Yesterday we drove 376 kms to Denham. We left a little after 9.00 a.m., but dropped in at the bakery on the way. We had a good trip, with Marie and Geoff going ahead at their own pace, with us following at ours. This worked well. Stephen and I had about a 20 minute stop at a 24hr camping area, Galena Bridge, which was about 13kms up the road after reaching the highway. It was very pleasant in sunshine, with the Murchison River adding interest.


We had another short stop at the next 24hr camping spot, rather different, but with bitumen areas. It would be a better stopover place if it was raining.

We met up at Billabong. Marie and Geoff had already had lunch before we arrived, but they waited for us for a while, then we set off intending to meet again at the caravan park. In fact, we met close to Shell Beach, and went there for afternoon tea and a walk on the curious shell beach. It is very shallow water, and the beach made up of little shells, which went into waves.

When we arrived here in Denham it felt far less comfortable than at Kalbarri. It was very windy. Stephen and Geoff found a place where we had fish and chips and discussed the next few days. Two stops were confirmed, at the Hamelin Station Stay and Northampton. Marie and I were delegated to book in the morning, which we did.


Completely unedited, view at the edge of the caravan park. When I edit I will cut out the car at the left and some of the under brush at the right and straighten it.

Marie and I both did some washing and were able to hang it on a lines near the caravans. As today was sunny and mild, the washing was dry  by the time we got back from Monkey Mia. We had a relaxed morning, leaving for MM by about 10.30 a.m., but with delays to allow caravans to get through into the park and shopping for Marie and Geoff, did not arrive there until after 11.00 a.m. We spent a lazy time enjoying the dolphins, the sunshine, and time in the little gift shops. We set up camp as it were outside of the restaurant, had our picnic lunch and bought coffees, etc. to make up for not buying their food.


Pelians enjoy being with dolphins in case a bit of fish drops off. This little dolphin had quite a large fish and was having some difficulty breaking it up so it could eat it.

After a mild, sunny day the wind came up at about 4.30 p.m., and it became rather cold and cloudy. So, we are hunkered down in our caravans, looking forward to having simple, home cooked meals.

Kalbarri Day 2

We have spent our second day at Kalbarri exploring the river gorges. We took picnic food and went from place to place, taking in the views. There were good paths, signage, and picnic areas. The gravel roads could have done with a visit from a bulldozer, but we travelled slowly, as did most of the other cars on the road. There was surprisingly little dust.

Marie and I got washing done early and Stephen and Geoff went to the shops and bakery for fresh bread and our choice of treats.

We left at about 20 to 11.00 am and came home after four. There is more to do in this area, but that will have to be for our next visit.

Flowering tree (1 of 1)

there was a beautiful perfume in the air and we think it was from this flowering tree

keeping things in balance (1 of 1)


View from the lookout (1 of 1)

View from one of the lookouts

View near the river (1 of 1)

down near the river

Stylish picnic area (1 of 1)

Stylish picnic area


Today has been interesting. We went for a walk to a local lookout, then had coffee and cake at a cafe overlooking the beach. We bought our cakes cheaply at the bakery and ate them with our coffees in the cafe.

I’ve just discovered why my photos for the last few days have been over exposed, I had moved the exposure dial accidentally and hadn’t checked that particular item when trying to work out what had happened. I’ve also had a spot on my photos, even though I have not changed the lens on my Sony. Could I be lucky enough that it was on the lens and not the sensor? We will find out tomorrow. If it is on the sensor it is very bad news for my photos, although I can correct them fairly easily in Lightroom.

We bought a roll each and went out to some of the ocean gorges. After walking along the cliffs on a boardwalk I at least was hungry for the roll, so we ate them there. Afterwards, Marie proposed having a rest back at the caravans. Geoff went off to Red Bluff whilst the rest of us had a rest. He helped me by putting some guy ropes on our side awning so that I could leave it up. This evening I did some washing and it is now hanging under the awning where it might just get dry, though probably not overnight as it is cold.

The storm had passed by this morning and althoug we had some cloud, it was mostly fine and a comfortable temperature with a maximum of about 21 degrees. We went up to a lookout late in the day, seeing some kangaroos in the distance as well as having a great view of the surrounding area. Really lovely and peaceful. The caravan park is a bit busy, and we have ‘luck’ in having two different families with young children. The father of the second lot apologised in advance for his kids, very sweet. They are good kids, but are small and lively.

Geoff cooked sausages on the BBQ and Marie and I did some veggies in the microwave for tea. We then retired to our separate caravans for a quiet evening. Stephen asked if I wanted to watch anything, but I felt tired and wanted to have a little time to process the photos from today. So, he is listening to something and I am looking at the photos.

matching caravans (1 of 1)

Matching caravans – Kalbarri

Kalbarri ocean gorge (1 of 1)

One of my overexposed photos from today. Even Lightroom cannot really rescue it.

A journey northwards

On Monday morning we set off in the caravan for two weeks, travelling with Marie and Geoff for the first time. They have a little caravan that is very similar to ours, but different in interesting ways. Robyne was joining us for the first couple of days and we all met at Gingers Roadhouse, coming from our different locations.

We travelled pretty much together at first, then Robyne went on ahead as it was easier for her to travel at the speed limit in her car, whilst we were towing our vans and often went slower than the 100 km limit for caravan towing. We arrived in mid afternoon. Geoff and Stephen did the formal Wildflower Walk, whilst we women got settled in and had a bit of rest. We had a shared meal in Robyne’s little cottage.

Our day at Western Flora Caravan Park (Tuesday) was very enjoyable. We had some cloud and some sunshine. We walked to one side of the caravan park to a small lake and bird hide. There was a broom in the bird hide, and Marie couldn’t help herself…


Afterwards we took the trail down to the Arrowsmith River to try to find the waterfall. The walk through bushland with lots of wildflowers was very enjoyable. We found the river and what we thought was the waterfall. Fortunately Geoff went off by himself for a little while and found the real one, which was worth visiting. The walk took us a couple of hours.

Later in the day, some of us went for a drive to the ocean. We stopped at one of the little coves with tin shanties. The beach was interesting because of the erosion. Robyne and I were impressed with Geoff’s ability to see things at great distances. I took a photo of a spot on the ocean which he thought was an oil or gas rig. When we enlarged it in the evening, it was definitely a rig, blurry in my photo.


In the evening we had a shared meal once again in the small cottage where Robyne was staying. This morning she set off earlier than us to return home, whilst we battled wind and rain on our drive to Kalbarri.

It was pretty challenging and although we could have done some sightseeing on the way, the weather made that just not possible. This evening we are pretty tired. I didn’t take any photos but am looking forward to tomorrow. As we arrived in Kalbarri I felt excited by the scenery and the difficulties of the journey seemed well worth it. We lost Marie and Geoff as we were driving along in the town. We got in touch by phone and eventually found the caravan park, but even getting lost was worth it as we saw a great view of the waves whipped up by the storm.

Geoff and Stephen took time to get the caravans placed as they thought best, then we had coffee in Marie and Geoff’s van, which works better than ours for four people.

Whilst Marie and I were thinking of simple meals we could make in our caravan kitchens, Stephen and Geoff thought of a plan to go out for an evening meal. They did some research and came up with a place we could walk to from the caravan park.

The weather should be much better tomorrow, according to the weather bureau.

Goomalling, Dowerin, Northam and Mt Helena

On Tuesday we went to look at Slattery House, an old farmhouse that operates as a restaurant, but only on weekends. We drove down the driveway a bit, but did not get out and walk around, respecting the owner’s privacy.

Slatterley House, Western Australia (1 of 1)

Slattery House, near Goomalling

We were on our way to Oak Park, a local picnic area with self guided interpretive walks. It was quite interesting and we enjoyed walking around and having a picnic in the area.

Oak Park, Western Australia (1 of 1)

Oak Park

Afterwards we drove to the nearby town of Dowerin. We had been told there was a bakery in the town, but our drive around the streets did not find one. We stopped at an information area and took photos. Stephen read the billboard information.

Tin Dog, Western Australia (1 of 1)

Rusty, the Tin Dog of Dowerin

Imitation Terracotta Warrior, Western Australia (1 of 1)

An imitation Terracotta Warrior in a sort of meditation park, with Buddahs, etc. Not sure how the warrior fitted into that.

In the evening we had our usual Jack Daniels and coke, with chips. We sat outside of the kitchen area in sunshine and were reasonably comfortable. Stephen had made friends with the person managing the caravan park (temporarily) and arranged that we didn’t have to leave until 11.00 a.m. We made it just in time.

Our first stop on Wednesday morning was in Northam. We found that the area near the riverbank was set up for day use by RVs, and were able to get fresh water for the tap and plug into electricity. Stephen went off to do his Centrelink reporting and I did some shopping. By the time we got back we decided it was lunchtime.

The Avon, Northam, Western Australia (1 of 1)

The Avon, Northam, Western Australia

Northam, Western Australia (1 of 1)

RV Day Park, Northam, Western Australia

When we arrived at Mum’s place, where we planned to spend Wednesday night, we found it difficult to get the caravan into place even with the caravan movers. We wanted to turn it around to get it into the ‘go’ position, and nearly got the jockey wheel bogged in soft earth. Anyway, after much struggle we got everything set up and plugged into power and water. There was some dripping from the tap, so we didn’t leave the water on.

I cooked tea using our vegetables and some meat from Joy’s freezer.

The next day Mum had an appointment at 1.10 p.m. at Midland Hospital. I was feeling tired, so rang up to cancel. The occupational therapist rang later and sort of had the appointment over the phone. The hospital is supposed to be getting in touch with me to set up a time for a home visit. Unfortunately, they will probably ring Mum, so I hope she thinks to write it down immediately.

We got home in time to have a rest and go to the first choir meeting with Raelene back. It was good to see her, but we are all hoping she will make a firm commitment to get us ready for the Dunsborough Songfest in November.

On Friday I had a checkup on my expensive tooth with Dr Calder’s surgery. No problems found. We went to a Kent Street lunch, having seniors’ specials, and good conversation. In the evening Ray and Eversley came to tea and we watched the 1953 film of Julius Ceasar, with Marlon Brando as Marc Anthony. Very good, if a bit long. We really enjoyed having them and found a way of setting up the lounge room so that each of us had our own armchair.

On Saturday I cleaned the caravan, washed the bedding, and set things up for our next trip away in two weeks. I am leaving the fridge on with some of the longer term food in it. In the evening we went to a Beethoven concert. Stephen had been offered cheap tickets through WASO. Ian and Marianne were sitting a few seats behind and we were able to chat with them.

On Sunday Marie and Geoff came and we organised an itinerary for the first week, at least, with a rough idea for places to do and things to see on the way south. We also discussed Robyne’s idea of taking Mum away for a few days. Marie said she would talk with Robyne about it and rang her later in the day. Robyne got angry with both of us, and I was quite upset. Matt was here, so Stephen tried to distract him from what was happening.

This morning I came up with the idea of Robyne coming to Eneabba, our first stop, with us. There is a guided wildflower walk and probably other things to see. She would have one full day, driving up with us on the Monday and then home of Wednesday. This way, she gets a holiday without having to look after Mum. Robyne was very pleased and I’ve booked a cabin for her as well as two caravan sites for us. Which makes me feel a lot better. I know she was wanting a holiday, but we didn’t feel that taking Mum away on her own was a good idea. It hasn’t worked in the past and things are far more difficult now.

I’ve also booked us into the Tudor Caravan Park at Kalbarri for three nights. Marie and Geoff will handle the booking at Monkey Mia. It is a RAC run caravan park, so we will get discounts.





Notes from the last week or so are in my offline journal as I want to keep this one for our travels.

I forgot to attach the battery cable after checking that the lights were working. We could hear it on the road and had to stop on Sheperton Road in a bus stop to fix it. Two buses came by whilst we were there, I hope they did not find it too inconvenient.

This morning we set out at about 9.00 a.m. Although we had done most of the preparation on Saturday and Sunday, there were still a few things to do. We woke up at 6.00 a.m. and Stephen was first in the shower.

We took the route up through Toodyay, which gave us a chance to stop at the bakery for morning tea (a shared pastie and our choice of coffee or chai latte). We sat on the balcony and wondered how Goomalling would compare to Toodyay as a place to take a mini break. Apart from that, we had one stop along the way, just brief.

When we arrived at the caravan park we were given a choice of where to park, so chose a place with lawn as well as a platform for the caravan. We checked out the toilets and showers which seemed very cold at that time of day. We put up our new rear awning, with a bit of a struggle as we didn’t look up the instructions first. Not too difficult as we got the hang of it. Of course, Ken Peachy staff had shown us how, but that was a few weeks ago.

New awning (1 of 1)

Caravan with both awnings

Our closest neighbour has a large dog, and has set up a little fence to keep him contained. The dog doesn’t know whether to protect his caravan by seeming aggressive when we go by, or seek our attention so we will pet him. We err on the side of caution and keep away.

Our neighbour at the caravan park (1 of 1)

Don’t fence me in

We had a rest after setting up, then after a cup of tea, went for a walk around the town.

Place of Possums (1 of 1)

Goomalling, Place of Possums.

The possum theme comes up again…

Goomalling Shield (1 of 1)

Goomalling Shield

Old School House (1 of 1)

The old schoolhouse

As with other small towns in Australia, the locals appear to take great pride in their town. There are sculptures along one side of the main street and many old building have been renovated and put to use.

Goomalling Sculpture Park (1 of 1)

I couldn’t work out what this one was about, but it’s very attractive.

The tiles appear to have been made by local children.

Goomalling Sculpture Park detail (1 of 1)

Detail from the sculpture above

Goomalling Fire Station sculptures2 (1 of 1)

The local fire station had lots of gnomes and other creatures in the yard

Goomalling old house (1 of 1)

One of the old houses

We did some music practice on our ukes whilst enjoying a Jack Daniels and coke, then I went to have my shower. I had checked out the further ablution block which was newer than the one closer to us. It has ensuite style individual bathrooms. This proved the best option for my shower and elevated this caravan park to 5 stars!

The journey so far…

It’s been an interesting week. On Monday I took Mum’s only prescription tablet and had Webster Paks made up of four sets of Panadol, together with vitamin D and the blood pressure tablet. This is to try to ensure that the BP tablet is taken at a regular time each day and that Mum does not overdose on Panadol. She gets frequent headaches and forgets when she has taken Panadol.

Of course, it is no fun for her to have this taken out of her hands. She has been talking about wanting to go home (she realised that she was thinking of her house at Kingswood St, not the granny flat). Last night and this morning it got a little heated, but I tried to listen properly to what she is saying, rather than defending our position. She still does not see that she can’t manage on her own.

On the other hand, we’ve had some good times. On Tuesday, we met Robyne at what used to be River Abilities and she was able to get a good quality wheeled walker with a seat. We had lunch together afterwards. And did a little more shopping for skivvies.

Yesterday we had wanted to go to the Rod Evans Centre for lunch, but there had been a burst pipe and the restaurant wasn’t operating. Mum took a walk down to the end of our drive and back, finding the walker very easy to use. She walked with us over to the Dumpling House where we had the lunch special.

Today we went to Floreat to the Kiosk overlooking the beach. We sat in the outside area, using blankets, our own and some provided by the cafe. We had coffee first, then had soup and toast. Very nice and warming. I found a way to circumvent her paying for everything by taking my purse as well as hers to the counter, so that we paid for our own lunch. She then wanted to give me $100.00 for petrol, this felt too much, though she means it for the full week, so I put $50 back into her envelope in the safe. Whew!

Only three more sleeps until she goes home. Not that she is any trouble to us really, but she feels I am too controlling and really longs to be her own person again. That will be OK until she finds it too lonely. However, she will have Jamie and Tracy there.

I feel that it is too difficult for us to do – to ensure that she showers and washes her hair regularly and doesn’t take too many Panadol, and to try to explain why we think she cannot be independent any more. We probably need to start the process of finding a place for her, and can only hope that by the time something becomes available she is less aware.

Something really good this week is that Stephen wrote to Della and she sent us some news. Yaxuan’s granny is away and Della and Tony are trying to take care of their daughter by themselves, quite challenging for them. The good news is that they are considering having another baby. This is a very big decision to take, especially when they are relying on Tony’s parents to help them. But, I hope they can make a decision that is right for them.

So, the photos are of us with Joy and one of the photos of Yaxuan that Della sent. All taken with iPhones.



An interesting week

On Tuesday I dropped the car off for a service. I met Eversley and Rae for lunch, we tried the new Antz, and had some light food. Then the power went out in our section of Victoria Park, so we went to the Dome so that they could have a coffee. It was very enjoyable catching up and we made a date to watch a movie at our house before Eversley leaves for Indonesia.

Wednesday I went up to Mum’s place. We went to the bank to set up transfers to Robyne and Jamie of part of their share of a gift from Mum. The teller joked that she wanted to be one of Joy’s children as well. She suggested that the line entry read ‘love Mum’, a lovely idea. Then we did some shopping. I had a bit of a chance to talk with Jamie and Tracy about what Mum needs in the way of care. Which sort of reinforced that we had better start the process of looking for long term care.

Although, I have to say, she has been staying with us since yesterday afternoon, and not only is she eating with us, she seems far more alert and with it than when we visit and she has been alone for most of the day in her granny flat. Jamie and Tracy call in for coffee, etc., but Mum doesn’t remember when we visit her. However, she seems to be holding onto things a bit longer, though we still need to let her know things more than once.

Thursday Stephen and I went to Zenith for a workshop on the Ukulele which was very enjoyable. I was feeling tired and thought I might not participate, but Helen, Stephen’s Uke teacher invited me to come along and sit in. They had lots of coloured instruments for participants to use. We had a coffee in the Claremont Dome afterwards before catching our bus for home. It rained just as we were getting off the bus, Stephen had to protect his ukulele, and I was glad I hadn’t taken mine.

We had a good session at choir with Mike, who started to teach us a new song.

We had planned to meet with Marie Hastings and the children on Friday and were thinking of taking them to see the BFG. But Marie rang to say that both she and Alyssa had colds, so had to cancel. I had made a date with Miki to go and watch a movie at her house, so I contacted Roslyn. We went to her house. We took the ukuleles and Roslyn was able to do some chords with Stephen. Miki wasn’t too sure about this activity. She gradually got comfortable with us and we sat with popcorn, sort of watching a movie, but also reading one of her books. Ros was able to go out and do a big shop without Miki protesting. We went home feeling that we had had a very nice time with the kids. They are so well behaved, a bit shy at first. Callum’s interest in trains continues and he spent time building train tracks in his room during the music session, then joined us for the Lego movie.


Stephen, Miki and Roslynn. Sony A6000, 16-50mm lens

On Saturday we had a slow getting up, but I was still able to get to Mum’s by about 10.30 a.m. It took us about an hour to pack. We brought her pillows and rugs for sitting outside, as much as possible wanting to recreate what she has at home. Mum was saying she felt miserable about having to go away, but she seems to be settling in well. Robyne came over in the afternoon and was good company.


Joy and Robyne, iPhone 6s

Today we went with Matt to the football, Westcoast Eagles versus North Melbourne, and our team won, thank goodness. Not that any of us are normally football fans, but we still enjoying it as a family outing. I took photos, including telephoto images and a bit of video with the Minolta/Sony AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 (D). I was interested to see how it would do for sports photography – not too bad and fairly easy to get action shots, maybe thanks to the IBIS in my Sony. Of course, I wasn’t in the position of having to get critical shots and I wasn’t close enough to get really good sports action shots, but was pleased with how well it went.


West Coast Eagles – taking the kick. Sony A7RII and Minolta/Sony AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 (D)



West Coast Eagles coming onto the ground. Sony A7RII and Sony FE 24-70mm F.4 lens

Matt appeared to enjoy the outing. He liked the coffee I had made for him, but did not appear to want anything to eat (I had fruit for him). Which is a good thing as it might have spoiled his appetite. Tin was lovely as usual, getting us to and from the grounds, and making a special effort to get as close as possible considering the roads were blocked off when he came to pick us up around the end of the 3rd quarter.


Matt on the ride home. Sony A7RII and Minolta/Sony AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 (D)

Marie and Geoff came over in the morning. They took Mum out for some shopping and afternoon tea. She isn’t quite sure why she is getting all of the attention, but Marie does visit her once a week, so seeing her Sunday instead of Monday isn’t a problem for them. Marie is feeling happy ahead of her retirement date in 3 days time.

And the Liberals and Turnbull have confirmation that they can form a government, they are finally in a position to have enough seats. It’s not the sort of result that political parties like, but I like it, they will have to work very hard to get legislation through, which should curb some the extreme right wing ideas. Shorten and Turnbull are already talking about co operating to get work done. The hard right and hard left won’t like this, but we do so hope that they realise that ditching leaders all the time is not in their best interests, it just makes the major parties look like idiots. Except for getting rid of Abbot, that is.

Heads will roll…

The two major parties are playing silly games with media reporting that both parties are considering their options of replacing their leaders because of the very close result. This is so stupid, we didn’t vote for the leaders, we voted for the parties. All this changing things at the top means nothing if the parties do not present us with clear and detailed policies that there is some chance they will stick to if elected. Why should one person have to take the blame. We are sick of it, just learn and move on…

We went down to Brighton Beach after Stephen’s movie, but it was so still that the air did not seem clearer than in the city. Nevertheless, a walk along the beach was good for us.

Sunday was a quiet day. We had Matt to tea as usual and he seemed mostly happy. There have been short times on both his latest visit when he seemed to be a bit upset and trying to tell us something, but without clear language he doesn’t have much chance of letting us know precisely what it is. Our questions got us nowhere, so we all moved on. His taxi was half an hour late and he relaxed until it came.

I was finding myself worrying about Mum, so went up to see her, knowing that Marie would be there. We discussed a few issues and I also had a chance to talk with Jamie. He admitted that he hadn’t expected her to be so dependant so quickly. We are trying to work out the best course of action and I will have a chance to discuss it with Tracy tomorrow. I had a rest and left Mum’s at about 3.00 p.m. I saw Bec and the children briefly, nice because I see Mel and her kids a bit, and have caught up with Roz’s kids too.

I’ve got the dates when Jamie and Tracy will be away and will pick her up on the day they leave and take her home the day after they get back.


Up early

We had a bit of a problem with the lights on the caravan, so I took it over to Ken Peachy yesterday morning, getting there a bit after 8.00 a.m. I think. We had put the caravan in the ‘go’ position the afternoon before. They checked it out, but said it appeared to be a plug problem, not the cord leading into the plug, and they adjusted the plug. They also adjusted the handbrake for us, it was much too tight. Mike said that handbrakes are always a problem and we should always use jocks when parked. We do.

I did some desk work, paying bills, and sorting out things to do with Matt’s powered chair (he will pay $4,000 towards the cost), and his 4WD course with Scott. He may have to sit in a special seat, like a baby seat, but for adults. If only he could still prop and walk a little, as he used to do, it would mean not having to always lift him. Easy when you can use a hoist, but not really possible with the car, unless attaching it to the top of the car to swing him in. I sent the forms by email, then posted hard copies.

I prepared our dinner, heating things up and putting prepared salad in a bowl. I did too much food, we both left some of the pasta. Still feeling odd and fretting about Mum’s care.

This morning I went to a place to look at display kitchens before coming over to Leederville to meet with Stephen. I didn’t exactly feel inspired by what was on offer. However, very plain kitchens are cheaper, and it will come down to a mix of what works and the price. I don’t feel ready to get someone out to do a quote.


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