Snottygobble found

Yesterday we had our usual leisurely time having cups of tea in bed, then showering and dressing and having breakfast. When we were all sorted we drove to a nearby park (Langford Park), where there are a couple of walk trails.

It was very pretty, with lots of picnic areas, flushing toilets and well marked walks. We did the Ken Jones Walk, Stephen getting caught up in the variety of trees and going even more slowly than me taking lots of photos. We set off at about 11.30 and actually completed the walk in about an hour, surprising given our exploring of the trees and plant life.

We thought we had found the snottygobble trees mentioned in our guide of the walk, but later realised that the trees we thought were Snottygobbles were banksias. Something about the name, but we couldn’t let it ride, so after lunch and a rest, we went out again on the walk trail in search of the Snottygobble trees. We knew they were somewhere near the 5 marker on the trail. Stephen had looked up their details in his book and I had checked online. We knew there were two different types, and found both near the 5 marker. We spent time looking at them and photographing the leaves and flowers.

the Winnie in her natural habitat
Ken Jones Walk Lookout

We stayed there until about 5.00 p.m. then back to the RV park for drinks and nibbles. I suggested that we fill the water tank, but Stephen thought we didn’t need to. We have been taking showers and washing up using the water heater and thought we were being careful, but I checked just before having my bedtime shower and found the tank was registering nearly empty. Oddly, our grey water tank looked like it had plenty of room, but that was just a ‘read error’. We were actually adding more to the grey water tank than we were taking from the fresh water tank because of using the tap provided by the Jarrahdale shire.

In other words, we went through most of a 100 litre tank in about 24 hours. How will we last at Fairbridge, which is going to be held over four days in 2017! I’m not sure how full the toilet cassette was when I emptied it this morning, but it was heavy, which is a reason to empty it more often than necessary, when we can. We’ve been able to have washes in warm water bringing water in from the outside tap. It’s still good having the shower recess for rinsing off, it’s an area where we can splash water around and I washed my hair as well.

I had been thinking about having boiled eggs and pancakes for breakfast, fortunately after our efforts to fill the water tank trying all of our gadgets for connection to the tap and all three of our water hoses. After about 45 minutes of messing around, we moved the Winnie into a shady spot on the pad, and I had my wash first, then Stephen had his. I boiled eggs and made pancakes for breakfast, that made up for our failure with filling the water tank. Fortunately there is no actual lack of water.

The other problem is that we are getting a smell when we use the gas for the fridge. I’m not sure if it is a gas smell, or if the foam at the bottom of the fridge got wet at some stage and having the warmth of the flame sets off an odour. Anyway, when I wake up in the night and the smell is strong I’ve been switching off the fridge. It stays cold, thank goodness for nighttime temperatures of about 9 degrees, and I can put it back onto DC power when the sun is up. We will have to get it checked out before free camping again.

The cold at night has been lovely as we have been able to leave hatches and windows open and enjoy snuggling down under the doona. The temperature yesterday was ideal for our walk. It was fairly shady, I expect the sun would have been hot, but there was a cool breeze. We had parked the Winnie in the sun and it got warm, but the cool breeze kept us comfortable. Today has started out cold, though we got hot working in the sun when we were trying to get the hoses to work.

Below are some of the Snottygobble photos. You can see the captions by clicking on each photo (if interested).




We are taking advantage of the cooler weather to have a night or two away from the city. Why Jarrahdale? I was looking for a free camping site close to Perth using Geowiki and this popped up. It’s on the edge of the town, with a dump point and drinking water. When we arrived we found there was even a large concrete slab. We have parked on the edge, giving us a view down the valley to the river. There was a large bus type motorhome here, with room for a small car inside (we saw it going in), when we arrived. Later, a truck pulled up for the night and a car.

The purpose of this trip is to give Stephen some experience of driving the Winnie. He is getting used to driving again in the Subaru, but hasn’t tried this yet. When I suggested coming down this way, he asked if we were going to stay overnight. It was not my original plan, but seemed a good idea, given the cooler weather and not much on this week. I went to see Mum yesterday with the idea of getting ready today and going tomorrow. But, I was looking forward to it so much that I did some of the preparation last night. It still takes quite a lot of preparation with regard to food, even though on our plan is to stay one or two nights. We decided to use the method of packing everything into the Subaru, including an esky for the cold stuff, then driving up to pick up Winnie, packing everything onboard and heading off. Of course, the fact that we were closer to our destination by going to Roleystone was a factor.

We’ve had salad and one of our leftover meat meals for tea. As we don’t have electricity or water hookup we are using gas and 12v for everything. Works well!

Some of the bushes had snails up the stem like this
We took a walk down to the river, not very far from where we are camped
typical bush around here

This is the view from where we are parked.

There was some sunshine, although it is still cloudy. There was more rain today than we expected from the weather forecast.
There is quite a lot of explore around here. The council have a set of maps with walks and we downloaded them before we left.

We saw three kangaroos whilst we were waiting for our meal to heat up. They were moving very fast so it was better to enjoy them than try to get a photo.

Stephen is driving again…

It is 12 months today since Stephen had a seizure when we were overseas. Although he regained his licence a couple of weeks ago today was the first day that he wanted to drive. I had taken the Winnebago to Chamberlain Auto Electrics to have the radio disconnected from the ignition and re routed to running off the caravan batteries. They installed a small button to switch the radio on. Now we can use it when staying in the Winnie without risking running down the car radio and having to put our step up. I then drove home to have lunch. Later in the day, we decided to take it back to Roleystone to it’s ‘home’. As well, I wanted to go to a place where there was pretty countryside with cape lilacs along the road. It wasn’t exactly on our way, but worth the drive. As we were leaving Roleystone, Stephen asked if I would like him to drive. He said it wasn’t fun, he has become used to being driven and has come to like it very much. But, he said it was nice to feel in control again, and he certainly had no difficulty with the actual driving.




Yesterday we went into Perth (by bus, of course) to go to listen to Christmas Carols at Trinity Church. They have a very good choir, and it was great to hear them. The downside was the minister, who insisted in adding some preaching in a style that did not really suit us of the ‘church alumni’ who had come mainly for the music and to sing ourselves. The church was far from full, given the quality of the music this was strange, but perhaps his style doesn’t suit very many people either. I longed for the days of Murray Brown, with his Buddhist style of Christian discourse. Never mind, the church and arcade are very attractive, it was a cool day and very pleasant to be in the city at that time.

In the evening we met Matt at Burswood Gardens for a picnic tea. He had brought a meal with him and I was a bit alarmed when I realised that it was a’mince moist’ meal rather than pureed. He was able to eat it, but I wondered what had happened and concluded that it must have been prepared by someone who does not normally work at his house, or, it was taken from the freezer and they simply didn’t realise. He only coughed once, so I hope there will be no unpleasant effects. Matt found it a bit uncomfortable because of the strong wind. Of course, given that we had planned to be in the open air, it was a cool evening and not really suitable for a picnic. Stephen and I stayed for a BBQ and movie that had been organised by the Shire to reward people like Stephen who had contributed to focus groups. Matt was very thankful to board his taxi at about 7.15 p.m.

At least he was happy at this moment

We retrieved blankets from the car and sat huddled together watching the movie. It was a childrens’ fantasy, interesting, but not necessarily enjoyable, still we wanted to stay until the end to find out what happened. It was ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’.

I spent a good deal of time on Saturday helping to organise our choir to sing at an event this coming Wednesday evening. Lots of emails and sorting out. Thankfully, Eversley also got involved and has now taken the reins. We just have to show up. I am working Wednesday evening, so we will have to make sure we get home in time for me to leave for work.


Being in Western Australia

Today we went to an exhibition of Western Australian art from the early days of European settlement. Very interesting to see how accurately the landscape was featured in the drawings and paintings. We did a tour of the exhibition, which included some history and some art technique. We had lunch beforehand at the wonderful (NOT) cafeteria at the Central Station, it was worse than usual because there was a Christmas party in the main dining room and we were stuck in room at the end of the corridor. The staff were as cheerful as ever, finding food for latecomers when possible, even if it was just desert.

We went to the Concert Hall beforehand to book tickets for the New Years Eve concert. We are looking after Mum, so he rang her and asked her if she wanted to go, and then booked the tickets. I don’t think it will go well, she is normally in bed at 9.30 p.m. when the concert starts, but we will see, maybe doing something so unusual will take her into a different place. We will have to take the car in and park underneath so that we can use the lift.

This evening we went to the Hawkers Market for tea, meeting up with Cherry and her friends. She was pleased with the video of her poem/song on Youtube, which she only found out about this morning. It was nicely stabilised by Youtube after uploading, thank goodness. We enjoyed a discussion about a number of topics, including whether there should be jelly in trifle – I think yes.

In the last couple of days I’ve watched a couple of Youtube videos featuring John Pilger. He is pretty scathing about Hilary Clinton and Obama. Not that he would choose Trump, but American imperialism is pretty scary. China’s island and military base building in the South China sea is in response to the encirclement of China by US miliatary bases with nuclear weapons trained on China. Some of them are very close indeed to mainland China. He talks about the coming ‘war on China’, note not ‘with’ China, but ‘on’ China. By a country (USA) that knows it is either surpassed, or about to be surpassed, by China as the most powerful country on earth.

Early summer – warm days

A new quilt for the Winnie made by Marie.

Yesterday we had our second last ukelele class for the year. We are also taking advantage of the Rod Evans Centre still being open to have a last couple of their delicious lunches. It may have been the large lunch, followed by concentrating for about an hour and a half that made us feel very tired.

Today Marie and I (and Miki) went to see Mum. I had a couple of things to regurn to her that we forgot when she was picked up on Monday. We also took the two ceiling fans. We made scrambled eggs for lunch and I was pleased to see Miki eating the wholemeal bread and enjoying her lunch.

We left earlier than I usually get away. Back at Marie’s I was tired again, even though she had done the driving, so I had a rest on the new quilt in the Winnie. We plugged in so that I could use the air conditioning, but then I unplugged because the solar panels keep the batteries well charged up. That way, they can keep the power on for their caravan.

Stephen went down to Fremantle to see the Dirk Hartog’s plaque, which is on loan from the Netherlands. He then did some shopping and we had leftovers and some fresh salad for tea.

Wednesday notes

Since our mini break we have had the Working Voices Choir Christmas party, with Raelene for the first time. A small gift was organised and Cherry wrote a song about us based on Raelene’s son ‘Summermoonlight’. Very funny words, but highlighted that we didn’t really master her song and it was dropped from our final concert appearances!

We then had Mum staying with us from Friday until Monday. Marie and Geoff took her out on Sunday. Knowing that was going to happen I worked overnight, and was very glad when they picked her up. Both Marie and Robyne came on Monday morning, Marie to drop off the sunglasses that had been left at their place and Robyne just for a visit. Although it was very busy with her here, and I had to think ahead with preparing the bathroom for her each evening and giving her tablets on time, we coped really well with her forgetfulness. Jamie and Tracey did not get here until after lunch to pick her up, and she was confused as to what was happening and asked ‘Where am I going now?’. When we told her it was to their granny flat, she asked ‘do I still have that?’ – very sad really.

Jamie did not speak to me, of course, but we appreciated not having to drive to Mt Helena to take her home.

Yesterday I went and bought ceiling fans for her two bedrooms, 4 cartons of cigarettes, Matt and Glenn’s Christmas gifts, my script and, oh joy, two shower caps (don’t know why but they seem to be very hard to find these days, so I got a spare). Plus a thank you card for our ukelele class leader, ready for participants to sign today. We have our last class for this year next week and want to surprise her.

Stephen has a small group of singers who will do some Christmas carols at Bentley Hospital. Just one person per voice part, which isn’t too difficult to organise, especially as the tenor and soprano are partners.

Stephen has still not driven the car even though he now has his driver’s licence back. It seems to be lack of confidence, but I am hoping he will begin soon and share some of the driving chores.

Jacaranda or Cape Lilac – this is the season for them, but it is difficult to get photos that have atractive surroundings, so this will have to do.


Mini break at Burns Beach

We have ‘mother-sitting’ duties this coming weekend, which went from two nights to three as my sister in law is unfortunately having to have an medical investigation on Monday. I mean unfortunately for her, the extra night is not really a problem in itself.

So, I pleaded with Stephen and he agreed to taking a mini break by the sea. I researched places near to Perth and came up with Burns Beach Sunset Village. It is mainly for residents, but they have kept some sites for caravanners which have views of the ocean and are right next to the heathland.

We arrived around 11.00 a.m. in a strong wind on Monday. There is a beautiful cafe at the edge of the park where we had a morning coffee/chai latte and read for awhile. Then we went to the office and booked ourselves in. We are paying top dollar for high season – $58 per night, which is the highest we have ever paid for a non ensuite site. But, the location makes it well worth the money, and prices will go down in a month or two. The coastline is pretty, with smallish limestone cliffs and a walking/cycling path all the way along the beach. I love seeing the sea quite rough, with whitecaps.

We set ourselves with power, water and sullage, and settled in for lunch and a rest. Having the slideout is one of the great things about this motorhome. It wasn’t on my list, but it really helps to make camping very comfortable. We can both move about without bumping into each other. Although the luton loft is perhaps unnecessary as we can both sleep in the small double bed (I feared it would be too crowded), it does mean we have a very high ceiling and the sort of spare room that comes in handy for stuff. (You know, stuff you need and can’t do without that has to go somewhere).

The Burns Beach Cafe

In the evening we braced ourselves and took a walk along the path.

Walking south, but looking back towards the beach and caravan park

We had a couple of precooked meals with us, handy for both nights as it made evening meals very easy. I had one shower in the toilet block, but otherwise have been showering in the van, very comfortable for me, but not so much for a larger person perhaps.

Waking up beside the sea is wonderful. Yesterday was fairly calm. We decided that since we are rather sun-averse during the day (owing to UV levels especially) so we decided to catch the bus and train to Northbridge and go to a movie. Apart from arriving at the bus stop shortly after a bus had left and having to wait about 45 minutes for the next one, it was an easy journey, with good connections at Joondalup and Perth, both there and back. The bus stop has a view of the ocean, and I read my book and enjoyed the view whilst waiting.

Bus stop with a view at Burns Beach

We saw the movie ‘The Founder’, which David Stratton gave four stars, and enjoyed it, sort of. It was the story about the man who took over the McDonald’s name and ideas from the brothers who started it, and made a fortune whilst eventually shutting them out. Not a ‘nice’ man, but that’s perhaps the only way to make serious money. The movie was actually very good, if you didn’t mind watching someone who was very singleminded and unethical.

We had a modest lunch at the Perth Central Community Centre before the movie. After the movie, Stephen hunted down a bookshop for a book with German and English on opposing pages to enjoy the feeling of reading in German, but having the translation available when he gets stuck. I had a look at the new Apple laptops with OLED touch bar, quite nice, then had a coffee.

We read our books on the way back, and the time passed very comfortable on the train and bus. The bus driver appears to know the passengers to come to this area, even though we were travelling at peak time there were only about 8 of altogether. It was great arriving home to the beach and our comfortable little ‘house’. We had a drink and crisps, waiting for it to be close to sunset, then went for a walk again, this time to the north. You can’t go very far, but there is a park and a couple of lookouts on the way.

Looking north

This morning we were able to enjoy an early cup of tea, a leisurely breakfast, and get ourselves ready to leave by 10.00 a.m. We are parked up in the beachside carpark at Burns Beach, with a view of the ocean from all of our windows, a bit of shade from some peppermints, and shelter inside from the strong wind that is gently rocking us.