Thursday, 25 April 2013

A Very Long Drive and Three Amazing Things

Western Australia is big. Really big.
It's twelve times bigger than the UK, and twenty times bigger than England....
I'm starting to understand the sheer scale of the place after today.
I asked Mark to take us somewhere we hadn't been, so we looked on the map and decided to go to Wave Rock.

It was a little bit further than it looked on the map.

Four hours later we arrived at a big rock - Amazing Thing No. 1.

It is a pretty impressive big rock.

Amazing Thing No.2 - we drove a few km down the road and found a cave complete with real ancient cave paintings - 

It's the only cave I would consider living in - nice high ceiling and natural light - and these amazing wall paintings -

Amazing Thing No. 3 was a bonus - we got out of the car and Mark nearly climbed a tree when he thought he saw a snake...
It wasn't a snake - can you tell what it is?

 It's a chain of 55 furry caterpillars following the leader to a new tree -

We watched until they were all safely up in the tree.
(I just googled them and they are called Processionary Caterpillars.)

Oh - and then we drove four hours home...

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Turning into a school holiday tradition - train to Perth, Vietnamese lunch in Northbridge with Mark, quick nose around the museum then home.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Fun with chalk

It's school holidays here and I've hit on possibly my best ever 'keep the kids occupied whilst not spending any money' scheme. 

One packet of chunky chalk from Spotlight plus one ginormous concrete water tank - bingo!

Although it didn't go quite to plan - my dreams of a beautifully decorated water tank were dashed when I remembered I have two boys who only draw tanks, aeroplanes and explosions...
So I provided the pretty bits for myself :)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


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The Ugly House has come a long way in a short time - sitting in the living room now, with carpet and lamps and nice white walls, it seems a lifetime since I was painting and sweeping and de-bugging the place.

I'm down to unpacking the last two boxes now - they're full of Mark's clothes and I'm planning a bit of a cull (dodgy leather jacket, bizarre tweed number, lots of bad shoes...) while he's at work tomorrow! 

So here are a few of the tidier corners of our house -

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A finished project!

It's council pick up month round here so the streets are lined with piles of furniture - mostly fridges, sofas and big old TVs. It's all new to me - in the UK you just take it all to the tip yourself. Or dump it in a layby...
I've been very good and I haven't brought anything home - it's the favourite topic of conversation at the school gates at the moment - 'What have you found??' 
I've already got a shed full of furniture waiting to be transformed... like these two chairs that Mark's had for years. I always hated them and thought I'd escaped them for ever when we packed up to move. But no, they came with us..

So, I finally got out the sandpaper, a bit of polish, and some nice fabric  and voila! 
A (half) finished project! (I've still got to do the other one...)

Friday, 12 April 2013

March Books

I didn't have a lot of time for reading in March, but the books I did read were a bit of an eclectic mix...

All That I am

All that I Am by Anna Funder

Based on true events, a story of German resistance to the rise of Hitler in the 1930s

Dirt Music

Dirt Music by Tim Winton

By Western Australia's favourite author, a tale of love, tragedy and fishing...

The Island by Victoria Hislop

I re-read this one - lovely story of family redemption set on the island of Crete

The Last Letter from Your Lover

The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes

I love Jojo Moyes - this is a bit of a detective story chasing the writer of a long lost love letter

Peter Duck
Peter Duck by Arthur Ransome

I loved the Swallows and Amazons books when I was younger - real pirates in this one!

Jasper Jones

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

Craig Silvey is another Western Australian author - set in 1960s WA this is a story of friendship, racism and young love.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Living by the sea

Like a lot of people - especially those who grew up in the dead centre of the UK - I always wanted to live by the sea...
And now I do - unexpectedly it's not the Bristol Channel but the Indian Ocean.

I love it - you can see the sea from the end of our road, and from our roof (so Mark tells me - I haven't been up there..) 

Molly and I have got back into our morning walk on the beach routine - every morning the sun's shining, the waves are crashing...and we're the only people on the beach. (Well, only person and dog!)

The first thing my parents said when I took them to the beach was 'Where are all the people??' I thought it was odd to begin with too, but now I realise that the sun does shine 99.9% of the time, the beach is always there and I too could start to take it for granted. 

But I'm determined not to - even in the middle of the so-called Winter (still sceptical about that one..) I will go to the beach everyday - whether Molly wants to or not!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Picturing New York

My parents went home on Thursday night, so we're all feeling a bit gloomy... so I treated myself to a day out in Perth (while the boys went surfing and lawnmower buying).
I went to see the Picturing New York exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia - a selection of photos on loan from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

These were my favourites -

(New York City by Lee Friedlander)

(A View from Brooklyn I by Rudy Burckhardt)

(Igor by Philip-Lorca DiCorcia)

I love this last one - you can make up so many stories to explain why he's on the subway with a goldfish in a bag!