Easter at Jarrahdale

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Sunset from our campsite at Jarrahdale

Easter Friday was a quiet day. We went for a walk in the evening in our neighbourhood looking at a special type of gum tree with drooping branches and peeling bark. We found it was quite common in our immediate area. I wanted to go away for one night at Easter, the weekend is very busy at most places and driving on Friday and Monday is usually very fraught, so it seemed sensible to go a fairly short distance overnight so that we were driving on Saturday and Sunday.

We were pretty sure that the free camping site at Jarrahdale would have plenty of room for us, and it has, although there are a lot more campers than when we came during a cool spell in summer. Still, it is a big area, and we don’t mind the extra people. We are camped on the hard stand area, although we don’t have it to ourselves this time.

We arrived at about 12.00, checked out the camping possibilities, then drove out to Serpentine Dam. We had lunch in the Winnie, then coffee at the cafe, then walked out across the Dam. It was a lovely day, although the weather continues a recent pattern of starting out cool, then getting quite warm by late in the afternoon.

Serpentine Dam - detail (1 of 1)

There are some lovely tall trees in the dam area, the above photo is a detail of leaves and blossom.

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Standing on the Dam, it’s not possible to get near the edge because of the wide area out of bounds.

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A partly cloudy day, with lots of sunshine.

It was an important day – Stephen drove the Winnie for the first time – the 9 kms back to our campsite from the dam. Well done Stephen!

Storm Clouds

On Saturday we went down to Floreat Beach and had lunch and dinner there. Stephen rang his sister and brother in law who joined us for afternoon tea and a walk. The idea was to excape the heat and it mostly worked, although in the evening the breeze dropped and it became intensely humid. The next day, Sunday, promised rain and perhaps thunderstorms, along with a few days of cooler temperatures. I took some photos close to sunset – the clouds look almost more intense in the photos than they did in reality. That evening was the first time we have had the air conditioning on at night – I found I couldn’t sleep despite our overhead fan, and switched it on at about 4.00 a.m. We have had rain for a couple of days now.

The Winnie at home

Our neighbours left for a two week holiday on Thursday. We already had the Winnie booked in to try to find out why our fridge emits an odour when we are using it on gas, so we picked it up on Tuesday evening, stored it on the vacant lot nearby during the day, then in a parking bay in our street for the night.

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Ken Peachy Caravans said that our fridge did not have a flue, and as there were no gas leaks, this must be why the odour was coming back into the ‘house’. They put in a flue and I tested it, there is a certainly a great improvement. However, as I was looking for a smell I was able to detect it lightly. Mike also said he would get us a quote for repairing the damage to the rear panel. It may be quite expensive and we are still waiting. When we get the quote we can work out whether it is worthwhile to claim it on our insurance.

When cleaning the windscreen yesterday I was able to confirm that a mark on the outside is in fact a small crack. These days they can be repaired without having to replace the whole windscreen, so it has gone on my list of things to do.

Having the Winnie at home gave us the opportunity to take it out for a picnic meal yesterday evening. We decided on a visit to the North Mole at Fremantle. That worked well although I did not want to take it past the section of road that has two lanes. There was a strong wind which made walking along the Mole quite challenging. It felt like my cameras were bouncing all over the place, but I still managed to get some photos that I am happy with.

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A different view of Cottesloe, taken on the 70-300mm lens and using the dehaze feature in Lightroom to get some clarity. There were no clouds, but there was quite a lot of haze. The setting sun changed shape from round to square because of the haze distortion.

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Stephen suggested that we watch the news whilst eating. We didn’t want to put up the TV antenna in the wind, so tried using it with it flat on the roof. The ABC din’t work well enough to watch the news, but we watched some tennis, then got involved in a movie on a commercial channel. We had a lovely meal of cold chicken, rolls and salads, followed by watermelon. I had other ‘goodies’ but we were quite full, so just had a hot drink.

We stayed until 9.00 p.m. before heading home. We were able to watch the sunset from the van, and I got some photos of yatchs and sea lit by the evening light.

This morning we had a walk before breakfast. The Sunday morning Farmers’ Market was smaller than usual. Cherry, who was having breakfast there, said there was something else on which would have attracted buyers and sellers, and would account for there being less stalls and customers. We enjoyed talking with her for awhile, then headed home for scrambled eggs, toast and coffee.

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bike rack at the Farmers’ Market
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our street corner

Catching up

Friday 11th I went with Stephen to the second session of our course with Gary Sigley on China at MARLA. Mum had an ACAT assessment with the social worker and Jamie attended. I did an overnight at one of the houses.

Saturday 12th we went down to Cottesloe for the Sculpture by the Sea at about 4.30 p.m. We found out on Sunday that Matt and Hidde had been there earlier in the afternoon. We found the sun a bit overwhelming, even that late in the day. We had a snack of Indian food before walking back to where we had parked in what we think of as the Beaches carpark. We saw the sunset, which lacked interest in a way because of the lack of clouds, but the beach glowed in the sun. Afterwards we went to Camelot and saw the movieĀ Steve Jobs. I refused to see it earlier because I had found his biography excruciating. He seemed such an unpleasant man. But the movie managed to humanise him and I liked the structure of it which allowed a ‘plot’ to unfold in intriguing vignettes. Plus, of course, it was tracing some of my history with using Apple Macs, though it didn’t mention the Mac Classic II, which was my first love.

the sun, the gull, the sea and I
The sun, the gull, the sea and I
Taking off
Not everyone was there for the artworks

On Sunday it was very hot and we stayed at home, hunkered down. Even when Matt arrived it was still very hot outside. We put his left and right switches on and when nothing else was happening he turned his chair in circles in the middle of the family room. He seems to find it very relaxing. I took a video and asked him to change directions, which he was able to do with very little fuss. His left eye was a bit red, perhaps from hitting the lefthand button, he still prefers the right hand one.

Today I worked until 1.30 p.m. I had to go out in the heat with one of the ‘individuals’. I enjoyed the experience, but it wasn’t the hottest part of the day. At 6.20 p.m. it is still about 38 degrees – very hot!