Red Bluff

It was Paul’s milestone birthday, a good opportunity to pack a picnic lunch and go exploring. Approximately 70 kms north of Carnarvon there’s a spectacular piece of coastline with small holes in the rocky shore through which the water from the crashing waves is forced upwards. The place is aptly named, The Blowholes. Whilst the Blowholes are exhilarating to watch, it’s the rugged coastline to which the waves crash, and then wash back into the sea that I love best.

We first visited this amazing geographical feature nearly 20 years ago. A photo of the rugged coastline was used as a screensaver on our home computer for several years after. I can see our latest photo of the same shoreline will possibly end up as another screen saver, or be elevated to a framed picture for our coastal cottage wall.

Nearby is the popular campground of Quobba. We stayed there many years ago. It lacks facilities such as power and water, and a chemical toilet is needed to camp there. The location is stunning, so it draws a hoard of campers – and in our opinion, there should be caps on the amount of people allowed there at any one time. If there’s 3 metres between campers, someone will squeeze themselves in, far to many people to cope with inadequate hygiene conditions. We tried it once, but we wouldn’t stay there again.

About 60 kms north of Quobba point is another camp site popular with the surfing fraternity, Red Bluff. We’d never ventured up the rugged road to Red Bluff before. We had time, so we set off. We weren’t checking out the place for a possible future camping spot, as we were sure what we’d likely find when we arrived, a place that would make Quobba seem pristine and clean in comparison. We hoped to find a nice spot to sit and eat our picnic lunch, and hopefully there’d be some surfers, most likely with heads full of dredlocks, riding the waves to watch while we dined.

The road there was rough and we probably should have have let our tires down to make the ride a bit softer. Never mind, no harm came of it. I could sense Paul thinking that an opportunity to check out Red Bluff wasn’t going to be worth the bone shaking journey. I jollied him along by promising I’d buy him a nice cup of coffee when we got there. He took me seriously, “is there a cafe there”? he asked hopefully. Better to let him down now I thought, “don’t be stupid”, I laughingly replied. We continued on.

It took nearly an hour to get there. A sign advised all visitors must check in at the office. Paul waited in the car while I checked us in as day visitors. “Do you have a dog with you?”, she asked. Mr Tilly’s safely at home this trip with our house sitter, so, “no” we don’t have a dog with us. A few of the attractions were pointed out to me, most of which were beyond the point where dogs are allowed. The safest place on the beach for swimming, the location of the composting toilets, and – drumroll please……

Really! “Do they sell coffee”? I asked hopefully.

Wow! Indeed they do. Check out the menu:

We ordered our coffee, and explained we hadn’t anticipated a shop would be on site, would it be ok for us to eat our picnic lunch with our coffee? Absolutely. So we sat ourselves down at what must be the most amazing view from a cafe in the middle of nowhere that we’ve ever encountered.

Not only is there a small general store/cafe at Red Bluff, but the camping is spacious, and the place is immaculately clean. There’s no water or power for the campers, and there’s only drop, composting toilets – very clean. It is gorgeous, and not at all like crowded Quobba, and not a dredlock in sight. But wait there’s more, much more…..

There’s glamping tents, and these apparently do have water, and power. There’s several dotted around, including these ones on a hill overlooking the ocean.

And if that isn’t enough luxury in the middle of nowhere, there’s even a Day Spa, truly! After a hard few hours of surfing apparently an hour long ‘ surf recovery massage’ for $85 is just the thing. Or perhaps a 2.5 hour body exfoliation, full body massage, facial, & shower for $250 would appeal if time permits. The surfing fraternity has certainly changed in the 25plus years since our son, at the time sporting a good head of dredlocks, lived for the waves.

Mind you I think I’d need one of those massages after just the walk there and back to the surf break. We walked to the end of the beach where the safest place for a dip was pointed out to be. Above us we could see keen surfers eagerly navigating the track out to the surfing point. We could see the surfers on the cliff in the far distance waiting to take their turn on the waves, and we could see surfers riding the waves. They looked like dots in the distance. If you look closely at the point in the photo below you’ll see the surfers gathered. The are surfers on the waves below but I think you’ll have to take my word for that, they’re to distant for my I-phone camera to pick up.

The water gets deep very close to shore, as can be seen by the depth of blue in the photos. Apparently soon whales will be frolicking in close to shore as they head down to Antartica for the winter. What a delight it’d be to see them.

The safe spot for taking a dip was protected by a stretch of reef close to shore. It wasn’t deep enough for a swim, but the powerful waves still made for an exhilarating dip. Sitting in the water as the powerful waves hurtling towards shore before having their momentum halted by the reef, and then washing over me was great fun. The water was pleasantly warm, and some of the waves arrived to provide me with just a gentle wash. Other waves arrived with the power of an agitator washing machine, throwing me around in water not more than 1/2 metre deep. Thank goodness for the reef, there’s no way I would have braved those waves without it.

Our expectations of Red Bluff were so wrong. The place is gorgeous, and I’d love to camp there. Unfortunately though, it’s rare for us not have Mr Tilly with us, and the point at which dogs aren’t allowed to venture passed has the best of what Red Bluff has to offer. We’re so pleased we’ve seen it though, and we’ve now been told about a place a little further along the rough road that sounds even more inviting, Gnaraloo. We’ve looked it up, and next time we’re passing this way with Mr Tills, I think we’ll be letting our tires down on the caravan and Prado, and heading up the track for a week or three at Gnaraloo. I’ll look forward to telling you about sometime. In the meantime, if you’re heading up the WA coast, and you don’t have a dog on board, bypass Quobba and head up to Red Bluff. You’ll be pleased you did.

A picture paints a thousand words

As any of my loyal followers will know, I’m not good with technology. When it’s going ok, I’m easy to live with, when it mucks up, I’m like a bear with a sore head.

For months now I’ve been ‘languishing’, I’ve had little motivation to blog, as have a few other bloggers I’m sure since this pandemic changed our world. The rare times when motivation did prompt me to attempt a blog post I ended up almost tearing my hair out in frustration as my WordPress site thwarted me at every attempt. I just couldn’t return to any drafts, only the title was saving, but no content. I felt defeated. My state of ‘languish’ would turn to anger, and then I would feel myself starting to spiral into feelings of hopelessness. I knew if I continued on I’d risk becoming truly depressed. Knowing I’m technologically inadequate, I’d think to myself, ‘what right have you to be part of this blogging world when you don’t know the first thing about the technology that runs it’. I was feeling like a fraud.

This week I felt a rare touch of motivation. I tried again. The same thing happened. I went from frustration to anger to despair many times through an afternoon of trying to get something that would save, anything at all that I could publish. Eventually I did manage to get something to save. I don’t know how. I didn’t proof read, or try to fix anything. It wasn’t formatted as I would have liked, but the words and pictures had stayed on screen. I published.

I tried again a day later. No such luck. Again nothing would save. I contacted the ‘happiness gurus’ from WordPress. My so called ‘happiness guru’ had me going down the path of browser problems. This story could turn into a book if I related all the details of our typed conversation, so I won’t detail the conversation or the links he forwarded to me. I was spiralling down, down, down as I attempted make any sense of what I was being told to do. My head was full of white noise.

Finally someone at the other end (I’ve been through a few ‘happiness gurus’ in the past few days) suggested we revert to email and I send some screen shots. Turns out this person actually deserves the title of ‘guru’, perhaps even ‘happiness guru’. I sent several screen shots, and the person receiving them actually looked at them. Turns out it was nothing at all to do with my browser. The screenshots gave her something to work with. A picture definitely paints a thousand words.

This is what was found:

M.H (Automattic) May 6, 2021, 16:07 UTC Hi Chris,Thank you for the screenshots. I see that you are starting in the WP Admin dashboard of your site: and not in the default dashboard: It’s ok to continue using the WP Admin dashboard as long as it’s available, but some features may not work as expected as they get replaced by more modern alternatives.The “Draft” dashboard widget that you are using creates content as if it was created with the Classic Editor (now deprecated). And you are viewing the content of the draft usingthe default Block Editor. 
But, as you figured out, these blocks can be fixed by converting them to “Classic Blocks”. From there you can convert them to regular blocks by clicking “Convert to blocks”. As demonstrated below:

A bit more detail was added, but then the gem came, the lightbulb piece of advice!

🔍 Please note that another quick way to start creating content is to click the “Write” button in the top right corner of your dashboard:

And presto! It works.

I have saved this post many times in draft form, and returned to it. I can’t tell you how good it feels to actually see content saved instead of just the title. If elation is the opposite of despair, then my mind set is definitely the opposite of what has been of late when attempting a blog post. Any formatting errors or spelling, or grammatical errors are definitely attributable to the writer this time. And that is most definitely my pleasure!

Officially becoming, ‘old codgers’

It’s official. Paul and I will reach official retirement age this month. I think that means we’re becoming, ‘old codgers’, or as my late father-in-law would have said, we’re now part of the ‘pink and crinkly’ set.

To celebrate this milestone birthday we’ve engaged our house sitter to mind Tills and our home, and are heading for the Cape Range National park. Our planned trip firstly involved three days in Perth. We were about an hour away from our accommodation when our Premier announced some community Covid transmission. Lockdown for the Perth/peel region was a possibility, masks a definite. So we by-passed Perth and headed for a roadside camp on the other side of the city. We can now stay mask free.

Then two nights at beautiful Coronation Beach just north of Geraldton. A windsurfing Mecca, and seemingly on the world map for this purpose. It’s a beautiful piece of coastline with the best nature can provide for those keen to practice their kite or wind surfing skills. This of course means lots of wind, so our awning didn’t go out. A look out above the campground provided the best vantage point for capturing some glorious sunset shots prior to some incoming inclement weather.

It bucketed down the next day, which wasn’t a problem for us as we used it as a travel day to head for Carnarvon. Upon arrival the caravan park roadways were pretty much running like rivers, and the rain was torrential. Paul doned his rain coat and braved the elements to get us unhitched, the power on, and the drain out. Then we hunkered down inside the van and hoped we didn’t start floating away sometime during the night.

The roadway in the caravan park (no we’re not camped on a river)

I mentioned to a friend that it was just as well we’d brought our kayaks. She promptly sent me this little gem in response.

I’m pleased to say the rain has now stopped, the sun’s shining, and there’s a lovely soft breeze blowing. The roads north of Carnarvon are currently closed, but as we won’t be heading around to the National Park until early next week, there’s plenty of time for the flood waters to recede.

We’ve checked out some local fishing spots, and will try our luck tomorrow. In the meantime thought I’d leave you with this cute little photo a young child making the most of the sunshine on the flooded caravan roadway.

A Life on our Planet

I had been toddling along without giving as much thought as I should have been to Global Warming. Late last year I read the EAT Planetary Diet guidelines, as per the findings of a group of leading scientists commissioned by Lancet. That was a light bulb moment in my life when I realised how serious things are getting. Then recently I read a book by David Attenborough, A Life on our Planet. 

Wow! If the Lancet report was a light bulb moment, then this book had the effect on me of shock therapy. This isn’t a book of prophesy, it’s a book detailing David’s life on this planet, and the changes he has actually witnessed. It’s a book supported by science, and verified by David’s observations and experiences. If anyone on this planet has the credentials to drive home the urgency needed for rapid change to prevent catastrophic carnage to our planet then surely David Attenborough has. It’s a scary book, very scary, and sadly it’s not a book of science fiction.

I had been complacently thinking I would be long gone before this world as we know it implodes in on itself. I was wrong! The world as we know it doesn’t have centuries left, it doesn’t even have decades. We have to make drastic changes NOW. Not next century, and not even next year. We have to start NOW. We all thought a global pandemic was something we’d never see, then it was upon us. Food shortages and famine, if you’re like me, you’ve probably had them categorised in your mind alongside a global pandemic – great for a sci-fi movie, but it’ll never happen. David has caused me to re-think that. I will most likely see food shortages in my lifetime, in fact very soon. That is unless some drastic changes start happening immediately.

There is something we can do, something that doesn’t rely on Governments making all the changes. We can change the way we live our individual lifestyles. We all know a lot of what we should be doing. What I hadn’t realised is how much the consumption of animal products contributes to global warming. I think that animal farming and the practices needed to support the farming, along with food wastage comes in at 2nd to the use of fossil fuels at creating CO2 emissions. I’m no expert, and I don’t profess to understand the science behind David’s book. I didn’t need to understand it though to get the gist of it. It’s time to change, not next year, and not even next week. The time is now. Yes, I hope the governments implement changes in regards to fossil fuels, but on an individual basis we also need to make some drastic changes.

I’m not going to say anymore at this point in time, except please pick up a copy of this book. Read it, and pass it on to others to read. I hope you find it as life changing as I have.

A new year begins

I’ve decided to try something a bit different this year. I’m not usually one for new year resolutions, but this year I have made a few. I’m being easy on myself, and am hoping that by not making them to strict I won’t be setting myself up for failure. In the past if I did make any resolutions I was very specific about them. Within days I had broken them and once broken I seemed to just forget all about them. I hope I succeed with these ones.

The first has been inspired by the Planetary Diet guidelines. It’s just one little positive step that I can make for the environment, with a side benefit of better health for me. I’m endeavouring to eat less animal protein, and more vegetables, including more vegetable protein. I will still be eating red meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy, just in considerably less quantities. Hence, this would be a hard one to make specific anyway. I’ll have to be careful to not slip back into a meat and three veg routine. I also want to make a conscious effort to waste less food.

Also as per the planetary dietary guidelines, water should be our preferred drink of choice. I used to drink a lot of water, but somehow my water consumption has reduced considerably in recent years. I used to drink water at room temperature poured straight from the tap. Then I started to prefer it chilled or with ice. I think that made it to much effort, and I suspect that subconsciously I must have thought if I had to put effort into making a drink I may as well make it a hot drink. Consequently i’ve been drinking more tea and coffee than I used to drink. This year my plan is to switch back to drinking several glasses of tap water throughout each day.

My third resolution is something I have to do – my exercises. The slow downward spiral into decrepitness that began many years ago has been speeding up over the years. It’s now travelling at the speed of a toboggan on an icy slope, and I know I have to go hard and fast at something to get myself back onto a solid footing. I have a set of very basic Pilates exercises I try to do often. I do them daily for a few weeks, then something happens which upsets my routine, and I miss out on exercising. Before I know it several weeks or months have gone past without me doing any exercises, and I only realise it when my sciatic nerve starts giving me jip, and when I wake up feeling more decrepit than an 80 year old. On top of that, late last year an investigation of a pain in my heel revealed multiple bone Spurs growing into my Achilles tendon, and calcification. Damn – walking is difficult. The physio has given me exercises which need doing three times a day, and the podiatrist has made me some orthotics. The podiatrist made them for me for half price as he said they are a trial for both him, and me. He’s unsure if they will help. So my third resolution is to endeavour to exercise daily when possible, and when not possible to only let a day or two go by before getting back into routine.

And last but least of my resolutions is to record daily what I’ve eaten, the glasses of water consumed, and the exercises completed.

Today is the 4th of January and I’m pleased to report I’ve done a set of my basic Pilates exercises once each day for four days, and I’ve done my prescribed ankle exercises three times daily as recommended. I’ve consumed 3 – 4 glasses of water each day, and a few less of my usual cups of tea and coffee. My breakfast each day is much the same as usual, cereal, yogurt and berries. My lunches and dinners have been a little different than what I’m used to. I cooked up a cup of French lentils and some chick peas on the first day of the year, and have had some of one or the other in all of my lunches and dinners so far. I used an egg to turn some of the lentils into patties. I added some lentils to tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, and avocado for bruschetta, with a reduced amount of Parmesan than usual.

I’ve made a chickpea, vegetable, and peanut stir fry, and I’ve made another stir fry with lentils and 1 small can of tuna. Any left overs have formed the base for a meal of some sort the following day. This is a huge reduction on my usual animal protein intake, but as you can see, it is by no means a completely vegetarian diet. I’ll make sure I add some red meat later in the week, but I’ll try to reduce the amount by about half and will try to make up the shortfall with some black beans or some other sort of pulse or legume.

Four days gone, no wastage yet, and I’ve recorded everything daily. I’m happy with what I’m eating, and I’m happy with the amount of exercise I’m doing. The meals we’re eating are different, but are definitely palatable. I’m happy!

2020, What a year!

What a year. It needs no re-cap. As 2020 draws to go a close, my heart goes out to those in other parts of the world. Life is relatively normal for us here in Western Australia. We have no community transmission, and haven’t had any for many months. We can come and go virtually as we please within our own state, and without any real need for Covid caution. (I only hope we haven’t become to complacent). We’re all aware that it will only take one slip up, and the sense of security we’re currently blessed with could be gone in an instant.

I hope all my friends, relatives, and blogging associates throughout the world are well. I hope you all manage to enjoy some sense of Christmas festivity, and above all, I hope life returns to some sort of normality early in the New Year.

Try to have a happy Christmas everyone. Keep safe, and join me at midnight on New Year’s Eve as we all say good-bye and good riddance to 2020. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year.

We’re in!

Come in, I’ll show you around!

The old garage used to have a shoppers entrance leading into the laundry. We’ve changed the direction of the new door so as it now opens into the new bedroom. The door, and it’s new framework are still to be painted, but Paul is currently suffering from painters arm. Next week, or maybe next year – it’s not going anywhere! The entrance leads to a little entrance hall with hooks for hats, or jackets, or dressing gowns. We found a great little jewellery cabinet on line with a full length mirrored door. It’s perfect in the entrance, and I found jewellery I’d forgotten I had when transferring everything from a small jewellery box into the cabinet.

Opposite the entrance is the new bathroom. Toiletries are now in, so it has a lived in look.

We love the twin vanities. Still one door handle to arrive (it’s on board a ship).

Curtains arrived on Friday. We had moved into the room two nights before their arrival, so the darkness they provide was most welcome after two nights with street lights shining in.

Sheer whites with soft grey block out hanging behind on a seperate rail

Paul has fitted out the wardrobes using Bunnings cubes. We’re really impressed with the quality, and versatility of the cubes. We’ve opted to do without a dressing table, so Paul has fitted drawers into some of the cubes for our socks and knickers. Wicker baskets fit the cubes perfectly for hand bags or jumpers. Dividers section each of the bottom cubes into four for shoes. A lower clothes rail goes between the two in each wardrobe for shorts. Paul says they went together very easily too, so that was a bonus.

Two double sized wardrobes for our clothes now. Each double robe is bigger than the only wardrobe we had previously. As you can imagine, our clothes were scattered throughout the house wherever we could find hanging space. It’s lovely to have all our clothes in the one room now.

So far there is only two of the eight bespoke doors hung. The hardware for the remaining six doors is currently on a ship somewhere out there in the Pacific Ocean. Strike action by the wharfies prevented the unloading of the ship when it sailed into Sydney a few weeks ago. The ship, and its cargo sailed on. It’ll turn up one day, until then we can manage without doors.

Still six be-spoke wardrobe doors to be hung when the hardware finally arrives.

We were going to white wash our old Tasmanian oak bedroom suite, so moved the el-cheapo rattan and white cabinets in from a spare room until we had done the required work. Our daughter had promised us the return of a lovely grey wrought iron free standing towel rail. The rail was something I had used for draping my clothes over at the days end, but when we went travelling Alice inherited it for her spare room. I was to swap her my $15 K-mart, pine, free standing rail for the return of the lovely wrought iron one. However, we rather liked the look of the el-cheapo cabinets, and the $15 rack for our clothes to rest on at the days end. So our Tassie oak bedroom suite will remain, as is, in the guest room, and instead we’ve ordered a rattan bedhead. We’ll be looking forward to that addition in a few weeks time. We also left our good Bohemian crystal bedside lamps in the guest room, preferring the look of the cheap, raw wood Big-w lamps.

After the bedhead arrives we plan on adding some oyster shells onto a hessian border in white shadow box frames to hang above the bed. I got the idea from the following photo copied off Pinterest. What do you think? I love them in the photo, so hope we can do justice to our own version.

it’s not hard to see were some of the influence for our room came from.

The new bedroom is much closer to the road noise than our old room, so that was a worry. However the room has been extensively acoustically lined. With the heavy block out curtains, and the water fountain outside, I’m impressed by how little we actually hear of the traffic noise. It’s quieter than our old room, a surprising bonus.

So there you have it, the grand tour. I’ve enjoyed showing you around. Next will be the completion of the garage, and then the conversion of our normal laundry into a European styled enclosed laundry, there-by turning our current laundry into a hallway leading to our room. (Who wants to walk through a laundry to their bedroom). But that’ll all wait for completion now until in the new year. For now it’s time to unwind and get into the spirit of Christmas. I just love Christmas. It’s my favourite time of year.

Lancet offers a way to feed the world and save the planet

A bold title, and perhaps a little more will be needed than the worlds population to simply be following EAT – Lancet’s Commission dietary recommendations. But hey, it’s a start, and it sounds like a pretty damned good start to me. It’s a place I can start!

The purpose of the EAT -Lancet Commision’s report was to create dietary paradigms that aims to:

  • Feed a worlds population of 10 billion people by 2050
  • to greatly reduce the worldwide number of deaths caused by poor diets
  • to be environmentally sustainable so as to prevent the collapse of the planet

I’m not a diet faddist, nor am I a greenie. I do a little bit now and again for the planet, and have a bit of a conscience because I don’t do more. Truth be told I’ve never really found a starting point that didn’t seem to put me in danger of becoming a zealot, and who wants to become one of them! Not me that’s for sure. But I do want to do a bit more….

You may remember a few weeks ago I posted a blog with my thoughts on dietary pyramids.

I’ve never been a dieter, nor someone who follows any dietary guideline with any real dedication. If you read that post you will have realised that I take most dietary recommendations with a pinch of salt – why? Simply because history tells us that the findings of any diet that eliminates an entire food group will be overturned eventually. Those who followed the diet recommendations to the letter will usually have done themselves a certain amount of damage. I usually eat whatever I feel like eating, sometimes with a clear conscience, and sometimes feeling as guilty as hell for the damage I’m doing to both myself, and the planet.

When I wrote that post I did take a bit of notice of the Mediterranean dietary pyramid. I had never been aware that grains and beans were prominent with the Mediterranean people, in fact, more prominent than fish. That surprised me.

My interest had been tweaked. I decided to look a bit closer. One google search led to another, and eventually led me to the planet’s blue zones, and then led me to the Planetary diet. If the Blue Zones are old news to you, then please forgive me for having had my head buried in the sand. If you’re not aware of the blue zones, they are the areas where the general population is known for their outstanding longevity. I won’t list them, as it’s easy to look them up. The blue zones are, as you can imagine, often a hot topic for dietary researchers. I gather the EAT – Lancet Commission looked closely at the blue zones when developing their Planetary diet. So what is this Planetary diet? Start by taking a look at this double food pyramid.

The pyramid doesn’t seem to omit any food group completely, thank goodness for me, as if it had I wouldn’t have given it a second look. At the bottom of the pyramid is fresh fruits and veges, next comes grains, beans and lentils. Yet it’s not a high carb diet! Oils, dairy, fish, eggs, red meat, and even cookies and cakes figure in the pyramid. Nothing is forbidden, but some things are definitely recommended in smaller amounts. Then if you take a look at the upside down pyramid, you’ll notice the impact each food group has on the planet. It’s clear that the highly recommended foods have the least impact on our planet, and the foods that Lancet advises us to eat in moderation have the biggest adverse impact on our planet.

Being a lover of food, all food, I can happily eat a well prepared Buddha bowl full of fresh vegetables and vegetable protein, as much as I can enjoy a perfectly cooked steak, or a crisp chocolate eclair filled with real fresh cream and topped with crisp dark chocolate. I love it all. My conscience often pricks though when I slip into lazy dietary habits. For me that means eating un-imaginative animal protein, carb and veg meals night after night, day after day. When I slip into these lazy meals my diet becomes basically, bread or a roll with meat, chicken, fish, egg or cheese with salad for lunch, and meat, or chicken with some sort of carb and veges on the side for dinner. So, why does my conscience prick – simply because in some part of my sub-conscious mind I know it’s not healthy for me, or for the planet to be eating 14 animal based meals a week. I’ve never done anything about it, because in some other part of my sub-conscious mind I’ve felt that a purely vegan diet isn’t what it’s about either, and Vegetarian Monday just didn’t seem to cut it. Plus I’m to much of a hedonist to want to commit to a life without a perfectly cooked steak now and again, or a deliciously crisp, melt in the mouth chocolate eclair when one presents itself.

Now thanks to Lancet, it seems I can have it all, and it’ll not only help to save the planet, but it’ll do me a lot of good to. The past few weeks Paul and I have been trying to commit to eating a lot more vegetable protein, and considerably less animal sourced protein. We’re by no means following the Planetary diet guidelines with any zealous fervour, but we are eating better than we were, and with a clear conscience. Currently most of vegetable protein is coming out of cans – black beans, lentils, chick peas etc. I’m sure cooking these from scratch is better for the planet than all those canned products, but I’m finding it’s a good place to start. Monday to Friday lunch time, most lunches and dinners consist of fresh vegetables, beans or pulses, or/and nuts, healthy fats and a little bit of canned fish, grated cheese or an egg sometimes thrown in. From Friday night to Sunday dinner we add some animal flesh, making sure some iron rich beef is included. Cakes and cookies – well I’m not ready to say no to them any time soon, so if they’re on offer, count me in.

Here’s another look at a Mediterranean. Diet – whoops at the bottom of this one physical activity figures strongly. Maybe I’ll get to that one day soon! The rest of the diet is very similar the the Planetary diet recommendations. If you haven’t looked at the Planetary diet, it’s worth taking a look. You’ll make me very happy if I’ve inspired you in some way, so please let me know if I have.

The end is in sight

Yes, our new bedroom is only days away from virtual completion now, so the end is definitely now in sight. All the electrics to the master suite have been completed – phew, that didn’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped. The electrician had a series of mishaps that had us a bit worried for a few days, but all good now. As I type this we are awaiting the floor people to arrive to lay the vinyl plank flooring. Tomorrow the entrance door to the room will be hung, and the skirting boards will be fitted.

That will then only leave the strips to go into the corners to butt the walls against each other and create a neat finish, and the curtains are scheduled to arrive in towards the end of next week.

The wardrobes may take a while to complete. The specialised soft close hardware to hang the sliding doors is currently on a ship off the east coast of Australia, with strike action preventing it from being unloaded. Paul will still be able to fit the wardrobes out, and we’ll be able to move both our clothes, and us into the room as soon as the curtains arrive.

The wardrobe, currently fill of all sorts of shite, ready to be fitted out – probably this week -ends job.

We endeavoured at the outset to use only one of the spare bedrooms for storing all the displaced stuff until the project was completed. The rest of the house was to remain functional and tidy. Did that happen – noooooo it did not. Up until around a week ago, we hadn’t done to badly. This is what it looks like today.

The room reserved for the clutter, one bed on top of the other with everything piled on top

the other end of the same room.

The spare room that was to be kept functional and tidy now houses the wardrobe doors, stacked paint side down, and still requiring the final coat.

The alfresco, a shady place to paint the barn door from the ensuite
Even the kitchen bench isn’t free of clutter. In case you’re wondering why the empty cereal box is there, they slide between two walls that are being painted different colours for masking.

It feels like it’s been ages, but in actual fact it’s only been about seven weeks. There are still a couple of things to be completed after this – the garage, and the laundry. The garage is almost finished, the laundry is yet to be started. I’m looking forward to getting the house back in order again. It’ll be great to get back to normal, and to have the time to get down to the beach for a swim.