Friday, July 25, 2014

FRIDAY FUN (after a difficult week)

A few more pictures that have no need of words.  As they say, every picture tells a story.

Do you have Skype?  Take your smile into the weekend and do have an enjoyable one.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


about the time my mother stood in for the Governor's wife at a ball?

It was the night of the *S.L.C.G. ball to be held at the Government House ballroom in Perth.  Lady Gairdner had been marooned in the north of our state owing to floods and mum (as **President of the S.L.C.G.) was invited to take her place.

The first photo shows mum walking down the red carpet with the Governor, Sir Charles Gairdner, and the second photo shows her being presented with a bouquet of flowers which were, of course, intended for the Governor's wife.

Information re the formation of the S.L.C.G. of W.A:

Mrs B. Rischbieth, President of the Women's Service Guilds of W.A. (mum at that time was Hon Secretary of the Guilds) had been asked by members of the community to pay a visit to the Claremont Mental Asylum in order to survey conditions there, as many felt special provisions were urgently needed for the mentally retardedchildren placed there, many of whom shared wards with adults.  The Guilds formed a committee and important people were invited to become members.  Unfortunately subsequent meetings held were only attended by representatives of organisations already dedicated and confirmed in the belief that action on behalf of these children was long overdue.

Finally it was my mother who convened a meeting to which all known parents of retarded children were to be invited.  Many of these parents had a guilt complex and some hid their children in back rooms and back gardens, and needed sympathy, understanding and encouragement.  The speakers at the meeting were chosen carefully to emphasise the fact that mental and physical illnesses were allied, and that there was no more reason to be ashamed of either one or the other.  

A second meeting also attended by parents was held and a resolution passed to form an organisation to deal with the care of mentally retarded children.   At the final meeting the *Slow Learning Children's Group of W.A. was formed and mum was elected as **State President and Mrs Gladys Newton as Hon. Secretary.   The resolution was supported by the Women's Service Guild and other like minded organisations.  (Mrs Newton can be seen walking down the red carpet behind the Governor and mum.)

I remember back to the early 1950s when I was still living at home, and how hard mum and Mrs Newton worked to bring these plans to fruition.   It is now a huge organisation known as the Active Foundation.

(The name Slow Learning Children's Group of W.A. was retained from 1951 to 1989 when the organisation became known as the Active Foundation.  I felt rather pleased that the name was not changed until after mum's death in 1985).

NOTE:  Much of the above information has been in part quoted from Mum's book "The Clock of Time".

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


We wanted to say thank you for your support during the time Precious was so ill and then when we had to have her put to sleep.   She has now been cremated and we will soon have her home in a dear little urn with her name on it.  We didn't realise what a huge hole she would leave in our daily lives, a hole that will be very hard to fill, if indeed it ever can be filled.

Our family have been so supportive (from as far away as Alaska) and my blogging and facebook friends have been wonderful and Phil and I do so appreciate everyone's kindness.


Monday, July 21, 2014


I have taken a few days break during which time I did check out these two items.  I don't know if  they are of interest to anyone or not but am posting them anyway, just in case they are.

After I had told the story of our afternoon out at Rockingham I began to wonder more about Highway 1 and also the old Rockingham Hotel so I did some research (mostly for my own sake) and here I will share with you what I found.

AUSTRALIA'S Highway 1 is a network of highways that circumnavigate the Australian continent, joining all mainland state capitals.  At a total length of approximately 14,500 kilometres (9,000 miles) it is the longest national highway in the world, longer even than the Trans-Siberian Highway (over 11,000km or 6,800 miles) and the Trans-Canada Highway (8,030 km or 4,990 miles).  Every day more than a million people travel on some part of it.
 Highway 1 was created a part of the National Route Numbering system, adopted in 1955.  The route was compiled from an existing network of state and local roads and tracks.  Highway 1 was and still is the only route to reach across all Australian states.  Many of the other national routes are tributaries of Highway 1.

Under the original Highway 1 scheme, certain major traffic routes that ran parallel to the main route were designated National Route Alternative 1.  Most of these route designations have been replaced by either a status route designation, or an alpha-numeric route designation, depending on which state the section is in.

With such a vast and incomparable length, road conditions vary greatly, from multi-lane freeways in populous urban and rural areas, to sealed two-laners in remote areas, such as the Nullarbor Plain, to single lane roads as in northern Queensland.

Some stretches are very isolated, such as the Eyre Highway which crosses the Nullarbor Plain, and the Great Northern Highway, which runs close too the north-western vocastline in Western Australia.  Isolated roadhouses serving the small amount of passing traffic are often the only signs of human activity for hundreds of kilometres.

Highway 1 has been described as a 'death trap' particularly two-lane sections in northern Queensland. due to driver fatigue.  The vast distances between destinations and limited rest areas, especially those suitable for trucks, contribute to the problem.

Highway 1 covers practically every major inhabited part of Australia.  Large capital cities. busy holiday resorts, dramatic coastlines, forests ranging from tropical to temperate gum forests, giant karri stand, scrubland, deserts, and huge tropical swamps are some of the variety of landscapes that can be found en route.

Stretches of Highway 1 are very popular with interstate and overseas tourists.  A drive around Highway 1, with a major detour to Uluru and back again, practically covers most of Australia.  The number 1 shield designating Highway 1 has become part of the bush landscape to many travellers, truckers, and country people.

THE ROCKINGHAM HOTEL:  This is an article I found on of 17 June, 2011, when searching for information re the hotel where we sometimes go for a great inexpensive meal.  I knew it was quite old and sometimes wonder why it is still standing when there is so much high rise development going on around it.

Fight to save 130-year-old hotel

A fight is under way to save the Rockingham Hotel from ruin after the State Government rejected a push by heritage groups to heritage-list the 130-year-old building.  The hotel, on Kent Street, was built in the mid-1880s and has been temporarily listed on the State Register of Heritage Places awaiting a permanent entry, but has not been removed from the list altogether.

The Heritage Minister said he had decided not to progress the Rockingham Hotel to permanent entry on the State Register of Heritage Places because he did not consider the hotel to be of sufficient authentic value, as it had been redeveloped not in keeping with its original heritage.

Formerly known as the Port Hotel, the original building was built by James Bell Jnr to service the Rockingham Port.  It always remained popular attraction and was extended in 1923, remodelled in the late 1930s and extended again in 1957.

The Rockingham MLA  Mark McGowan (who now happens to be the leader of the opposition in W.A's State Parliament) raised the matter in Parliament and called on the Heritage Minister to reconsider his decision.  "We don't have much in the way of heritage around Rockingham so what we do have needs to be preserved" Mr McGowan said.  "The hotel has been there for 130 years.  The building was used as accommodation by sailors and soldiers in both world wars.  Underneath it all it is a beautiful building and in light of its history and heritage it deserves a listing."

The Rockingham Museum curator Wendy Durant said the hotel was the oldest commercial building in Rockingham and it had not stopped operating since it was built.  "The hotel has been a part of Rockingham's history all the way through in every facet and it's definitely worthy of being protected" she said.

The Heritage Minister said there were better examples of building from the era already on the State Register.  "The Rockingham Hotel is listed in the City of Rockingham Municipal Inventory" he said.  "The local government will be mindful of heritage considerations relating to any further development of this property".

The hotel owner did not wish to comment on the matter until he had been officially notified of the Minister's decision.

This is a photograph of Wendy Durant outside the Rockingham Hotel with a picture of the hotel as it was in the 19th century.

Having found this article which I realise is now three years old I am going to try and pursue the matter of whether or not the hotel is now heritage listed.  As Mr McGowan said there is not very much of historical value in or around Rockingham.

I can remember many years ago when hotels in Perth and suburbs were not open on a Sunday how people would drive down to the Rockingham Hotel on a Sunday and sit out in the large beer garden  (that beer garden is now a large car park).  

The other place where people would drive to on Sundays was the Yanchep Inn and it was quite a narrow and winding road back then but even after several (or more) beers mishaps rarely happened.  Maybe the cars were less powerful then and the speeds much slower or did drivers perhaps care more about their passengers and others on the road.

Friday, July 18, 2014


I truly find to difficult it is indeed 61 years ago today that I had not long left St George's Cathedral in Perth on the arm of my new husband.

Of course many of you would know that the marriage only lasted 13 years, some of which were quite turbulent, and yet out of those 13 years there were many good things, most importantly two much loved children, through whom I now am proud to have 6 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

As you also know my second marriage has worked out better than one could possibly hope for, even with a few ups and downs, but then life would be dull without them wouldn't it.  I often feel somewhat sad for Aubrey that his second marriage ended so badly but hopefully his third marriage, very late in life to his long time partner is working out well for both of them.

 Phil has been such a wonderful support for me with the loss of our Precious and yet I know he is grieving as much as I am being without her.  I would truly be lost without that man in my life.  We celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary in September.  Perhaps a couple of days away for a second honeymoon?  Now there's a pleasant thought.

Family (with phone calls and flowers) have been wonderful to us as well as many blogging friends and also friends on Facebook.  So many kind thoughts can only help to make us feel so much better and lighten our mood.  Our special thanks to everyone. xx

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Well, we hoped for the best and feared the worst and unfortunately, the worst has happened.  Today we said goodbye to our delightful little friend Precious, who has been so much part of our lives for nearly thirteen years.  Our little 'bubby' is now asleep and at peace with no more pain.

We did everything it was in our power to do to try to get her better but she refused to eat or drink.  We did manage to feed her a few drops of water with a spoon although we felt dreadful forcing her, but felt for her sake that we just had to.  We were both so desperate to get her back on her feet if we could.

I tried rubbing wet food on her lips with my finger and she would lick it off but when I offered a few titbits she refused them.   I tried two different wet foods and some biscuits but to no avail.  She would sit looking at her water bowl but for some reason couldn't face taking a drink.

Last night I measured out 100mls of water in her bowl and when I got up this morning she had only taken less than 30 mls but we thought at least that was something.  We then discovered at least 6 large pools of urine on the kitchen floor which meant all the fluid that had gone into her via the drip was gone.   She was once again dehydrated and very, very weak; hardly able to miaow.

I let her out into the back garden and went looking for her 5 minutes later but she was nowhere to be seen.  I went out onto the front verandah and called and she actually responded and walked ever so slowly towards me and allowed me to pick her up.  I was astonished at how light she was and feel she must have lost at least one kilogram overnight.  That will always be my last memory of her....answering my call and walking to me with that look of trust on her face. 

We had made an appointment to take her back to the vet at 9am this morning and when I told her all that had transpired over the past few days (no food for 4+ days and no water bar the 30mls) the vet looked at me with that look you dread to see on their faces.   I think it was the numerous puddles on the floor that was the final decider.  She would have had to be put on a drip again for a day and there was no guarantee that afterwards she would take food or drink.  The vet said she may last for 2 weeks but she doubted she would. 

We realised our friend's quality of life was non-existent and although we felt devastated at the thought of losing her we made the decision that all pet owners hate to make.   The vet left Precious with us  a  and I was able to cuddle her for about 5 minutes and tell her how much I loved her as did Phil.  It must be hard being a man who doesn't  cry because I know he loved that little cat as much as me. He couldn't bring himself to hold her but said goodbye to her in his own way.  I keep thinking of that look of trust she had on her face this morning and feel I've let her down dreadfully but the vet said I mustn't think that way as there was nothing more to be done by anyone.

Had Precious been a human she would have been on dialysis two or three times a week waiting for a kidney transplant.  When you're a cat, that type of thing is not possible and so you say farewell to a creature that has been so loving over so many years.  I can't even find words to express how important she was to us. 

We loved her that much we had foregone having a holiday for over 10 years as she pined so much if we were not there.   I once left her at a very good pet 'holiday home' for two days and when I picked her up I discovered she hadn't eaten anything nor had she had a drink in all that time.  When we got home I put out a large bowl of water and I think she drank for about 5 minutes or more and went back for more.  We decided we couldn't ever leave her on her own again.  I did once have a friend stay for a week with whom Precious was OK so we got away down south but my close friends are all gone now and there's been nobody to ask since then.  We've not regretted not having a holiday because that cat was so 'precious' to us.  On several occasions when I was in hospital she was OK with Phil but he said she used to go around the house miaowing and looking for me.  It was then that she decided he wasn't so bad after all and they became close friends as well.

Precious had a real routine.   In the morning when Phil was sitting at the kitchen table having his coffee she would sit on the table so he could stroke her, sometimes for 10 minutes or more.  He would get up to make another cup and she would immediately steal his chair.  He would then move her to the other chair but it would be back for more fuss from him.   After that she would go to the other chair and sleep for an hour or so.  From lunchtime she was mine and at a certain time she would jump onto my lap and sleep there for as long as I could stay in the one position and then she'd sleep on my footstool next to my legs.  Of an evening it was usually on my lap again on and off until bedtime.

We went back to the vet this afternoon and paid our account and have arranged for Precious to be cremated and placed in a tiny urn which will have a little chain and a disk with her name on it.  Some people will probably think it a waste of money but it was something we just needed to do.

This afternoon I found the sheath from one of her claws on the living room floor and I've popped it in a gold heart I've had since I was a teenager and it now hangs on my gold chain.  I've not even told Phil that I've done that as he may think it strange but it was something I had to do.  Men perhaps think differently but I will tell him eventually.

It is the little things that wrench at your heart strings.  I put the verandah light on tonight and pulled down the blinds.  We always left one blind up about 15 inches as if Precious went out she would come back and hope on the table by the front window and we would see her and let her in.  Tonight I put on the light and when I pulled down the blind it suddenly hit me that I no longer needed to leave that blind up for any reason.

This is a black and white photo I took a few years ago (before she became terrified of my camera).  She had commandeered my footstool as usual and that look told me she was there to stay.  I showed the picture in black and white as it is more her natural colour of grey than the original picture which made her fur look quite brown.

Farewell our beautiful little friend, we will never forget you but hold you in our hearts forever.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Had a call from the vet yesterday and we have a diagnosis and a prognosis.

The diagnosis is as River guessed it may be....kidney failure.   She was on a saline drip all day and received an injection of anabolic steroids as well.  That supposedly will make her more inclined to take food etc.

The prognosis is.....if she will accept the special diet (an expensive one too) there is a chance she could survive for some time.  A lot will depend on whether she will actually eat the food prescribed.

We collected her at 6.15pm last night and after she had settled a little I opened a tin of food and she ate a couple of mouthfuls, drank a tiny bit of water and then settled down on Phil's footstool in the living room.

After an hour or so she went back to the kitchen, ate another mouthful of the food and settled on a chair in the kitchen and was still there when we got up this morning.  She had not touched the food or had a drink all night.

She came into the bedroom while Phil was getting dressed and walked over to where there was a jumper and a couple of other items of his on the floor.  Phil thought she was going to lie down but he suddenly realised she was peeing on his jumper!!!  Something she has never done before.  Not a large quantity but she peed.  The back door was open so she could have gone outside but she chose not to.

I am wondering if she was paying him back for taking her to the vet.  Was she very cross about it all or is she still in a confused state after being all day at the vet?  I had of course gone to the vet as well but he is the one that put the carrier in and out of the car and I never had any clothes on the floor.  She definitely made straight for his side of the bedroom obviously with intent!

Phil then took her into the back garden and he said she sat looking dazed for a few minutes and then climbed up the weeping peppermint, hopped onto the roof of the bird cage and she is now up on the pergola asleep.  It is under an extended roof so she is safe from the wind or any rain (showers are forecast) and if she feels happy up there then I guess that is the best place for her right now.

I am hoping she will soon come down, come indoors and show sign of eating or drinking as that is imperative to her well being.  If she chooses not to then I feel out little cat may not be with us too much longer so fingers crossed that we can encourage her to take care of herself as we can do no more than provide the necessary love and care to help her.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Telling it on Tuesday is on hold this week as we've had more important issues to deal with and I didn't quite have the episode finished ready 'to go to press" so to speak.

Our Precious is very ill and this morning (8am) Phil took her to spend the day at our vet's hospital and our thoughts are very much with her.

 A week or two back she suddenly got very thirsty and was 'talking' more than she usually does.  Although she wasn't going to the toilet more than usual my first thought was diabetes, but after a couple of days she was back to normal and we thought that perhaps she'd had a little temperature and thus the need for more water.  She went back to eating and drinking normally and all seemed to be well with her.

Then last Saturday night she went very quiet, although she did eat her dinner, and she was the same on Sunday.  By then I knew we had to find out what her problem was so I rang and made an appointment for 5pm yesterday afternoon.

The vet was wonderful.  It was her first day working for George but she certainly knew her job and nothing was rushed when she checked Precious over.

Apparently Precious has one kidney quite enlarged while the other is smaller than normal.  The smaller kidney is quite usual with older cat (Precious will 13 in October) as they tend to shrink with age.   The enlarged one is not normal of course and there could be several causes, including a tumour.

We brought Precious home last night but she ate virtually nothing yesterday nor could I encourage her to drink water even though I sat her next to her bowl and wet her lips several times.  She put her head down as though to drink but just didn't seem able to.

Today she will be put on a drip and urine and blood tests taken.  There is talk of feline leukemia which apparently can take several years to develop if the virus is present in the system.  We sincerely hope that is not the diagnosis nor that she has a tumour on her kidney.

We can now do nothing but hope and leave our little girl in the hands of the experienced people at Spearwood Veterinary Hospital and wait to hear from them later today.   They are very caring and we know we have left in her good hands.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Last week Sue from Elephant's Child featured me on her blog tour.  I must admit I was amazed at being chosen and felt she was perhaps being  kind to an 'oldie' whose blog is so simple compared with so many other wonderful blogs.   Thank EC for choosing me and now I will try and do justice to your choice.  I can still feel the warm and fuzzy feeling that came over me when I saw my name there.  I am still pinching myself and checking back to make sure I wasn't mistaken.

As Sue said the blog tour comes with conditions such as introducing ourselves (with photos) and answering a few questions.  The final step is to feature three blogs we love, and to invite the featured people to follow suit in a week.  I believe one is supposed to request permission to do so and I have asked one person her permission which she has given me.  The other two I hope will accept their nominations.  I don't have a lot of followers so it is possible most of you will already know of the blogs I chose as they are all very popular and have numerous followers.

Sue said the questions didn't suit her or her lifestyle and she ignored them.  I will answer them but you will see they don't really relate to me either.

Q.  What am I working on?   A. In my case mainly on staying alive a wee bit longer.  Perhaps this related to the present I am working on telling my life story beginning in 1932.  Episodes on here each Tuesday when possible.
Q.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?  A. In one genre....just simplicity.
Q.  Why do I write/create what I do?  A.  I don't create but I write to keep my brain active.
Q.  How does my writing process work?  A.  I tend to write whatever pops into my head whenever.

Now about me.  If you have visited my blog you will have found details about me, but in case you are a stranger to it I live in a suburb of Perth in Western Australia and am 82 and consider that only a number more than an age.  We are as old as we feel.  My body feels to be 110 but in my mind I am still somewhere between 25 and 45.  I refuse to grow up completely if I can possibly help it.

I was a random event born into a chaotic world.  I probably wasn't meant to be and my poor mother had to give me up for adoption as my father denied I was his and her father refused to allow his daughter to keep me.  I was the fortunate one as I was adopted as a wee baby by an English (London) couple who had emigrated to Western Australia and for my first 6 years I lived on a farm near our south coast.  Mum's ill health forced us to come to the big smoke (Perth) where I still live, although I'd prefer to live in a rural setting and have always loved the countryside. 

I am married and second time around has really worked for me (we celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary this September).  My hubby emigrated from the old country (England) in 1960 and I am so glad he did as otherwise we would not have met of course.

I am a mother of a pigeon pair (a wonderful daughter and a son I don't see) and have six grandchildren and 3 beautiful great-granddaughters all of whom I have much love for.  I don't see my family nearly enough these days but in these modern times they are all so very busy.  I do keep up to date with the doings of some of them through Facebook as I fear otherwise I may lose touch altogether.

What do I like?  Life itself is good and I've never been an ambitious person so life is simple. We even live in a simple cottage style house with a garden that is getting away from us as I can no longer get out there and do what I once did and I can't expect my hubby to cope with it all.  It has become somewhat of a wilderness now and with out strict watering restrictions during summer we battle to keep it green (the front lawn really suffered last summer as we were five months without a drop of rain at our place).  Apart from all the trees and shrubs I planted when we moved here in 1974 we now try to choose hardy plants that don't need too much water.  Welcome to our front garden:

I was once quite an industrious seamstress, cross stitcher, knitter and crocheter.  My hands are now crippled with osteo arthritis and the only craft I have managed to continue with is crocheting, albeit very slowly.  I make rugs for Vinnys as my way of making a small contribution to help them raise money for the needy.  No, I am not a catholic, but I consider they are a wonderful organisation that does terrific work and the ladies there are always so kind to Phil when he delivers odds and ends plus the rugs.

Genealogy has been my hobby for about 10 years and I have investigated all four families (natural and adoptive) and found quite a few skeletons in some family closets, many of which have made me smile, although those events were probably not quite so funny for the people at the time they happened.

I am a lover of animals and in particular cats.  We have had three wonderful canine friends as well but we are now too old to care for a dog with daily walking, bathing etc.  Our cat Precious is nearly 13 years old and has been with us since she was a tiny kitten.  She rules our lives and we, of course let her as, after all, she is a cat and that is her right.  This is her wearing her winter coat which she sheds in spring ready for our hot Perth summers.  Nearly all the dust in our home consists of very fine cat hair and when my hubby empties our little upright vacuum cleaner he says "There's enough cat hair in there to make another cat!"

I also love nature and you could say Mother Nature is my god with all her beauty, surprises and sometimes even her terror, which I am fortunate never to have felt in extreme, although we did have a cyclone back in the 1970s that swept down our west coast causing much damage as it went.  Normally our cyclones stay in the north of our state but Cyclone Alby decided to venture southwards that year.

I enjoy looking at the stars at night and I feel the sheer wonderment at all that is out there which makes me realise what an insignificant wee speck I am in the general scheme of things.

As far as computesr go I am somewhat still illiterate.  I only began using a computer about 10 years ago when in my seventies.   My wonderful son-in-law had built me one out of bits and pieces.  I now have an iMac.   I find it keeps me in contact with the outside world through Facebook and now, of course, through my blog.  I play Scrabble on Facebook to keep my brain alert and currently have 50 games in progress some of which are a real challenge although I seem to hold my own quite well.  One plays one's turn and then waits for the others to play theirs and so on. 

I often wish I could do all the fancy things others do on their blogs but I have nobody to call on to show me how to do it so I keep mine simple because I have to.  I only recently fathomed out how to make type BOLD, italic or underlined, and have just now discovered how people cross words out like this and yesterday I discovered COLOUR.   Clever me!!  Of course it has taken a few years but I am slowly getting there.

Now I've noticed that most paragraphs above seem to begin with "I" and I remember being told many years ago that one should not do that.  I guess there's a way to avoid doing so but I'm not sure how so please forgive me if it sounds a bit "I amish."

As far as blogging goes I enjoy doing what I do but my greatest enjoyment is reading the blogs of others.  I laugh with them and sometimes shed a tear.  I sometimes forget to comment which is rude of me but I tend to forget when trying to read too many at a time.  I feel that everyone that blogs does so much more brilliantly than I do but there are three blogs in particular (apart from that of EC) that I tend to gravitate toward and they are (not in any particular order):

River from Drifting Through Life.   River lives in South Australia with Angel, a cat she acquired several months ago and who keeps her well and truly on her toes.   We often wonder how she managed before Angel came into her life.  These days it is never dull.  River is a mother and grandmother but finds, as I do, that family are far too busy these days to be constantly in touch. Her loves (apart from Angel) are reading, gardening and photography.  We always enjoy it when she shares photos she has taken during her wandering around various parts of her city.  She is brilliant in her use of words and I am often amazed at the stories she writes.  I feel that one day she will publish either a book of short stories or a novel.  She is also an excellent cook.

Buttons from Button's Thoughts.  Buttons is a lady farmer in Canada and wouldn't have it any other way.   She lives with her wonderful husband and has a family with whom she is in constant touch as well as with her mum who she adores.  Buttons likes to knit, especially hats and one will even occasionally see one of her cows modelling one of her latest creations.   Buttons has health issues but generally manages to keep going remarkably well and I take my hat off to her for her wonderful blog and her photographs.

Delores from Under The Porch Light.  Delores also lives in Canada with her other half.   She has a wonderful way with words on top of which she weekly supplies us with a list of words, and sometimes a phrase as well, which we are asked to include in a story.   At times they truly are a challenge but many people make light work of them using prose or poetry to encompass each week's words.  Even when Delores is taking a break from her blog she never fails to provide her list of words which we all await each Wednesday.  We always appreciate her doing so.  She will also come up with some very interesting topics which provide much food for thought.  She is a very generous person at times sending gifts to blogger friends after choosing their names from a hat  (I was delighted to be the recipient of a gift last year).

There are other blogs which I find interesting and informative and I have to be honest and admit I feel mean making a choice but to all others' blogs whom I follow....I love them all and would choose all of you if I was allowed to.  I try to visit as often as time allows and will continue to do as long as I am able.  Thank you.


Saturday, July 12, 2014


Unlike River of Drifting Through Life, I can't get around on foot so am unable to show you anything like the wonderful photos she has taken (and shared with us) when wandering around Adelaide, the zoo and other areas of interest.

Last Wednesday, when we met our young friend Richard at the Rockingham Hotel for lunch, I had my trusty camera at the ready and I will now take you on the journey down Highway 1 and beyond.  There are lots of pics so bear with me as I show what we saw on the way.  It was a lovely sunny, although quite cool winter day, with just a gentle breeze and lots of pretty fluffy clouds in a blue sky.  All these pictures can be shown larger if you care to click on them.

Having backed out from our driveway we head south on our street

and then turn right into Keenan Street

and left into Frederick Road

there's an island to negotiate here as we head for Forrest Road.

There is a block of units being built here on what was once the site of a service station at the corner of Frederick and Forrest Roads.  It had been vacant for many years and used to grow crops of really huge weeds and was quite an eyesore.  It is great to see it now being built on.  Frederick Road has been a revelation over the past few years.  It's amazing how many new homes have been built on subdivided blocks (house behind a house).  I doubt there are many streets in the metropolitan area that have seen so many changes, and all for the better as well.

We now turn left into Forrest Road (having negotiated the turn safely despite that blessed bus shelter that I've mentioned before still being there).  It truly has made a difference to the look of our suburb now we have underground power.  Wonderful to be rid of all those big wooden light poles and the numerous wires.  Lots safer in wild, windy weather as well.

If we had turned right at this junction we would be about a minute's drive from our GP's surgery.  Great to be living as close as we do.  If the appointment is 11am we only need to leave home at about 10.55am to be on time.   (Knowing our reputation for always being late this is a good thing).

We now are heading for the traffic lights at the corner of Stock Road which is National Highway 1 .

We are now sitting waiting for the lights to change and for the green arrow to turn right.  Dozens of very large trucks use Stock Road daily and the Main Roads Department (this was explained to me when I telephoned Main Roads a few years ago) has set the traffic lights to stay on so as much traffic can be cleared as possible, all because of the trucks.  You sit here and wait for one lot of vehicles to travel past and then wait until the set of lights further down changes to allow another lot of vehicles to travel through.  It can be so frustrating at times, especially if you have just arrived at the intersection as the lights turn to red.

We are now heading south on Stock Road and on the horizon you can see the Darling Ranges, a very ancient range of hills that would have once been mountains.  It also shows part of an industrial area and, of course, one of those wretched mobile (cell) phone towers:

 We now continue to head south as we approach the intersection of Spearwood Avenue.  On the left (behind the trees) are the Spearwood markets and opposite is a huge Bunnings store, seen in second picture:

Had we turned left at the Armadale sign we would have been heading for our daughter's place about 35-40 minutes drive east.


You see a lot of these trucks on Stock Road and if you get stuck behind one on these long hills they certainly can slow you down.  On Wednesday there wasn't a lot of traffic as the school holidays are on which seems to halve the amount of cars on the road so we could pass the truck with ease.

Ah, seems we are down to one lane here with some type of roadworks going on.  No problem as already in left lane anyway and very little traffic.

More of the industrial areas that stretch for several kilometres on the east side of Stock Road.  The tree on the left is a Cape Lilac which lose all their leaves in winter but retain a lot of their yellow berries.  Obviously not native to Australia but were very popular a number of years ago and you see them dotted about in the older suburbs.  There were three of them in our back garden when we moved to our present home but we decided to get rid of them as we had small grandchildren and the berries used to litter the ground which we felt could be dangerous for the kids.  We now have eucalypts and weeping peppermints instead.

and here peeping over the trees is the top tower of Cockburn Cement where my son-in-law is the accountant:

after a few twists and turns in the road we arrive in Kwinana and, not forgetting the 70kmh zone we travelled through which is a popular spot for catching speedsters who forget to slow down,  we see the huge chimneys of Alcoa Alumina plant.

If we turn right here we can follow the road around the coast but we choose to keep going along Patterson Road until we arrive at our destination.  We will take a leisurely drive along the scenic drive on the way home.

Patterson Road is an excellent double lane highway with the median strip planted with many Australian trees and shrubs.  The one in the middle is one of our weeping peppermints and along the other side they are planted equal distances apart but have been pruned severely which I feel detracts from their weeping beauty so I didn't take a photo of them.

We finally arrive in Rockingham and wait at the lights for the right hand turn arrow:

This must be a memorial of some kind and one day I will try and find out exactly what it is meant to be.  Could be an interesting story here.  It's quite unusual.

Heading for the coast now but there on the left is the driveway which will take us into the pub carpark.  That's Garden Island you can see in the distance across the water.  A huge naval dockyard on that island.

This is (a) the bar and lounge in the old hotel, (b) the smaller bar in the sunroom at the back of the hotel where we sat to eat our lunch in the sunshine pouring through the large window, and (c) the quaint old telephone box in the corner.  Perhaps, had it been painted blue, we could have expected Dr Who to suddenly appear.

We all three decided on fish, chips and salad and had quite a battle to eat the huge portions.  Two pieces of crispy battered fish and the crispiest chips ever plus a mixed salad and they never forget the mayonnaise and tartare sauce and there were also salt, pepper and vinegar on the table as well.  Many of the modern eating places don't look after their customers that well.  The meals cost us $15 each so good value for money at this pub.

After we finished eating we sat and chatted for a while we then headed down to the front where we sat in the sunshine and drank coffee served by a lovely young lady.  There were families down on the lawn across the road but the shops themselves seemed very quiet and some do actually close for the winter break.  I guess it's their opportunity to take a break and perhaps go on holidays.

Phil had gone back for the car and parked it right outside the cafe.  I had walked down there using my walker but wasn't sure I'd make it back as my knee was playing up and so we were parked in the wrong direction and to find our way back to where we wanted to be we drove down this delightful tree and palm lined street before heading home.  Old Rockingham is indeed a great place to be and you discover places you didn't even know existed, like this delightful thoroughfare.

We finally found the street we were looking for and as we once again drove past the hotel driveway,  I spotted Richard's camper van in the distance still parked.  It is a very large converted post office van and is extremely comfortable and has everything Richard needs as he heads northwards next week for what could be an extended holiday of two months or more.  That incidentally is not the hotel but a far more modern building built in the past few years.  The hotel is the building hidden behind the large pine tree.

We turned right and headed along the scenic coastal drive where the speed limited is 50kmh which is a great idea as there are more playgrounds and picnic areas right along the coast and it makes for much safer conditions, especially when there are children around.

Further along one comes across Co-operative Bulk Handling grain terminal.  It is an extremely large building and running across from it is the transporter for the grain to travel to the ships waiting at the jetty out in the ocean.  I am sure it has a special name but I am not able to explain it better than I did.  Just before the CBH building you can see one of the many two-storey homes that have replaced the holiday cottages that were here for years.   These homes have beautiful views of the Indian Ocean and Garden Island in the distance.

We continued along the scenic drive and finally were back on Stock Road heading homeward after a most enjoyable few hours out and about.  There is more traffic here as it is well after 4pm and many people would be heading home after a day at work.

If you are interested at all I am also posting part b to tell the history of the Rockingham Hotel and explain more about Highway 1.   This journey has been too long by far and I wonder if you bothered to stay with me as I relived a great day out.