Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Signs - Love handles

When I saw this bag of toilet paper in the supermarket I noticed the "Love handle" carry strap and I thought it was quite funny and suitable for the Signs meme.

For other signs from around the world please go over to Tom's blog.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Monday Mural - Marseille medley

A medley of murals from Marseille, painted on closed shopfronts, photos taken during our visit in September 2017.

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.  

Monday Mural Meme goes lives at 12,01am Perth, Western Australian time.

Thanks, Sami. 

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Open House Perth 2019

Open House Perth, a free two day event that celebrates the best of architecture and design was held in Perth on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of November.
With 120 places on show, from commercial venues to residential architectural masterpieces, heritage gems and beautiful gardens, this event invites people to explore their city and destinations that aren't usually accessible to the public.

Saturday was an extremely hot day for Perth's Autumn at 40C (104F) and I considered staying indoors, but at the same time didn't want to miss the opportunity to see some amazing places that I had earmarked to visit. We had a previous engagement for Sunday, so it had to be Saturday.
I managed to convince Jose to accompany me and just visit 4 or 5 places!
This year I could only participate in the Saturday visits as we already had an invitation to a friend's house for Sunday.

We started with a visit to the offices of the Arup Group, an architect/designer firm in Exhange Tower on The Esplanade, the road just across from Elizabeth Quay, so that we could enjoy an aerial view of the quay.
Arup was celebrating their 50th year in construction and they were the ones that designed the Elizabeth Quay bridge, they were involved in the construction of the Optus Stadium in Perth, the indoor waterfall at Changi Airport in Singapore, Cebu Airport in Cebu, Philippines (where I flew from in December 2018, when I attended my daughter's wedding)...

Their open plan offices with fantastic views over part of the city was just amazing.

Elizabeth Quay bridge built by Arup

The open plan offices
Timeline of their most iconic projects for the last 50 years -  A Lego model of the Opera House sat at the reception desk

When we left Arup, we walked around Elizabeth Quay, stopped for an ice-cream and came across a "tiny home", by Tiny Homes Perth. They seem to be very much in fashion, but even though they had everything you could wish to have in a house, it's just too tiny for my liking and I couldn't have all the clothes or shoes I have as the wardrobe space was just too minimal 😉.

Visit done we walked back to the parking lot, got in the car and drove west of the city to the suburb of Wembley to visit the recently completed Reuse House by X-Space Architects.
With a major renovation, they transformed a 1950's house into a big modern home, reusing and recycling existing materials from the original home and with energy efficient features.

The facade using the old brick

The compact outdoor area

The next two houses we visited just a couple of km's away were in the suburb of Doubleview.
Ravenscar House was built in just a 186 sqm (2002 sqf) site by architect/builder/owner Pablo Segnini.
The double storey house was so well conceived that he even managed to include a small pool in the backyard (sideyard in their case), with an open plan lounge/dining/kitchen, laundry/toilet on the ground floor and three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a study nook and family room on the first floor.
We enjoyed a chat with the owner who explained some of the materials he used and the reason why he chose to have a pool rather than a closed garage.

The VVision House was the last one, designed, built and owned by architects Christian and Deepti Wetjen.
The most sustainable, energy and waterwise efficient of the three of them, this two and a half storey house was the first straw bale house to be approved and built in the City of Stirling, and one of the first in Perth, but as Deepti explained to us they had to prove to the Council with data from straw bale houses built around the world that it was a viable and sustainable way to build.

The combination of the straw bale walls, insulated sandwich roof panels, double glazed windows that came all the way from Germany, make the house feel comfortable the whole year around. And we can attest to that, because with a 40C (104F) outside, indoors it was a cool 27C (80.6F). Solar panels, efficient lighting and appliances, water tanks and grey water recycling, the house generates more power than it uses, and we were told they mainly only pay for gas.

The 2 bedroomed ground floor is separate from the top floors and is rented out, while the family live above. 

The ground floor unit

A staircase over the 1st floor bedrooms leads to an ample family room used for sewing, studying, reading with views to Scarborough Beach on one side and balcony views to the city on the other side. Really beautiful!

All in all it was a great day out and Jose even enjoyed himself and had the opportunity of asking all sorts of questions regarding the sustainability of the houses.

The top floor and the family room (top left photo)
The city on one side and the sea on the other

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Signs - Look out

Two signs seen in Sydney, warning people to be on the lookout before crossing the road.

For other signs from around the world please go over to Tom's blog.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Monday Mural - Tropical paradise

On the 7th of this month, I and other members of the recently formed Portuguese Australian Women's Association had dinner with the Portuguese Ambassador - Pedro Rodrigues da Silva, who was visiting Perth on official business.
Dinner was held at the Italian restaurant "La Capannina" at the beach side suburb of Scarborough.
There were just 12 of us, and we had dinner in the small private room, and the main wall had a huge mural, which on researching I found out was painted in March 2018 by Big Bite Designs, a creative studio.
As the room was quite narrow it was difficult to photograph it from the front.

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 and thanks for participating.  

Monday Mural Meme goes lives at 12,01am Perth, Western Australian time.
Thanks, Sami. 

The Ambassador (and his wife standing on the right with the dotted dress) surrounded by members of the Portuguese Australian Association

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Signs - UV Board

With a few very hot days already experienced during this Spring, this sign is quite appropriate for those going out to parks and beaches in Perth. 
We've had 39C (102F) on Saturday, 30C (89,6F)  on Monday and Tuesday and 34C (93,2F) today, 37C (98,6C)on Thursday...  Thankfully the temperatures will decrease next week to the high 20'sC.
So before going out check the UV (ultraviolet radiation) and slip, slop, slap 😉

For other signs from around the world please go over to Tom's blog.

UV sign

Monday, 11 November 2019

Monday Mural - Gray Cattle

Mural of a Hungarian gray bull, a breed of cattle which is indigenous to Hungary.
Painted in 2015 for the Colourful City Budapest Festival,  by Fat Heat and Transone and can be found in Rumbach Sebestyen street, Budapest (Jewish district). 
Photo taken during our visit in April 2018.

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 and thanks for participating.  

Monday Mural Meme goes lives at 12,01am Perth, Western Australian time.
Thanks, Sami. 

There were three other murals in the same street which I have previously shown:

A Cafe with a view

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Signs - Please be patient

Sign seen behind the counter in a food caravan.
FOR OTHER SIGNS from around the world please go over to Tom's blog.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Monday Mural - Close to Home

I've often seen this mural when returning home on the freeway from the Southern suburbs, but by the time I spot it it's just too late to get off. 

But when I drove to Bull Creek Shopping Centre for last week's murals I spotted it again and made a mental note to visit it on the way back home.

The gigantic mural 40 x 14 mt (131 x 46 ft), which was finished in October 2018, was painted on the back wall of the Faith Community Church in the suburb of Willetton, (corner of Roe Highway and South Street), by Perth artist Rachelle Dusting, and showcases the Red-tailed Black Cockatoothe Firewood Banksia and the Flooded Gum, which can all be found in the area.

The title "Close to Home" was given by the artist as the mural is literally close to her home and she can even spot part of it from her house.

This artwork was the first one created under the City of Canning (my local council) new policy that requires developers to allocate a percentage of the development cost to fund public art in the area.

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 and thanks for participating.  

Monday Mural Meme goes lives at 12,01am Perth, Western Australian time.
Thanks, Sami. 

You can watch it being painted in this 3,30 minute video :

Faith Community Church (front of building)

Friday, 1 November 2019

My October Wrap-up

October started with a visit to the city to meet up with a Brazilian friend who is now living in Paris. She came to attend her daughter's engagement party and managed to steal a bit of time to meet for lunch so we could catch up. Sadly this year we didn't even take a photo of the two of us, we both remembered that on our way home.
On the way to the train station I saw this pretty Spring installation at Forrest Chase - the Bee hive.

The Bee hive - Spring in the city

On Saturday the 12th I again went to the city to meet up with a group of Portuguese women for a first formal meeting to form a new association of which I am the treasurer - WA Portuguese Australian Women's Association, a not for profit organization. The association was based on the Melbourne one, and was created to develop a network of women who band together to support each other and to raise money for causes involving women and their well-being, mainly homelessness and violence against women.
Right now we are trying to get Portuguese women to join the Association via a membership fee, and we will be hosting "sausage sizzles", Portuguese cooking lessons, talks with a Portuguese psychologist and eventually in February we hope to have enough funds to host a fancy dinner party for about 100 people.

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing, people sitting, tree and outdoor
The founding members of the WA Portuguese Australian Women's Association
The following day we joined another couple and drove to Mandurah to visit the Boat, Caravan and 4WD and Camping show, which I had mentioned on the Signs meme two weeks ago.

It was a beautiful day out and apart from the fancy caravans, etc they also had a couple of crazy guys doing motorbike stunts.

A revamped old old pink caravan and the ultra-modern caravan with 3 bunk beds and a double bed
The very cute and minute Cool Beans caravans that are made in Perth
The motorcycle stunt duo
                                                               A video of the jump

When we dropped our friends home we were invited in for a coffee and to see the ducklings and cygnets on the Canning River that borders their back yard.
L just calls them "Come here babies" and all the ducks started flying in, then the swans and other birds like the Purple Swanphen and Eurasian coot started arriving to get their food.
So amazing, and my friends are so lucky to have that wildlife on their doorstep.

The cygnets and black swans, the baby ducks and the purple swanphen

Fred the ugly duck that is chased away by the black swans, the swans coming upon being called

Next door to us, the house which was started on the 20th August with the pouring of the cement foundation, has this week got the corrugated polycarbonate roof sheets installed and the plasterers have rendered the front of the house, which is now ready for painting and the internal walls have also been plastered. 
A Portuguese friend of mine who is an architect, had a while back mentioned that the standard of construction here is a lot lower than what she was used to in Portugal. 
We visit the house next door at least once a week to see the progress and even though from the size of the house it must be an expensive build I can attest that I have to agree with my friend. 
We were aghast at seeing some of the electrical wiring not being inside conduits, but just shoved into cuts in the bricks. Also most of the electrical wiring just sits on the rafters, once again not inside conduit...  I suppose they think that once the plaster is on the walls nobody can see what is behind...
There is also no insulation between external and internal walls or on under the roof. Although our Winters are mild, our Summers can be very hot which means they would need a lot of air-conditioners to warm/cool the house.

The lounge area and entertainment area on the side (top left and right), electrical wires hanging from the roof and the wires just stuck on bricks that were cut (without conduit).
Last week before the rendering (top) and 2 days ago (bottom)
 We bought 10sqmt (108sqft) of dark gray non-slippery floor tiles and Jose is busy laying the tiles on our front porch. It's been on the To-Do list for a few years, as the original brown tiles were cracked in one spot as well as being very slippery whenever it rained.
The tiles have been partly laid and what all tiles have been cut to size, but the last couple of days it's been raining a lot, we even had hail on Thursday, so work has stopped until the sun comes back this weekend. Then it will be my job to put the grout between the tiles.
I have also painted the gutter downpipes and electrical box in dark gray exterior paint to make them blend in with the brick. I've always hated the beige colour! Eventually the double garage doors and the rest of the gutters will have to get painted too, but that will be a job for next year I think!
I''ve also never liked the old-fashioned brown/cream external canvas blinds, but were removed after we bought the house, only 3 remain - the lounge, 1 bedroom and kitchen window, which get the the afternoon heat in Summer.  They will stay for now but look even worse now against the dark gutters.

Front porch - The old tiles had to be scored so the tile cement would adhere, and the partly laid new tiles
The gutter downpipes have been painted in dark gray to blend with the brick walls and you can also see the electrical box
by the front door
Work-wise October was  a very busy month for me. A work colleague took 4 weeks leave, returning next Monday, but at the same time another colleague was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to be operated straight away. That meant that instead of the usual 5 front-desk people that work at the Clinic, we were down to 3 people and one is a University student who can only work 2 half-days! That meant two of us had to work 4 days a week from 8am to 6,30pm without a break at all!! As we get paid hourly, in four weeks I worked the amount of hours I would normally work in six weeks, so a good pay-check!  
Luckily my colleague is well, all was caught in time and she will only have to do 6 weeks of radiation.
I would get home exhausted, but luckily Jose would have dinner ready for me. 
So that didn't leave me too much time or disposition for doing stuff around the house.
But November is here and I'm confident I will have more time to do the things I enjoy doing.

Have a great weekend 😉