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Ellis Brook Reserve

I am unfit.  There is no denying this when you are struggling to ascend a set of roughly-constructed bush stairs and you’re wheezing so loudly you’re scaring the local wildlife.  Yes.  That is me.  Two sets of stairs in on a recent hike through Ellis Brook Reserve and I am starting to see stars and pass out.  But, to be fair, I am a little bit anaemic at the moment and I was trying to keep up with girls half my age as they whizzed up the hill on their skinny little legs.  I also did not warm up properly, nor was I actually expecting such a rough and steep climb.  Preparation – apparently not my thing.

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However, wheezing and near-death experiences aside, Ellis Brook Reserve is a very picturesque place to hike.  The terrain is a little rough and not really suitable for a gentle Sunday stroll.  My friend and I went with a new group and none of us had ever been before, so no one knew what to expect (you can read travel guides but unless you’re actually doing the walk yourself, it can be tricky to gauge how difficult it will be) but we all went at our own pace and everyone was very patient and considerate of the slower-climbing members (ie me – Miss Fat’n’Fainty).

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The scenery was beautiful, with amazing views down through the valley.  We snuck into the quarry, which is actually fenced off but some lovely soul had cut a hole in the wire so you could squeeze through.  Ah, vandalism, sometimes you can be helpful!  The colours in the rock and surrounding landscape were stunning, as were the bright blue flashes of the little native Splended Fairy Wren (wish I had been fast enough to get a photo – they are just gorgeous).

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Unfortunately, having to watch where we were treading/climbing, for fear of tripping or breaking an ankle, meant we weren’t able to stop and take in the sights as much as I would have liked.  But it was still lovely and made me feel good to be out in the fresh air and not being a slacker (ie staying home, rugged up in bed, on this cold and chilly morning).  The group we hiked with were really friendly and chatty, and made the morning very pleasant indeed.  Apparently, there are a number of trails you can follow and so maybe, next time, we will go on one of the longer ones, which may be less steep and treacherous.  I am very clumsy and have terrible balance, so someone else may find it very easy to hike this particular trail and wonder what the heck I am talking about.  I personally wouldn’t take dogs or kids on the trail we walked, but I did see some people bringing their pooches along with them.

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All in all, a beautiful spot to get some exercise and take in the natural beauty of our gorgeous state, without having to drive a million miles from suburbia.  Worth a look 🙂

Thank you for stopping by.  And a big thank you to all my new followers – your support is very much appreciated! x

How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I like gardening.  I am not good at it, and I don’t always succeed in keeping things alive, but I enjoy getting my hands dirty and seeing things grow and blossom.  I used to love planting vegie gardens with my Dad when I was a child.  It was special Daddy-and-Daughter time which I truly loved and miss.  My brother was not one for getting grubby and so it usually was me out there in the rain and the mud, helping my Dad build fences and mark out rows, planting seedlings and watering in seeds.

We had a beautiful vegetable garden back then.  Potatoes and peas, tomatoes, cabbages and corn.  It was lush and green and abundant.  I can remember picking and shelling peas with my Mum and standing with my Dad at dusk, just watching our geese and chickens and ducks.  There is no better meditation than that.

So, while I am not the world’s best gardener, I do enjoy it, and continue to plant things and watch them grow, impatiently, just as I did as a kid.  I don’t have vegetables any more, although I am thinking I should perhaps give it a go again, but I do have my succulents and cacti, orchids and some other plants that I have managed to keep alive.

It’s nice to have green things around and, in the absence of any pets, it can give you the sense of having something to care for.  Do I talk to my plants?  Yes, I am guilty of that.  I don’t know if it makes any difference to their growth or wellbeing, but I do it anyway.  If they start answering back, that’s when I will worry.

May your garden always be green 🙂

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Walkies, kitties and ring-a-ding-dings…

Walkies, kitties and ring-a-ding-dings…

Very short post today.  I am at home with a horribly sore neck.  It was bad all weekend and when I woke up yesterday I could barely move my head.  I went for a long walk with some friends of mine to see if I could get some of the stiffness out and get some sun-warmth on it.  We walked all the way around the Swan River and the weather was just beautiful (where has Winter gone?) – lots of people and their dogs out walking and jogging and enjoying the fresh air.  We walked for about three hours and caught up on each other’s gossip, love lives and issues.  Didn’t help my neck but I was happy to get some exercise and be out in the glorious sunshine.

On Saturday I managed to make a few little rings as I had received some glass dome cabochons that I’d ordered and wanted to put them to use straight away.  I wasn’t up for anything too detailed or labour-intensive.  My neck was too painful for me to sit crafting for any length of time.  So I made what I could and gave up. It took me a couple of goes to get the glue-ing technique down pat as I hadn’t used these domes before.  So, word to the wise, glue the paper to the cabochon first so it sticks flush to the base.  Then stick the cabochon to the ring blank.  That’s what worked for me anyhow…

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Much of the weekend was spent with cats, thinking about cats or hanging out with cats.  I stayed at my Mum’s on Friday night so got to have cuddles with Alexander (Boyo) who was in a cheerful, purring mood (despite what these pictures looks like):

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Then at home I got to spend some time with next door’s cat, Fatty.  We’ve just called him that – I have no idea what his real name is.  But he is fat!  Very handsome though:

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I also spend time worrying about my brother’s cats, Terence and Oscar.  They have to be rehomed and I’ve been stressing about getting them a new home quickly.  They’re such lovely boys and deserve a forever home with someone who will love them and take good care of them.

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My walk on Sunday produced some lovely shots as the day was spectacularly sunny and bright and blue sky-wonderful.

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This beautiful cormorant posed for a pic very graciously…

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Then we had mondo-major excitement when a small pod of dolphins decided to come in to do some fishing.  I didn’t think I had managed to get any shots but then, when I edited them at home, they came out ok.  It’s funny how we’ve all seen dolphins before but still get excited about them.  EVERY TIME.  I’m even the same with kangaroos and I’ve seen, been near and touched a bazillion of them in my life time.  They just all seem so magical in their wild states.  I dunno…

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This perky pelican was doing a spot of fishing too.  He was being followed around by a squad of pesky seagulls, eager to scoop up anything he left behind.  I thought one of them was going to climb inside the pelican’s bill at one stage…

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There was a couple of black swans out for a paddle too…

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We went back to my friend’s flat for a nice cup of tea and a cool down.  She lives so close to the water – look at the view from her lounge room!  We plan on doing lots of walking around her place now that the weather is improving!

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So, despite the yucky pain I’m in, I had a pretty good weekend.  Time with friends and animals, a little bit of crafting and a whole lots of sunshine – I can’t complain 🙂

Road trip and a new direction

Road trip and a new direction

This week I ran away.  Hubby and I have not been happy for a while and I didn’t know how else to get his attention so I packed up my bags and headed to the coast.  I left him a note detailing my unhappiness and pointed out a few traits of his I wasn’t too impressed with (I might be a coward in real life but on paper I am super brave!) and left shortly after he left for work.

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I love being near the ocean.  I’m not what you would call a water baby or a beach bum or a surfer or anything like that.  I just love the sea. Just being near it makes me feel better and centred and calm.  I drove for three hours to Busselton, a seaside town in the South West of Western Australia.  My cousin is there and I spent some time with her and her husband.  I did lots of crying and talking and more crying and more talking.  My cousin listened and passed the tissue box and talked to me and hugged me and told me everything would be alright.

I drove to Margaret River (about 40 mins drive from Busselton) and walked on the beach, listening to the waves and the gulls and general beachy noises.  It was a warm day but not too hot and as it was early morning I wasn’t standing in the blazing sun getting burnt.  I found a lovely piece of shell up in the dunes ( I don’t like to take shells and other sea-stuff from the shores or the water itself.  I figure something might still need it or want to use it in the future!) and it is so white and perfect.

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The water was beautiful.  I was so busy taking pictures, I didn’t notice the waves coming in and nearly got my feet wet (which is kinda the whole point of the beach anyway!).

 

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I walked up and down the shore and into the dunes.  Lots of sandy steps to climb (good for the calves!) and nice photo ops.

 

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I tootled around the various towns and seaside places for a few hours – might as well! – and did a bit of shopping and sightseeing.  I visited The Candy Cow in Cowaramup.  I love fudge and always stop in to the Candy Cow if we are in the vicinity.  Luckily for my waist-line, that isn’t too often.  I bought two flavours for me – Irish Cream (divine!) and Caramel and two for hubby – Arabian Nights (chocolate fudge with rosewater & pistachio) and Banana-Choc.  They have so many delicious varieties of fudge and other sweet things.  Bliss!

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Then it was the long drive home.  Time to think and contemplate (and worry) and make plans.  Hubby and I talked when I got home and lots of things were said, lots of tears were shed, but at the end, we are at least on the same page and are going to try to make things work.  He said I did the right thing by leaving because it made him stop and think and realise that things had gone further than they should have.  I’m not going to bore you with the details.  Love is hard sometimes and life gets in the way but we can only try our best and be patient with one another and communicate (which we haven’t been doing) and hopefully, with the help of a little fudge and the occasional road trip, we’ll get through ok.  I wonder if the Candy Cow does mail order?  🙂