Category Archives: Australia

Taylor’s Art and Coffee House, Swan Valley, Perth, Western Australia

Well here is a quirky, interesting and warm and friendly venue for eats, nostalgia, sculptures, prints, and art both new and old. The yard is filled with relics of the past and objects of great importance once – like a typesetting machine, an old till, a sculpture full of plastic from the sea. There is machinery so big, it makes one wonder how it was put where it was.

We usually book, in the winter, near the very efficient and comforting pot belly style firebox.

The whole place is interesting to look at and the staff are friendly, polite and well trained.

The food is reliable and tasty. We had the ‘carnivore’ this time and shared it for $23.90 Good value for two – plus a lovely pot of tea for two.

Piano books, high chairs, cushions and toys – and an empty birdcage.

Once I was there when there was an Ella Fitzgerald fan, playing some of her music which was a wonderful sound to listen to during our meal.

Silver coated nature and additions
Coffee, local honey and tea from Toodyay!

Taylor’s has been there awhile and its owner and namesake Jude Taylor is renowned for her artwork depicting Western Australian wildflowers.

There are pictures, cards, clothes and other nick knacks laid out around the old house.

There are some wonderfully quirky things at Taylors, like the water tank around one of the tables, and the lovely door handle on the outside door where the toilets are.

Worth a visit if you are in the Swan Valley, and there is Whistler’s Chocolates next door. Also, the wineries for which the Swan Valley is famous, in Western Australia.

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Sydney, Australia and surrounds 2018

Central Coast and Return.

Took a drive to Umina Beach and Woy Woy and back today. The motorways are fast and efficient when not crowded, but the trucks can be very intimidating! And the engineering involved in creating the motorways, is awe inspiring.

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The M1 – Central Coast. The sheer rock faces you drive between are amazing, and beautiful.

Once I arrived in Umina Beach I went to visit my 93 year old Aunt, who is astounded that I bother to see her. As I assured her, a trip to Sydney must have a visit to her, or it would not be a trip to Sydney.  I have a cousin of my mother’s who also turned 93 this year who lives in Sydney who will have a visit on Friday. So looking forward to seeing him too.

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Near Fisherman’s Wharf Woy Woy, New South Wales
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“Fishermates” in retro effect style. Brisbane Waters, Woy Woy. Reflections
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The American black duck is prolific on the central coast areas. These ones are well fed by humans and as a result are very likely to wander over to look at you, looking at them. Beautiful plumage.
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The Indian Myna Bird. Wonderful trill and a neatly, well ‘painted’ little fellow.
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Mallard duck. One of the most dramatically coloured of the ducks.
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Fisherman’s Wharf at Woy Woy, Central Coast, New South Wales

Freshwater

Today I have driven east to the coast and will meet up with my cousins for lunch. It is a beautiful day at the moment but by 1pm there are forecasts for thunderstorms- I hope they are wrong – make it 4pm – I’ll be safe at my digs by then.

I was early, as usual, so proceeded to the beach to see the surf at Freshwater Beach.

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It really does look inviting. Lots of grommets out and about and older surfers. It is a moving tide of black rubber covered humans with long wet hair – in some cases -and a board under their arms. Not a bad way to spend your time.

Bella Vista Farm

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https://camdenhistorynotes.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/bella-vista-farm/

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Today we visited one of the first farming properties in Australia. In 1799 Joseph Foveaux was granted 980 acres which, in addition to other purchases, he sold to John Macarthur in 1801. John Macarthur enlarged this through additional purchases until it comprised around 2,000 acres. John and Elizabeth Macarthur farmed sheep on this property in addition to their properties at Camden and Parramatta. For much of the time that the Macarthur’s owned this farm John was overseas and it fell to Elizabeth to manage the various Macarthur properties and flocks.

The farm is being restored and maintained and it is used for a range of activities and community happenings.

Chatswood

We left our first home of three days and drove east towards the north shore.

Well now we are on the north shore of the city in a leafy suburb called Chatswood. It has huge numbers of retail outlets in the streets and in the malls. Westfield, Chatswood Chase and stores all around them. Eateries are everywhere. Very Asian influence around here with heavy emphasis on Korean. This morning we wandered down to #Crazy_Uncle_Frankie’s where we had a lovely breakfast between us with the addition of an orange juice, tea and coffee. lrg_dsc09621

It was a birthday breakfast – did you see the candle?? We ate at Crazy Uncle Frankie’s 1/405-419 Victoria Ave, Chatswood. Terrific service and food. We were welcomed warmly and we ate at an outdoor table.

After breakfast we watched children chase bubbles on the expanse of green outside the Chatswood Library under the only tree in the vicinity, but a good one.

We then ventured off into retail land through the doors of the Westfield shopping complex.There are some great stores and some great décor.

After the walk through and a couple of useful purchases, we returned to our apartment and readied ourselves for a 20 min drive to see one of my cousins who is 93 and thoroughly warm and amazing man, who continues to live life to the full, working 3 days a week at the office of the firm, established by his father Edward (Ted) way back 1929 with his brother Hector (Bob). My cousin joined the Law firm with his brother in the 1950s.

Great to see him. Great Man oh and an MBE too.

That’s it for now – end of post for now.

Dunsborough – South Western Australia – and surrounds

This is a place we visit often. It brings peace and quiet to our lives. We work hard and need ‘down time’.

We have some very restful things to do here like;

Bird watching, photography.


This small bird is a Blue Wren, male below and female above. The male is losing the brownish summer plumage which is making way for the blue, almost iridescent blue, which will dominate autumn and winter. They are lovely to watch and very plentiful here.

And walking on the beach

Eating outside and shopping for stuff we really dont need but are fun to have.

Dunsborough, Western Australia is about 15 mins south of Busselton, a well established seaside town.

More info here: https://tinyurl.com/ya7vront

Cruising!  Fremantle to Fremantle via Albany and Busselton, Western Australia 4 night cruise on the Sea Princess.

Never done it. Thought about it, but have never actually taken the plunge until now! Love, love, love it. Sure there are lots of people, but they don’t get in the way much.
We boarded the #PrincessLine #Sea_Princess.  It’s a lovely little cruise ship. 857 feet long, 77,000 tons, 1950 Passengers. We decided we don’t think it is full, but how would we know – we are first timers in this cruising thing.

It’s been extraordinary already. The mood on board is ‘buoyant’,(pardon the pun!) expectant and everyone everywhere on staff wants to help you. The crew are an eclectic bunch of nationalities. More Phillipinos than any other group, but we’ve met a man from Trinidad and Tobago who lives in Winchester, England, and a Welshman who claims his name is Robbie Williams.

We mustered this afternoon so we could be told how to put in our life jackets and how to leave the ship if it is required. All done with people moving all over the ship heading for their Muster Point.  We have a letter on the front of our life jackets so the people checking can identify where we should be or should have come from.

The ship has 14 decks which can be found by stair or lift. Stairs tend to be quicker sometimes but the lifts are efficient. The carpet is thick and springy underfoot.

The pools look lovely and inviting and they are heated so if you wanted to, you could swim. The food is fresh and delicious and the presentation is excellent.

There is a library, Internet cafe which charges like a wounded bull for access. Not going to bother until we get to Albany.

It’s a cruise ship. It has an outdoor theatre and bars, a gym, a casino, restaurants and decks for strolling on.


Day Two

Today we woke to a calm sea, blue as far as the eye could see. The stateroom is perfectly adequate and the bed is wonderful. The shower is terrific, great pressure and hot. The cabin is so quiet, sometimes you can hear people in the corridor but generally nothing. Very peaceful.


We had breakfast around 7:30 this morning at a window table facing west. The food is good and plentiful and the walking needed to get places helps with the calorie burning required. We have both had heavy colds so sleeping was necessary today.  I read for a while and later we had dinner in the Rigoletto. This is our pre-booked table with other people.  We had a great group on our table and have enjoyed lovely meals and conversations.

After dinner we went to the Princess Theatre to see the #Scared_Weird_Little_Guys perform.  They were great, professional, well practised, clever, funny, irreverent and comfortable. The harmonies were tight and beautiful. Good show.  Just 30 mins.​ 


Day Three

We started early today after an reasonably early night. Slept pretty well, in spite of the continuing cold. Disembarked and found our hire car. We drove directly to the #National_Anzac_Centre. 

I was able to take some photos before anyone arrived. We were they around 8:30 about half an hour before the venue opened.


After that we drove through Yorke Street, Albany on our way to Denmark. Once there, we parked and found a cool cafe called #Chilli_Lime_Salt. Had a pot of tea and I had a most wonderful, Date Slice. Beautiful. After our refreshments we meandered in and found the Denmark_Co-op. There I happened upon some #Sloggers. Own some purple ones already but bought some with chickens on them. So cool!

We returned to the National Anzac Centre and had a proper look around. Very moving, very detailed, very informative. Beautiful sculpture of a man using his upturned hat to give his horse a drink of water.

We skipped our arranged table, for an early night in our stateroom.  The sea was getting a little more active. It’s an interesting feeling when you are sleeping. It was rougher last night than it has been the whole trip. But not in an upsetting or unsettling way. The rocking of the boat while you are lying in your warm bed is almost comforting. I slept through it all, and having heard In the lift from a well travelled woman, with much cruise experience, said it was rougher than any she had experienced before.  Well, if that’s the worst, cruising looks like a fairly good idea.

The parts I like the most are the fact you can run your own timetable. The only thing you need to do at a specific time is dinner but that is also option really. There is entertainment provided all day and night. Take it or leave it. Also our stateroom has a balcony and just being able to, open the door and feel the fresh air and stand outside and look out is wonderful. Today we saw a whale in the distance. It is one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever experienced.

If I was doing a cruise to places I had never been, I may do more ‘shore time’. Having the option to stay on board is lovely.

Have had a great time.  

Breakfast at Tropico – North Beach, Perth, Western Australia

Poached Eggs with bacon and hash browns.  The presentation was magnificent.  The attention to detail was marvellous. The Hash browns were the best I have had, and inside in the soft mashed potato, I happened upon mustard seeds’throughout the soft white deliciousness.  The sprouts on the eggs were a nice touch, and the bacon was beautifully crispy. The meal wasn’t the hottest, in fact the eggs were a little cool, but the yolks were golden and the food was scrumptious.  I really enjoyed the meal, completely.

The restaurant was not very full when we arrived at about 7:40am. It filled quickly and the sun shone through the large windows on the north side. The seating was good, right height for the tables and the noise was abated with clever wood and fabric around the large room.  It was cosy in our area without being cramped. There were different height tables which added interest and the casual nature of the venue lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere.  The staff were very good and attentive, but I did notice a pair beside us went and got their own menus.

Overall we had a terrific time and stayed almost two hours.  A beautiful morning, great food, terrific service and a nice vibe.  We will be back.

Thanks.

Adelaide, South Australia

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Moreton Bay fig tree on Plane Tree Drive, Adelaide at Botanic Garden

Had a great day yesterday wandering around the Botanic Garden in Adelaide. The most beautiful day and the surroundings were very peaceful and relaxing. It is important for us to ‘get back to nature’ away from phones and work stresses and just be!

 We went through the Conservatory full of rainforest plants we continued on our day of peaceful meanderings and discovery.

Next we happened upon a female duck and her five ducklings foraging in a man made waterway nearby. Also, on the same path was a sculpture made of glass sheets in the shape of a wave. Very impressive.

The sun was out the birds were everywhere, and we trundled along towards the Santos Economic Botany Museum. Wonderful place which was probably fairly dated looking until, it was restored recently.

The building was constructed

#Globe_Coffee_House_Patisserie and Restaurant

Globe Coffee House Patisserie & Restaurant
Globe Coffee House Patisserie & Restaurant
Had lunch here, with two of my workmates and one beautiful 4 year old. He wasn’t some random child, he belonged to one of my people.

While I waited for my mates to arrive, I set about writing – as I do – about thoughts that whirl through my head.

Here’s what I wrote today:

The crisp air bites at my ears as I cross the road, looking towards my destination but completely missing the crosswalk at my feet. I wondered why that car had stopped for me.

Sometimes, I think I am so in charge of my life and I am enjoying my freedom, but I am apparently away with the fairies at times. Ah well, ’tis real life n’est pas? Pretentious? Not at all. Everyone understands the context, if not the words. The rhetorical question, oft used to pique the reader’s interest. I am currently 8% fluent in French, and my phone app encourages me to add it to my LinkedIn profile. Now, that would be pretentious. How could 8% fluency be an asset in my employment. I am certainly aware of my increased understanding of the language but I am not sure if that would ‘translate’ into a useful addition to my resume.

Just received an email with a list of 14 foods that boost my thyroid. Oh, the constant desire to lose weight, manage weight, spend money on losing weight etc etc.

The venue I am in now is not air tight but not unpleasant. I have covered my bases with four layers of clothing and a scarf. L’ escarp. I think that is the word. Asked a guy in a shop in Paris what the word was and he said ‘escarper’ but that was just the pronunciation. He didn’t seem fazed by my question. I did buy a lovely jumper in Paris. (Made in Bangladesh and its washing instructions were a plastic book attached onto side of the jumper.) So fine and soft and I tried on some pants but nothing was quite right. The shop assistants were not around so I had to make all my rash decisions alone.

The day was just perfect, and I was swayed by the romance of just being in Paris. I loved it and I want to go back and spend more time in France in general.

 

 

 

 

Melbourne on one day of our travels.

 

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Brunswick St Fitzroy
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Brunswick Street, with photo effect
 

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Autumn leaves in Brunswick
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Melbourne Tram
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Pay Attention!
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Bourke St
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Colourful Windows – Bourke St
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Beautiful buildings
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Architecture as Art
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Autumn leaves
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More wonderful buildings in Bourke Street
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Louis Vuitton
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More buildings to feast my eyes on.
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Looks like a movie set
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The old and the new
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Wonderful Sandstone
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Contrasts
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Style
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Bourke Street
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China Town
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Tram on Bourke St
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Clocks at Flinders Street Station! Melbourne

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Flinders St Station, corner of Swanston St
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Some of the locals