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 😉


  1. Yikes on your work schedule. I'm happy about your co-workers good prognosis. That rocks.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Big hug. ♥

    1. Thanks Sandee, it was a rough month but I suppose it was worse for my colleague worrying about her health. We are all glad she is ok. Have a great weekend too.

  2. Banner Month - Well Done - Thanx For All The Photos


  3. Oh, Sami, I have so many memories with no pictures attached (was expensive back then) - but in your head it´s there :-)
    An important installation, the Bee hive (just saying, there´s a The Simpsons episode on this ;-)...).
    Intersting Association and wee... taking such a big part... thumbs up!
    The pink caravan made me smile :-) AS the swans and birds!
    Oh, reading about the architecture/electric work made me go argh!! Yep, same in our cabin in Madeley.
    Two sides to the story, huh. In your place they expect you have a mind and can handle it, here... even for adults it has to be child proof.
    (I prefer our way, though, as mice etc do not have a mind when it comes to stuff like this!).
    And insulation... ohhhh... Greta would not not like that! (It was a situation with my diploma, too, I needed a cold roof construction and way back... no internet!)
    You put a lot of work in the house - but I must say... the blinds remind me a lot of my (happy) childhood!
    Work - oh-wee. Poor woman there. Glad it went well.
    Relax and have a great weekend! xx

    1. Thanks Iris. I didn't take pictures like I do now either, it was a couple on special occasions and then they had to be developed, etc, what a rigmarole, so much easier now.
      The bees are certainly important and there's lots of programs about them and their importance to our environment.
      We've had a busy weekend, so hardly been on the computer.

  4. That's a tough work schedule. I'm retired now, but it seemed like for most of my life, I either had money but no time, or time but no money. Hard to find a nice balance!

    1. Thanks for your visit. I usually only work 25h a week, so I have it easy, but sometimes things go wrong and we have to step up.

  5. You have indeed been busy for a variety of reasons. I hope that November permits you time to take a breath and relax a little.

    1. Thanks David. Somehow November and December seem to be crazy months for me with lots to do around the house, but I will find time to paint furniture which is my relaxing hobby :)

  6. I've mentioned it before about how an Irish roofer was so appalled by the standard of our roofing in Australia that he gave up the job here and worked as a window tinter instead. I've never seen electric wiring in a roof in a conduit. It's just stapled down. It has been a busy month for you, but you are always so busy. Style tip, grey is the new black.

    1. Thanks Andrew. I didn't know the wiring on the roof was meant to be that way, what about mice biting into the wires? Grey is certainly the new black, everyone seems to be using it :)

  7. It does not surprise me at all how busy you were Sami, you are always like a whirlwind 😉 Congrats on the new treasurer position. I love that no matter how busy you are something still manages to get painted 😁 I think perhaps it depends on which builder you use as to the quality of the build, some are much more professional than others. We must try and catch up this month before the madness of Christmas preparations xox

    1. Thanks Grace, yes will try to catch up soon, will message you one of these days :)

  8. Replies
    1. Obrigada Francisco. Sempre imenso para fazer. Espero que tenha tido um bom fim de semana.

  9. You have been incredibly busy, even though you have been working an enormous amount of hours. With that bigger pay check, you should take Jose out to eat for being so supportive of you during this work crisis.

    Glad to read about your co-worker beating cancer. Not so my friend.

  10. Forgot to thank you for the incredible shots of the black swans. By now, you probably know how much I love seeing them.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, I know how much you enjoy seeing the black swans. So sorry for your friend, there are more and more women being affected by breast cancer.

  11. Goodness you have been very busy indeed - what a work schedule!
    I really enjoyed seeing your photographs though, especially the black swans.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan, glad you too enjoy the black swans.

  12. Dearest Sami,
    Wow, that was a handful of things done and to do... More than you anticipated at work but good to learn that your colleague is healing and went in time!
    Oh, the treat of having those water fowl come to your home for food, that is precious.
    The speedy, but very risky and sloppy construction next door sounds indeed like being below par and what about safety inspection?
    Hah, your front door tiles look SO MUCH better now! Don't know what you meant by the old tiles had to be 'scored'... Hope they will hold as we had the experience on our balcony where the tile men laid them also on top of the first layer. They all had to come off, it turned ugly.
    The beige color indeed was too much 'in your face' and it looks far better now.
    Congrats with the start of this Portuguese Australian Women's Association! That sounds great and you're in a big enough city for doing so. We have a large group of Dutch Americans in Atlanta but we're more than 2 hours driving away...
    As for the motorcycle stuntmen; idiots... one day they might brake their neck!

    1. Hi Mariette, scoring the tiles means making cuts or indentations in the tiles with the grinder so that the tile cement has something to adhere to and you have no problems with the new tiles on top.

  13. You HAVE been busy -- but lots of fun things in there with all the work. And oh, your photos truly do tell the story, Sami!

    1. Thanks Jeanie, have to try to have a little fun sometimes :)


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