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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Changes

It has hit me today that in 5 weeks time Mollie and I will be on a plane back to the UK and I hate to say but..........I don't want to!

I'm aware that I haven't written for a wee while. I'm not sure what has prompted me to do so but things have slightly changed from my original plans. We have still to hit the Margaret River region but that is on the cards next week for sure. The weather will hopefully be somewhat cooler than it has been. We also have someone staying with us at the moment, my mother in law Evelyn. I invited her out to show her some of the sights here as I knew she had never been this far and I suppose to show her what life has been like for Mollie and I and how happy we are. Sadly there is now a tinge of regret as it's not going as well as I hoped but then what did I expect?

Anyway, Mollie and I have still had the opportunity of exploring lots of places. We have had quite a few beach days at Rockingham, Cottesloe and Mandurah. The beaches here are stunning but I think I have already said they are some distance away. But Mollie and I have had some fantastic free days on them so that makes them worthwhile. Oh! Remember that snarky thing I mentioned before? Well it's still there!!!! I couldn't swim 300m out to a small pontoon raft which was anchored just off of the beach! I'm not sure if I'm paranoid or over cautious! But then the wee shark lookout helicopter flew overhead so I was happy to think I can try it another day.......Maybe!

We have also headed into Perth on three occasions now. It doesnt have the same vibe that Melbourne does but it is an up and coming city with expansion constantly happening. The city is lovely as it sits on the Swan River. If you look at a map you will see that the river looks exactly like the shape of a swan hence the name. I took Mollie to a park the other day within the Kings Park called Synergy Park. It was fab with loads of climbing things and swings and walking things to do. As I looked around people were actually holding their kids parties in the park. The free BBQ facilities which the council provide make it so easy to do. (Don't think the Moray Council budget would entertain that idea this year) anyway, a fab time there and today we visited Fremantle on the train. It took a bit of time getting there and maybe I should have taken the car but Fremantle doesn't make it easy for you to park. It is hideously expensive and limited spaces. So it's less hassle to take the train. Fremantle is full of coffee shops, boutiques, side streets oh and the most fantastic shop if you are the mother of a small girl!!!! We came across a shop called The Pickled Fairy. It was fab! Full of fairy dresses, glitter, wands, wings, tiaras, sparkly slippers. There was even a lucky dip bag where you could pay $2 and receive a little prize! We will return to Fremantle very soon and I suspect a fairy dress might be making it's way back to Scotland. Anyway, google it and see what you think.

I know we still have 5 weeks to go but I'm aware that it will pass in no time - just like the last four and a half months have. I can't believe it. Mollie has changed so much and grown. She talks ALL THE TIME!! She is definitely not shy now! Me? I've changed too! A bit more confident and a bit more able to take on what life can throw at me but mostly I've started to enjoy life again. I haven't done that for a while. So, we still have a road trip to do and then possibly a wee return trip to Melbourne!!! We shall see! One thing is for sure. We will be cramming as much as we can into the next 5 weeks. 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Perth

We have now landed in Perth and have been for a little over a week and so thought I would expand a bit on where we are and what our plans are for the next wee while.

We left Melbourne on Saturday 28th January (where on earth did January go to? This has been the quickest January EVER!) on a flight at 6.15am. With the flight time and the time difference we actually landed in Perth at 7.05 am! It was going to be a long day!

The reason we are in Perth is another home exchange but this time the people are actually coming to Scotland!! The owners, George and Rita, we have gotten to know fairly well over the last few months. They are a lovely couple. Originally from Liverpool but left back in the 70s to head here. when we met them at the airport I swore they had just stepped off a plane from England! their accents haven't changed!!

A quick run down of the house and the area. We are staying in an area south east of Perth city called Byford. Armadale seems to be the next biggest town to here. There is nothing really in Byford, it is classed as rural but not bush! You have to go another hour inland to be 'bush' The house is in a quiet and fairly new development. Prior to the houses being built the area was just vast open fields filled with kangaroos! Guess what? the kangaroos are still here ! When we arrived George had around 6 in his garden quite happily munching on his shrubs. The house has a lovely verandah out the back which looks on to the remainder of the field. I think George said something about it being developed for an old folks home which will be a shame. Every day so far Mollie and I have loved watching them hopping around. they are quite cheeky as you can see them in peoples gardens or hopping over the fences. I am unsure as to how to upload pictures on this otherwise I would get a few up. Anyway, they are very cute to watch as they sunbathe under the trees.

The house as I said is lovely. Open plan living with bedrooms off to the sides of the house. The verandah at the back of the house looks on to Georges immaculate garden with Frangipanis and Honeysuckle type flowers. As I sat on the big comfy chair I was hit with all the tropical smells. Lush! they also have a swinging chair in the garden which is lovely to sit and read in mid afternoon. The temperatures when Mollie and I arrived were actually up in to the high 30s thankfully for the last few days it has come down to high 20s though this week I see it is starting to climb again.

Since we have arrived Mollie and I have already been invited to a couple of BBQs with the neighbours and been asked to stand in on a volleyball game!!  I have been looking at things to do and places to see in this area and sadly the things to see and do are huge distances away so Mollie and I are going to hit the road again for a few days - not right now but soon! In the south there is an area called Margaret River region which has an abundance of wineries and food type places. It's also very pretty. Then there is the North and a place called Shark Bay and Ningaloo Reef where you can snorkel with the Whale Sharks! Unfortunately we have missed them but the reef still looks fab. the distance to get there though is pretty big. No bigger than anything I have already tackled but not sure if I'm up for another monster drive. So I don't know. Margaret River is a must and we can do that in a 3-4 day round trip. Hmm but Shark Bay does look pretty cool!

We do have a charge to look after! A ragdoll cat called Cubby who is just lovely. He prefers to sleep in the bathroom sink all curled up. He isn't getting much peace at the moment with Mollie trying to give him lots of cuddles. He did a disappearing act yesterday which did cause me to panic! Eeeeek! I knew this trip was going too smoothly! But thankfully he did turn up today. I have spoken with George and Rita and they seem to have settled in well to Scotland. The heating is working (phew!) and the wine rack is fully stocked. They will be fine.

So this is our last stop before we head back to Glasgow. I really can't believe where the time has gone BUT that is still 7 weeks away. Lots of time to do lots of exploring and wine tasting. Oh if you are ever looking for a good wine you won't go wrong with a Sauv Blanc from Marlborough Region (NZ)  or the Margaret River region. (WA) I wonder if I can sneak a few celler door type bottles in my bag?
Right, I promised Mollie a beach day tomorrow so I'm off to get the bag ready. Enjoy the snow folks
Pennie
xxx