Too much of a good thing …🍰☕🥝🍌🍵🍟

I think the heading for tonight says it all … as does Gordon’s cartoon.   The day started off late as we slept in until about 8.30am.  When I woke Gordon had disappeared and finally came back about 9am.  He’d been for a walk down the beach.  While I was waiting for him to come back I was waylaid by several people wanting to talk Morris Minors and then while I was making the bed and Gordon was finally getting the WeetBix out and kettle on, another couple of ladies stopped to talk cars.  Finally had our brekky at about 10am and I commented that it was more like brunch.

We had promised ourselves that we’d go down to Emu Point today for morning tea, but with late brekky, that looked as if the plan was blown out of the water … but no … we decided to walk down about 11.30 and after a hot choc and sweet muffin for G and coffee and savoury muffin for me, we really didn’t need lunch.

But somehow or other we were peckish about 2pm 🙀 so I brought out the remainder of yesterday’s cheese, cracker biscuits, a cold Vienna sausage and fruit and we snacked for a bit.

Nothing much was happening so Gordon read and I finished off the dragon scale gloves and then it was 3.30 and time for a cuppa 😉  Read and crocheted some more and goodness me, it was 5.30 and time for tea 😄.  Tea was delicious … squid, fish and chips.  The people who used to own The Squid Shack at Emu Point sold the business and it’s now not worth frequenting as the food has gone “off”.  The ex-owners are now living in the park and they have a food van set up for Friday and Sunday nights.  The squid was amazing and melted in our mouths and the fish was so fresh it tasted like it had just come out of the ocean … chips were good too.  We are now totally “fooded out” and shouldn’t need to eat for a few days 😜

I wasn’t totally idle as in between the eating and crocheting I did reorganise and repack our various bags of stuff ready for tomorrow morning’s pack-up.  It will be a shame to leave as we’ve had a lovely five days and I could certainly have stayed longer.

Tomorrow we’re off to Boyup Brook for one night and as the wifi connection will be poor I won’t bother trying to write anything up.  Sunday we’re off to the Turner Caravan Park in Augusta for four nights.

Sweet dreams 😴😴⛺

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Cold, wet and windy

Typical Albany weather …three days of lovely balmy weather and then last night it rained and today it has been bitterly cold and windy.  The wind is definitely coming straight in from Antarctica, or that’s what it feels like.  It was a day for putting on all the winter clothing that we had brought with us, plus our windbreaker jackets.

There wasn’t much on the agenda for the day.  Took the camp stove back to BCF and had our money refunded.  Two dud stoves in two days … definitely not worth trying another.  We’ll deal with that issue when we get home.

Picked up another crochet hook as I’d left my 5mm one home when I packed up.  I forgot that I need a 4.5 and a 5 to make the dragon gloves I’m working on.  I have one glove finished and it’s looking good.

I love the colours but I’m disappointed with one of the balls of yarn.  I originally bought two of the same dye lot and that’s not an issue.  The issue is that the second ball doesn’t gradually change from one colour to the next as the first ball did for the glove above.  Instead, the changes are very abrupt and not very nice changes by weaving the threads together.  Just doesn’t look right when it goes immediately from say pink to green … and that was another issue.  They haven’t even used a complementary colour such as pink to mauve to grey etc.  So, instead of using the second ball I’ve wound off a heap of yarn from the first ball so that I could start with the same colour and try to match the gloves up as much as possible.  According to the pattern I don’t need to do this but I think they will look good when finally finished and perhaps I can used the other ball for a matching scarf or beanie/beret.

I could certainly have done with gloves and a scarf and a beanie today.  I would have been a lot warmer, but unfortunately they’re in the cupboard at home … duh!!!

So other than returning the stove and picking up the crochet hook, we haven’t done much at all.  Delicious soup and crusty bread for lunch at Cosi’s Place in town and tonight I opted for fish and chips as it was just too cold to stand outside and prepare tea, plus it would have been cold before it got on the plate.  There’s another fish and chip place that was recommended to us.  Most people call it the blue fish and chip shop but it’s called Ocean and Paddock (I think!) and their blackboard menus are amazing.  We ordered the Seniors’ Fish and Chips for $9 each and it was more than enough.  It came with two pieces of lemon and a sauce of our choice (out of six different varieties).  I was also impressed with their Bio-Pak compostable cutlery https://www.biopak.com.au/products/cutlery

As you can see, the fish and chips were in cardboard containers and the lemon and sauce were in compostable containers.  The only things that weren’t compostable were the lids for the two little containers.  Pretty good effort all round.

So with tea over and no washing up to do, we’re snug as bugs in the camper with the heater on.

No big plans for tomorrow.  We’ll be packing in the afternoon ready for departure Saturday morning to Boyup Brook overnight and then on to Augusta on Sunday.

Time to pack away for the night.  Enjoy your sunshine 😎🔆

“It’s a small, small world ….”

Before I start on today’s blog, check out this video and let me know if you recognise part of the tune.  I think Kenny Rogers may have borrowed some notes from the Statler Brothers 🤔

So … the missing keys … yes, I found them and unfortunately it was my fault for being so sloppy with putting them away.  I woke during the night worrying about them and had a thought that they may be in one of the bags on the floor, but it was pointless getting up and disturbing Gordon, so I waited until this morning.  The first bag I tried was the small one with our pills and stuff and there they were.  Thinking back, I had taken the keys out of the safe and recklessly threw them behind me, aiming for my travelling bag, which was alongside the pill bag.  I guess I missed 😝  It will teach me to be less cavalier with my keys and make sure I know where I’ve put them as it was quite heart stopping to not know where they were.  We thought we might have to troll back through all our stops yesterday to see if they’d been handed in.  Thank goodness we didn’t need to do that.

Today was an “out to Denmark” day for morning tea at the town bakery, Elephant Rock Cider and Toffee for just that 😉, Bartholomew’s Meadery for ice creams, and Denmark Farmhouse Cheese on the Scotsdale Tourist Drive for cheese and paté and some lunch.  This time we chose a toastie called The Godfather, filled with cheese, sun dried tomatoes, salami and relish.  Absolutely delicious except that the filling was red hot and we both burnt the roof of our mouths.  Gordon’s description of the cheese and tomato was that it was “incandescent” and I think that’s probably the best way to describe it.  Nevertheless, it really was delicious and I’d have it again … but be more careful with eating it.

I love the tall trees around Denmark and Scotsdale Drive has some lovely avenues of tall timber.  Difficult to photograph when the car’s rattling along …

And now to the “small world” comment.  There we were, minding our own business and eating our lunch when Mark and Melinda, who we know from years ago in the Healey Club and also ex-Kalamunda/Gooseberry Hill, arrived with a party of friends.  Mark sat to chat with us while everyone ordered their lunch.  Apparently he is now semi-retired and he and Melinda own the Gum Grove Chalets in Denmark.  The chalets were an investment 18 years ago for his retirement.  The chalets are now on the market waiting for the right buyer/right price.  So, nice chinwag even if very short , but amongst it all Mark mentioned that he and Melinda want to learn to dance and asked if we were still dancing and interested in teaching.  This is the second request for dance lessons that we’ve had in about a week, so who knows what will be happening our lives in the near future.

The second “small world” incident happened in the caravan park late this afternoon when a chap wandered over to introduce himself as John, the Secretary of the South Australian Morris Minor Club.  His face was familiar and when I asked his surname (Cooper) he turned out to be the guy we contacted in the SA Club back in 1997 when Minnie broke her crankshaft on the Nullarbor on our way to the Canberra Morry Rally and we need help to get Minnie fixed.  It really is a small world, and what a coincidence that he ended up in the same caravan park at the same time and in a chalet that was directly opposite our campsite.

The stove still doesn’t want to work, even though we bought a different bit (technical term!) to go on the gas bottle.  We can’t remember when we last replaced the gas bottle, so we’re going to do that tomorrow and then if the stove still won’t work we’ll take it back for a refund.  For now, the little gas cannister stoves have come into their own and are singing 🎶”our day has come”🎶 as Gordon has put in his cartoon today 😄.

We woke to fog this morning, and today has been partially cloudy and the wind a bit cool, but it’s just typical Albany weather that we’re used to.  A slight chance of rain overnight and tomorrow and 18º forecast, so out with the warmer clothing.

That was our day.  Hope you had a good one 😎😍

 

It was just one of those days ….🤔

….. when anything that could make life difficult … did.

Well, perhaps it wasn’t really that bad as the day started off quite nice with a long sleep in until after 8 o’clock followed by a leisurely breakfast.  No real rush to do anything as far as I was concerned, although Gordon was stirring me up with a list of things we “needed to do” that weren’t really that important.

Our main issue was the new stove, bought to replace our old Gasmate that kept trying to catch us out when we weren’t expecting it and attempting to singe our eyebrows off.  We decided it was too dangerous and needed replacing, so we bought a new Wanderer stove at BCF last Sunday before we left home.  Last night the new stove decided to try the same trick on both burners so we had it on the list of “thing to do” to take back to BCF and sort the problem out.

By the time we were ready to go into town it was already morning tea time ☕🍰so we went straight to Kate’s Place for hot drinks and their delicious sticky date pudding😋.

From there to Gemini Books to take back a few books for credit and to spend far too much money on more 📚📚📚📚📚  We should now have enough 📚📚 to last until our next trip later in the year.

There was a cruise ship in the harbour so there were some stalls on the grass at St John’s Church in York Street.  We wandered across for a look and purchased a few small items which can’t be shown here as they’re 🎁🎁 for some special people.  There weren’t many stalls, but one had a whole lot of different succulents and the ones that caught my eye were these with the interesting flowers …

Apparently they’re African and they get pollinated by ants and flies.  The lady selling them told us how flies actually lay their eggs on the plant and when the maggots hatch then the ants come in and eat them, so that way the plant gets pollinated twice … once by flies and then again by ants.  The drawback to owning these plants … they smell like rotten meat  😝 and need to be left outside!

Next stop was BCF to see if a regulator would fix our gas problem but according to Jade, who was looking after us, the stove should self regulate and they had also had a few returns on this model, so she suggested that we possibly had a dud and that we should bring it back and they’d exchange for another new stove.

Back to the camper for lunch, packed up the stove and took it back.  Not difficult to exchange as although Jade wasn’t there she’d let one of the other staff know that we were coming back.

As you can see, everything is going sweet so far.

Stopped to get money at the ATM some track pants and jeans at Best & Less and then afternoon tea at Vancouver Street Cafe.  Hot chocs plus a muffin for Gordon and a Sicilian Apple Cake for me … yummmm 😋😋

Back to the camper, Gordon tried out the stove while I was doing something and apparently it was working fine.  Sat and goofed off for a while and then decided to get tea.  Turned on stove and there it was …. gas vapour (or whatever you want to call it) and the stove wouldn’t light.  Tried unscrewing and retightening the gas lead to no avail … except that one burner then decided that it didn’t want to work at all, but finally the other one did.  We were in a quandary as to what to do but we’ve decided to take it back to BCF tomorrow and ask for a refund.  We have two little canister stoves with us, so we’ll use them until we get home and then look around for something that’s going to actually work for us.

Having made the decision we were feeling a lot better about the whole deal and life was looking OK again … until I went to get my keys to open the safe.  NO KEYS!!!!  At this stage we can’t find them anywhere but I’ve decided that trying to look for keys in the camper at night is a waste of time and although it’s causing me a great deal of angst I’m waiting until the morning to go through the umpteen bags with stuff in that are on the floor of the camper.  I know I had them this morning when I put the computer in the safe, but what I did after that I just can’t remember 😕 The worst part is that they’re the keys for The Hornet, for Minnie and also for the camper safe and the front door for home.  Fingers crossed 🤞 that I’ve put them somewhere stupid and they turn up tomorrow.

And the last grizzle for the day is the zip for the camper door has decided to give us grief.  I’ve sewn it up at the point that it keeps on wanting to come apart and we now have to duck down to get inside … drat!!!!  Hoping that is the last of the hiccups for this trip.

The weather has been sunny all day with clear blue skies and reasonably gentle breeze.  Forecast is for cloud but no rain and low 20s tomorrow.  At the moment there’s no wind at all and it’s quite mild, so no need for the heater to warm the camper.

I’ve posted Gordon’s cartoon on the “stove issue”.

Tomorrow is another day.  Sweet dreams 😴😴

Settled in for the night ⛺🌜

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After a trouble free drive we’re set up, had tea and in the camper with the heater on.  The weather was sunny and cool when we arrived but the 4pm chill rapidly set in and we’re already into our warm tracky gear.

This morning worked well.  The idea of packing the car as much as possible last night was well worthwhile for several reasons.

1.  our backs had a chance to stretch out and relax overnight and less rush and hassle this morning;

2.  we had time to do running repairs on the apple tree insect netting that had come apart due to the incredibly strong easterly winds.

We actually have some really nice Granny Smiths on the tree and it would have been a shame for the birds to get in and destroy them while we were away.

Gordon put a new coil in the Hornet yesterday and it appears to have fixed the intermittent coughing and spluttering that’s been causing a bit of angst.  I didn’t suggest the coil this time because that’s what I always do (it’s become a family joke) so I wasn’t really surprised when it appeared to fix the problem.  So with the what appears to be an electrical problem solved, we had an easy drive down to Albany today.

Having travelled this road so many times over the years, it’s easy to get a bit blasé about the whole exercise and say “boring”, but surprisingly it’s not.  So, what did I see along the way today?

Firstly, an ad for Sheep Showering!  That’s right … there’s someone who showers sheep and if you’re interested, here’s the link

https://www.farmweekly.com.au/story/5671492/showering-sheep-sure-seems-successful/

I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of the sign on the side of the road, but imagine a picture of a sheep standing on its hind legs and taking a shower.  Got that image in your mind?  Well, that’s what it looked like 😉

Next, was a big MPM sign and underneath it said “Multi Purpose Merinos”.  Now this really had my mind going.  What is a multi purpose merino and how does it work.  Do you shear the sheep for its wool and then eat it?  Thanks to Mr Google I found this site that tells you all about it

https://www.multipurposemerino.com.au/

and it looks as if I was right.  Good wool, good breeding rate and good meat … multi purpose indeed.  See, even though we were just driving along we were being educated at the same time 👌

Just after Kojonup I noticed some new metal-type fencing and thought it was to keep sheep from falling into a creek or something but as we got closer I realised that it was actually fencing that led down under the road and to the paddock on the other side.  This area of Albany Highway has been recently upgraded and it looks as if the farmer has some how arranged to have an “under the road” tunnel built to move his livestock safely.  Goodness knows what that would cost, but I saw another one further down the road, which could have been the same farmer or perhaps a neighbour.  Great idea!

Past Slab Hut Gully and unfortunately all that remains, of whatever slab hut was there to give it the name, is a lonely brick chimney.  I don’t think I’ve even noticed this chimney on previous trips (maybe I was sleeping at the time!).

The countryside started off reasonably green as we left Armadale but as we came into farming country the colouring and landscape changed.  The predominant colour to start with a pale brown/oatmeal colour of the drying stalks of harvested wheat, although in some places it was more a silver/grey stubble.  Many trees along the roadside have been affected by previous fires.  It’s amazing how resilient the bush is with what appears to be many dead trees with ghostly limbs reaching to the sky but new growth peeping through and creeping up the bare trunk and limbs.  As we left the Kojonup area we started to notice water in dams and a pale tinge of green amongst the stubble.  Approaching Mt Barker and on into Albany and the green became darker and more lush.  When we drive this way later this year we know the whole area will be green and gold with wheat and canola and the dams will probably be overflowing if there a good rains.

Near Mt Barker is Fox River Wines.  We’ve noticed for quite a few years that the place looks deserted and run down and I’ve just had a look at Mr Google again and it appears it was sold in 2010 but I get redirected to McLaren Vale in South Australia so I guess they may have been the purchasers and perhaps they use the grapes.  No idea and I can’t seem to find much information.  It’s a very eye catching building as you drive down Albany Highway.  Shame it didn’t survive.

And finally, the sign that always makes me smile.  Located somewhere between Narrikup and Albany is a sign in the middle of a paddock that declares you’re in “Mafia Country”!  One of these days I’m going to get Gordon to stop so that I can take a photo.  The problem is that we’re so close to Albany he doesn’t want to waste time stopping for a photo 😥

A few photos of those ghostly trees ….

and Gordon’s cartoon for today is in the Gordon’s Cartoons tab.

That’s it from us for today.  Good to be on the road again with no chores needing to be done.  Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Sleep tight 😴😴

“On the road again ….”🏕🛣

Here we go at last …  tomorrow we’ll be on the road again for a couple of weeks away with the Green Hornet and the camper.  First stop five nights in Albany at Emu Beach Tourist Park in our favourite spot under the peppermint trees.  This picture below was taken last year in October when we came down for a week’s break and then on the Raiser Run to Bridgetown (where I damaged my hand 😥).

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We’ve been coming to this park for about 20 years now.  It’s had a lot of upgrades over this time but it’s always remained quiet and friendly.  Admittedly, we don’t come in high tourist/school holiday season 😉

It’s just a short walk through the park and over a small sand hill to the beach or, if we feel like a hot chocolate, we can walk along the dual use path to Emu Point in about 15 minutes.

We’ve packed cameras, books, ukuleles, crocheting and fishing stuff for when we feel like doing something.  For me, tomorrow afternoon and Tuesday, I’d just like to kick back, do nothing and be really slothful.  I can bet you that Gordon will be raring to go and “do stuff”.  This is where we differ … I see a holiday as a time to take it easy, not rush and just do what I feel like doing when I feel like doing it because that is the way we had holidays when I was a kid.  Gordon is the opposite … just like his Dad, he almost has every second planned doing stuff.  No doubt we will have our usual difference of opinion over this stuff but that’s OK.

At least this time we’ve remembered to sort through our secondhand books to take back any Gemini Bookshop books for exchange so that we can save some money when we buy some more 📚📚📚😄.  We both have our list of authors and books to take with us and hopefully we can find a few books that we can tick of the list.

The camper is packed and the Hornet has most of the stuff in.  I’ve been taking a breather and giving my back a rest before I pack up the last stuff … clothes, fridge, chargers for electronic stuff etc.  There’s always last minute stuff but I’m determined that this time we’ll have the car packed before we go to bed tonight.

So, having said that, time to close off and get moving.  Catch you later …… 😎

Raiser Ride for Alzheimer’s Respite and Time for Home

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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 …
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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 …
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See you next time we’re on the road 😎