Friday, July 31, 2015


I have always enjoyed songs sung by Cliff Richard (particularly his earlier ones) and many years ago Karen and I went to a concert and thoroughly enjoyed hearing him sing live.  When my children were young we often went to see his movies.

Recently I discovered this song he shared with Sarah Brightman which I enjoyed very much,  I've seen comments that the beach setting is ridiculous but when watching and listening to them both I tend forget the setting but just sit back and enjoy their performance together.

I hope you will listen to it and enjoy it with me.  Would love to see what comments you have to make with regard to this particular rendition of this wonderful song.  When Phil watched it and listened to it with me he made the comment that he hadn't realised that Cliff Richard had such a good singing voice.

Incidentally "Phantom" is my very favourite musical and Michael Crawford the my favourite phantom although when I saw it on stage in Perth our Australian Anthony Warlow as the phantom was magnficent. 

Friday, July 24, 2015


I think I have a fairly wide, if old fashioned, taste in music as you may have already discovered and this is a song that I have always loved and it is also one of Phil's favourites.    "O mio babbino caro" ("Oh my beloved father") is a soprano aria from the opera Gianni Schicchi (1918) by Guacomo Puccini to a libretto by Giovancchino Forzano.  The area was first performed at the premier of Gianni Schicchi on 14th December, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York by Florence Easton,  It has since been sung by many sopranos. 

Dame Joan Hammond won a gold record in 1969 for 1 million copies sold of this aria.  Joan was born in Christchurch New Zealand on 24th May, 1912 but grew up in Australia where she moved with her family at six months of age.   She studied both singing and violin at the NSW Conservatorium of Music in Sydney.  She was also a champion golfer and sport journalist.  Here she sings the English version of this beautiful song.

In case you have never seen this. here is 9 year old Amira Willighagen who sang the above song on Holland's Got Talent.  It is difficult to listen to this rendition without it bringing tears to your eyes.  This little girl has amazed everyone that has ever listened to her.  She won the final singing Nessun Dorma.


I have always enjoyed the singing of Sammy Davis Junior and this would be one of my favourites.  I hope you will enjoy it too.  It is of course from YouTube and was performed in Germany on 9th October, 1985:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


This really says it all so nothing for me to add :

Monday, July 20, 2015


Hopefully this will bring a smile to your face and begin the week happily for you.  Has anyone discovered the reason we call them bears?

Sunday, July 19, 2015


You may remember when reading mum's book "Clock of Time" that when they landed in Albany from England the first people to speak to them on the wharf were Annie and Jim Dakin, a couple from Yorkshire who made it a habit of meeting all ships arriving from the 'old country'.

My keepsake this week is a beautiful handkerchief that Annie Dakin gave me as the 'something old' when I was married (the first time) 62 years ago yesterday (18th July, 1953).  I have no idea how old the hanky is but I know Annie had it for a long time (unused) and could have even brought it with her when she and Jim emigrated from the UK.  It could well be 100 years old.   I believe it is handmade, is Nottingham lace and it is so delicate you would only 'wear' it for show.

Although I have kept it wrapped in tissue paper is has discoloured with age.  I may try soaking it in warm water as it is still very strong and it would be great if it was cream all over again.  I keep it in my hanky drawer and by having it so close it constantly reminds me of a gracious little old lady (Annie was born in 1885) of whom we were all very fond.  She and Jim did not have any children but were very happy together; he absolutely adored her and would spoil her at every opportunity.

P.S.  It is 63 years today since Aubrey and I were engaged.  We remain friends and occasionally chat on the telephone.

Friday, July 17, 2015


When I heard of the passing of Val Doonican at the age of 88 a week or two ago I began to think about him and realised he was always a favourite of mine and one of the songs he sangI really enjoyed was "Walk Tall".  I know other artists have sung this song but I really do enjoy this version that I found on YouTube:

Monday, July 13, 2015


Another wee joke to hopefully put a smile on your face and start the week right for you:
I can imagine tiny smiles on the faces of most of you as, after all, who didn't do at least one wild thing when young?  Not that I'm saying you are old, just a little older perhaps!!

Friday, July 10, 2015


Several years ago I "discovered" Roger Whittaker and enjoyed his music so much I have several of his albums.

This song "Wind Beneath my Wings" was written in 1982 by Jeff Siblar and Larry Henley.  Roger Whittaker recorded it in that year.  It has subsequently been released by many artists and in 1988 Bette Middler released it and it really took off.   I enjoy Roger Whittaker's rendition of the song.  I was lucky to find it on YouTube so please enjoy it along with me.

You will probably see plenty more songs by this artist in coming weeks so please bear with me.

Thursday, July 9, 2015



I happen to have a very special interest in this as in 1974 when I began working at the *Forests Department in Como the Track was being developed and one of the gentleman directly involved with its development was one of my bosses.  I remember doing a lot of typing for him about this track and realised what an exciting development it was.

The Bibbulmun Track is a long distance walk trail in Western Australia.   It runs from Kalamunda (east of Perth) to Albany on the south coast and is 1003.1 kilometres ( 623.3 miles) long.  The name comes from the Bibbulmun, or Noongar people, Indigenous Australians from the Perth area.

History:  The route has been changed twice, partly due to it passing through a significant section of forest that was at risk to change from either forestry, bauxite mining or jarrah dieback.

The track was suggested in 1972.  The groups that had suggested and also who were involved in planning with the then Forests Department of Western Australia were -

Perth Bushwalkers; Western Walking Club; Youth Hostels Association; Scout Assocation of Australia (WA Division) and the Speleological Research Group of WA.

The track was first opened in 1979 but the third and final alignment and extension through to Albany was opened in 1998 and retains less than 10% of earlier alignments.

The Bibbulmun track is a walker-only track.  No wheeled vehicles of any kind are permitted.  It has a parallel long distance bicycle trail - generally to the west - known as the Munda Biddi Trail opened all the way to Albany in April, 2013.

Track components:  The track consists of 58 sections and is marked at regular intervals with triangular pointers, most of which have an image of the wagyl, a mythical creature from Aboriginal Dreamtime stores.

Each section is approximately one day's walk, except for the northernmost 150km or so, where these sections consists of half-day walks.  At the end of each section is either a town or purpose-built campsite.  Each campsite consists of a three-sided shelter with wooden sleeping platforms, a water tank. a pit toilet, picnic tables, and cleared tent sites.  In the northern half, most campsites also have a barbecue pit and plate (open fires are banned in the southern section).

 The track is almost all through State Forest, National Parks and other reserves, with only a few small sections of farmland.  The first half of the track is through Jarrah forests of the Darling Range.  It then moves through flatter tall Karri forests until reaching the coastline near the town of Walpole.  The remainder of the track is through coastal forest and scrub along the south coast, in some sections routed along sandy beaches.  This is a view of the south coast from the Bibbulmun Track between Denmark and Peaceful Bay.

There are many highlights along the track which include:

Mundaring Weir; Monadnocks area and Mount Cooke; Murray River valley; Karri forests between Donnelly River and Denmark; Tingle forest near Walpole; Coastal scenery along the south coast; Wildflower displays, birdlife and other South-west Australian flora and fauna; Marine mammals along the south coast such as seals, dolphins and whales.

The Bibbulmun track is managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and The Bibbulmun Track Foundation - an incorporated not-for-profit community-based organisation established to provide support in the management, maintenance and marketing of the track to ensure that it remains "a long distance walk trail of international significance and quality".  The foundation sells maps and guide books, offers trip planning advice, offers equipment hire and runs courses on camp cooking and navigation.

Most people choose to walk the track for one or a few days a a time.  Hardy walkers who walk the track from beginning to end typically do so in 6 or 8 weeks.  The most popular time to walk the track is during the wildflower season of spring (September-November), going from north to south as the wildflower season starts later in the southern areas.  In summer the weather an be very hot and water hard to find except in the water tanks at the campsites.  Winter can be wet, especially in the southern areas but people will walk the Track any time from March to December.

Leave No Trace:   When walking the track walkers are encouraged to follow the 7 "Leave no Trace" principles, which are:  1)  Plan ahead and prepare; 2) Travel and camp on durable surfaces;
3) Dispose of waste properly; 4) Leave what you find; 5) Minimise campfire impacts; 6) Respect wildlife; 7)  Be considerate of your hosts and other visitors.

*While still working at the Forests Department the name of the department was changed to Department of Conservation and Land Management or CALM as it was known.  Since then it became the Department of Environment and Conservation.  A fourth change has it known as Department of Parks and Wildlife where my daughter has been employed for 30 years as a graphic designer whose section designs many of the education areas in the forest as well as other significant forest signs.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I think Dr Seuss said many wise things and this is certainly one of them:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


I was trying to think of something that would be of interest to everybody but nothing came to mind for which I apologise.

You must forgive me for not commenting on blogs (or even visiting for the past week or so) but I had an injection in my shoulder last Wednesday (under guidance) and was told not to do any repetitive movements for 48 hours.  That included using the mouse of my computer so I was literally grounded. Since then I've been very careful and find that typing is more trying than anything else I do so couldn't even finish the latest "in and around Perth" I had begun.

I saw my physiotherapist today and had her test my shoulder movement and although she said it's not perfect she feels it is better than early last week and seems less painful.  I am still hoping to get more relief over the next two weeks but can only hope.   I was reading up about frozen shoulders and may have already said that 10% of the general population suffer from that malady but 40% of we diabetics have it at some time and often more than once.  When I had it about 10 years ago one injection from my GP fixed it overnight but I guess you can't always be that lucky.

I also read that it can take up to two years for complete remission and my daughter, after two years, is finding hers is much better than it was.  It may be a minor complaint compared to those others suffer but it is the damned inconvenience of not being able to comb my hair properly, put a jacket on or even dry my back after a shower, all without help.  You normally do those things automatically but when you can't you do get frustrated.

Did I tell you that last year my GP told me that mild anti-depressants can help relieve pain?  When I saw him a couple of weeks back I brought up the subject with him and he said yes, we could try them.  I am only on a 10mg tablet and can go to 20mg if no side effects but will stay on the 10mg for now.  Two of the side effects I didn't like the sound of were increased or decreased blood glucose and weight increase.  I weighed myself last Sunday week and then again on Sunday and had actually lot 1.5kg which pleased me.   As cortisone can increase the blood glucose I've not tested this past week but will tomorrow just to see what's what.   Also have to have blood tests tomorrow as see my endocrinologist on Wednesday 15th.

This is sounding like a medical report so apologise for that.   After seeing Jenny, Phil and I went to a little cafe at Phoenix Shopping Centre for an enjoyable meal.  I had hand pulled roast beef and roast vegies and Phil had his favourite tuna pattie with chips and salad.  It seemed the cafe may have changed hands again but the people were very nice and the food was good.  What more can an old couple ask when they decide to have a meal out?

Monday, July 6, 2015


Hope this will bring a smile to your face and begin the week right for you.

Friday, July 3, 2015


This is a song I always enjoy.  Ghost Riders in the Sky was written on 5 May, 1948 by Stan Jones and first recorded by Burl Ives on 17 February, 1949.   I have always liked the Johnny Cash version so here it is.   

Please enjoy it with me and perhaps sing along as well.

From YouTube.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


We always try to improve our minds to make us much wiser.  I hope these little contributions each week will help.  Wisdom from Plato: