The end of May

Saturday we made a good start, getting to the Wanneroo Showgrounds well before we were due. The expected crowds did not happen and the setup for the Urban Folk Festival was quite small. We had parking quite close to the performance areas. I think our performance went quite well, but we outnumbered our audience even though we were only about 14 people, plus Raelene. We were filmed by one of the choir member’s husband on my camera. He did it all in one take, 39 minutes. I am wondering how his hands and arms stood up to it! No feedback so far.

The link to the video is above. This is shot in 4k, converted by Film Convert to Apple ProRes, titles done in iMovie, then uploaded in 720p to Vimeo. The quality is still very good. We muffed some things, but it worked out well as a practice for Denmark. And it’s interesting that the video plays within WordPress through the link, or it does for me anyway.

Some of us decided to hang around, and we had quite a nice afternoon listening to music and sampling things from the food and coffee stalls. The duo ‘The Littlest Fox’ was the most popular – they actually ended up with a reasonable sized audience and we really enjoyed them, too.

The littlest fox
The Littlest Fox, taken on my iPhone 6s

Raelene has her own duo ‘Passion’s Flower’ and we liked her mix of covers and original songs.

We had tea of a sort of Hungarian sausage on a roll, decicious, and not too healthy!

On Sunday we went to Shakespeare 400, a film of a tribute to Shakespeare, with so many actors we know appearing in different roles, including as themselves. Even Prince Charles got into the spirit of it during a comendy sketch. There was a great deal of music and singing. All in all, well worth the $40 for both of us.

In the evening Matthew came. I was a bit worried because he was coughing sometimes, unable to really get up the stuff. But, he seemed very happy and enjoyed going around to our local pizza shop. He ate well, and was OK with me including a banana with his two tubs of chocolate mousse. Hidde rang after he got home, using Facetime, to apologise for forgetting to include his iPad. We were able to say that we would contact Matt next week on Facetime from Denmark.

Yesterday we had our water heater fixed, and now have very hot water again. Just a calcium buildup on one of the valves, apparently. Then we went to pick up our caravan. We had to wait there for a while, and had some coffee. Then they spent time with us going through how to set up the new awning at the back of the van, then how to use the caravan movers. Quite a lot to take in. Ken Peachy Caravan Repairs – definitely No. 1 for customer service.

We thought it would take time and practice to learn how to use the caravan movers, but in fact were able to put the caravan back into its little port using the remote. Success – and no prior experience, so maybe it isn’t too difficult.

Today I had a shift at the Victoria Park house and enjoyed the familiar routine and the other staff, the sleep shift person on until 8.30 a.m. and the afternoon person on from 1.00 p.m. I checked my payslip and timesheet, to find I’ve not been paid for a shift back in March, it seems because of a swipe problem. The swipe off shows up, but not the swipe on. I’ll need to follow up on that, the union advise that other people are having problems too. Normally if a swipe doesn’t work the supervisor checks with staff, but apparently that has stopped happening and people are just not getting paid.

Robyne’s issue is almost resolved, I think. Caitie has been providing support, bless her!

I helped with cooking dinner, a rare occurrence at the moment. I seem to have caught up on the lost sleep yesterday and did not feel overly tired from my shift. I also spent time making up the bed in the caravan and putting things back where they belong. We do leave a lot of things in the van when it goes to Ken Peachy, but not things that will obviously get in the way.

Sheryl New rang to say that we still don’t have confirmation that the buyer has finance approved for buying Mum’s house. But, there may be news tomorrow.


Friday feeling

Yesterday was spent getting some things done, including looking at rangehoods. We had some help and concluded that we did need to get one with a strong fan action, and the one rangehood that would easily fit is very low powered. It was suggested that we have the cupboards modified to take a fitted rangehood.

We got a couple of extra lights, and when we got home Stephen set up a time with the electrician to come and fit them. We will ask for advice about a rangehood.

The airconditioning man came and found that there was not really a problem, but he made an adjustment to the heat sensors so that we have two operating instead of one. The amount of warm air will be decided based on an average. It does seem warmer now, but the hole in the ceiling where the light fitting is falling down must mean that warm air is going into the roof space.

We have a great rehearsal at Myrna’s place in the evening, preparing for our gig on Saturday. But I went to bed feeling a bit dizzy and decided to phone in sick for my shift today. It was an afternoon shift, and it is possible that I could have done it, but the creaky neck and sore upper spine and shoulders suggest that the problem is stree. I was still feeling dizzy today, and have relaxed as much as possible. Whatever the problem it hasn’t affected my appetite, so can’t be too serious.

I know that the busyness of the next few days is causing stress, perhaps on top of all the strees of moving Mum and dealing with her condition.

Still, I did a couple of loads of washing, and prepared my music folder and camera bag for tomorrow. I had a couple of phone calls whilst resting this afternoon, which was good in terms of keeping me from sleeping. One was to say that our caravan is ready to be picked up. We plan to go over on Monday.  The other call was from Robyne who is having a problem at work.

The featured photo is from our travels in the East last year. Meandering down from Mildura to Canberra – somewhere on the journey.


‘Out of Africa’ … again

Today’s movie with Mum was the above. It was so long since we have both seen it that there was lots we didn’t remember. Along with the wonderful scenery and music, the story came up fresh for us. Mum said that she is very vague at the moment and I did say that it is because of moving into a new house (perhaps) where everything is different.

I spoke with Tracy beforehand, she said Mum is having lots of problems operating the airconditioners, so she has set the loungeroom one to come on automatically at 6.40 a.m. and turn off at 9.00 p.m. However, she had also managed to get the bedroom one mixed up.

I also checked her phone because she didn’t answer it this morning. It does seem to be a problem with the old phone, so I put one of her newer phones on instead, and it works for me. I hope she remembers how to use it. I put the answering machine on for her to use as well.

We had a little go at using the cooktop, but Mum does say that not having knobs is difficult for her, perhaps for anyone of her generation I would say.

Tuesday was a shift at the Vic Park house. I decided to catch buses to and fro, so of course it was raining when I left home. But lightly, and I had my jacket and a cover on the backpack, so it wasn’t a problem. I was able to get a 220 home and had a coffee at Antz before actually going home. As the supervisor was there I negotiated leaving a bit early as I had nothing to do. Still, it was a busy morning with lots of interaction with residents.

Stephen is cooking us a very nice smelling meal tonight. I brought home some special Mundaring Bakery loaves, not a big contribution, but something.

Our airconditioner wouldn’t work this morning and we have been lucky enough that someone will come out tomorrow morning to check it out. We got Error Message 99. Along with the other bits and pieces that are needing repair/replacing we are noticing that our hot water system isn’t working well, it doesn’t get very hot. Stephen has organised someone to come and look at it on Monday morning.

I didn’t go to HN last night to look at rangehoods, so we will have to fit that in sometime. Plus, getting an extra light fitting.




Monday feeling like Saturday

Because I worked Saturday afternoon at the Vic Park house, then Sunday morning in Yokine I am feeling like this is Saturday morning. We slept in, despite my alarm going off at the normal time of 7.00 a.m. After a couple of times I switched it off and went back to sleep.

The Sing for Health Concert on Friday night was very enjoyable, with the Gay and Lesbian choir the standout best choir. The Aboriginal choir was enjoyable and different. Even the Spirit of the Streets Choir had an outstanding soloist, a young woman whose name I don’t remember.

I took some photos when we got to the ending with everyone on stage.

Sing for Health Concert
Pass the Song Along at the Concert Hall on iPhone 6s

I went to see Jungle Book at Carousel with one of my residents on Saturday afternoon. I really enjoyed the movie. The story moved along quite briskly, a new movie incorporating some of the old songs from a previous version. The animals were really well done and the child actor most engaging. I saw in Matt’s book that he has seen it as well. He said he watched the whole of the movie and didn’t need to get taken out. He did not admit to finding the tiger frightening!

I like working over at Yokine, but found the extra shift quite exchausting. I accepted it because it was a Sunday morning, which pays well, but had difficulty getting there because of the HBF Run for a Reason Event, and was even breathalized on Alexander Drive just before arriving. I was only 12 minutes late technically, but the stress of not knowing how long it would take me and how late I would be was the worst bit. Otherwise, I saw the full moon setting over cloud, a group of drummers practising on the side of the road on Stirling Highway and the runners going by on Thomas Street.

Matt was bright and chirpy on his visit and ate well. So, Stephen and I enjoyed his visit very much.


Friday morning

I was offered a night shift at Vic Park for Wednesday, so accepted it. I have quite a few shifts booked here because a couple of people are on leave and the LSL person wasn’t available to fill them. It seems a lot, but then on the next roster there are no gaps. It was just as well to take these shifts when they were offered. Sleep shifts are fairly relaxed here as I don’t have to get up to bath residents in the morning.

Matt’s little black bag with taxi vouchers, etc. went missing last week, but has been found. Thank goodness. Our usual choir rehearsal space is unavailable next week, but one of the choir members has offered her place for the rehearsal. This is a good option because most of us know where it is, it is free, and there is good parking. We are grateful as I was thinking of our place, but it is a bit small.

We have a few little projects underway. We need to replace a light in the dining area, plus our range hood is falling down. We will look at lights today after our China lecture, and may buy a range hood at the Harvey Norman sale on Tuesday night. Apparently it is a standard size – Stephen has already phoned the electrician. He said to get the items we need, then make a time for installation.

We also have the caravan booked in for next week for the caravan mover and awning to be fitted.

I’m not feeling overwhelmed at the moment, though that could happen! No photos this time, not even from my iPhone. There is a RED alert on for Saturday with a big store predicted. Maybe that will be an opportunity.

Wednesday again

And I am at Mum’s place. When I arrived she was sitting with Melissa and Tracy, but we soon convened to to her place. On Monday Marie was here and the telephone problem was sorted out, I was able to ring her this morning to let her know I was coming.

She has had a letter from Dept of Transport giving her the opportunity to be assessed by her GP or lose her licence automatically on the 11th June. We made an appointment, but she then said that she did not want to go through an assessment. So, we cancelled the appointment. She spoke about feeling depressed and that she has nothing to do during the day. Partly it is because she doesn’t remember things, such as going to see Kailey dancing yesterday, or Marie being there on Monday. But, I do understand that not being able to drive feels restrictive, especially here where it is too far to walk to shops, etc.

She still hadn’t washed the sheets that were in her dirty clothes basket, so I put in the washing machine. I’ve brought a movie with me downloaded from iTunes, something I think we will both enjoy.

I am getting quite a bit of work being offered, and am accepting shifts mainly at the Vic Park unit. But, I even have a shift at Queens Park

booked for June. I need to be careful not to overbook as I have a couple of training days in June as well. But, it will help to pay for our next lot of caravan upgrades.

I worked at Vic Park Monday afternoon, a fairly easy shift.

At around 5.00 p.m. we went for a walk through to the new area close to the railway line. A long time ago it seems now we put an offer on a little house, but it was rejected because it was a ‘subject’ sale. We were pleased to see that the house looks in good condition. There is a park in the centre of the new homes, something very unexpected. The houses themselves are all two story homes of rather bland design. But, it is a very neat area and the park in the centre makes it seem far nicer than it appears when you are passing through on Miller Street. We then walked up to the Vic Park station, then down the highway on the way home. Not a long walk, but a bit longer than we originally planned based on our energy levels before we left.

The Square, Victoria Park new development

I spent time trying to sort out a video taken for a fellow choir member. The final product is quite nice, but I must work on the titles a bit before giving her a copy on Thursday night. She is going to seek more formal permissions before it possibly goes public on YouTube.

Today is rather nice weather, some clouds, some sunshine, and even a shower or two early this morning.

I’m enjoying the new spare room at Mum’s new place. It has a lovely view of the trees through a large window that I can see out of from the bed. Theoretically I am having a rest, but actually taking the opportunity to catch up with my blog. The room is still full of boxes, but there is just enough room to make myself comfortable.

The Spare Room

Kingswood Street

Our newish choir director returned on Thursday night and we had an enjoyable practice. She felt a bit unprepared, but we were enthusiastic and helped to carry the evening. We have a couple of concerts coming up, so lots to do to get ready.

Friday morning we had a lecture on China with Gary Sigley, this time on religion. As usual it was very stimulating. We then had lunch at the Rod Evans Centre and picked up some soups and meals for mum.

After a rest we finished getting ready and headed up to Mt Helena. We think this is the last time we will stay here. We are taking the caravan home tomorrow. Stephen suggested we get onto having a caravan mover fitted, and we have been able to get a date before we go to Denmark to take the caravan to them. As well, I have asked for a simple bag awning for the back of the van as cover for the door when it is raining. Both of these things should make it easier if we take the van up to stay at Jamie’s place, and, of course, any time we get to go away. I am glad we can have it done before taking the caravan to Denmark. One less thing to worry about.

I called in to see Mum. She was worried about running out of cigarettes, so we went to a couple of local places, but only succeeded in getting a single pack of 30s of the wrong brand. I dropped her back home, then Stephen and I went back at about half past six to have dinner with her. We shared two Rod Evans meals between the three of us. Mum was very vague and forgetful and also got agitated about the cat. He kept wanting to go into her house and she was almost getting angry with him. Tracy was out for the evening as it was her brother’s birthday and she went to the family gathering.

I went to Mundaring in the morning and got two cartons of her normal brand, plus two casks of wine as she has no spares on hand. When I got there, Tracy was just dropping off a carton, so that meant she has three cartons on hand, which should last quite a while.

Tracy said that it was time for Mum to pay her ‘rent’, which is not really rent, but a contribution towards electricity and other costs. We put the money in an envelope for her to collect. She will pay monthly, the second week of each month.

Mum was much more cheerful this morning and even said what a good cat Louie is, the difference of morning I guess. We went down to the other end of the house to visit with Melissa and the children. I think Mum liked that as well.

Stephen has been doing music practice in the kitchen, where there are some kitchen stools. We went to Lake Leschenaultia for lunch. The cafe is open at weekends and during the school holidays and they serve quite a variety of foods as well as good coffee. There were a lot of people camping, but tents and camper vans only, no caravans allowed. We had quite a nice afternoon and Stephen walked around the lake whilst I had a sleep in the car. It had been raining a bit in the morning, but the afternoon was quite fine and it is cooler tonight than last night.

Lake Leschenaultia 2 (1 of 1)

We cooked a simple tea, with fruit and a chocolate afterwards. We watched the movie ‘The last time I saw Paris’ – quite a long movie with Van Johnson and Elizabeth Taylor in the lead roles. Actually enjoyable enough to overcome the effects of terrible reproduction.

I’ve felt a strong sense of melancholy today, something to do with the environment, being relaxed, or whatever… Quite a pleasant feeling in a way. Odd.

Lake Leschenaultia path (1 of 1)


Jarrah Forest

There is no doubt that making jarrah forrest look interesting is difficult, especially in the middle of the day. It was beautiful to be there, with the light and pleasant temperature and birdsong, but difficult to convey in a photo. Something for me to work on.

When I got home Wednesday we had a look at our diaries and decided that the best time to go to Kingswood Street again is this weekend, especially as I want to bring the caravan home. We also want to take some Rod Evans meals to Mum. We can pick them up tomorrow and have lunch there, then leave in the afternoon. We can take them to Mum’s new place and perhaps have tea with her. We will have Saturday to enjoy being there, then come home Sunday so that we are ready for Matt.

I did a sleep shift at the East Vic Park place last night. Not hard work, indeed. Today we went to Matt’s house to choose his new powered wheelchair. It will be a couple of months before it is ready, but at least the process is underway.

I’ve had a sleep and walked to Ants to get coffee beans and have a little time in the new, local cafe. So nice! Its open from 7.00 to 4.00 weekdays.

That’s all.


Quiet day with Mum

This morning we packed up to go home, leaving the caravan at Mum’s house. I dropped Stephen off to catch a bus, then went to see Mum. She said she feels a bit dull and flat, I wonder if after all the excitement of the move, with all the stress of the weeks beforehand, that she is having a bit of a reaction. She is having to learn new things with the layout of this place. We went shopping and got some petrol, and although initially she was glad to be going out she tired quite quickly. She had sausage roll for lunch, but we couldn’t find the tomato sauce and it was a bit flaky and dry without it. I had some leftover quiche.

IW encouraged her to come into Coles with me, suggesting that she might see things she wanted if she was with me. She is feeling more frail, possibly because at her house she was getting exercise going up and down ramps, here things are more contained, not so far to go.

I am not feeling much like unpacking so have simply put the left over boxes in the spare room. There is still room for someone to sleep in here.

The featured image is of a small building near the Mundaring Sculpture Park. There is some repair/restoration work underway in the area, but normally this is a lovely place to come for a walk/picnic, etc.

One of the sculptures at the Mundaring Sculpture Park
Mundaring Weir Reflections. processed using Snapseed on my iPad.

We are having warm sunny days and quite cold nights, especially here in Mt Helena. The clear skies are not so interesting for photos, but we have enjoyed a fairly clear view of the stars each night we have been here. There is some light pollution from the city.