Friday 31 May 2019

Saturday Critters - Birds and Spider

And here are some birds ... and a spider that I came across on my last visit to Sydney in March.

For more Saturday Critters from around the world check Eileen's blog.

PS: Thanks to David Gascoigne for helping to correctly identify some of the birds :)
Masked Lawping or Masked Plover
Dusky Moornhen nesting in a pond in the Royal Botanic Gardens

Lots of Australian wood ducks in the Royal Botanic Gardens

Crested pigeon (Manorina melanocephala)

Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)

Ibis in the Royal Botanic Gardens
Ibis or Bin Chickens as they are also known
Ibis or Bin Chicken
Ibis and lots of Silver gulls
  And the spider web that I saw at the Botanic Gardens.

The spider can hardly be seen, just the gigantic web stretching all over the tree

Monday 27 May 2019

Monday Murals - Recycle - Bondi IV

More murals from Bondi Beach's "Graffiti Wall", taken during my visit to Sydney in October 2018.
Both relate to a very contemporary topic - Recycling - to contribute to the greening of our Planet.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you; just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks, Sami. 

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Signs - If you don't know English...

I know, I'm sure you're shocked with my signs today 😄😄
I found these adverts for the Wall Street Institute in Lisbon last year, but if you could read Portuguese, you would know that even though at first the signs attract your attention because they could very well spell swear words, it's nothing of the sort...
They are in fact very clever advertising I think.

For more signs from across the world please follow this link.

This first one says : "If you don't known English, you can screw up" and if you look closely there is a spirit glass on the right bottom corner and it says "shot"
Bottom right says "Obscene is the price (of lessons) being so low".

This second one says : "If you don't known English, you can screw up" and if you look closely there is a "fork" on the right bottom corner.

Monday 20 May 2019

Monday Mural - At school and my first Elections

On Saturday 18th May we had Federal elections and it was the first time I voted as well.
After lunch I walked to the local Primary school to cast my vote and was surprised to see a few murals in the school grounds.
This one looked as if it was painted by children, maybe with some grown-up help.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you. 
Just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit
your fellow mural bloggers.  
Looking forward to your mural finds this week. Thanks, Sami. 

On other walls there were two panels with ceramic flowers, made by the children in collaboration with Perth ceramist artist Jenny Dawson.

And some more murals painted by the kids on the library wall. Very sweet aren't they?

There was also a sausage sizzle and a second-hand book sale (to which I had donated a few books via the "Buy nothing" facebook page for my suburb.  Funds reverted to the area's playgroup.  As the ladies were in the process of packing up, before going in I browsed the boxes and bought 5 books at $2 each. I think I donated 7 or 8 books, so I have space for 5 😏.

As I mentioned it was the first time I voted in Australia, and I had to familiarize myself with the voting process as it's different from Portugal or South Africa where I voted before.

At the entrance to the school, banners and people handling out pamphlets  for various parties. I wonder if people would still change their minds by reading a pamphlet while in the queue to vote?

I joined a short queue into the voting hall, I was asked my name and address, and was surprised there was no need to show ID.  
Since the 1920's voting is compulsory and over 91% of registered voters vote. There's a $20 fine for non-voters unless they have a valid reason (maybe mental incapacity), but you can also vote early if you're travelling for example, or vote by post.

You are given two ballot papers - a green one with 8 parties and names for the House of Representatives (lower house or the people's house. There are 150 members elected to the House of Representatives (MPs),  and you have to put numbers in the order you want your vote to count.

Then a metre long white ballot paper for the Senate (Upper house - It consists of 76 senators, twelve from each of the six states and two from each of the mainland territories. It shares the power to make laws with the House of Representatives) and you have to tick 6 options above the line (party), or tick 12 boxes below the line (with names of the various candidates).

Of course I'd heard about the main parties and their policies and intentions, but I was surprised at the size of the Senate ballot paper with so many parties I hadn't heard about until then - the Involuntary medication (objectors vaccination/fluoride) Party, or the 
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party or the Animal Justice Party, etc.

Labour was predicted to win according to polls, but there was a surprise win by the Liberals, which were already in power.

                                                                * * * * * * * * * 
Saturday evening I joined 3 other "lonely" friends at a dinner to celebrate Mother's Day at the WA Portuguese club
Dinner was free for female members, men and non-members paid $20. Dinner was a delicious vegetable soup and then a plate of meat stew. A plate with various slices of cake and coffee/tea ended the meal. Afterwards there was singing and dancing. A fun evening!

Dancing at the Portuguese club, the singers and the Meat stew

On Sunday 19th, I baked a banana and walnut cake with cream cheese frosting and went to visit one of our Doctors at the clinic where I work, that I consider a friend too. He had two knee replacements done about 2 weeks ago and is now back home.

A full weekend! Hope you had a fun weekend 😃.

Friday 17 May 2019

All about Shelley

Shelley is our other tortoiseshell cat, sister to Twiggy and Fluffy.
She's always been the more reserved one, tends to be a loner too.

In 2017 the three of them went on a diet, and even though they all lost weight, Shelley seems to have piled it on again, as she's become an expert at opening the automated plates and sometimes will have 2 extra meals after eating her breakfast or dinner 😡

But I'm sure she thinks she's very tiny and dainty as she loves to squeeze herself into tiny spots 😉.

Sadly Fluffy is not much of a brother or friend to her and tends to bully her. 
If Shelley happens to be sitting near me, Fluffy just has to give her a look, she averts her eyes and jumps off.  But on the rare occasion they might even cuddle together...

Luckily Twiggy is her friend and will give her cuddles.

And now you've met my 3 cats! 
And here are the three of them sleeping in my bed.

 Linking to Feline Friday and Saturday Critters.

Wednesday 15 May 2019


In mid March I attended one of the free workshops given at my local library called "Decluttering the sustainable way", by Lindsay Miles, author of the book "Less stuff - simple zero-waste steps to a joyful and clutter free life".
A very relevant topic, it was well presented and very informative and I learned a few things too.


One of the things I learned is that unfortunately Charity shops are overloaded with stuff which is sometimes useless, broken, dirty, and they actually have to spend lots of money to send it to landfill. 
For the first time I heard about the Facebook "Buy nothing project" where you can give things away to your neighbours.
Not sure if it's a world wide project, but in Perth many suburbs have their own page.
When I got home I joined the group.

Originally comprising 4 suburbs, this group had reached over 1000 members making transactions difficult. A few days after I joined, the group was split into 4 different groups.

Now if I have something I no longer use I offer it to the group, which now reaches close to 200 people. If no one wants the first time, I advertise again a week or two later and if there are no takers then I take it to one of the Charity shops.

To date I've given away flannel fabric, a bag of quilting fabric, wool, pictures that I've had in the garage for years (no more walls to fill in my house), unused books, vases, pots.

Fabric and wool
Wall Pictures
File holders, vases, pots, books...

From the group I've also received some succulents, a blue necklace (I love blue), a couple of mirrors which I've used in the garden, and a small foldable picnic table...

Blue necklace, mirrors, picnic table
Mirrors I used in the garden (on the corner and behind the lemon tree), and the succulents.
A few weeks ago there was a Garage No-Sale and I picked up this beauty which I intend to paint.

Last week I put my name down for this sideboard, also to be painted.  
Only two people showed interest, and the other couldn't arrange pickup. The owner, an elderly lady who is also selling up and moving to a retirement village wanted it collected soon.

Two days later I arrived at her place (just 500mt away) with a measuring tape and realized it wouldn't fit in my husband's 4 wheel drive. I returned home to get our old trailer, that gets more use by friends than from us.

Now, I'd never driven with a trailer, but tried my best to attach the trailer over the ball in the car. As soon as I drove out of the driveway and turned right, the trailer just carried on straight to the kerb on the other side of the street. Luckily I live in a very quiet street with just local traffic.
I jumped out of the car and pulled the trailer up to the car and realized I hadn't locked the trailer ball previously.
When I reached the lady's house on a cul-de-sac I tried to unsuccessfully reverse the trailer into the driveway, quite a few times.

A guy across the road who had just arrived from work saw my predicament and offered to do it for me. It still took him about 3 or 4 tries before he got it right.
I thanked him and decided to be bold and ask if he would help me lift the sideboard onto the trailer. I had taken 2 moving trolleys to be able to do it myself, but it would be easier to get help of course. The unit was heavy, but I removed the drawers and shelves to make it easier.
When it was on top of the trailer I thanked him and promised to be back with a carton of beer.

Now, how would I drive backwards into my long driveway again? And how to get the sideboard so I could store the trailer?  (Remember my husband is away and my son would only be able to come and help 4 or 5 days later).
I drove forward, put the two trolleys below the trailer, and slowly pulled the unit down and wheeled it into the garage. I unhooked the trailer and pushed it into its place and drove the car into the garage.
Phew!! What a job, all for a pretty piece of furniture.
And my helper? After all done, I drove to the Bottle Store, bought a carton of beer and dropped the beers by the door with a little thank you note. He deserved them!

Now, what do you think of my acquisitions?
Of course with anything that is free, we have to be careful and not just take everything that is available, because otherwise instead of clearing the clutter we are collecting more clutter.

I've also met a couple of lovely ladies, and the other day I even recognized one in the supermarket and chatted to her.
So I'm thankful for being part of this small community that not only gifts things, but there's also an emphasis on offering your knowledge or time to teach others or help others in the community.

Monday 13 May 2019

Monday Mural - A Heart and a Diamond Anniversary

Another mural from Lisbon's "Hall of Famenear the Amoreiras Shopping Centre.
Painted by Art and Me.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you. 
Just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit
your fellow mural bloggers.  
Looking forward to your mural finds this week. Thanks, Sami. 

And I chose the above mural with the 💗 because today, May 13th is a very special day! 

My parents are celebrating their Diamond wedding anniversary (60th).

Sadly I couldn't be present to celebrate this special occasion with them in Portugal, but they are in my thoughts and heart.
I'm very proud of them for being such great role models in my life, teaching us family values, work ethic, kindness and respect for all.
I'm amazed that they are still very active people, who look much younger than they are and still participate in their community. 
My Mom started a blog years in her late 60's, years before I started mine, she writes novels and poetry and has published a few books. She lectures at the 3rd Age University in Cascais, and my Dad is a keen photographer, has always been very artistic and also attends classes at the 3rd Age University. (The colour picture of my parents below has a black framed picture which was painted by my Dad).

They had 3 daughters, 6 grandchildren and are thrilled to be are around to see their 
4 great-grandchildren.
They will be celebrating with family and friends with a lunch on the 18th.


Sixty years of happiness, love and loyalty to each other must not go unmarked. 
We wish you many more years of love and good health together. Happy 60th anniversary!

April 2018, Portugal - with all 3 daughters and the 3 eldest grandchildren (and 2 sons-in-law)
Left to right: grandchild Robbie, daughter Luisa, sons in law both Jose's, daughter Isabel, daughter Sami, Dad & Mom and in the front granddaughters Nadine and Karina
July 2017, Portugal - the last time the whole family got together. Since then 2 more great-grandchildren have been born.