The crazy gardener’s been at it again.

We’re only two weeks away from leaving, so the dilemma of what to do with the front garden before we left arose. Although we know it’s not the ideal time to prune roses, we also know any pruning is better than none at all. We had decided to prune prematurely sometime over the next two weeks. Frosts are rare here so they should be okay with the earlier hair cut.

That then left the dilemma of what to do about the seaside daisies that are popping up everywhere and look like returning with a vengence. If you remember, last year when we took possession of the house, the roses were completely buried alive under the daisies. I didn’t want to return to the same thing again.

Remember this!

We’re reducing the size of the rose bed next spring anyway, and are planning to increase the paved, parking area. We’d worked out how best to to accommodate the existing roses, minus all the pretty blue salvia which have been planted to fill up the gaps, and provide a united colour scheme.  We were going to leave the transplanting until spring.

One thing led to another, and hey presto – they’ve all been transplanted. We’ve found a spot for the red roses around the back. All the pink and creamy coloured ones have been transplanted to what will be a much smaller, colour co-ordinated, semi-circular garden bed, once the pavings finished in spring. All the annuals have been removed, and the garden now looks like a big plot of bare dirt. The seaside daisies were predominantly at the front of the garden bed where the paving is going to be, and it looks like that’s mainly where they’re hell bent on popping up again. So, any that come up while we’re away can grow to their hearts content until we get back – all the roses are safely transplanted out of their way.

From this

to this in a day

Transplanted roses now looking like twigs

It won’t be looking as pretty when we leave as it would have been looking had we stuck to our original plan. It won’t be looking pretty at all!  It will, however, look a lot better in spring when we return than if we’d stuck to our original plan (I think). And, most of the hard work is behind us. The rest is now up to the brick paver. Of course, the neighbours won’t know the reasoning behind the garden demolition – they’ll no doubt be thinking i’ve lost my marbles. It was looking pretty….

Cape to Cape walk

We’re fortunate enough to have the 135 km Cape to Cape walk located only a short drive from home. The spectacular coastal track winds itself along the Leeuwin/Naturaliste ridge, taking in a fascinating geology of cliffs, caves, headlands and rock formations.

Stunning cliffs.

Starting in the north approximately 13kms from Dunsborough at the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse, the track takes between five to eight days to complete. It finishes at the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse. Sections of the track incorporate some soft sandy beach parts, as well as some steeper rocky climbs and descents. Some sections are easier than others, so the degree of difficulty depends on your fitness level.

Rock Cairns

Amazing coastline.

Our friend and neighbour Brian, has been completing the track section by section on day walks when time allows. Yesterday, Paul, along with another friend of Brian’s, Sharon, tackled the 17km section from Moses Rock to Gracetown.

Towering rocks.

Kay took them to their starting point, leaving home at around 6.30am. I stayed tucked up snugly in bed….. They expected to complete the walk around 11. Kay picked me up around 10.30am with the plan to meet them at the conclusion at the Gracetown general store. However, we had just left when Kay received a call from Brian advising they would take an hour longer than anticipated, a good excuse for Kay and I to enjoy a coffee at Cape Lavender tea rooms.

We arrived to pick them up in good time, passing them with only about 50 metres to go. They were ecstatic, in awe of the scenery they had encountered, and showed no visible signs of exhaustion. Apparently, they followed the coast virtually the whole way. The swells were enormous, Brian reported the biggest he’d seen. Surfers where clearly taking advantage of the the giant waves and whenever they passed good breaks, they were entertained by young (and some not so young) men and women taking their lives in their hands doing what surfers do. Some were apparently doing their best to paddle out to meet the gigantic swells, while others made use of jet skis to tow them out to the swells, and then to pick them up when they either finished their ride, or came to grief, getting pummelled by the following waves. Certainly not for the faint hearted!

Sitting outside the Gracetown general store whilst the walkers relaxed with a well deserved coffee, Kay and I had a chance to also be entertained by the dozens of surfers opposite taking advantage of the spectacular surf conditions. Not so long ago I would have been joining them on the walk. Perhaps one day I will again, but I won’t risk inflaming an old ankle injury until after I’ve done the Gibb River. I was content enjoy the view at the end.

Enjoying a well deserved coffee

Surfers entertaining us.

Sun sparkling like diamonds on the water.

And today – Paul reports slightly sore muscles but nothing that would prevent him tackling the next section. He loved it. Living close enough to be able to complete such an amazing walk a day at a time – what a pleasure!

Website tidy up

Finally I’ve touched base with grandson Tim and picked his very clever technical brain for some tips on tidying up this website. As a result, the clean-up has begun.

I’ve started quite a few new classifications and have re-classified most old posts – previously most posts were lumped together in ‘unclassified’. I really am very technically challenged! but I’m working on it.

It’s by no means up to the standard of organisation I see in some of the wonderful blogs I follow, but it is organised better today than it was yesterday.

I’ve created categories for Tasmania, The East Coast, Northern Territory, South West WA, and WA The Kimberleys. I imagine the Kimberleys will shortly expand considerably when we’ve completed the Gibb River – wow, we’re only two weeks from setting off for this years trip north. It’s scary how quickly the time has flown by. I think that will be the most exciting to date.

There’s now also categories for family, friends, and our places (our homes in both WA and Tassie), as well as categories for England and other travel. And there’s categories related to ‘Our Rig’ detailing how it’s evolved over the years including repairs and alterations.

So now if you’re reading a post and want to read more related to the same topic, you’ll be able to click on the hyperlink at the conclusion of the post.

I’ve still to work out how to get a proper menu listing of categories at the top of the home page. I’ll be catching up with a Tim again when we pass through Perth in two weeks time, so I’ll pick his brains again then. Watch this space for an even organised web site….

Humorous place names

I’ve been reminded today of the humour I found in some of Tassies place names, so thought I’d post this map I came across show casing most of the ones that tend to tickle ones fancy – if you’ll excuse the pun please.

Yes – these are all real places. We showed this to our grandsons recently and they couldn’t stop laughing. Hope you get a bit of a giggle too.

Eyes open, smile.

It’s difficult to get reasonable group photos, don’t you think. Firstly you have to overcome everyone’s reasons as to why they don’t want their photo taken, “I hate posed photos”, “I don’t feel like smiling today”, “I don’t like having my photo taken”, “I feel dreadful today”, “Do we have too”!, I’m sure you’ve all heard similar objections.

Today, a simple plea did it. Everyone agreed, albeit reluctantly.

Next, how to get everyone to have their eyes open at the same time. How often is an otherwise perfect group photo spoiled by one person who had their eyes closed (usually that’s me). Today I asked everyone to open their eyes on the count of three. It worked, sometimes to well. But with a bit of cropping I think I’ve managed to get some reasonable photos of us all – and all eyes are open.

Alice, Paul, Tim and Josh

Sometimes the click of the camera comes to soon after the call to ‘open eyes’. I promise Josh isn’t psycho!

Eyes wide open…

Alice and Paul

All of us.

Josh, Clint and Ethan

A day with Alice, Paul G, Tim, Josh and two of Josh’s friends. A shared alfresco lunch in the back garden, gorgeous mild sunshine – and a rare chance to snap some family photos.  What a pleasure!

Raksha at the Beer Farm

Easter – the crowds have arrived and Busselton and the surrounding areas have virtually doubled in population for at least a few days. The beaches are packed, as are the wineries and micro-breweries.

Raksha (grandson Josh’s band) have been down here for the week-end to record a single, and to play a gig at the Beer Farm. Alice, Paul, Tim and Josh are down here camping nearby, along with all the other members of Raksha, and some of their families and friends – quite a crowd.

We firstly caught up with the family at a local beach yesterday (minus Josh – who was busy at the recording studio).

Tim’s first time on a paddle board – he made it look so easy.

Paul had a go in one of the boys canoes, and also checked out another canoe being used for fishing. I think a similar fishing canoe has been added to his ‘wish list’ – perhaps when we return next spring from our upcoming caravan trip.

Alice and Paul enjoying life on the water

Amazingly clear water.

Today we all met up again at the Beer Farm for Raksha’s gig. Paul (Riley) was enthralled at how much the band have improved since he last heard them. He was in the UK in January when the band stayed here with me rehearsing for the Busselton Battle of the Bands, so didn’t have the pleasure of becoming familiar with some of their current sounds. They’re certainly growing in professionalism, and their repertoire is becoming quite diversified. I don’t think they stick strictly to any particular style of music. There’s touches of Indi Rock, Indi Folk, Reggae, Jazz, and apparently they also throw in some Psychedelic Rock (whatever that is), or so I’m told. I don’t have much of an ear for recognition of any particular music type. I only know what I like, and having become familiar with quite a lot of Raksha’s songs,  I’m quite liking what I hear.

Getting in the zone.

Clint on base, Josh on guitar and vocals, Amber on vocals.

It’s hard to get a clear photo with the all of the members of the band in it. The one below was about the best I could manage that included all of the six members together on stage. Apologies Ethan – your face is hidden behind all those lovely curls.

Ethan on Keyboard, Jarrod on drums and Connor on guitar.

They only play their own original tracks. I tend to think that’s a bit of a shame when playing to an audience completely new to their sounds. Something familiar played well will always get ears tuned in the right direction immediately, whereas unfamiliar sounds always takes considerably longer to imprint into peoples consciousness. My thoughts are that if the first song is familiar and then another familiar song is thrown in every three or four songs when playing to a new audience it’ll get the crowds attention earlier, and keep their interest long enough for the band to showcase their own sounds. When it comes down to it though, I guess it’s not about achieving fame and fortune,  it’s about a group of young people together having some fun. They’re certainly having a ball. It brings them a lot of pleasure to stay true to their own original material – so I guess why not.

There was quite a crowd there. Getting served for drinks required considerable patience. The meals queue was even worse. Paul queued for the best part of 20 minutes to place a meal order only to be told as he was nearing the front of the queue to come back in half an hour as they’d run of meal buzzers. We decided going without lunch would be easier than returning to queue again later. Fortunately, Alice and Paul G had ordered to much and took pity on us with a basket of chips.

The following photo of our friends Kay and Brian Love with their daughter and three lovely grandchildren took me back a few years. I can remember many, many family photos with Tim and Josh in them when they were a similar age to Mitch with the same finger pose…. Must be a boy thing!

Three generations of our friends, The Love Family, lending their support.

Tim – lost in the music

Connor’s family

Tim with Clint and Jarod after the gig

I didn’t manage to pin Alice, Paul G, Tim and Josh down altogether for a family photo – perhaps tomorrow when they come here for dinner. I know both Alice and Tim aren’t fond of posing in front of a camera so fingers crossed they’ll all be feeling up to humouring me…. Watch this space.