Raiser Ride for Alzheimer’s Respite and Time for Home

Alkoomi Winery morning tea break

We were up bright and early to get packed up and over to D&K Engineering for the start of the Raiser Ride to Bridgetown.  It had rained overnight but by the time we were ready to pack the camper away it had dried off so no real dramas with wet canvas, thank goodness!

We arrived early but some bikes were already there and more continued to roll in as we chatted.  The same cars as last year joined us … Simmo & Sue in the 1955 Chev with teardrop caravan, Anne & Jim in an early ’60s Ford Falcon V8 ute, and a black early ’30s V8 custom Ford.  The main body of the convoy were Harley Davidson, Hayabusa, Victory and KTM motor bikes plus the recovery 4WD with trailer (just in case) and carrying all the donated goodies for the auction.

Our first stop along the way was to be as Alkoomi Wines but we had no idea where we were going and I’d neglected to check on the Internet.  As I was driving the first section there was no way to check it out so we crossed our fingers and tried to keep up.  Just not possible!  The bikes were off doing their 110kph (and more!) and we were limited to 100kph because of the camper.  Fortunately they did a stop just before Mt Barker and Jim & Anne decided to stay behind us, even though they weren’t absolutely sure where Alkoomi were either 😏 Again the bikes disappeared into the distance but we finally found Alkoomi and they hadn’t started morning tea so we weren’t too far behind.  Morning tea was free tea and coffee provided by the winery plus an amazing variety of delicious muffins that had been baked for us by the Hawthorn House support group.

On our way again, and this time Gordon was driving and although the cars started before the bikes the Hornet was again left behind, although the V8s made sure we were with them until they missed the turnoff and once again we were on our own.  Great road for motor bikes but a bit trying on the Hornet with the camper behind.  A lot of first and second gear hills and winding road.  I think Gordon’s cartoon describes it perfectly …
I’m glad Gordon was driving as I found it very challenging.  We ran out of petrol along the way but no dramas as we had 20 litres on the back of the camper.  Finally arrived in Bridgetown for lunch at The Cidery.  Lovely mulled wine and soup for lunch followed by a wander down town, splurged at the Old English Lolly Shop 🍥🍬🍭 and had afternoon tea before finding our accommodation at Sunnyhurst Chalets.  Lovely wooden chalets on a large property out of town (another challenging hill for the Hornet) and we were sharing with Wayne and his son Corey.

This is when it all went pear-shaped for me.  Because the beds weren’t made, Chantelle had offered to make our bed and naturally my reaction was “What?  I’m quite capable of making a bed!”, though I didn’t say it that way.  I just said not to bother as we could do it.  While Gordon was getting our gear out of the car I folded the doona (neatly, I thought) and went to move it to the other side of the room and somehow caught my foot in it.  Next thing I was on the floor and as I fell I knocked my hand against the edge of a cupboard.  I heard a “crack” and it hurt like hell but my initial thought was that I’d just given it a good whack and probably bruised it. Totally forgot that I now have osteoporosis!  Put on a brave face but the pain was excruciating😥and I really felt like having a big sook session.  Got Gordon to get some ice out of the freezer and sat for a while but the pain was getting worse and my hand was swelling just below my little finger.  We decided to find the hospital and get it checked out.  Short half hour wait in emergency and an x-ray later confirmed that I had two broken bones in my left hand below ring and little fingers.  Luckily we had thought to take my rings off before the swelling.

So, a couple of hours later, with hand splinted and bandaged (for 5 -6 weeks!!!!) IMG_1610we were able to get back in time for the spit roast tea and auction.  Unfortunately, by this time everyone knew about my fall and it was quite embarrassing to have people feeling sorry for me so I managed to deflect it a bit by making a bit of a joke about the doona attacking me.  I think the mix of Panadol and Neurofen that the hospital gave me made it easier to pretend that it didn’t hurt too much.  Frankly, I felt like an idiot, and Chantelle feeling bad because she didn’t insist on doing the bed for me certainly didn’t help.

Managed to eat tea one handed and then the auction was on and what a hoot that was.  The auctioneer, Johnno, was a scream and I think he could have sold freezers to eskimos😄.  I went with some saved money this year and enjoyed joining in the bidding.  I think I ended up with the wrong camera, but we’ll check it out and see what it does.  And the bottle of Alkoomi Riesling will be nice this coming summer.  I also donated two boxes of jams which went for about $40 each, so I was happy with that.

All up, the auction raised over $4,500 and with entry money, donations for breakfast and other donations the total for the weekend was about $7,500.  What a great feeling to be part of this very generous group of people.

Next year they’re going to Augusta and we’ll be with them again.

I’ve typed this entry basically one handed and I think I need to stop, so suffice to say that we arrived home safely yesterday, despite the heavy rain and I’m off to the doctor this afternoon to check all is OK and get my six monthly calcium injection.

Gordon’s final cartoon …

See you next time we’re on the road 😎


Time to move on

Today is our last day in Albany and the weather has been grey and cold. We can’t complain because the past four days have been perfect warm days … although cooling off quite markedly in the late afternoon and into the evening.

Gordon had fishing planned for today and the wind was in the right direction for his favourite spot. I decided not to go as my stomach had reacted to something I’d eaten and being close to a toilet was going to be my priority😖

I had a good book that had been recommended by our friendly book lady at Gemini Books and it was such a good read that the morning disappeared and Gordon was back in time for lunch. 

Unfortunately our planned hot fresh fish sandwich lunch was not to be. The fish weren’t cooperating and all Gordon had managed to get was one herring and one leatherjacket. The leatherjacket was almost impossible to fillet and definitely wasn’t worth eating so we had a herring fillet each and then went to the Spencer Park Bakery and picked up pies for lunch. Took them down to Emu Beach and watched the Pelicans while we had lunch.Spent the rest of the day reading and packing up the van as much as we could so that we can get an early start tomorrow.

Had tea at a newly discovered fish & chip shop called Hooked down at Middleton Beach. Very nice – we will go back next time we’re down here.

So ends the day and our break in Albany. Looking forward to tomorrow’s Raiser Ride to Bridgetown. The Hornet is polished and shiny and raring to go.

And to finish our day – Gordon’s cartoon about the leatherjacket having the last word😮

Revisiting the tourist trail 

The Natural Bridge

After a really good night’s sleep we surfaced about 7.30am with no real plans for the day, which turned out to be the best plan as the morning was taken up with chatting with our departing South Aussie neighbours and then more chatting with Annette and Bruce in next caravan down … conversation started by a comment about camping toasters!

About 11am we finally set off for the Emu Point Cafefor a late morning tea and to pick up the left behind phone charger for my choir  friend on our way back.

Delicious small lemon meringue tart for me and a blueberry & apple muffin for Gordon … overseen by greedy seagulls. This one had found the cream on another table and had the remains on its beak😜

After picking up the phone charger we walked back past the chainsaw sculpture I mentioned a couple of days ago. 

After a very light lunch at about 1.30pm we decided to do the “tourist” thing and revisit some Albany attractions. Did the tourist drive up from Middleton Beach (no whales out there today), checked out the parking for the Avenue of Honour light installation that we were going to visit in the evening, and out the South Coast Road to Frenchman’s Bay. Stopped at the old whaling station for afternoon tea, then Jimmy Newell’s Harbourand some flowersFrom there we moved on to The Gap and the Natural Bridge. A lot of work has been done here to keep people safe and protect the environment and yes, I could get closer to The Gap to take a photo safely …but it’s not the same as I remember it. I guess that’s progress. Although we were only there for less than half an hour we had to pay $7 for a day ticket as it’s now a national park.  The light on the ocean was beautiful.

Back to the camper For a light tea of cup of soup for me and fruit toast for Gordon and then back to the Field of Light: Avenue of Honour. I don’t feel I can really describe the lights but I think everyone who visits will have their own interpretation and feelings. I managed to get good photos with my camera but the phone camera couldn’t cope with the lack of light so this photo is a bit of a nothing. I’ll try and repost when we get home to the “real” computer.

So that was the end of our day. We now have a very noisy family next to us with four kids ranging from baby to about 6 years old and I don’t think we’re going to have a peaceful night. The baby is hysterical at the moment. Oh well, that’s life – maybe we should have brought the ear plugs with us😏

Wishing you a peaceful night wherever you are 😴💤

Indulging the tastebuds 😋🧀🍾🍨

We woke to brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies – so a good day to be doing stuff.

One of our favourite outings whilst we’re in Albany is to take a drive across to Denmark to sample and buy some of our favourite things.

First stop is the Denmark Bakery Cafe for morning tea (surprise, surprise😃) always delicious and good value.

Back in the car, drive towards Walpole … and our first stop is at our furthest end at Elephant Rock Toffee & Cider for delicacies such as macadamia brittle, choc mint, chilli lime & salt, honey ginger & mango, espresso, and salted macadamia toffees, plus this time I also bought a salted caramel sauce. Gordon bought similar plus four bottles of cider.I love the signs as you drive in and the elephant at the entrance …From the toffee and cider we head back towards Denmark to Bartholomew’s Meadery for a honey ice cream. Gordon had honey & passionfruit and I ended up with a scoop each of honey & coffee and honey & cinnamon – scrumptious😋. Sat outside under these colourful umbrellas and watched the wildlife … Last stop was the Cheese Factory. There were some delicious cheeses out for tasting … once again we couldn’t resist and came away with four cheeses, pickled gherkins and pate plus we stayed on for a ham & cheese croissant for lunch.

The Scotsdale Tourist Drive is very picturesque with very high up views through the tall timber and rolling pastures out to the brilliantly blue ocean at William Bay. Unfortunately there was nowhere we could stop to take some snaps.

We also noticed that the Denmark Chocolate Factory was open but we were shopped out – maybe next trip! Anyway I think I’ve blown this fortnight’s budget so probably a good thing we gave it a miss.

The day had turned really warm and on our way back there was an electronic sign showing the temperature at 28C!! Back at the park we did a bit more polishing on the Hornet so that he looks good this Saturday amongst all those Harleys. Played our Ukes for a while (one of the park blokes who chats with us each year told us we have too much fun! As Gordon mentioned in his diary, most people seem to just sit around getting boozed each afternoon), had a cuppa and read our books but the lovely warm weather we’d had all day suddenly turned freezing cold so we opted for early tea and then into the camper with the heater on. We’re now feeling a lot warmer and we’ve just scoffed a Cherry Ripe & a Twix that we bought at the park shop before tea😋

We’ve had an absolutely glorious day. Hope you’ve also had a good one 😎 here’s Gordon’s cartoon for today

Another day in Paradise☀️😎

At the moment our luck is in and Albany is turning on some lovely warm sunshine. We woke to a perfectly still morning with blue sky, a few clouds and sunshine.  Last night we were lulled to sleep by the gentle sounds of the surf on the beach, which is just a couple of small sand hills away.

After breakfast we headed out to D&K Engineering to hand in our contribution for the fund raising auction on Saturday night. Caught up with proprietors and organisers Danny and Chantelle, had a bit of a chinwag and then drove back to town to see about our gas stove. After chatting with the lady at BCF Gordon has decided to give the stove one more chance so we’ll take it back tomorrow to see if we can get a regulator that fits.

Picked up some provisions that we left at home😏, visited Gemini books (surprise😃) and visited one of our favourite cafes, Kate’s, for a delicious morning tea of sticky date pudding.  

On the hunt for Gordon’s drawing stuff we found the newsagent had moved to the bottom end of town. They had everything he needed, including the Bic pencil that works a bit like a propelling pencil. 

Across the road is a fairly new shop in one of the old two storey buildings. It’s a woodwork gallery and I could have spent a small fortune (if I had a fortune to spend🤔). The quality was top class and the range and ideas were amazing. Definitely going back next year with some money in my pocket!!

Onwards and upwards, literally, as we headed to the top of town in search of an op shop. Found the Red Cross shop, Gordon scrounged even more books and also found a great Fletcher Jones warm jacket for just $10 (what a steal!) and I bought two pink tops (no surprise there😝) and a long sleeved black top that should be perfect for my choir’s performances at the Dunsborough SongFest at the end of the month – all just $6 each – bargain!

We had browsed the morning away and it was lunchtime so had a bowl of sweet potato and carrot soup at Cosi’s Cafe and then finally headed back to the camper to veg out for a bit.

By 2pm the wind had picked up and we had a cold easterly blowing.  Sat in the sun reading (and crocheting) for a while and then went for a walk down the beach and towards Emu Point.

Some flowers along the way

Sat on a seat for a while watching some people fishing with this lovely  view in front of us (that’s my finger down in the corner😕). No sounds except for the wind in the reeds, the surf on the beach and bird calls – so peaceful and relaxing.
Flowers and trees on the way backThere was an amazing piece of chainsaw sculpture on the way back but the light was wrong and the photos are too dark. I’ll try again by preferably in the morning light.
I’m not sure how to add Gordon’s photos separately so here they are:Coach driver on our tail and trying to cut us off at the end of an overtaking lane.

Our lazy day – left the boys on their own this afternoon.

So there it is – another day without any necessary chores or deadlines. Bliss😊

On our way again🏖

Afternoon tea at Emu Beach CP

We left this morning for five days in Albany and then to join in a fun fund raising adventure with some Harley Davidson enthusiasts on our way home over the coming weekend.

I’ve left the computer home so the blog for this trip will be on my iPhone and probably with less photos as I never remember to use my phone for photos. We’ll see how it all goes. 

Despite having a very comprehensive check list, that I adjust and refine after each trip, we still manage to forget things. The double adapter thingy for the cigarette lighter socket is sitting on the kitchen table – it would have been much better in the car so that I could charge phone and run fridge at the same time😏. Gordon has left his koala pencil case  behind so has no pens or pencils for his cartoons plus neither of us packed our really warm jackets even though we’ve been watching temps and weather for the past week.

Looks like a shopping trip tomorrow. First off we have to drop off the jam boxes I’m donating for the fund raising raffle on Saturday night. Then we want to visit our favourite secondhand bookshop, Gemini Books📚, replace our gas stove which has given up on us, maybe get a couple of warm tops from the op shop and get pens 🖊etc, plus check out our favourite cafes along the way 🍰☕️😋. It’s a tough life but someone has to do it😎.

Nothing major planned for these five days. Just kick back, visit some fave spots (such as the Meadery, toffee factory and Denmark), check out the light installation at the War Memorial, go fishing, read books, walk to The Point and/or Middleton Beach or maybe do nothing – who knows?!

Our company this afternoon has been some friendly magpies looking for handouts, a couple of what look like desert pigeons but their colouring is different, and a rabbit that appears to use the park as its playground. 

Life is great – hope yours is too 😍

Home Sweet Home

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Difficult to believe that my last post was ten days ago.  Where did that go?  There we were, kicking back at Mingenew in warm sunshine and now we’re home and guess what?  It’s raining again🌧🌧☔☔!

So, here’s the finish to our wildflower trip …

We spent a lazy last day at Mingenew just reading and relaxing in the sunshine and enjoying the bakery selection 😋  We slept in until 8am, leisurely brekky and then walked down to the bakery for morning tea.  By this stage we’d become known as “regulars” so there was a bit of banter and laughter back and forth … especially when we turned up again later in the day for afternoon tea 😄  We promised (threatened?) to be back the following morning for our final morning tea before leaving!

Monday morning we were up early, packed and out of the park by 9am but still stopped into the bakery for an early morning tea and to say goodbye.  I think we’ll have to go back next year (maybe just for a week) to enjoy their tasty treats … and check out the flowers, of course 💐💐😎

A good drive through to Morawa, where we stopped for some sandwich supplies from the IGA and then on to Perenjori, arriving there in time to set up the camper and have lunch.  Lovely, small, Shire-operated park where we were able to choose our own campsite.  Set up and then read our books for a bit before deciding to walk into town to find the pub where Marg and Tony would be staying for two nights.  We took a “short cut” across a very large paddock/field/block and as we were walking I noticed a car heading on the other road towards the caravan park.  I commented to Gordon that it could be Marg and Tony and, sure enough, a few minutes later there it was going the other way.  Gave a wave and got one back, so we met up at the next intersection and had a hug and a chat, organised when we were meeting for tea and then went on our separate ways.

Perenjori townsite is very small, and the only places open on our walk were the pub and the tourist information … sad.  Everything else seems to be closed down, including the supermarket, although Marg told us later that there is a cafe but it’s only open between 10am and 2pm and and it was closed when we walked by just after 3pm.  Nevertheless, the exercise was good for us and it was a lovely sunny day.  Back to the camper to read until it was time to meet Marg and Tony for tea at the pub.

This is when we should have remembered that country pub meals are large … but we didn’t!  I struggled through my four (!) lamb chops, chips and salad, as did Gordon with his parmigiana and Marg with her steak.  Tony was smart and had ordered a burger but even that was big and so was the chip serve.   We all agreed that our meals were delicious but we would perhaps try a smaller counter/snack meal the next night.

As we were leaving I almost fell out the door because I’d forgotten there was a low step … honestly, I did have only one lemon, lime and bitters😝  Noticed one of the cars still had the headlights on so went back in with the plate number and managed to find the young man who owned the car.  He jokingly commented that it was our fault because he was too busy looking at the Hornet and forgot his lights … yeah, right 😄

Had a good night’s sleep but woke to overcast weather with a forecast for rain.  We hoped that Marg and Tony would get to see the everlastings without being washed out.  We had nothing planned for the day so took our time and about 10ish we decided to go to the Bowgada Nature Reserve, which is about halfway between Perenjori and Morawa.  Some nice flowers, bugs, butterfly, galah and information …

It was sprinkling on and off as we were photographing but as we finished the rain decided to start in earnest and we had rain most of the way to Morawa.  I should have taken a video, but instead I took fast photos through the windscreen.  Not sure if this will will give an idea of what the rain was like …

Lunch at the servo in Morawa that has now also taken on the role of the bakery.  Lovely pie followed by a delicious vanilla slice and a cuppa.  By the time we had finished the rain had eased off and we had a dry drive back to Perenjori.

None of the caravan parks allow car or van washing (which is fair enough considering the amount of water that would be wasted), so with the Hornet wet from all the rain, Gordon decided to give him a chamois-off and it was good to see him nice and shiny again with the dirt from the past four weeks washed away.

Packed stuff away ready for the morning, read some more and then back down the pub for our second night with Marg and Tony.  This time Gordon and I opted for seafood baskets, Marg for fish and chips and Tony for squid rings.  These were counter meals but were just as filling as the night before.  By the time I had eaten all my seafood I couldn’t fit in more than a couple of chips.  The pub was jumping and I’m not sure why as it was only a Tuesday night, but there was a T-bone steak special for $15 so that may have been the draw card.  Marg and Tony had managed to see the wildflowers in between showers of rain.  Apparently it only rained each time they got back in the car, which was a bonus!  We were going our separate ways the next day … Marg and Tony were going home through Dongara and the coast road and we were going home via Coorow and the Midlands Highway.

Woke to a clear morning, although the camper was wet with dew, but it had mostly dried off by the time we had to pack up.  Good drive through the back road via Latham to Coorow.  Now, the reason for us going via Coorow was that there is an amazing section on the side of the road that is an orchid lover’s delight.  It’s at the top of the hill as you come into Coorow from the north.  Gordon also wanted to get some more talc stone for carving.  I wasn’t sure Coorow was the place he bought it last time, and it wasn’t.  We think it may have been Three Springs, so that will have to wait for another trip.  BUT the orchids were there and someone had thoughtfully marked their places with pink streamers, although we found some that hadn’t been marked and may have only just flowered.  Spider, pink, blue, and white orchids.  An amazing spot that you would miss if you didn’t take the little track off the main road.  The track looks insignificant and I doubt many people would bother as it’s so close to town.

Our final stop for the trip was at Moora where we found there was a new bakery at the railway end of town.  Our usual “greasy spoon” takeaway had closed and we saw the bakery sign and followed it.  Well worth while.  An old shop re-energised with a lovely sheltered cafe section and delicious food.  Gordon opted for a toasted ham, cheese & tomato sandwich, an apple turnover and a hot choc.  I had the pumpkin soup (yummm!), custard tart and a long black with a shot of hazelnut.  Hopefully this shop will stay in business because I would like to go back there on our next trip north.

We had a good run through Bindoon, Great Northern and Roe Highways and pulled into the driveway about 3pm.  The weeds had gone berserk but our lovely neighbour, Charlie, had mowed the front so it looked like the house was being lived in.

Everything is either flowering or starting to flower.

Gordon’s vegie patch has humongous turnips that I am struggling to deal with …
IMG_2963 … the one on the right is “normal” size.  I use one turnip maybe once a month when I make a lamb shank and veg soup, and each year I suggest that he doesn’t grow them as they usually come in too late for soup season, and each year I get ignored.  The wet weather while we were away was obviously good for the turnips and they’re nearly all as huge as the one on the left and there’s too many of them.  Tried balsamic roasted turnip last night (definitely not again!).  I’ve made a turnip, carrot, parsnip and potato soup with chicken stock that just needs to have coconut milk added and then we’ll taste it … possibly tonight.  But all the recipes I’ve found seem to have a lot of seasonings and extras (like bacon and cheese) to make the dish palatable.  Not sure that I want to bother to be quite honest!

Our feline visitor came to say “welcome home”.  We don’t know her name, but we call her Hopalong as she only has three legs due to an accident as a kitten.  She belongs next door but spends a lot of time in our yard.  I can get a regular “cat fix” this way and Gordon doesn’t have to worry about allergies.  Hopalong can go anywhere a normal cat can go.  We’ve seen her go up into the ceiling, walk the fence line, climb the pergola posts etc.  There’s nothing she can’t do … and she lets me pat her … bonus 😍  She doesn’t like being picked up and I think that maybe something to do with the missing leg.

So that’s it.  We’re home and settling back into routine and thinking about our next small trip to Albany for a week in October that will incorporate joining in the fund raising “Raiser Ride”, this year from Albany to Bridgetown, raising funds for Hawthorn House Day Respite Centre for Dementia in Albany.  Last year’s Raiser Ride to Ravensthorpe was so much fun (and so worthwhile) that we decided that we’d do it again this year.  I’ve offered to donate some jam packs for their auction on the Saturday night, so I’d better get to work soon and get that happening.

We’ll get the blog up and running again for that trip and possibly for our short trip to Dunsborough for the SongFest at the end of October.

For now, that it from us.  Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, we hope you’ve enjoyed travelling with us (and the photos) and that you’re having a great day … whatever the weather 😎😎