Wednesday 3 February 2021

January Wrap-up

On the 1st of January Jose and I went for our almost daily walk around the neighbourhood and on the way home came across a beautiful sunset. I love sunsets!

We had a BBQ with our friends W and L on Sunday 3rd, at their house by the Canning River. We met the future in-laws of their daughter who just got engaged on Christmas day.  Feeding the ducks and black swans is always a highlight at the end of the day.

On Sunday 10th, we were once again invited for a BBQ, this time at the house of the newly engaged couple on the outskirts of Perth.

I took two weeks's leave from Friday 15th and returned on the 1st February.

Even though we had nothing planned I just needed some time off work as I've been stressed, and tired with training a new person, etc.  

The lady I've been training is due to finish her probation but sadly she hasn't been able to cope well with work, and that means we will need to hire someone new and start training again. With 3 months probation period, a young colleague back at Uni leaving her with less availability to work, I figured that I better take leave now or otherwise I wouldn't be able to do it until June or so...

As it was, I had loads of furniture in the garage awaiting to be painted, and that's what I mainly did.

I managed to finish 3 projects, have 2 half-way and 2 others sanded and awaiting to be painted, so I consider I did well.

Back in October I had been given two of these tables, one in a good state, the other needed repairs. So once Jose glued the crack on the table top and broken leg, it was ready for my magic. Because the top wasn't in such a good state I had to stain it instead of sanding and waxing it like I had done to the other table, but I think it came out well.

I can't even remember when Grace gave me this bookshelf, but it was ages ago!        It had trim on one side only which I had removed, but when I finished painting it I thought it looked too unfinished, so bought a bit of pine and asked Jose to cut some trim to fit the bottom and top on each side.

This rolltop desk was given to me by my boss, as she was demolishing her parent's house, to build a new house for her family.  She had seen a very similar desk I had painted so asked if I wanted it on the condition we had to collect it one or two days later, which we did. 
Unlike the other rolltop I had painted, this one was in a fabulous condition and didn't need many touch-ups during preparation.
Now it looks very cute and feminine I think, and I even found knobs to match the coral interior.

The still to finished pieces are - the pine corner entertainment unit, from the "Buy Nothing group" already looking much better in 
olive green and inside stained to look like a light wood, and t
he long entertainment unit, given to me by the Doctor who also gave me the two small tables (one above). The blue unit I want to put some feet and I've asked Jose to make me 2 doors for those open display areas, so it can be used as a dining room buffet. 

On the 15th I took Fluffy to the vet as he had been having an eye infection due to cat flu. He was just given eye ointment. Four or 5 days later his eyes were ok but the sneezing continued.

Jose is the treasurer for the Cod Fish Academy of Perth, and on Saturday 16th, we were invited to dinner at the house of the President of the Academy and his wife, and joining us were the Vice-President and his wife, to discuss the organization of the Association's 10th anniversary, which will hopefully be celebrated on the 13th March. 

I made two puddings, one for this dinner and another to take to lunch on Sunday 17th to a young Portuguese Mom and her Australian husband that I met at the Clinic where I work. They have the cutest 6 month old girl.

As we were near the area, after the Sunday lunch, Jose and I went to the South Perth foreshore for a walk. The place was full of young families relaxing on the lawn, others doing their daily walk next to the's such a beautiful area with fabulous views across the Swan River to the city centre and lots of street art to admire.

On the right are temporary pieces from the Fringe World festival 

A giant rhino made of tools, car parts and metal by metalworker Jordan Sprigg

The gigantic yellow metal sculptures - the Numbat (23,5mt long, 6,5mt high and 5.6mt wide) and the Frilled neck lizard (21m long, 9.2m wide and 9.7m high) greet visitors arriving by ferry from the city across the Swan river, and acknowledge the nearby Perth Zoo's commitment to preservation of endangered species

The 3 Emus by artist Russell Sheridan and the family of meerkats, crocheted in polypropylene were created by artist Mikaela Castledine, at the piazza as well as a few of them along Mends Street help guide visitors to the Perth Zoo.

Numbat and Frilled neck lizard

3 bronze feathers, boat?, meerkats, emus and giant chair from where I almost couldn't get out :)

The meerkats with the city as a backdrop. To the left of the city is Kings Park

On Monday 18th, we met up for dinner with a South African friend who used to live in Perth but now lives in Tasmania. She came to Perth for a couple of weeks to visit her daughter, and she always tries to meet up with old friends.
We drove to Rockingham, about 40kms away and had dinner at "Steel Tree at the Foreshore" restaurant.
Before dinner was served Charmaine and I still had time to go outside and take photos of the sunset.

Steel tree restaurant is the corner building across the grassed area

Sunset at Rockingham beach, my salmon dinner, the beach, a rainbow towards the Kwinana refinery

The Christmas decorations and lights were still on in Rockingham on the 18th January

On Tuesday 19th I drove to Port Kennedy (not far from where I was the night before) to meet up with Jan, a former colleague who lives that way, so that we could buy our Fusion mineral paints at the "Upcycled Barn".  Afterwards we had lunch nearby and chatted for a while before I drove home. I managed to get a few photos for the "signs meme".

 On Saturday 23rd we went to the Portuguese Consulate in Fremantle to vote for the Presidential elections in Portugal. We went at about 4pm, with the idea that after voting we would then go to the beach in Fremantle and just sit, read and load up on some Vitamin D. 

We knew 2 of the 3 people there and when they were confirming our identities against their lists, they discovered that neither of us was registered to vote in Perth and upon consulting the website both of us were somehow registered to vote in Sydney ...we weren't the only ones apparently, as they had on the Perth lists, people from Sydney, and Brisbane.

Jose did work in Sydney for 18 months, and at one stage we both went to the Consulate in Sydney to issue our daughter with a Power of Attorney so she could sell our apartment in Lisbon (we had no Consular representation for about 2 years in Perth, when our Consul died).

The staff asked if we wanted to write a letter of complaint so that our names would be put under the correct Consulate, which we did and then instead of going to the beach and just stayed on and chatted the rest of the afternoon, and were even offered coffee and cookies. It was almost 7pm when we looked at our watches and realized how late it was, and they were meant to close the voting boxes at 7pm.

Needless to say no one else came in since we had arrived fact voting was very, very poor with only about 65 votes out of the 1100 registered to vote, but we have about 10 thousand Portuguese in Western Australia...

On Thursday 28th, Jose and I drove to Kalamunda in the "Perth Hills" so that we could have a "Access Bars" 1h session each. 

A Christmas present from Karina, we had never heard of it, until she said that a Dutch friend of her's who she had met in the Philippines was back in Holland and was an Access Bars practitioner. The Nervana Chiropactic clinic had a community vegetable garden outside which was quite nice.

Access Bars is a hands on energy healing process that uses energy centres or bars located on the head, and unlocks them using gentle touch. The therapy will relax your body, soothe your mind and recharge your vitality. We loved our session, felt much more relaxed and the stress seemed to have evaporated. The following day we were both exhausted though, not sure if it had anything to do with it, but after that we felt great.

Nervana Chiropractic clinic and their community garden and flowers

Friday 29th - took Fluffy back to the vet, the eyes were cleared but he was still sneezing and seemed very listless, just sleeping and not too interested in food, would only eat the jelly food that comes in pouches.

The vet weighed him and said he had lost 300gr in the last 2 weeks and she thought he might actually be suffering from kidney problems.

She did blood tests and I brought home a special non-absorvent  sand and had him closed in the bathroom the rest of the day so that he could pee in the sand box so I could collect some urine. He only managed to do it at night so on Saturday I dropped the urine at the Vet.

Later that afternoon the vet called me to confirm it was kidney disease and that he would need special food and medication and I could pick it up on Monday.

I spent the weekend researching the problem and sadly it's a very debilitating disease... 

Saturday 30th was the Portuguese Australian Women's Association 1st Anniversary, an event that was held at the South Fremantle Football Club, the same venue where we had the 1st Gala in January 2020.

The event was attended by 120 people, the food and service by Benny's restaurant was top notch and the entertainment which included Samba, dancers from Timor, two female singers and a DJ, with plenty of dance music was fabulous.

31st - Sunday afternoon, we were just chilling at home when news came that there had been a security guard at one of Perth's quarantine hotels that was infected with Covid19 and Perth would go into a 5 days lockdown from 6pm Sunday to 6pm Friday. 
Locations and times where that person had been were broadcast and people that were in those locations were requested to get tested.  Just on Monday over 16 thousand tests were performed which was a record for Australia! 
Three days later we have had no further let's hope we can get back to normal soon.

I hoped to talk to the vet on Monday to ask her opinion about homeopathic medicines, about an appetite stimulant, etc, but due to the lock-down they wouldn't even let me inside the clinic, and was asked to stay outside. The nurse brought out the food and medication and the eftpos machine and that was it! Quite disappointed and sad. I also work in a clinic and patients go inside, we all have to wear a mask for the 5 days when outside and at work...  


  1. ...Sami, you sure had a colorful month, I hope that your February id too!

  2. Una agenda muy completa, en la que te ha permitido hacer una buena gran cantidad de fotos.


  3. Dearest Sami,
    Wow, another active month with lots of socializing!
    Your FLAN looks magazine worthy...!
    Can you, being an Australian Citizen, still vote for Portuguese elections?! We certainly cannot... for the Dutch elections of course.
    Your painting jobs are superb; as always.
    LOVE Meerkats, we got a poster in our staircase area.

    1. I love flan but only make it for special occasions as it's loaded with sugar. Yes, both Australia and Portugal allow dual citizenship.
      The meerkats are such cute animals :)

  4. What an incredible month you had and all those projects too. Great photos of your month, thanks for sharing and have a wonderful February.

  5. The roll top desk drawers look like they are staggered when closed. Makes it look a bit more interesting.
    The sculptures are all good and I really like the meerkats on the wall.
    It sounds like you had some very nice outings and meals.
    Of the 10,000 Portuguese in WA, what percentage do you think would have arrived via another country kind of as you did?

    1. The drawers are at a bit of an angle, not straight like normal drawers.
      Not sure about the percentages of Portuguese from other countries, but in Perth I would say people that came in the 1990's till about mid 2000's would be coming from South Africa and Zimbabwe, but lately I see a lot of young people are coming from Portugal.

  6. Wow, you have had a busy month!

    I love the painted furniture. What type of paint do you use and what do you mean by waxing. We are thinking of refurbing our wood kitchen doors.

    1. Hi Carole, I use a Canadian paint - Fusion Mineral Paint. It's expensive but good quality and goes a long way. It needs minimal preparation, a bit of cleaning, sanding and then paint. Some woods that bleed would need a primer. I had put furniture wax on a small table top that I had sanded to raw wood.
      If you painted your kitchen doors I'm sure it would look like a new kitchen - just a good clean with sugar soap to remove fats, a light sand, clean and if they are pine it would need a water based primer and then you can paint. Good luck :)

  7. You certainly had a good and busy January.
    I enjoyed reading your post and seeing your photographs.

    Happy February Wishes.

    All the best Jan

  8. As imagens fizeram-me sonhar com um regresso à Austrália.

  9. Wow -- you had a very productive break and gorgeous furniture and fun things during that time.

    I'm so worried about Fluffy. I've been through that with two cats -- and they can go awhile, depending on where they are now and with the change in diet. Eventually I had to give Gypsy fluids with IV -- you'd think it would be hard, keeping an IV needle in a cat for about 15 minutes while there was a slow drip. But he was a champ and never gave me a bit of a whine with it. I think the fluids made him feel good. You may not be at that point but if you ever get there, don't hesitate. I know it prolonged his time for quite a good bit --quality time. And for now, the diet will probably help a lot. Be sure the other cats don't eat the food -- not that it's bad for them but I remember when Stimpy was on it, Gypsy went for it because I guess it tasted pretty good and he really porked out! Yes, it is serious and I'm so sorry you have to go through this -- but you can do it. And Fluffy is so gorgeous. If you need support, don't hesitate to contact me.

    1. Oh thank you so much Jeanie for your offer of support. I've just joined an American group about Cat Kidney Disease on Facebook, and they have loads of info and it seems everyone is keen to help and give advice. I need to get his blood and urine tests from the vet so I can post it there and see what they say. Thanks again :)

  10. Lucky you. Ingo promised me a daily power-walk and finds excuses every day.
    Cute black swans!
    Oh, bingo. My biggest fear: I´m the new one and they throw me out... But, I know the other side, too. I said to a trainee, "now, this is important, you should write this down" and my friend had to go out of the office cause she laughed her head off.

    Oh, why, thank you, Sami. Earworm, I got Freddie´s "it´s a kind of magic" in my head ;-)
    And WOW, the outcome is super-great!
    I think you would cry if you saw what I did to my table... (I do, too, and Ingo thinks it´s horrible, argh - can I beam it over to you?).

    Hope Fluffy is ok by now, ohhh, what an exhausted face.
    6 months, aww and wee, I love the sculptures.
    Oh, you shrank!!
    Sad thing about the votes. Let´s see how it goes here...
    Interesting with the energy centre.

    So sad to learn about Fluffy!

    Fun pic of the two of you :-)

    Best wishes to your cat and for an end of lockdown!

    1. I've trained many people in 14 years on the job, but sadly this one just couldn't cope, putting the other colleagues under a lot more stress, and of course having to do more work too.
      I think the furniture came out well, will put it up for sale next week as I like to keep it home for about 3 weeks to fully cure.
      Fluffy is not doing too well at the moment, has lost weight, not wanting to eat much. I want to take him to an holistic vet to see if they can help. We heard, we just have to wear masks another week outdoors and at work and a few more rules, until the 14th and then if no one is infected by then, we are back to normal. But up to today there were no infections!

    2. Best wishes to Fluffy. And to no more cases. Here they drop too slow...

  11. I always have mixed feelings about non-residents voting in elections back in their home country. Let me use my own country as an example. There are Canadians living in other countries permanently, not just for a period of time for a job, many of whom have dual citizenship. They pay no taxes here, take no part in any attempts to shape the future of the country, are not here to hold politicians accountable, etc. yet are able to influence election results in a close riding. Does this seem fair? There are also people who will live in Canada for the minimum time permitted to acquire citizenship and then return to their countries of origin while retaining access to the Canadian medical system by virtue of citizenship. And there are those who have requested assistance from Canada in being rescued from countries where they have been stranded due to COVID, even though they do not live here. I think it is an entirely reasonable proposition that residency and the right to vote should go hand in hand.

    1. When you put it that way I actually have to agree with you David.

  12. What a social month you had Sami, lots of fun. So sorry to hear Fluffy isn't well, I hope he will do well with the special food, if love and caring were a cure he would be ok, I know how much you love your cats 💙 Sorry to hear also that your trainee didn't work out, not much fun having to go through that all again, you did the right thing having a break now. All being well I'll see you next week xx

    1. Thanks Grace :) Sadly Fluffy is not doing well and seems to have lost more weight, I've been syringe feeding him! Hopefully next week we will be interviewing a few people and hope it works out this time. See you next week :)

  13. Love that header, especially as we are in the throes of winter here.

    1. Thanks, we are nearing the end of Summer and then going into Autumn, but still great weather then.


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