Coogee Beach Mini Break

Yesterday we packed up in the morning. Stephen posted Mum’s letters and picked up medication. We left home at about 10.30 a.m. We didn’t hurry to get ready, but there isn’t that much to do when we are going to be staying at a caravan park for three nights. We last stayed at Coogee Beach nearly two years ago when we were still quite new to the Winnie.

Our first destination after the long ride on Leach Highway was Coogee Port shopping centre, which is just north of the caravan park. We had a few necessary things to get, and also got some unnecessary things to enhance our cold meat and salad lunch. The bakery, called Crusty Knob, doesn’t actually sell bread, just everything else. Fortunately, Woollies has a good bakery and we bought rolls and sliced bread.

We were at the caravan park at about 12.00 and fortunately were allowed in. We had been assigned a spot, but it had not been vacated, so we were given a different one. It has some shade, but as the afternoon wore on it was more and more sunny on the ‘patio’ side. We didn’t put out the awning as we felt a bit tired and wind was forecast. It was warmish in the van, 32 degrees, but there was an intermittent cool breeze, plus we had the fan. We rested and read our books after lunch.

Later in the afternoon we went for a walk down to the jetty. There were lots of teenagers there, having a very good time. No one of our age at all. At this stage the wind was strong and we decided to have another walk around sunset. So, back to the van and more resting.

afternoon at the beach (1 of 1)
teenagers enjoying the beach
blooming (1 of 1)
flowering bush near the path
picnic shelter (1 of 1)
They have lots of these nice picnic huts as well as a good shower block, nice lawn, BBQs and a children’s playground. There were lots of people using them during the afternoon.

We brought two cooked meals with us for the evenings, thinking we might by one meal on Saturday or Sunday night when the troops arrive – Marie, Geoff and Glenn. We had an early tea, watched a bit of TV, then went out for our walk. We missed the best of the light, but the wind had died and it was really pleasant out.

We can’t get TV reception here, but ABC iview now livestreams TV over the internet, this is new and very welcome for us as we are more likely to have 3g or 4g than TV reception when we are travelling. Watching TV in real time (WA time at that) is great. We don’t really watch TV a lot, but its good to know it is there if we want it.

At about 8.30 there was a huge wind, a front coming through. We had a little rain, and there was a storm in the distance, we could see lightning but not hear thunder. There doesn’t seem to be any damage from the wind. It only lasted about 15 minutes, and the effect was probably enhanced because we have trees around.

We’ve had a good night’s sleep and are making a slow start this morning. I’ve had coffee and a slice of toast and vegemite and plan on having my shower when Stephen gets back and starts making his elaborate breakfast.

According to Google, the Coogee Beach Cafe stays open until 9.00 p.m. Friday to Sunday nights. However, when we went on our walk at about 7.30 p.m. it was already closed. We will have to check the closing time if we plan to buy an evening meal there.

The shark proof fencing is still in place although the trial was supposed to end in 2017. I wonder if it really does work. I’ve heard of a shark being able to get past the nets.

What I want for Christmas has already happened!

I might not have written this post except for the wonderful events of Friday when schoolchildren across Australia marched to show politicians that they want action on climate change. I feel so proud of them. At least a couple of politicians have been very rude about it, including Morrison (our hopefully very temporary Prime Minister) and I hold him most to blame for the negativity – what he says counts more than the others.

A few months ago we went to a talk by the Greenpeace CEO of Australia. After his disheartening, yet interesting talk, someone said to him that talking to school children about climate change was our only hope. His reply was that by the time the children are old enough to vote it will be much too late to avert climate change disaster. But, the actions of so many kids, obviously with the support of concerned parents, is very heartening indeed. No matter how much they are demeaned and shouted down by politicians, they have done the right and obvious thing. It matters more to them than anyone else.

So, I have had the most precious Christmas Gift I could possibly imagine. Nothing else can come close.

A lot of the reason why we love going travelling in our van is to be closer to nature. Waking up in the bush with no one else around is the ideal, as happened on our second night at Wongan Hills. Yet there is always an undercurrent of: how long can we continue to enjoy these things before extreme weather events and other consequences take hold? Is there any possibility of the children that we see around us being able to have these experiences too? Right now, yes, but by the time they are adults and have their own children, that’s the great unknown. Certainly they won’t be able to if the nations of the world don’t change their policies and take action.

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Marie took up quilting a few years ago and now that I am retired I am starting to get interested in sewing as well. I did my third class on Monday this week and feel re-inspired to get back to it. I’ve already booked for the first one in February next year. I made a sort of very soft and floppy cushion before we went away as a travel pillow. On our return to Perth Stephen took it over because it was good back support at home and when we are in the Winnie. The passenger seat is more uncomfortable than the driver’s seat even though they are exactly the same. Having the steering wheel to grip makes a difference.

I wasn’t pleased about losing my dear cushion, having become very fond of it over the course of our travels. The photo above is a new cushion in progress. It’s now finished and gifted to Stephen (I even embroidered his name on it). He professes to be quite happy with the exchange. The cushion is a bit puffy at the moment, but easily shaped as needed and will probably get a bit flatter with use.

Of course, there are many other things that one could make besides cushions. However, I have a couple more planned ¬†before Christmas. It’s quite a nice feeling to have a project on the go which I can work on for an hour or so, then leave until I next feel in the mood. The sewing machine has taken over my desk, with other sewing stuff around. We have a folding table in the living area which has become my cutting table and the ironing board is set up in the laundry (making it very crowded as we also dry clothes there). The secret with sewing is having all the equipment ready to go, when I put the sewing machine and other stuff away I simply don’t get back to it. It’s the same if you are learning a musical instrument. When I was learning the violin my teacher told me to leave it out of its case to make it easy to pick up and practice. It worked.

We are in Claremont today. Stephen is rehearsing for a concert tomorrow at Christchurch, Claremont. I came as well because I wanted to get this writing done and have set up at a nearby cafe. In some ways I regret moving away from Claremont, but it is very busy and Stirling Highway is very commercial, I don’t miss that at all. I also don’t miss making almost no progress at all on our $100,000 mortgage as it was during the period when interests rates were at 17.5%.

I do miss being fairly close to the ocean. As we drove through the side streets near to where we used to live I realised why we feel comfortable living in Victoria Park. Many of the houses are similar and there are still places that have not been renovated in any way, with messy, overgrown and neglected looking gardens.

At present I am working my way through the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves, but diverted to read an enchanting French book The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. She is a philosophy teacher as well as a novelist and her characters are wonderfully quirky and philosophical. This was one of the books I bought at the Book Bazaar.

We began with the children marching for action on Climate Change. Will any of the politicians take notice? Will they take action. I think the children may need to keep marching, and we should join them.