressure washed our decking so we could set out the dining and sitting area ready for summer entertainment and Christmas. 
It was my idea to choose light gray composite decking boards, but unfortunately they get dirty very easily, or at least the dirt shows a lot more than if the boards were dark brown for example...

All the outdoor furniture on the grass, waiting for the decking to dry
All back in place and ready to go!


On Sunday I managed to visit a few of the sites on the Open House trail and then still managed to go and have a late lunch at the World of Food Festival in the Governor's House gardens.

1. Woods Bagot Building

On the corner of William and St George's street, the former Palace Hotel, was built during the gold rush in 1895. 
It was known for it's elegance and Victorian style features and it had the first lift in Perth. After a few owners the latest occupier is the firm of architects "Woods Bagot", and although they have a very modern decor, they have kept a lot of the building's Victorian features and even showcase some wooden furniture that belonged to the hotel.
In the next photos you will be able to see the some of the modern features as well as some of the building's original features - the wooden staircase, the lobby mosaic floor, statues, stained glass windows...
And what a great place to work!!

The former Palace hotel and the modern South32 Tower behind it.

Check the wooden sideboard that belonged to the Hotel on the bottom right! The glass ceiling in some parts lets you see the glass tower adjoining the old building.

The next visit was to the glass tower behind Woods Bagot building where two floors were opened - the 30th and the 51st floor.

2. South32 Tower

This triangular building  stands behind the Victorian Woods Bagot building.
Formerly known as Bankwest tower, Bond tower and R&I tower, it's a 52 story tower completed in 1988 and was Perth's tallest building until 1992, and is now the third tallest with a telecommunications tower of 48mt on top.
All open plan offices face the Swan River for amazing views, the building is clad with green tinted double pane glass, the 14 lifts are divided into zones that go from ground up to floor 17, floor 18 to 29 and from 30 to 51.
Another great place to work with wonderful views.

Old & new side by side with the Woods Bagot building adjoined by the South32 Tower
The views from the 51st floor over the Swan River
Part of the new Elizabeth Quay development, here is the new ferry station with a ferry docking

Next post I'll bring you a few more venues that I managed to see around Perth on Sunday.
Hope you have enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Perth's buildings.

                                                                                                                                 12 &13 Nov 2016

Monday 14 November 2016

Monday Mural - The Captain

Painted this year in Cascais (Portugal) on the side of a residential building, by Portuguese artist Daniel Eime, who uses stencils to paint this type of work.
For other murals from around the world please follow this link.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Waltzes and Flowers

Last Thursday evening we went to Perth Arena to watch the concert of the great Dutch Violinist Andre Rieu.

You might remember back in October when I attended a classical concert at Perth's concert hall and I mentioned that I wasn't a fan of classical music.

I have seen Andre Rieu's concerts on TV and always thought they were great fun, so when I read he was coming for a single concert in Perth I bought tickets.
And I loved it!! He's a great entertainer and connects with his audience from the first minute until the end. We are free to sing and dance to his wonderful music too, which makes his concerts so much fun.
Perth Arena holds 15,500 people and the venue was almost full, so he's certainly very popular in Australia.
I must say most of the concert goers were a bit older than my husband and I, and that could be seen from the dozens of walking frames and wheelchairs lining up at the back of the hall.

Perth Arena, the almost full hall inside, the 3 tenors, Andre Rieu and the 3 sopranos -
The tenors were English, Hungarian and French and the sopranos were Dutch, Australian and Brazilian.
Playing with a background of Perth as seen from the river
The Dutch-Australian soprano Mirusia Louwerse who sang a couple of popular Australian songs

An Australian background to an Australian song

The concerts I've watched on TV seem to be on flat surfaces, where everybody dances while at Perth Arena the fact that most of us were sitting up there in the sky meant we couldn't dance, but I think a lot of the crowd was singing and swaying to his songs.

Towards the end Andre played "Blue Danube" and mentioned that the audience usually dances to this song. A few couples near the stage certainly danced away on the aisles.
How I wished I too could dance, but I was sitting up, up, up near the top...

I filmed parts of his songs including the Blue Danube but was unable to upload the video, so here is a video of his from Youtube. Enjoy it!

Have you ever watched one of Andre Rieu's live concerts?

I'll leave you with some flowers blooming in my garden right now - the 3 different roses at the bottom smell great, and at the top there are red and pink poppies. 
I didn't even know pink poppies existed, but a friend gave me this one and he says he has a yellow one too and will give me one soon. Isn't it pretty?

Monday 7 November 2016

Monday Mural - Big fish

On the wall adjoining the mural I showed last week, was this mural of a gigantic and colourful fish.
Painted by Nuno Reis, AKA Nomen, for Muraliza Cascais, it can be found at Rua Nova da Alfarrobeira in Cascais.
For other murals from around the world check this link.

Friday 4 November 2016

Painting and Gallery walls

You might remember two weeks ago when I started painting some walls in my house.
So all the painting is now done, 1 feature wall in the tv room, 2 feature walls in the lounge and then I tackled the corridor too.

I have loads of framed art, first because I used to paint, and secondly because in Portugal I had a framing business which meant I framed a lot of my art. 
Also our double storey apartment in Portugal was bigger and had a lot more walls than our current Perth more art on the walls.

Luckily gallery walls seem to be in fashion from what I see on Pinterest.

I decided to do a African art wall on the newly painted tv room wall.
Hanging the art work took some time though...
I first lay the pictures on the floor in front of the wall and shuffled them until I was happy with the display. 

Then I cut newspaper to the same size of the frames, stuck the newspaper pieces on the wall with sticky tape, marked where the nails should be hammered and hung the pictures.

And the result is:

I had to go to a framing shop near me to get some new mats for some of the frames. You might notice the tiger picture on the left had a green mat which didn't go with my colour scheme, so I had it changed to blue. The picture above it also had a green mat which was changed to orange. Now the fit into the scheme!
Still some art to hang in the corridor and then all done!

Tiger picture -,mat changed from green to blue

And here is a photo of part of the corridor near the entrance hall, where the wall was yellow and now it's gray.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your Autumn or Spring wherever you are!