Perth – Part 2

After the CA Wells classes had finished, Nancy drove me over to my friends house where I stayed for the rest of my trip.  We had a quiet night in with just Hayley and myself as Pete was at Rugby – it was really nice to sit and catch up on each others lives over a bottle of red wine while I cuddled Riley, their golden retriever, to death 😉

The next day, though, we were up bright and early (well, I dunno about the bright, but it was most definitely early!!), as we got up for the ANZAC dawn service at the local RSL, as 25 April is ANZAC Day here in Australia and New Zealand.

It would have been nice to go to the major service at Kings Park, but seeing as there were about 30,000 people there, it was quite nice to be at the other end of the scale at the Nollamara RSL.  We were all handed a sprig of rosemary before the service, and this is something I didn’t understand, so I had to ask someone what the significance was – in NZ we wear a poppy, but in Australia a sprig of rosemary is the order of the day … according to my source (a biker who had been in the army for 35 years) rosemary in Greek history symbolises remembrance, and rosemary grows wild on the Gallipoli Pensinsula, giving greater significance to this hardy wee plant.

According to the ANZAC Day educational website, the following is said about the significance of the rosemary:

“This plant was, in ancient times, supposed to strengthen memory. Greek scholars wore rosemary in their hair to help remember their studies, and the association with remembrance has carried through to modern times. In literature and folklore it is an emblem of remembrance.

On ANZAC Day, the wearing of small sprigs of rosemary in the coat lapel, pinned to the breast or held in place by medals is thus synonymous with remembrance and commemoration.”

The service at Nollamara was extremely short (only about 10 minutes in total), but as usual I got choked up at hearing the Last Post being played and when the wreaths were laid.  We then followed tradition by heading to the bar for a drink at 6.10am (!!!) – I couldn’t face beer or spirits at that time of the morning, so thought I’d be a girl and have a glass of port instead … well, it turned up in a middy glass filled to the brim!!  They didn’t have real port glasses, so my $3 bought me 1/4 bottle of port in one glass instead haha.  My Dad would be proud! haha.  Pete latched himself onto a group of Maori boys that were there and he was truly settled in for the day – Hayley and I finally left at about 11.30am, even though the Maori boys kept trying to buy us drinks (not to mention head back to their place for a party and BBQ afterwards) and wandered off home where we sat and blobbed in front of the TV all afternoon before having KFC for dinner.

I must say I was really impressed with the interior of the Nollamara RSL – it has numerous pieces of war memorabilia on the walls … this photo is just part of one wall.

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The next day Hayley drove me out to Joondalup where my jaw hit the floor in the Kiwi Shop!  OMG, I’ve never seen so many Kiwi foodstuffs outside of NZ … heaven isn’t in it whatsoever, and I spent a few dollars in there before she managed to drag me out the door!  My suitcase took some carrying up those flights of stairs this morning, I can tell you that! haha.  I bought some Maggi Onion Soup of reduced cream for Kirsten here in Sydney (of Gift of Stitching magazine fame) … and managed to find a few things for myself too – including Glo-Harts!  Woohoo!!!!! A few packets of biscuits came home with me, along with Bluebird and Krispa potato chips, Perky Nanas, Caramel Chew, Black Knight licorice and a few other things. The following photo of the shop interior is only side one of two sides!!!!! 😀

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After the Kiwi Shop we headed to the coast to Sorrento Beach where we wandered around the shops for a while – unfortunately my wallet took another bashing as I found a British lolly (sweet) shop that had some sweets I hadn’t seen for years …  Coming home with me were pear drops, walnut whips, midget gems, sherbet UFO’s, and the ultimate treat for me that I haven’t seen for years and years … bonfire toffee!!!!!  😀

After buying out both shops of junk food (Weight Watchers eat your heart out! … guess who’s going to be given rations over the coming months?), we sat and had lunch at a local cafe on waterfront, followed by dessert at Cold Rock.  If you haven’t had it before, it’s a real treat – very expensive for what it is, but it’s scrummy … you basically choose your ice cream flavour, add ‘mix-in’ treats of your choice, and they mixed it all up for you.  My choice was Baileys ice cream with a Twirl, Crunchie and Maltesers chopped up in it … heavenly, and definitely NOT for the faint-hearted! 😉

We finished off the evening by heading over to visit friends of theirs, Pam and Michael, and we ended up staying until nearly 11pm – it was a great night of good wine, good company, and good food … Michael surprised us by telling us we were now staying for dinner and we had beautiful steaks for tea … ah heaven 🙂

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Our final day was a little bit disappointing in that the rain stayed with us all day and it hindered our plans.  At my request we drove out to the University of Western Australia again while I bored them silly as I wandered around the main building taking photos – the stayed in the car the whole time, so I quickly realised that our tastes were totally different where sightseeing is concerned.

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After taking a few photos, we headed out to Fremantle where I’d been looking forward to wandering the streets with camera in hand drooling over the old buildings.  Instead we went to the Fremantle Markets, which were quite enjoyable (to me anyway – I think the others were bored about halfway round).  We ended up standing watching a street performer outside the Markets for a short while before heading over to La Porchetta for some cheap pasta and pizza followed by Cold Rock again, as Pete wasn’t with us when we tried it the previous day.  All-in-all it was a fun day, but I definitely want to go back again and see the whole area on foot.

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I’ve already told Hayley I’m returning next year again, and she’s probably going to take a couple of days off work and take me to Rottnest Island – I’d also love to take a day trip by bus up to the Pinnacles and Wave Rock, so that could be something to look foward to again next year.  I’d better book in my annual leave straightaway when I find out the class dates!

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So, there we have it, my trip in a nutshell … it was a wonderful, wonderful time away with so many experiences making the trip memorable – now it’s time to start saving up again for next year! 😀

Home again, Home again, Jiggity-jig!

Feeling most definitely worse for wear, after taking the overnight flight from Perth – we had an electrical fault so we were 1/2 an hour late leaving (originally due to leave 1/4 past midnight).  The flight was 3 1/2 hours long (SUPER quick!) – as soon as I could I turned down the ‘evening’ meal and lay my seat down as far as it would go and tried to sleep … I gave up after a while feeling really fidgety, and thought unhappily to myself that I would just have to give up trying to sleep and watch a movie.  When I checked my watch, though, I was shocked and amazed to see that I’d actually been zonked out totally for almost 3 full hours – woohoo!!  I didn’t feel as though I’d slept at all, but I slept almost the entire flight 🙂

After arriving home I sat at the laptop and uploaded the few photos I had taken, then eventually climbed into bed again where I’ve had another 4 hours nap time and feel loads better.

Now it’s time to recant the week’s tales … starting with the CA Wells classes …

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Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now may remember that last year I got horribly lost in the car when driving to the CA Wells class – Judy (our hostess) had decided she’d prefer me to stay closer to her home this time round, and I have to admit it was a wonderful idea!

I was picked up at the airport by the lady that I was going to be staying with, Nancy – and I hadn’t met her previously.  We hit it off straightaway and she really is the most fascinating lady to talk to, exceptionally knowledgeable and a truly interesting life.  After being picked up I was told the day was ‘her treat’ and she whisked me away to Guildford where we drove around looking at the beautiful old buildings before stopping for lunch at a cafe set in beautiful grounds on the banks of the river.  Here we both had leek and potato soup followed by pumpkin quiche and salad – it was a lovely welcome to Perth!

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Afterwards Nancy found out that I hadn’t seen any of Perth whatsoever, so we spent 6 whole hours driving around the various suburbs and landmarks with Nancy telling lots of stories about the various properties.  We started off driving up The Esplanade, then ducked into the driveway of the University of Western Australia where my jaw hit the floor – the main building as you come onto the property took my breath away!  There will be photos in the next post.  After that we headed up into the expensive suburbs and then on over to Fremantle for more driving – we didn’t actually stop and this has now whetted my appetite to go back again and spend more time on foot exploring the place in detail.  We eventually ended up at Cottesloe Beach where we had coffee and cake then drove back via Kings Park.  The entire venture took my breath away – it was an awesome introduction to Perth and I’m extremely grateful to Nancy for that wee adventure! 🙂

The next day was the Sailor’s Valentine class – I was interested to note that I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t enjoyed stitching this one … but by the end of the class, the project has really grown on me, and it truly does look so much better all finished!  Unfortunately I had forgotten to stitch the bands, which is the first thing we needed to work on, so I don’t have much stitching to show … but over the coming weeks I’ll endeavour to get both projects finished.

The great thing about this year’s class is that there were so many familiar faces from last year – I sat with Joanne and Lisa and had a really wonderful time … their company was great!  CA was as charming and histerical as always, her stories had me in fits of giggles at times.

I was very privileged to find I’d been invited out to dinner with Nancy, along with CA, Michael and Judy, Val, and Lisa – it was a very memorable dinner at a local Chinese restaurant where the food, wine and company were sublime.  It was an unexpected highlight of my visit 🙂

The next morning we were working on the Cottage Etui – I managed to get my scissor fob almost completed (I just want to add a bead to the bottom if I can find one suitable in my stash), and also managed to get my ‘trunk’ pincushion finished aside from tying the ribbon bows (I thought I’d wait until I got home so it wouldn’t get totally crushed inflight).  Once again, I’ll make an effort over the coming weeks to get this one finished off.  I’ll take photos later of the finished project.

Here is a photo, though, of the group hard at work finishing their Cottage Etuis (close to the camera are my stitching buddies for the weekend).

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I will, however, show you photos of next year’s projects!  I’ve reserved my spot already, both with Nancy and CA … especially now I’m finding there are so many beautiful places to explore in Perth, this will turn out to be my huge personal treat each year.  Next year CA is offering the Mermaid Bag and the Acorn Etui (it opens up, and is gorgeous! – I adore both items, so I’ll definitely be signing up for both! 😀

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I’ll finish off this post with a photo of the ladies who really looked after me throughout those couple of days – from left to right we have Judy (the hostess with the mostess), CA, myself, and Nancy (accommodation and tourguide extraordinaire).

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