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Mini Road Trip

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mum and I recently took a little road trip to Bunbury  for some much-needed rest and relaxation.  It was nice to get away for a couple of days, with no schedule to follow, no work to get through, and no dramas to stress us out.  It was such a lovely weekend and I think we both really needed it.

The weather was, unfortunately, pretty dreadful.  Cold, wet and miserable.  In the middle of Summer we had torrential rain, flooding and ridiculously cool temperatures.  It was so cold, I had to buy some extra warm clothes and shoes once we got to our destination.  I had planned on spending many hours at the beach (our favourite little motel is located metres away from the Ocean) but the weather was just too inclement.  We did have one afternoon where the sun shone for a few hours, and we were able to go beach-combing at Hungry Hollow and collect some lovely shells, have a paddle and soak up some rays.

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Sunshine at last!

I love the variety of shells at Hungry Hollow.  I try to take the ones I think won’t be used by  sea creatures for their homes or other purposes.  I like to collect the broken, smooth pieces of shell and any that have that gorgeous oil-slick colouration (mother of pearl to everyone else on the planet, I guess) on the inside.  I have great plans for the shells but then end up just keeping them because they’re so pretty and I can’t bear to use them.

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Nature’s Artwork

While the weather was fine we also visited the Bunbury Wildlife Park.  We’ve been there before and have been very impressed with the way the animals are cared for and housed, and how the kangaroos, in particular, have “quiet zones” where they can escape from the crowds.  It’s so important for animals in captivity to have places they can go to when they want time out.  They shouldn’t have to be on display all the time if they don’t want to.  The roos at the Wildlife Park seem very relaxed though.  They follow you around and come up to you for food and enjoy a good scratch on the chest or under their chins.

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Kangaroo – boop my nose!

I do love kangaroos.  Having had one as a child for a short period of time, I love their gentle nature.  Of course, the bigger males can be quite aggressive and dangerous at times (usually when a human being is getting too close or basically being an idiot) but the inhabitants of the park are all very calm and friendly.  I like to see them so un-stressed and chilled out.  They don’t even startle when a group of noisy children come in, which to me means they are not anxious or have any need to be afraid.  Do I wish they were out in the wild?  Yes, of course.  But these parks are also important for teaching people about native fauna and how we need to look after them and protect them.  Many of the critters in the park are orphans, hand-reared after their mothers were killed on the road, in dog attacks, and other accidents.

I love getting up close with them.  My Mum was a bit more nervous than I (she was attacked, rather badly, by a large roo, years ago when I was child) and so didn’t get right in their faces like me, although she did feed them and give them a pat.  But I have always been annoying and like to get right in the middle of the action ha ha.  I wouldn’t do it if they were weren’t so calm and friendly.  One of them actually grabbed my arm and pulled me back in when I stopped scratching his chest 🙂

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Photo-bombing!

Another lovely little spot we visited was Mulberry House.  Just gorgeous.  Pretty things to buy and look at – room upon room of vintage-inspired treasures, in a 1900s building.  Each room is themed and just so delightfully arranged with floor-to-ceiling goodies.  You can also have afternoon tea there (we didn’t indulge this time) and enjoy some home-baked cakes and other treats.  My Mum ended up buying some lovely fat quarters in beautiful country/cottage colours – pale pinks, greens and cream.  If you’re visiting Bunbury, be sure to pop in here – you won’t be disappointed.

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I’ll have one of everything, thanks!

This is a bit random, but I had to show a pic of this beautiful Crepe Myrtle, standing proudly outside a small antique store.  How gorgeous is it???  I can’t believe how bright that pink is.  It was almost TOO bright to look at.  I’m glad the sun came out long enough for me to take this photo.  It wouldn’t have looked so spectacular if it was bedraggled and dripping with rain (which I would also have been, most likely).

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Crepe Myrtle.  Ridiculous show off.

So, a lovely, relaxing trip that recharged our batteries and gave us some respite from life.  I’m looking forward to going back again later in the year, if I can.  Which probably means more kangaroo cuddles.  If I’m lucky 🙂  (and the kangaroos, less so, ha ha!).

Thanks for stopping in – hope you’re having a happy day x

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Craft Collections

Mum and I recently took a weekend off, for a little road trip to Bunbury, a favourite haunt of ours.  We wanted to relax, sit on the beach, collect shells and just chill out for a couple of days.  Sadly, the weather was pretty awful and so we only had one clear afternoon for visiting the beach without being blown away or drenched.  Never mind – it was an enjoyable few days anyway and we felt much more relaxed and mellow.

We tootled around with no plans or schedules.  I had researched a bit before we went, so that I had some places in mind I wanted to visit.  I definitely wanted to go to a few places that Mum would really like and, seeing as how she doesn’t drive, wouldn’t be able to go to on her own.  So, with that in mind, I took her to Craft Collections, a gorgeous shop filled with everything a quilter could desire.  Wall-to-wall fabrics and sewing supplies, with special gift items related to quilting, patchwork, bear-making, and sewing in general.  Mum was in heaven and prepared me for a long stay as soon as we walked in the door…

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So much fabric!

It was all displayed beautifully, and the staff were so friendly and helpful.  Mum wandered around for ages, picking out fabrics and fat quarters, wadding, embroidery threads and more.  It was hard to choose – there was so much stuff!

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Pretty displays!

A favourite fabric artist of ours is Tone Finnanger, the creator of the Tilda brand, and Craft Collections has an entire room dedicated to her.  It made me want to start sewing immediately (which is odd, because I am NOT a sewer!) and Mum could barely restrain herself from buying everything in the pretty little room.  Tilda designs are sweet, cheerful, feminine and cute, and the drawers full of fat quarters were so inspiring.  We wanted everything!  Tilda also has delightful range of patterns, kits, books and embellishments like ribbon, lace, buttons, and so much more!

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Fabulous Fat Quarters!
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The Tilda Room – I’m never getting Mum out of here!

So, I can thoroughly recommend Bunbury’s Craft Collections as a wonderful spot to stop and indulge your sewing, quilting or fabric obsession.  If only as a way to keep your fabric-mad mother quiet for an hour or so 🙂

Happy crafting, everyone x

 

Catching up…and road trip to Albany

Catching up…and road trip to Albany

Firstly, let me apologise for being absent quite a bit from bloggy land just lately.  Lots going on and no time to do anything, plus I have been distracted and just wasting a lot of time not knowing what to do with myself.  I’m in a crafty mood but can’t decide on what I want to do, and by the time I do decide, it’s time to pack it up again.  There’s been stuff happening in my life that’s been hard to deal with and, again, distracting, so I’ve not been accomplishing anything at all over the last few weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, however, as part of my work, I had to get my butt into gear and take a road-trip to Albany in our state’s South West. I was a little nervous about the trip as I had to drive one of the big work cars and Albany is a long way to travel by yourself.  But I actually enjoyed the 5 hour trip – lots of solitude and time to think (not actually always a good thing for me – thinking leads to worrying which leads to anxiety and freak-outs).  The drive itself was pretty cruisey, if a trifle dull (the land is still very dry at this time of year and you are faced with miles and miles nothing more exciting than a few dead kangaroos and maybe a road-side service station if you’re lucky) and I made it to Albany just as the heavens opened and I was attempting to find where I would be staying.

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I was booked into a lovely little B’n’B in the main part of town, The Three Chimneys B’n’B. The property is heritage listed as has been restored to a comfortable and pretty little cottage with modern amenities.  You were also left to your own devices which is lovely and each morning you were served a tasty, hot breakfast accompanied by cereal and yoghurt, toast and preserves.  I had the place to myself for most of the visit and was very comfortable there.  The first night I was a bit frazzled (all that driving!) and didn’t know where to get a meal for dinner.  I went for a bit of a drive which was a bit dumb when I didn’t know where I was going and it was dark and rainy and eventually found a supermarket where I just bought some yoghurt and a tin of tuna.  Not very exciting, but, as long as I could make myself a cup of tea, I’d be ok.

The furnishings and decorations in the cottage were very pretty and vintage in style – there was even a little reading room where guests could avail themselves of the reading material in the book shelves, or just sit and have a quiet cuppa.

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I did have a bit of a walk around the town and did some shopping.  The weather wasn’t brilliant, so I didn’t risk going too far from base.  Nice to get out and about and get some air though.  I kept forgetting to take my camera with me, hence the lack of photos.

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The Three Chimneys is located not far from the beach – if you look at this photo, you can just see the ocean on the horizon.  The B’n’B is right where that white car on the left is…

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During my few days in Albany, I was helping one of our other branches pack up their library.  They are moving into a new premises – much larger and newer and designed for people with dementia – and, as they don’t have a librarian down there, I came to sort everything out and weed the collection and then pack it up ready for moving.  I really enjoyed my stay and getting to meet our Albany staff – they were so lovely and welcoming and I made friends with their office dog, Pablo, who is just gorgeous and will love the new site as it is much bigger for him to run around and has lots of kangaroos to watch! 🙂

On the way to Albany, and again on the way home, I stopped off at The Williams Woodshed for lunch and a well-deserved cup of tea.  The Woolshed has a lovely cafe, gift shops and displays about the history of shearing and sheep farming.  The lunch was yummy both times – Mushroom Tart on the first visit and three-cheese quiche on the second.  Delicious!

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I had a quick browse around the little shops there, just to stretch my legs.  Their “Swag of Sweets” lolly shop was mouth-watering but I was good and didn’t buy myself anything…

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So, I’m back home now and once again in the routine of work/home/sleep/work/home/sleep.  It was a nice break from things – hard work but also relaxing at the same time and I am glad that I have contributed to making the Albany gals’ move a bit easier.  Next month I am taking on a bigger trip – flying to Sydney for a few days to attend the Dementia Conference with my CEO and another colleague.  I did freak out a bit to start with – I hate flying and don’t want to embarrass myself in front of people I work with, especially when one of them is the CEO, plus the conference itself is supposed to be very busy and hectic and I will have to be on my feet all day answering questions and pretending I know what I’m talking about.  The lead up to it will also be busy and stressful – making sure we have all the right equipment, brochures, display stuff etc to take over with us.  My CEO has assured us she wants us to have some down-time too i.e. shopping or at least catching a bite to eat at a nice Sydney restaurant but it’s still going to be a lot of work.  Still, I am trying to see it as a good opportunity and one that I should be grateful to be offered.  Not everyone gets the chance to go to these things (there may be a few noses out of joint actually, so I’ve been keeping it quiet anyway) and so I am pleased to have been considered as a candidate to represent the organisation.  Wish me luck!  🙂

Apologies again for the lack of content – life has been getting in the way!  I will try to do better this week.  Have a happy Monday tomorrow everyone 🙂

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?  🙂