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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.  

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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.

 

 

 

 

Back home – Perth, Western Australia; The Hardware Store – Brighton Cafe and Eatery

The Hardware Store is one of my favourite places to eat.  I have not had an evening meal here but have covered most others several times.image

The vibe here is contemporary and trendy.  Not pretentious but fun.  The water jugs are watering cans. The cutlery is housed in toolboxes, and the sauces in an old fruit box.  The staff are young and friendly and do their job well.  The food is delicious and brought quickly and with a flair for decoration.  The fresh fruit juices are served in the currently fashionable jars with handles.

The building is part of a group of shops which has been in Brighton Road Scarborough for probably more than 50 years.  This particular space was – along with the now Patisserie next door, a hardware store for all of that time before it became a cafe.

It was a terrific place with the owner, knowledgeable and with all the stock required.  You could come to him with a nail, screw or piece of tubing and he would say – which tray it was in or take you to it.  The doorway which has now been bricked up, took you through to the paint section.  The original floor has been covered by aged wooden floorboards which rises up in a ramp at the doorway beside two walls covered with white tiles – the style (subway tiles).

The tables are too high, I always get sore shoulders writing here, and I like to write here.  There are pallets on top of regular tables, with a sheet of glass on top.  They look great, but they are too high. In between the wood panels of the pallet the menus are stored.

The choices are fresh and interesting.  My favourite is the smashed avocado.  Will see if I can get it for lunch today.  Fingers crossed. But if that is not available the Zucchini and Sweet corn Fritters are beautiful – it’s the tomato salsa that makes that dish.

Back Home – for a short time- Thanks to our house-sitter

We arrived back at home on the 19th October and have been home now for 10 days. It is so nice to be home and so pleasing to come back to healthy happy hounds and a wonderfully overgrown garden. It looks great. It’s full of beans, purple and green, and broad beans. There’s Kale and spinach and silverbeat. Sweet potatoes and onions, and spring onions and strawberries. 

image image imageOh and the mulberry tree is producing too.

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My garden is lush, overgrown, healthy and I love it.

I am so grateful to our wonderful house-sitter Marg.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  You did a wonderful job. You’re worth your weight in gold.

Los Angeles to Melbourne to Perth – Day 43 of 43

We moved out of the WorldMark Suites at around  9:00am and moved into the Hilton Garden Inn across the road from the Qantas Freight area at LAX.

LAX from our hotel window.
LAX from our hotel window.

Stayed for the morning then off to the Westfield at Culver City where we shopped and had lunch.

Westfield, Culver City, Long Beach LA
Westfield, Culver City, Long Beach LA

Then back to the hotel in the afternoon and evening. We were lucky enough to arrive early enough for breakfast.

Left LAX around 10:30pm on Saturday.  The flight was 14.5 hours and then we landed in Melbourne. Got two movies in, St Vincent, and Hot Pursuit.  The second one was a popcorn movie – my classification, derived from the assumption that you could eat popcorn all the way through, even crunching over dialogue, and it would not detract from the conversation on screen.  Good fun, not very credible but it was entertaining. image The other was terrific with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy, also Naomi Watts was enjoyable as a grumpy Russian prostitute. In fact it had a surprising, high quality cast,  and I would recommend it.image

All good fun.  Business Class is fun too.  See you all soon.  Boarding in two minutes. Catch ya out west.